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Laurine's Dreams Cancun Wedding Review 10-26-08

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#1 dancingdolphin

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    Posted 05 November 2008 - 09:15 PM

    Hi Everyone,

    I know how much I loved the wedding reviews so here is mine. I haven't organized my pictures yet enough to post them, but will add them or do another post when I do.

    DestinationWeddings.com Travel Agent – Before I found this site, I started working with Sam from DW. He was very informative with picking the resort and based on my criteria, helped me narrow it down to Dreams Cancun. However, he wasn’t the most computer-literate TA and I got a lot of questions from guests. He was very nice though. I do owe him for helping to pick the resort.

    Cancun Airport – Although we were warned, we still almost fell into the tours / timeshare trap. When you exit customs, the people trying to sell the tours / timeshares look like they are part of the airport and they were asking where we were going and tried to get our voucher to see where we needed to go. Luckily, we were skeptical and knew to say no. We also warned our guests and they didn’t get caught by them either. However, someone from another resort we met on our ziplining excursion said he and his wife got caught up with them and it took them 6 hours to get out of it (they ended up taking a taxi to their resort).

    Resort – We loved Dreams Cancun!! Everyone that came for the wedding loved it as well. In fact, we’ve talked about going to the Dreams Cabo resort as a smaller family vacation in the future. The service was excellent. They consistently came over and asked if we needed more drinks. With the exception of only 1 instance, I had nothing to complain about. Service in the bars / restaurants was very good as well.

    Room – We got the Jr Jacuzzi Suite and it was awesome! We were on the 12th floor so we had an amazing view. We used the Jacuzzi about 3 times, but it was still worth it. It was a great room to entertain in and we did that a few nites.

    Food – We found the food to be very good as well. We loved the Seaside Grill restaurant and the Himichi (Sushi) restaurant the most. The buffet for breakfast was very good – better than the club tower breakfast IMO – and everyone loved the omelets. We had dinner there twice during our stay and I’d recommend any of the other restaurants over the buffet for dinner because the other restaurants are so much better. Sometimes, there was a wait for a table at the other restaurants, but we were trying to get bigger tables (12 – 15 people). Room Service was also very good if you don’t mind waiting the 35 minutes it takes to get the food. Room service is 24 x 7 but you can only get wine / beer / food after the bars close (no liquor). One night, we ordered about 10 burgers and 16 beers when we had a bunch of people in our room.

    Guest Arrivals – Since I asked for date / time of arrival and departure on the RSVP, we knew when people were coming and met most of them when they arrived, at least the first 2 days. We were so excited the first day guests arrived (Thursday) that the arrival meeting turned into an impromptu party in the lobby and when addl people arrived, they joined the party.

    Welcome Happy Hour – On the invitations, I told them a Welcome HH would be at the Rendevous “lobby” bar on Friday nite. Everyone who was there met there and I handed out the OOT bags. We later went to dinner and were suppose to meet back up to go to the Cancun bars (Senor Frogs, etc), but no one wanted to leave the resort. The bars are all within a 10 – 15 minute walk. I really wish we got everyone off the resort for one nite, but oh well. We hung out at the Tiki bar till it closed and then headed to the lobby bar. (All bars, except the lobby bar close at 11pm. The lobby bar closes at 1pm).

    Rehearsal – Since the wedding on the day before mine was cancelled, I had my choice of rehearsal times. The rehearsal didn’t take very long but at least let everyone know what was going on. I had everyone in the wedding, as well as parents there. A few guests went to take some pictures. There was no charge for this.

    Rehearsal Dinner – We had the rehearsal dinner at the World Caf© buffet restaurant as it’s the only one that can fit a party of 41 people. I had it on the schedule for the guests with an empty spot for the time and filled in the time when I arrived and saw the opening times on the newsletter because I wasn’t sure the time the restaurant would open. I called it a rehearsal dinner on the schedule for the guests and one of the couples thought it was only for family and didn’t show up. To do it again, I’d call it a “Group Dinner”. As I mentioned, the buffet isn’t the best restaurant IMO, but it was fun. Also, as an FYI, each restaurant is closed 1 or 2 times per week. They have other events that serve food so the other restaurants are exceptionally crowded. Luckily, the buffet restaurant wasn’t closed on Saturday, the night of the “rehearsal dinner”. Not sure what I would have done if it was.

    Claudia – As I mentioned in the Dreams Cancun post, Claudia’s mom is sick so she’s preoccupied with that. She postponed our meeting a few days (which I wasn’t very happy about, but I didn’t want to do it with Gaby, so what choice did I really have?). However, once we sat down, she was very competent. I pushed her for all the little details so I knew what was going on. I also appointed one of the guests who I knew was just as anal about things as me to sit in and understand what was going on so the day of the wedding, could help deal with things. I was also very detailed – had lists of questions and copies of reception schedule, bouquet, details for ceremony, etc that helped. My items were all labeled with what it was, as well as our last names and wedding date. I requested to get all the packaging (bubble wrap, boxes, duffle bag) back but only got about ½ of it back which lead to a few things getting broken on the way home. The reason I gave it to them is because transporting everything from the club tower to the main lobby where we met is a long distance and I didn’t want anything to get broken on the way there or when they moved it to Claudia’s office and then the reception site, etc. Fortunately, everything could be fixed pretty easily. The nite of the wedding, I had to find Claudia a few times to find out where items were that weren’t setup. No one would have known, except me. In addition, someone asked about the gift table at the cocktail hour so I asked Claudia to set one up. I wasn’t expecting people to bring gifts and luckily there were mostly cards and a few small gifts so I could fit them in the luggage. Finally, Claudia postponed the billing meeting due to her mom’s sickness a couple of times so it wasn’t till Friday that we met. I didn’t worry much since I figured they wouldn’t let us leave without paying.

    Hair / Makeup – Since it was very windy while we were there, I changed my hairstyle from loose curls to defined curls. The girl did an amazing job on my hair and makeup, as well as my MOH. I also had her touch up my pedicure since the white chipped. I’m glad we scheduled a lot of time. I had mine scheduled from 10 – 12 and my MOH from 12 – 2. Photographer was arriving at 2:30 so MOH was to come to my room after she finished up.

    Pressing of Dress / Suit – Since we were bringing so much and I knew they would press my dress and FI suit, we packed both in our luggage and didn’t carry on the dress special. When meeting with Claudia, I asked the procedure to get it pressed and she told me. They picked up my dress and returned it a few hours later. They did a fabulous job getting all the wrinkles out. I even asked they hang it out of sight and they put it in the closet when returning it. My MOH had hers pressed as well and she got it back very quickly as well.

    Wedding Day – Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate with me on the day of the wedding. Ceremony was suppose to be at 3:30, but it was raining then so I made the call to wait till 4pm to see if it stopped. Luckily, it did, but it felt like a hurricane up there. The flower girl was blown over when she started walking up the isle. When it was time for me and my dad to walk up, Claudia came running back saying FI wanted to move it inside, it was too windy. I told her to proceed outside and tell officiant to “go fast”. I felt bad, but I didn’t go to Mexico to have it inside. Luckily, it turned out fine and FI was glad at the end we didn’t move it inside. It was also too windy to have the sand ceremony items outside, so we didn’t end up doing the sand ceremony. We took a few pics at the gazebo but then moved them to the beach where it was less windy. I also wanted the reception on the beach, but had to have it in the ballroom. We could have had it in the club tower lobby, but I didn’t like how it wasn’t private, so opted for the ballroom if it had to be inside. They did a fantastic job on the food (although I didn’t eat much) and the setup of the room.

    Photography – About 8 days before we left for the wedding, we decided to get another photographer rather than using the resorts. This was the best decision. We were able to book Jill and her husband from Cancun Studios and I loved their style, direction, personality, way they worked with the kids (who weren’t very happy), that they both had cameras, and although I haven’t seen the pictures, I know I’m going to love them. Due to the delay for the weather, they ended up staying longer than the contracted time.

    Vidoegrapher – I didn’t tell Claudia I was doing a different photographer, but instead, Jill emailed her saying she was excited to work with her again for our wedding. Claudia responded positively to Jill so I wasn’t too worried before I left. I waited till we met and asked if we could have a longer video, including us getting ready, etc. She willingly agreed. I also didn’t have to pay a day pass for the photographers. The videographer showed up at 2:40 and got some video of me and my MOH, went downstairs and got some of FI and the guys, captured the ceremony, and also of the picture time with the photographer. Since husband’s grandmother didn’t come, we wanted a lot on video and were VERY pleased with the resulting video which we got a few days later. At first, the officiant messed up our last name when she announced us. Husband corrected her, and she repeated it. The videographer dubbed out the first wrong name with the real one and then cut to music so you didn’t hear husband correct her and her repeat it. We thought this was awesome. Here is a link to it on facebook: Login | Facebook

    DJ – We contemplated this one, but ended up getting the DJ. We just didn’t feel comfortable doing the IPOD only. Also, it wasn’t much more than just renting the sound system only for ceremony and reception. We gave the IPOD to Claudia the morning of the wedding for the DJ since it had all our special songs. It also had a lot of dance songs in case the music wasn’t what we wanted, but he played all the music we liked.

    Reception – As I mentioned, we had to have it in the ballroom. They did a great job. There were 7 people (waiters, manager) that handled everything. The waiter assigned to our table was excellent and kept asking me if I needed a drink, etc. Husband also wanted a certain liquor they didn’t have, but had at another bar on the property and the waiter went and found a bottle so he could have the drink he wanted. After the reception, we had to collect all the items I brought and bring them to the room ourselves. Luckily, a number of the guests did it for us and I didn’t even have to go back to the room. We all moved to the tiki bar and started doing tequila shots. There was a blue tequila that was better than the Cuervo they originally served. I ordered shots for everyone that was there and continued doing them with all the guests. After the Tiki bar closed, we went to the lobby bar. I won’t go into detail of how the night ended (not what you’re thinking), but let’s just say they don’t say no to the bride and I had way too much tequila.

    Spa / Massage – As part of the Ultimate package, we got the couples massage. The two girls asked me and husband separately if we spoke Spanish. I said no, even though I know some after taking a couple of years in college. When they thought we didn’t speak any Spanish, they laughed at us together (in Spanish) as we were walking to the massage hut. I let it go, but didn’t tip them very well based on that. There massage was ok – but not great. The last day, we had a facial / massage that’s in the honeymoon package we got. We both agreed that massage was a lot better than the couples massage, but we had different girls doing it.

    Swim with the Dolphins – I originally asked everyone going who was in to do the swim w/ the dolphins so I could book a group and got no responses. When we got there, SIL tried to organize something last minute, but after a number of issues, it fell through. (She was talking to the guys in the hut by the sushi restaurant about going on a boat to another place, but when she went to book it the morning of, they said they didn’t go on Saturday during the low season.) Instead, people ended up going at different times to the resorts one and I went by myself during the week while husband and some others watched me and took pics. I love dolphins so I didn’t care, but it would have been more fun with a group of people I knew. We did take a group snorkeling trip the day the last minute dolphin trip fell through with the guys from the hut mentioned above. We had the whole boat to ourselves and those that didn’t want to snorkel could go on the boat with us and not pay. It turned into a fun outing.

    Ziplining Excursion – We did the ziplining excursion with Selvetica. We booked it through the apple vacations office to the right of where you are dropped off at Dreams Cancun (still part of the DC building) because it was a little cheaper than the desk inside DC. They picked us up at the resort and took us to their facility. We went on 11 ziplines and then mountain biked for a mile to a cenote (swim hole), ziplined into the water, and then mountain biked back where they fed us before bringing us back. I even ziplined upside down 3 times (guide comes with you) with the last time being spun all around. I absolutely loved it and had SO much fun, but I’m the adventurous type.

    That's all I can think of for now. If I think of anything else, I will add to it.

    Thanks for reading!!

    #2 Jess

    • Sr. Member
    • 4,455 posts

      Posted 06 November 2008 - 01:05 AM

      Congrats - looks like you had a great time!

      #3 kpate79

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      • 107 posts

        Posted 06 November 2008 - 03:34 AM

        Congrats and Thanks for the review! Do you know if the buffet was open on Thur?

        #4 Angel

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        • 2,635 posts

          Posted 06 November 2008 - 09:26 AM

          Congrats and thanks for the review. Sounds like you had a good time.

          #5 dancingdolphin

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          • 105 posts

            Posted 06 November 2008 - 10:12 AM

            Originally Posted by kpate79
            Congrats and Thanks for the review! Do you know if the buffet was open on Thur?
            It was closed the first Friday we got there and on Tuesday, but not on the 2nd Friday we were there, so I'm not sure if it's a set day each week.

            #6 twixygrl

            • Jr. Member
            • 293 posts

              Posted 06 November 2008 - 01:32 PM

              Congrats~ sounds amazing!

              #7 Jenn3878

              • Sr. Member
              • 5,681 posts

                Posted 06 November 2008 - 02:11 PM

                Congrats!! Thanks for posting a review! I cannot wait to see pics! Your video is amazing!

                #8 SIMBASIM

                • Jr. Member
                • 466 posts

                  Posted 06 November 2008 - 04:34 PM

                  Great Review! Lot of info I had previously had questions about. Can't wait to see pics.

                  #9 June_Dreams

                  • Jr. Member
                  • 248 posts

                    Posted 07 November 2008 - 12:51 PM

                    Congrats!! I cant wait to see pictures and hear more... What DJ did you use?? Was it worth it at the end, like did he announce you guys & the bridal party etc. etc.??

                    Also, how was the ballroom, i know alot of people say it looks dark but like you i want more privacy as well so am considering the ballroom.. Any suggestions..

                    Thanks & congrats to the new Mr. & Mrs. :)
                    <3 <3 <3 Joanna & Orlando <3 <3 <3

                    #10 zorlack76

                    • Jr. Member
                    • 259 posts

                      Posted 07 November 2008 - 03:31 PM

                      Im kind of interested to know what DJ you used too...and their cost. Gaby quoted me almost 1000 dollars for 3 hours of DJ...I think they use Mannia. Thanks so much for the review...I always love reading reviews of the resort we are getting married at. Congratulations also!

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