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#2091 emily a

emily a
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  • 10 posts

    Posted 06 January 2014 - 03:15 PM

    Hello, all! I have been meaning to post in this forum for quite awhile; as I've spent countless hours reading through the thread, taking notes, and reading everyone's experiences. I booked our wedding at OCT back in July, and our wedding date is set for May 16th, 2014. I am pretty relaxed about planning, as I'm impeccably organized and knew we had so much time to plan everything out. Now, we are 6 months out, and I think the majority of the planning is done. From the other posts, it seems Ana is hard to get a response from, but it has never gone more than two days without a response. I have only asked her very straight forward questions that she can reply to simply, so perhaps that is it. I'm not quite sure what this post should entail,but I know I had A LOT of questions in the beginning. I wouldn't even say I'm a "planny" person, but I was over analyzing every detail, I've since let go of that stress. My MOH's sister was married here in MAY, so having someone who went through it was very helpful. Her advice to me was to not go overboard with the tiniest of details, because the setting for the wedding is absolutely gorgeous, and that I need to relax, and realize that it all does come together, and honestly, probably could be done in a week's time, honestly. BUT, I've started really focusing on the planning about a month ago. I mean, I JUST bought my dress a few days ago (I was scolded for waiting so long... lol)  I never saw myself as an actually girly girl who would get so into this, but I have, and have loved it. So, here is what we have figured out so far:

     

    Ceremony will be on the beach. Now, I am just going to buy sashes for the chairs (mint green with a starfish on the back) since it is cheaper than renting them for $3ish/ea. I was told to move my ceremony from 5 to 6, by the sister of my MOH. She was married right around the same exact time and said the sun was just a liiiiitle too bright at 5, but would have been perfect at 6. So we are doing that. We toyed with the idea of a cocktail hour, but after reading everyone's reviews, we've realized that everyone can hang in the lobby bar, as our reception will start an hour later on in the lobby terrace, so they will be just outside the door. Saves SO much money and they will have something to do while we take our photos. We are not doing one of those "first look" things, so we'll need to get all of our pictures done withint that time. Reception will start around 7:30, and we extended it by an hour, for a total of 4 hours.

     

    There were two things that we decided we would splurge on:

     

    *An excellent photographer. I've seen the photos taken by the resident photog, and I was not impressed at all. In fact, I'm pretty sure my cell phone could take better pictures (no offense to anyone that has used them) I'm just saying, you will have these pictures for a lifetime, it's worth it. We hired Samuel Luna, who has been an absolute pleasure to work with so far, and his work is outstanding. We scheduled a Trash the Dress session with him for the next day (it was included in the package we paid for.)

     

    *A DJ. Now, I know that a hot topic in here is just using iPod to play your own playlist, and I thought about that as well, and am sure it would turn out just fine. The DJ at the hotel, as far as I can tell, doesn't MC, he simply plays YOUR playlist for you, and does not interact. This is supposed to be something that everyone will remember for a lifetime, and it was important for us to have someone to handle the ebb and flow of the evening. We don't want to worry about someone introducing us, or our first dance, etc...and we really believe it will help keep the order of things. We are giving him a list of 30ish songs, I could have easily made my own list of 100's, and 100's, but someone that can read the crowd, keep things energetic, get involved, to us, it's worth it. We are bringing glow sticks and Thundersticks with to give to him, to incorporate into the party. Also, his rate was VERY affordable. I spoke with him on the phone for nearly 45 minutest last night, and laughed nearly the entire time. GREAT guy-- DJ Bob (http://weddingdjrivieramaya.com/)

     

    Now...the part I hate! The fees! For a 2014 wedding, the hotel is now charging $500 for outside vendors. And they told me I need to pay an additional $200 fee the DJ, as this serves as an "energy" fee. I think it's completely ridiculous. Add to that, an outsider fee, to allow them onto the grounds for the day, which is, I believe, $80/ PP, Per day. I have two photographers coming in, and my DJ, so you can see my dilemma. I'm going to get them rooms for the night, which will be cheaper than paying all of the fees. However, Ana emailed me today saying that need to stay a minimum of three nights, which, I'm sorry, is BS. You can book rooms by the night online, and since they are having dinner with us, I have fully considered them my guests, so... I'm getting around this and not dealing with this noise!

     

    That is really the only complaint I have so far about working with the hotel, or with my planner, Ana. If anyone has questions about planning, I know I have not gone through this yet...but I think I have it all pretty much covered so if you're wedding is around the same time as mine, and you're freaking out about anything, you're not alone. More than likely I have freaked out about it as well. I feel very confident now, though, that everything will run smoothly.

