Cali Dreams Cancun wedding w/ tons of pics
Posted 13 January 2009 - 07:08 PM
I finally have enough time to write down my long wedding review...I will be trying to upload the rest of my pictures....maybe tommorrow
Our flight was very comfortable and we left on Tuesday the 11th, Custom went smoothly at the airport. I will recommend to book your transportation before leaving the state since it can be somewhat confusing with the many timeshares representative. There are two ways you can get to the strip in Cancun by shuttle about $9 each one way or by private taxi which will cost about $43.00 to $45.00. The only bad thing about the shuttle is that you will have to wait until the shuttle gets full in order to leave the airport. Ivan decided we should take the private taxi it cost us about $45.00 in total, I thought it was very expensive but we had no other choice since this was the first time in Cancun and we didn't want to wait...oh well..it took us about 25 min to get to Dreams Cancun and Spa.
Dreams Cancun and Spa.....A+
We fell in love with Dreams at first glance. The grounds are very clean and everyone is very attentive to your needs. They clean your room twice day one in the morning and one in the evening. I thought all the restaurants were really great and the room service was fabulous. My room was ready at 1pm and the room was very spacious and beautiful. We booked the ocean view and dolphin room in the pyramid building. I thought the room was very comfortable and the whole resort is very beautiful. The tower is somewhat further away from everything. I had 2 guest who requested to be close to the reception since they were handicap however Dreams UPGARDE them and place them in the tower. I felt really bad since they had a difficult time getting around the premises. They stay in the tower for about two days and then switch to the pyramid building on the 3rd floor overlooking the ocean. But beware this room has an ant problem and later that week it got so bad they ask to fumigate the room. Other then that, the pyramid building was very beautiful and I my self did not have these problems. Can't really comment on the tower but I think it must be as beautiful as the pyramid building only newer. I had about 16 people in total and about seven rooms that were booked in the pyramid building other then one room having ant, the rest of my guest loved, love their room.
Claudia email Communication….. C
Claudia is really a nice person and I think she does her job kind of well, I just think she need more help. The communication between us before the wedding was not that good. Some days I will have to wait for about two weeks to get an answer back or I had to call various time to Cancun in order to get in touch with her. This was very frustrating to me and my husband, I just felt since the resort caters to so many wedding they should really have about 3 to 4 wedding coordinators. I was going crazy with all the unanswered email..GRRR. I know she really overwhelm and busy with all the other weddings, however I really think they should hire more people to help her. Two persons are not enough!!! When I booked the date it was a constant back and forth trying to get in touch with her, as everyone know wedding days book really fast. I think I had a couple of mini meltdowns, this past 2 year ½. Well some days she would email me really quick and answer all the questions I asked her. Those days were great!!! When I did get in touch with her she was really polite and tried to help me as much as she can over the phone.
The last email I email Claudia was (about 1 month ago from Nov. 14) when I was attempting to established the menu selection; to make a long story short I was unable to finish my DIY menus since she never called me back.
As soon as we got to Dreams I met with Claudia within 45min later. Before leaving NJ, I printed every email she sent me. When we met she had a small folder with various papers and email we both sent each other. At first she seems very helpful and knowledgeable about setting up for the wedding. This meeting took about 3 hours since we had to go over everything. She gave me a credit for the video and photos I wasn’t going to use. I added extra rose petals, more decoration in the gazebo, lights for the table for the reception and the sound system for the ceremony. I had some credit left over and I wanted to get a bigger cake in the amount of $140 to $160 ( I can’t really remember the exact price) however she fail to mention that I had a credit about $160, If I didn’t do the calculation my self she would have not brought it up. HMMM fishy…
Advise: so bring your calculator and know what you are paying for before your first initial meeting. Also print all your emails
When I was selecting Dreams for the wedding about 2 yrs ago, I made it clear to Claudia that some of my guest were allergic to seafood, and she offer my guest an option from Chicken or Surf n Turf dish. I thought that was really nice of her. The rest of the week I did not get in touch with Claudia until Thursday for the wedding rehearsal. The wedding rehearsal went really fast and easy. Around 5:30 it got really dark by the gazebo and we were unable to take pictures or video. At the rehearsal she asked me how many of my guest was having chicken or shrimp combination, since she would need the selection in order to give the chef before hand. Claudia also accommodated one of Ivan’s cousins who is a vegetarian and gave her only pasta with vegetable. So far I felt I was in good hands with Claudia and I got the chance to relax a little before the wedding. I felt at this moment she was trying to help me with what ever I asked her, so I dropped my guard regarding the wedding. For the welcome dinner/rehearsal dinner, we ate at the world cafe since it was the only restaurant that can cater 17 people and it was buffet style, it worked fine. I really love the World caf© but at the end of the trip the food got little reparative. I past out my welcome bags to all my guest during this time. I had extra bags so I decided to give each guest one bag.
