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Posted 01 August 2013 - 07:02 AM
Hello you lovely Grand Palladium planners! We've just published a new
Posted 01 August 2013 - 08:44 AM
Originally Posted by Melgoody
We are in the process of trying to find a photographer in Mexico as a friend of mine who I always imagined shooting the wedding is going back to school to get her masters. Really bad timing for us I wanted to know of any of you hiring a photographer from Mexico. Who are you going with and roughly how much did it cost? I have gotten a couple quotes from places that were quite a bit different in price. Just wondering what the average price range is.
I´m Mikel Razo photographer of Mexican wedding photos, you can find me here in the best destination wedding page and see our comments, we are an official sponsor and vendor of this page, you also can see our examples of our work in www.mexicanweddingphotos.com also in Facebook by mexican wedding photos or by me Mikel Razo Photographer and feel free to contact us for ask any doubt or prices we can adapt to your needs there is some examples of my work have a great day and I hope to read you soon bye = )
Posted 02 August 2013 - 07:02 AM
Originally Posted by mcbride3
Caseylynndavis - Thanks for mentioning that you can haggle with prices from outside hair / makeup vendors. It totally worked for me. So if anyone hasn't booked that yet and is looking at getting people from outside of the resort to come to your room it's totally worth while telling them that their first quote â€œis out of your budget.â€ Also about the pub crawl / scavenger hunt I think it is a great idea. We are planning on just getting everyone together one night and going to Coco Bongos. Have you heard of it? You should definitely check into it. I was staying at a different resort last time I was in Mexico but there was a vendor selling tickets for a Coco Bongos Pub Crawl night. A shuttle came and picked us up at our resort and took us into Playa Del Carmen where we went to Senior Frogs and one other place (can't remember the bars name) and then they shuttled us all to Coco Bongos. We stopped along the way and picked up people at different resorts . Iâ€™m definitely going to be emailing Grace to see if the Grand Palladium has someone there offering the same type of thing. As far as a scavenger hunt I think thatâ€™s a great idea. Let me know if you come up with anything. Jencadiz - don't feel like a geek for tracking all your different pricing stuff into excel. I did the exact same thing And Carlota I think it was you? - thanks for sharing the information about not being about to set off the paper lanterns. This makes me sad. I was totally planning on doing that at our beach bash so I'm glad I ordered those yet. Sarah519 - If you are looking for cheap maracas www.amols.com is definitely where to look. I emailed every possible maraca vendor I could find online and although some of them made really cool looking maracas that you could personalize the price of them reflected that. Amols has them for a fraction of the cost. The only downside is they are pretty basic and can't be ordered personalized. But for the amount of money I will save I have chosen to personalize them myself. I'm going to buy a silver paint pen and write our names and wedding date on them myself. I just ordered 76 purple maracas. In total it cost me $74.00 plus $40 in shipping to Canada. For every other company I contacted it was gonna cost me $300-$400. They should be arriving in the mail any day. I'm excited to see them. Jengullage - How did you get the upgrade to the Royal Suites. Was the upgrade free or did they charge you extra for it? How far in advance did you email the resort and what email address did email? Mike Cantarell - Thanks for sharing the video. I loved it! Now for my question.......I'm just curious what kind of wedding package everyone is going with? We have chosen the Karen Bussen Waves of Love package. I love the starfish decor but for the price of the package Iâ€™m surprised that it doesn't include all the extra bridesmaid flowers and boutonnieres that we are going to need. They also took away the plain white color choice for that package so now I'm worried about that because the package itself isn't able to be altered. Our wedding color is purple and that package can be upgraded to purple for an extra cost but the purple doesnâ€™t look like it with go with our bright shade of purple. What are you ladies doing?
I also went with the same package as you! The Waves of Love, and we were planning on upgrading to the purple as that is our color too except it does look darker than what we have. Our bridesmaid dresses are a bright purple (the color is called Regency from David's Bridal) .. almost like a royal blue but just purple.
I'm not sure what to do either now because I was told that they would have the chair covers in white and the only thing that would be purple was the flowers and a few other things ..... I will have to email Vanessa and check out the other packages. I was planning on bringing my own silk flowers anyways because I didn't think the ones included with the package would match our colors anyways (plus bridesmaids bouquets are extra $$ anyways & I can get a great deal on all the silk bouquets/boutonnieres from Etsy). What are you planning on doing?
