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Review of my Catholic Wedding - Dec. 6, 2008 Iberostar Paraiso del Mar


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#1 Anna26

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    Posted 14 January 2009 - 01:10 PM

    Hello All,

    I wanted to post a review of my wedding that took place on Saturday, Dec. 6th at the Iberostar Paraiso del Mar to share all of my experiences with you. This forum has provided so much useful advice to me during my wedding planning and I would like to return the favor.

    We had a Catholic wedding (in English) that was attended by 39 guests (from US and Europe). We had a private reception (at the Tropical Restaurant). To sum up our wedding/resort experiences, I will say that we had the most wonderful time. All of our guests loved the resort and had an amazing time. My husband and I are still talking about it. We keep on going over all the little things that took place during our stay/wedding. It was all so great and I would recommend destination weddings/Ibersotar resort to anyone.

    Here are the details:
    We arrived at Iberostar Paraiso del Mar on Dec. 3. Flight and check-in at the resort went very smoothly. We received an upgrade to an ocean view junior suite. All the rooms at the resort were very nice. Some of our guests stayed at IB Lindo, and said that their rooms were about the same size as IB Del Mar.

    The next day we met with the wedding coordinator (Gabriela) to go over all the details. She is extremely nice and very well organized. The meeting went very smoothly. However even though we went though the details (like flower colors and chapel decorations) certain things were not done the way we wanted. Not sure why, and when we asked the wedding coordinator about it she didn’t know either. I am not saying that flowers or decorations looked bad. They looked very nice, just not what we agreed on. I wasn’t bothered by it very much, but if you are a type of person that has to have things done exactly the way you want, I’m not sure if this is for you. I just wanted to make sure that you are all aware of that.

    We had our Welcome Dinner on Thursday at 8:30 in the Japanese restaurant (very similar to a Benihana Restaurant in USA). The food was very good and it was a cute show from the person making the food. Everybody really enjoyed it. I would recommend this restaurant for a welcome dinner as it is fun and the food was great (tepanaki style chicken, shrimp and beef with a sushi appetizer).

    The day before our wedding (Friday) we took all of our guests on a Catamaran Sunset Cruise with Snorkeling (everyone except a few people that didn’t want to go due to being sea sick). It was overall a nice experience; however we were a bit disappointed because the crew did not bring snorkeling gear (as they were supposed to). When we asked for it they were playing “dumb” as if they did not know that they were supposed to bring it. It was all stated in our contract. Also, per our contract we were supposed to have a specific boat, but they took us on a different (smaller and older) boat.
    The owner of the company is so far not addressing these issues to our liking. Therefore I would not recommend this company (Cancun Catamaran) for your catamaran cruise.


    The wedding day:
    I had a hair/makeup appointment at 10am. The lady (Karen) did my hair and it turned out great. I wanted my hair down with loose curls. I loved how it turned out. She then proceeded to do my make up. When she was about 75% done, I asked her to stop because it looked very bad. The eyeliner was uneven (some parts thinner, others thicker), the mascara was so clumpy (tarantula eyes) and the eye shadow was not right either. Overall, to be completely honest, it looked like a 5 year old did my make-up. I was very disappointed. I took it off at the salon and did my own make up there. This is the only thing I would change about my whole wedding experience. I would either hire someone I knew to do my make-up or just decided to do my make-up myself from the very beginning. It was a small stress, but I wish that the resort had a good makeup artist (especially since they charge almost $100 for it). I was done with hair/makeup around 1pm.

    We had one of the bell boys pick me (and bridesmaids) up from the spa and we went to my room to get ready (the groom and the groomsmen were getting ready in the room next door).

    The photographer (Erick from Claudia Photography) came at around 2:30. We decided to take some pictures on the beach before the ceremony since the sun goes down around 5pm that time of year). The photographer also took pictures of the guests before the ceremony. I cannot comment on this photographer yet as I have not seen the photos, but I will as soon as they arrive. We had to pay $300 penalty fee to the resort photographer in order for an “outside” photographer to photograph our wedding, but I think it was well worth it. We did use the resort videographer and had our wedding video ready 4 days after our wedding. It includes the ceremony and part of the reception (cake cutting and first dance). The quality is very poor (but worth the $295).

