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KarlaV's Westin Los Cabos Wedding Review


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#1 KarlaV

KarlaV
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    Posted 31 May 2007 - 03:44 PM

    OK ladies......sorry this has taken me so long! Hopefully it is helpful for anyone considering getting married in Cabo. Be warned..this is really long!

    Invitations A++
    DIY. Very time consuming! But I would do it again in a heartbeat. I was able to do my invitations exactly how I had envisioned. I was very happy with the pocketfolds which were from Cards & Pockets. They were the Tiffany signature 5X7 and only cost $1!!

    I bought the cardstock from Discount Wedding Invitations, Vellum Paper, Vellum Envelopes, Card Stock Source - Paperandmore.com. It was the pear white metalic cardstock and cost $29.00/ 100 sheats.

    I printed everything at Kinkos which was very expensive! I would not recommend this. I should have found a friend who had a laser printer or bought one myself. I had so many inserts that printing them all at Kinkos cost me around $150!! Overall I love my invites.
    Click the image to open in full size..
    I also did my menus and favor tags.. Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.

    Rehearsal Dinner at La Panga: B+
    There are many reasons I gave La Panga a B+. I was really excited to use them because I had had dinner there during my site visit, and the food was very good. For the rehearsal we had appetizers and an open bar. The appetizers were not that good and they ran out an hour into the event!! I specifically said I wanted heavy apps. for 3 hours. All of my guests were still hungry! The manager (Jacobo) was super nice so I wasnt too upset (the cabotinis didnt hurt either!!).

    La Panga has this large private patio in the back that was perfect for our large party (100 people). The decor is very mexican colonial. All of my guest fell in love with it. We had a mariachi band and everyone danced the night away. By the end of the night we had trays of tequila shots being passed around! The staff was awesome- the waiters even took some of my guests out on the town that night! It was a blast!

    After spending some time in downtown San Jose, I would say that La Panga would not be my first choice. Managment was super easy to work with. But in terms of food and ambiance, I would recommend Tequilas or La Santa.

    San Jose del Cabo Catholic Church (Padre Juvencio): A+
    The church was breathtaking. Exactly what we wanted- not pretentious, lots of character. Padre Juvencio was my favorite!!!!!!!! He was so sweet. Our wedding ceremony was so heartfelt, that everyone thought Padre Juv. was an old family friend.

    Communication thoughout the planning process with Padre Juv. was very difficult (and we speak spanish!). We were supposed to have a reheasal before the wedding and he did not show up for it. So we were totally winging it during the ceremony. But that made it really special for us, because we didn't know what to expect.

    The ceremony was in spanish. And I made these awesome programs that were in spanish and english. I also handed out sandlewood fans because our ceremony was at 1:30 in the afternoon and super hot. The fans were from Hand Fans, Paper Fans. They were a $1 each.

    We had the mariachi band there which was AWESOME! I walked down the aisle to Ave Maria- I was crying the whole time!

    Mariachi Internacional de Los Cabos: B
    The Westin was going to charge us $1,200 an hour for mariachi! For the price and professionalism, Mariachi Internacional was by far the best. They came and played at the rehearsal at the last minute. They were at the church ceremony and the reception. They really set the tone for all of the events.

    I just didn't think they played all that well. I've heard better. But to be honest, no one really cared. Everyone had a blast and danced the whole time. They were a little difficult to get ahold of during the plannig process. But, my father organized everything with them. Which took the pressure off of me! For the rehearsal, ceremony and reception cost $2000 (my dad payed so I'm estimating based on what they charge per hour)
    Click the image to open in full size.

    Westin Los Cabos Resort and Spa: A++
    Absolutely amazing! Our event coordinator was Karina Jajan. I was a little upset during the planning process because I found it really difficult to get her to email be back. She also did not have a lot of ideas, which put a more pressure on me to come up with things. But in the end, everything turned out better than I imagined they would. Karina really stepped up the 4 months prior to our wedding. Here are the specifics...

    Bonfire: A+++...we had a bonfire the night before the wedding. They set up a huge event for us. We had 4 bonfires, tiki torches, a bar and lounge cushions set up on the beach. We set up our iPOD for the music. And I made an awesome playlist that included incubus, sade, 311, modest mouse, justin timberlake, juanes, paulina rubio...it was so cool! We danced all night long!
    We were able to save some money by having a cash bar. The whole event only cost us $700. And I think it was my favorite event of the weekend because it was totally chill.
    Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.
    Ofcourse there was more tequila.. they wanted to charge us $100 corking fee, but my dad said, "No your not!" And they didn't!
    GO DAD!
    Click the image to open in full size.

