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Samantha's 11.20.08 Dreams Cancun Wedding Review w/ Pics

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#1 Samantha S

Samantha S
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    Posted 22 December 2008 - 05:08 AM

    Hi Ladies, I have finally had time to do my review!!! I’ll start by saying that everything was amazing, spectacular, wonderful and glorious! But here is a breakdown:

    Flights to Mexico: American Airlines – A+
    First off, they were great about letting me put my dress in the first class closet--- no problems there. Our first leg to Dallas was normal and uneventful but Dallas to Cancun was AWESOME. We were flying with two friends and the flight attendants offered to move my husband and I up to first class but we didn’t want to leave our friends behind. So we all moved to the very back of the plane where the last three rows were empty and took it over. They were showering us with free booze and food, it was glorious. We called it last class the whole time, soooooo fun. The flight home was uneventful but after 8 days, we needed that.

    Dreams Cancun Resort – A
    The resort is amazing and beautiful. The service was great all around. The weather was fair to excellent the whole week. The rooms were nice and most people got upgraded. We booked a dolphin view room knowing we would get upgraded and we did get upgraded to an ocean view room but we were honestly expecting more. That said, my husband was happy to be in the pyramid however because all of our guests were there and didn’t want to move over to the towers. Just wished we would have had a bigger room—other than that—great! We didn’t miss the private beach because we loved the beach by Himitsu and pretty much declared it our territory.

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    Dreams had great activities—the guys played beach volleyball pretty much everyday and were all thrashed up by the end of the week. We didn’t swim with the dolphins because we felt sorry for them but it was awesome to watch—they were beautiful. I can’t believe how gorgeous the ocean was!!!!! White sand beaches and aqua water and a bar.= Heaven. We had a ton of fun in the bars each night and the entertainment was great.

    We also took over the resort hot tub more than once—well we called it the warm tub because it was only hot in the middle of the night. We would know. Our friends are true characters and these two guys put on fake mustaches and speedos.

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    Click the image to open in full size.

    OOT Bags
    These went over really well. We hung out in the lobby bar each afternoon when people were coming in and greeted them with them. The staff will hand them out but we wanted to greet people and say hello. The bags had ibuprofen, immodium AD, alka-seltzer, Emergen-C, shout wipes, antibacterial wipes, Kleenex and chapstick with SPF. Everyone loved them and used most of the things as well as the bag itself for a beach bag. We had every intention of going to Walmart to put snacks in and I wish we had because they would have been handy for everyone when they got the munchies but we just were too busy.

    Food – B
    Overall the food was great—delicious shrimp tacos, guacamole, good buffet for all meals, steak and so on. We liked the World Caf©, Oceana and the Seaside Grill but Himitsu didn’t hit the spot for anyone—sushi snobs I guess. The restaurants all had something good to eat but we were beyond sick of the food by the last two days or so. Don’t get me wrong, the food and service were great but you could find just a few things that you really liked at each one and ended up eating the same thing the whole week. A lot of people got sick in one way or another—whether it was diarrhea or just plain backed up. Only two people in our group got full blown Montezuma’s revenge and it happened to be on the plane ride home for both of them…. No bueno!!

    Our Group – A+ of course
    We had a total of 37 people including us but not including the random friends we picked up through out the week. An awesome couple from Texas and a whole crew of couples from Mexico City to name a few. It was crazy partying the whole week—I can’t believe I survived.

    Rehearsal Dinner – A+
    We had dinner at the Seaside Grill on one of the few nights it was open due to wind closures. We had a big group and couldn’t have had one table all together but all of our tables were right next to each other. Its not that big of a place. The food was awesome here and it was a nice dinner. We didn’t make reservations, just showed up. We partied in the lobby bar for awhile and then I went to bed to get some beauty sleep and most people went to the salsa club next door. They had a blast so I highly recommend it. On that note, a few nights later most people went to a club on ‘the strip’ called Daddio’s and had a blast there too. My Dad was the most popular guy in Cancun at the time because he is this adorable cowboy but totally loud and hilarious. He had the ‘shot girls’ chasing him all over the club, over furniture, trying to get him to take a shot—hilarious.

    Make Up Trial with Marisol - C
    I swapped the hair preparation for a make up trial because my BM did my hair. Sorry, she was sweet and did okay but it was not what I was looking for-- it was extremely average- nothing breathtaking. Word is Mareya does a great job so I'd try her out. I meant to ask for her but forgot and didn't want to be rude when I showed up. I'm super picky about my make up so don't base your future plans solely on my review.

    #2 Samantha S

    Samantha S
    • Jr. Member
    • 369 posts

      Posted 22 December 2008 - 05:14 AM


      Wedding Coordinator: Gaby – A
      Gaby was amazing and nailed EVERYTHING. The whole wedding went off with out a hitch and she was great to work with, not to mention cute as a button. We met with her twice briefly and went over things and it was a cinch- Husband thought it was the greatest thing in the world to plan our wedding in about 20 minutes (from his perspective!!). They had way more to choose from in regards to bouquets and centerpieces and such- I was surprised. I am excited to let you guys know that Gaby did a fantastic job though because there have been some hit or miss reviews about her. Given this, I do think they need to seriously work on the communication prior to the wedding. Yes, you can work out most when you get there but I was ticked that I hadn’t heard back from Gaby when I was emailing 3, 2 and 1 week before my wedding—that’s not acceptable so they do need to work on it.

