Amy's Dreams Tulum Wedding Review - July 18, 2009
Posted 24 July 2009 - 09:13 PM
Resort : Overall (8/10)
I thought the food was really good for an all-inclusive. We ate breakfast at World Cafe almost every day and thought they had a good selection. We ate at Seaside Grill a couple of days for lunch and then El Patio once for lunch. Our favorite for dinner was Portofino. I do wish they had a better selection of beers...if you don't like Corona, Bud Light, or Bud you are out of luck.
We had an Oceanfront room ( #8238 ) and were really happy with the location. I liked it because it overlooked the wedding site next to the Seaside Grill so I was able to see a couple of other weddings from my balcony. The room was very clean and nice but not particularly spacious. The bed was a little uncomfortable but not too bad. The maid service seemed to come very early...around 8:30 in the morning which I thought was strange.
The resort was definitely more remote than I expected. It took us about an hour and 30 minutes to get there. Most of our guests were from Texas or Oklahoma so they had pretty short flights. I can't imagine having a really long flight and then having such a long shuttle ride. Even though it's a long way from the airport there are some advantages to the location. We were really close the Tulum ruins so we were able to get there early and beat the crowds and heat. Also, Xel-Ha is just a few miles away.
The beach was very pretty to look at but kinda hard on the feet. It was very rocky in areas so I recommend taking water shoes. If you walk south of the resort for about 20 minutes the beach is much better and very private.
This is a tough one...the service was really bad when we first arrived but seemed to get better the closer we got to the weekend. I'm not sure if they staff up for the weekends or what. We tipped everywhere we went but that didn't really seem to help. I got REALLY annoyed one morning because we had to be at Xel-Ha at 9:00 AM to swim with the dolphins (which was awesome btw!). I ordered room service a little before 8:00 AM thinking we would have plenty of time to eat but it never came. I talked to the concierge as we were leaving and expressed my disappoint with the service. I'm not sure if it was a coincidence but things seemed to improve after that discussion.
The resort did a good job of catering to all ages and interests. We had 5 children in our group and they all seemed to enjoy it. They liked the Explorers Club and the ocean trampoline. One of the best nights was the Caribbean night party the night before the wedding. They let us reserve tables in the first row and everyone loved the fire dancers. They also had a childrenâ€™s program which was entertaining. I thought some of the entertainment was a little cheesy but it's a fun place, especially if you are with a large group.
Wedding : Overall (9/10)
Wedding Coordinator (9/10)
Natalia was our wedding coordinator and I thought she did an excellent job. There were a few requests I made after our initial meeting that I thought she would forget about because she didn't write them down on my planning form but she executed everything like I requested. There were some issues getting my welcome bags delivered to the correct rooms but I don't think that was anything she had control over.
I was really nervous about the flowers because I couldn't find anything I liked in the wedding guide. I gave them pictures of bouquets I liked and although they didn't look quite as nice as the pics they got pretty close. I had kinda low expectations going in but was pleasantly surprised.
We picked the Golden 01 cake from the guide but it didn't really look that much like the picture. It didn't look bad...just not the most beautiful cake I've ever seen. Again, I had kinda low expectations on the cake like the flowers. It tasted really good so what it lacked in beauty it made up for in taste. One suggestion...our package included cake for 20 people but since we had 38 guests we paid an additional $5 per person ($90 total) to make sure that we would have enough cake for everyone. We had way too much cake...since dessert was served with our meal no one really ate the cake.
I'm relying on what others said on this one. The only song I heard was the song they played when I walked down to the aisle. We rented the sound system for the ceremony and reception and I just told Natalia that I wanted traditional songs played for the ceremony. I'm not sure what they played when the guests were seated but one guest commented on how beautiful the music I selected was. We also had the Mariachi band for cocktail hour. We were taking pictures so unfortunately I didn't get to enjoy them but I heard they were great.
Photographer/Videographer (Not sure yet)
We used the resort photographer (Ruben) and videographer. I've only had a chance to look at a few of the pictures so far so I can't really rate his work. We moved to another resort the day after the wedding so we were really rushed and just bought the CD with all the pics. I'm a little nervous about the pictures because he seemed to just do very posed pics and some of the poses were a little ridiculous I thought. At one point he was trying to make my husband do some silly pose and my husband said "oh no...I'm not doing that". Luckily we had a guest that is an excellent photographer with a very fancy camera. He took some great pictures at our couples shower so I asked him to get more candid shots at the wedding. I felt better about our choice to use the resort photographer because he was there. He told me after the wedding that the lighting was perfect and he got some beautiful shots so I can't wait to see them! As for the video, we have to wait 20 days for it so I'll updated my review later. I'll also post some pictures a little later.
