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Dreams Riviera Cancun - Brides post here (new thread)

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#6301 lcraney

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    Posted 25 May 2011 - 09:35 AM



    First, my husband's perspective...



    If you’re considering having your wedding at Dreams Riveria Cancun, do it. If you’re considering other resorts, forget them and book at Dreams Rivera Cancun. And if you have any other wedding plans, cancel them and rebook your wedding at Dreams Rivera Cancun. We had high hopes for our wedding and DRC exceeded our wildest, well, dreams. It. Was. Amazing.


    Dreams Riviera Cancun is not impressive from the outside. Actually it looks more like a fortress. But once inside, you will be instantly taken by the classy d©cor of the lobby area, and the view of the pools and beach will win over even the most skeptical of guests. Check in was pretty easy. We were greeted with champagne and then whisked away to the Preferred Club. Perks include faster check in, an exclusive lobby lounge area with continental breakfast (which we never used) and most importantly, free wi-fi. The wi-fi in the hotel is pretty spotty, sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t and it was a bit slow, but you can’t beat free! It is usually $15/day.


    From there we checked out our room, honeymoon suite #2301. The best feature of is that there are two two-person Jacuzzi tubs, one inside and one on the balcony. It was also larger than the normal rooms, though the normal rooms are impressive in their own right. Our suite also featured a spread of fruit and chilled champagne.


    From there we went to check out the pool area, which is stunning. It’s a quintessential view of paradise, and the hotel goes to great lengths to make sure everything is clean and well-maintained. We ate at the Oceana restaurant, where the margaritas apparently fill themselves. We also discovered one of our favorite foods at the resort, the won tons. Mmmmmmm!!! From there, we checked out the swim up bar, which was really cool and featured some of the most friendly staff at the resort (though it’s worth mentioning that the entire staff is phenomenal. They have great attitudes, every single one of them, and I could never tire of hearing “It’s a pleasure” after they fulfilled every request). The swim up bar ended up being THE daytime hangout for us and our guests.


    We met with Veronica on Thursday morning to iron out all the wedding details. Veronica is an ace wedding coordinator, a true professional that is very friendly and accommodating and is very good at what she does. She patiently went over all the details with us and was hip to all the conversations and arrangements we had made previously. We had a few special requests for the ceremony set up and she had no problem fulfilling all of them. When it came time settle our balance, we did notice some significant discrepancies that would have resulted in extra charges

    if my wife (the budget spreadsheet queen) hadn’t meticulously reviewed the bill. I strongly recommend going to your wedding meeting prepared with all the financial figures. The extra charges were certainly not intentional but I am really glad we caught them.


    Later that evening we met with Linda, the officiant. Linda was a lovely lady. She’s the type of person you feel like you’ve known your whole life the instant you meet her, she is so down to earth and easy to talk to. She even wore an outfit to the ceremony that matched our wedding colors, which I thought was a nice touch. We were really lucky to have her, especially considering it was essentially a random person who was in charge of presiding over the wedding.


    We hosted our rehearsal dinner at El Patio at 6:00 on Friday. We were originally scheduled to have it at 8:00, but Veronica recommended we move it to 6:00 so we could be seated properly and have a more private event, a move that proved to be wise. There weren’t more than 6 tables worth of people in the restaurant during our dinner outside of our group. This was great because we had some speeches planned during the rehearsal dinner and we were concerned we wouldn’t be heard. Fortunately this wasn’t and issue and the speeches were heard just fine. It’s important to note that El Patio is one of four restaurants with dress codes that require men to wear long pants and close-toed shoes (Himatsu, Portofinos and Bordello are the others). We learned this a couple days before the dinner and had time to email our guests, but be sure to do the same. One of our more rebellious guests tried to get in with shorts and was asked to leave, change and come back. We chose an appetizer, main course and dessert for our guests and all the food was excellent. One of my groomsmen arrived about 45 minutes into the dinner and

    was exasperated. Turns out he was accidentally booked at Dreams Cancun and not Dreams Riviera Cancun. Eventually it was all straightened out but he went through hell to rebook at the right hotel. I strongly recommend you advise your guests of the important distinction between the resorts.


