Andi's LONG Las Caletas Review - 04/24/09 - With Non-Pro Pics!
Posted 07 May 2009 - 12:30 AM
Here is my bottom lineâ€¦Las Caletas is truly an amazing place and I would recommend anyone looking into it for their wedding to book it! Also Nicole is just OUTSTANDINGâ€¦seriously, I could never thank her enough for everything that she did for us!
I have decided to do my review a bit differently. First I will tell about things that I wish I would have done differently, then I will go into full details about the wedding day....so grab a snack...this is gonna be long
***Please note thoughâ€¦none of these things that I wish had gone differently are due to anything that Nicole or the Vallarta Adventures staff did not do as requested or up to parâ€¦these are all things that were really my fault or things that I just didnâ€™t plan out properly***
â€¢IPod Reception â€“ ok so we wanted to save a few $$$ and just use the ipod connection at Caletas. A few weeks before the wedding I spent HOURS on playlists and downloading music. On my Itunes at home I had the playlists broke out very nicely (processional song, cocktail hour, dinner, dancing music, first dance songs, etc. etc.) I wanted to make it as easy as possible for the staff at Vallarta Adventures to play the music we wanted. So we downloaded the music onto both Reggieâ€™s ipod and my ipod the night before we left. That was my mistakeâ€¦ I never actually checked the ipods to make sure the music downloaded properly. So we get to LC and my ipod is dead and reggieâ€™s wasnâ€™t displaying the song lists properlyâ€¦all songs were in one big â€œweddingâ€ folder. So the problem with this is that if we just put the ipod on shuffle, a crazy dancing song might have come on during dinner. I got frustrated at myself and Nicole told me they had a charger in the office and would charge my ipod to see if the playlists loaded on there.
After that convo with Nicole EARLY in the afternoon I never heard anything else about my screwed up playlists. Come time for the ceremony and my dad and I are walking down the stairsâ€¦I hear all the songs I was suppose toâ€¦somewhere over the rainbow, then the bridal march and right after our first kiss was â€œIâ€™m a Believerâ€ . I thought wowâ€¦Nicole fixed my ipod! So then cocktail hour goes on and I start hearing songs that were not on my playlistsâ€¦not really a big deal, I just noticed it. So I asked Nicole what happened with the ipod. Well turns out that my playlists DID NOT transfer from itunes to the ipod and one of the staff from Vallarta Adventures was running the ipod and playing music that he thought would be fittingâ€¦he actually played good songs and all worked out fine and was not a BIG deal at all, Nicole I donâ€™t think would have even told me about the ipod if I hadnâ€™t asked and that would have been just fine too. What I am most bummed about is that I really spent a lot of time on those dumb lists!!!!!!! Argh! Moral of the storyâ€¦double check your ipods after you put the songs on it from itunes!
â€¢Have a plan for after the ceremony â€“ I never really thought about this at all. So we walked back down the aisle and I knew the photogs wanted to get one big group shot of everyone, so all guests were gathered for that. Well once that was over everyone was confused as to what was happening nextâ€¦if I could do it again I would have planned for a greeting line or something because even though Reggie was with everyone on the boat overâ€¦I never really talked to everyone until much later at the reception. So I would have had a greeting line and then after saying a quick hello sent each guest personally over to the bar for the cocktail hour.
â€¢It was HOT during the ceremonyâ€¦I should have had fans of some sort, I just didnâ€™t get any because I didnâ€™t think it would be THAT hotâ€¦luckily though I did noticed later that my grandma was given a parasol to use to shelter her a bit.
â€¢Speeches/toasts â€“ um so we didnâ€™t have a bridal party and about a month before the wedding I told Reggie to figure out who he wanted to make a toast at the wedding (knowing full well it would be his best friend from high school) and ask them to do so then. Well reggie never asked his friend about itâ€¦so about 20 minutes before the speech he asked him to say somethingâ€¦needless to say he wasnâ€™t happy about the short notice but did it anywayâ€¦I am sure it was really tacky to ask last minute but that was not my faultâ€¦that was reggies!!!!! So I would do that differently and call reggieâ€™s friend myself to ask him to do a toast! Oh also, I knew I wanted to say a few words and thank everyone, yadda yadda yaddaâ€¦well I should have wrote something downâ€¦ I thanked all our guests for coming, but not my parents specifically (as they paid for almost everything and I feel really bad I didnâ€™t mention them specifically). I thanked Nicole for her amazing work, but completely forgot to thank Kristi and Paul (KLK Photography). So write it downâ€¦ I did get on the mic later on the boat and thank Kristi and Paul though
â€¢My shoes â€“ I went back and forth on wearing shoes. Reggie is tall, about 6â€™3â€ and I am short about 5â€™ 4â€ on a good day so I always wear heels. Well you canâ€™t really wear heels at Caletas. So I purchased some of the big chunky white wedge flip flops. But then on the wedding day I started freaking out about walking down all of the stairs in my dress with the chunky shoes. So then my plan was to set the shoes at the end of the stairs and stop and put them on as my dad and I were walking down the aisle as reggie really wanted me to wear high shoes! Well I was so overcome with emotion that I just kept walking and didnâ€™t think about the shoes, I just went barefoot all night! After the ceremony as we walked back down the aisle, the first thing reggie noticed was my shoes sitting at the bottom of the stairs! HA! No biggie really but looking back now I wish I had that extra height for pics
â€¢Drinks during the day in the bridal suite - so I am back and forth on this. When we went up to the bridal suite we really never had any cocktailsâ€¦sure we could have asked for more and I know that someone would have brought them to us but everyone was so busy getting ready I didnâ€™t want to send anyone down to the bar to get them for me. I just really could have used another cocktail or two as Fernando was doing my hair. No biggie really and at the end of the day it is probably a GOOD thing I didnâ€™t have those extra drinks during the day because I had a few tequila shots at the reception.
