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wahmsuzanne

wahmsuzanne's Dreams Tulum Review (6/30/09) Very Long!!! (some pics and link to more)

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Dreams Tulum Review

 

I want to start by saying that I swore I wouldn’t be a bride who came on and just gave straight A’s but instead would really pay attention and “give it to you straight.” You’ll see the A’s I’ve given … and I can honestly say I feel I’ve been as fair as I know how. It was an amazing wedding and vacation and I feel confident and comfortable suggesting Dreams Tulum for your destination wedding (or vacation) and I’m honestly happy to answer any and all questions you have so please don’t hesitate to ask.

 

Travel Agents

Destination Weddings = C (didn’t work out)

Tammy Wright w/Wright Travel Agency = A (Awesome service!)

 

We knew before we officially got engaged that we wanted a destination wedding but we had no idea how to plan one. After doing an internet search I hired DestinationWeddings.com ($50 deposit) to help plan our dream wedding. We did not have a good experience as the agent we were assigned to had some medical problems and would take many, many days to reply and when she did it was misinformation and it felt like we were starting over each time.

 

I suppose I could’ve contacted the company and tried to switch agents but as I spent more time researching on my own I eventually found www.bestdestinationwedding.com/forum. It didn’t take long to see that I would be able to plan and carry out my dream wedding with the help of other brides on the forum.

 

I also made the decision to hire Tammy Wright (Wright Travel Agency Wright Travel Agency) to handle the travel for us and for our guests. This was a great decision. Tammy is very knowledgeable and prompt in her communications. She became the “go-between” for me and our resort (Dreams Tulum) and between us and our wedding coordinator at the resort. She booked our private transfers to and from the resort and airport in Cancun. She kept us abreast of the flight changes that came up. She sent a nice email to the resort asking them to give us and our guests VIP treatment and requested upgrades for all.

 

I definitely recommend Tammy for all of your destination wedding travel needs.

 

Flights – (Flight There & Return Flight)

Aeromexico Booked via FunJet = A- (Due to so many changes)

 

We had non-stop flights there and back. There were a couple of changes to our outbound flight and we received emails alerting us of the changes as we got closer to leaving. The flights were fine … non-eventful. Food was so-so. We got through customs very quickly (10 minute wait). Our flight back was also changed. We didn’t realize that they had emailed at 9:00 a.m. (the day we were to fly out at 3:00) and our flight was moved from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Thank goodness Ken got the email before we took the transfer to the airport. That would’ve been horrible with our 5 kids in tote.

 

Transfer (There & Back and 7/11 stop)

VI Travel = A

 

Once we landed and made it through customs we were met by several men asking us if we needed transportation. We told them the company we were booked through and they pointed us in the right direction. Several will offer to transport your luggage to your vehicle. We let them do so because with 5 kids we had a ton of luggage. They do this for tips and I’ve been told a couple of bucks is sufficient.

 

The transfer itself was fine too. The guy who greeted us had a sign with Ken’s name. He spoke pretty good English but the guy who drove us did not. We did request a stop to 7/11 for some cold Corona and some soda for the kids. When Ken came out and told the driver they only gave him 10 pesos on the dollar he seemed visibly upset by this and wanted to go talk to them on our behalf. We told him it was fine and off we went to Dreams Resort. I thought that was nice of him though.

 

The van was clean, well kept and had nice cold air conditioning.

 

The drive from Cancun Airport to Dreams Tulum was more pleasant then I had expected. The roads were “good” and it was pretty “clean” and such. I pictured it totally different. I read where someone talked about checkpoints and police with guns … and I didn’t see anything of the sort.

 

Dreams Tulum (Check In - First Impressions)

Check In = A

 

When you arrive at Dreams Tulum from the highway there is a security gate and they will ask for your name and I believe the dates you’ll be there. You then drive back about a minute to the front of the resort. It’s a pretty, well kept entrance. The bellhops come out and greet you. They bring cold wash cloths and they get the luggage and put tags on your luggage and give you some claim tickets. They were very nice and seemed generally happy to have us there.

 

When we went to check in they greeted us with a glass of champagne. We had our kids (we took our 5 children) go sit on the couches that are there and while we were checking in Ken said, “Hey look – our kids all have drinks and cookies.” As a parent who just traveled and is still getting situated this was such a nice touch.