Posted 02 August 2013 - 01:58 PM
So we have been home a week now and after a mini-moon to Paris (which was fabulous!) it's finally sinking in that we are officially married!
We had the most amazing day and as all the previous brides promised us, Vanessa was wonderful. She was so organised, on the ball and considerate. We met her the day after we arrived and finalised flower choices, menu options and locations (church, Portofino, Las Rocas) She also checked about our photographer who was an outside vendor and put our minds at ease with everything. I brought sparklers to be given out for our first dance and Vanessa made these all up with the little cards I had made before coming - they said 'let love shine' and had our names and the date. We hadn't mentioned to Vanessa about having lighters available because we just assumed guests would use their own lighters and pass on the flame, but when we arrived Vanessa had small fire pits set up for everyone to light their sparklers from - so thoughtful!
A few days after we arrived we were heading for the white party at Las Rocas but when we got there it was terribly windy. It then began raining crazy Mexico rain and peter and I got soaked trying to get back to the lobby. We panicked a bit because we thought you could never enjoy an evening there with such wild weather, and if the heavens opened everyone would get so wet they would probably just want to go back to their rooms. The next day we spoke to Vanessa and she told us we could change the location of our cocktail party, but she could wait until after the wedding for us to make our decision which meant we could check the weather more. Thankfully the weather was far better on our wedding day and we could stick to our original plans - which worked out perfectly. Vanessa was very reassuring and I'm glad I didn't change the location now.
We had a rehersal in the Church on the Saturday which was good to make sure everyone knew where to sit, and also the little differences in the service, like how communion is administered.
Peter and I e-mailed the resort a week before we travelled using the template from palladiumaddict and received a complimentary room upgrade to a Mayan Suite in Kantennah which I was absolutely delighted with. It was a beautiful room and the outdoor shower was fab for washing my dress after the wedding and the trash the dress.
The day of the wedding went very smoothly. Vanessa arranged for Peter and his ushers to be picked up at his room half an hour before the 4pm ceremony, and for me and my maids and parents to be collected 15 minutes before. When we arrived the bridesmaids got out a little way back from the church and walked along the path. This meant the guests couldn't see me when they looked back to see the bridesmaids coming up the aisle. The car then drove me right to the door where Vanessa greeted me and told me 'no crying! because I was starting to well up hearing the beautiful music being played. We hired a violinist recommended by Vanessa for $200. She played along to a backing track. We didn't choose music as we thought we would let her play what she felt was suitable and I did burst into tears when I realised she was playing 'tale as old as time' as I walked up the aisle. Beauty and the beast holds special memories for Peter and I so it was just lovely. We opted to go without the red carpet and asked Vanessa to use rose petals instead. These were lovely but VERY slippery, my maid of honour almost fell walking up the aisle, and I almost fell walking down. I would advise in the church, to either have the red carpet, or leave the floor plain. Before my dad and I entered the church, the priest gave us a blessing. This was a really lovely touch and I felt it helped me calm down and compose myself a little. The mass was lovely, not too long and not too warm either. I especially liked the Mexican tradition of giving an offering to Our Lady, Vanessa told us about this and we decided to do it. The bride and groom, after they are married go to an altar for Mary and they offer a flower from the bride's bouquet and ask Our Lady to bless their marriage. It was a lovely moment which I will cherish.
After the ceremony, we were greeted with champagne and got our group photos. Vanessa then took the guests to the White Sands lobby on a little cart and we went with our ushers and bridesmaids to have photos taken. This was the quickest hour and a half ever but I cant wait to see the photos! We got some round the back of the church, on the beach at Punta Emelia and on the rocks at Las Rocas (I'm most excited about these ones!) We then had a little car take us to Portofino. we were dropped off on the other side of the large wooden bridge that crosses the lake and it was lovely crossing over because all our guests saw us fro Portofino and were standing and cheering for us. They got some gorgeous photos of us waving from the bridge as well. Our meal was delicious (carprese salad, minestrone soup, Portobello steak, ice cream and wedding cake) We had our speeches before dinner and then enjoyed dinner and chatting till 9. Vanessa then took us all to the lobby where she had a long train to take us all to Las Rocas.