     

    We are bringing items with us (menus, programs, welcome bags, place cards, table #'s, paper lanterns, string lights, party items for the reception dance, personalized Patron bottles to do a shot together, and some digital photo frames, guest book, I THINK that is it. We aren't bringing any huge items for center pieces, or lanterns, etc.  But these are all small details that I'm sure nobody cares to hear about : )

     

    I work online all day, so I've literally been to this board 100's of times, and thought I would put my two cents in, in case anyone is interested in chatting!

     

    Hope everyone's wedding planning is coming along nicely and hope to exchange tips in the coming months as we prepare!! Eeeek! I'm so excited! pinkie.gif

     

     

    Sarah

    Sarah! Thank you for all that info! I'm getting married the day after your wedding- May 17th! I'm getting so excited! I'm just starting to do all my planning so I'm sure I'll be messaging you with lots of questions!



    #2092 SarahWember

    SarahWember
    • Newbie
    • 22 posts
    • Wedding Date:May 16, 2014
    • Wedding Location:Riviera Maya, México
    • LocationChicago, IL

    Posted 07 January 2014 - 01:49 PM

    Sarah! Thank you for all that info! I'm getting married the day after your wedding- May 17th! I'm getting so excited! I'm just starting to do all my planning so I'm sure I'll be messaging you with lots of questions!

    Congrats, Emily! Awesome!! When is your group arriving!? Feel free to email me at Sarah8196 @ Gmail.com if you want to chat!


    Hi Sarah,

     

    My wedding is May 2, 2014 and I feel like I have so many questions! What are you doing for centerpieces? Where did you get your paper lanterns? Did you plan your own layout for the reception? What are you doing for table numbers? Please msg me or send me an email at leah_rothwell@live.ca!

     

    Leah

    Leah, I did email you a few weeks ago, did you get it!??


    Sarah

    #2093 Jeanetta H

    Jeanetta H
    • Newbie
    • 35 posts
    • Wedding Date:May 14, 2014
    • Wedding Location:Ocean coral & turquesa
    • Locationalberta

    Posted 07 January 2014 - 07:29 PM

    I've heard back from Pamela, and saw that the 2014 prices jumped by like $500!!  Crazy!

     

    Anyways I've asked her politely if she will honor the prices that I was quoted when I originally booked by wedding in May 2013.  Still waiting to hear back from her, so we'll see.

     

    Was it hard for you to get the 2013 prices back, or did you have to fight a bit to get it?

    Oh my goodness!! Thats insane pricing! I was not quoted 500 either. I think they told me 300 and I have to pay for a day pass for photograpghers helper. I will be emailing to ask for the origional price quoted to! Let me know what happens with you


    Hello, all! I have been meaning to post in this forum for quite awhile; as I've spent countless hours reading through the thread, taking notes, and reading everyone's experiences. I booked our wedding at OCT back in July, and our wedding date is set for May 16th, 2014. I am pretty relaxed about planning, as I'm impeccably organized and knew we had so much time to plan everything out. Now, we are 6 months out, and I think the majority of the planning is done. From the other posts, it seems Ana is hard to get a response from, but it has never gone more than two days without a response. I have only asked her very straight forward questions that she can reply to simply, so perhaps that is it. I'm not quite sure what this post should entail,but I know I had A LOT of questions in the beginning. I wouldn't even say I'm a "planny" person, but I was over analyzing every detail, I've since let go of that stress. My MOH's sister was married here in MAY, so having someone who went through it was very helpful. Her advice to me was to not go overboard with the tiniest of details, because the setting for the wedding is absolutely gorgeous, and that I need to relax, and realize that it all does come together, and honestly, probably could be done in a week's time, honestly. BUT, I've started really focusing on the planning about a month ago. I mean, I JUST bought my dress a few days ago (I was scolded for waiting so long... lol)  I never saw myself as an actually girly girl who would get so into this, but I have, and have loved it. So, here is what we have figured out so far:

     

    Ceremony will be on the beach. Now, I am just going to buy sashes for the chairs (mint green with a starfish on the back) since it is cheaper than renting them for $3ish/ea. I was told to move my ceremony from 5 to 6, by the sister of my MOH. She was married right around the same exact time and said the sun was just a liiiiitle too bright at 5, but would have been perfect at 6. So we are doing that. We toyed with the idea of a cocktail hour, but after reading everyone's reviews, we've realized that everyone can hang in the lobby bar, as our reception will start an hour later on in the lobby terrace, so they will be just outside the door. Saves SO much money and they will have something to do while we take our photos. We are not doing one of those "first look" things, so we'll need to get all of our pictures done withint that time. Reception will start around 7:30, and we extended it by an hour, for a total of 4 hours.