      Flowers – A+
      We picked when we got there and told her the colors and they were stunning! I loved them so much. My bouquet was even prettier in person and after the wedding, whenever I was in the room I would keep it around me because it smelled so good.

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      Photography: Cecilia Dumas – A+
      She was a rock star and we loved her! She did a fantastic job and is really reasonably priced. We are very in love with our pictures and happy we decided to go with Cecilia. She is this tiny, hott little thing from Argentina. Some of the pro pics are posted throughout (all but the pre-wedding and reception photos are pro) but PM me your email address if you want to see all the pics. It was really nice to have a photographer that had good energy and that we vibed with.

      Click the image to open in full size.
      Click the image to open in full size.

      Videographer: Cancunweddingvideo.com – A+
      YOU MUST DO THIS! He did such an amazing job—the video is so awesome to have (I’m sorry Kat!!)!! I think our videographer was named Harry but I can’t be certain about that. The video is just plain great but its so nice to have to show to people who couldn’t make it. I love, love, love it. Btw, we had the Dreams of Love package and swapped the photography for this. If I can get a streaming video of it, I’ll post it.

      Ceremony – A+
      It surpassed both of our expectations. Things started a little chaotic because my husband got wasted with half our wedding party in the grooms room the night before and woke up throwing up (he pretty much never throws up). Half my family took part in this fiasco and were all hung over and running late but that all came together fine. The minister was 30 minutes late due to traffic apparently. The ceremony was supposed to start at 3:30 and got started a bit after 4:00. I wasn’t stressing about it at all at the time because Cecilia came at 3:00 and was taking pics of the bridesmaids and I and it took a bit longer than expected. It did end up not being so great later because we had to take the group pics in the dark and they just aren’t as pretty as they would have been in daylight.

      One quick funny thing that happened while we were getting ready—my Mom came in and immediately started crying—make that sobbing. I was determined to not be a blubbering mess on my wedding day and was fighting the tears as hard as I could until my dear bridesmaids started yelling obscenities at me (insert references to female and male genitalia, a few STDs, telling me I looked ugly, etc) and one showed me her butt. That got me to stop. It was just truly funny, sweet and one of my favorite moments.

      But anyways, on to the ceremony—once we had everyone together and the minister was there, Gaby called us down. The wedding party could see us from afar when we were walking over so my bridesmaids (all 7 of them) made a fuchsia shield so no one could see me, it was cute. My Dad started crying right away. I was a little concerned that the sound equipment person wouldn’t get the music right but they nailed that too. The minister, late as she was, had a very beautiful ceremony script- it was way better than I expected and didn’t follow the ones that we had posted in the Dreams Cancun thread. We could understand her reasonably well. She kept calling us 'Simones' and it's Simmons so everyone would try not to giggle when she said that and we are know known as the Simones to our friends who were there. Not much else to say here other than when we walked away, husband and I were both so blown away about how beautiful and touching it was. I used to be one to say I didn’t need to get married, a.k.a. Kurt Russel and Goldie Hawn but I take it back now that I’ve done it—it was spiritual and very meaningful. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

      P.S.- it was windy but not too terrible. Be careful with the hairspray. One of my BM's did my hair and because it was such an up-do, it was a little bit prom-y and my bangs and the hair around my face were too stiff and crunchy so in all my pics its flying weird. Not a huge deal but its better to have natural hair flying around than stiff hair.
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      Click the image to open in full size.
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      #3 Samantha S

      Samantha S
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        Posted 22 December 2008 - 05:25 AM

        We went over to the lighthouse which is a hike over rocks and such so be prepared to have a dirty dress by the end of the night. It was totally worth it. We wanted to take a few on the dock and ran over there too.

        Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.
        Click the image to open in full size.

        The reason I wanted to mention pics again here is because a lot of gals have gone back and forth on sunset pictures and such. Here’s my opinion about that at Dreams: shoot for a few but otherwise, try and get daylight shots. The pics from the daytime are SO much more beautiful. The sun doesn’t set over the beach so you can’t really get the shots you are probably imagining. Like I said, our group pics were in the dark and I would have MUCH RATHER had them in the daytime. If I could go back, I would have had the photog come for pics at 2:00, wedding at 3:00, pics for at least an hour and a half to two hours after the ceremony and then the reception. We were rushing, rushing, rushing with the group shots because it was so dark. (This was in Nov, these times all shift based on time of year of course.). I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't try and get sunset shots at the expense of other shots (such as group) because in my opinion, a few are good but not that spectacular given the way the sun sets at Dreams Cancun.

        Here’s an example of sunset—this is probably no later than 4:30 and this is us walking back down the aisle after the ceremony took place.
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        Here’s another sunset one:
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        Bridal party 'in the dark'
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        Click the image to open in full size.