    After a delightful rehearsal dinner, we reconvened at the Rendezvous lobby bar, which was a good place to meet up and have friends and family mingle.


    I was offered a room to myself for the night of the wedding as part of our package. However, I would have had to check out of that room at noon on the day of the wedding. Our wedding was at 5:30, so this would have left me with nowhere to get ready for the wedding. Instead I declined the extra room and stayed with my best man for the night.


    We had a wedding rehearsal at 10:15 on Saturday morning that went smoothly and left everyone feeling confident about where to go and what to do. Veronica did a great job leading us all through it, working with our plan and filling in the gaps.


    We were happy to find my suit and my wife’s dress cleaned, pressed and in our rooms after the rehearsal. Some have reported problems getting these back on time but fortunately we did not have this problem.


    I was tasked with arriving at the ceremony early to make sure everything was set up right, and fortunately it was. I made sure to talk to the ceremony technician about the music cues. We had heard bad things about their knowledge of English, so I was sure to bring a friend who spoke Spanish with me to translate for me. Thanks to this, the music was played flawlessly. I strongly recommend bringing a Spanish speaker to this conversation, though this was the only time there was a language barrier during our whole trip.


    The Dreams staff had the whole place under control and were able to make sure the majority of people walked around our ceremony so they wouldn’t be seen by our guests. We had chosen to get married on the beach (as opposed to the gazebo) partially because it is known to be more private and would have less gawkers. We definitely found this to be the case. We saw a wedding at the gazebo later in the week and there were definitely lots of on-lookers (including ourselves) though everyone was well behaved and I doubt that anyone in their wedding really noticed or cared.


    The ceremony went off flawlessly. Linda was well spoken and the sound system worked fine so everyone could hear us. It was a bit windy, but of course there’s nothing you can do about that.


    We took many photos after the ceremony. Anel was our photographer and she was fantastic. She took all the photos we asked for and brought many photo ideas to the table. She had a huge smile on her face the whole time and seemed to truly enjoy what she was doing, a rare trait in my opinion. The photos came out really well, and we had a heck of a time choosing just 136 out of the almost 400 photos.


    After the photos it was on to the reception. We had the reception on the pool deck, which was a beautiful location. It was well decorated and looked stunning with the lanterns, tiki torches and lit dance floor. The dance floor also featured some pyrotechnics, which was a nice surprise. However, it also surprised our guests sitting near the dance floor, as the wind blew a hail of sparks towards one of the tables, endangering my wife’s brother and singeing his shirt. Two others guests would have got it worse but fortunately they weren’t sitting there at that time. This was the only thing that went wrong during the whole night.


    We had DJ Mauricio from visual sound as our DJ. He was also great. Very personable and amenable to doing whatever we asked. We provided a couple of CDs of dinner music and several CDs of dance music and asked him to more or less stick to the script. He simply played the songs on the CDs during dinner, which worked out perfectly and got people in a great mood to dance. Once our speeches, cake cutting, etc were finished, he kicked off the dance music, and our guests practically shoved each other out of the way to get to the dance floor. The dance floor was

    actually a bit small for our 60 guests, so we ended up compensating with dual dance floors, the lit one and an impromptu dance area on the beach. The DJ stuck to our list of songs, and mixed them together. Some of the mixes worked wonderfully while others were not as good. Overall the DJ did a great job.


    After the reception we advised our guests to go to Desires dance club. However, Desires was decidedly dead that night so we all ended up at the lobby bar again, which worked out just fine.


    All in all, we and our guests were absolutely delighted by the whole thing. The rehearsal dinner, the ceremony, the reception, the whole shebang. Many told us they had an AMAZING time, and some even said it was the best wedding they had ever been to. One of our guests, a typically a touch critic, was taken by how the event was both very classy and very fun. We were so pleased by how everything turned out, we would even do it all over again the same exact way.


    If you’re still not convinced about the wonder and magic of Dreams Riviera Cancun, dig this…we were supposed to go to another resort for our honeymoon. We knew we were downgrading a little bit by going to this other hotel, but compared to our experience at Dreams, we found the new hotel to be woefully inadequate. Part of it was that our room was infested with bugs, the robes they gave us were dirty and it was cramped and not nearly as well kept up. Above that, it just wasn’t Dreams Rivera Cancun. DRC is so beautiful, the service so fantastic, the food so delicious and the overall experience so unforgettable, we spent about 20 minutes at the new hotel before deciding to change our itinerary and go back to DRC for our honeymoon. Best decision we could have made. We had a blast finishing out our trip back at Dreams.


