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Good morning ladies!

 

As promised, here is a more detailed review of our wedding.

 

We arrived at the resort on March 26th, the wedding was on March 31st.  We stayed (and all of our guests) at the Colonial.  The resort is HUGE!  It is very beautiful.  The rooms are OK, nothing extravagant, the food is good, the a-la-cartes we tried were good, the beach is nice, althought rocky.  The beach at the Kantenah is much nicer.

 

We had held our own little rehearsal the evening before the wedding.  It calmed everyone's nerves a little ;) and they all knew what to do when walking up the aisle, where to go, etc.  We then had a rehearsal dinner at the beach BBQ (which Rocio arranged the reservation for us ).  Since there was 17 of us, we couldn't eat at one of the a-la-carte unless we had a set menu, which we didn't want.  The food was good at the BBQ but it was extremely windy.  We moved to the Colonial lobby afterwards to hand out gifts and continue on with the party.

 

 

Prior to our arrival, I had asked Rocio when our meeting would be so I could advise our witnesses not to plan any activities during that morning.  We met with her on March 28th (Monday).  There are no words to describe how amazing Rocio and her team are.  They are of such professionalism!  Rocio had every detail written down and was even more organized than I was.  I had things delivered to the resort instead of having to bring them down with me and she had everything ready for me.  They helped with a lot of stuff I didnâ€t have time to do while in Mexico (tissue pompoms, maracas, etc).  Really, they are the best Iâ€ve ever seen (compared to TV shows or other weddings Iâ€ve been to).  They all work together on the wedding day but Rocio was with us at all times.  She met with us at the ceremony, got us water during the photo shoot, arranged for transportation… really, sheâ€s amazing.  Plus, when we ran into a tiny problem (an extra guest showed up… we didnâ€t have any room for him to sit at the dinner, etc.), she took care of everything and just told me to relax and enjoy my day.  Seriously, amazing!

 

We had the ceremony at the beach gazebo.  Now… everyday, it was VERY windy.  I was scared since we had rose petals and flower decorations, plus I was afraid my veil would be flying all over… We had the less windy day on our wedding day.  Almost no wind at all.  They set up the gazebo exactly as planned.  The one thing I should have mentioned to Rocio is to make sure that all the seats were filled.  Nobody wanted to sit in the first row since they thought it was for the bridal party.  We had guests standing in the back and seats left empty at the front.  Nonetheless, it looked beautiful.  The ceremony itself was very nice.  The officiant was great.  We added the hand ceremony and the sand ceremony.  We didnâ€t do personal vows. Everything ran smoothly.  We had a glass of sparkling wine for all our guests after the ceremony.  We started right away with family and group pictures.  Once those were done with, everyone left for the cocktail ceremony.

 

We had a butterfly release at the ceremony.  It was one of the best moment of the whole day.  It was absolutely beautiful and ran smoothly (I had read some horror stories).  Every single guest thanked us and thought it was the best way to commemorate those who couldnâ€t be with us.

 

Also, we had some random people standing on the side for the ceremony… which I didnâ€t really like.  I donâ€t mind them watching, but they shouldnâ€t be right where my guests were sitting.  I donâ€t need that old man in his bathing suits in my wedding pictures. J  I wish Rocio would have said something to them so they would have stood farther down or more to the side.

 

As for decoration for the ceremony, here is what we had:

2 flower arrangements for the gazebo (see behind the officiant, on the posts), 2 set of 3 vases with branches and flowers (see at the entrance of the gazebo), petals for the aisle, we had programs and petal cones with flowers (which didnâ€t work really, since all the guests were on one side of the aisle and the wind was blowing the wrong way, oh well).

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We got all of our flowers from Vanessa Jaimes.  The only flowers provided by the resort is the table arrangement for the ceremony.  Here is a picture of the bouquets, which were absolutely beautiful!

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We arranged for transportation for our guests from the wedding gazebo to the sports bar terasse (cocktail), and then to La Laguna (reception).  Everyone absolutely loved that!