     

    There were two things that we decided we would splurge on:

     

    *An excellent photographer. I've seen the photos taken by the resident photog, and I was not impressed at all. In fact, I'm pretty sure my cell phone could take better pictures (no offense to anyone that has used them) I'm just saying, you will have these pictures for a lifetime, it's worth it. We hired Samuel Luna, who has been an absolute pleasure to work with so far, and his work is outstanding. We scheduled a Trash the Dress session with him for the next day (it was included in the package we paid for.)

     

    *A DJ. Now, I know that a hot topic in here is just using iPod to play your own playlist, and I thought about that as well, and am sure it would turn out just fine. The DJ at the hotel, as far as I can tell, doesn't MC, he simply plays YOUR playlist for you, and does not interact. This is supposed to be something that everyone will remember for a lifetime, and it was important for us to have someone to handle the ebb and flow of the evening. We don't want to worry about someone introducing us, or our first dance, etc...and we really believe it will help keep the order of things. We are giving him a list of 30ish songs, I could have easily made my own list of 100's, and 100's, but someone that can read the crowd, keep things energetic, get involved, to us, it's worth it. We are bringing glow sticks and Thundersticks with to give to him, to incorporate into the party. Also, his rate was VERY affordable. I spoke with him on the phone for nearly 45 minutest last night, and laughed nearly the entire time. GREAT guy-- DJ Bob (http://weddingdjrivieramaya.com/)

     

    Now...the part I hate! The fees! For a 2014 wedding, the hotel is now charging $500 for outside vendors. And they told me I need to pay an additional $200 fee the DJ, as this serves as an "energy" fee. I think it's completely ridiculous. Add to that, an outsider fee, to allow them onto the grounds for the day, which is, I believe, $80/ PP, Per day. I have two photographers coming in, and my DJ, so you can see my dilemma. I'm going to get them rooms for the night, which will be cheaper than paying all of the fees. However, Ana emailed me today saying that need to stay a minimum of three nights, which, I'm sorry, is BS. You can book rooms by the night online, and since they are having dinner with us, I have fully considered them my guests, so... I'm getting around this and not dealing with this noise!

     

    That is really the only complaint I have so far about working with the hotel, or with my planner, Ana. If anyone has questions about planning, I know I have not gone through this yet...but I think I have it all pretty much covered so if you're wedding is around the same time as mine, and you're freaking out about anything, you're not alone. More than likely I have freaked out about it as well. I feel very confident now, though, that everything will run smoothly.

     

    We are bringing items with us (menus, programs, welcome bags, place cards, table #'s, paper lanterns, string lights, party items for the reception dance, personalized Patron bottles to do a shot together, and some digital photo frames, guest book, I THINK that is it. We aren't bringing any huge items for center pieces, or lanterns, etc.  But these are all small details that I'm sure nobody cares to hear about : )

     

    I work online all day, so I've literally been to this board 100's of times, and thought I would put my two cents in, in case anyone is interested in chatting!

     

    Hope everyone's wedding planning is coming along nicely and hope to exchange tips in the coming months as we prepare!! Eeeek! I'm so excited! pinkie.gif

     

     

    Sarah

    Congrats on the wedding!! We are getting married may 14 and using samuel luna too :) Our ttd is on may 15. Im super excited but kind of stressed about this new cost for outside photographer. How is everything else going with you? I havent actually spoken to the wedding coordinator my travel agent has been doing most of it so far. I am ok with that I'm not too picky. Are you getting your hair and makeup done? I have been on the fence about it. I was gonna go to mac or sephora and get them to make me over and i'll buy the products they give me. I'm getting excited now. I have to get to the gym and work off the christmas junk lol



    #2094 SarahWember

    SarahWember
    • Newbie
    • 22 posts
    • Wedding Date:May 16, 2014
    • Wedding Location:Riviera Maya, México
    • LocationChicago, IL

    Posted 08 January 2014 - 08:29 AM

    Oh my goodness!! Thats insane pricing! I was not quoted 500 either. I think they told me 300 and I have to pay for a day pass for photograpghers helper. I will be emailing to ask for the origional price quoted to! Let me know what happens with you


