Here is my wedding review finally!! Sorry it is really long! Please anyone let me know if you have any questions. My email is Rach0636@aol.com
So when we first arrived in Mexico it was so gorgeous out! Since we went through an amazing travel agent, we got picked up by private transportation and had a couple guys holding up a big sign in the shape of a heart with Robert and Iâ€™s picture blown up on it and it said â€œMr. and Mrs. Wahl.â€ It was so cute I felt like a celebrity. We then got champagne and chocolates and had a private bus take us to the hotel. When we got there, we were dropped off and then immediately whisked away to the preferred club check-in. I had always just assumed that the preferred club check-in would be in the lobby, but it wasnâ€™t at all. Itâ€™s a ways from the lobby and you have to use your room key to get in and out. A lot of people have said that preferred club wasnâ€™t worth it but I TOTALLY disagree! It was totally worth it. We got more champagne, found out we had been upgraded to a honeymoon suite right on the ocean compliments from our travel agent again, and the service was wonderful. We were then told to hang out for about 10 minutes until Gina came to talk to us. She did and that took no time at all and then we were set free to explore and get something to eat and drink. Our room wasnâ€™t ready yet, so we left our luggage with the concierge and were told to check back a couple hours later. We did, and our luggage had already been delivered. All in all, the check-in process was super easy and relaxing.
There are so many restaurants to choose from that we didnâ€™t even get to try everything. We ate at the buffet a good # of times because there was never a wait and you could go whenever you wanted. Their breakfast was average, but their lunch and dinner are great. Tons of options for everyone. We ate at the Japanese restaurant the most. It is sooo good! They also have two hibachi tables that you can reserve, but you have to literally get in line no later than 4:30pm (They open at 5) to put your name down. We did this once and It was a lot of fun. We didnâ€™t get a chance to try the Italian restaurant or the Mexican restaurant. We ate at both the seaside grill and oceana (both are in the pool area) and the food was ok at both. Last, there is the pool side grill, which mainly just serves pizza, hot dogs (really good!) and hamburgers. Every now and then they have a special that they serve as well. I will say we also took advantage of the free room service for food!
One thing I liked about this resort compared to others I have been to is that they have a lot of different options as to where to get drinks! They have the swim up bar in the infinity pool, there is a bar next to the pool side grill, there is another bar on the south side of the beach (the swing bar! Also have the strongest drinks!) Then there is the bar in the lobby which is nice because it is half inside and half outside. The view of the forest is amazing from here as well. All of the bars close by 5 or 6 except for the lobby bar. This is where most of the nightlife is because they are open until 2am. They always have a live band and then there is always a nightly themed show right on the stairs of the lobby as well. Last, there is Desires night club which is above the Japanese restaurant. We didnâ€™t go in there much. It was either dead, or really packed and SUPER loud. We did hang out on the desires terrace a lot though (right outside desires).
The pools were nice. There is a kiddie pool which is by far the warmest, an adult only pool which is freezing, and then the infinity pool which is perfect temperature and where we hung out most of the time. The beach was definitely my favorite place to hang out when the sun was shining. Itâ€™s the least crowded and much more relaxing because there arenâ€™t a lot of kids around. That was one thing that I would have done differently if I didnâ€™t have nieces and nephews traveling with us, I would have gone to an adults only resort because there were a TON of kids everywhere. I love kids, but it definitely makes it a little less relaxing when there is constant screaming going on. We also played a ton of beach volleyball which was so much fun!
Rehearsal Dinner: So we originally were not going to do a rehearsal dinner because we thought it was crazy to have to pay an insane amount when everything is all inclusive anywayâ€¦ When we first checked-in at the preferred club, one of the concierge told us about how we could rent out this â€œwine cellarâ€ that was in the middle of the French and Italian restaurants. You didnâ€™t have to pay for it, but the catch was that you had to spend $800 in wine. We said ok and made the reservation the next day with the manager at the Italian restaurant and just told everyone when and where to show up. We figured with 25 people and a lot of wine drinkers in our group, that we could easily spend that much. We had our own private waiters, a big menu to choose from. I actually have no clue how much money was actually spent on wine, so I have to wonder how much they hold you to spending $800.
