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Tighty-Whitey's Wedding Review of The Royal Playa del Carmen

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#1 TightyWhitey

  • Jr. Member
  • 181 posts

    Posted 09 June 2009 - 08:54 PM

    Wedding date: May 29th, 2009

    STDs and Invitations
    We went with Kristy Rice of Monumental Designs. She hand draws/paints her invites and does an amazing job. We received many compliments on her work and were really happy with the end result.

    Playa del Carmen
    We knew soon after becoming engaged that we wanted a Destination Wedding, but OMG, was the process overwhelming! Luckily for us, my cousin had honeymooned at The Royal last year and couldn’t stop raving about it. Another plus was that they were an AI resort that allowed guests 16 and older to stay at their property. My husband really wanted his nephew to attend and he was 16 by the time of our wedding. Most other resorts were either kid-friendly, which we didn’t want, or adults only (18 and older). We also wanted a location that had an amazing beach (which this one did) but wasn’t isolated. The resort is literally one block away from the famous 5th Ave; I loved that no one had to take any cabs/public transport into town. There was plenty to do in the area, from shopping, day trips into Cozumel, diving, and visiting ruins, to exploring the fun nightlife!

    Many of our guests had never been to Mexico, much less Playa del Carmen, and were blown away by the resort and surrounding area. I kept getting compliments all week on the location.

    The Royal
    Check-in was hassle-free! Upon arriving, we were greeted with champagne and a wet towel and our names flashing on the flat screen. There were a few minimal problems, like getting a room near the construction or rooms still being cleaned but they were accommodated quickly when addressed.

    Overall, we absolutely loved the resort! The staff was so wonderful; the service was amazing! Everyone loved the food at the many restaurants and took advantage of the 50% off services at the spa. We couldn’t have been happier with our choice!

    The only concern I had with the Royal was during check-out. We had some guests who were verbally offered a ‘complimentary/free upgrade’ by booking directly with the resort’s 1-800 number and took the resort up on this offer during check-in. When they were checking out, they were charged for the upgrade. Since the booking was done over the phone and there was nothing in writing, they were stuck having to pay. The price difference wasn’t great but I think it left a bit of a sour taste in some of our guests’ mouths, which was too bad after such a great week. My husband and I also had a charge on our bill for a massage that was part of our wedding package but that got resolved after a bit of a long wait at check-out.

    Best Day Shuttle
    Initially all our guests has transport included with their package but when Air Transat cancelled their flights to Mexico due to the Swine Flu, we had to reroute everyone’s flights through the US. Because of this, we had to book shuttle Transport for everyone. Overall, we had a great experience with Best Day and received no complaints. Our own transport was booked through Lomas Travel, who left us at the resort after we got delayed at check-out. In the end, we had to take a cab, which cost about $40.

    My husband and I flew with Mexicana Airlines. We had three suitcases with us and hand-carried my dress and D’s suit on board. We weren’t charged for ‘extra’ baggage, which was great. The flight-crew were friendly but not any more so than to other passengers. The flight wasn’t full and I was able to lay my dress in an overhead bin. At Customs, I got the ‘green light’ but was still asked what we had in our suitcases and to produce receipts for the wedding items. Thank goodness I remembered to bring them!

    Lilia, On-Site WC
    Paty was our WC during the planning process and was wonderful! I couldn’t believe how quickly she responded to my emails/questions. When we arrived at our suite, we had a message from her that Lilia would be our on-site coordinator. She was wonderful and very helpful. We had a very detailed first meeting. Following that, Lilia available throughout the week as I stopped by the wedding center with more questions. She managed the whole wedding beautifully, including arranging a tasting for us of the menu.

    Hair & Make-up at The Spa Azul
    Paty had booked my mani/pedis, hair & make-up trials and for the wedding day in advance for me. I’m so glad I did this because the spa got booked up quickly. (This may in part be due to the 50% promotion they had going at the time.) They did my hair beautifully during the trial but a half-hour later, the half-updo completely lost its curl, which freaked me out a bit (especially since my hair is naturally curly). The day of the wedding, despite their assurances the curl would hold, I decided to go with an updo. Looking back, I kinda regret doing this as I really wanted my hair down, but in the moment it felt like the right decision and I did enjoy the breeze on the back of my neck instead of sweaty hair! ;-p

    The make-up was ok. I had initially done a trial at the MAC store at home and loved it; in retrospect I should have tried the MAC counter in Playa del Carmen to see if they could duplicate it.

    Overall, the staff at the spa were super sweet and very kind. I don’t think I was forceful enough with what I wanted and language was an issue. My recommendation is to bring lot’s of photos of the look you want!

    The Wedding Ceremony at the Gazebo
    The Gazebo was decorated with tulle and the chairs were covered in white fabric. Our Program Fans were tucked into the folds of the fabric. We opted not to use the red aisle runner as it clashed with our colours. The ceremony was a bit delayed and began at 4:15pm. Prior to this, we had someone playing a guitar during the seating of the guests. During the processional, we used our Ipod and the sound system was perfect! Kiki, the minister was great, and kept us on our toes by asking off the cuff questions. After the ceremony, we were greeted with champagne in the Gazebo patio. There were resort guests who had stopped to watch the ceremony or walking by and many of them called out their best wishes. This didn’t bother us.

    Cocktails in the Gazebo area
    Beautifully set up. There was a full bar and lots of food. We chose 1 cold apps and 3 hot apps. The coconut shrimp was the most popular of the choices and first to run out! We took some photos during this time but were given some time by our photographer to mingle with the guests and have something to eat and drink.