    #6302 lcraney

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      Posted 25 May 2011 - 09:38 AM

      And here is the bride's perspective with a few more bride-y things...


      My new husband pretty much summed up our experience in his review, but I will add some things I think will be helpful to brides-to-be.



      We felt a bit like we were headed to the gates of Jurassic Park when our transportation shuttle pulled up to the hotel. It is a very secluded area and the building does look kind of weird like a fortress when you enter the property. The pay off once you enter the lobby is worth it, but be prepared for that weirdness at first. Ultimately, we were happy that our hotel was more intimate and further away from the city of Cancun. We visited the sister property Dreams Cancun to swim with Dolphins during our honeymoon, and it was on the main Cancun strip with all the hustle and bustle. That would have been too much for our guests, I think. DRC was just simpler. It was a little private paradise!


      Preferred club check-in was lovely, we were upgraded, so not sure how much it is to have it but it was really handy for the free wi-fi and getting assistance easily when the lobby check-in area was crowded. They treat you so well when you first arrive, you feel so special. It was awesome!


      The hotel is beautiful. The swim-up bar is cool and a great place to hang out with friends all day. Just bring lots of sunscreen! All us winter white Chicago people were getting fried!



      It was great. All the rooms are beautiful, our guests were very impressed. Ours was a full ocean view and bigger than other rooms which was helpful for getting ready the day of the wedding. However, it was weird that they put us in a room on the complete opposite side of the hotel from where our wedding was. I was really hoping to be able to just walk right out of the room and down to the beach, but they had to come get me and I had to walk all the way around the crowded pool to get to the wedding. Kind of fun because people clapped and stared, but also kind of inconvenient to me and my bridal party. If I had thought of it earlier, I would have asked to be moved to the other building closer to the beach wedding area. We were in the 2000 building, and the beach weddings are right in front of the 1000 building. So be aware of that. 

      They were so sweet to us, and we got flowers and champagne and fruits and nice things periodically during our stay. Everyone at the resort is so very kind and helpful. They work hard and make your experience so wonderful overall. Also, tipping went a long way in every situation. We brought plenty of cash for that and it was worth it!


      Rehearsal Dinner

      El Patio was perfect. The manager was very attentive and good to us. Changing the time from 8pm to 6pm was tough—we had a handful of guests come late or miss it entirely, but it made for a more intimate affair because the restaurant was not full at all and we had plenty of time for speeches and mingling. Food was great, service was perfect. Best choice for the rehearsal dinner, in my opinion. And the lobby bar was always the best place for a large group like ours—we all hung out there until late in the night. It was awesome.


      Wedding Meeting

      Went great, Veronica is awesome and friendly and easily fulfilled any request we had for the wedding. We went over everything together and I had a spreadsheet (thanks to another bride on this forum who kindly emailed it to me!) with all the info we had confirmed via email. Also had old emails just in case. Came in handy, I had to refer to old emails to prove a cost she quoted that was different than she was showing me now. We added some fun things like lanterns and tiki torches last minute when we realized we were under budget, which was great to be able to do. But honestly, less is totally more with d©cor. Everyone only sees the ocean and the infinity pool and the beautiful food spread. Everything else is just icing on the cake. No need to get crazy with matching stuff and tons of table accessories if you don’t want to deal with bringing it all to Mexico.


      Veronica was always available to help me and if I needed something, she followed up quickly and easily. I was surprised how little I needed to do once we met and gave her all our stuff and explained how we wanted it.


      I should note that we had planned every little detail to ensure that very little could be misinterpreted. We had a big binder and lists galore, which helped the wedding team a lot. Every detail had been addressed or thought of on our side of things, so they had instructions that were clear and easy to follow. (My husband and I are both planners, what can I say?) We had a timeline of the reception flow, and copies to give to DJ and servers and WC. We had instructions for the order of our ceremony songs in English AND Spanish just in case. We had CD backup of every song we wanted and ipods with playlists just in case those failed. We had plenty of copies of our ceremony and a photo wish list and lists of items that needed to be on the ceremony table or reception table, etc. It was all annoying to do before the wedding, but the pay off was a relatively stress-free wedding day.


