Okay girls, here is the much awaited full review of our wedding at Ocean Coral & Turquesa on July 13, 2012
Ceremony: My husband and I opted to do the symbolic ceremony on the beach since we knew we would be getting married at home in a church just three weeks later. I had struggled with getting married on the beach vs. getting married on one of the hotels rooftops for a while and I have to tell you, the decision to do it on the beach area in front of building 1 was one of the best decisions ever. My walk down the aisle was truly magical. Ana made sure to have all of the details we had spoken about in order. Ana made sure my guests went out in the right order and came to get my dad and I when it was our time to walk down the aisle. Our officiant was a woman named Alina Monroy. She spoke beautifully and from the heart. We did the hand ceremony and exchanged our own personal vows. Alina made sure to address certain specifics about our relationship that were spoken about during our initial meeting and truly made it personal like she had known us for years. A lot of our guests mentioned how especially moved they were about our ceremony and hotel staff that was helping out with the wedding commented the next day how they were crying during our ceremony. Something else that was especially nice that the staff does is they make sure that there are no beach passerbys walking by your ceremony as it is happening. My husband and I really like that because we were worried about strangers in our pictures. Also, the beach area in front of building 1 is definitly more private than the other beach ceremony site. Our music during the ceremony was played by our DJ. His name was DJ Temo and he is was great! More on the DJ below.
Cocktail Hour: Our cocktail hour was immediatley following our ceremony and was also held on the beach in the same area. The food was AMAZING!!! and the set up was really nice! We chose Menu 1 because we felt that most of our guests would respond to it more than the other menus. We also chose to have open bar because it was on the beach and it would be hard to have our guests go to the bar themselves. We chose to have the 4 peice Mariachi band play during this time and our guests loved this!!! They loved taking pictures with the Mariachi men and it really helped play up the Mexican party atmosphere! One my father's favorite things about our wedding was the Mariachi band! You will see that your guests will get a kick out of it. Our videographer also set up a little area on the beach during the cocktail hour for our guests to say a special wish or blessing for the bride and groom. Our guests really loved this too.
Reception: We chose the Lobby Terrace for our reception location and I have to say it was perfect!!! With 50 guests, we felt it would be the best location. The ocean breeze was so great up there and it was not too windy at all like I thought it would be. Most of the packages give you a 3 hour reception. My husband and I decided to spring the money for an extra hour and I have to tell you it was well worth it! The food was absolutely amazing!!!! Our menu consisted of: Tomato & Goat Cheese Salad, Lemon Vodka Sherbet, Surf & Turf, Creme BrÃ»lÃ©e. We chose to do the Mexican Tres Leches Cake for our wedding cake. We still have guests talking about the cake and how amazing it was!!! It was soooooo delicious! Presentation of each plate was beautiful! One of the things that truly make a destination wedding special is the intimacy you have with your guests. My husband and I can honestly say that we had time to walk to each of our guests tables (only 6 tables) and talk with our guests, we danced all night with our guests and each other, we never felt rushed or like the night went by so fast like most people tell you. We sat and ate each of our meals and looked around at how beautiful everything was. Not many couples can say that about their wedding day. I would not change one thing!!!! BTW, Ana stays and oversees everything; making sure that everything runs smoothly.
Photographer: My husband and I decided from the beginning to hire an outside vendor for the photographer. After lots of research, we decided to go with Juan Navarro. www.juanphotos.com We do not regret our decision one bit. He arrived on time, was extremely professional and was an absolute pleasure to work with. His energy and passion is evident from the moment he starts snapping pictures. I am very good at reading people and their energy; Juan has a very magnetic energy. You can tell he loves what he does. In my opinion, his work is one of the best from the area if not the best. I had asked Juan to do mostly candid shots of us throughout the reception because I did not want to be pulled away and miss any part of our day with our guests. He was soooo good at this!! We hired Juan for 8 hours and he even stayed a little longer to get the very end of our wedding day. I would recommend him to anyone!
Videographer: We decided to go with Playweddings: http://www.playaweddings.com. They were amazing as well! Arrived on time and once again very professional. One of my requests for both my photographer and videographer was for everything to be very candid and natural. I did not want to feel like I was being photographed or video taped and Paul from Playaweddings was really good at this. I really don't feel like he was in the room during our getting ready session as well the entire day! He is very good at working behind the scenes and making it seem as though he isn't even there. His work speaks for itself. Check out his website. I cannot wait to see our wedding video!!!
Outside DJ- We hired DJ Temo and we were very pleased. We had sent him a playlist of the songs we wanted played before our initial meeting. He met with us and discussed everything we needed to know. He was very professional and provided cold fireworks for both our entrance into the reception as well as at the end of the night. He also provided fun props like balloons and fun masks for our guests. Our guests loved the music and loved the props too!
Planner1Events- We ordered gold tiffany chairs, lighting for underneath the tables, and lit up yellow, white & pink Chinese lanterns for our reception thru this vendor and were also pleased with their professionalism and service. Our go to person was Fernanda and she was happy to meet with us a couple of days before our wedding to discuss all of the specifics. Planner1Events also provides many other services. They are worth looking into.
I hope my review helped to ease your anxieties, fears or hesitations as you plan! I remember getting very excited when someone would post up their review. It would always help me to feel more relaxed during the planning stage. Feel free to FB friend me along with a message stating your from the forum. I would be happy to accept the friend request. I have hundreds of great pics of the wedding on there!!!
Mrs. Sandy Szeluga!