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#1841 beachbride2013

beachbride2013
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  • 198 posts

    Posted 30 September 2012 - 12:33 PM

    Originally Posted by msop04 

    Thanks so all the ladies who helped answer my questions...

     

    I did get a price quote back from Cecilia on some uplighting in the Gazebo for anyone who might be considering it... $450.   

     

    Another question...

     

    How long does the actual dinner last at the reception?  I am trying to figure out how much I'm going to have to spend on the Sound System -- at $180/hr, I'm torn between 2 and 3 hours...  If the dinner takes a long time (like an hour or more, I'm afraid I may have to do 3 hours...)

     

    Any suggestions??  


    It's going to depend on when you are doing any dances that you may be doing, cake cutting, toasts, how many guests you will have, how long your photog will be there, etc. How long is your reception? It would be a good idea to have music playing for the entire reception imo. If your reception is 3 hrs, then I would rent the sound system for that amount of time (they may require it anyway).



    #1842 Jen Eeson

    Jen Eeson
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    • 28 posts

      Posted 01 October 2012 - 10:22 AM

      Originally Posted by msop04 

       

      Thanks Jen!  The battery operated candles are a wonderful idea!!  What kind are you using & do you have a link for them?  :)

      I got them from batteryoperatedcandles.net but you can also find them at Costco (if you're looking for t lights) for an even better price.  I might go and buy some more as my guest list keeps increasing;)



      #1843 msop04

      msop04
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      • 64 posts

        Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:32 PM

        Originally Posted by Jen Eeson 

        I got them from batteryoperatedcandles.net but you can also find them at Costco (if you're looking for t lights) for an even better price.  I might go and buy some more as my guest list keeps increasing;)

         

        Very helpful, Jen!!  Thank you!!!



        #1844 msop04

        msop04
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        • 64 posts

          Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:47 PM

          Originally Posted by beachbride2013 


          It's going to depend on when you are doing any dances that you may be doing, cake cutting, toasts, how many guests you will have, how long your photog will be there, etc. How long is your reception? It would be a good idea to have music playing for the entire reception imo. If your reception is 3 hrs, then I would rent the sound system for that amount of time (they may require it anyway).

           

          Thanks beachbride!  I may do what CriCri suggested and use the Mariachi Band for the first 45 minutes of the dinner... and maybe not have music for the cocktail hour?  Ugh!  I just don't know...

           

          We are flying our photographer in from the States, and he will be on site for three separate events at SMB (welcome bonfire, couples/bridal session, and wedding/reception) - so we will have unlimited time with him...

           

          We are also having a huge reception bash when we get back home, so our "reception" in Mexico will really be just a more intimate dinner experience for our 12 guests.  I was thinking our reception will only be as long as it takes to eat dinner and socialize a bit, while taking photos (no real "first dance" or elaborate toasts)... I just think 2 hours should be plenty of time.  Cecilia said that I could have the stereo system for any amount of time (or none, for that matter), so that is not an issue. 

           

          We are spending a TON of money on our hometown reception, so I don't really want the SMB experience to be anything like it... saving all the "fun" for when we get home and more people can be there...  I'm open to suggestions of anyone who has done something similar.  



          #1845 stacers113

          stacers113
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            Posted 02 October 2012 - 02:02 PM

            I got mine at David's Bridal for my April '13 wedding. I ordered it in July and got it in about a month.
             



            #1846 KCDawn

            KCDawn
            • Site Supporter
            • 242 posts

              Posted 03 October 2012 - 01:18 PM

              I'm back!!! It was absolutely amazing! We had 36 guests and all of them were so impressed. We had the best time and Valeria and her staff did an incredible job!  I will post pictures when I get a chance.  In the meantime I wrote down some post-wedding thoughts and notes for all you future brides.  I know every little bit of info I got from this site was a huge help.  Especially when you’re planning a wedding at a place you’ve never seen in person.

               

              The Resort

              I don't have much to compare it to, but I loved it and we had some well-traveled guests who've been to several all-inclusives and everyone said this was the nicest they've ever been to by far. The service is excellent and everyone was very polite and eager to assist. The resort and the beach are beautiful and well maintained.  The food is great!  The place pretty much shuts down around 1 (room service is always available though) so if you have a younger crowd who wants to party late into the night, you may want to plan a night in Playa Del Carmen.  I've heard there are some great clubs there.

               

              Excursions

              We went on a Catamaran trip (CataMaya) with 10 of our guests the day before the wedding. It was awesome! Highly recommended! They guys on the boat were so much fun and they even did a tequila toast for the boat when they found out we were getting married.

              We also visited Tulum which was really cool. We booked both of our trips through Olympus Tours. They have a desk at the resort. You can pick them out by their orange polos.

              Some of our guests took taxis to Playa Del Carmen in the evening and had a lot of fun there. 

               

              The Spa

              We got a couple’s massage and I got a mini facial. Both were very good. The Spa is gorgeous!! I didn't get my hair and makeup done there, but I wish I had gotten some more treatments and taken advantage of the place. It really is nice.

