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~Kate~

My wedding review of Playa Fiesta Beachclub and Resort

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Our wedding at Playa Fiesta was amazing and the whole week was the week of a lifetime!! Iâ€ll try to give a detailed review, but please feel free to ask questions!

 

RESORT – Playa Fiesta

Playa Fiesta is beautiful. For a very realistic description of the resort itself, see the TripAdvisor reviews (PF is ranked #1 resort in Puerto Vallarta). Iâ€ll keep this review focused on the wedding services. Hereâ€s a few pics of the place:

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

 

Staff and service: The staff and service at PF are probably the best part of the resort. They will, quite literally, do anything to make you happy. The staff learn your guests†names on the first day, and theyâ€ll find themselves supplied with their favourite drink without even asking. Positive comments on the service and staff were the most common we received from our guests.

 

Food: Breakfast is included in your package and is a full breakfast buffet with made-to-order eggs every morning. The day after the wedding, we had a post-wedding brunch that was absolutely amazing. A lot of our guests ordered the resort food for lunches and it was consistently excellent and quite well-priced.

 

We did 3 dinner buffets throughout the week– the food was excellent every night. We also did a Mexican coffee one night (coffee with liquor and whipped cream, lit afire!), Mexican fried ice cream one night (to die for), and a cupcake table on rehearsal night. Our guests loved it all.

 

The wedding night, we did a 5 course plated dinner that was, by far, the food highlight of the week, which is saying a lot. I am a big fan of plated dinners at weddings – to me, it just lends a certain elegance that I really like. Plus, since we did buffets the other nights, we wanted the wedding night to stand out. I am very happy with this decision – we had guests tell us that they were full after the pasta course but the rest was just too good not to eat. It was about $40 per plate.

 

Bar: Open bar until 11pm is included on all nights except the wedding. This includes everything except top shelf stuff (Crown, Baileys, Absolut). On the wedding night, we did 5 hours open bar followed by consumption until about 12:45am (so about 7 hours total bar provided to the guests). Again, we just did national open bar rather than premium. The bar was a major line on our budget (it was $10/person/hr).

 

To make the wedding day special, we did signature drinks (bright blue – one of our wedding colours) during cocktail hour and had wine served during dinner. Also, the bartenders (Charlie and Aldo) put all these shot glasses in the shape of our initials, which was pretty cool looking.

 

Hairstylists: We had our hair done by the hairstylists provided by the resort and were VERY happy. I had a trial when I arrived at the resort, and it was even more perfect on the wedding day. Bring pictures with you since their English is not that good. My Mom was the only one who had her makeup done by them, so I canâ€t say much on the makeup, but she loved it and it looked really good on her.

 

Flowers: I had provided a picture of what I wanted to Lindsay and her florist did a fantastic job. My flowers were beautiful. For centrepieces, all I did was have the large pillar candles that you can order from Lindsay plus rose petals on the table. It looked great and lent a beautiful ambiance. If youâ€re looking to save money, this is one step I highly recommend.

 

Fireworks: We did the small package of fireworks and they were a HUGE HIT. I canâ€t recommend them enough, but definitely keep it a surprise for your guests. Mid-reception, we stood on an island in the small pool to give our “Thank You†speech. At the end of the speech, we gave a code word and the fireworks and music began….breathtaking. They usually use “Thunderstruck†by ACDC, but we used “Let Me Entertain You†by Robbie Williams and it worked like it was made to be.

 

Salsa dancing, fire jugglers, and mariachis: As entertainment, after our welcome dinner we had fire dancers and jugglers. They were pretty good and got the party going….although the guy dropped his flaming sticks a bunch of times . The 3 piece mariachi band we had during dinner another night was fantastic – I would totally recommend them! Finally, on our rehearsal dinner we had Victor, the salsa dance instructor. He was hilarious – I loved it! Not everyone was into it, but the vast majority of our guests were up dancing.

 

Price: Playa Fiesta weddings are not cheap. You are paying for privacy and the ability to completely customize your ceremony and reception. It is midway between most villas and an AI, from my basic knowledge, although Iâ€m sure there are lots of exceptions to this. If youâ€re considering a wedding at PF, get Adam (the owner) to send you his budget worksheet so you can get an idea of how much it will cost you.

 

Takeovers: You need to commit to a partial (20 rooms) or full takeover (30 rooms) for a wedding at PF. If you donâ€t fill them, youâ€re on the hook for the empty room space. This was our ONE major stress during the wedding planning and, from other PF brides Iâ€ve spoken to, it is the most common stressor. I would suggest getting as good an idea of how many guests youâ€ll have before booking as possible, and count on a few cancellations, before you make your decision.

 

My ONE negative: I will mention one negative that slightly took away from our experience. We had booked 2/3 of the rooms at the resort, and a few rooms were taken by outside guests who arrived on our wedding day. During our wedding reception, one of the outside couples came down to use the pool and deck area that we had exclusively reserved for our wedding….and made out in the hot tub.

 

At first, I was pretty disappointed and wondered how this could have happened after paying for a private reception and being guaranteed privacy. After over a year of meticulously planning every detail of our wedding (I might be a little A type), it saddened me that this had happened. When we picked a wedding hotel, we had as our top priority being able to offer an exclusive event to our guests, and this was paramount in our decision to use Playa Fiesta.

