Originally Posted by jovn28
Hola my fellow brides,
I just thought id give you guys a review about my experience with grand sunset and grand riviera resort.
My wedding party and I just returned after staying there for seven beautiful days june 22- 29.
There were 20 of us who travelled to Mexico.
So let me just reassure you brides that YOU HAVE NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT!. I think i read most of the postings re: the resort in this website as well as tripadvisor. I really thought of backing out since there were tons of negative reviews.I actually made tons of changes to the restaurant and had mixed feelings about the venue before heading there. But honestly rest easy!
So here it goes, this will be a long review. I want to cover everything that I too was worried about before my wedding.
So my wedding coordinator was Aracelli, she delivered on our wedding day! I was to be honest getting frustrated with the emails since she was not answering some of my questions but then again I had tons of questions!
We took the renewal of vow package. We got legally married in city hall two weeks prior to our departure. This took a maximum of 7 minutes. We just had our families with us.
WHY: - we didnt want our blood test taken in a foreign country. I initially thought that our wedding in mexico would not mean so much after this but this was a precursor to a wonderful ceremony in Mexico.
This package included restaurant for 20 people and the my boquet and my husbands boutinniere.
Yes it does not include the flowers for decorations. I was thinking of adding these but no one would really notice them. Brides, you are facing the torquise coloured ocean so i think that alone is the perfect backdrop for any occasion.
I paid extra for bridesmaid boquet and another boutinniere. We had one maid of honor and one best man.
I initially wanted to get the chivalry chairs just because they look really beautiful (actually you can select other chairs to your hearts desire ranging from $6 to 8 p/p). Again i opted out for those regular chairs with white coverings.
This package also did not include the cake. I paid $6 p/p for the cake. After all the calculations, this was the best choice for the size of our wedding party.
HAIR AND MAKEUP:
I initially booked an appointment in the spa to get my hair done but i cancelled it. Sine they were charging $80 starting to get your hair done. And good thing i did, since i ended up putting my hair up since it was soooo HOT and windy on the beach! I also just did my own make up.
CEREMONY: Sunset gazebo
I initially wanted the Riviera gazebo since it looked great on pictures but your in the middle of the main beach and I wanted my ceremony to be private. The sunset gazebo is on the far left of the beach by the chill out restaurant (which no one really goes to).
The ceremony was beautiful and really memorable. The minister was exceptional. She said all these wonderful things that i never even thought of. We also did our sand ceremony- brought from Canada.
Now the next part was just executed beautifully. My husbands parents are no longer here. Both passed away and I wanted them to part of the ceremony much like everyone else. I wanted two white balloons to be released before we were pronounced as husband and wife.
First the search for white balloons- Aracelli said in the email that even if i brought balloons from Canada, It would cost alot of money to get helium into them. Really? what the heck right?
So i didnt bring any, thinking it wasnt going to happen anyway.
Then during our meeting (day before your wedding day). She said she had some balloons and found a place that can pump helium in them. But she had all the colours of the rainbow except for the white ones i requested. Like really, I wouldnt want red or black balloons released as remembrance of my groom's parents. Really inappropriate!
Anyway, long behold, during the ceremony, the minister called my groom's siblings. Aracelli handed them two white balloons. The minister said something wonderful and they released the balloons in the air. By this point everyone was tearful. This was icing on the cake!
After the ceremony we had an outside photographer to take our photos. Now outside photographer has an extra charge. She was worth it.
Check her out at www.saraniweddings.com. We wanted her for three hours only. Since everyone else had a camera. So for before, during and after ceremony.
Ok i was nervous about this since i really wanted my wedding dinner and reception to be private. I changed my mind so many times, i cant even count. So i wanted initially the chillout, but the price is just ridiculous and after seeing it, im glad we didnt go for it.
Now the galas, i saw some wedding reception held there and honestly its really impersonal.
So we did the La Hacienda restaurant. Why not, its part of the package! They seclude your group in the back and you wont even notice the other people in the restaurant. They served us four course meal.