      Wedding rehearsal

      We did it the morning of the wedding. Took like 20 minutes, Veronica was quick and simple and everyone figured out the route and timing fine. Our officiant was not there but that did not matter, we had already gone over our ceremony with her so she knew her part fine. Our parents were able to rehearse then head off to their massage appointments at the spa. (Speaking of—the spa was AWESOME! I highly recommend getting a treatment there. You could spend all day in the relaxation pool, and I had the best shower of my life in their indoor-outdoor private showers with plants and trees surrounding you! So peaceful and relaxing!)



      I was a nervous wreck most of the wedding weekend so eating was tough. The food, while better than most all-inclusives, was not agreeing with me. So I was unable to eat much at all until the reception. (And I am glad I got my appetite back—the food for our reception was the Caribbean Buffet and was delicious!) So the day was a struggle for me. But luckily the spa environment during my hair/makeup was soothing with calm music and a nice atmosphere and I started to feel better while getting ready.


      I did a 230pm appt for my 530pm wedding, and I had a lot of extra time in the end. I had Roquel (I think that was her name!) and she had been working a TON that weekend, but was still super nice and super fast. My hairdresser friend who was with me during my appointment could not BELIEVE how fast she got my hair up and secure with a flower and everything. It was impressive.


      The makeup was way more than I usually wear and she used colors I was apprehensive about, but once she was finished and I looked in the mirror, I started to tear up. I had never seen myself look so stunning. She did such a great job trying to match my fair-skin-turned-golden tan due to 3 days in the sun before the wedding. I left feeling like a goddess!


      We had plenty of time to get me in my dress and even get my bridesmaids’ hair done and enjoy some champagne and snacks. Anel from Adventure Photography came and took a bunch of photos that turned out lovely.


      Eventually Veronica came to get us about 10 later than she said. I was getting antsy but the timing worked out well and we probably only started the ceremony like 5 min late, tops. Everything was set up perfectly and Linda the officiant was there and is just such a lovely lady. We had met with her earlier in the week and I am glad we got to meet earlier so she knew us a little better. She has a great presence and did everything we wanted for the ceremony (even the wacky stuff we requested!). An absolute pleasure to work with, for sure. 


      My husband had brought our friend who speaks Spanish over to the music tech before the ceremony because we knew from past reviews that the tech spoke little English. We explained a simple timing cue to make sure our music started correctly, and the tech got it just right, which was a relief. It was really helpful to have someone bilingual help us out and the wedding guest was happy to do it!


      As for the ceremony--we laughed, we cried, we dealt with some killer wind on the beach and even a fat guy jogging in the background (the wedding team tried their best to stop passersby during the ceremony, but he snuck past them, what can you do?) Everything was still stunning and lovely and personal to us, which made it special.


      The toast afterward was great. The wedding team had all the champagne ready at the right time. Giving Veronica a copy of the ceremony probably helped that timing a lot.

      By the time we were doing pictures on the beach, my hair flower petals had blown away and only a few straggly pieces were left. I had brought some fake ones JUST in case something happened, and I am glad I did. They came in handy and my buddy replaced the dead ones with the fakes and we kept on doing pictures.


      We only left ourselves about 45 min for pictures, which was tight, but doable thanks to Anel. She was so good she kept getting the picture perfect the first time and moving on. It was incredible. She was so creative and kind and made us look so great in the photos. Picking the best ones was so hard but we did not want to pay another $15 each for over our allotted amount and we had just done the basic package. We got 136 pics with the package and settled on 150 total and paid a little extra. Worth it to keep those few that were so awesome we could not let them go. I requested Anel based on reviews on the forum and I would highly recommend her as well. She lived up to the hype and there is a reason she is so great at her job—you can tell she loves it!