â€¢NOT BEING PREPARED!!! â€“ So I had over a year to plan this wedding and had gone over every detail in my mind numerous timesâ€¦I had PLANNED everything outâ€¦well I really FORGOT to take a lot of things over to Caletas with me on the day of the wedding â€˜DOHâ€™ they werenâ€™t little things eitherâ€¦.I forgot my wedding band (grabbed Reggieâ€™s but not mine), we had a post card guestbook table and I forgot the postcards. I had planned on wearing Spanx under my dress, forgot that tooâ€¦oh and my garter..ughâ€¦yep that too. The biggest thing though that I forgot (and I could have killed myself for it) was the cash to pay Fernando the hair guy!!!!!!!! Nicole told me more than onceâ€¦BRING CASH FOR FERNANDOâ€¦what did I do? I forgot the dang cashâ€¦we tried to pool our money but of course nobody had brought any. Nicole was really great about thisâ€¦as was Fernando. I had Reggie bring the cash over when he came (as well as everything else) but of course by that time Fernando was long gone. Nicole said it was ok and that she would get it to him. I could not thank her enough for being so great about handling this for me!!! Oh and Fernandoâ€¦he is AMAZING! I highly recommend him! Oh yeah that is another thing I forgot tooâ€¦I thought I only had Fernando scheduled to do my hair and my flower girlâ€™s hair and then my mom was going to do my makeup. Well Fernando brought all of his makeup and he told me that he would do it too. So that was awesomeâ€¦and even more so because after he had started on my makeup I realized that I had forgot ALL of my makeup at the hotel! Aye yi yiâ€¦I was really a space cadet that day!
Ok well that is it for what I wish have would have gone differently! Really nothing MAJOR at all and I couldnâ€™t be happier about that! Here now are full details on the actual dayâ€¦.
Posted 07 May 2009 - 12:32 AM
how many other brides can say their day started on a boat with a life jacket! I headed early in the morning (around 8 I think) over to the Vallarta Adventures office for our departure to Las Caletas for the day. I did not have a bridal party so with me I had my mom, my godmother and a close family friend who I have known my entire life and her two kids ages 6 and 10 (who were my flower girl and ring bearer) and then also my godmothers grandson who is 7. So in total 4 of us girls and 3 kids. I never even hesitated on inviting the kids and in the end I am really glad they cameâ€¦they really had just a great day and there was only one time in the day that I can recall them being little brats and getting on my nerves. They cracked me up a few times because they kept calling the bridal suite the â€œcondoâ€ and wanted to know where they were going to sleep that night as the â€œcondoâ€ only had one bed!!!
Anyway, we met Kelly at the Vallarta Adventures office. This was the first time I had met herâ€¦she was niceâ€¦pointed us in the right direction and showed us where breakfast was set up. We were a bit early and just waited for about 10 minutes before it was time to board the boat. Kelly grabbed us first took my dress from me and we got on the boat first. Of course the kids were actually first on the boat and ran up to the top level right to the front, Kelly kind of laughed and said â€œlooks like they have a spot picked out already!â€
Boat ride was smooth over to Caletasâ€¦the kids really enjoyed the music, we saw some dolphins and they thought that was really cool. When we arrived to Caletas we took our time getting off the boat and the kids were so excited to see the little crabs on the rocksâ€¦they looked at those for awhile. We had a couple of big bags with us and some guys from the staff actually hauled them up to the bridal suite so we didnâ€™t have to which was really nice of them!
My Flower Girl and I watching for dolphins
The whole gang in front of the Las Caletas sign
Ohâ€¦I HATE snakes, they give me the creepsâ€¦well if you have been on the day trip to Caletas you know they have some people dressed in costume to greet the guests as they arrive and one girl has a snake wrapped around herâ€¦I had no desire to stop for that photo! So as soon as Kelly got word that I was not having any part of that she says â€œok, ok, NO SNAKEâ€ put her hand out to the people waiting for pics and we quickly went by, it was kind of funny actually
me kayaking with the kids
We went up to the bridal suite where champagne and fruit was waiting for us and we got settled in. the kids went right out to the back and started filling up the hot tubâ€¦they just thought that was so cool. Before I went down to the beach I had some of those personalized m&ms that I had to put in little boxes for the reception. So we all quickly did that and then went down to the beach. We kayaked, walked on the beach, drank a few margaritas, laid in the hammocks and then it was time for lunch. About that time Nicole and the photogs arrived (KLK photography and Blue Sky Videos who were amazing and I will do a separate review of them). We ate lunch and then Nicole came and told me that I should probably start to head up to the suite to get ready as Fernando would be there shortly to start hair and make-up.
