Hola Everyone â€“ I got married 2 weeks ago and am posting my Review!!! Sorry if it is too long.
I want to STRESS to you all that nothing will ever go perfect on any aspect of life â€“ we donâ€™t live in a perfect world â€“ all I can say is keep a smile on your face and no matter what happens make the absolute best of it!!!!
I did things above and beyond for my wedding and as you know this isnâ€™t free â€“ if you would like the cost breakdown of anything I would be happy to provide.
My wedding was February 10, 2011 â€“ we had 36 total guests
TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS â€“ TRAVEL AGENT â€“ APPLE VACATIONS
I have booked travel though Apple Vacations before and have always had great service so I chose to work with them for our group rates.
I chose a travel agent I thought would do a good job but she was HORRIBLE â€“ in the end everything worked out but the whole process was stressful. She was rude to me and my guests, tried to tell me what day to have my wedding, didnâ€™t return phone calls or emails in a timely manner.
All in all apple vacations is a great company and they provide exceptional service â€“ I would just be careful in picking your agent â€“ this is your special day and event and that last thing you want is your guests calling you to say the Travel agent was rude or not communicating.
Travel was flawless flow out of Lansing Michigan on February 5, 2011 Direct Flight into Cancun and flew home Wednesday February 16, 2011 â€“ perfect travel
My airline didnâ€™t have a coat closet but the stewardess made movements with luggage so I could lay my dress flat in one of the overhead compartments.
I brought down 6 pieces of luggage â€“ 3 suitcases and 3 cardboard boxes that fit the linear inch requirement for the plane; I took the boxes so that I could throw them out in Mexico if I took extra suitcases I would have had to pay to take them home. My luggage all got searched at customs. I told them there was clothing, wedding supplies and gifts. They wanted receipts for everything which I didnâ€™t have but told them the cost was $800 â€“ they talked in Spanish to a few people for a couple of minutes (I donâ€™t speak Spanish so I had no clue what was being said) Then they came back and said your good to go. I was scared for a second but all ended up being OK. Then it was off to shuttle and to resort â€“ total time from departing of plane to arriving at lobby to check in was 1 and a half hours (I thought that was excellent)
CHECK IN AT RESORT
We arrived with 22 guest on Saturday the 5th at 11:30 am â€“ we were told on the shuttle that check in was not until 3:00 pm â€“ our other guests arrived at different times throughout the week and they all said the check in process was flawless and easy
We were all able to check in and were given buzzers to take with us which would go off when our room was ready.
Lisbeth my WC has already told me she upgraded our room to the Honeymoon Suite which is part of the preferred club and has a different check in place which we were taken to and got sat right away to check in. We were told we could upgrade to the Master Suite for an Additional $140 per night â€“ we decided not to do this as we are beach/pool people and didnâ€™t plan on staying in the room much but to sleep so we opted not to pay the extra.
Some of our guests got buzzed right away and some didnâ€™t until 3:00 but everyone packed a bathing suit in their carry on so they went to the pool and enjoyed themselves while waiting. Our wedding group was disbursed all over the resort not all grouped together â€“ at first we were a little unhappy about this â€“ but then we said who cares â€“ the resort is smaller than some I have been to and to walk from one side to the other is only a couple minutes so we didnâ€™t care that rooms were all over. My guests also all booked the same room category with the travel agent â€“ but they were given all different rooms at check in â€“ some garden view, some pool view, some ocean view â€“ I honestly think it was the resorts decision and just put people in rooms when they became available as long as they werenâ€™t preferred club rooms!!
The honeymoon suite was perfect for us â€“ it was ocean front with a Jacuzzi on the deck and a Jacuzzi in the room =-we never used the one in the room only the one on the deck.
We had a minibar that got stocked numerous times throughout the day with mini coronaâ€™s mini liquor bottles, water, fanta, coke, diet coke, sparking water. I swear every time we came back to the room it was re-filled.
This suite and all the rooms are not private â€“ if you are not a couple I want you to know that the bathrooms have a glazed door but are practically see through as is the shower. WE LOVED IT â€“ but if you are not a couple and room with someone you arenâ€™t familiar with it might be a bit awkward.