      We had showed Veronica and her team what we wanted them to set up for the reception, and they took notes and it was done perfectly. I trusted them to make simple centerpieces and they did a great job! One bird of paradise per table in a tall vase was a surprisingly gorgeous centerpiece. We did not need anything more. The food was great and the light up dance floor was fun (though for our group of 62, too small).  When the fireworks went off, we were not expecting them, and we got lots of photos of our shocked faces, which was cool. But the danger factor was a little dicey. I am glad no one got hurt. One table was just a little too close to the dance floor and the wind was high that night, so it was inevitable that some sparks would fly. Still a great moment of the night.


      Our dance floor never stopped. DJ Maurcio had all our CDs and songs downloaded. He played everything just how we wanted, and threw in a few dance mix versions of songs too, which gave it his own spin and surprised us. That was fun. And he mixed from one song to the next which was at times silly and other times worked awesome. He followed our reception flow and announced our wedding party pretty well. We could barely hear from the other side of the deck, so the announcing part was a little messy. And my name is hard to pronounce for Spanish speakers so he said it like everyone does, incorrectly, but I did not care. He got our new last name right and that is what mattered to us.


      Cake cutting was great. They served the cake but most people were dancing all night so only a few people ate it. Lots of tequila shots were had from the great bartenders. We had personal servers who took great care of us all night. The night closed with a good closing song but I can’t remember what it was.


      After the reception we thought Desires would be good, but turns out that night it was pretty lame so people just went back to the lobby bar which worked fine. We finished the night happy, amazed, and tired!


      The wedding was exactly what we wanted, and we spelled it all out for the wedding team so that little could go wrong. But that is just us being anal planners. If you are easy going and trust the Dreams staff, you will not be sorry. Even if we had not been as prepared as we were I know that the wedding would have been every bit as magical due to the hard work of the hotel staff. They know exactly how to make your day classy and fun at the same time. And the location is so beautiful it is almost impossible for anything to be disappointing.



      My husband mentioned that we tried to change hotels for the honeymoon to get away from guests after the wedding. We were so spoiled by our treatment at DRC, and the food and d©cor and overall vibe, that we turned right around and changed all our plans so that we could go back and finish our honeymoon back at DRC. We did not even upgrade or anything, just got a standard room and kept it simple. It was worth it. We snorkeled and ate at the Habachi Grill in the Japanese restaurant (awesome!) and lounged in the infinity pool for hours. A wonderful end to our fairytale wedding experience at Dreams Riviera Cancun!


      If anyone has questions, feel free to ask away. Also once we get our photo link I will try to share it here.


      Dreams was truly a dream come true for us!







      #6303 chrissyandrob

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      • 36 posts

        Posted 25 May 2011 - 10:06 AM

        Hi! Thank you for you awesome review- we are getting married June 12th and you answered so many questions I had!!! I was just working on the timeline and am kind of stuck! Can you send me what you did so I can get an idea of the timing etc  chrissysexton1@hotmail.com ?? we are getting married at 5;30, cocktail at 6:30 and reception at 7:30. I can't wait to see your photos!!! so exciting!!


        Thank you! Chrissy


        #6304 kad1010

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        • 104 posts

          Posted 25 May 2011 - 10:38 AM

          Thank you so much for your reviews, they were great!  I would love to see your pictures when you get them.  I am the worst planner in the world, and after reading all of these reviews I am so afraid that I won't have things together when it's my turn down there. Granted, I have plenty of time but I'm not even sure what I should email the WC's about. Do you think it's possible to message me your spread sheet and time line? And also, what kind of things did you email back and forth with the WC about?   Did you have to pay extra for your rehearsal dinner? Did the DJ just play your cd's or did he play his own music as well?  And for your ceremony...did you have different songs played when different people walked down the aisle?  Sorry for all of the questions!  After I read a great review I get excited for my own wedding, but I also get a little overwhelmed lol. Thank you!!

          #6305 kad1010

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          • 104 posts

            Posted 25 May 2011 - 11:08 AM

            I forgot to mention that my fiance and I are thinking of moving to an adults only resort the Monday after our wedding because of some reviews about too many kids on trip advisor. Your review now has me second guessing that decision haha But I would hate to get all the way down there and fall in love with DRC and then not be happy with the other resort. I think we decided to go with El Dorado Royale for honeymoon.