I really had no idea all day of what time it really wasâ€¦it was kind of nice actually but I think I started getting ready around 1ish? Fernando did my flower girlâ€™s hair first, then me and my makeup. I was not stressed at all the entire timeâ€¦ it was just such a surreal feeling getting ready that day. I didnâ€™t cry either during the day. I thought I would be a sobbing mess but I wasnâ€™t at all until I saw my dad and reggie, then of course the tears just kept coming after that!
Flower Girl getting her hair done by Fernando
My bouquet, I LOVED it!
My mom, FG and I
So I was fully ready and our things all packed up and Nicole had come up and said the boat was running late and they were still about 40 mins away. It was a great feeling to be ready and not be stressed at all! At that point, my mom and I walked down with the photogs and took some pics around Caletas. Finally the boat arrived.
This pic is just funny...there is Nicole telling Reggie the details, my dad in the back handing Reggie the bag of crap I forgot and Reggie's friend in front of him with Reggie's tie trying to get it tied
Posted 07 May 2009 - 12:37 AM
My dad did come up to the bridal suite too as opposed to just meeting me at the top of the stairs. I am glad I had him come up…it was just so awesome to walk down the entire way with him.
The ceremony was perfect, just so surreal again actually standing there in the sand with the man of my dreams and all of our friends and family in Puerto Vallarta. At one point during the ceremony I just looked out in the distance toward the buildings in PV and closed my eyes and listened to the waves crashing…I will remember that very moment forever. I was so nervous though during our vows that my knees were shaking and I could barely remember the words that Brad had literally just said and I was suppose to repeat! Brad was so nice…he was just great too!
ceremony set up
Reggie waiting for me
After the ceremony as we were walking around taking pics, I noticed Reggie’s crazy friend…yeah the one who couldn’t tie the tie…literally running around the beach right by the shore. He was yelling and waving his arms…I looked out and he appeared to be yelling out to some Vallarta Adventures staff members out in a motor boat. Then about 5 minutes later his friend is talking to one of the staff on the beach. Reggie and I had no idea what he was doing and we just continued on. Well come to find out later, Nicole grabbed me and was kind of laughing. She told me that she had never had this request….but Reggie’s friend after the ceremony was apparently dead set on getting in one of the little motor boats and riding around to see everything because he thought they would go fast or something!!!! Nicole goes “he even told us he would pay for it! I told him this is it for Caletas and that there was nothing else to see but he still wanted to go ride around!”. OMG! I just laughed. They were going to take him but then it was time for dinner and he wanted to eat!
kids 5 minutes after the ceremony!
this one was cute too! that is Nicole talking to the FG
Dinner was great…and again Nicole was awesome about making sure that I had sat down to eat. The waiters even saved a plate of appetizers for Reggie and I because we missed them as we were taking pics! The cake was awesome…I was bummed though that I really never ate an actual piece…just bites off peoples plates.
Father – daughter dance… I am a daddy’s little girl. So I BAWLED when this happened. We danced to Heartlands “I loved her first”. I knew I was going to be a mess…that was just so awesome too…my dad is just so great.
Firedancers – they were amazing too! I highly recommend them too! We added the live drummers and that was just so COOL!
Again, where Nicole was so great…after the fire dancers…I was thinking to myself that I wanted the glow sticks passed out that I had brought…I looked up at that moment and there was Nicole passing out the glow sticks! Those were fun too! Reggie and his friends though did get into a slapping war with them and he had welts on his legs…ahhh boys will be boys! I also thought it was funny too that some of the glow sticks ended up with the staff…hey at least they were having fun too!
Our guests were duds - NOBODY wanted to dance with me (BOOOOO!) so then I thought to myself “fine, if you won’t dance with me I will make you take tequila shots with me!”. I then proceeded to take shots with practically EVERYONE including my grandma! So the tequila tasting table was a hit! In the end we had tequila left over that I knew we wouldn’t drink (we were at all inclusive hotels) so I gave it to Nicole and told her to promise me that she would drink it…I later found out that she put it to good use
We added the extra hour and I am glad we did! I still was not ready for the night to be over! So I was having such a good time when I got on the boat to go back that I grabbed a life jacket, put it on and had a half drank tequila bottle in one hand and glow sticks in the other!!!! Reggie was worried I was really drunk…sure I was pretty buzzed but not wasted by any means…I was just having FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhh what a way to end the night…in my wedding dress with a life jacket and tequila bottle!
what a way to end the perfect day!
OK wow that was long…I warned you! Thanks for reading…if you have ANY questions just let me know!
I will have reviews coming soon on the Vallarta Palace, Casa Velas, KLK Photography/Blue Sky Videos and other tours that we took through Vallarta Adventures (rhythms of the night and the canopy tour)...ALL reviews coming though are GOOD!
Posted 07 May 2009 - 01:02 AM
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