Hair/Make-up: We started with our hair appointments at 11am. It was me, my mom, two sisters, and niece. I had two other bridesmaids that decided to do their own hair early on, but then definitely regretted it that day because they were frantically trying to do something with their hair with everything else going on. It was pretty windy so we all did updos, which I would definitely recommend. I forget who I had do my hair, but all I did was show her a quick picture and she did it EXACTLY like I wanted and super quick. She also did my makeup and everything looked perfect except for she went a little dramatic on the eye shadow, so I ended up blending it a little more later on. Everyone else loved their hair as well. They definitely know what they are doing. I was surprised while in the spa by my travel agent showing up unannounced! I was so shocked that she was there all the way from Kansas City. I guess she was in the area for business and she wanted to surprise me. She brought me a gift and everything and was there all the way through the wedding to make sure nothing went wrong.
Getting ready: We all went back to my room to finish getting ready (Me, my mom, 4 bridesmaids, and flower girl). This part was very frustrating. We were hungry and didnâ€™t have time to go eat anywhere so we wanted to order room service. They gave us the hardest time because apparently you â€œcanâ€™t order room service for more than 4 people.â€ We also tried to order 2 bottles of champagne as well, which you think would be no problem when you are getting ready for your wedding. Wrong. My sister had to talk to 4 different people, each telling us that they cannot deliver bottles. So she went all the way down to the concierge who told her to go back to her room and call a specific person, which she did and then was told again the exact same thing. She ended up talking to a concierge manager and in the end got very mean but ended up getting her way. It was ridiculous! BTW I had no problem whatsoever with the steaming service that the hotel provided. They did my dress perfectly and the even did all of my groomsmen outfits as well.
The photographer had been at the boysâ€™ room doing photos for about 45 minutes and then came over to my room to do photos as well for about an hour. At the same time, Gina came by and dropped off all of my bouquets, flowers, etc. and also informed me that my travel agent had upgraded our tables and chairs for the reception free of cost to us! Gina then came back about 45 minutes later and said it was time to head down to the wedding.
Ceremony (3:30pm Gazebo):
The ceremony came and went so fast! Linda the officiant was great. She made sure everything ran smoothly. The DJ played all the correct songs, except he forgot to start my bridal party song until halfway through! Honestly, it went by so fast, I barely remember it! 3:30pm ended up being the perfect time for the ceremony because we had perfect lighting still for photos and it didnâ€™t get dark until right when the reception starter. After we were done, everyone was handed champagne to toast and we started to do a couple photos in front of the gazebo. Then everyone moved down to the beach to do more photos and then while we went up to the lobby area to finish photos, everyone hung out at the swing bar. We decided not to do a cocktail hour and used the money toward extra food for the reception and the paper lantern poles. So glad we did this.
Reception (5:30pm Pool Deck)
The reception set-up was gorgeous! We chose the Caribbean buffet and it was the most amazing food that we had had the whole time we were there. Everyone was raving about it even days after the wedding. We had dinner first, followed by speeches, then first dances, cut the cake, and then partied the rest! Everything was great until about 8:30pm it started to sprinkle rainâ€¦ and IMMEDIATELY the DJ told us he was done and closed up shop! I was so disappointed because it stopped raining about 5 minutes later and he was goneâ€¦.. We had originally paid for an extra hour of the reception and an extra hour for the DJ so later on, I asked Gina and she refunded us for that amount. This was the only part that I was super disappointed about because we were all having a great time and then all of a sudden we were cut off :/ So we all went up to desires and hung out on the terrace but it wasnâ€™t the same.
Photographer: We had Alina from Adventure Photos and she was amazing! Super nice and made us always feel very comfortable the entire time. She also did our trash the dress 2 days after the wedding and she was amazing then as well. It was definitely a difficult photo-shoot because it was SO windy that morning on the beach and I had sand in my eyes, in my hair, all over my body and it was almost torture but I am glad we did it cuz I love the photos. With the wedding and the TTD shoot, she took over 700 photos so the day before we left, we had to pick out 236 which were included in our package, and we wanted some extra so we had to pay for them. They charge you SO much for extra photos so choose carefully!
DJ: I would say the DJ was my least favorite part of the whole experience. When we originally met with Mauricio a few days prior to the wedding, he had all of my emails, and all of our songs downloaded which was nice, but he was very impersonable and never smiled. He played good music at the reception and even took requests but the second he felt a sprinkle of rain, he was outta there and I was not happy about that at all. My advice to anyone else that has him do their reception, talk to him beforehand and make an agreement on what to do if it starts to rain.
Here is my slideshow again:
I also have a ton more pictures if you want to request me on Facebook under Rachel Wahl