 

The gal at the front desk went over the resort map and answered any questions we had. Checking in was very quick and smooth. In fact, we were told upon check in that we would receive complimentary room upgrades (Thanks Tammy – awesome travel agent!) and the rooms were just gorgeous.

 

There was a letter there for me with my appointment time with Landy. It was scheduled for the next morning (Saturday at 10:30 a.m.) and unfortunately we hoped to be gone all day Saturday at Xel Ha. I noticed that Anabel was at the desk and we asked her if we could reschedule. That night when we returned from the show there was a letter under the door and our appointment was rescheduled for Monday at 10:30 – awesome!

 

Rooms

Rooms = A

Since we were traveling with kids we requested rooms that were adjoining/connected. We ended up with two rooms (7304 and 7305) that were next door to each other but there wasn’t a door inside the rooms to get back and forth. Our oldest is almost 14 so we figured we’d see how comfortable we felt leaving him in charge in the room of kids so we could have some privacy. We ended up doing a lot of running back and forth between rooms but it really worked out well for us.

 

The rooms were very nice/pretty and I have no complaints about the rooms at all. It was quiet. They were clean and “kept” each day. And surprises arrived each day for us (I won’t say as I enjoyed the surprises that I hadn’t read about here).

 

We were in the building down the lobby staircase and to the left. It was close enough to everything and I would enjoy the same building if I returned.

 

We were upgraded (as was Misti – our photographer) to the Dreams building and they offered my sister and brother-in-law upgrades for their rooms too but they wanted to stay where they were. My sister said that the lady said it was $4/per night to upgrade so I don’t know what that was all about. LOL They were very happy with their rooms (they were in 2106 and my nephew was in 2202).

 

Wireless Internet

Wireless Internet in Rooms = A- (Worked well – but we couldn’t both use it at the same time)

 

We opted to pay ($65) for the week of wireless internet and it worked great in our room. They give you a password for the login. We finally figured out that only one of us could be on the internet at the same time so I thought I’d mentioned that here.

 

While I’m thinking about computers I’ll mention that Ken’s computer fit in the safe just fine but mine didn’t. I either left it out (they don’t recommend that) or I put it on the side of the T.V. in the armoire. I honestly never felt nervous about the computer.

 

Grounds

Grounds = A

 

We really enjoyed the look and feel of Dreams Tulum. The gardens and walks are kept up and there are a lot of colors and pretty architectural details throughout.

 

I took as many pictures as possible so if you have any specific questions about the resort itself please let me know and I’ll see if I have any pictures that would be helpful.

 

The only complaint would be that we had horrible storms and there seemed to be no where for the water to go (drainage). At one point there was at least 6 inches of standing water on the ground (I kid you not!). People were out walking through it just laughing their heads off. Many employees were in knee-high rubber boots so this can’t be the first time it’s happened LOL

 

Restaurants

Restaurants = A

 

What can I say about the food … other than WoW! We really enjoyed the food. I wish I had been married immediately after arriving so I didn’t have to worry so much about my weight LOL … but everything we ate was awesome. The only complaint I heard the entire time we were there was one night we were at Seaside Grill some of us order the New York strip and Ken’s was thin and smaller then the rest of ours. I wish he’d said something because I know they would’ve brought him another steak.

 

Our favorite was the Asian restaurant … and we didn’t realize that there was both an Asian and a sushi … so the first time we tried the Asian we went to order sushi and they said … that’s next door. But … they offered to go get us sushi and serve it before our actual meal at the Asian restaurant. That was so nice of them!

 

Staff

A+

 

The staff at Dreams Tulum is awesome! Every single person we met and/or dealt with really seemed happy to work there and we felt they went above and beyond in everything they did for us.

 

One night I let a waiter know we would be getting married on Tuesday. First he brought out a fish dinner that was not on the menu and congratulated us and said, “Special plate from us and be wishes for a happy wedding and marriage.” Then when our dessert arrived it had two swans facing/kissing drawn on the plate with chocolate.

