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***Iberostar Laguna Azul Brides***


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#301 cristina2011

cristina2011
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    Posted 23 March 2011 - 11:19 AM

    Hi Dee,

     

    In lieu of wedding favours, we're taking everyone to Havana!  As for table decorations, I'm bringing fuchsia petals and 72 tealights in frosted glass holders.  I'm also going to hang 45 paper lanterns (12") from inside the palapas in 3 different shades of pink.  I think it's going to look pretty cool.  I made the bouquets myself since the resort's available flower selection appears pretty lacking.  Can't wait to share my pics!!  

     

    I think I too will bring regular cd's in case the iPod set up doesn't work.  I'm wondering if an mp3 disc will work... I have a lot of music.  

     

    So excited for it all!

    Cristina



    #302 Rendee

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      Posted 25 March 2011 - 10:02 PM

      Hi Cristina,

      I'm planning on doing the exact same thing as you - from ceremony, reception to paper lanterns and all! I'd love to hear your review when you get back. Specifically, how was the private beach party? Did you have to dance on the sand?? This is one of my concerns. Or anyone else that can answer? Can you do speeches, dancing all there?  And what type of lanterns did you get? I'm about to order them.

      Hope everything goes better than you expected!!! Can't wait for reviews :)



      #303 Vero007

      Vero007
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        Posted 28 March 2011 - 08:50 AM

        That sounds amazing! I cannot wait for your review & the pictures. Are you doing the doing the dinner under the palapas + the beach party? My understanding was that it's an extra cost for the dinner and another for the beach party. Let me know what it was. I can't wait!

         

        Originally Posted by cristina2011 

        Hi Dee,

         

        In lieu of wedding favours, we're taking everyone to Havana!  As for table decorations, I'm bringing fuchsia petals and 72 tealights in frosted glass holders.  I'm also going to hang 45 paper lanterns (12") from inside the palapas in 3 different shades of pink.  I think it's going to look pretty cool.  I made the bouquets myself since the resort's available flower selection appears pretty lacking.  Can't wait to share my pics!!  

         

        I think I too will bring regular cd's in case the iPod set up doesn't work.  I'm wondering if an mp3 disc will work... I have a lot of music.  

         

        So excited for it all!

        Cristina



         



        #304 DeeBrideToBe

        DeeBrideToBe
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          Posted 29 March 2011 - 08:17 PM

          That sounds so pretty Cristina, can't wait to see your review!



          #305 Linner

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            Posted 13 April 2011 - 12:11 AM

            Hi Ladies,

             

            For those who have recently been to the ILA and brought their own photographer- did you have any problems, either at the airport or at the resort? Are there any precautions one should take before leaving to make sure there are no issues? Thank you!! :)



            #306 M and M

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              Posted 13 April 2011 - 05:41 AM

              I'm getting married at the ILA in March, 2012 and I have the same question about photographers.  We met with a photographer a few days ago and she said as long as the photographer does not move from resort to resort there are usually no issues.  Technically, they are just a guest of the wedding party.  But, I'm interested in any additional information anyone can provide!

               

              Also, I'm deciding between the menu options.  Has anyone had their reception at the steak house?  Are there alternative menu options, or just the one steak menu?  We have a vegetarian in our party.  I'd appreciate any advice with choosing the reception!

               

              Thanks!



              #307 LindsayE

              LindsayE
              • Jr. Member
              • 204 posts

                Posted 13 April 2011 - 10:49 AM

                Hi there! I was married at ILA on November 2, 2010. We brought a professional photographer with us and he had absolutely NO problems.  He had camera equipment and a laptop and didn't receive any questions at the airport or the resort.  I wouldn't worry about it! 

                 

                Congratulations and have an amazing time . . . your wedding will be amazing!

                 

                :):):)

                 

                Lindsay



                #308 cristina2011

                cristina2011
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                  Posted 13 April 2011 - 12:46 PM

                  Hey Ladies!  

                   

                  Just got back from the ILA the other day.  Wedding went well -- lots of little details for you girls, but I'm trying to catch up on 2 weeks of missed work right now so I'll try to keep this to a minimum.  (It probably won't happen, but anyways...)

                   

                  Photographer - We brought our own photographer who was absolutely amazing!  Her name is Genevieve Albert and she is based out of Montreal.  I can only speak highly of Genevieve, compared to all the other photogs I researched.  I am true photo critique and Genevieve's work is incredible (and reasonably priced).  Anna from Cineart (another photographer who shoots weddings at the Iberostar resorts) personally tried to scare both myself and Genevieve that we would have issues bringing a Canadian photographer into Cuba unless we had Cuban connections, a visa, a letter confirming sponsored work in Cuba, and yadda yadda yadda.  I want to clarify that we had no visa and issues whatsoever.  Genevieve stayed at the resort, shot 2 weddings their, and Yahimara verified previously that brides can bring their own photographers so long as they stay at the hotel.  In my opinion, Anna from Cineart is instilling fear in brides and other photographers that Cuba is dangerous unless you know people and your way around.  Fortunately, Anna's poor tactics shone through and we were able to see past her scheming ways.

                   

                  Music - Burn CD's!!  We tried to hook our iPod up and it was not possible until later that night at the Disco.  Even still, my playlist didn't play in order at that point.  I had burnt CD's as back up and was thankful that I did!

