2012 Wedding Review
I was married at the Grand Sirenis February 2012. I used many reviews in planning my wedding so now I will give back to you! If anyone has any questions please message me, otherwise I will try to cover the main points.
Overall, the week at the resort was fabulous. We took a group of 60 people and I heard nothing but good reviews about the resort.
AIR TRANSAT WEDDING PACKAGE:
We book an Air Transat Wedding package. The wedding packages offered at the resort looked fabulous, but we decided they were not worth our money. Our compromise was to book an inexpensive Transat Wedding package and then pay for the extras that we needed for our group. In the end, this saved us about $4000 CAN. When booking an Air Transat package you can get everything that is offered in the hotel packages, you just have to pay for them.
All of the resort packages include 10 guests. Above and beyond this number it is $500 MXN- $800 MXN per plate, depending on your menu. Our JOY wedding package didn't include a meal, so we paid for everyone individually. Because our group was so large the only reception option for us was the Palapa. The palapa is $11,050 MXN to rent. Worth noting, when you rent the palapa, you get the private beach and gazebo for the ceremony. With the transat package, there is a different ceremony location. They are both nice. The one with the palapa is more private. No one else will be there. There are more rocks so the waves crash there more (it made for really nice pictures). The other beach gazebo is not directly on the main beach; its on the edge of the bay. From far off, people on the main beach can see you. It still is out of the way so I would doubt you would have anyone wandering by.
We had a civil ceremony. The judge is $5200 MXN and the apostile is $1000 MXN. We are canadian. When we got there, we had to confirm if we wanted to send our marriage certificate to the canadian consolate to get it "stamped", as the wedding coordinator put it. From there the consolate would email it to us. I had been advised to take the marriage certificate home with us when we left the resort. Check with your province laws before you leave to see if you need to send your certificate to the consolate. In our case, our province did not require this and we were glad that we knew this beforehand as our WC had encouraged us to send it to the consolate. Our JP was great, she spoke very good english.
We had our bloodwork drawn a few days before the wedding at the mediclinic. It is $220 USD, payable in cash at the clinic.
We took our own photographer. He was a paying guest and we did not have to pay anything extra for being a professional photographer on the resort. He had no problem on departure from Mexico either. He had heard of some photographers being charged or taxed at the border for "working" while being in Mexico. No problem though.
We did not use the resort photographer. I did not make any contact with him before the wedding. The day after the wedding he tracked me down in the resort and told me he had pictures to show me. Though I didn't notice; he had been at the wedding ceremony! His pictures were really good. We picked a few because they were included in our transat package. If I had not had a photographer, I would have been satisfied with his photos. He was not in the way; I didn't even notice him there.
As noted earlier, we used the palapa. It was fabulous. The reception is only 4 hours long. We booked for an additional 2 hours. This costs $60 MXN/ adult/ hour. We rented the sound system equipment at $450 MXN/ hr. We didn't get the DJ. We had a playlist on an ipod. The sound system worked well and was easy to operate. For menu, we chose steak as our main course. It was really good; all of the food was excellent at the reception. The cake tasted good but was plain looking. My MIL, used some fresh flowers and it became gorgeous! We had more than enough for 60 people; there was lots left over.
Elizabeth was our coordinator assigned to us at the resort. She was very good. She introduced herself to us on arrival at the resort. There was a welcome letter in our room that told us when we needed to meet with her, take our witnesses for paperwork and have our bloodwork drawn. All of the WCs seem to work as a team; they were very kind, helpful and hard working.
We felt very safe at the resort. The weeks that we were at the resort there was drama surrounding an alleged attack that had occurred on a Canadian woman. Like others, we had heard that said group's conduct at the resort was less than ideal. Regardless, as a large group of women we were careful to not be found alone at night on the resort. This practice served us well and we all had a fabulous time.
IN THE END....
Our wedding was absolutely amazing. Our week at the hotel was nothing less than this either. As noted earlier, all 60 of our guests had great reviews about the resort and the wedding. I would recommend using the Air Transat wedding package to anyone. Our entire experience and wedding was truly better than I ever could have imagined....
Good Luck planning and contact me if you have any questions!