Iâ€™m back from our Wedding at the Ocean Turquesa and it was incredible! I have written a basic review of everything for all of youâ€¦ but if anyone has any specific questions about the resort or our Wedding just ask and I will answer it if I can! J
The Resort is beautiful, well maintained and cleaned. The entertainment staff and bartenders are very friendly and speak English very well. However the Lobby staff do not speak or understand English very well which can be frustrating at times. The pools are awesome and the beach is great when you are looking for a quiet place to rest. However there is a fair bit of seaweed, they clean it everyday but it keeps coming back.
A La Carte Restaurants:
We ate at all of the restaurants and enjoyed all of them except for the Italian one (we are used to eating authentic Italian food and it just didnâ€™t compare.) However some of our guests did enjoy it.
We did a group excursion to Isla Morales (includes Catamaran, spinnaker, snorkeling, swimming with a shark- optional, the market/exploring the island, drinks and lunch). Arianna spoke to the inhouse travel agent at the resort and arranged for us to have a private excursions, so it was only our family and friends on our bus and catamaran, which everyone really enjoyed.
The day after our wedding, my husband and I went on a sunset cruise & dinner on the beach excursion. The sunset cruise was ok, however the dinner on the beach was incredible. The food was amazing and the atmosphere was breathtaking.
Many of our family and friends went on some other excursions and this is their feedbackâ€¦.
The Mayan Ruins and extreme adventures was a hit with everything. They said it was hot and tiring but it was a jam packed day of fun.
Swimming with the Dolphins was a hit but it is extremely expensive and they make you lock up your cameras and then charge you $25/picture or $110/disc of all of the pictures. This disappointed many people.
The boys went deep sea fishing and this was also a private excursion. They had a lot of fun and all want to do it again.
Meeting/ Blood work:
We had a meeting with the Wedding Coordinators and our 4 witnesses our first morning in Mexico. They copied our passports and tourist cards, and verified all of our information. We then went over all of the details for our wedding and final pricing. Once we had everything sorted out, we had our blood work done. My Husband watched as they opened the new needles to make sure everything was clean. My blood work went perfectly fine. However my husband had a little complication. He ended up with a large bump on his arm filled with blood. Luckily our best man is a doctor and we also had 2 nurses with usâ€¦ so we had them look at it and it turns out that the needle went directly through his vein and there was not enough pressure put on it immediately after. The bump did go down in about 15 minutes, however he had a pretty back bruise for the rest of the week (luckily he had a long sleeve shirt for our Wedding)! I would recommend putting a lot of pressure on your arm for at least 15 minutes after your blood work to avoid this happening to you or your groom.
The Wedding Coordinators:
Ana and Arianna are awesome. Ana took care of all the pricing and legal documents. Arianna is the one who decorated and handled everything for us during the week. Arianna booked all of our a la carte meals for the week, she arranged all of our spa appointments (and arranged for us to use the other spa facilities- Sauna, hot tub, steam room, etc.), she made sure we had an upgraded room (they upgraded up to privilege and to a large suit), she took care of ALL of our decorations that we brought down (centre pieces, candles, picture mat, bubbles, disposable cameras, name cards, etc.), she answered any questions we had throughout the week and was very friendly and helpful!
*FYI make sure you have more than enough cash on you for the things you need to pay for in cash. We forgot that the Justice of the peace had to be paid in cash and went to take some American money out of the hotel ATM and they were charging an additional $60USD surcharge to withdraw money.
Ana and Arianna took care of our Rehearsal the day before our Wedding. They explained how everything would work and let our entire Wedding party and parents walk through it as many times as we needed to.
We had our Rehearsal dinner at the Japanese restaurant (with our Wedding party & parents). Everyone really enjoyed the food and the fantastic show. I would highly recommend this. I had many people comment on how great it was to have our rehearsal dinner there because it was a show and dinner and the food was awesome.
After dinner we went to the Lobby Terrace and gave everyone their gifts and went over any final details for our Wedding day.
Our Wedding Day:
My Husband had a separate room for our wedding day so that we did not see each other before the Ceremony.
I went for breakfast with my Bridesmaids and then we went to the spa to use the Jacuzzi, hot tub, sauna, steam room, etc. This was a very relaxing way to start off the day. Our hair appointments and my makeup were from 11am-2pm (this was for 4 updos and 1 makeupâ€¦ with 2 hairdressers working). The hairdressers do not speak English well. One of them could speak a little English but the other one could not speak any at all. We brought lots of pictures to show them how we wanted our hair done and they did a great job. I am very picky when it comes to my makeup and was nervous about having them do itâ€¦ however it turned out perfect. I did not want to change a thing! All the ladies at the spa were very friendly and complimenting me a lotâ€¦ I was known as â€œWedding Barbieâ€ at the spa. lol
After the spa my Bridesmaids and I went back to my room to finish getting ready, and there was a fruit basket waiting there for us.
Then Ana came to drop the bouquets off and to check and see how everything was going.
At 3pm the groom, groomsmen, and our guests had drinks and horâ€™derves on the Lobby Terrace. Which from what I heard was very nice.
The photographer called to see if I would like him to come and take some pictures before the ceremony, so he came at 3:30pm to take pictures of me, my Bridesmaids and my parents.
At 3:55pm Arianna came to my room to walk us down to the ceremony.