PRE- WEDDING COMMUNICATION
The Communication with the wedding department throughout the year was horrible â€“ I would send emails all the time with little or no response. Most of the emails just said your wedding coordinator is X and the next would say I got assigned to someone else â€“ thank god for this forum which is where I got almost all of my questions answered.
Well Low and Behold 40 days prior to my wedding I got an email from Lisbeth Cruz. She wrote to introduce herself and I wrote her back with all my questions she responded the next day and gave me a Questionnaire to complete which I did and sent into her (the questionnaire was 3 pages but added all sorts of info and extended it into 7 making sure all my bases were covered) â€“ all emails from this point forward were answered within 24 hours. We also had 2 phone calls to discuss all details and set up an appt to meet in person 3 days before my wedding.
MEETING WITH WEDDING COORDINATOR AT RESORT
On Monday February 7, 2011 we met with Lisbeth Cruz. We took all of the supplies that we brought down with us to her and told her what we wanted done with them she said Perfect. I had a binder with all my info and the questionnaire I had and she said you are soooo organized and soooo detailed you have made this one of the easiest weddings on me and my team. I chose the Ultimate Package
My only questions was what if it â€œrainsâ€ she said they have a back-up plan and they will decide 3 hours before the wedding if it was going to be moved â€“ she said they move it without asking us that is their policy.
Then I said â€œI know we owe you some money â€“ when do we take care of that â€“she said right now - she presented me with a bill that was only $140 higher than the estimate that I brought down with me. And that was only because we added about $60 more worth of product and I didnâ€™t add tax onto some items.
Then she introduced me to the DJ â€“ which leading up to the wedding was not fun as we had a contract with DJ Doremixx but due to resort policy we were not able to use him anymore. I had a list of songs and timeline for the DJ and gave it to him discussed a few details and said it is what it is â€“ I canâ€™t stress about anything now.
WELCOME BAGSâ€“ OOT BAGS
We got OOT bags for all our guests that included a drawstring backpack that said â€œRiviera Maya Mexicoâ€ Drink mugs with our logo on them, chapstick with our logo on them, playing cards with our logo on them, Key card Holders, Pens with our logo on them, A welcome book I made, and a couple postcards. We didnâ€™t want to pay the $4 per room to have them delivered so we just hand delivered them to our guests and it worked out fine that way.
REHEARSAL DINNER â€“
We opted not to have a rehearsal dinner because they wanted you to pay for it and we though this is an all-inclusive resort â€“ why would we pay for a rehearsal dinner â€“ so we had a meet and greet in the lobby the night before at 6:00 and we all mingled and we gave a run-down of what was to happen the following day and then off to dinner we all went some in groups some on their own
WEDDING DAY â€“ PRE-WEDDING
I woke up freaking out as all week the forecast called for Thunderstorms all day and all I wanted was to have my wedding outdoors â€“ you plan this all for over a year and dream of a beach wedding and to have it indoors was the only thing that was going to upset me. Even if I tried to smile through it I know it would not have been my perfect day if it was indoors â€“ I said I would even do it in the rain to be outside but at our pre-meeting she said oh no we make that call 3 hours ahead of time.
My MOH stayed with me the night before and my Fianc© was give a complimentary room; my MOH and I woke up (were going to go for run but decided against it â€“ LOL ) we ordered room service and hung out in the room until 9:30 we then schedule a couples massage with each other for 10:00 at the Spa and immediately after was my hair appointment at 11:00 am. The massage was amazing. My hair (you are going to hate me I canâ€™t even remember the name of the lady that did it) but it was AMAZING â€“I brought 2 pictures with me and she was pretty close but it was better than my pictures I LOVED IT. The only problem was that between hair and make-up I was there until 1:45 which I was planning on being back to my room by 1:30 worse case â€“ I didnâ€™t get back to my room until 1:55 and my professional photographer showed up at 2:00.
We had requested lunch, drinks and snacks to be catered to our room from room service which they did and everything was great â€“ although we asked for champagne and they wanted to charge us for this. We sent my MOHâ€™s husband down to preferred club he worked some magic and we got delivered 3 bottles of champagne at no additional cost.