Honestly, its really difficult to chose a restaurant. I think they made such a big hype with these alacarte restaurants. Booking them was hastle for both regular and platinum guests. The food is nothing special in all of these restaurant. So i figued i cant really go wrong in just picking one. I picked La Hacienda well because we are in Mexico! - might as well get it in the theme. And really it was pretty awesome. They had mexican hats and served you dishes in these cool mexican dishware.
We had about an hr and half for the dinner.
This was the best decision i ever made! They light up the long path towards the main beach with tiki torches. Then i asked the coordinator to have some welcome drinks when people arrive. Music is going and the party lights are up (all from the dj- he was good!). Chairs are set up surrounding the high tables (i initially thought, i wouldnt like this but it worked).
I initially thought of paying for the dance floor- but dont!!!!!!
They rake the sand and everything, it honestly felt so good on your feet after a long day wearing heels or just walking around taking pictures on a hot sunny day!
We did the mixed canapes (this included drinks) and added an extra hour for a fee. i think there was over 10 different types of food!
We stayed there for about two and half hours.
We also cut the cake on the beach.
By the end of the night, there was soooooo much food. I think people were full from the restaurant even before heading to the beach, so pre warned everyone not to drink or eat too much at the restaurant! lol
I actually felt bad since there was soo much food thrown out. This including our big cake!
But honestly this was a great experience. We would not change anything about it all.
BREAKDOWN OF THE SPENDING: ( i know this is important! lol)
$800 - wedding package
$120- wedding cake ($6 p/p)
$840- mixed canapes with drinks + the extra hour on the beach (mixed canapes is $34 + $8 for the extra hour p/p)
$20 - i added four roses for the cake decor (really didnt need this)
$45- maid of honor flowers
$15- grooms man botounniere
$200- day pass for photographer
YOU HAVE TO PAY $200 downpayment deductible to your final amount
-----------------------total bill : $2400 for 20 people-------------AWESOME!!!!
HERE ARE SOME OTHER AMOUNTS:
$ 950- cost trip to Mexico via sunwing. We took advantage of their price adjustment 45 days prior to departure date. We had one guest free. This also included a room upgrade for all our guests. Hubby and I although upgraded ourselves to platinum. Worth it for the room service alone. Cost us $400 extra
$ 30 - I bought chair sashes from ebay. Tell the coordinator to put two sashes in one chair- i wish i told them this to make the color pop more.
$ FREE I had fans sent from Asia from a relative (but you can buy these for cheap) and made programs using the freebies from weddingchick.com - as well as other neat projects!
$ 200 - for favors from www.weddingstar.com. I bought these little burlap bags and put mints in them. I bought coral wine stoppers (beautifully done) and these stationary/well wishes cards.
$30 sand ceremony vase and sand at Michaels. Use your coupon people!
$200- miscellanous for other decors. I bought LED tea lights from dollarama and dollar tree. Then some tea light holders again at dollarama. I had these vase crystals and vase from dollarama again. I also went to HOMESENSE to get a few real touched flowers for centerpieces. They looked and feel real!
$128- my favourite part-- is my dress!!! i know! both it from dhgate.com. This included shipping and all! I forget the seller's name but if your interested let me know and i look through my emails! I only paid $100 for the basic alteration from stich it - i wanted to be a little more body fitting and added a little hook so the train doesnt drag when im walking around. It also has a built in corset already! awesome!
So yeah, I was really stressed before the wedding but i wished i relaxed more and enjoyed the process but then again, i think stressing is a bride thing! lol
Oh and yeah i had two 40 pounds luggage and i got searched in mexico airport. And here's another stress right!!!!!!!!!
But i just told them its for a wedding! and no problemo! I also used other peoples luggage to fit all the other favors and decor! lol
Oh and the other thing, for music. They are right on cue. But here are the songs i used.
1. LUCKY by Colbie Caillat and Jason Mraz - music played when people are arrivving
2. A THOUSAND YEARS by Christina Perri - i had my grooms sisters, my sisters, mom, dad, best man and groom entered to this song
3. MARRY ME by train- my entrance song
4. THROUGH IT ALL by Alicia Keys - started playing once we were pronounced as husband and wife, signing of certificate and our exit
So i hope this helps. If you have any questions, feel free to message me. I also made a review about the resort on tripadvisor since i thought this was also important. There are some key points there that you may want to consider.
Here is the link: