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#811 dreamyeyez

dreamyeyez
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  • 64 posts

    Posted 18 May 2011 - 06:34 PM


    thank you :) 

    yeah i was thinking of just a meet & greet for our guests to pass out the oot bags one evening after everyone gets there.. but i would like to rehearse the walking down the aisle, where to stand stuff... i wish i had some kind of guarantee that we could just make a reservation with the bridal party the evening before at one of the restaurants :/

    Originally Posted by pocobride 

     

    We didn't have a rehearsal.  I don't think one was needed as our ceremony was pretty simple.  Maria did show us the wording of the ceremony at our meeting.  We also added the sand ceremony which is very nice and our guests like it.  We didn't have a "rehearsal" dinner, but did have 3 different dinners during the week with groups of our guests.  Most of the time we would run into our guests at night at the Meeting Point.



     

     



     



    #812 pocobride

    pocobride
    • Newbie
    • 18 posts

      Posted 19 May 2011 - 03:38 PM



      just ask maria.  she allowed me to pre-set my 3 a la carte restaurants before hand, which is not normally allowed.  the buffet restaurants are quite good.  i watched a wedding the day before ours to get an idea as to the walk.  my son, who is 5, did great without a rehearsal.  we just showed him where he was going to have to walk.  you will love the venue.  we had such an amazing time.

       

      Originally Posted by dreamyeyez 


      thank you :) 

      yeah i was thinking of just a meet & greet for our guests to pass out the oot bags one evening after everyone gets there.. but i would like to rehearse the walking down the aisle, where to stand stuff... i wish i had some kind of guarantee that we could just make a reservation with the bridal party the evening before at one of the restaurants :/



       



       



      #813 Pinz

      Pinz
      • Newbie
      • 38 posts

        Posted 23 May 2011 - 07:13 AM

        Hi ladies, it is finally here - my detailed wedding review.  Video of ceremony coming soon!

         

        Wedding Review – March 1, 2011 at the Sandos Playacar, Mayan Riviera

        Wedding Coordinator:

        I have to start my review with Maria because she was one of the top reasons we chose this resort.  She responds to emails within a day or two (which is unheard of with most wedding coordinators in Mexico) and she is really flexible – you can do anything at this resort.  Maria is amazing, you will not be disappointed!  She looks after every detail with ease.  She works very hard to make sure your wedding day is stress free.    I was pretty relaxed but being the organized freak that I am, I was worried about stupid little stuff like the delivery of flowers and getting my dress steamed.  While at the spa she delivered the flower for my hair and when I was done the flowers were waiting for me in my room.  She is organized, efficient and there for you! Do yourself a favour though and send her your guest list and other details two weeks before the wedding.  This way you can have your rooms together if you want and any other special details.  Also Maria works so many hours and days without a day off and does not complain one bit.  If you can squeeze a monetary gift for her in your budget she will greatly appreciate it (and not expect it).

         

        Mayan Ceremony:

        This was the best wedding planning decision Jay and I ever made!!!  I totally recommend the Mayan ceremony!  Our guests were amazed and we know that our ceremony will be remembered by everyone forever.  It is really hard to describe but it was such as spiritual and cultural ceremony, it really connected Jay and I in a different way than I ever imagined. A few notes about the ceremony – it has to be at sunset (ours was at 5:30) so you will need to get your pictures taken before hand, it is in Mayan, not English, but it is so spiritual that you don’t need translation.  The ceremony is about 45 min long including the Mayan performers.  The performance was sooo amazing though.  There are a few different price points but we got the entire package.  It was $1400 USD for the Shaman, musicians and performers.  It was worth every penny!  Since we were not using the resort’s contracted minister, we went with the free wedding package and just added everything on.  This turned out to be cheaper for us.  I will try to attach a description of the ceremony to this posting.  We are also in the process of editing our wedding ceremony video, when it is done I will post the link to it on YouTube.

        The Mayan Ceremony is a symbolic ceremony so we got hitched in our living room a few days before we left for Mexico.   This also gave us the chance to “elope” with our best man/maid of honour.  We had fun with it and decided on a football wedding theme – super fun!    

         

        Dinner:

        We went to the Italian Buffet.  The food was similar to the regular buffet but they had an area separated for us and servers just for us.  I got to pick the table arrangement, we did a grand entrance, they put our wedding favours on the table and we even cut the cake.  If you want to save some cash I really recommend this option – it is FREE!

         

        Reception:

        We went with the disco.  It did not smell like cat pee like others say.  In fact, we partied in there most nights.  The DJ played the music we wanted and they made it look nice for our reception despite the graffiti walls.  A year ago, Jay and I went to Mexico to check out the resort.  When we did the disco was painted yellow.  When we go there for the wedding, it had been painted white and people were given markers to write graffiti everywhere.  So while it was not really nice to look at, it was super fun and all of our guests really enjoyed writing on the wall!

         

        Hair & Make-up:

        I had my hair and makeup done for the wedding at the Resort Spa.  Hair was $100 and makeup $60.  My hair turned out great but I hated my makeup and had no time to redo it myself.  Also the hair stylist/makeup artist (same person), did not speak any English at all so do yourself a favour and bring a picture of how you want your hair and makeup done (unless you speak Spanish).  I said natural for makeup which she interpreted as brown and I found myself rubbing a lot of it off and adding my own blush.  Maria will make your appointment for you which is convenient.

         

        Photographer:

        We decided to hire a private photographer (Dean Sanderson).  We really struggled with this decision because I always told myself that I only needed one good wedding picture and we did not want to spend a lot of money.  Guess what?  You will want several amazing wedding pictures to choose from and that is what we got!  Plus the resort photographer is not going to touch up the colours and lighting in your shots – Dean will!  He is quick to get them back to you to – 3 weeks, a lot of my friends waited 2 months.  I was so anxious I checked my email every day in anticipation!

         

        My only complaint was that since our ceremony was at 5:30 we had to do pictures at 3pm when the sun was in a bad spot.  Not the photographer’s fault but not a great time to shoot pics at the beach.  A lot of pictures have squinty eyes syndrome.  Also ladies, make sure you scope out the resort first for any cool wedding picture spots.  Dean is good but this may very well be his first time on your resort.  He has great tips though like drink a lot of water 24 hours before the wedding and bring blotting papers to the photo shoot.

         

        Dean was also really good to work with, and has reasonable rates – contact him directly for more details.  He is also getting more into underwater photo shoots so we decided last minute to go to a cenote with him the next day and “trash the dress”.  Sooo cool and it was a really really fun day.  By the end of the day we felt like Dean was also friend, not just the professional photographer.  He is very personable and we soon discovered that we had a lot of the same interests –and food allergies! And my dress was not ruined at all!  The cenote is fresh water so it actually cleaned it a bit – lol. 

         

        If you want to check out my wedding pictures, I uploaded a few of them to Flickr:

         

        The Resort:

        Overall, I would highly recommend this resort.  I have been to several resorts in Mexico and this is in my top 2 for sure.  The layout of the resort is second to none, the staff is great, the drinks and food is good too.  The beach is wide and has nice sand.

         

         

        Rooms

        This is my biggest piece of advice – stay in the beach section!!!!  While the Riviera section has fancier rooms with Jacuzzis, it is far from everything.  The swim up bar in that section is also super lame because all of the action is in the beach section of the resort!  Maria upgraded Jay and me to an oceanfront room which was amazing.  We set our alarm to get up and watch the sun rise almost every day.  The rooms are close to the beach, pool, restaurants, disco, sports bar, etc.  If you are really concerned with having the fanciest rooms on the resort and you want a really quiet wedding celebration then the Riviera section or Haciendas are for you, if not STAY IN THE BEACH SECTION!!!!

         

        Exchange Rate

        This is where the resort screws you big time.  Their exchange rate is different in different sections of the resort (store, spa, front desk).  For example at the Spa, prices are posted in US dollars but you cannot pay cash at the spa.  When you go to pay at the front desk, they convert everything into pesos at their rate.  Then when you go to pay in USD they convert your USD back into pesos at their rate (don’t forget that buy and sell rates are different).  Anyway, we felt like we got totally screwed and I made a big stink about it when we were checking out.  Honestly, the best rates were by using our credit card.  Do not exchange you money at the resort or withdraw from their bank machines.  Go to Playa and shop around, you will save a lot of money. 

         

        Wedding Budget:

        Ceremony $1400, Hair/Makeup $160, Flowers $233, Photographer (used private), Dress Steam ~$35, Day pass for photographer $77, Disco $700, Cake, wedding toast and dinner were free


        Lindsay

        #814 dreamyeyez

        dreamyeyez
        • Newbie
        • 64 posts

          Posted 23 May 2011 - 11:24 AM


          awesome review cant wait for ours!

          Originally Posted by Pinz 

          Hi ladies, it is finally here - my detailed wedding review.  Video of ceremony coming soon!

           

          Wedding Review – March 1, 2011 at the Sandos Playacar, Mayan Riviera

          Wedding Coordinator:

          I have to start my review with Maria because she was one of the top reasons we chose this resort.  She responds to emails within a day or two (which is unheard of with most wedding coordinators in Mexico) and she is really flexible – you can do anything at this resort.  Maria is amazing, you will not be disappointed!  She looks after every detail with ease.  She works very hard to make sure your wedding day is stress free.    I was pretty relaxed but being the organized freak that I am, I was worried about stupid little stuff like the delivery of flowers and getting my dress steamed.  While at the spa she delivered the flower for my hair and when I was done the flowers were waiting for me in my room.  She is organized, efficient and there for you! Do yourself a favour though and send her your guest list and other details two weeks before the wedding.  This way you can have your rooms together if you want and any other special details.  Also Maria works so many hours and days without a day off and does not complain one bit.  If you can squeeze a monetary gift for her in your budget she will greatly appreciate it (and not expect it).

           

          Mayan Ceremony:

          This was the best wedding planning decision Jay and I ever made!!!  I totally recommend the Mayan ceremony!  Our guests were amazed and we know that our ceremony will be remembered by everyone forever.  It is really hard to describe but it was such as spiritual and cultural ceremony, it really connected Jay and I in a different way than I ever imagined. A few notes about the ceremony – it has to be at sunset (ours was at 5:30) so you will need to get your pictures taken before hand, it is in Mayan, not English, but it is so spiritual that you don’t need translation.  The ceremony is about 45 min long including the Mayan performers.  The performance was sooo amazing though.  There are a few different price points but we got the entire package.  It was $1400 USD for the Shaman, musicians and performers.  It was worth every penny!  Since we were not using the resort’s contracted minister, we went with the free wedding package and just added everything on.  This turned out to be cheaper for us.  I will try to attach a description of the ceremony to this posting.  We are also in the process of editing our wedding ceremony video, when it is done I will post the link to it on YouTube.

          The Mayan Ceremony is a symbolic ceremony so we got hitched in our living room a few days before we left for Mexico.   This also gave us the chance to “elope” with our best man/maid of honour.  We had fun with it and decided on a football wedding theme – super fun!    

           

          Dinner:

          We went to the Italian Buffet.  The food was similar to the regular buffet but they had an area separated for us and servers just for us.  I got to pick the table arrangement, we did a grand entrance, they put our wedding favours on the table and we even cut the cake.  If you want to save some cash I really recommend this option – it is FREE!

           

          Reception:

          We went with the disco.  It did not smell like cat pee like others say.  In fact, we partied in there most nights.  The DJ played the music we wanted and they made it look nice for our reception despite the graffiti walls.  A year ago, Jay and I went to Mexico to check out the resort.  When we did the disco was painted yellow.  When we go there for the wedding, it had been painted white and people were given markers to write graffiti everywhere.  So while it was not really nice to look at, it was super fun and all of our guests really enjoyed writing on the wall!

           

          Hair & Make-up:

          I had my hair and makeup done for the wedding at the Resort Spa.  Hair was $100 and makeup $60.  My hair turned out great but I hated my makeup and had no time to redo it myself.  Also the hair stylist/makeup artist (same person), did not speak any English at all so do yourself a favour and bring a picture of how you want your hair and makeup done (unless you speak Spanish).  I said natural for makeup which she interpreted as brown and I found myself rubbing a lot of it off and adding my own blush.  Maria will make your appointment for you which is convenient.