               

              Beach Bonfire Party

              This was fantastic!  We walked away from it so happy we did it.  Our guests loved it!  We did it Thursday night (wedding was Saturday) at 8:30.  Most of our guests arrived Wednesday and Thursday so we did it that night as a welcome party.  It was a great chance for everyone to meet and get to know each other.  I really think it made the rest of the trip more fun for everyone.  I’m not sure if it had anything to do with the size of our group but the setup was great, much better than I had expected.  It was in the center of the beach in front of the resort.  They put big white flags in the sand in a big half circle.  As you walk up to it there was a rack for everyone’s shoes.  They did a half circle of lounge chairs around the fire at the end of the space and in the center, had some cocktail tables and regular chairs (like they use for the ceremony and reception without covers).  The bar was a big setup on the side.  We didn’t do any food and I don’t think it was missed.  The party is 2 hours and it goes by soo fast.  We brought our own speaker, The Big Jambox (awesome little thing by the way!) and had a playlist.  We also bought a bottle of high-end tequila for Eric and some of our guests to try and I brought a couple packs of glow in the dark bracelets from the $ store which ended up being fun.  If it’s in your budget I highly suggest this, especially if you have a bigger group of people.

               

              OOT Bags

              These were a big hit!  I had drawstring beach bags, disposable waterproof cameras, a waterproof key/tip holder, and a survival kit type bag with Tissues, Motrin, Imodium, Tums, Bandaids, Emergen-C, Hand Sanitizer, Aloe, and personalized SPF Lip Protectant.  Everyone really appreciated the thought and it seemed like they found everything useful.  It was cool seeing the smile on everyone’s faces when we handed them a gift as they arrived.  That said, I was glad I resisted the urge to go overboard.  I thought I was keeping the stuff I was taking down there to a minimum but I still underestimated how much room it was all going to take up in our luggage.  I almost did mugs or cups but while they might be a nice momento if they are personalized, they’re not really necessary here.  Just keep in mind that you picked a top notch resort and you and your guests are paying for that, so a lot of things are already there.

               

              THE WEDDING DAY!

              Sorry if it’s long.  This is just the highlights believe it or not! 

               

              I’ve mentioned here several times how Juan was going to do our pictures….well he didn’t.  Turns out he fell earlier in the day doing a TTD session and hurt his back, so Tony took his place.  I haven’t gotten any pictures yet, but he was great to work with and from what I can tell from what he showed me on his cameras he got some great shots.

               

              I was soooo glad I changed my ceremony to the new beach location.  It’s beautiful and the ocean was the perfect back drop.  The wedding gazebo also happens to be located at the same end of the pool as the swim up bar which is open til 6.  I saw a wedding at the gazebo on Sunday and I felt bad for the couple because the bar was still full and it was pretty loud.  As far as ceremony d©cor, we kept it pretty simple, and honestly I don’t think you need much.  The setting is gorgeous by itself and the ceremony is short.  I just had the included white fabric, white chairs with no covers, pink and orange rose petals in the aisle (no runner, just sand underneath) and the included centerpiece (different colors of lillies) on the ceremony table.  I was glad I didn’t spend any more money on that part.  It just wasn’t necessary.  The view is stunning in itself.

               

              Even though we had our own speaker system, we rented the resort’s system for the ceremony.  It was well worth the money to ensure that everyone could hear the ceremony (it would have been difficult without the mic) and it was nice we didn’t have to worry about who would man the music.  They did a great job with that!

               

              We did the sand ceremony which was only takes a few minutes but was a nice addition to the ceremony.  I went back and forth on even doing it, but at the last minute I bought a set at Michael's.  I was glad I did.  It was really sweet.  Unfortunately someone stole our sand L  so I’m glad we have it on video.   

               

              We did the cocktail hour in the Gazebo thanks to Valeria’s suggestion and I was glad we listened.  The spot on the beach for the cocktail hour has no shade and it was still really hot that time of day.  The bar wasn’t really an issue for that part.  Even though there were people still there, we had the mexican trio and everyone in our party was talking so you didn’t notice.  Everything was cleared out by the time we sat at the tables for dinner.

               

              Dinner was fantastic but slow.  Valeria told me initially the dinner would take about an hour leaving 2 for dancing and other stuff, but it ended up taking more like 2 hours.  Valeria stopped by to see how everything was going and I mentioned it to her.  Within 5 minutes, one of the servers stopped me to apologize saying there was a miscommunication or something in the kitchen and said they would all stay extra time to make up for it.  They stayed an extra hour for us!  That’s how good the service is there.  They really do try to make everything perfect.  Although slow dinner service was the norm while we were there.  The servers were always attentive, it just took a long time to get through dinners.

               

              For D©cor, I brought table runners (purchased on ebay), maracas (amols), seating cards (with starfish and had no problem with customs but I didn't get searched), table numbers and a cake topper.  I also had three cards for each place setting tied together with a ribbon.  The first was a Thank You, the second was a menu, and the third was an I Spy game.  Since we didn’t have a photographer for the reception, the I Spy was a good way to encourage people to get certain shots.  I got the Ispy and the thank you from Weddings by Jamie on Etsy.  She's on this site as well since she just had her own destination wedding.  She was great to work with!  She sends you the file and you just print it out.  She was really fast!  I also got center pieces through the resort.  I chose to spend money here instead of on the ceremony location.  I was happy I did.  They looked great!