 

However, Adam and Lindsay both apologized profusely for the intrusion of the outside guests at our reception, explaining that they had spoken to these guests earlier in the night when they wanted to come down to the reception area and had made it clear that it was a private event. Furthermore, the correspondence between the guests and the resort was very clear that the reception area was off-limits after 4pm on the wedding day. As such, I think the resort did everything they could to prevent this from happening.

 

Future brides, I would not let this dissuade you from considering Playa Fiesta – by all accounts, this has never happened before and I doubt it is likely to ever happen again – I can only imaging that the vast majority of outside guests would respect the fact that this is your wedding and would not intrude. Keep in mind that all outside guests must agree to the “private wedding event†policy on their reservations.

 

Anyway, it wasnâ€t as big a deal as I thought at first and I bet Iâ€m the only one who was really bothered, or perhaps who really noticed.

 

Overall, this was the best week of our lives, and I will forever thank Playa Fiesta and its staff for making our dream wedding a reality. Still more below...

 

The ceremony site:

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Hereâ€s a link to our first dance….it was fun! You can see the set-up of the reception site: YouTube - Our First Dance movie

 

WEDDING COORDINATOR – Lindsay Burgess – A+

Lindsay is the perfect wedding coordinator. She is very organized, responds to emails within minutes, and really seems to love her job. During the year prior to the wedding, I had many questions for Lindsay and could rely on an extremely prompt and professional response. She has great excel sheets where you just fill in the blanks, which kept me very organized, but at the same time she is open to your own ideas and really works to make your vision come true.

 

I was concerned at first about using a coordinator who works for the resort and who is married to the owner, thinking that she might try to sell me on unnecessary extras. However, this fear was unfounded – when I needed to trim my budget on certain items, she carefully went over everything and gave me some very helpful suggestions.

 

We had written our own ceremony that included some unique elements, which Lindsay totally took in stride - she ran our rehearsal perfectly, and everyone felt very comfortable with what they were doing. I didnâ€t worry about a thing on the wedding day, because I knew she had everything under control.

 

Lindsay is worth every penny of her coordination fee. Of our resort expenses, she was our best investment.

 

DJ – Aldo – A+

Aldo is a bartender at Playa Fiesta during the week and the DJ on the day of the wedding. We had brought our own music for before the ceremony, the processional/recessional, our first dance, and some must plays – all of which he used perfectly. I just gave him the music and he took care of everything. He had everyone dancing all night.

 

During our reception dinner, he played nice soft dinner music. We had a wireless mic and people kept going up to answer questions that were part of our “kissing gameâ€. He must have just sat by the stereo all night, because as soon as someone got up to go to the mic, he would turn down the music. Also, one of the questions was “What song is DHâ€s signature song on Rock Band?†– when the person answered “Creep by Radiohead†and called up DH to do a rendition, within a few seconds, Aldo had the song going on the sound system.

 

Aldo also DJâ€ed during our group salsa lessons on our rehearsal night and was fantastic. Because he had been there during the week as a bartender, he knew everyoneâ€s name, which made it much more special.

 

EL EDEN ZIP-LINE TOUR:

Our one organized event was the El Eden Zip-Line Tour…almost half of our guests did it and had a fantastic time. The bus (an open air bus that had about twice as many people on it as should have been!) picked us up at the resort and trucked us off to the zip-line place that was 25 minutes away. We did 12 zip-lines each and stopped for a tequila tasting on the way home. Overall, we were out for almost 5 hours…not a bad deal for $55pp!

 

The front desk will arrange any activities for you, but I would recommend pre-booking the zip-line if you want to go, since the pre-booking rate is so much better than the regular rate. Other members of our group golfed and went deep sea fishing, both of which were very successful excursions.

 

PHOTOGRAPHER – Michelle Turner

Michelleâ€s work speaks for itself. I havenâ€t received any pictures back, so I canâ€t comment on our pictures, but there were two things I really appreciated about Michelle: one, she does so much work in PV and at PF that she knows all the great spots for photos, both in town and around the resort; and two, she was so easy to work with and non-intrusive that we hardly noticed she was there – she just blended in around the ceremony and reception. She is a high-end photographer ($$) but has special pricing for PF since she does so much work there. Iâ€ll update this after Iâ€ve received some pics.

 

A few pics to end:

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

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Wow! Great review Kate. Playa Fiesta sounds amazing. If I had known about this last summer who knows, I think I definitely would have considered it as an option!

 

Congrats! Can't wait to see more pics :)

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Sounds like you had a wonderful day! And, I'm glad you didn't let the rude outside guests ruin your day. You looked beautiful by the way, I can't wait to see the rest of your pics cheers.gif

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Wow Kate, love your review. (Of coarse!)

And love love your first dance. Bill and I watched it... it was so fun to see it in the same spot as we had ours a few weeks earlier, although we now feel we should have stepped it up a notch, ha!

 

So glad you had such a great experience. Congrats!

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I still have tears in my eyes from laughing as I watched your first dance video. It was hysterical, and I loved it!!! You two seem like such a fun couple. :)

 

Thanks for posting a new PF review! I can't wait to see all of your gorgeous pics! HINT HINT! I'm especially glad you liked the hair person. It's the one thing I worry about.

 

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

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