           

          Photographer:

          We decided to hire a private photographer (Dean Sanderson).  We really struggled with this decision because I always told myself that I only needed one good wedding picture and we did not want to spend a lot of money.  Guess what?  You will want several amazing wedding pictures to choose from and that is what we got!  Plus the resort photographer is not going to touch up the colours and lighting in your shots – Dean will!  He is quick to get them back to you to – 3 weeks, a lot of my friends waited 2 months.  I was so anxious I checked my email every day in anticipation!

           

          My only complaint was that since our ceremony was at 5:30 we had to do pictures at 3pm when the sun was in a bad spot.  Not the photographer’s fault but not a great time to shoot pics at the beach.  A lot of pictures have squinty eyes syndrome.  Also ladies, make sure you scope out the resort first for any cool wedding picture spots.  Dean is good but this may very well be his first time on your resort.  He has great tips though like drink a lot of water 24 hours before the wedding and bring blotting papers to the photo shoot.

           

          Dean was also really good to work with, and has reasonable rates – contact him directly for more details.  He is also getting more into underwater photo shoots so we decided last minute to go to a cenote with him the next day and “trash the dress”.  Sooo cool and it was a really really fun day.  By the end of the day we felt like Dean was also friend, not just the professional photographer.  He is very personable and we soon discovered that we had a lot of the same interests –and food allergies! And my dress was not ruined at all!  The cenote is fresh water so it actually cleaned it a bit – lol. 

           

          If you want to check out my wedding pictures, I uploaded a few of them to Flickr:

           

          The Resort:

          Overall, I would highly recommend this resort.  I have been to several resorts in Mexico and this is in my top 2 for sure.  The layout of the resort is second to none, the staff is great, the drinks and food is good too.  The beach is wide and has nice sand.

           

           

          Rooms

          This is my biggest piece of advice – stay in the beach section!!!!  While the Riviera section has fancier rooms with Jacuzzis, it is far from everything.  The swim up bar in that section is also super lame because all of the action is in the beach section of the resort!  Maria upgraded Jay and me to an oceanfront room which was amazing.  We set our alarm to get up and watch the sun rise almost every day.  The rooms are close to the beach, pool, restaurants, disco, sports bar, etc.  If you are really concerned with having the fanciest rooms on the resort and you want a really quiet wedding celebration then the Riviera section or Haciendas are for you, if not STAY IN THE BEACH SECTION!!!!

           

          Exchange Rate

          This is where the resort screws you big time.  Their exchange rate is different in different sections of the resort (store, spa, front desk).  For example at the Spa, prices are posted in US dollars but you cannot pay cash at the spa.  When you go to pay at the front desk, they convert everything into pesos at their rate.  Then when you go to pay in USD they convert your USD back into pesos at their rate (don’t forget that buy and sell rates are different).  Anyway, we felt like we got totally screwed and I made a big stink about it when we were checking out.  Honestly, the best rates were by using our credit card.  Do not exchange you money at the resort or withdraw from their bank machines.  Go to Playa and shop around, you will save a lot of money. 

           

          Wedding Budget:

          Ceremony $1400, Hair/Makeup $160, Flowers $233, Photographer (used private), Dress Steam ~$35, Day pass for photographer $77, Disco $700, Cake, wedding toast and dinner were free



           



          #815 dreamyeyez

          dreamyeyez
          • Newbie
          • 64 posts

            Posted 23 May 2011 - 11:26 AM


            thanks! did you pre-set 1 of those a la carte restaurants for the rehearsal dinner w ur bridal party?

             

             

            do you know if we can make a reservation for 12 for one of the a la carte restaurants?

             

             

            Originally Posted by pocobride 



            just ask maria.  she allowed me to pre-set my 3 a la carte restaurants before hand, which is not normally allowed.  the buffet restaurants are quite good.  i watched a wedding the day before ours to get an idea as to the walk.  my son, who is 5, did great without a rehearsal.  we just showed him where he was going to have to walk.  you will love the venue.  we had such an amazing time.