    Congrats on the wedding!! We are getting married may 14 and using samuel luna too :) Our ttd is on may 15. Im super excited but kind of stressed about this new cost for outside photographer. How is everything else going with you? I havent actually spoken to the wedding coordinator my travel agent has been doing most of it so far. I am ok with that I'm not too picky. Are you getting your hair and makeup done? I have been on the fence about it. I was gonna go to mac or sephora and get them to make me over and i'll buy the products they give me. I'm getting excited now. I have to get to the gym and work off the christmas junk lol

    Thnak you, you as well! Getting VERY excited. We are doing a TTD session too! I think I am going to buy a different dress for that though, thoughts? The cost for outside vendor is $500, plus the cost of day pass....so to get around that, I'm booking them hotel stays. It's cheaper than paying all the fees- and was OK'd by the wedding corrdinator!

     

    I am getting my hair and make-up done there, I've heard good things about the spa there...but was thinking about doing the same thing as you, actually. I'll probably just bring some of the products with me and let them have at it. I was going to go in a few days prior to the wedding to do a test run. 

     

    I'm right there with ya! I scheduled my dress alteration/ fitting for March 22nd, so I have to hustle hahah!!


    Sarah

    #2095 MrsSheppardToBe

    MrsSheppardToBe
    • Newbie
    • 128 posts
    • Wedding Date:June 5, 2014
    • Wedding Location:Ocean Coral & Turquesa
    • LocationRiviera Maya

    Posted 08 January 2014 - 10:25 AM

    @Jeanetta H and @SarahWember you guys are getting married around my birthday, lol (May 15 ;) )

     

    Congrats!!

     

    I'm not using any outside vendors (just have the resort's photographer and DJ booked) so that will save me a lot of $!  And I've decided to stick with the 3-hour reception, as it costs $500 to add an extra hour, and I feel that at least half of my guests will be in bed by 10:00, so if there is anyone who wants to keep the party going, we can just move to the resort's bars.

     

    I'm getting SUPER excited for my wedding on June 5!  I'll be picking my dinner menu soon (just waiting to hear back from Pamela with options), so I'm super excited to get these little details all figured out!



    #2096 Leslied

    Leslied
    • Newbie
    • 25 posts
    • Wedding Date:April 28, 2014
    • Wedding Location:Ocean Coral & Turquesa

    Posted 08 January 2014 - 10:49 AM

    Jenna...I wrote a nasty email to Pamela and was then switched to Ana who confirmed that previous prices that had been quoted to me would be granted.  The funny part is that the prices given to me were all for 2014!!  They won't be pulling a fast one with me, I can tell you that!!  Just be firm and stand your ground.  I have a friend who got married at another resort last year in Mexico and once she got there, the wedding coordinator told her she owed $1000 and if she didnt provide it, there would be no wedding.  Im so scared of this kind of nightmare to happen but, then again, nothing would surprise me in Mexico.  All I can do is stay positive and hopeful that everything will go well and run smoothly!!

     

    Countdown is on!!  April 28th is just around the corner and I can't wait!! :)



    #2097 MrsSheppardToBe

    MrsSheppardToBe
    • Newbie
    • 128 posts
    • Wedding Date:June 5, 2014
    • Wedding Location:Ocean Coral & Turquesa
    • LocationRiviera Maya

    Posted 08 January 2014 - 11:03 AM

    Jenna...I wrote a nasty email to Pamela and was then switched to Ana who confirmed that previous prices that had been quoted to me would be granted.  The funny part is that the prices given to me were all for 2014!!  They won't be pulling a fast one with me, I can tell you that!!  Just be firm and stand your ground.  I have a friend who got married at another resort last year in Mexico and once she got there, the wedding coordinator told her she owed $1000 and if she didnt provide it, there would be no wedding.  Im so scared of this kind of nightmare to happen but, then again, nothing would surprise me in Mexico.  All I can do is stay positive and hopeful that everything will go well and run smoothly!!

     

    Countdown is on!!  April 28th is just around the corner and I can't wait!! :)

     

    Thanks @Leslied I'll let you know what happens when I hear back from Pamela.. so far she seems nice and helpful.  She asked me what price I would like to have honored, so I told her I want the Paradise package for $3700 as it was last year.  She said she will check with her manager and get back to me.

     

    If the answer is no, then I will definitely have the stand my ground, lol.  My Mom always told me "You catch more bees with honey than with vinegar", so I am being polite now but will not be afraid to step it up if need be.