        Reception – A- then A+
        We swapped the cocktail hour for more people covered for dinner. Because there is a bar right there in the towers lobby, the only thing missing was appetizers. The reception is hard to give a review on because I don’t want any of it to sound negative but here goes: we had our reception in the tower lobby as opposed to out on the terrace because we thought it would be too windy to eat on. The food was fantastic. We had Rum Butter Jerk Chicken (Delicious), filet mignon (don’t eat steak but everyone raved), and salmon (delicious). We didn’t order centerpieces but there were vases with sand and shells in them—they were pretty, glad we didn’t pay for anything. Everything was really, really good. Our waiters were awesome, especially Luis. Here we are taking a shot (the rest of these pics are non-pro):
        Click the image to open in full size.

        Here is why the reception starts with a A-. It was tricky to get the right vibe going. We tried to quasi-move out to the terrace with our ipod docking station but some people left to change and people were just slow to start (I think because the majority were severely hung over). I can see how you can have a grand ol time but for some reason, it just wasn’t completely working for us there. It wasn’t bad by any means, it just wasn’t as fun as it could have been—or actually, we just couldn’t stay there all night and it was time to move on. The major thing that would have helped with the vibe was if we had a DJ. We opted not to because they are insanely expensive and I can’t say I’d have one if we were to do it over again because we had such a fun time. But, if there is any one on the fence and you can afford it, I’d go for the DJ (if you have a bigger, party-prone group). Also, if you are worried about the wind like we were, I would do dinner inside the lobby but with the doors open and have the reception kind of half out/half in. Have the DJ set up outside.

        Anyhoo, we moved to the hotel lobby bar and it was off the chain fun. We had a blast all night. They had live music but our friend had his little docking station he took everywhere and we had that out on the patio and had our own dance party. For some reason, the bar/more people thing helped the reception to be what we expected. By the end of the night we were partying in my brothers room with gallons of room service, then to the ocean until the safari hunters kicked us out (the staff wear little safari hats and were always out to get us when we were getting in to trouble so that’s what we named them) and then back to the hot tub. SO FUN.

        This is when we moved to the lobby patio. I had lots of gals in the crowd that need to get hitched so I threw five of the bridesmaid bouquets strategically—okay, I actually threw fast pitches straight for their heads. These were the lucky winners (I changed at this point in to a black hussie dress, I wasn’t hot but I was ready to be comfortable):
        Click the image to open in full size.

        Bridesmaid booty- just a super cute pic:
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        #4 Samantha S

        Samantha S
        • Jr. Member
        • 369 posts

          Posted 22 December 2008 - 05:30 AM

          Some of the crew in the lobby bar:
          Click the image to open in full size.

          Hmmm, as far as tips-- we tipped throughout the week to servers-- my husband is a tip-aholic. We gave Gaby about $70, the two bartenders and two servers at the reception $25 each and the videographer $20.

          I can’t think of anything else so let me know if you have questions. In short, it was spectacular and my only lessons learned for you future DC brides is: don't over hairspray your hair (bangs in particular) , start your photography and wedding early enough and maybe make a few tweaks to get the reception vibe to match your group vibe. My last word of advice, don't be sad if losers Heidi and Spencer from the hills have their fake wedding on the same day as yours! Ha!

          Thanks everyone SO much for helping me plan—there is no way we would have had the perfect time we had without the forum. I am very indebted. Happy Holidays!!

          #5 MarieSam

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            Posted 22 December 2008 - 06:21 AM

            Ok so how freaking gorgeous are you?? Girl, you looked fabulous, and your dress is to die for ~ I LOVE the sexiness of the back and elegance of the bottom layers!!!! It seems like you had such a fun group, the mustaches and speedos, hehehe. And I LOVE your BMs tactics to make you stop getting teary-eyed ~ ya gotta love the creativity I definitely wanna see more pics, and yes please share your video if you can!!! Congrats on what looked like a day of bliss and many blessings for lifelong joy and happiness!!!!

            #6 ErikDaGenErik

            • Jr. Member
            • 315 posts

              Posted 22 December 2008 - 06:25 AM

              what a fun review! i like your dress. is that melissa sweet?

              #7 Carolyn

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                Posted 22 December 2008 - 10:05 AM

                Welcome home and Congrats. Great review.

                #8 Sloan

                • Sr. Member
                • 1,279 posts

                  Posted 22 December 2008 - 10:08 AM

                  Great review! I love your BM dresses! Pics are awesome, looks like everyone had a killer time. I hope my wedding is half as fun! Congrats!

                  #9 tylersgirl

                  • Sr. Member
                  • 1,681 posts

                    Posted 22 December 2008 - 10:31 AM

                    Beautiful pics!!! I love your dress and your BM's dresses!!! The picture by the lighthouse is breathtaking

                    #10 KatyKo

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                    • 851 posts

                      Posted 22 December 2008 - 11:13 AM

                      Great review. Beautiful pictures! :)

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