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Hi Palladium Brides and brides to be! 

Mike and I got back on early Wednesday morning and there was just so much activity going on!

We had 60 guests all together from New York, California, Missouri, Hawaii and the Philippines. 

We stayed at the Royal Suites which was very quiet and cozy.

We had our welcome bags which we gave to each lobby our guests were staying in. Front desk wouldn't normally do this but since our bags are the same size as GP's welcome guest packets, they accepted them.


My cousins had two friends they wanted to invite last minute and Vanessa accomodated them.

I'd like to say things went better than expected. Our vendors came through and the service was above and beyond!

All 60 of our guests had a amazing time. They all partied, swam,drank, and ate all week leading up to the wedding day.At night, we hit up the Colonial adult pool and the Sunset Disco which had the hottest parties! It was a European party crowd and we New Yorkers love a good party! I had my bachelorette party there!


We had a rehearsal at the church and dinner at Kabah buffet which was set up very nicely. There we gave the bridesmaids and flowergirl their gifts from us. Pink Hello Kitty bags, red lace tanktops with the word bridesmaid in crystals, gold tone jewelry with crystals. My flowergirl received her princess flowergirl gown, Hello Kitty bag and flowergirl book. My ringbearer got his tux and ringbearer book.


The was a few hiccups like me not fitting into my gown! It had fit me perfectly in New York. I had too much salt from the guacamole and chips and I was half an inch away from fitting into my dream gown!  I was in tears,girls! So I ran to the sauna and sweated like mad! I called Vanessa who was very helpful! 

Vanessa sent Manuel who is Palladium's costume designer. He was a sweet little old man who picked up my gown the day of my wedding at 7 AM, used the existing material from my gown and made the corset wider! The wedding was at 4 in the Church. Manuel came at 12:30 with my gown. 

My sis, mom and I were at Zentropia Spa getting our hair and makeup done. I brought my own MAC makeup for the beauticians to use.I'm quite pleased with how they did our makeup and hair. They put in a lot of hairspray since it was so humid! At 2:30 Manuel, my mom and bridesmaids fit me into my gown.I was so happy and relieved, I gave Manuel a $20 tip.

My white orchid bouquet from Vanessa Jaimes came in fresh and beautiful! The only complaint I had was the blooms did not stay in place on the bouquet handle. I wrapped my blue rosary beads around the handle together with a locket with Dad's picture.


Pedro, our Royal Suites driver, was so excited for us that he purposely changed his schedule so he can drop me off at the Church! He wanted to see me in me in my very heavy gown! He was the best driver in the Royal Suites. Always had a friendly disposition and a smile for us! 


Our priest said the Mass in English with such a heavy accent that our guests could hardly make out what he was saying. Thankfully, I had printed out our missalette word for word in English so everyone could follow along with what he was saying. People thought he was uptight but I didn't care. We felt the words and blessings is all that matters.

Our mothers had difficulty lighting the candles because of the electric fans which cooled the Church. Father Jorge brought the candles to us and had us light them at our kneelers. During holy communion, Father Jorge only gave communion to those in front. I guess because he had another wedding after ours. It was such a hot humid day!

Most of our day took up picture taking! Benchwerk Photography did such an amazing job! They worked very well with our cinematographer Agustin Lira and Perla of Cinematic Riviera Maya.


Cocktail hour was at Las Rocas Bar by the Saltwater pool. The bridesmaids and groomsmen were sweating like mad but were such good sports! My bridesmaids wore red, cotton dresses from Asos.com (my gifts among a few others) and the groomsmen wore Vera Wang tuxes which the guys peeled off after the ceremony. One groomsman was an hour away from passing out! He was given water and soda. Make sure your guests eat a good and nutritious breakfast/lunch before the ceremony and hydrate well!

We had an awesome Mariachi band playing through cocktail hour. Our guests lounged on the bali beds while we took photographs all over the saltwater pool. Just isn't Mexico without the mariachis!


My cinematographer and photographer took us through the covered walkways for some cool shots. Little did we know Vanessa lost us! She had no idea where we were photographing! One moment we were at the Saltwater pool next thing we were gone!