 

On Sunday morning I went to the concierge to ask about going to the ruins. Lili was there and she said she couldn’t suggest it because of the weather. I kept looking out the doors and I finally just started crying. I told her we were getting married on Tuesday and that I was depressed about the weather. I had 4 of our kids with me and she picked up the phone and made a call. Within seconds two guys showed up, directed my kids over to the couches, got out a couple of board games for them and got them happy and smiling. Lili asked me, “What can we do to make you smile – to make you happy right this minute?” I started laughing and said, “Maybe a shot of tequila!” She started laughing and said, “Really?” She called the bartender who promptly brought me a shot and a drink.” I know it sounds silly but I can’t explain how much it meant to me. She could see that I didn’t want my kids to see me crying and she handled that so well. She helped me make alternate plans to take our group into town (Tulum) to do some shopping. It rained most of the time but we really did have fun as a group and I’m glad we didn’t go to the ruins that day.

 

One night on the way to dinner our youngest (he’s 7) ran ahead and got into the elevator. The elevator got stuck and wouldn’t move. We could hear him and we think he was stuck between floors but we aren’t sure exactly what happened. Ken called for help. Within a minute or so 3 guys showed up and got it working. We went to dinner with family and during dinner the manager of the resort came to our table and introduced himself. He said he came to make sure our son was OK and to apologize for the incident. He asked if there was anything they could do for us or our family. My sister mentioned that their refrigerator wasn’t working. He radioed it in and it was replaced when they returned from dinner. Truthfully we have no idea how the manager knew where to find us. My sister and brother-in-law got to the restaurant first and used their room number to get the table. Again, I believe this was above and beyond and it really impressed us. All we can figure is that with 5 kids LOL … they radioed each restaurant until they found us.

 

Tipping

I asked about tipping before we left and I know I’m not the only one who would like to know what an appropriate tip is for the services there. I also know that tipping is a personal choice/decision so you will do whatever you want on this. But I thought I’d post what we did. I also spoke to Jennifer from the spa office to see what she thought on the subject and she felt we were very generous. I know some people don’t feel the need to tip at an all inclusive and/or it’s just not their custom and I understand that. I put tipping in my budget because it’s something I wanted to do. Do remember that any amount no matter how small is very appreciated by everyone there.

 

We went to our bank and got $200 in one’s before we went. If you need the one’s you can usually get them from the bellhops. We brought 5 rolls of quarters for the kids so they could tip for their drinks at the pool. We found out that they (the staff) can’t cash in the quarters because the banks won’t take them so that was a mistake and we had to give them some of our cash or tip for them.

 

We tipped bellhops a couple bucks. We tipped a couple bucks for room service. We tipped between $2-$10 for meals (there were usually 7-10 of us). We sometimes tipped the “host” who seated us ($5). We were a large group (7-12) and they always got us in immediately (one night we were quoted and hour and 15 minutes and we were in within 15 minutes and that’s the longest we waited all week). My sister tipped $5 for a pedicure and I tipped $3.00 for my polish change. I tipped each of our 3 hair dressers $20. We tipped $5 each for our massages (I would’ve tipped $10 each but didn’t have the cash on me). We tipped our excursion guides $20 each (snorkeling the cenote) because they were so patient with our kids and spent an hour longer with us! We tipped $1 or $2 probably every other round of drinks poolside and at the bars. We tipped taxi drivers a buck or two each way. We tipped Landy (wedding coordinator) $100 and we feel she earned every penny!

 

Transportation

I tried to get an idea of the transportation options when we first arrived and this is what I discovered. You can put 4 people per taxi. To the town of Tulum it was $10 each way. To the ruins it was $7 each way. To Play del Carmen it was $20 each way. It’s up to you to use dollars or pesos. They quoted us 70 pesos or $7 even through the exchange was approximately 13.5 but the round numbers are easier for them to quote and work with I believe (so it’s a better deal to pay in pesos).

 

There are also buses and shuttles that run constantly back and forth on the main highway. I was told that they are clean and safe. They cost about $1.50 to $2.00 each person depending on where. Keep in mind depending on which direction you are heading you’ll have to cross the street and it’s pretty busy (it’s a major highway and could be dangerous). You will also have to walk to and from the main entrance of Dreams and to and from entrances of where you are going (ruins for instance – bus would drop you on the main road and the taxi takes you to the entrance).

 

Rain and Flooding (World Café, Night Club)

We knew very well that we were heading to a tropical location but it never dawned on me that it might rain while we were there. I mean STORM (we live in Texas so we’re used to bad storms – but I wasn’t expecting this)! I expected a midday rain that blew in and blew back out but I was completely caught off guard by what we encountered.

