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Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Brides??


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#571 janette34

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    Posted 03 March 2012 - 04:31 PM

    Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!  Your pictures are soooooo helpful, I just upgraded from the Platinum pkg to the Presidential and the room upgrade was one of the things I was wondering about.  We have stayed there in the past in the jr suits, but I am really looking forward the Presidential Suite. 



    #572 MJKH

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      Posted 03 March 2012 - 04:43 PM

      Yaaayy...good for you guys!!!  You'll love it! : )  Just make sure you request confirmation of your presidential suite asap.  At one point when I was on the resort I caught a brief glimpse of the wedding packages booked for the month of Feb and the presidential packages were certainly the minority.  But, I'm sure I've read somewhere on here of a bride that was given a "comparable" suite because they were out of the "presidential" rooms and it looked like a bit of a downgrade to me.  

       


       

      Originally Posted by janette34 

      Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!  Your pictures are soooooo helpful, I just upgraded from the Platinum pkg to the Presidential and the room upgrade was one of the things I was wondering about.  We have stayed there in the past in the jr suits, but I am really looking forward the Presidential Suite. 



       



      #573 MJKH

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        Posted 04 March 2012 - 06:32 AM

        As promised, we wanted to share some wedding day details...things that went really well and things we would have perhaps done differently.

         

        Here was the tentative wedding day schedule we were working from and what we shared with the resort/photographer:

         

        Tentative Wedding Day Schedule – Ceremony at 3:00 pm

         

        9:00 am?

        Bride to spa for hair and makeup.

        Groom’s daughter for hair and makeup; bride’s niece, sisters and mother for hair only when requested by spa staff.

         

        1:00 pm

        Photography begins with bride at spa.

         

        1:45 pm

        Photographer moves to shoot with groom (and his family) in presidential suite.

         

        2:00 pm

        Bride and groom shoot pre-wedding photos together.

        Guitarist will be set up and be ready to play when guests start arriving.

         

        2:30 pm

        Guests meet at lobby bar in front of wedding office. Shuttles begin to wedding site.

         

        2:45 pm

        Groom/all remaining guests to wedding site.

         

        2:55 pm

        Bride to wedding site.

         

        3:00 pm

        Ceremony begins.

         

        3:30 pm

        Champagne and light appies to be served immediately following ceremony.  Photographer explains plans for group photos, shoots with group then on to bride and groom until 5:45 (request cart and driver).

        EH introduces activity to guests; table set up with frame (instructions), instant camera, film, pens, guestbook.

         

        5:38 pm

        Sunset

         

        5:45 pm - 6:30 pm (45 minutes)

        Mexican trio and cocktails when bride and groom return with photographers.

         

        6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

        AS to share any announcements from WP/wait staff.  Calls up mothers to do toasts.

        Welcome and toasts from mothers.  Birthday wishes to GK.

        AS calls up PS to say grace.

        Dinner service begins.

        Dinner service completed, merriment continues with cutting of the cake, pinata, dancing begins.

        Thank yous from bride and groom.

        Photography coverage ends at 9 pm.

         

        *(DJ) dancing and bar service until 11pm. 

         

        And this is how things actually went...

         

        Spa

         

        The spa is lovely. There is an adjacent snack bar/patio that offers light breakfast items and sandwiches, salads, stir frys, etc. for lunch. Our presidential package included a private dressing room across the hall from the hair and makeup area.  

         

        We asked for 6 hair appointments the morning of the wedding (2 with makeup including mine), however because they were short-staffed, we were given two hair appointments at 7 am (!) and the two hair and makeup appointments at 10 am. So, my poor little 6 year old niece (our flowergirl) and her mother were up really early that day, and my mom and sister had to do their own hair. They did a great job with our flowergirl's hair, and my sister was pretty happy with her style. We had inspiration photos for all of our requested hair and makeup styles, but they also had a large stack of photos for updos, etc. I had spent a fair amount of time blowing volume into my hair that morning, only to sit down in the chair and have the stylist work a huge palmful of mousse into my hair and slick it all back down. The idea was she would curl it all and pin it up (my hair is fine and doesn't hold curl well, so an updo was best for me, especially with it being windy that day). My biggest complaint about the updo was the lack of volume she gave me...it was too flat on top. I loved the curling and pinning she did in the back.

         

        Makeup included false eyelashes which was a surprise to me and something I'd never tried before. My makeup needed a little "tweaking" after I left the chair...but I'm VERY picky. I wish I had asked to apply my own mascara as I hate when it's clumpy and I had to spend time working it out/fixing it when I got back to the dressing room. I also wish I had found my perfect lip colour at home and brought it with me to use and reapply throughout the day. I didn't find they had a huge selection of lip colours in their kit...and she had to try 4 different colours before I found one I kinda liked. Whatever foundation/prep products she used were phenomenal...bang on with the colour, fine/light textured, lasted all day and night and kept me from looking oily/shine-y.

