| Originally Posted by LyssaB80 |
Hi everyone - I wanted to post my review of our wedding on November 8th at the Del Mar for you - I know how helpful other reviews were to me while I was planning!! This got a little long and I still feel like I left a lot out so feel free to let me know if you have any questions!
Let me just start with saying that my expectations were exceeded in every way and I am so happy I went with the del mar! We had 43 people, most of which arrived on Thursday, 11/6 and departed Monday, 11/10 or Tuesday so we had several days together. The resort is HUGE, but we spent every night at the lobby bar (though we spent a fair amount of late nights at the disco too!) so we were able to greet people as they arrived, and told them what pool we were spending time at during the day so they had the option of either joining the group or going off on their own. The hotel also let me leave notes for people that hadnâ€™t checked in so I could tell our guests where to find us once they arrived at the hotel.
Gabriella was our coordinator and she was fantastic. We brought down our out of town bags, favors etc and dropped them all off with her the day after we arrived when we met to coordinate all of the details we had been discussing on email. Everyone received their bags with no issues. We also requested that all guests be blocked in building 15 or 16 and she was able to accommodate that request as well.
We chartered a catamaran through Akumel Tours for a sunset cruise for our group on Friday. They were fantastic and I highly recommend them. The catamaran we rented was large enough for 100 people, so with 43 there was plenty of room. They crew had snacks, music, LOTS of drinks (they actually poured a shot for us all to start the trip), and they also provided a very nice bus to get us all to and from the marina. We were picked up at 3pm, had 3.5-4 hour cruise and were back at the hotel with 30-40 minutes to spare before dinner which gave those that needed to change plenty of time to do so.
Rehearsal Dinner was at the del mar (well, the beach side, actually) in the Japanese restaurant. We took up 2 teppanyaki tables, they had a fixed menu but it included a sushi course, vegetables tempura and then the main course had chicken, beef, shrimp and veggies so there was definitely something for everyone in the group. We asked our coordinators for the reservation a few months ago and there were absolutely no issues. Again â€“ the staff was amazing! Our group was definitely made up of drinkers, and at the end of dinner the staff came around to each seat, made a hat out of a cloth napkin, put it on the head of someone in our group and fed them a tequila shot â€“ it was pretty funny.
On Saturday, the day of the wedding, Gabriella had a golf cart pick my mom, sister and I up from my room and bring us to the spa â€“ who did a wonderful job on our manicures, pedicures and hair. I had heard from other reviews that the spa tends to run longer than you expect so I built in a little extra time which worked out well as we ended up leaving the spa about 30 minutes after we had been scheduled to be done. Gabriella met us at the spa with our flowers to bring us back to the room â€“ the flowers turned out just how I wanted â€“ they looked fantastic and I will put pictures up as soon as I can!
The wedding was in the gazebo of the del mar, it is a great location in a secluded area in a garden with a water fountain. The gazebo itself is large enough for 20-22 chairs inside, and the rest are set outside of the gazebo but everyone said they were able to see no matter where they sat. The paint and detail in the gazebo is really pretty (Michelle â€“ I was thinking of you when I arrived at the Lindo and saw the pyramid ceiling!). We did not meet with the minister before the wedding, but he used all of the information we had sent the coordinator and the ceremony was more personalized than I had expected for a destination wedding. After the ceremony, all of our guests were handed champagne and we walked to the beach for pictures (maybe a 5-7 minute walk). We donâ€™t have our professional pics yet but our guests got some awesome pictures on the beach right at sunset so I am looking forward to seeing them! The reception was at the tropical restaurant (this is the snack bar during the day, next to the guestroom building 11 and VERY close to the beach). Cocktail hour was outside of the restaurant, we had the appetizers and drinks for $12pp, the mariachi trio (who were very fun, people loved that!) and we hired the cigar roller for our cocktail hour which all of our guests really liked.
We did hire a DJ but had a playlist on our ipod of songs we wanted to dance to, he added some of his own in but it worked out really well and the dance floor was full non-stop for the entire night. We bought sets of maracaâ€™s for each guest and tied a ribbon with their name and table number on it so it worked for placecard and favor â€“ we gave these to Gabriella during our initial meeting and she had them all set up for us for the start of the reception.
Our reception ended at 11pm and one of our guests arranged with Gabriella to have the trolley waiting for us outside of the reception to take us all dancing at the disco.
The staff did decorate our guestroom, when we got back they had flower petals around the room, a bottle of champagne, towel swans kissing and the extra flowers from our ceremony.
I am sure I am missing some details so feel free to post if you have any questions but I would absolutely do this again and recommend the del mar to anyone â€“ everything was really stress free and fun and all of our guests had an absolute blast. The one thing I cannot emphasize enough is how great the staff was, absolutely every single person we encountered went above and beyond to make sure we were having a great time â€“ I work for a major hotel company in the states and have worked at over 8 hotels but I can tell you that the staff at the Iberostar was one of the most impressive I have ever seen â€“ I would recommend this hotel for a wedding to anyone. Please let me know if you have questions and I will post pics soon!