 

We arrived on Friday and we went straight to the pool and the beach. It was sunny and gorgeous. Saturday it was very windy and the beach was very choppy rough water (they wouldn’t take us out on the boats to snorkel the reef). Saturday night it rained while we were at dinner and we had a major storm overnight on Saturday (bad thunder/lightning storm). When we woke up on Sunday we realized just how bad it was. The resort had a lot of standing water (at least 6 inches of water on the sidewalks and in the grassy areas – I kid you not!). We arrived to the World Café for breakfast to find out that part of the roof fell in and they were serving breakfast at Portifinos instead. It rained all day on Sunday. Monday we had intermittent rain and Monday night we were at dinner at Seaside Grill when it stared pouring again. The storm Saturday night also flooded the Disco so that was closed the whole time we were there (except Friday night). I heard that the bottom floors in some of the buildings were also flooded and we had huge puddles under the windows on our floor (3rd floor) most of the time we were there.

 

Resort Activities

Activities Directors = A

 

I didn’t participate in any of the resort “activities” but my kids did and they really enjoyed it. They held contests where the guy threw the football for guests to catch in the pool, they played water basketball, played beach soccer, they took the Spanish lessons … and they said it was all really fun.

 

Kids Club

Staff and Organization = A

 

We only used the kids club a couple of times and the kids enjoyed it. It was very organized and the girls there were great with the kids. They went on scavenger hunts, did performances at night for the parents, swam, they took them to their meals … they have phones they can issue to you so they can reach you if they need to … I thought it was a great system and I wish we had used it so we could’ve had an adult only dinner! LOL

 

Excursions

Snorkeling the Cenote = A

Deep Sea Fishing = B

Shopping in Tulum = A

 

We really wanted to snorkel the reef (said to be the 2nd largest reef in the world) on Saturday but the water was too rough so the staff talked us into the cenote trip. This turned out to be the highlight of our trip (other than the wedding of course LOL). We had 3 guides – and we had 5 adults and 5 kids in our group.

 

I believe this cost $40 per person including the equipment, the transportation and the guides. They were great at explaining everything that we were going to do. They also staggered us in a line so that they were there to help each of us throughout the whole thing. One of our kids was a bit freaked out and phobic and I couldn’t believe how nice and patient they were with him. With that said … if you are claustrophobic or don’t like the “dark” … it might not be for you. You are snorkeling in spring feed caves with stalagmites and stalactites coming from above and below you … and bats in the caves too. It’s not something I would’ve picked but I really enjoyed it!

 

My new husband (LOL) and my brother-in-law went deep sea fishing out of Playa del Carmen. I believe they said there were 3 other guys on the boat and the guides. They didn’t catch much so they said it was OK. I have no idea what the problem was since I always hear about how great the fishing is there.

 

We went shopping in Tulum as a group and it was actually pretty fun. We had some fun bargaining with the shop owners and I feel we got some good deals – dresses for the girls, a bit of jewelry, a blanket … that type of stuff. We scheduled our 3 taxis to come back and pick us up at a certain time (we tipped well when they dropped us off LOL) and they were there waiting for us when we were done.

 

 

Spa (hair, nails, makeup and massages)

A (loved the spa)

Hair = A

Nails = B+

Makeup = B (looked great – but melted/beaded up)

 

Hair and Nails

The day before my wedding my sister and I went to the spa and scheduled our services for the next day. The guy didn’t know much English and that surprised me a bit I guess (but he was very nice).

 

She got a pedicure and said it was fine. I got a polish change (French) and it looked great (I had it done before I left due to the poor nail reviews on here – but I forgot to bring the polish and it was getting chipped up in the pool – NOTE: they don’t sell polish so remember to bring yours if you’d prefer to do your own nails).

 

My daughter and Ken’s daughter each picked out a hairstyle from the books they have there and they both looked so good.

 

My sister asked to have her hair straightened … and when I came out to check on the girls I saw the lady was curling it in tight curls. I asked my sister if that was OK or should I say something. She said it was fine. I thought it looked really good on her … I just wanted to make sure my sister was happy with her hair (she’s super sweet and a totally people pleaser LOL and I wasn’t sure she’d assert herself LOL).

 

I brought pictures of several hairstyles and I hadn’t decided on one *sigh* I was so excited when Trinadad came and introduced herself because I’d heard such great things about her on the forum. I showed her all the pictures and a picture of my dress and she picked the style that all my friends and family had picked. I was hesitant because I’m not an “up-do kinda girl” LOL … but everyone said they loved my hair. I really hope I love my pictures and don’t have an “up-do” hang-up once I see them.