     

    Your wedding is so close!!!  How far are you into your planning?  What are you doing for ceremony/reception decorations?



    #2098 Leslied

    Leslied
    • Newbie
    • 25 posts
    • Wedding Date:April 28, 2014
    • Wedding Location:Ocean Coral & Turquesa

    Posted 08 January 2014 - 11:36 AM

    @Jenna Sheppard-to-be...Very well said!! Hope all goes well for you!! Kepp me posted!!

     

    My wedding planning has been going well...I had a few months off from work this past spring/summer so I had loads of time to get most of my planning done.  Other than waiting for a few answers to my questions from Ana to complete a few details, everything is pretty much planned and under control.  Fingers crossed ;)  We are a small group of 16 so I took the Sunset package.  Our ceremony is on the beach followed by a cocktail hour on the lobby terrace followed by an outdoor reception/dinner on the lobby terrace.  For decorations, other than what the hotel is providing, my sister is making menus for the dinner table so that our guests know what to expect for dinner.  She is also making place cards for each seat with our guests names so that they know where to sit.  The place cards will be on place card holders which are sea shells so that they dont take off with the wind!! Lol!! I didnt want to bring too much in our suitcases since we are staying in Mexicos 2 weeks (our second week being spent at Excellence Riviera Cancun for a mini honeymoon stay).

     

    What are you doing for decorations?  Bringing any extras?  Im always looking for ideas... :)



    #2099 MrsSheppardToBe

    MrsSheppardToBe
    • Newbie
    • 128 posts
    • Wedding Date:June 5, 2014
    • Wedding Location:Ocean Coral & Turquesa
    • LocationRiviera Maya

    Posted 08 January 2014 - 01:00 PM

    @Leslied sounds like you're pretty much ready to get married, lol!

     

    I'm just going to stick with the basic decorations that the hotel provides... I would like pink chair bows for the ceremony and reception, not sure if they will make me pay extra for that.  If so, I might just bring my own chair bows.

     

    I'm going to put little wooden fans from Michaels on each chair at the ceremony, along with some bubbles and a ceremony program I will make myself.

     

    For the reception, I will print menus and placecards out for each guest, and I'm ordering handpainted maracas from www.maracasartanddesign.com as the favour for each guest.  It will be pink with a white flower, and will have our names on it and the wedding date!

     

    Excellence resorts are so beautiful!  I wanted to get married at Excellence but the rates were too expensive for my guests... I'm sure you and your hubby will have such a great time!  We're just staying at OCT for 1 week and then we'll go to Disneyland in September for our honeymoon :)



    #2100 Jeanetta H

    Jeanetta H
    • Newbie
    • 35 posts
    • Wedding Date:May 14, 2014
    • Wedding Location:Ocean coral & turquesa
    • Locationalberta

    Posted 08 January 2014 - 01:39 PM

    Thnak you, you as well! Getting VERY excited. We are doing a TTD session too! I think I am going to buy a different dress for that though, thoughts? The cost for outside vendor is $500, plus the cost of day pass....so to get around that, I'm booking them hotel stays. It's cheaper than paying all the fees- and was OK'd by the wedding corrdinator!

     

    I am getting my hair and make-up done there, I've heard good things about the spa there...but was thinking about doing the same thing as you, actually. I'll probably just bring some of the products with me and let them have at it. I was going to go in a few days prior to the wedding to do a test run. 

     

    I'm right there with ya! I scheduled my dress alteration/ fitting for March 22nd, so I have to hustle hahah!!

    Did you book 1 night or two for the photographer? Since the ttd is the day after the wedding would one night be enough?


    Thnak you, you as well! Getting VERY excited. We are doing a TTD session too! I think I am going to buy a different dress for that though, thoughts? The cost for outside vendor is $500, plus the cost of day pass....so to get around that, I'm booking them hotel stays. It's cheaper than paying all the fees- and was OK'd by the wedding corrdinator!

     

    I am getting my hair and make-up done there, I've heard good things about the spa there...but was thinking about doing the same thing as you, actually. I'll probably just bring some of the products with me and let them have at it. I was going to go in a few days prior to the wedding to do a test run. 

     

    I'm right there with ya! I scheduled my dress alteration/ fitting for March 22nd, so I have to hustle hahah!!

    I'm going to get a second dress for ttd too! I dont want to ruin my wedding dress and i think it would be too heavy once in the water. What package did you go with for your wedding? And how much were you quoted at? The prices they gave me were for 2014.






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