             



             



             



            #816 pocobride

            pocobride
            • Newbie
            • 18 posts

              Posted 24 May 2011 - 02:14 PM


              I did one dinner with the parents and one of my husband's brother's and his wife.  The other dinner was with my husband's father's side (aunt/uncle/cousin's family).  The other dinner was with a close friend and her husband and my husband's other brother and family.  It was basically everyone since we had 30 guests.  I think you could do 12 for one of the reservations.  I would ask Maria, as she set it up.
               

              Originally Posted by dreamyeyez 


              thanks! did you pre-set 1 of those a la carte restaurants for the rehearsal dinner w ur bridal party?

               

               

              do you know if we can make a reservation for 12 for one of the a la carte restaurants?

               

               



               



               



              #817 Ali12

              Ali12
              • Jr. Member
              • 216 posts

                Posted 25 May 2011 - 09:02 PM

                Great review! I cant wait for next April. I love Maria already, she is fantastic.
                Sandos Playacar Beach Resort - April 18th 2012

                #818 Jessamaka

                Jessamaka
                • Newbie
                • 49 posts

                  Posted 25 July 2011 - 06:50 AM

                  Hi Everyone,

                   

                  My fianc© and I have just decided to get married at Sandos Playacar during March 1st to 8th. My Travel agent put me in touch with Maria and I'm really excited to start working with her.

                  I'll be sure to look though the older replys in this thread but you can bet I'll be posting questions in the coming months too! I'll also update as plans progress.

                   

                  Jessica



                  #819 skiddelybop

                  skiddelybop
                  • Newbie
                  • 4 posts

                    Posted 28 July 2011 - 04:11 PM

                     

                    I was married at Sandos on June 18th. As you can imagine, I put in many hours reading reviews and agonizing over which resort to pick. First I will discuss the resort and then focus on the wedding part.

                    This is my third all-inclusive, and unlike the other places (Riu Palace in Cabo and Gran Bahia Principe in Akumel), this place had ALOT to do. There was the typical cheesy pool side activities that all resorts have, but what set this place apart was the multitude of atmospheres to choose from. During the day there was the lively pool or the luxurious and quiet Riveria pool. Around the lively pool were some neat things like a guacamole-making demonstration, Spanish lessons, or a lively game of water polo. On the beach, there were several lively beach volleyball games that were open and inviting to joiners. You can take out mini catamarans for free, which we did several times. (Just sign up early) Also, there's a fabulous smoothie bar with tons of fresh fruit that somehow I didn't spot until the end of my trip! I assumed it was just another bar, but actually it is a fabulous all natural smoothie bar - definitely a big plus.

                    At night there are different themes every day in the plaza. My favorite was a little Mexican bazaar. There are live bands some nights. Other nights they have a great DJ in the bar area. Unlike other resorts I've been to, their bar FELT like a bar. It was lively with lots of people hanging out. The crowd (at least when I was there) seemed very classy. There were never groups of people that seemed overly obnoxious or intrusive. Ok, so you've got the plaza area and the bar area right next to it. Then you also have different shows in their theatre area and movies being shown. The movies were all current Pixar type films, which I think are great for kids and adults alike. The shows were things like brazilian dancers, etc. I actually never made it to a show, so I don't know how good they were. There is also a huge game room area with LOTS to do. We were there for ten days, and I didn't feel like we came even close to utilizing everything that was available. Meanwhile, there are plenty of quiet sitting areas around the resort if you just want some peace and quiet.  We loved sitting on the beach at night; it was always peaceful.

                    I thought the drink quality was much better than other places I have been. Everything was made from scratch - no weird syrupy premixes. Their mojitos are awesome! I'm also a big fan of the "dirty monkey". I thought the food was very good. If you like Mexican food, you will be in heaven - fabulous guacamole, salsas, etc. The restaurants were sort of hit or miss. We always ate in groups and half the people's entrees would be fabulous and the other half were usually not so great. It seemed to me that the best restaurants were the Mediterranean and the Steak House. However, at the steak house only the filets were good. The other cuts were actually pretty terrible. I was told that the Asian restaurant was completely terrible, but I didn't eat there myself. The French restaurant was as I said with the hit or miss - some things yummy, some not so good.