We photographed through the jungle, the pontoon boat on the manmade river, even in between the pillars of the jacuzzi! Thank goodness I had flipflops!

Finally Vanessa located us sitting on one of the loungers by La Laguna chilling, catching our breath.After cocktails at Las Rocas Bar, our guests were already seated at La Laguna, got their seating postcards and waiting for us. So we caught up with the rest of our party for the lineup. We were announced and danced to Christina Perri's a Thousand Years on DJ Doremixx's lighted dance floor to the delight of everyone. Vanessa and staff came around handing our sparklers as we danced. DJ Eliu Sanchez of Doremixx set off cold fireworks at the end of the song! My photographer did not expect it!  Our sweetheart table was decorated with pillars of floating candles.

The food was delicious! We had a 5 course dinner of chicken caesar salad, seafood soup with Pernod, mango sorbet to cleanse the palate, Surf and Turf which was shrimp and sirloin with potato and vegetable, canolis and our yummy cake from Zaida Marcos of Dolcet Cakes.

We danced through the night! We even had a wedding crasher who grabbed one of our guests' bottom to the dismay of his wife! Vanessa walked right over and told the woman to leave otherwise she would call security. My glass was never empty and shots of tequila and other yummy concoctions all around!  We danced, drank and ate! Yes, we ate every course!

Vanessa was amazing! She and her assistant Alma were just going nonstop through the day! 


I couldn't be more pleased but when Michael and I went to our room, it was decorated with lovely towel art with red rose petals, candles nestled in rose petals leading up to a ready drawn bubble bath! Perfect for our aching feet! There chocolate covered strawberries and champagne chilling in an ice bucket.

Yes we tipped Vanessa and her staff very well along with our vendors. Everyone was very professional and our Maitre'd was accomodating.

The very next day, my husband and I, ( HUSBAND! EEEE!)  and our cousins went to Xplor for more exhausting fun!*












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1000Our Floral centerpieces by Vanessa Jaimes! I love how they turned out! Picture frames by me! Red and pink roses, alostremerias, purple dendrobiums, pink lilies, curly willow and floating candles. Bridesmaid in the background.

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Crestena- Good luck to you! May you have a wonderful wedding week free of mosquitos, sunburn and rain! Everything else will go into place if you planned well. Make sure your wedding coordinator has copies of everything, seating charts, vendors and unpaid balances. Put tips and remaining cash balances with names on the envelopes. I had envelopes for each vendor, for Vanessa, for the wait staff even the the guy who drove me to the Church! Tips go a looong way!

Don't sweat the small stuff literally! And if you forgot to do something, it wasn't that important in the first place! I forgot to print out the menus which I'm sure noone even noticed. However people noticed Mike's mom breaking the taper during the candle ceremony. You can't do anything but laugh! Vanessa fixed the candle and the Mass goes on.

If someone wanted to know what they ate, I'll just email them the wedding menu.

No worries and whatever fiasco happens, it can be fixed and for the most part will go unnoticed. People will get sick, stub a toe, suffer from sunburn. You can't control that. Just be your pretty self and smile all the way through. Your guests will feed off your joy and excitement. When they feel you stress, they stress too. Leave it to your wedding coordinator to stress for you. She almost always has a backup plan and she does it with grace and professionalism.

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Mikeycelle!! What BEAUTIFUL  photos!!! I am so happy you had such an amazing day...I have been thinking about you my fellow New Yorker!!  You look just as gorgeous as I knew you would, and all of your planning paid off...you had a beautiful wedding :)  I cracked up reading about your overdo-ing it on the chips and guac...lol. It is my fave too- so I better be careful!  And with regards to Mike's mom breaking the candle...that is all stuff that you will look back on and smile! Thank you for keeping it real :) 


I loved seeing your pictures, and your sweet message above just made me choke up a little!!  :) Great words of wisdom, thank you so much for thinking of me :) We leave in just a few days, (5!) and our wedding is in 9 days. I can't even believe it is almost here. Michael and I sat down tonight, had a glass of wine and laughed...thinking...wow! We have talked about this for a year and a half! Everything is done except packing...I want to have everything done ahead of time so we are well rested, no stress, and relaxed. I have just sent Vanessa all of our information in a really easy to read list...(thank you Carlota!!!)  and nothing left to do except figure out what the heck to do with my hair :) If that is my biggest worry, I think I'm pretty good :) My Mike is lucky...I bought him a cool fedora to wear, no hair worries for him, lol.