                   

                  Ceremony - Had the ceremony on the spa terrace at 4pm.  Despite the heat, there was a strong breeze blowing which kept guests cool, and the shade the terrace provides is perfect to keep guests from squinting in photos.  The pool activities start getting loud around the 4pm mark, so we paid the activities team $20 CUC to keep it quiet and they thankfully did.  (I think if your ceremony is at 2pm, you would be fine though.)  I wasn't a fan of the ceremony set up on the beach.  The gazebo is super close to the water and there are so many ignorant people that gather around peoples' ceremonies as if they are invited.  If you do plan on a beach wedding and this might bother you, I would suggest making small signs you can hammer into the sand asking people to please respect the couple's space (and pictures) for their special moment.  Make sure you bring your music for walking down the aisle, unless you want to walk down to the Cuban trio.  I would also suggest writing your own vows, since the ceremony is both difficult to understand and impersonal.  From the time I walked in to the time I said I Do, it was less than 10 minutes.

                   

                  Reception - Had the gala set up at the palapas and opted for the lobster dinner ($45 CUC/guest).  In my opinion, the palapas are the most picturesque set up available and offer the greatest privacy for a large group.  We had 35 people and used 3 palapas.  We sat 13 under one, 14 under another, and the bridal party of 8 in between the two.  We were able to do all of our speeches there and play music.  The wait staff was great.  There were a few other menus to choose from, all of which seemed decent.  Since the palapas use the same kitchen as the Cuban restaurant, I think you would be safe to go with almost anything they offer.  I know you could go with the free menu and pay just 15 CUC/person to use the palapas.  If you're looking to save money, I would consider doing that.  

                   

                  Decorations - I had envisioned hanging a variety of pink paper lanterns above the tables, but the wind was so strong that the lanterns ended up being hung under the perimeter of the palapas.  (Wine glasses were blowing over and breaking it was so windy!)  I also had fuchsia petals sprinkled on the table tops, with 72 frosted glass tealight holders and seating cards for everyone.  I brought down about 50 paper lanterns in 3 shades of pink.  When Yahimara returned my suitcase of decorations after the wedding, it was completely empty which I found a little odd considering there was so much stuff that hadn't been used.  I know Yahimara stayed late to see my reception and took a lot of pictures, so I got the feeling that she planned on keeping my supplies to offer them to future brides.  I wouldn't have minded if she asked me to donate my decorations to future brides, rather than assume that I didn't want them anymore.  (I had planned on using the lanterns again at home for our celebration with friends and family that couldn't make it.)  When I asked her about getting the decorations back, she said she didn't know where they disappeared to.  

                   

                  I spoke to a gentleman who attended a reception at the Steakhouse and he set the food wasn't very good.  Some of our guests that visited the Steakhouse also complained about it.  I would suggest the Romantico restaurant as good option for small groups;  it is indoors, but very classy and tasty.  Nice decor too.  The Del Chef and Steakhouse aren't anything to write home about.  I would pick the Cuban over both of them if you can't get the palapas.  

                   

                  After Party - We booked the beach but had to move it to the disco due to weather concerns.  Again, bring a CD for your first dance!  Still, we rocked it out at the disco till the wee hours of the morning.  It was good fun.  (Note: you can only book the disco for your private party until 11pm, then it opens to other guests)

                   

                  Flowers - I made arrangements for myself and the bridesmaids.  It was probably one of the best decisions I made, since all of the bouquets the resort seems to make are on the dated side.  (In my opinion).  My complementary bouquet was pink roses.  I specified that I didn't want any baby's breath or other fillers.  Yahimara will ask you what your second and third choice are if they don't have your first pick.  Despite being a tropical island, their flower selection is on the weak side.

                   

                  Hair Salon - There is only one hair dresser at the ILA but she works very fast and is really sweet.  She does have a tendency to do the same 1 style on brides, which seemed to be the case on me despite having pictures of my trial updo.  Still, she graciously fixed it without any hesitation at all.  The power went out twice while I was having my hair done, so we used iPads to light up the windowless salon so the hair dresser could continue!  The bride's hair costs 50 CUC and the bridesmaids cost 30 CUC each.  I would suggest bringing pictures of what you want if you have something in mind.  The hairdressers english is ok.  I think she understands more than she speaks.

                   

                  All in all, our guests had a great time and I have no regrets.  We took everyone to Havana on a private bus two days after the wedding which ended up being a great decision.  Everyone loved it and it is a stunning city.  Mark & I got back into our wedding attire and we had our wedding photos taken in Havana.  I can't wait for the pics!!  I will share with you ladies as soon as I have a link.

                   

                  Ok, I better get back to work.  Hope that helps for you ladies!  For those considering another resort, I would also look into Paradisus Varadero.  It was our other resort we were deciding between and we ended up staying there for a brief honeymoon afterwards.  Their wedding gazebo is stunning and they have lots of nice outdoor options for receptions.  For those booked at the ILA, I'm sure all of you ladies will love it.  

                   

                  Congrats to you all,

                  Cristina



                  #309 DeeBrideToBe

                  DeeBrideToBe
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                    Posted 15 April 2011 - 06:25 PM

                    Hey Cristina,

                     

                    Thanks for the review, there's lots of info. I'm glad to hear that there's a backup plan in case of bad weather, I was wondering about that. It's terrible about your lanterns though! Glad that all in  all you had a good trip, congrats again!

                     

                    Dee



                    #310 Linner

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                      Posted 16 April 2011 - 11:53 AM

                      Thanks for all of the info ladies!! And great review Cristina! So much helpful information. :)  :)






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