Hair and make-up- B
The make up was okay and the hair came out really pretty but it took a long time. Also one of my bridesmaid just told be the Spa charge her $40.00 for 5 curls. The reason for this was because they didn’t have time to finish her hair since the wedding started a 4. I really think they should of charge her a different price since it was their fault the hair/make-up took so long, that why I gave them a B
Ceremony d©cor and ceremony…A+ and A
During the wedding rehearsal, I spoke with Claudia regarding the centerpiece I bought from NJ and showed her various picture. She told me to get them ready and she will pick the up around 4pm on the wedding day. I felt good up to this point; she kept telling everything will come out fine. On the wedding day, I woke up around 6:00 in the morning and tried finishing the centerpiece. My bridesmaids and I order breakfast and we just tried to relax knowing this was going to be long day. The night before I called the reception area and asked if I was going to get another room for the groom, unfortunately the hotel was completely booked. On the wedding day I called Claudia, and asked if she could call someone to fix my room since I will be taking pictures in this room. The lady was really nice and she tried fixing the room as much as she could. I had an appt at 12:00 to get my hair done and unfortunately I was unable to schedule an appt to get my nails done since there are only two girls who apparently can only do hair and nails. At this moment both girls where doing the hair for my bridal party (5 girls with long, thick hair and including me) Since I have really long hair it took them about 3 hours to do my hair
By the time I finished, the hair and makeup it was 3pm. Up to this point I started freaking out, since the wedding is @ 4pm….AHHHH… well I ran to my room and My mother/sister helped me get ready. Some of my bridesmaids were still finishing doing their hair; I just called the salon and asked them to meet us @ the gazebo. By this time the photographer and video-grapher were taking pictures and video footage in my room. I didn’t get to meet the videographer until that moment but so far everything was flying somewhat smoothly. I almost forgot to mention Claudia did not call me once that day….I was the one who called her. I just felt she wasn’t there for me. She didn’t even check in to see how I wanted the table to look like and if I need anything else. I had to give my friend some decoration for the ceremony to give to Claudia. I gave her the fans and the sand ceremony bottles when they got to the gazebo, she was not around. My friend had to literally place all the fans on the chair and finally Claudia strolled in around 3:50 note, the wedding ceremony start at 4. Well the girls gave her all the decoration in a red luggage and I hope for the best. The wedding started at 4:10 and I’m glad I made the fans, it just gave a special touch to the ceremony. The lady who married us was not dress professional, she also had a black book filled with papers, it look very disorganized. She spoke very softly and none of my guest could here her speak even with the microphone. (this is why I gave the ceremony a A instead of a A+)
1.If you are planning to have your wedding in Nov, please start the ceremony at 2:30 or 3:00 in the afternoon. The reason was because at 4:30, the sun was already setting down. We were so concern with taking pictures that I think we rush my friend the photographer and video guy.
2.please, Pls try giving all the decoration to Claudia a day before or really in the morning because sometime she just disappears and no one can get in touch with her…(grrrr)
Con: there were still a lot of people in the small VIP pool and some picture have random stranger in them, that about it. I really didn’t find the gazebo that windy, it was really refreshing, but hey I was really nervous and the wind was not my biggest concern to me at that moment.
The reason I gave the cocktail an A instead of a A+ was because around 5, it was really really dark. I spoke to Claudia regarding having additional lighting, the day before but at this moment I was unable to locate her. (GRR)
I did get to mingle a little with my guests during the cocktail and eat some of the food. Everyone really like all the food I pick out for the cocktail. For our initial meeting I ask Claudia if I can have all hot appetizers instead of cold appetizers. She said that was fine but I only could pick 4 hot. After a couple of tries I ask if she could throw an extra appetizer, she let me pick and choose 5 items for the cocktail. (that was really nice of her and she did not charge me for this )
1. Tempura shrimp satay
2. chicken fingers, guacamole, salsa pico de gallo & totopos
3.beef roll stuffed with vegetable
4. stuffed baby potatoes with bacon rogut, onion & prosciutto
5.beef kebobs with chimichurri mix of olive oil with garlic basil
Before the ceremony, I asked my sister and my best friend if they can sacrifice a little of the cocktail time and just look in at the reception area and see if she got the room the way I wanted. When they got there she was still fixing up the spa terrace and everything appeared nice. However I made 7 Luminaries bags for the fountain and she refuse to put them up because it was too windy. They told her if we anchor it with sand the bags would stay, she said she had no sand (the beach is not even 10 steps away). My friend had to go the beach gets some sand in a bucket, she then started filling up the luminaries bag and placing them by the fountain…FYI Claudia the bags did stay in place for the rest of the night. She also promises me lights underneath the tables and tikki torches. When my little helpers got there they had to tell her that the room was too dark. Finally she comply and place light on the table but no tikki torches. I also asked her I would need about 4 small tables for the cake, candy table, favors, photo album. She only gave me 3 really small tables and I felt everything was really squeezed in, it made the tables look really cluttered. It was also so dark that we where unable to sign the DIY photo album paper. They kept telling Claudia the room was somewhat dark but she just turn around and left. My sister had to finish decorating the room. My helpers told me the next day, that room was already set-up when they got there however it was set-up really not to my full expectation. They had to finish placing the special touches to the table and fixing the centerpieces.