If I don't get the chance to pop back on here before we leave, I promise I will be back after we return to share photos, and have my own words of wisdom to pass along. I need to see everyone else's  beautiful wedding days as well so I will be back many times...I am emotionally invested! :)


XOXO Chrestena

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Hi Caseylynndavis,

Thank you for the kind compliments! I hired Vanessa Jaimes of Vanessa Jaimes Floral Designs. She is very talented and very skilled in designing her arrangements. We had been emailing each other in English. I had no problem communicating with her. Her flowers were fresh and beautiful. My bouquet which was not from Mexico ran $300 USD. They were white dendrobiums, phaelanopsis orchids and cattleya orchids. This is my dream bouquet. I could've gone cheaper and simpler but I love the beauty of orchids. I wanted roses, orchids and lilies. The prettiest flowers in bold, romantic colors of red, purple and pink. You may contact Vanessa Jaimes through her website: Vanessajaimes.com. 

She also provided flowers for my cake which was done by Zaida Marcos of Dolcet Cakes. Her prices vary depending on the complication of design and availability of flowers. Mine ran about $2K USD for the wedding party, bouquets, boutonierres and corsages and centerpieces.


I didn't have a band but I had a pianist, cellist, violinist and a soprano performing at the wedding in church. I hired Musicancun. Check them out in Youtube.com. I don't speak Spanish at all and they communicate in English well.


I had a DJ play at the reception. I wanted a party atmosphere so I hired Doremixx. They provided a great selection of music. They went by my timeline. They played whenever someone requests a song. My cousin sang "Endless Love" with her husband as a surprise for us.They provided props like masks, balloons and even cold fireworks. 

I payed extra for the lit dance floor which is so different from any wedding I've been to. Just give them a playlist and they will play it for you. I emailed them exactly what I wanted played in addition to taking requests from our guests. I paid less than $2k USD. 


Mariachi band was $650 USD. Vanessa my wedding coordinator found them for me and I have heard them play during our wedding week at some of the weddings previous to ours. They really give the wedding a Mexican feel and everyone enjoyed them.


I feel that good food and great music make a great party. Flowers and decor set the mood. We wanted a romantic, sexy and sultry night of celebrations and we certainly achieved it with our carefully chosen vendors and the open air venue of La Laguna in Grand Palladium.

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Hello brides!!


Mikeycelle congratulations for your wedding! You look stunning in the pics! And thanks for your review!!

It is great that Vanessa was sooo efficient that was able to resolve all the little "problems"!! I am happy to have her also as my planner.

It is wonderful to know Vanessa was all the time with you. A Mexican bride that got married last July told me that her planner (she had a different one) was only with her until the end of the ceremony.... For that reason, I did presume that Vanessa was going to be with me only until then but she told me at the start of this year that she is going to be with me from 11 am to 12pm (when we are going to finish all at Las Rocas Bar.


So I am happy for you that everything was so beautiful! The photos say it very well!! A big congratulations again!


PS. I am also having orchids for my bouquet!! 700

It will be exactly as the pic but instead of the beige ones it will be white (and with all the flowers opened) 

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Originally Posted by claire0701 View Post


Thank you Carlota and Lauren for sharing your planning document, they have both been a great help xx


Originally Posted by Chrestena View Post


 I have just sent Vanessa all of our information in a really easy to read list...(thank you Carlota!!!)  


I am happy that it is good for you!!! This is a great forum to help us each others!!


Chrestena, I wish you the best of the days for your wedding!!! Your day is soooo near!! OMG, time really flyes!!  Have an awesome day!!!

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