Hey Lynn! Hope I can help answer some of this...
The guitarist is $550 and plays one 45 minute set.
The minister/judge is free with the gold package.
We are going with DJ Mannia and PRAYING that it's ok...I converted my entire itunes into MP3 and put iton an external hard drive for him (Fernando) we'll meet with him earlier in the week and give it to him so he can download it all. They have all sorts of blow up guitars, giant sunglasses, beads etc....we told him we wanted NONE of that and specifically said nothing cheesy!! We have just about his entire "sample list" on our do not play list. He seemed to understand when we met him in September and is really trying to work with us to get our style. If all else fails, we will request every song(my friends are FINE with this!)
We are still waiting to hear on the room upgrade, but that may not be until right befor or when we get there...I'll keep you posted!
If you are thinking about staying longer and do an excellence club room or have enough rooms with your guests, you will get the free wedding package OR take $850 off the gold package. We did this and it is definitely working out better financially as well as getting the Ocean view that we wanted.
We also had the same idea about going to a different resort, and honestly, I'm glad we chose to. We have a TON going on the week before the wedding! Here's our plan...Leaving on Sat May 12(my b-day!) staying at The Marriott Casa Magna until Tuesday. 7 of our guests(some wedding party) will be checking in there as well between Sat and Tuesday. This way it offsets some of the cost and we can run errands we need to do in a non AI before we check into Excellence...AND we'll have help!
On Tuesday we check in to Excellence, meet with Nayeli (I hope!) and meet up with some of the rest of our wedding party who will check in on Tue or Wed.
On Wed-Get our lovebirds massage at 9am, do blood tests at 11, sign the wedding license with our wittnesses at 3 and do trial hair and Make-up at 4!
On Thursday we hired a mini bus and driver to take 16 of us to Tulum and Playa Del Carmen for an excursion. (The group from Casa Magna will be at Excellence by then) We get back to the resort at 6ish and meet with the rest of our guests who check in on Thursday for our welcome cocktail party at the X-Lounge.
Friday is Spa day with our wedding party...We're doing the Water Ritual with everyone, mani/pedis for all the guys and some of the girls and a girls lunch and guys lunch. Friday at 7 is our rehersal so we're meeting up with everyone at the Mexican night afterwards where they will reserve tables for us. (there are 2 other weddings on Friday! Our rehersal is later because of this)
Saturday is the big day and we're spending time at the spa for hair/make-up and the ceremony starts at 5:30 (guests get there at 5), X-lounge cocktail hour, Ceco terrace reception...may extend it an hour...we need to decide an hour and 15 mins before the end if we want to do this.
Sunday is our Recovery Brunch from 9-11. A good chunk of guests leave in the afternoon. 5 guests will still be there.
Monday is our breakfast in bed, TTD and romantic dinner...2 guests will still be there.
Tuesday we leave for our much needed rest on our honeymoon!!! We're going to Zoetry and I've heard it's AMAZING! Staying until Sunday and then flying home in the afternoon.
There is so much that adds up on the to do list before the wedding...at least for us, so we wanted to get away and find a place thats just as good or better than Excellence for our honeymoon...we didn't want to be disappointed and regret leaving Excellence.
Hope this helps!! Happy planning!!