 

Makeup

Trinadad also did my makeup. I told her to use natural colors and she agreed. I brought my own eyelashes and she put those on for me too. I felt like it was a lot of makeup but I wanted it to look good in the pictures. My niece showed up towards the end I planned on using her as my “backup” plan if we hated the makeup. She swore it looked good so I just went with it.

 

After taking a ton of “after ceremony” pictures I asked Ken and Misti if my makeup was melting and they pretty much said, “Yes.” It had sort of beaded up on my nose and forehead. The makeup she used is thick and heavy. It felt fine on my face (even though I wear very little makeup at home) but I kind of felt it was “melting” in the heat. I tried to fix it while cooling off before our dinner but I could still tell in one of my dinner pictures where it was weird. *sigh*

 

 

Massage on the Beach

Massage = A (it was heavenly)

Payment = C (miscommunication about use of coupons)

 

OMGosh! I booked a couples massage for Ken and I for the morning after our wedding and it was fabulous! I booked 9:00 a.m. and since they put us in the shade it wasn’t scorching hot yet. It felt great … but they do really “get in there” so if you have any injuries or hot spots discuss that with them before … or during you can use your hands to communicate to ease up a bit.

 

When we booked our rooms we were given a book of certificates to use (free wine, free dinner on the beach, and some for the spa). When I booked the massages (remember I mentioned the guy didn’t speak much English?) I specifically asked the guy if I could use the coupons I had … and I said … “The massages are $125 each … and we have two rooms … so double the coupons … so can I use $100 in coupons for each massage and pay $25 each?” He said yes. After the massage I went to see Jennifer to pay up and she sent me to the spa to pay. A different guy was there (also very nice) and his English was much better. He said, “No, you can only use one of the $40 coupons for each.” So we ended up paying the difference. It was totally worth it … just thought I’d mention it here.

 

Ceremony

Ceremony = A (Loved it!)

 

We came back from the spa and my niece starting doing the little girls’ nails. Our photographer (Misti – more on here in a minute) was taking pictures of the dresses, the bouquet, rings, and the happenings in the room.

 

All the sudden the time snuck up on us and it was time to get dressed and get down there. I was excited but I definitely started to panic a bit. We got me into my dress and finally out the door.

 

Landy came to the room (and waited patiently on us) and walked us down. She told me where to wait and got the girls situated. When I peeked around the corner and saw my set up I almost started crying! It was exactly what I envisioned! The water was so gorgeous (4-5 shades of blue)! My chairs were perfect … my starfish isle … rose petals … I was just so happy!

 

We got legally married at home so we asked my brother-in-law to “marry us” for our ceremony. He and I worked on the ceremony and prayers and Ken and I wrote the vows (we found some different ones online and changed until they said what we wanted).

 

We also brought necklaces for each others’ children and presented those to them one at a time … making our own “vow” and commitment to each of them as step parents.

 

One of our guests did video tape for us and I wanted to mention that we chose not to get the sound system for our ceremony and it might have been a mistake. We were such a small group we decided that everyone could hear us just fine. Well, for the video it would’ve been worth it. The waves and the wind are quite noisy. We did bring our own “boom box” so we had music … but for video (and to do over again) I would spring for the sound system.

 

Once we were done … we did some family pictures and pictures with guests and then they all took the kids for us and we did our couple pictures on the beach and then around the resort. It was very hot! I started to “melt!” I was overheated … dripping with sweat … beat red … and my makeup was starting to “bead up.” Hopefully some of the pictures came out good … I’m sure there’s a lot of work ahead for Misti to make me look beautiful! LOL

 

Reception

Reception = A+ (gorgeous, great food, awesome/fun service – fun with our guests)

 

After the pictures we went back to our room to cool off and so I could freshen up. My sister and brother-in-law came over and had a drink with us and we just hung out really.

 

When it was almost time for dinner (we were scheduled at 7:30 I believe) my sister took everyone down to the tables and told us to come in a few minutes. I liked having a bit of an entrance! My boys were even hiding in bushes to film us … too funny.

 

We had our reception at the dolphin pool. We walked up and walked over the bridge over the pool … and just stood there and starred at our setup. It was gorgeous!