    Food: A+++... I was so amazed by the food. I really wasnt expecting much. But it blew me away...and this saying a lot because I am super picky. For the recepion we had a sit down dinner. The appetizer was a seafood tower salad (assortment of baby scallops, shrimps, mussles, surimi and calamari bound with baby chipotle mayonnaise garnished with baby greens, cherry tomato and fried leeks). The entree was Dusted Mushroom Crusted Sea Bass (Chardonnay sauce ragout of mediterranean vegetable and truffle oil whipped polenta). The dessert, everyone recieved individual wedding cakes made of chocolate with white chocolate ganache (YUM!). Click the image to open in full size.
    After dessert we had a tequila toast (are you seeing a theme here?) which ended up costing us an arm and a leg. We used Patron for the toasts at a grand total of $1000. But it was totally worth it. Everyone is still talking about it.

    We saved some money by not serving any food during the cocktail hour. We served Mojitos (my favorite drink!) and everyone mingled and signed our guestbook. We bought one of those polariod guestbooks and everyone had so much fun with it.

    One of our friends also went around with a video camera and interviewed all of our guests. It was so much fun for us to watch the video on our honeymoon. It was such a good idea.

    DJ- through the Westin- A...this was organized at the last minute. We hired a DJ for after dinner. I was contimplating using an IPOD, but I'm glad we did a DJ. I didnt give him a playlist or any direction- so needless to say I was worried. But he did a great job. The music was really varied which I liked.

    The reception ended at 11pm. After the reception we all headed to the DREAMS (where a lot of my family with kids stayed). We were able to sneak in and drink for free all night long! That was fun!

    Overall the Westin was incredible. The food was better than our honeymoon at La Palmilla. The staff treated us like VIPs our entire stay. My favorite part was that we were the only event that was hosted at the Westin that week. So we felt special and were given a lot of attention. It was really worth the extra money. But, I was really pleased with how much we spent. For 100 guests, the bonfire and reception (including food, alcohol, music, bridal bouquet, linens and set up fees) came out to $13,000.

    Hive Spa (Neysa): A++
    HIve Spa was great. I had a spa day the day before the wedding. And Neysa came to the Westin to do my hair. She was on time and so much fun. We downed a bottle of champagne together! She also saved my butt, because she ended up doing my makeup. I was confident that I was able to do my own..but it turned up looking horrible! She stepped in and made me look beautiful. I love her!

    I was really, really, happy with my hair. We had a hair trail before the wedding and she rocked it on her first try. I thought the hair style was really modern and pulled together. I loved it. And it stayed looking great the whole day and night!

    The cost of using Hive was great. They charged me $500 for a manicure, pedicure, 60min massage, hair trail, blow out, wedding hair up do and tip (and throw in a free makeup session- not bad at all!).

    Juan Carlos, Photog: A++
    I have not seen his photos yet, but I'm confident they are amazing. He did a great job. I missed an appointment we were supposed to have before the wedding (I was at the pool!) and he was totally cool about it. He came to my suite to take pictures before the ceremony. After the ceremony we had 3 hours of photos at the westin and on the beach! It went by so fast.

    He was only at the reception for about an hour. I wish I could have had him there for the whole thing. I dont have any really great pics of our first dance, cutting the cake and any of the food. That is my only regret.

    Overall, Jaun Carlos is amazing. He worth every penny (if not more). We hired him for 7 hours at a cost of $3000

    Wedding Favors- Pashminas from Glenda: A++
    What can I say but, Glenda was a life saver. I ordered 35 pashminas from her at a cost of $2 each. These were such a hit with the ladies. Everyone was wearing them since it got chilly at night. It was something they got to take home and actually use again! Love them, love them...would totally recommend anyone to give favors like these.

    The guys were supposed to get cigars, but it ended not working out (timing and budget wise). In the end, no one noticed. Especially the guys- they didnt care at all. It was something I was glad I didnt stress over.

    La Palmilla Honeymoon: A++++++++
    WOW!!!!!!!!! Make your reservations now, you will not regret it. The service was impeccable. I felt like a movie star! From the person that cleaned oue sunglasses while we lounged by the pool, to our butler that waited on us and and foot, to our room that was sented with my favorite fragrance Ylang Ylang- everything was perfect. I was really surprised to see that most of the guests were in their 20s and 30s. It was a great crowd. Very cool people.

    It was VERY expensive though. Our room was $700/night. And we spent $300 on dinner every night and $50-$70 on breakfast and luch. The best restaurant is C by Charlie Trotter. We loved it. Try the chef's tasting menu- very good. I will definately go back. It is worth the price.