My gown was in my room when I returned hung up and it looked fabulous perfectly pressed and steamed.
I didnâ€™t know this until later but they lost my Fianc©â€™s outfit and they didnâ€™t get it to him until about 2:00 when it was supposed to be returned to him By noon!
My mom ordered fake flowers for our whole wedding party so we didnâ€™t use the ones that were included in the package â€“ My mom had brought them down in a suitcase and brought them to my room the day of the wedding â€“ they were fake but looked real and we absolutely loved them â€“ we were able to negotiate some prices due to bringing our own flowers and not using any that were included in the package.
PHOTOGRAPHER â€“ ADVENTURE PHOTO
Adventure photo is the resort photographer and included in the package are 50 photos and a wedding album. Anthony Croker was our photographer for this and he showed up in the room at 2:30 and I was told not to put my dress on until he came to take a few shots. He shot photos throughout the ceremony and then was done. We Went into the photo shop on resort premises on Saturday February 12 and were able to view the 110 pictures that he took we got to pick 50 that they would put in a photo album and mail to us which we should receive in 4-6 weeks. They also provide you with a slideshow of pictures with music that they give you a link and you can share with friends and family â€“ the link to my show is below. They pick the music you put on it unless you specify and you must have a copy of the music you want in an MP3 format and email it to them prior to the wedding in order for them to use your music.
Lisbeth came up to my room at 3:00 to get me and we walked down and I stood next to the Seaside Grill. The wedding started twice and I really donâ€™t know why â€“ but we had our moms walked down and they both had to start over for some reason.
Anyhow we bought the Technician and sound system for the ceremony and gave him our IPOD and instructed him what to play and when and he did a perfect job!! We had 1 song play when the mothers were walked down, another song for the bridal party and another song for me and my dad. Then we had some songs that were played quietly throughout the ceremony as background music and then one for the sand ceremony. Then we had picked a recessional song and a few songs to play while we were mingling afterwards. The only thing that was bad was the recessional we stood for a minute waiting for the music to start playing and it didnâ€™tâ€™ so we just started walking and at the end of our walk it started â€“ oh well it was fine!!!
We had My Aunt officiate the ceremony as we had written our own ceremony and wanted everything we had written said. We had heard the Mexican officiant that is supplied has broken English and if you give them your ceremony to read they ad lib and leave out sentences and it is very hard to hear and understand. I had a friend that was down there the Friday before and got to witness the officiant that was provided and she said good call on what you are doing as I listened to a wedding and it was awful and I couldnâ€™t understand or hear anything.
We had a friend do a reading and we also had another aunt perform the sand ceremony which made it all more personal and memorable to us
They had a champagne toast for us and when we walked down the aisle without a rehearsal we didnâ€™t know what to do so I said ok make a receiving line which my girls and I did but the guys just stood there and it was a cluster of hugs and congrats but a little messy â€“ oh well my fault I didnâ€™t plan that part â€“oops. I told my guests to go to Barracuda â€“ The Swing Bar after the ceremony until the cocktail party started at 5:00 which was just about an hour â€“ they all bolted for there while we did pictures â€“ the only thing I regret was I wanted a picture of all 36 of us but being I didnâ€™t state they and they bolted for the bar and some to their rooms it was tooo hard to get everyone back â€“ oh well we have so many other great pictures from the whole week of everyone. We took pictures on the beach for about 45 minutes but it was very windy and we were afraid of rain â€“ we took some pictures and had about 15 minutes to go back to the room before the cocktail party started and I wanted to fix my hair as the wind had blow a lot of the curls.
Hindsight I wish we would have taken some pictures at the Gazebo and in the Lobby but it all happens so fast and you are having the time of your life you just forget â€“ also my fianc© didnâ€™t want to run all over taking pictures he said honey we got married on the beach not at the gazebo or in the lobby â€“ so he made me feel better about that J
***FYI â€“ we were going to legally get married in Mexico but 2 months before and reading peopleâ€™s reviews and getting information that legal documents were still not back to people that had been married 6 months or more ago â€“ I got scared and also the cost to do it legally was an additional $700-$800 â€“ so we went and got married legally in our state before we left â€“ we told everyone at the wedding that we signed the legal documents in the Wedding Coordinators office since we didnâ€™t use the officiant they provided she wouldnâ€™t attend the ceremony so we signed them in her office â€“ we didnâ€™t want to broadcast it was our â€œreal weddingâ€ day to everyone as everyone always has an opinion and to us it was our â€œreal weddingâ€ day!!!