We had our ceremony on the beach at 4pm. We had a 4 post archway covered in white linens with 2 hanging flower arrangements and 1 table top arrangement. We also had 6 bamboo posts with large flower arrangements on top of each to create a longer aisle. We also had rose petals along the aisle. Our flowers were white lilies and white roses. They were absolutely beautiful.
The ceremony was between 20 and 30 minutes long and consisted ofâ€¦ the justice of peace welcoming everyone and reading a traditional Mexican vow, we then did the signing (along with our 4 witnesses), then we said our own vows to each other and she pronounced us husband and wife. We also had a sand ceremony because my husband has a daughter and we wanted to do something special with her. As we did the sand ceremony, our best man read a peace that describes what the sand ceremony means. Once the ceremony was over, we had a champagne toast with everyone. The photographer took pictures for about an hour and half. First he took photos of the whole group, then us with our parents, and then us with our Wedding party. Once he was done with the group shots everyone left to get drinks in the lobby together while the photographer took pictures of us on the beach.
Our Dinner Reception was at the Villa Marina (which is the restaurant outside by the pool/beach) from 6:30-8:30pm. Arianna did an incredible job setting up. I gave her a detailed drawing of how to setup the decorations I brought down and asked her to use all of the flowers from the ceremony however she wanted. I was blown awayâ€¦ it looked even better than I imagined. When we arrive at the Villa Marina with our guests, the bartender greeted us with a signature drink that he made for us (which happened to be in my wedding colours/theme). This was an awesome touch and I was so happy that they went out of their way to do this for us. We had a few speeches here before dinner was served and it was very quiet and we were separated from the rest of the restaurant that opened at 7pm. Dinner was 4 courses. Salad (from the salad bar), soup (which was a seafood soup with puff pastry on top), steak with potato and grilled vegetables, and desert (from the desert bar). There was a lot of food and I donâ€™t think anyone finished every course. The soup was very good and had a lot of seafood in it. The steak dinner was also very good, however I was not able to eat much of it because I just didnâ€™t have much of an appetite on our Wedding day. Everyone seemed to really enjoy it. We had one guest who can not eat red meat, so she had fish instead. We also had 2 children in our group (2 and 5 years old) and they had chicken strips and French fries). They were very accommodating to allergies and children regarding the menu.
We had our Dancing Reception on the Lobby terrace (over looking the pool/ocean) from 9:00pm-midnight. After dinner everyone had 15-20 minutes to go to their room, grab a drink, etc. while Arianna had all of our decorations moved from our dinner to the terrace. She set it up with semi private barriers so that no one would walk through, she setup a sound system for us to plug our ipod in, she provided our own waiter to serve us drinks and clean up after us, she had our picture mat setup on a table for all of our guests to sign, she had our cake setup here as well. Our cake was a 3 tier square cake. Bottom and top tier were chocolate and middle tier was vanilla. The icing was white and we had lilies on top. The cake was very good, and we had a lot left over so we told Arianna to share some of it with the other resort guests who were out on the terrace and they all seemed to really enjoy it. We still had some more cake left over at the end of the night, so Arianna told us she would put it in the fridge and if we wanted anymore in the next few days before we leave then she will get it for us. We started the dancing with our first dance followed by me and my Dad and my husband with his mom. We then setup our playlist and let it go in order. Arianna stayed with us the whole time. She helped us with the Wedding cake and made sure everything went smoothly.
When my Husband and I went up to our room at the end of the night, it was completely decorated. The window treatments were made into butterflies, we had a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries, our bed was covered in red rose petals and had two swans made out of towels, our bathtub had bubbles and more red rose petals and the lights were set nice and dim. It was beautiful.
The next morning we had breakfast delivered to our room, with more champagne (which we ended up bringing this bottle home with us). After breakfast we went to the spa and had a couples massage. It was a great start to our new life together. While we were out of our room Arianna had brought all of our decorations back up to our room (wrapped and cleaned just like they were before our wedding), and she also had all of our flowers put into our roomâ€¦ which smelt fantastic for the rest of the week!
We used the resort Photographer. He was friendly, spoke English very well and had many good ideas and poses for us already planned out. The day after our Wedding, he gave us a print out with all of photos he took in thumbnail size so we could look at them and decide what we wanted to get. Our package included 25 prints (but no disc). After looking at the 200 photos that he took, we wanted to get just a disc with no prints. The photographers would not do it though. They told us the next package above ours is for 30 prints and the same 30 photos on a disc and it costs $500USD. We were shocked and I was upset by this, so we went and spoke with Ariannaâ€¦ she tried talking to the photographers but the manager was off until after we left. She told us to pick our favorite 25 photos and that she will look into getting a disc of all of the pictures for us. We are still waiting for her email to see where we stand regarding this.
FYI, Daniel our Photographer spoke English well however the other staff at the photo desk did not speak or understand it very well at all. This was a very frustrating part for my Husband and I.
We truly enjoyed every moment of our Wedding Day and would not have changed a thing about it. J
I hope that is information is helpful for you future bridesâ€¦ I know I had many Brides help me while I was planning my Wedding. If any of you have any questions thoughâ€¦ ask away. I know it can be frustrating when you are trying to plan your special day and arenâ€™t getting responses from Ana right away. However everything will turn out perfectâ€¦. Ana is just busy helping the Brides who are there right now.
Mrs. Whitney Reigns J