            #6306 lcraney

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            • 42 posts

              Posted 25 May 2011 - 11:17 AM

              Hey there, 

              if you give me your email I can send the time line and spreadsheet. 
              I emailed all the locations to confirm them as early as possible, and I emailed what flowers I wanted (Veronica needed my flower order a month in advance), I emailed to get pictures of set ups and centerpiece options. Pretty much I confirmed the majority of my choices really early.


              We paid extra for the rehearsal dinner, I think it was around $20 a person once you factored in tax/service charges. It was worth it to us to have extra service for our 62 person group and have the manager aware of our dinner. If you are a smaller group, it might be possible just to see if they can seat you by each other normally in the restaurant.


              We explicitly told the DJ "Here are 10 songs you must play, and here is a list of 50 others you can choose from." So he only played things we had given him, but he had a little freedom in how he played them and what version he used (he had crazy dance versions of some of the modern stuff). The CDs were back up for any songs he did not have downloaded already, so I think he only used the CD to import our entrance song since he was missing it in his collection. 


              We had 3 songs for our ceremony--best to keep it simple.

              One song played while groom got into place and parents walked and bridesmaids walked in

              One song played when I came down the aisle (this was the tricky one, the song for my entrance gets really "hard rock" after about a minute of instrumental music, so it was important to convey to our tech that he should not play it until I was in view. Otherwise the timing would have been bad. It went fine, but we had to be sure and explain in Spanish and use a palm tree I passed by as a sort of "cue" for him. Worked great.)

              One song played when our wedding finished and we left the alter together

              Some people want a song played while signing the certificate, but we opted not to.


              Hope this helps!
              Dont forget to pass along your email and I will email the other documents when I can






              #6307 lcraney

              • Newbie
              • 42 posts

                Posted 25 May 2011 - 11:22 AM

                I am sure as long as you go somewhere equal or better in quality, you will be happy. Ours was just one star less than Dreams and it was a BIG difference. Little things are nice about Dreams, like no bracelets to wear for all inclusive, and now towel cards in order to get a towel, etc. Hopefully the Adults Only have this style as well. More easy going. Our other hotel was more crowded and had bracelets and less fancy decor, etc. 


                I should mention we had a few kid annoyances at the swim bar, just splashing and taking up seats. But most guests agreed it was not too bad considering how many kids there were around. We were not bothered much at all by them most days, and we spent practically ALL our time with friends in the infinity pool by the swim up bar. :)

                #6308 kad1010

                • Newbie
                • 104 posts

                  Posted 25 May 2011 - 11:40 AM

                  Thanks so much for your reply!  That's really helpful to know about the music, I don't want that to part to get messed up.  My email is akom1010@gmail.com.   Thank you so much for your help. I really am looking forward to looking over your documents!


                  I am so torn between the 2 hotels. I have time to decide so I'll just keep reading reviews lol.


                  Thanks again!

                  #6309 Lupita

                  • Newbie
                  • 62 posts

                    Posted 25 May 2011 - 12:04 PM

                    Icraney- Great review! Thank you sooo much for all the details included! Please email me a copy of the time line and spreadsheet. james4713@sbcglobal.net


                    6 Kids & 18 Adults + Bride & Groomed booked

                    Originally Posted by lcraney 

                    I am sure as long as you go somewhere equal or better in quality, you will be happy. Ours was just one star less than Dreams and it was a BIG difference. Little things are nice about Dreams, like no bracelets to wear for all inclusive, and now towel cards in order to get a towel, etc. Hopefully the Adults Only have this style as well. More easy going. Our other hotel was more crowded and had bracelets and less fancy decor, etc. 


                    I should mention we had a few kid annoyances at the swim bar, just splashing and taking up seats. But most guests agreed it was not too bad considering how many kids there were around. We were not bothered much at all by them most days, and we spent practically ALL our time with friends in the infinity pool by the swim up bar. :)


                    #6310 Lupita

                    • Newbie
                    • 62 posts

                      Posted 25 May 2011 - 12:24 PM

                      Icraney- Great review! Thank you for sharing all the details. I would love it if you can share your time line and spreadsheet. My email is james4713@sbcgloba.net. Our wedding is 12/10/2011 at 4:00pm. I'm glad to heat you liked the DJ is was a little worried. Did he include the dance floor with the package?


                      6 Kids + 18 Adults + Bride & Groom booked

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