 

The night before I saw Rebecca and George’s setup on the beach and they used 4 columns and strung their white Chinese lanterns around all the tables. My niece and I ran into them after their reception and they were nice enough to let me have their lanterns. Landy said I’d only need 2 of the columns ($50 each) and 10 lanterns (I believe it was $50 or $100 for them to string them up – I’ll look it up) and she was right … it was perfect! She had them strung over the table (we had a long rectangle table) and it looked so pretty.

 

We chose the gold menu. We had the shrimp puff pastry, the shrimp salad, the surf and turf and chocolate cake … and everything was super delicious!

 

We had the Paradise package and we went with the basic cake but asked for the three milk cake and everyone loved it!

 

We had two waiters and they were great! At one point they came over with a bottle of tequila wrapped in a napkin and showed it to Ken and said, “Special night for you.” So we all did some shots and had a blast!

 

We rented the sound system ($200) and we had our kids put on the music and that went OK. We thought we had it set up to play song lists and it didn’t work right (our fault – not Dreams – but make sure someone knows what they’re doing with the music LOL).

 

The guys got some cigars and they enjoyed that too.

 

We planned a little surprise for our guests and decided that we (all 7 of us – Ken and I and the kids) would jump in the pool in our wedding clothes. It was a riot! When we knew our time was almost up I mentioned this to the waiters and they motioned like “We’ll look the other way.”

 

We set it up with Misti and we all got on the other side of the pool. I told family we were getting a picture around the pool. When Misti signaled we counted to 3 and we all ran holding hands and jumped in. It was so funny! The kids will never forget that we let them do that and we thought it was a perfect end to the evening. At one point some of our guests got in too and after about 15 minutes I remember seeing Landy talking to the security guards (hee hee) but again… we said a few more minutes and they “looked the other way.” Too funny!

 

 

Wedding Coordinator (Landy)

Landy = A

 

I have had such a great experience with Landy as my wedding coordinator. I honestly couldn’t thank her enough for the important role she played in our wedding and dinner/reception.

 

Despite what I’d read on the forum my emails were always replied to promptly and she (they) usually addressed everything in my emails the first time.

 

When we first decided on DT we figured we’d take the Ultimate package and that way we’d have everything we needed for our wedding and for our dinner. As our guest numbers dwindled down we just couldn’t justify the Ultimate package. I had also made the decision to bring our own photographer and my own flowers so those were no longer selling points either.

 

Most of my questions at that point had to do with what they would or wouldn’t do as far as substituting items we didn’t need in our package. If I understand correctly they used to make reasonable substitutions for certain items/services and now it seems that they are just not willing (or able?) to do so.

 

The only substitutions I ended up with (thankfully of course) were on my flowers. I brought my own artificial flowers and didn’t want flowers up on the arbor so instead of what came with the package we got a centerpiece for our dinner table, a flower for my hair, and rose petals for the isle. We were also supposed to have some rose petals to throw for pictures after the ceremony but I don’t know what happened with those (no biggie).

 

Since we were getting the Paradise package for free I was a bit confused about where we could have our dinner/reception and what food we could have for dinner. I really wanted either the adult/quiet pool or the dolphin pool location but we weren’t sure we wanted to pay to upgrade the dinner. Truthfully, I’m still not clear on the options because we decided to go with the surf and turf dinner. When I asked what we could eat and where … Landy’s reply was if we chose the silver or gold she could put us at one of the pools … and that’s the only question that I didn’t get answered … so I still don’t know how it works for that situation.

 

When we met with Landy (it was rescheduled for the day before our wedding at 10:30 in the morning) I felt everything went very smoothly while ironing out the details for the ceremony and the reception. We gave her a carryon suitcase with our tulle, starfish, place card holders, pashminas, etc. and she seemed to understand where we wanted everything (I also brought a couple of pictures).

 

With the weather we were having the big question was what to do for our rain backup plan. I’m sorry for how I acted but no matter how many times she asked me … I just kept saying, “No Landy, I’m getting married outside on the beach … and I’m having my dinner and my reception at the dolphin pool.” The poor thing didn’t know what to say to me. She offered some options (inside a restaurant – non-private and no music … or the convention center) but I just couldn’t “go there.” Honestly I was wrecked to even be having this conversation! After all of the dreams and planning … I was dead-set on being outside. She said I would have to decide by 3:00 on Tuesday where to have dinner. The weather on Tuesday was gorgeous so it was never really an issue (thank God!).