    Some of the ways we saved money......
    Decoration. We had no decoration at the church cermony and mininal decoration at the reception. We brought our own candles and votives which saved us a lot of money. We had our family memebers pack our 40 pillar candles and 300 votives. It worked out great. We had no flowers except my bouquet.
    Cash Bar during Bonfire....We thought this was going to be tacky, but we just couldnt afford it. We provided alcohol at the reheasal and the reception so we thought we could get away with it. To be honest, our guests that were coming from all-inculsive resorts were not so happy. But in the end, the bonfire was so much fun that no one really cared.
    Mojitos during cocktail hour...instead of a full bar or a bar on consumption, we served mojitos (and no food). This probably saved us $1000-$2000.

    And some ways we splerged....
    Indivdual mini wedding cakes...they were delicious and a hit. The Westin really stepped it up. Plus, the baker was excited to try something new. They cost us $10 a person.
    Kids Event during dinner...I really did not want any kids at my wedding, but I obviously could not say that. I had the Westin Kids club set up a kids event in one of the meeting rooms (far away from the reception). I was really worried that the parents wouldnt like it. But the kids had a blast and the parents were in heaven. I only organized the kids event during the dinner portion of the reception. When the parents went to go pick up the kids they wanted to pay the babysitters extra to keep the kids longer! Totally worth it! For 20 kids, it cost us $1000 for food, beverages, games (pinata), and sitters.
    Wedding attire...Angel Sanchez dress, Manolo Blahnik shoes, Calypso rehearsal dress, T-bags bonfire dress...shall I go on.
    Wedding bands.....love them!
    Our Honeymoon...once in a lifetime!

    I think that is it! I had so much fun. Having our wedding in Cabo was totally worth it. I regret nothing. I dont think we spent that much money. I mean we had 100 guest and were able to through pretty spectacular events. My guests were so impressed.

    Hoped that helped. I will check back often to give any advice I can.

    KarlaV
    Karla&Ronnie
    Wedding Slideshow
    Engagement Slideshow
    May 5, 2007Westin Resort and Spa Los CabosCustom Stationery and Wedding Invitations

    #2 TammyWright

    TammyWright

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    Posted 31 May 2007 - 03:48 PM

    great review karla...i was wondering where you were!! i have been bugging juan for your pics...did you see sarah's trash the dress or edyta's wedding pics?

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    #3 amyh

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      Posted 31 May 2007 - 03:52 PM

      Thanks Karla!!! I love your DIY invites/ menu/ tags! I am really considering changing my colors to Turquoise and Brown! I love how the color stands out!

      #4 jak27

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        Posted 31 May 2007 - 03:55 PM

        Great review Karla! Thanks!

        #5 KarlaV

        KarlaV
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          Posted 31 May 2007 - 03:56 PM

          Tammy,

          Yes, I saw sarah's and edyta's photos. Amazing. I should have made it to the Dreams to see all of you since we were there at the same time!

          KarlaV
          Karla&Ronnie
          Wedding Slideshow
          Engagement Slideshow
          May 5, 2007Westin Resort and Spa Los CabosCustom Stationery and Wedding Invitations

          #6 Jessalyn

          Jessalyn
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            Posted 31 May 2007 - 03:57 PM

            Great review Karla! Thank you! I loved all the little tips and details.
            My new man....Donovan

            Wedding photos and avatar by Jonathan Thrasher Photography - www.jthrasherphoto.com
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            #7 CourtneyV

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              Posted 31 May 2007 - 04:04 PM

              Great review Karla - thanks! :) What colours of pashminas did you get? If you got actual colours (not neutrals) did the ladies wear them often - were there "matching" issues?! lol.

              Also... You missed an appointment with Juan?! haha, too cute. Like, was it the day of that you missed the appointment?!?
              Happily Married since May 9, 2008
              Proud Mama to Evelyn Eileen since June 8, 2010

              #8 cheese_diva

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                Posted 31 May 2007 - 04:08 PM

                Great review Karla, I'm glad you added photos to your post.

                Question regarding your reception decor. You said you brought allot of candles with you.. did you need to rent holders? That's where I'm finding my centerpiece expense to be.

                I'm glad you had such a wonderful time!
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                #9 A10CalGal

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                  Posted 31 May 2007 - 04:18 PM

                  Congrats Karla! So glad to hear you had an amazing time...now we just need your pics!!

                  #10 TammyWright

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                  Posted 31 May 2007 - 04:21 PM

                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by KarlaV
                  Tammy,

                  Yes, I saw sarah's and edyta's photos. Amazing. I should have made it to the Dreams to see all of you since we were there at the same time!

                  KarlaV
                  you should have...we all ended up hanging out quite a bit...i missed edyta's wedding but sarah's was beautiful...

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                  Karisma Hotels Diamond Level 5 (highest production), Top 10 Azul Weddings, Top Wedding Coordinator | Wright Travel & Karisma GIVC Benefits
                  Travel Impressions Best of the Best Globe Winner    |     Apple Vacations Golden Apple Winner  
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