                    The spa and gym are excellent. I'm someone who works out everyday, so I appreciated their morning spin classes and their nice equipment. They even have yoga mats. The area itself is very spacious and airy. They  have a fabulous pool there with all kinds of massaging jets - very nice. I had several spa treatments that were all wonderful. If you get burned, I definitely recommend their after-sun treatment ;-).

                    As everyone has said, the beach is gorgeous, and the water is great. If you walk past the resort towards the jungle, there are some beautiful coves to explore. They are not that far - maybe a half mile walk. Speaking of walking, I'm amazed at all the people who think the resort is too spread out. First of all, if you stay by the beach, you are extremely close to everything. If you are worried about walking, just stay there and you will have no problems. The only way for their to be less walking from that area would be to stay in a lounge chair by the pool. Seriously, the beach area rooms couldn't possibly be any closer to the action. The hacienda section is less than four minutes away. The far end of the Riveria section might be ten. We are younger people who enjoy being active, so I can understand that it might not be for everyone, but if so, they have shuttles that run all the time. We walked all around the resort and never felt it was much of a walk at all. We were truly amazed that anyone could think it was a far walk. It was the equivalent of walking down a city block. If there was an ocean at the end of your block, would you think that was too far to walk?

                    Ok, let's talk wedding. First of all, Maria (the wedding coordinator) is absolutely wonderful! Please give her a nice tip if you use her and are pleased. One of the reasons I ultimately selected this resort is because of how much more helpful she was than other wedding coordinators I contacted at other resorts. She communicates quickly over email and also answered the phone when I called. She is flexible with the packages and can price everything individually for you so that you can figure out exactly what you want/need. On the day of our wedding, I got nervous about possible rain. I didn't like their rain location (convention center) so I scoped out some other areas. The area in front of their theatre is a beautiful open terrace (with a roof) with a red curtain covering the entrance to the theatre. There are fountains bubbling nearby and lots of foliage. They had never had a wedding in that spot before, but Maria was perfectly willing to set it up there for me. I could see her from the spa (where I was getting nails and hair done), and she was working tirelessly for hours on every detail. She even had her staff move all of the trashcans that were in sight of the ceremony so that everything looked as beautiful as possible. I really can't say enough good things about her. She really did everything she could to make the day very low stress for me. After the ceremony, the wedding party just walked down to the beach and we got tons of great beach photos. I really feel we got the best of both worlds. Everyone was much more comfortable under the shade and I didn't have to stress about possible rain. Our reception was at the Italian Restaurant because we had so many guests (62 people), and it worked very well.

                    In summary, this is a great resort! Go with a good attitude, and you should have a great time. I'm attaching some pictures from the ceremony so you can get an idea of the theatre location

                     

                     

                     

                     

                     

                     

                     

                     

                     

                     

                    Attached Files



                    #820 Jennybell1

                    Jennybell1
                    • Member
                    • 661 posts

                      Posted 31 July 2011 - 05:21 PM

                      Hi Ladies, Just got back from Vacay and while I was away I rec'd an email from Maria. I do apologize if this info has already been posted as I dont have the time to read the the pages I have missed but I wanted to make sure it was on here in any case. So as of May anyone wanting to be married on the beach must now pay $120 US as the government has implemented a fee to all the resorts. I am not sure why this fee wouldnt be waived or the resort pay it for us considering how much business they get from one wedding and our guests, but whatever. Maria stated that if we chose not to forgo the extra $120 US fee for the beach, we could choose to get married in one of the garden areas with no additional cost. To me I think this is a joke! Who goes to Mexico to get married in a Garden?? We go there to get married on the beach or atleast have the beautiful scenery as our backdrop, but seriously! Cash grab if you ask me. Anyways, just wanted to make sure you were all aware. If anyone wants a copy of the email Maria sent me, please email me at JenniferMckellar@gmail.com as I do not get on here very often and dont always respond to my PM's in a timely manner .....lol Have a great weekend and a great long weekend to my fellow Canadians! Cheers!






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