 

She scheduled to have our wedding clothes picked up, pressed, and dropped back off. That all went very smoothly except (like an idiot) I sent my pretty silk/fabric dress hanger with the dress and it was returned on a plastic hanger. As luck would have it … I’d remembered seeing two of these hangers in our other room in the closet. LOL

 

On the day of my wedding Landy brought my hair flower to the salon and it was a really pretty orchid. Trinadad had actually decided not to use a flower because of the jewelry and the crystal/pearl pins I brought for my hair … but when we saw the flower we all decided it would be pretty.

 

Landy then came to my room to get us girls down to the ceremony. I was running late (took forever to figure out how to make the bow thingy with my sash LOL) and off we went. She got the girls (our two daughters) ready to walk and told me to wait. Once we got to the beach and I peeked around the corner I almost cried. Everything was exactly as I envisioned! That water so beautiful in its multiple shades of blue … the white sand (I was barefoot as I had dreamed) … my starfish and rose petal isle … and my handsome, wonderful groom there waiting for me.

 

Dinner was just as amazing! Landy did a great job with the set up and it looked even more beautiful than I imagined. I mentioned the columns and the Chinese lanterns will what I want to say is that I asked Landy for the 4 columns like we saw on the beach. She said I think 2 will be good for your set up and she was right … it was gorgeous. She could’ve easily said yes to 4 and charged me double so I really feel she had my back on this.

 

The next day I went to see her to thank her and to give her a tip and she had all of our stuff back in the suitcase and ready for me.

 

Photograper – Misti Abner (now Misti Douglas)

Experience working with her = A+

Photography = Still to come! (But I’m very confident)

 

I met Misti here on the BDW forum when she kindly offered to take pictures in the sand with bride and groom names and wedding date. This prompted me to go to her site and blog and take a look at her work. I was so impressed with her creativity and the beauty of her work and I also liked how she described working with each couple and their families (it was apparent that she really enjoys her work).

 

I saw she was open for our dates and I contacted her. I must say that everything from there forward was a breeze with Misti. She was very easy to contact, was super easy to work with while booking her travel and was overall just very pleasant.

 

Misti’s destination wedding package is nothing short of amazing! I was honestly looking for the “catch” and there really isn’t one. For only $500 + 3 nights + RT air … she offers:

 

•up to 10 hours of coverage by one photographer (Misti Douglas) *hours can be divided among multiple days

•Full resolution disc of edited photos (delivered within 30 days of your wedding)

•Copyright release granting full ownership and printing rights

•Color versions of edited photos

•A combination of artistic detail, photojournalistic, and portrait style photography

•All edited wedding photos uploaded to a password protected online gallery for 9 months

•Unlimited downloads of all wedding images from online gallery (full resolution for printing)

•$125 album credit

 

This pricing is truly unmatched … especially for everything you get! I believe it’s about 1/3 of some of the quotes I got (including her travel) and it’s about twice the hours included. Plus most all of the quotes were extra for a trash the dress ($500 - $1,000) … much less the fact that we technically got 4 photo shoots during this time (Ken thinks 3 of course LOL – read on for details).

 

We really put Misti through the test! LOL. Misti arrived on Monday (the day before the wedding) and we scheduled to have family portraits/pictures down on the beach of the 7 of us (Ken and I plus our 5 kids) that evening. Yes, that went exactly as you’d expect with 5 kids! LOL … lots of funny faces and bickering … get off me … don’t touch me … Misti handled it all so well … I knew we’d picked the perfect person to shoot our wedding!

 

On Tuesday she came to the salon while the girls were getting pretty and got some shots there (we were running late so I have no idea what she got there – but this wasn’t super important to me).

 

Then she came to the room while we girls were getting ready for the ceremony and got the dresses, bouquet, shoes, jewelry, etc. and then the dressing and such.

 

She made her way to the guys’ room and took shots of them while getting ready too.

 

She shot the wedding ceremony and took family and couple pictures immediately following. We then sent the kids with family and we did more couple pictures on the beach and throughout the resort. It was obvious she had scouted out the resort for places for pictures but was also open to hearing the ideas we had too. It was very hot outside (our ceremony was at 3:00) and I never once felt rushed by her to get in out of the heat.

 

We all went back to our rooms and met back up at the dinner/reception. I was so happy to have Misti there with us … she felt like family yet did her job seamlessly. She was such a good sport with our “surprise” pool picture (which required Misti to actually get part way in the pool BTW and to stay a bit later than we expected).