COCKTAIL PARTY â€“ 5:00
We had EW Cancun come in and set up lounge furniture on the beach with pink and orange pillows â€“ it was set up around the light up dance floor and looked perfect. They did a great job. It was right in front of the pool deck which was were our dinner was to be held and they had all the tables set up already too. My guests started sitting down and going to the tables and I was like get down here this is the cocktail party so they did but the lunge furniture didnâ€™tâ€™ get used as much as I though it would - I would probably not spend the money on this if I had to do it again â€“ I would probably have had the cocktail party around the hot tub with high top tables.
We had the Caribbean Trio and they were beautiful although I feel as only about half of the wedding group was there to see them perform â€“ not everyone showed back up at 5:00 â€“ by 5:30 everyone was there but the Trio was already done playing so we didnâ€™t get our whole 45 minutes â€“ I didnâ€™t make a big deal though as my guests were mostly standing around the bar which was also right next to the appetizers and they all looked like they were enjoying my self so I said OK cool â€“ and I wanted the lounge furniture for the dancing after dinner and everyone just danced the whole time â€“ never sat so for my group it wasnâ€™t beneficial if you have a group that is more relaxed and more chill then I say go for it â€“ but I have a lot of party drinker friends and the ones that did chill stayed at their tables during the dancing.
The Reception Dinner started at 6:00 â€“ we were already on the beach since our cocktail party was there so we told people to take there seats. We had the bridal party line up on the dance floor and the DJ did introductions â€“ he did a great job and pronounced everything correctly except me and my husband he pronounced us as Mr. & Mrs. Wart and we are Mr. and Mrs. Andy Ward â€“ we just laughed
THE DJ Muriciao with Visual Sounds was the DJ and did the correct song for introductions and then one of our wedding guests I think noticed the name mishap so he went over and asked the DJ For the microphone which he then in turn said welcome and then introduced the speeches from MOH and BM â€“ after that we got to eat.
We chose the Caribbean Buffet for dinner and the food was FABULOUS â€“ all my guests said it was the best food â€“ no one complained about anything. My husband and I had a sweetheart table by ourselves with 2 king chairs â€“ they were awesome â€“ we went up to the buffet made our plates and the waiter took them from us and carried them back to our table â€“ I thought that was great. We also had our own little waiter the whole night wait on us hand and foot â€“ always right there when needed and also had a fresh drink of whatever we were having with them â€“ they really make you feel special â€“ got me a little tipsy as I would set my drink down somewhere but then he would be right there with a fresh one â€“ it was awesome J
The wedding Cake â€“ we paid $80 extra to have a larger cake for all our guests and I think that we only ate 5 pieces of it â€“ waste of money â€“ If you know all your people will eat cake spend the extra â€“ I should have just got the regular cake â€“ it was very yummy and tasty but it didnâ€™t get eaten I guess my friends would have rather drank. Also with the buffet and appetizers and good food and drinks â€“ they didnâ€™t have much room but for a bit of cake â€“ I think 20 people tried it but only took a bite or 2 â€“ not that they didnâ€™t like it they were just full!!!
After Dinner we had the First Dance, Father/Daughter, Mother/Son, Cake Cutting and special toast to my brother who had passed away 7 years ago â€“ we had all the songs we wanted for this played to perfection â€“ my friend still had the microphone and introduced everything which worked out great.