 

As mentioned, we held the cocktail reception at the Sports Bar Terasse.  To me, it was the best place to have it.  None of the bars could offer a private cocktail hour since they are all opened to the resortâ€s guests.  Nobody ever hangs out at that terasse so we had it all to ourselves.  They have a nice fountain (which wasnâ€t working when we got to the resort but they fixed right before the wedding).  I know it has been mentioned in this thread that the cocktail isnâ€t needed… but it was one of the best decisions weâ€ve made!  We had the cocktail with drinks and appetizers and everyone absolutely loved it!  It was well worth the money.  Everyone loved that they all stayed together, none of them went back to their rooms, they all just hung out.  The food was delicious and service was great.  Rocio set up my ipod for the music and we had the mariachi trio play for 45 mins at the end.  We had some small flower centerpieces for the tables (we had 4 low tables and 6 high cocktail tables with white linen), and some tissue paper pompoms that were hanging.

(sorry for the random pictures... I'm just trying to show you the set up for the cocktail.)

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They brought everyone over at La Laguna to get ready so we could start around 7PM.  We (with the bridal party) stayed at the entrance and met with Carlos (DJ Mannia) who reviewed all of our names so he could pronounce them correctly for the introduction.  They introduced us, we danced a bit and sat down for dinner.  We had servers by our side the whole evening.  They were great!  Rocio and her team were also there to make sure everything was going well.  The food was AMAZING!!  We made quite a few changes to the menu so we could have what we wanted (and paid a bit extra).  We had: Lobster bisque, spinach and mandarin salad, mandarin sorbet, stuffed rack of lamb, cannolis with vanilla mousse.  We also had a veggie lasagne for 2 vegetarian guests and a different soup for people allergic to seafood. Dinner took longer than expected… we had 70 guests and it took a little over 2 hours.  We did our first dance and the parents†dance before the desert, and then cut the cake.  We got the party started with some dancing than after about 30 minutes did the bouquet/garter toss.  Then, more dancing.  Rocio had set up everything as we had requested.  We had the ceiling decoration with the lights, all of the centerpieces and candles we had brought were set up exactly as we wanted it… they moved the cocktail centerpieces to decorate the reception as well, guestbook, everything… it was all set up amazingly well.

 

Decorations: we had flower centerpieces, we had maracas that served as placecards for the guests, we brought some candle holders and candles, we had escort cards, a guestbook, a card box (money box? Whatever you might call it…), tequila table, ceiling decoration, extra orange spot lights from DJ Mannia, …. I might be forgetting some things, but I think that was it.

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Iâ€m happy I chose to have the reception at La Laguna.  It all depends on your own personal preference.  La Laguna seems more private to me since itâ€s farther down from all of the restaurants and the lobby.  Gran Azul is pretty close to both the Colonial and Kantenah buffets and the lobbies, so there is more people walking around.  Plus, I really liked how Gran Azul is just all surrounded by water VS Gran Azul being more surrounded by jungle.  I will try to post some pictures later this week.

 

I have to say, absolutely nothing went wrong.  It exceeded our expectations!!!  All of our guests said it was the most beautiful wedding theyâ€ve ever been to.  We even had random guests of the resort stop us the next day and said that it was absolutely beautiful.

 

Iâ€m hoping to have time to do a (late) planning thread and review our vendors… but here are some comments in the mean time:

 

Photography: Claudia Rodriguez

SHE IS AMAZING! (So is her team!)  There were 4 of them total, all of which were fabulous.  Claudia is great at what she does.  Sheâ€s done so many weddings that sheâ€s the once I was asking for advice throughout the day (how to put the boutonnieres, when to do this, when to do that, etc.).  I would HIGHLY recommend her. J  For our TTD session, she was in the water up to her armpits and laying in the sand, etc.  At the reception, she surprised up with a slideshow of 60 pictures that she put together during our dinner.  What an amazing surprise and our pictures looked amazing!

*I will post a link to the gallery whenever I get the pictures.

 

Videography:  Playa Weddings

Paul and his team were also great to deal with.  I havenâ€t seen any previews or anything, so I canâ€t speak of the final product yet… but from videos Iâ€ve seen of their archives, their work is great.

 

Flowers: Vanessa Jaimes

She is amazing!  Our flowers were gorgeous!!!  She can be a tad bit expensive, but to me, it was all worth it.  Plus… one week before our departure, I changed almost all the flowers!  I had a tiny bridezilla moment J  She gladly agreed to all my changes and exceeded my expectations!

 

DJ Mannia

Carlos and his team were GREAT!  They played the exact songs I wanted and the dinner music (which was left for them to pick) was amazing.  They adjusted very well to our last minute changes in our schedule and really got the party going.  Loved them!