         

        Beyond the wedding day, we visited the spa on two other occasions. Our package included a couple's honeymoon treatment...A++++...absolutely the best massage I've ever had! A treatment room just for us...a steam, spa tub for 2, hot stone (side by side) massages and vibrating waterbeds. 

         

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        Our package also included the water circuit at the spa (for 10 people) which was superb...so much fun and sooooo relaxing! We saved this until the afternoon of the day before we left and it was a perfect way to wind down our two weeks at the GS. From there, we went back to our room and drank champagne on the balcony until sunset...ahhhhhh!!!! These spa experiences totally won over my new husband...he said, "We really need to make it a priority to go to a spa everytime we go on a holiday!"...and I was like, "YES, yes we do!!!" : )

         

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        Photography

         

        This was a big deal to me and something I wasn't prepared to take any chances on...so we hired Elizabeth Medina to shoot the wedding and do a TTD at sunrise the following day. I had heard/read of too many brides who were disappointed in the resort photographers "Fotocaribbean"...that they showed up when they weren't supposed to and got in the way of the contracted photographer(s). Fotocaribbean contacted us by e-mail about a week before we left for Mexico, and I sent them back an e-mail with the following request:

         

        "We will have two very capable, professional photographers in our group taking photos, so we kindly and respectfully ask that the resort photographers NOT be around taking photographs during the ceremony. We will be reminding Ms. Tovar of this during our initial meeting next week."

         

        We had no further issues or contact with Fotocaribbean.

         

        We did not have to pay an outside vendor fee for our photographer...instead we booked them a room at the resort for the night of the wedding.

         

        Ok, so more to come at some point...I'll add some photos and submit this before I lose it! 

         

         

         



        #574 maripier

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          Posted 04 March 2012 - 07:43 AM

          Thank you very much for all those really interesting info. Congratulations for your wedding! We have booked the GS with the presidential package too! For jan 2013 We are going like you for two weeks I asked to Aracely pictures of the room but I will no longer wait to be happy about my choice!Gorgeous! Our big concern is because we have two children : is the sofa in the presidential suite is a sofa bed? If not we have asked for a club family upgrade but ???? They maybe $$$$ Could you tell me how many pers attend your wedding? And how much they charge you for extra pers ( they put 10 included in the package listing) for dinner reception ? Also are they charge you extra for set up the palapas with fabrics and tables etc... or it is included in the packages? Are they included flower the decoration set up or we need to pay extra? Thank you we are doing our budget ...

          #575 MJKH

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            Posted 04 March 2012 - 08:16 AM

            Review Continued...

             

            Special Requests

             

            We had made arrangements with Aracely before arriving to have their kitchen create a birthday cake for us the day we arrived as three of our guests were celebrating birthdays. They recommended a traditional Tres Leche cake and we served it at the buffet that first night. Elizabeth made sure that large tables were reserved for us and she popped in that night to check in on everything. The waitress did an awesome job of helping us all celebrate (staff came over and sang) and she helped cut and serve the cake. It was at this point that we also handed out our snack kits, travel candles, and info packages. Here's a picture of the cake (it was twice the size that we needed, but it was delicious...it cost 1000 pesos or around $77 dollars):

             

            IMG_3693.JPG

             

            Resort Bracelets

             

            Could be removed the day of the wedding (for photos), but guests were instructed to keep them somewhere safe and turn them in at the front desk the next morning for a new one. We had placed toiletry kits in the washrooms out at the palapa which included scissors in case our guests forgot. But actually, anyone with a bit of upper arm strength could just rip them off.

             

            Steaming of Wedding Dresses

             

            Our WP took care of sending the dresses (wedding and TTD dress) into Playa for steaming. It cost 660 pesos to steam two dresses (just over $50). Dresses were taken to the spa on the day of the wedding. I had purchased a hand steamer as well, and had I remembered to take it with me to the spa, I probably would have plugged it in and freshened up my wedding dress (to take care of the small creasing from being in the bag).