    Reception on the beach
    We had a Mariachi band playing for an hour during the seating of the guests and start of dinner. They were fantastic! I’m so happy we got them.

    We also had a table set up with flipflops (dancing shoes) so when guests entered the reception area, they were able to leave their shoes behind and grab a pair. The table next to them was set up with our favors that also doubled as place settings. We also placed maracas at each place setting with a “Shake to see a Kiss” tag. They were pretty popular!

    For dinner, we had the formal 4-course meal. Our choices were the spring salad, the clam chowder, beef fillet, and strawberry pie. We later had some wedding cake and coffee/tea. We selected the Tres Leches flavor and it was delicious!

    Jorge, Reception Bar and Food Supervisor
    He took very good care of us. The only thing ‘odd’ was my husband and I, along with a handful of guests, being requested during the reception to fill out comment cards on the service. Not exactly the best time to do so. I would have gladly done so the following day and was a bit put off by this during the reception.

    Lounge Furniture
    I asked Paty to arrange the lounge furniture and it was worth the expense! It looked pretty cool and the guests loved it! A section of the lounge was used as a ‘cigar bar’ for the boys. It was a great treat for them. I was worried the lounge area wouldn’t be used but it was pretty popular. The only thing I wished for were pillows of a different colour than brown but in the grand scheme of things, I wasn’t too bothered by it.

    DJ – Ivan Gomez from Doremixx
    OMG, he was FABULOUS, FANTASTIC, AMAZING!!! The music selection was perfection and Ivan’s timing was spot on. He kept the party going and the dance floor was always jam-packed. The lit-up dance-floor was awesome, the lighting was great, and there were fun fireworks during our first dance! He also surprised everyone with balloons and carnival masks. All our guests raved about him, even asking if he could put together a compilation of the music played. (Ivan, if you’re reading this, let me know!) Every song played was a favourite; we were worry-free music wise. HIGHLY, highly recommended!

    Elizabeth Medina Photography
    Elizabeth and her assistant Lauren were FANTASTIC! When we were planning a destination wedding, a huge priority for us was to book a first class photographer since so many people wouldn’t be joining us in Mexico. We haven’t yet received any photos from Elizabeth and probably won’t for a few weeks but based on our experience with her and Lauren, we were really happy. They were very accommodating to the many requests for photos my guests had and seemed capture all the right moments without being intrusive. I can’t wait to see how the photos turned out!

    We used the resort videograher through our wedding package. We haven’t received the video yet so we can’t comment on how it turned out. We had a half-hour of time and chose to use it during the ceremony. I’ll provide an update once we receive the video.

    To Summarize
    We truly had the most amazing experience. We had so many guests tell us it was the best wedding they had ever been to. While there were a few minor hiccups, we are so happy with how everything turned out. I’m a bit jealous of all you who still have your wedding to look forward to. I highly recommend The Royal!!!

    #2 TightyWhitey

    • Jr. Member
    • 181 posts

      Posted 09 June 2009 - 09:08 PM

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      Our Save the Dates!

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      In more detail...

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      Here's a quick snapshot of our invites.

      #3 Butterflyf369

      • Member
      • 706 posts

        Posted 09 June 2009 - 09:11 PM

        Thanks for the review. The artist you got to do the save the date and invitiations is awesome.

        #4 TightyWhitey

        • Jr. Member
        • 181 posts

          Posted 09 June 2009 - 09:26 PM

          Click the image to open in full size.
          First Kiss

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          Loved my yellow bouquet!

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          Appetizers from our Cocktail hour!

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          My MoH!

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          Dancing Shoes!

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          Half of our lounge area. The other half that you don't see in this photo was the 'cigar bar'.

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          Our favors and place settings. Inside were two tequila shot glasses and a miniature bottle of Patron Tequila.

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          My shoes and bouquet!

          #5 TightyWhitey

          • Jr. Member
          • 181 posts

            Posted 09 June 2009 - 09:27 PM

            Click the image to open in full size.
            The Maracas!

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            Cake eating shot!

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            Fun on the dance floor! Please excuse the creepy shot. I didn't ask for permission to post my friends' photos online.

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            The lit-up dance floor.

            That's it for now. I'll try to post some more photos soon!

            #6 TightyWhitey

            • Jr. Member
            • 181 posts

              Posted 09 June 2009 - 09:28 PM

              Originally Posted by Butterflyf369
              Thanks for the review. The artist you got to do the save the date and invitiations is awesome.
              Thanks Butterfly! I really liked her work and was happy with the results.

              #7 loanmao

              • Newbie
              • 87 posts

                Posted 09 June 2009 - 09:55 PM

                Great pictures!! What appetizers were on the asian soup spoons? They look good. Did you buy the tequila favors in Mexico? Did the WC assemble them for you?

                #8 michp

                • Newbie
                • 34 posts

                  Posted 09 June 2009 - 10:27 PM

                  great review!
                  everything looked fantastic!!!
                  congrats on a gorgeous wedding

                  #9 Oscar_Ernie

                  • Jr. Member
                  • 266 posts

                    Posted 10 June 2009 - 12:17 PM

                    Thanks for posting your review. It sounds like it was a completely heavenly day! Now I can't wait to see Elizabeth's pics!!! I'm sure you're not going to be disappointed!

                    #10 jetsbride

                    • Member
                    • 794 posts

                      Posted 10 June 2009 - 12:54 PM

                      Great review, looks like a blast!!!

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