 

Mariachi trio:

They played during the cocktail and everyone loved them.  Turns out we got 4 marchiachis instead of 3.  Bonus!

 

Ceremony duo: Ilys + guitarist

Ilys was recommended to me via Playa Weddings.  She was GREAT to deal with during the planning process, learned all 3 songs we requested and all of our guests raved about how good of a singer she was.  AMAZING!

 

Hair + Makeup: Adrian and his team, Styling Trio (Playa del Carmen)

They were great!  The makeup was AMAZING!  We looked like stars out of Hollywood J  I didnâ€t like my hair at first and they quickly changed it all and made sure I got what I wanted.

 

Cake: Turtle Bay Bakery

Alright, this is the one Iâ€m not happy with.  There was a huge lack of communication throughout the planning… the cake was not exactly what I wanted but still looked OK.  Anyways… I would NOT recommend them at all.

 

 

Please, donâ€t hesitate if you have any questions!  Iâ€m probably forgetting lots of details… so please let me know. J

 

Steph

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Steph, thank you SOOOOO much for everything you just provided!  It's so great to hear that everything went well!  I am so excited about going, we leave in two weeks!!!!  I think the only thing I'm questioning right now is the flowers... I think I'm going to wish I could get more flowers when I'm there...  Hmm...  Either way, I'm glad your day was very special and woulded perfectly for you!!   Thank you again for providing this information!!!

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Awww Ella!  I wish I could back tomorrow! :)  I miss it already.  I can't wait to hear all your stories and see how it went!  I'm 100% positive that it will be fabulous!  Don't stress out... they have it under control and they are the best at what they do!  I was so relieved after our meeting with Rocio. :)

 

Haven't you booked Claudia as your photographer as well?  You'll love her.

 

For the flowers... the setting is just so beautiful on it's own.  You don't need that many decorations or flowers, it's really up to you.  I'm sure you could get more once you get there.  You could always check with other florist to see if they could help in any way.  It can be hard on such short notice, but you never know. :)

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I'm really pumped about it, especially with your stories!

 

We didn't book Claudia, we were going to, but decided to bring our own photographer!  We meet with her on Friday to go over expectations!  She'll be down there for 2 nights and will get to photograph our days down there, as she will be "working" the whole time!  Do you mind if I print off some of the pictures you've uploaded?  I want to use a few of them as examples for our photographer.

 

I have emailed Rocio about the possibility for more flowers...at least at the dinner site, though if it's jungle that will probably make for a good back drop too!  I don't really have a preference between the water (La Laguna) or jungle (Gran Azul), so it works just fine that I'm doing it at Gran Azul!  I know we do get an extra flower arrangement for the ceremony site with our package, so that will be cool!  I wonder if we could move the flower arrangements from the ceremony site to the dinner location...I'll have to ask about that!

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Hey Stephy, 

Thanks soo much for the AMAZING review!!! I am so happy that things went so beautifully and smoothly for you! You looked absolutely gorgeous!!! 

I have a quick question for you as well as anyone as on this forum.....did you get legally married down there or did you get married here first and then have a symbolic wedding? We're planning on getting legally married down there but a friend of mine just emailed me saying that the government is changing some of the laws down there and making it hard to get legally married! 

I was not aware of any of this...

Thanks for the help!

Christine(:

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Hi Christine,

 

We got legally married down in Mexico.  We are getting the apostille done in Mexico (Rocio is taking care of it) since we need it to legalize the wedding in Canada.  I looked it up with the government here about what I needed and this was it.  Rocio didn't mention anything about the law changing but it would be something to look into I guess.

 

Lots of people actually get married before going down to Mexico.  It wasn't an option for us, I was really set on getting married only once, in Mexico.  It just meant more to me.  Again, it's a personal choice.

 

Hope it helps!

 

Steph
 

Originally Posted by cpezuk View Post

Hey Stephy, 

Thanks soo much for the AMAZING review!!! I am so happy that things went so beautifully and smoothly for you! You looked absolutely gorgeous!!! 

I have a quick question for you as well as anyone as on this forum.....did you get legally married down there or did you get married here first and then have a symbolic wedding? We're planning on getting legally married down there but a friend of mine just emailed me saying that the government is changing some of the laws down there and making it hard to get legally married! 

I was not aware of any of this...

Thanks for the help!

Christine(:



 

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