 

The next day Misti came to my room for a boudoir shoot (a surprise for Ken and hopefully he hasn’t figured it out) and that went well too. I was running late (still drying my hair when she arrived *sigh*) and she got to work moving furniture, taking down pictures, and checking the lighting. I will say I felt totally comfortable with her doing this photo shoot (and for those still contemplating a boudoir shoot I hope you do it) and I can’t wait to see the pictures.

 

Immediately afterwards we were to do our trash the dress shoot … and we had no groom. Ken went deep sea fishing and hadn’t come back to the room yet. I started to spaz a little … but not Misti … he’ll be here … she suggested we go down to the beach and get started on some of me (she’s pretty patient and easy going).

 

Just as we made that decision Ken came to the door. We met her down there and got to work on the beach. She told us what to do and really guided us and took control of the shoot which made me very comfortable. Afterwards we decided we’d try a shot of us jumping off the bridge over the pool and of course she was up for that too.

 

I couldn’t be happier about our choice … Misti really added to our wedding and vacation experience and I can’t wait to see the pictures (I’ll post the link once they’re up).

 

Conclusion: We really did have the wedding (and vacation) of our dreams. I can personally recommend Dreams Tulum as a wonderful place to have your destination wedding. Please let me know if you have any questions and I’ll be happy to answer them and/or help in any way!

*SmiLes* Suzanne

 

Some pics below and our Photobucket album: Pictures by kenandsuzanne - Photobucket

 

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What a fantastic review! I imagine your kids had a blast. I am glad to hear they liked the kids club - I am taking my five year old daughter down with us, and hope she will go for at least a little bit. You were a beautiful bride! Looking forward to seeing your professional pictures!!

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Congrats, thank you for sharing and everything looked wonderful.. BTW I loved your idea of jumping all together on the pool!!!

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Great review. You looked absolutely beautiful! You beach aisle set-up was great. We also saw your reception set up at night and thought it looked beautiful and intimate. Congrats!

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great review Suzanne-it was very detailed! You looked so pretty! Congrats on being a mrs.

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Thanks ladies! It really was fun and a total success as far as we're concerned. I'm happy to answer any questions about the resort and/or the wedding ... or whatever. I'm still working on my planning thread and I'll have that ready soon.

 

@lolosmama ~ we were impressed with the kids club. The girls there seem to really care about the kids. One of our kids has very sensitive skin and we had special sunscreen for him and needed it applied every hour or so and they seem to fully understand this and he never got sunburned so that meant a lot to us. They have a printed schedule so you know what’s going on what time what days and can plan around that if you’d like. They do go around the resort with the kids so there’s a chance you’ll run into them while you’re out and about … so if that would prompt your daughter to want to come back to you … you might want to work around their schedule a bit.

 

@megashay ~ thanks! We’re neighbors … we are in Spring Branch/Bulverde right up the road from you. wink.gif

 

@edna ~ thanks! That was super fun … especially for the kids wink.gif

 

@starlitk ~ thanks! We saw your reception set up to and it was gorgeous! In fact when we saw yours and I was admiring your lanterns Ken said well just get those too if you want them. I was pissy because he’s the one who told me while planning not to *sigh* … he kept telling me to “keep it simple” and not drive myself crazy with the little stuff. I explained to him that it was too late now … I would’ve had to buy and make them. LOL. I was so excited and grateful to have Rebecca and George’s lanterns when they were done with them. Yours were beautiful too … how you alternated the colors/sizes … they did a great job putting them up … it was absolutely gorgeous. I’m still so sorry to hear about your mishaps! Loved your planning thread … you did such creative and beautiful things *huGs*

 

@sunbride ~ thanks! And thank you for your hard work and dedication to this forum and the other brides on here. You have really set a great example for the rest of us to stick around and “pay it forward” Thank you … thank you … thank you!

 

@blkatz ~ thanks! After almost 5 years of dating … I really didn’t expect it to feel any different … but truthfully it really does … makes me smile. Congrats to you too!

 

@michellepicksbrent ~ thanks! I was trying to be detailed without being too long winded! LOL

 

@ginalynl ~ thanks! You looked so beautiful too … fun fun. wink.gif

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Everything looks great! Thanks for sharing, glad you had a great time!

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