After this we just danced the night away we had a list of songs we wanted played slow and fast and he did a great job mixing them up â€“ we then also told our guests to request songs and everything that was requested was played â€“ I was very very worried about not having DJ doremixx as I had been working with him for months â€“ but Mauricio and visual sound did a fabulous job- remember they are professionals and tell them what you want they get it done!!! They also brought out the masks and ties and balloons during the dancing â€“ they provided everything that DJ Doremixx appeared to have provided â€“ cold fireworks, etc... I spent hours upon hours working with DJ Doremixx to get everything perfect and after finding out I couldnâ€™t use him I was in tears and thought everything would be ruined â€“ My fianc© said it is what it is and we met with the new DJ said what we wanted and again they are professionals and they are in their profession for a reason â€“ put trust in them and donâ€™t spend days and hours on songs â€“ get your important ones in order and a list of other you want played they will get played if you tell him to do whatever â€“ then I donâ€™t know what you will get a mix of Mexican music in there - ??? but we gave a list of soft dinner music, dance music; slow songs and he performed it all perfectly.
Now the part I have left out â€“ we got rained on 3 times during the dinner/reception the first two times it was a sprinkle and kinda blew right over â€“ but at 9:20 and our reception was supposed to go until 10:00 we got down poured on and I am not talking a little rain it was POURING â€“ everything that I brought that was on the tables got ruined â€“ we tried to salvage as much as we could. It was raining too hard to continue so we told the photographers to go â€“ we were supposed to have them until 10 and we grabbed as much as we could and headed up to our suite we were all soaking wet â€“ but we had such an amazing time and to us it was perfect we didnâ€™t care â€“ we tried to dance in the rain for a little bit but it was too wet- LOL!!!!!
When we got to our room it was beautifully covered in rose petals and candles â€“ but having 20 wedding guests soaking wet with handfuls of stuff from the reception walk in with you it wasnâ€™t as romantic as it should have been but we just laughed!!!! At that point nothing was going to ruin the greatest day of our lives.
The Video I just went with the 30 minute DVD that was included in the package. I did not meet with them prior too and didnâ€™t add on anything special to it. I didnâ€™t even notice the videographer during the ceremony which I think was great â€“ and we got our DVD 3 days after the ceremony and it is great â€“ they did a great job and I have no complaints. I have heard that if you add onto the DVD from the package the price can be outrageous â€“ if you just want your ceremony â€“ go with what is provided and you will be happy. We figured we would have enough pictures from Cocktail and Reception to not have the video guy and also we had a friend with a small video camera that recorded the speeches for us.
ROMANTIC DINNER ON THE BEACH
This was included in our package from the wedding department they gave us the Eternity Package in additional to the Ultimate Package for the wedding. We did this on February 15th â€“ Dinner was set up right on the beach â€“ it was very windy but the temperature was good so we were comfortable. It was soo windy that our wine feel over and the waiter was embarrassed but we just laughed. Dinner was excellent â€“ although the service is very slow and we were out there for 2 and a half hours â€“ we are very energetic outgoing people and even though it was romantic and nice we wish It would have been only about an hour and a half we were getting ancy. But overall very nice and take advantage of this if it is offered to you. When you book the dinner with the concierge they tell you the menu and ask you how you want your steak cooked â€“ we asked if we could alter the menu and they said no.
We had a couple massage included in the Ultimate Package and it was FANTASTIC so enjoyable and relaxing â€“ we also had a couple 25 minute massage and 25 minute facial included in the Eternity Package â€“ we used all services and have to complaints â€“ service was excellent.
FINAL NOTE FROM ME J
I told the wedding coordinator the communication is poor leading up to the wedding and they agreed â€“ they said we are sooo busy and brides donâ€™tâ€™ understand and if there wedding is 6 months away â€“ we have more important weddings to work on that are right around the corner â€“ she said but when your is coming up we try our best to communicate with you to make you happy â€“ I said I can understand dealing with 360 bridezillas whose weddings are months away their email is just way tooo bogged down â€“ but in the final stretch they do take care of you.
I canâ€™t stress to be super organized and detail oriented â€“ if you have everything mapped and planned out â€“ they do what you say and I was sooo detailed â€“ I really have no complaints â€“ if it wasnâ€™t for this website and help from Janine I would not have been so detailed nor organized and am sure I would have many complaints or things that I didnâ€™t know or consider that would have been missed
I have sooo much information on files that I can send anyone anything and everything if you would like it please you can communicate with me on here â€“ although I am much faster with my email if you want to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please do not feel bad bugging me â€“ I am super happy to help and hope that your days can be as memorable as mine!!!
I will post pictures when i get them
Much Love and Smiles