             

            Cleaning of Wedding Dresses

             

            Two days after our wedding, I connected with the WP about the possibility of having my dresses and my husband's linen outfits taken to the dry cleaners in Playa for cleaning. His wedding day shirt was covered in makeup from all of the hugs guests had given him, and my dress was absolutely filthy at the bottom, especially because at one point towards the end of the reception a red drink was dropped on the floor right beside me. I remembered one bride on BDW saying how inexpensive it was to have items drycleaned in Mexico, especially her wedding dress. So I thought, "why not?!?"...and I was so glad we did (because we were staying for a second week, they had loads of time to take care of this!) The clothes were taken to Lavanderias Mayalav (Elizabeth the WP took them in herself and pointed out all of my concerns to the cleaners). To dryclean 2 wedding dresses, 2 mens linen shirts and 2 pair of linen pants, it cost us 1200 pesos (around $93 dollars). They did an amazing job! The stains in the garments were taken care of right away and didn't get smelly/damaged further. It was great to be able to take nice clean garments home with us and not to have to pack up or deal with sticky/dirty items when we got home.

             

            Civil Versus Symbolic Ceremony

             

            We had no desire to try and arrange a quicky wedding at home in order to bypass a couple of extra steps in Mexico. We only wanted to get married ONCE! : )  It cost $220 USD for our bloodwork (which was done by a paramedic at the medical clinic on site) and we submitted the paperwork required for our four witnesses. They were required to meet with us and the wedding planner the day after we arrived to sign some papers. Everything went very smoothly. The only thing I wish I had done was perhaps personalize the ceremony a bit more, and also to request a copy of the officient's "script" for review prior to the wedding (at one point she made a reference to having/raising children and we have no plans to do so...I would have asked for that line to be removed).



            #576 MJKH

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              Posted 04 March 2012 - 08:21 AM

              There is a sofa in the room (right next to the door), but honestly I have no idea if it was a sofa bed as it was just my FI and I in the room.  There were no other extra linens or pillows in the room/closet, so I'm thinking maybe not?  I would check with Aracely about that.

               

              The rest of your questions will be addressed in my next entry...
               

              Originally Posted by maripier 

              Thank you very much for all those really interesting info.
              Congratulations for your wedding!
              We have booked the GS with the presidential package too! For jan 2013
              We are going like you for two weeks
              I asked to Aracely pictures of the room but I will no longer wait to be happy about my choice!Gorgeous!
              Our big concern is because we have two children : is the sofa in the presidential suite is a sofa bed?
              If not we have asked for a club family upgrade but ???? They maybe $$$$
              Could you tell me how many pers attend your wedding?
              And how much they charge you for extra pers ( they put 10 included in the package listing) for dinner reception ?
              Also are they charge you extra for set up the palapas with fabrics and tables etc... or it is included in the packages?
              Are they included flower the decoration set up or we need to pay extra?
              Thank you we are doing our budget ...


               



              #577 jemmabuls

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                Posted 04 March 2012 - 08:40 PM

                I was told by sunquest i only got 1 free per 21 adults....



                #578 Prometida

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                  Posted 04 March 2012 - 11:37 PM

                  Thank you so much! Your feedback it's amazing!!!!. To avoid paying the fee for the external photographer did you ask Elizabeth or Aracely? How did you manage that? The guitar that played with your guests arrival was part of the trio or separately ? How much it cost? How much was the private shuttle? Thank you again! Prometida

                  #579 MJKH

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                    Posted 05 March 2012 - 02:32 PM

                    Are you thinking of SUNWING vacations?  When we were looking at tour companies initially, I seem to recall that we looked at going with Sunwing and that was closer to their incentive program for groups.  We booked with SUNQUEST.
                     

                    Originally Posted by jemmabuls 

                    I was told by sunquest i only got 1 free per 21 adults....



                     



                    #580 MJKH

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                      Posted 05 March 2012 - 02:45 PM

                      Our photographers stayed as any other regular guests at the hotel.  We booked them a room for the wedding night.  We didn't need to have this approved by anyone, no one questioned/talked to us about having to pay an external fee.  If you look at the cost per person of bringing people on to the resort for the day + an outside vendor fee, you're much better off to pay for a hotel room for them for the night (at least that was the case with us).  Our travel agent booked them a room and we pre-paid it...sent a copy of the room confirmation to the photographer's assistant a week ahead of time, and checked at the front desk the morning of the wedding that everything was set for them.

                       

                      The private shuttle cost around $300 for three vans (28 guests).  They had car seats for the youngest travellers in our group.

                       

                      Please remember that prices for any and all products/services do go up...my quotes for you are simply what we paid at the time of our wedding (early Feb/12).

                       

                      Other reception info I'll share later...

                       

                       


                       

                      Originally Posted by Prometida 

                      Thank you so much! Your feedback it's amazing!!!!.
                      To avoid paying the fee for the external photographer did you ask Elizabeth or Aracely? How did you manage that?
                      The guitar that played with your guests arrival was part of the trio or separately ?
                      How much it cost?
                      How much was the private shuttle?
                      Thank you again!
                      Prometida


                       






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