Menu selection (gold menu)
grilled shrimps & mushrooms salad on red cabbage & quail eggs
lobster bisque soup
duo dreams (shrimp & steak marinated with port wine but instead of fine herbs, mushroom ragout and lime risott I would like the side with gratin potatoes and steamed vegetable
or Chicken breast stuffed with spinach & prorolone cheese served with smash potatoes pest wine sauce with saffron
(as per previous email I asked you some of my guest are allergic to seafood)
The surf n turf combination was REALLY good. I tried the chicken combination and it taste okay. Everyone raved about the Bella Alaska dessert. I felt the reception was somewhat rush. The location was beautiful. I’m glad I had the reception at the spa since it was very private compare to the terrace.
The DJ- C- DJ Mannia
Before going to Cancun, I emailed him a list of all the songs we like him to play not sure if this helped him well he said it was under control.
Most of my guests were in their late 20’s so we definite like different type of music.
My family is Colombian, of course they wanted to hear Spanish music. So my mother bought some Colombian salsa CD, I think there were about three CD in total. I asked him if could play random songs from the CDs for about 30 minutes and then switch it up to American music (hip-hop, reggae, freestyle, pop, etc), but after awhile he just kept playing Spanish music. My family is Hispanic and obviously they wanted to hear Spanish music, but even they got tired of just listening to the same type of music. We kept telling him and he’d agree to whatever we asked for, but never play it. I just felt so frustrated with the DJ. The DJ had all his music on his laptop and by this time I completely blank out and couldn’t remember any musician or their songs. So I asked him to show me some of name of the songs maybe I’ll remember but he told be he couldn’t show me. I just felt that he really wasn’t that great. I paid $750 for 5 hours, however we only used him for 4 hrs since the manager from DREAM were telling me it was time to end the celebration. One of my biggest regret was hiring a DJ, and I should of just brought my IPOD. Oh Well
My advice, take current and favorite songs on CD’s and an IPod.
Videographer.. A (I forgot the video guy name)
(we used the videographer from Dreams)
Well the reason I gave the videograper an A instead of A+ was because the first DVD came with some weird side affects. I spoke with a technician he told me that the DVD had editing problems, by this time I started freaking out since we paid about $990.00 for this video. Well I spoke to Claudia regarding this matter and she assured me everything will get fix and I will receive my video in about 5 days, from Nov 20, 2008. Well by December 20 we still have not received any video, or a phone call, nothing. My husband got really annoyed and spoke with the manager from Dream. We finally got in contact with Claudia; she advised him the video should get there in about 3 days. All she told him was that they had technical problems; if they would of call us regarding this matter we wouldn’t be so upset.
We loved the video, I’m so glad we upgraded to a bigger video package. At the wedding the video guy made me feel very comfortable and he was very professional. We were very impressed with his work…..
I order my flowers from http://fleurspermail...e_contactus.php
I paid about for the Bride Bouquet $80.00 and 4 bridesmaid bouquets $35 each,
A total of $ 220 US. The flowers turned out so beautiful and they look very natural. Their email response was fabulously and fast. They were very professional, had many great advice and example to offer. Can’t really say anything bad about this company, they exceed my expectation regarded shopping online which can be crazy. Everyone thought my flowers were real even my photographer.
Posted 13 January 2009 - 08:36 PM
Posted 13 January 2009 - 09:30 PM
Posted 14 January 2009 - 11:16 AM
| Originally Posted by quackquack |
thanks for review! What photographer did you use? What time did your wedding end?
The ceremony started @ 4:10 - 4:40
Group Pic from 4:40 to 5:10
Cocktail from 5:20 - 6:20
Reception started about 6:30 or 6:40 and ended around 9:40 to 10pm
Posted 14 January 2009 - 11:34 AM
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