I've been extremely busy since I've returned, but I wanted to write my review while things are fresh in my mind. We had a ball in Mexico! All of our guests keep thanking us for having it there. They seem to have had just as much fun as we did. Let me start with the pictures.
Lenita & Andre
Photography: Jill Higgins and Josie Martin (Charleston Wedding Photography by Jill Higgins - Childrens Portrait Photographers)
Jill and Josie did an amazing job on our photography! We love our pictures. It captured everything we'd hoped. We met them the day before to do a get to know you shoot. They were really nice and funny! The morning of my wedding, they met me at 8:00 am to take pictures of me getting my hair and make-up done. They were full of personality to keep me calm and laughing on what could be a stressful day. Once things got rolling I forgot they were there, but the pictures reveal that they didn't miss a thing!
Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort:
We were pleased with the resort. The rooms were clean and the service was great. However, the resort is so big we didn't get a chance to see everything. We stayed on the Nizuc side and never made it to the Sunrise side. The restaurants that we tried were all good. My favorite was El Manglar which is the Italian restuarant. A couple of people also recommended the other Italian restuarant by the golf course but we never made it.
We chose the "free" package and purchased add-ons once we were at the resort. Upon arrival, we received a welcome letter from our wedding coordinator, Carolina, informing us of our meeting with her the next morning. She was well organized and I soon realized that I stressed for nothing. Everything was taken care of. We did the civil ceremony which lasted about 5 minutes and then my cousin who is a minister took over for the religious ceremony. Before I get ahead of myself, I would have to recommend the horse and carraige. I loved it! They had everything timed perfectly. We went riding and when we came around the corner where the gazebo was all I heard was "Awww" from our guests and flashes from the cameras. My father rode with me in the carraige.
Immediately after the ceremony while we were taking pictures, the cocktail hour began with the Mariachi band. We had it in the garden area near the gazebo and everything was set up beautifully. Next we moved to the private dinner reception held in the Laud ballroom. We had a DJ, but this is where I would have saved some money. We didn't need it. The sound system is great, so we had our iPods and one of our friends acted as the MC. For those who are getting married at Moon Palace, you may want to assign someone the tasks of hosting and MC. Once Carolina had the DJ announce us and passed out our favors, we didn't see her again. My friends took over and kept things going (announced first dance, garter toss, cake cutting, etc.).
Videography: We used the resort's videographer. We upgraded to the DVD and it turned out nice. They use your ceremony music on the DVD, which is a nice touch.
Ceremony music: I made a list of music to be used during the ceremony and gave it to Carolina during our meeting. I've attached our wedding songs just in case anyone is interested.
Flowers: They will give you a book of flowers and centerpieces to choose from. I was so nervous about not liking my flowers that I decided to use fake flowers. They looked, felt and even smelt real. This saved us some money. However, it was a real pain traveling with them. The centerpieces were real and were provided by the resort.
Cake: The cake came from the resort as well. I emailed Carolina a picture of what I wanted and they were able to create it. It looked good, but didn't taste that great. The only time I ate it was during the cutting of it.
Salon services: The day before I had my nails done and the day of I had my hair and make-up done. I took a picture with me, but after I realized how windy it was I ended up having to pick a picture out of the book. This was what I was most nervous about. I even had Josie (the photographer) translate some questions that I had for the stylist. He didn't speak much english, but knew what he was doing. I was happy with the way both my hair and make-up turned out.
Welcome bags: I think I'm the only lazy person on this forum...lazy enough to order our bags. We ordered them from Swell Sweets (www.swellsweets.com). I told them how much I wanted to spend per bag and they presented some options. They were really easy to work with and they arrived early. I posted a picture in another thread, but would be happy to share if anyone wanted to see.
Shoes: I love my shoes because they were custom made by my friend Candra of Artyce Designs (www.artycedesigns.com). I posted a picture of my shoe in another thread as well. When I began designing my shoe, I didn't know what I wanted, but that soon changed. I enjoyed working with her and I loved the end result. They were comfortable too. I kept them on the entire time.
OK, I think that's about it. I am a huge fan of destination weddings and couldn't be happier with the way things turned out. Hopefully, someone will find this review helpful. I know I probably forgot something, so if anyone has any specific questions, I'd be happy to answer them.