When we arrived it looked amazing, I had brought lanterns which Vanessa had hung with lights, and they had tied little covers on the chairs and tables. It looked just perfect. We brought our own music on an iPod which got wet and broke but luckily we had backed the playlist up on another phone. The sound system was good, at first it was a bit crackly with some songs, but Vanessa got right on it and changed the audio jac which sorted it right out. We had our sparkler lit first dance and then partied the night away. My MOH ordered 32 shots when we arrived - one for every guest and from then on the bar staff had lots of fun making us up their own concoctions, without us even asking. They were super. We danced all night, including at some points on the chairs/tables and beds. Vanessa said she and the bar staff enjoyed working because we were having such fun. After midnight Vanessa transported us all to the disco where the dancing and fun continued. The music in the disco was right up our street and we had so much fun dancing with the few other people who were there. When the disco closed at 2am we stayed on having a sing song and dance for a little then most people called it a night. Some of the guests went to the 24 hour bar, but we headed back to the room.
My dress was a MESS! My sisters had brought confetti but forgot to bring it to the church so they brought it for our first dance instead. It was lovely but by then we were very sweaty so it just stuck everywhere! I has pink and purple dots all over my stomach for days after! My dress did get dyed at parts from the confetti as well, especially all around the bottom, which was totally pink by the end of the night. Because Las Rocas is sandy, myself and the bridesmaids ended up covered in sand. With the long dresses they were just lifting sand all the time. We all had sand right up to our thighs by the end of the night. When I got back the room I stood in the shower with the dress on the start getting all the sand off and then my new husband and I spent an hour cleaning it as best we could. We did a pretty good job in the end. The next day I washed it in the bath again, using a body puffer to rub the soap in. We managed to get almost all of the stains and marks out - yippeeee!
The next day we popped in to see Vanessa and she gave us our wedding certificate and one of each DIY thing I had asked her to give out to guests (fans, menu cards etc) This was really thoughtful of her to keep for us, because we had totally forgot! We have put them in our wedding memory box now
The only down side was that I found out I'm allergic to mosquito bites. On the day of the wedding I came out in the most terrible swollen lumps all over my arm, back and legs. It was so uncomfortable but did not ruin my day at all. I just hope they don't show up too clearly in the photos. I visited the doctor the next day who gave me 2 days of jags and a week worth of pills to take throughout the day and I was fighting fit within a few days. I did spend 2 days sleeping because of the jags which was a shame. When I got better Peter came down with sunstroke so we were glad of our trip to Paris when we got home!
We did our trash the dress shoot as well and loved every minute. It was a great way to spend a day together and we got so many lovely comments from people we met out and about. Our photographer was Gonzalo Nunez and we loved working with him. We went to the cenotes which were amazing but very busy with tourists. Going under the water was strange but easy to adapt to. My dress was really heavy and tangled my legs up so I had to tread water using just my arms. It was hard at first but I soon got the hang of it. We ended up being there for 3 hours because it was so busy, and by the end we were freezing! After that Gonzalo took us to a traditional Mexican food place at the side of the road and had delicious Mexican food for lunch. We then went to some more hippy style hotels which looked so relaxed and wonderful, we would definitely stay somewhere like that next time, even just for a few days. We got photos around the hotel and then at the beach and in the sea. In the sea was definitely the hardest for me because my dress was so heavy and the sand and netting was scratching all up my legs like sandpaper. I was glad we did this at the end!
