Here's the link to our professional pics... If anyone is still looking for a photographer, I would definitely recommend him!
We've been back for a few weeks now but here's what went on while we were down for our Wedding on April 7th. We arrived on April 1st and came home on the 10th. As for the resort, we had some issues from day 1. Most of our guests were all booked on the Riviera side but due to the explosion in November '10 our Platinum guests were moved to the 'New Platinum Area' which is basically Junior Deluxe suites right beside the lobby that they are calling Platinum. We were told by our TA that we could request a swim-out room in this area and we were ok with that. But, when we arrived at our room we went all the way to the top floor. Pretty sure you can't swim out from there!
When we talked to the Front Desk we were told that it was a 'downgrade' to be put in one of the swim-out rooms and that is was not possible for us to be moved. But here's the thing... my sister and her friend actually booked a Junior Deluxe Swim-out and when they checked in they were told by the Front Desk that there were being 'upgraded' to the swim-out in the Platinum Area. WTF?!?!? We went in to her room just to check it out and what do you know... it's exactly the same room. We were pissed. Not only did we get lied to numerous times by the Front Desk staff but we went through 4 days of arguments with them. I really don't feel like we should have had to argue with them about this as it was our Wedding and we had brought over 30 people to their resort. We were NOT impressed. Finally, our on-sight representative with American Express fought tooth and nail for us and we were upgraded to a Villa Laguna Suite. These suites are the most expensive in the resort and are very beautiful... not sound-proof though. We had the pleasure of being woken up the morning after the wedding by horrific country music coming from our neighbours. The great thing about these rooms is you have access to a private pool area which is incredible!
The buffets were both great... the Sunset side seemed a bit better. We didn't get a chance to try all of the A la cartes but I can definitely say 'to each their own'. We had an amazing meal at La Hacienda' (Mexican) but a few of our guests didn't care for it at all. The steakhouse (La Vaqueria) was probably my least favourite but it was still very good.
We didn't spend too much time on the beach... the 'Platinum Area' on the beach near the Chill Out Restaurant (Thai Beach Club) looks NOTHING like the pictures you see on the website. There are no beds and chaise lounges, just beach chairs (and not many either). This was kind of a disappointment. We did find another 'Platinum Area' on the Riviera side but it's basically just your regular beach chairs in a roped off area. These areas claim to have have butlers but I think we only saw 1 come by within the hour we were there. I'd have to say the pools are much better to spend time at... especially the swim-up bars closest to the beach. We had no problem getting chairs and they were much more relaxing than the main swim-up bar that seemed to be frequented by the 'spring break' crowd. Unless you plan on getting completely trashed and listen to awful music you will probably want to stay away from that pool.
Wow... This is starting to become a rant. Ok.. I'll stop complaining. Feel free to PM me if you have any concerns about the Riviera side... I'll tell you everything I know.
As for our wedding we couldn't have imagined anything better. Me and a few of my bridesmaids got our hair done at the spa. I gave my makeup session to my Mom as I had a friend do my makeup. Everyone LOVED their hair and my Mom's makeup looked amazing. All you have to do is bring them a pic of the hairstyle you want and they'll do it!
We all got ready in my room and the ceremony started at 4pm. It was a perfect time as it was starting to cool down so we didn't die from the heat. We did the civil ceremony and the judge we had was AWESOME! She made the ceremony enjoyable for all of us... cracked a few jokes... made it really light and easy-going. My hubby and I are laid-back, fun people and the last thing we wanted was some stuffy ceremony. The DJ played our music in the perfect order... mind you we made the CD in the right order (make sure it's a CD-R... NOT A CD-RW as they won't play). Ceremony music first then we added a bunch of songs to be played during the Toast and Cocktail Hour.
We had just the right amount of time to get lots of pictures while our guests enjoyed the cocktail hour at the Chill Out Restaurant before the dinner reception at Mamma Mia at 6pm. The dinner was really good... we chose to have 4 courses but definitely could have just done 3. We had the Caprese Salad, Seafood Bisque, Cannelloni au Gratin, and Tiramisu. By the time dessert was served everyone was stuffed and we still hadn't cut our wedding cake. We chose the Tropical Fruit cake and it was incredible! Best Wedding Cake I've ever eaten!! We stayed in the restaurant for way longer than 1 1/2 hours but no one rushed us out.
We did our first dance in one of the Palapas near the Riviera Lobby & Disco. It was perfect! We just used our iPod dock and did 2 songs. One for Sev and I and the next for me and my Dad and the wedding party. Then we just went and hung out at the Riviera Lobby Lounge for drinks. I really just wanted to chill out and wasn't in a partying mood. It was great though... we just took over the lounge for a few hours and it was perfect!
Alejandra, our WC, was great. We met with her the day after we arrived and we sorted out the last minute details. The bouquet & boutonnieres were beautiful as were the decorations at the ceremony site. I had favours for all of our guests that they put out before everyone arrived at dinner. I was also able to arrange a 'Welcome Dinner' for all of our guests at the Riviera Buffet on the Tuesday before our Wedding. The put us all at seperate tables though which I didn't really like. The dinner & service, however, were great!!
We went to CocoBongo for our Bachelor/Bachelorette party... I would highly recommend it! It's a once in a lifetime experience. We were able to get 20 people to go, so Sev and I were able to go for free! It's a $50 US charge for transportation, admission and open bar. We were picked up at 10pm and we got home around 4am. Our Amex rep was there and I guess he told them that it we were getting married and they put us up on the big screen and gave us shots! Hilarious!! Needless to say, you probably don't want to do this the night before the wedding!! We slept until 1pm the next day and felt a little rough.
Even with all the crap we dealt with, I would still recommend this resort! It was absolutely beautiful and our guests had an great time.
Please feel free to PM me if there's anything I can help with... I'd be happy to help out!
Best of luck to all the future GRP/GSP brides!!