               

              We did a photo guest book with the instant fuji camera.  That was a HUGE hit!  We have some hilarious pictures and our guests had a lot of fun with it.  I got some colored sunglasses and a tiara from the dollar store and made my own mustaches on a stick using some items from Michael’s.  I got a photo album from Michael’s for under $10 and added a satin ribbon to it.  It was a suggestion from another BDW bride and it was so much better than spending a ton of money for one like I’d seen on the Knot or Etsy.

               

              For the music, we used our Jambox and Ipod.  It worked out great.  We were in complete control of the music and since our Jambox is controlled by Bluetooth I could control the music from my seat or the dance floor.  We didn’t miss a DJ at all.  We did use the Gazebo as a dance floor and while I had the same concerns about lighting as some of you, it was very well lit.  There are sconces all around the inside of the Gazebo and it’s bright!  The lights around the tables are also nicer looking than what they appear in pictures I’ve seen and we had a few of them.  There was also some lighting under the tables which was cool.  With the pool lit up blue and the lights wrapped around the trees it was nice.  I don’t think you need extra lighting at all.  For our first dance and the dance with our parents we actually danced near the tables instead of the gazebo.  Everyone was at the tables and they were set up in a circle so it felt right to just dance in the center of it all so they didn’t all have to get up and move to see.

               

               

              AFTER PARTY

              Instead of heading to the disco, we all went to the Sugar Reef Bar in the resort.  They have tables that sit in a few inches of water, which feels GREAT on your feet after being in the heat in a wedding dress all day. J



              #1847 beachbride2013

              beachbride2013
              • Jr. Member
              • 198 posts

                Posted 03 October 2012 - 02:26 PM

                Congrats KCDawn! It sounds like you had an amazing time and your wedding went off without a hitch!! :))



                #1848 msop04

                msop04
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                • 64 posts

                  Posted 03 October 2012 - 10:46 PM

                  Wow, KCDawn!!!  What a great review!  Sounds like you guys had a fabulous time - CONGRATULATIONS!!



                  #1849 msop04

                  msop04
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                  • 64 posts

                    Posted 03 October 2012 - 11:20 PM

                    Hey KCDawn!  I loved your review  -- thanks so much for posting!!  I'm sure you have made us brides a lot more confident.  :)  I do have a few questions for you... as usual.  HA!

                     

                     

                    Quote:

                    Originally Posted by KCDawn 

                    Beach Bonfire Party

                    The party is 2 hours and it goes by soo fast.  We brought our own speaker, The Big Jambox (awesome little thing by the way!) **Did you find that this was loud enough on the beach -- great idea!!  and had a playlist. 

                     

                    THE WEDDING DAY!

                     

                    Even though we had our own speaker system, we rented the resort’s system for the ceremony.  It was well worth the money to ensure that everyone could hear the ceremony (it would have been difficult without the mic) and it was nice we didn’t have to worry about who would man the music.  They did a great job with that! 

                     

                    We did the cocktail hour in the Gazebo  **Our wedding is March 15th at 3, so our cocktail hour will be about 4ish... do you think it will be too hot to have it on the beach? I just wanted to have more time on the beach, since our ceremony is only about 30 minutes and we've paid for extra decor and have our photographer flying down -- but I also don't wanna "fry" my guests!!  LOL  thanks to Valeria’s suggestion and I was glad we listened.  The spot on the beach for the cocktail hour has no shade and it was still really hot that time of day.  The bar wasn’t really an issue for that part.  Even though there were people still there, we had the mexican trio and everyone in our party was talking so you didn’t notice.  **Would you recommend the Mexican Trio over the Caribbean Trio??

                     

                    Dinner was fantastic but slow.  Valeria told me initially the dinner would take about an hour leaving 2 for dancing and other stuff, but it ended up taking more like 2 hours.   **We only have 14 guest (including bride and groom) - do you think the dinner will take longer than 1 hour?  We have rented the resort Sound System for 2 hours for the dinner reception, but I'm worried that won't be enough time.  That being said, if you think the Big Jambox will be loud enough, we'd happily go with that option (save money AND have a cool speaker to take home)!  :)  We are having a big reception once we return home, so I don't think anyone will get too crazy at SMB... LOL



                    #1850 ElleGee

                    ElleGee
                    • Jr. Member
                    • 255 posts
                    • Wedding Date:October 28, 2012
                    • Wedding Location:Secrets Maroma Beach Resort
                    • LocationHouston, Texas

                    Posted 04 October 2012 - 06:31 AM

                    CONGRATS KCDAWN!!!!  Sounds like a dream wedding for you, and  I am so happy!  You have me so excited. We leave in a little less than three weeks! 

                     

                    One question . . . .the $300 per person limit of wedding supplies .. it it is a non-married couple (seperate last names), can they carry $600 worth in one suitcase?!?!?! Of course with receipts provided :)


                    - Elle Gee

                    (Laura)

                    Visit my online boutique: www.candiwithellegee.com





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