I thought my hair was okay but I didn't love it. I brought a picture with me and it didn't really turn out like the picture but it didn't look bad. There were supposed to be two stylists available so my sister could get her hair done at the same time but there was only one girl there to do my hair and my two bridesmaids...kind of irritating. I'm weird about other people doing my makeup so I did my own. Another thing that irritated me is that I asked them if they would repaint my toes since I wasn't using the makeup application in my package. I didn't want a full pedicure...just a new coat of paint because the sand was so hard on the pedicure that I got before I left. They wouldn't do it without charging me extra so I just went back to my room and did it myself.
Ceremony Setup (10/10)
I thought the ceremony setup was beautiful. The wedding was on the beach to the right of the Seaside Grill. My bridesmaids' dresses were a blue-green color that was really hard to match so I just went with all white flowers and tulle. I thought it looked so pretty! I had watched a couple of weddings from my balcony the day before so I made some last minute requests based on my observations. I asked Natalia to make sure the music at the pool was off because at one wedding I watched you could hear the annoying techno music in the background. I also asked her to pull down the shades at the Seaside Grill so we had a little more privacy. Not sure that helped...we had a lot of people peeking around the Seaside Grill and watching but everyone was very respectful. My worst fear was that an overweight man in a Speedo would walk by on the beach in the middle of the ceremony but that didn't happen! The minister was okay. Her English was very good and most of what she said was really nice but every once in a while she would say something a little off and my fianc©e and I would just look at each other and smile.
Reception Setup (8/10)
We had the reception on the beach and they setup the tables behind and to the right of the ceremony site. We rented the sound system for the reception and just plugged in our IPod for the music. Dinner was delicious...we selected the Golden Menu. One thing I thought was kind of weird was that our table was served last for every course. I think some of the guests were trying to wait until we received our food to start eating but I told them to go ahead and eat. Service definitely could have been a little faster for dinner but it wasn't awful. The thing I was most disappointed with at the reception was the lighting. When I met with Natalia and we talked about setting up the reception on the beach I asked her about lighting. She said that there were lights on the Seaside Grill that they turn on so there would be plenty of lighting. I asked her if we needed the Tiki Torches and she said they were more for decoration and we would have sufficient light without them. Well once the sun went down it got really dark. They had candles on the tables but it wasn't nearly enough light. When I saw Natalia I asked her if we could get more light and she was able to make it better. Apparently there was some miscommunication and all the lights were not turned on and directed towards the reception site. It was still dark after they "fixed" it but much better. Also, the mosquitoes were big and brutal! Once it gets dark they come out in full force and they aren't messing around! They were biting my new husband through his shirt. Luckily, I had put Off Wipes in the Welcome Bags and I had brought some extra bags to the reception in case anyone had not received one yet. The lighting and mosquitoes kind of put a damper on the reception but we still had a great time!
So overall it was a positive experience! We had a great time and lots of our guests told us that it was the most fun they've ever had at a wedding. SUCCESS!
One more funny thing to share...after the reception our friends helped us take some things back to our room. When I got to the room my friends and new husband were just cracking up outside the room. When I walked into the room there were two Swan towel animals on the bed with rose petals everywhere...rose petals on the floor...champagne chilling next to the bed...and a bubble bath with rose petals in the shape of a heart on top of the water. It was a little cheesy but I thought it was nice that they tried so hard to make our wedding night as romantic as possible!
Posted 26 July 2009 - 03:19 PM
Posted 26 July 2009 - 07:17 PM
Posted 26 July 2009 - 07:49 PM
Posted 27 July 2009 - 01:44 PM
About the lighting, when they "fixed it" do you mean that the lights outside the seaside grill that were suppose to be turned towards your reception sight (huge floodlights on poles) were not turned on, and that when they did turn them on it helped but wasn't enough? It would be good for future brides to know how to avoid this problem. I think you are the first bride to complain of inadequate lighting. Perhaps your reception was located a bit further from the restaurant than they usually are (was there more than 1 wedding that day?)
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