Grand Palladium Wedding Review:
I have finally finished my review!!! I tried to include answers to all your questions...plus talk about things that I was wondering about before we left. (Sorry, it got a little long!). Let me know if I left anything out!
Overall all I have to say is that it was perfect. The wedding planners really know what they are doing, and everyone on the resort was so helpful.
When we got to our suite (BTW, I highly suggest the Royal Suites. They are a little more expensive, but worth every penny), there was a letter waiting for us fro Erika. We were to meet with her 2 days before our wedding. Meeting with Erika-
The meeting went well. We went through all of the details of the wedding. She had a generic FTD book of flowers. I told her I was just looking for something bright and tropical. My Grandpa did the ceremony, so she had some tips for him. We planned our dinner (at Kabah), and our post-dinner cocktail party (La Laguna). Gave her the name of our photographer, picked a wedding cake, and worked out the rest of the details. We gave her everything for the wedding (programs, fans, trinkets for the table at dinner, guest book, etc). Erika forgot to ask me about the dress, and I forgot to mention it. IF YOU ARE GETTING YOUR DRESS STEAMED AT THE RESORT, BE SURE TO TALK ABOUT IT IN YOUR MEETING. We forgot, and my dress didn’t end up getting steamed. It was fine, my dress wasn’t that wrinkly.The meeting took less than an hour. Also, it cost $2 to have the wedding dept pass out out OOT bags. For some reason, we though it would be a good idea to pass them out ourselves...bad idea. We were carrying them around most of the trip, looking for people. ‘Rehersal’
We decided to have a make-shift rehearsal because my Grandpa was our minister (we went to the courthouse on our way out of town, because we wanted Grandpa to be able to perform our ceremony without dealing with all the legal stuff). The plan was to meet the wedding party at the gazebo at 8 for a quick walk-through, and then meet everyone at the Hemingway bar for a little welcome cocktail. To make a long story shorter, hurricane Alex started dumping on us while we were on our way to meet everyone at the gazebo. Half of the wedding party showed up, the rest went right to the cocktail. This caused a bit of confusion...but whatever (not being able to use our cell phones like we are used to really caught us off guard, we never realized how much we rely on them!) . The rehearsal was more for my Grandpa, and my Mothers nerves, so it worked out. We then met up with everyone at Hemingway, and then most of us called it an early night. Day of the Wedding
We went to breakfast, and then hung out in the Royal Suites Lobby to type out our vows (we wrote them the day before sitting by the pool). By the time we got them printed out, and got back to our room, our flowers had arrived. All the sudden it hit my that it was actually my wedding day, so I kicked Chad (my now-husband) out of our suite, so I could start getting ready. About 3 hours before the wedding, my Mom and Bridesmaids came over to get ready with me. (they were staying in different areas, so I had to give Ericka their names to get them into the suite). I did my own make-up, and one of my bridesmaids did my hair. Our suite was huge, and had a ton of mirrors, so having 10 girls getting ready in the same room wasn’t a big deal.
The photographers showed up, and went to the boys first. They were hanging out at the beach bar, and got some GREAT picts! About an hour before the wedding, the photographers came to my suite, and took a few getting ready photos, and then started getting picts of me and the girls at different locations around the Royal Suites.
Our ceremony was suppose to start at 3:30, so I was suppose to be picked up at about 3:25. At about 3:30, our ride had not shown....right about that time one of our favorite (and well tipped) drivers came by. We asked him if he was our ride, and he said “Looks like I am now!” So, we all piled in. When we got to the wedding site, and everyone was still standing around. My maid of honor jumped out and made sure Chad couldn’t see me. When Erika saw us, she came running up and asked what we were doing there. I guess she thought it started at 4. Anyway, she was able to get everything together in about 5 min. (impressive). My aunt and Uncle started playing (yes, we brought our own musicians AND pastor). The wedding site was more beautiful thank I ever could have imagined. There were so many beautiful flowers. Gorgeous!
Walking down the aisle was better than I ever could have imagined. There were about 30-50 people from the beach who cheered me on. (Erika made them leave once the ceremony started). It was sunny...everything was perfect. Most of the ceremony was a complete blur. I guess hurricane Alex decided to join us about half-way through. As soon as our vows were done (while my uncle was playing), our moms motioned everyone to join us under the gazebo. All that was really left was the sand ceremony. It was kind cool to have all of our closest friends and family literally right there for that part of the wedding. Grandpa pronounced us married, we turned around, and realized that our champagne toast was suppose to be outside. Erika must be half super-hero. She was able to move the entire table of champagne bottles and glasses to under the covering of the beach bar.
After champagne, the bridal party started taking pictures, and the family/other guests went back to the main resort. It was raining off and on, so we. would run out to the beach, take a few picts, and run back. We didn’t get all of the pictures we wanted...but we got enough good ones that I’m not upset about it. After an hour or so we went back up to the lobby for some family pictures, the photographer left, and suddenly it was 6:00, time for dinner.
Dinner was at Kabah. They had a back corner blocked off for us, so it seamed like we were the only ones there. I wasn’t too crazy about having a buffet for our wedding dinner, but we figured it was better than expecting everyone to eat the exact same thing. All of the flowers from the wedding, along with some rose pedals and some little trinkets I brought were on the table. It was beautiful! Right as we were getting ready to cut the cake, a random trio of guitarists came over and started playing some Mexican dance music. Everyone got up and started dancing. Only in Mexico! Once they left, we cut the cake (Everyone LOVED the tres leches cake) and did toasts.
We then headed to La Laguna for the reception (we paid $5 per person for a private, cocktail only reception). It too was set up beautifully. There were tequila sunrises waiting for everyone when we got there (we picked this out in the meeting with Erika). My little brother did an excellent job as our DJ. My uncle played our 1st dance, and the Daddy Daughter dance, my brother took care of the rest. Our bartender was great, the lighting was good, the sound-system didn’t have any issues. I think everyone had a great time.
At about 10:30 the reception wound down, and everyone headed to the lobby bar we had a drink, and somehow ended up in the disco? (never thought I’d see my grandparents in a disco!) I think some of our guests staid at the disco for a while, others ended up at the saltwater pool. Chad and I were exhausted and went back to our suite.
Our room was SO romantically decorated when we got back. Literally thousands of flower petals, ridiculously large towel arrangements, chocolate covered strawberries, and champagne. General notes: Our OOT bags included: -A stainless steel travel mug (perfect for carrying from bar to bar around the resort) -Oh Shit! Kit - (Pepito, tums, lotion wipes, Imodium, Tylenol, etc). At first, people thought they were ‘cute’ but the end of the trip, people said they were a lifesaver. I HIGHLY recommend including something like this. -a deck of cards (good for drinking games/rainy days) -mosquito repellent (ESSENTIAL) -a cute welcome note, telling people about the welcome cocktail We brought silk flowers for all of the boutonnieres. They turned out great, and stayed looking nice all day. I highly recommend this. Our package came with a boutonniere for Chad, and his was a little wilted and beaten up by the time we got to the disco! My photographer (Luz María Avila - I highly recommend her!) put together a slide-show: CHAD +SARAH Let me know if you have any more questions, or need any more information! Happy planning ladies!