I got Married there 12-12-12, and like alot of brides on here I had a whole lot of questions and was planning on so many different things before I went down, by the time the wedding came around I said screw it were going to wing it. So I will put how our experience was.
For the year before the wedding we had Ana as our wedding planner, never fully answered our e-mails and always took a long time to reply. Very nice lady when i met her though, but a few month before the wedding we were given Paula as our wedding planner!! The Best thing that happened to us! She replies back within a day or two and actually beat me to the punch on some questions I had.
A couple weeks before we left Paula set up a time for us to meet with her when we got in and go through the final plans. When we got to the resort we sat down for an hour and chose music, food and set up and chose locations. She is really pleasant and helpful. She showed us all of the locations to get married. If you are doing a beach ceremony, chose the side on the privilage side. She also gave me my voucher to get my hair and make up done (paradise package) I actually booked my hair through the salon months before the wedding. I chose Litsy. WONDERFUL!! She did my hair perfect and my make up which lasted for two days which was great for my TTD the next day. We went with a tropical bouquet which i actually broke up into two. When I finished walking down the the aisle I gave one half to my mom and the other half to my future mother in law. I had actually made a seashell bouquet and used that after the wedding for photos.
We booked an outside photographer Gonzalo Nunez, he is amazing! I don't even have words to describe how great he is. He replies fast and he always starts his e-mails with HOLA! All i can say to all the brides, don't cheap out on the photos. Unless your friend or that uncle that wants to take photos for you is a professional.... spend the money.
On the day of our wedding we actually were unlucky and it was a rain storm on the day of our wedding. But our wonderful wedding planner moved our wedding from the beach to inside the lobby, which was loud because no one else could be outside and blenders were going and kids were crying. It was nice though that there was instead of 50 people at my wedding there was 100's! With the rain storm though this meant that my terrace reception got moved into one of the banquet halls. Not as nice and fun as I wanted it to be, but intruth we ate, danced our first dance - at some cake and then moved the party out to the pool bar which was so much fun every night. After everything i didn't notice any of this stuff. I married my best friend. They could have put us right next to the dumpster and I wouldn't have cared.
We just used an ipod and it was great they actually had someone sit there and control the music for us. We didn't bring any centre pieces or any decorations, I just asked paula if there was any extra stuff laying around. We didn't even think about the music for the bridesmaids, groomsmen or parents dance. Luckly the wedding planner had a cd with all of that stuff and took care of it. They had a microphone and stereo system which was great. We chose an MC right before the reception started. We were really unprepared. If we had wanted to bring decorations down with us they would have set it up for us. They were quite shocked we didn't bring anything.
Food: We chose the goat cheese salad, surf and turf and Creme Brule..... hhhmmmmm Coconut cake for the wedding cake. ALL of my friends and guests are still talking about the food at the reception, come to think of it I am still thinking about how good my wedding cake taste.
One piece of advice, bring 'after bite'. This has nothing to do with the resort but when the sun goes down and if you are by the pool or beach there are lil sand fleas that will bite, and it is itchy. They are around the plants and like moisture so if you come out of the pool and are a lil wet they will attack your ankles. Actaully its ok to put a lil "off" on after you get out of the pool.
Every day we were at the pool swim up bar - staff was pheonominal and really wonderful. Bring lots of change and dollar bills for tipping, they rarely had change. Mike's coffee house is great mocha's and Frapp's on a day is great! We had a few kids on our trip and they always had fun, they were always in the pool and they used the kids play area at night to play video games. They said they had fun.
UNLIMITED ALA CARTE!!! This is the selling feature of the resort! 15 of us would go to 3 different restaurants in one night! We would go to japanese for their appertizers and then Italian for dinner and then the Creperie for dessert. Anyone who has been to an all inclusive knows that this is the greatest. The buffet was also really good. Great selection and different themes every night. We also had a romantic dinner on the beach after the wedding. Soooo much food! Very delicious from the Carribean Grill. I am a very big fan of food and I have no complaints of food here.
Overall experience - I can't wait to go back and visit this resort!
Overall Experience from the Bride side - Don't sweat the small stuff. I forgot half my wedding favors and didn't use half of my props that took up too much room in my suitcase. In the end I married my best friend the way we wanted to with all our friends and family around us. It was beautiful. You can't change things that will happen last minute just enjoy your day. We did and no matter what happened or went wrong on our day it was still our day and it was original! Everyone had fun and so did we. Also get Paula as a wedding planner!
One more tip. Go to walmart and buy a hand held steamer for your dress. Cheaper than paying for someone to steam your dress and you can use it on brides maids dresses and groomsmen stuff.
There is just too much information if anyone has any questions just PM me. Hopefully I can help.