My one and only complaint is that I felt the hotel was not able to cope very well with the number of guests. The buffet lines were always very long, for example for an omelette I had to wait every morning for about 10 minutes in line, and similar for pasta at lunch time. The a la carte restaurants were delicious, but we had major problems trying to eat there. Many nights we went from restaurant to restaurant to be told they could not take us, or there would be a 2 hour wait. If you eat before 7 you are fine, but any time after 7, you may not eat until nearly 10. One night we went down at 8.30, waited in line at El Dorado for 30 minutes to be told they cannot take us. We then went to Sumptori who said it was an hour wait so we took a buzzer and waited at the little sofa in the restaurant reception. Our niece who is only 1 was with us and in her pram. It was almost 10.30 when our buzzer went and my sister in law was right outside the restaurant walking the baby up and down to settle her to sleep, but the man said we would loose our table because she was not there right that second. He was really very rude to us. We finally got our meal at around 11 which is way too late for me to eat. We ended up leaving most of it because we had lost our appetite. Most of our guests had this problem. When we are on holiday I don't really like to eat before 7 because I like to get a nap before having a shower and getting ready for the evening out. To do all of this before 7 would mean leaving the pool/beach around 4.30 which is way to early for me. We are on holiday after all, we should be able to eat when we like. Several nights we ended up in the buffet a little annoyed because we would rather a la carte. I wish they would introduce a booking system, at least then you could reserve a time and stick to it. I did speak to Guest Services about my frustrations but the girl simply said 'It's high season' I was annoyed because we actually pay more because it's high season! Also the little trains were not often enough. On holiday I am happy to walk or stroll most everywhere but our room was a good 20 minute walk to Kantennah lobby and only 1 night out of 14 did a train pass and pick us up. We called for a car on the morning of our trash the dress shoot because I was wearing my wedding dress and Peter his suit, and we had bags with towels, clothes etc, but we were told we did not have privileges to be collected. We ended up walking and were both very sweaty and uncomfortable by the time we arrived. I wish we had arranged that through Vanessa.
Overall, the wedding was amazing. Vanessa and her team were wonderful. We are also very grateful for our complimentary upgrade and thought the grounds were stunning and impeccably well kept - a true paradise. Maybe it's because they were busy, but I felt the hotel staff in general were not very helpful or accommodating. We were quite frustrated with the restaurant situation and were offered no help when we brought it to guest services, and we did feel the trains were not well enough staffed. There were always several trains not running, only one lobby train at night time so it could take 20-30 minutes wait, by then there would be so many people waiting you had to fight to get on, or just give up and walk.
We had the perfect day for our wedding and in general a lovely holiday as well. Here are some photos
Outside our room, waiting for our car
Outside our room again
The new Mr & Mrs
Our gorgeous niece and flowergirl, her dress was all sparkly under the tulle as well, it's hard to see in this photo.
Arriving for dinner
Portofino all set up
Cutting the cake - it was delicious!
Las Rocas from the bar
All the confetti
Dancing the night away with my sisters
Posted 02 August 2013 - 02:05 PM
I forgot to include some 'getting ready' photos so here are a few...
My mum having her hair done (You can see the outdoor shower in the background)
My wedding jewellery
Posted 02 August 2013 - 02:23 PM
You look so beautiful!! I am so glad that things worked out the way they did! Where did you get your bridesmaids dresses?? They are gorgeous!
Congrats on your beautiful day and a Happy marriage!
Posted 02 August 2013 - 05:22 PM
Claire, just like I wrote on Facebook I am SO happy to read that you had a fantastic wedding! You were absolutely gorgeous on your wedding day (totally LOVE your jewelry too!!) and your little niece's bow is just too cute! Thank you so much for such a long and detailed review - and just like every other bride has said, I am so encouraged to read that Vanessa is as great as I can already tell she is by corresponding with her. I just love the little saying that you wrote on your sparkeler cards. Thank you so much for the advice about the carts. We have a TTD planned for 2 days after the wedding and I will definitely be scheduling a pick up with Vanessa. Wishing you a lifetime of happiness following your perfect wedding and mini-moon in Paris!! xo
Posted 03 August 2013 - 03:32 AM
Hi Liz, thanks for your nice comments. I had the bridesmaids dresses made as I knew exactly what I was looking for and didn't think I'd find them in the shops. I actually saw one I liked but they cost more than my wedding dress so were out of the question!
Thanks Lauren for your nice words as well x
Posted 03 August 2013 - 04:52 AM
Thanks so much for the detailed review, sounds like you had an amazing time. The pictures are all beautiful!! Loved your bridesmaids dresses & flower girl dresses. Did you get your wedding cake from an outside vendor? Or is that one that was included in the package?? It looks really big! Bigger than what I was expecting to come with the package (if that's what it was). So glad to hear that the weather cooperated for you and that you guys all had quite the party .. makes me so excited for my big day!
Posted 03 August 2013 - 05:00 AM
That was the cake which was included. I was also surprised at how big it was! Everyone got a huge slice after we cut it and it was just delicious, light and fluffy and lots of yummy yummy icing! We had 32 guests in total, I'm sure they make the cake size to fit the number of guests, but I did think it was very big, far bigger than I expected
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