    Ceremony took place at 4pm. It was great! The priest was very nice and spoke pretty good English. He was very friendly and personable. He also came back later for the reception. It was nice having him there.

    Cocktail Hour (6-7 pm): took place in front of the Tropical restaurant. We got the DJ from the resort ($50/hr) and a cigar roller ($7 per cigar). The cigar roller was a huge hit with all the guests! We had appetizers and drinks served. My husband and I were going around the resort with the photographer and taking pictures at that time therefore I did not try the appetizers and cannot comment on it. The DJ had a pretty good variety of music, but did not speak good English. One of the groomsmen speaks Spanish therefore, he was doing all the communicating with the DJ.

    Reception (7 – 11pm): We had a private reception with the resort DJ at the Tropical Restaurant. Beef tenderloin and grouper were served at the reception. Both entrees were very good. The appetizer buffet was great as well.
    The wedding coordinator did a great job decorating the restaurant. It looked very nice. We had a great time dancing and having fun with our guests.

    Overall, we had the most wonderful time and so many amazing memories. We will surely visit this resort many more times on our anniversaries and vacations. Some of the guests are already talking about going with us next year because they had so much fun. A lot of them even told us that “this was the best wedding that they ever attended”. We definitely agree on this!!! The resort is beautiful, filled with exotic animals/birds and plants. The food is great and so it the service.

    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

    Anna

    #2 Sapphire723

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      Posted 14 January 2009 - 01:33 PM

      They set up the dancing in the restaurant? How did that go?

      And how much was it for your private reception? Did they give you a refund on the make up since you made them stop?

      I'm glad you had an awesome time. Congrats, MRS!

      #3 MomentsThatMatter

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        Posted 14 January 2009 - 01:48 PM

        Fantastic review! We are going to start to have our brides write an blurb just like this for future brides.
        Good job... thanks for sharing all that information.
        Lincoln & Lori @ Moments that Matter Photography
        Playa Del Carmen Wedding Photographers - Mexico - Cancun - & Mayan Riviera
        Web: http://momentsthatmatterphotography.com/
        Blog: http://momentsthatmatterphotography.com/blog/
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        #4 ~*Kathy*~

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          Posted 14 January 2009 - 01:50 PM

          Anna,

          Thanks so much for your review, it has been very helpful and I'm so glad to hear that Gabriela is just as nice in person as she is in her emails, I'm excited to meet her! :) Can't wait to see your pics!

          #5 Anna26

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            Posted 14 January 2009 - 02:11 PM

            Quote:
            Originally Posted by Sapphire723
            They set up the dancing in the restaurant? How did that go?

            And how much was it for your private reception? Did they give you a refund on the make up since you made them stop?

            I'm glad you had an awesome time. Congrats, MRS!

            Hi,
            To answer your questions, since we had the restaurant all to ourselves, they set up tables along the walls and the whole center was the dance floor. It worked our really well. We paid $800 to rent the restaurant.

            Yes, I did get a refund for the make-up.

            If you have any other questions, please let me know.


            Anna

            #6 Jen_S

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              Posted 14 January 2009 - 02:31 PM

              Congrats what a great review I am sure this will help other couples. Sorry about your makeup glad they gave you a refund. Picts lets see some picts!!!
              Our Honeymoon In Ireland!!

              #7 Sapphire723

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                Posted 14 January 2009 - 03:09 PM

                Oooh, Thanks for your response. Did you have to pay per plate too or just the flat rental fee?

                #8 Anna26

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                  Posted 14 January 2009 - 08:14 PM

                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by Sapphire723
                  Oooh, Thanks for your response. Did you have to pay per plate too or just the flat rental fee?
                  Yes, we had to pay per plate as well. I think it was either $12 or $18 per person (but the first 10 plates were already included).

                  I will try to post some pictures that my family/friends took soon, but I am having problems with that.

                  #9 Sapphire723

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                    Posted 15 January 2009 - 05:23 PM

                    Can't wait for the pictures!

                    #10 SonMgn24

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                      Posted 15 January 2009 - 05:40 PM

                      Thanks for the great review




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