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Dreams Riviera Cancun - Brides post here (new thread)


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#6461 ssapper

ssapper
  • Jr. Member
  • 182 posts

    Posted 20 June 2011 - 12:12 PM

    @ChrissyandRob Thank you so much for your review, your wedding sounded fabulous I cant wait to see pictures. Quick question regarding the Virgin flight. Did you carry on your dress??? We will most likely be flying Virgin and I'm not sure what to do with my dress. Its not a huge ballgown but definitely has some volume! Did you have any problems with this? Thanks again!



    #6462 aimeelaco28

    aimeelaco28
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    • 83 posts

      Posted 20 June 2011 - 12:32 PM

      Hey girls,

      I'm considering using Adventure Photos and I know they give their brides an online slideshow but do they also burn all the chosen images on a cd as well?

      any kind of info would be great!



      #6463 chrissyandrob

      chrissyandrob
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      • 36 posts

        Posted 20 June 2011 - 01:25 PM

        yes I carried it on and it was fine in the over head. The hotel will steam it for you anyway so I wouldn't worry about that:)

         

        Adventure Photos will send you a CD of all of the photos you choose and you can do what you like with them...

         

        Chrissy



        #6464 ssapper

        ssapper
        • Jr. Member
        • 182 posts

          Posted 20 June 2011 - 02:28 PM

          Thanks Chrissy! Thats great to know!

           

           

          For anyone who's planning or has gotten married on the beach... was the bamboo arch included in the package?? if so which package did you get? Id like to use the bamboo arch and bring my own fabric for draping but am not sure if the arch is included or is an additional cost.

           

          Thanks!

          Shannon



          #6465 colleenandclint

          colleenandclint
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          • 66 posts

            Posted 20 June 2011 - 05:12 PM


            Sharon and Lindsay,

             

            Not too much longer!!! Our month is almost here.  I had Lisbeth as a coordinator and was concerned when I heard that she was gone.  Good news, I got an email from Gina, my new coordinator, and she assures me everything will be perfect and she has all of my info. 

             

            I don't think I will ever be done with all the wedding details, I just keep updating my list.  Haha.  Are you all done with yours???
             

            Originally Posted by SharonMydung 

            I am amazed that July 17 is coming around the corner.  Colleen and Lindsay, are you guys done with all the wedding details? 

             

            Colleen, are we speaking of the same Veronica here?  She is my coordinator too and I haven't received any news of her leaving.  If this is true, I am really bummed too because she has all my information and I am not sure who my new coordinator will be. 

             

            Who is your new coordinator Lindsay?

             

             



             



            #6466 justney

            justney
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            • 14 posts

              Posted 20 June 2011 - 06:20 PM

              Here are some more words of wisdom from a married lady…

              I’ll try to focus on stuff that might be new or different from what’s been posted.  I tried to keep my whole wedding simple because that was the point of a destination wedding for me.  I didn’t get many extras or bring much of anything down.

               

              Travel etc.

              I had a family member in the travel business help me set up the room block and rates.  I stepped out after that and my guests each made their own flight reservations, transfers, and then the hotel reservations using the Dreams website and our group code.  I thought this would be a whole lot easier on me and it was!

               

              Planning

              I went through two coordinators during my planning, and then the day I showed up in Mexico, I got a third.  It really wasn’t a big deal because I kept the information all in one Excel document/list.  I suggest keeping in mind that the coordinators do this at least twice a day seven days a week, they have experienced it all.  It was ME who had never done this before.  I kept that same philosophy in mind with DJ’s (I went through three with all of the rule changes), photographers (I went through two), room/group coordinators (I had 2 ½), etc.  Just be prepared for the changes that will inevitably happen! In the end everything was perfect and we ended up married and no one died!

              I suggest starting a list using the package details from the hotel’s wedding guide and then expanding on the list as you ask questions and decide on more details.  Add pictures of examples and non-examples of details you like.  Send this back and forth as a whole or in sections to your coordinator.  Also record the dates when you and your coordinator agree on details and prices.  I simply had to state that a price was quoted to me as cheaper in a previous email and the cheaper price was honored.  I did have the email to back it up, but never had to present it.  This was all I really brought down to Mexico.

               

              Resort

              I think there has already been a lot on how the resort is very clean and the staff is very friendly.  The food was good, steak seemed to be a favorite of our guest at many of the different restaurants.  There are two times (11:00ish and 5:00ish) where things shut down for about an hour to switch over to lunch or dinner so nothing is technically open although we figured out ways around this.  Also, each restaurant rotates being closed for dinner every night (this actually helped us out later).

               

              Rooms/Upgrades

              Our only real issue was with the room block people.  In our room block contract we received “VIP” upgrades and a complimentary gift (champagne) that we wanted to give to our parents.  My husband’s mom never received her champagne.  I had to keep asking about this and show my contract because no one claimed that it was their responsibility (reception, concierge, or the wedding department).  One of the Preferred Club reception guys was pretty pompous about it, but the champagne finally showed up in her room 2 days in to the trip. 

              We also had a question about the number of rooms we had reserved in our contract that never got answered for the same reason of no one knowing whose responsibility it was.  I finally spoke with the guy on the last day and took all my courage (I hate confrontation) to say, “I guess the positive thing we learned here is that there is a communication disconnect here at the resort”.  Take that Room Guy!  I’m sure that wasn’t as big of an event in his life as it was mine.

               

              Meeting

              We went to our meeting with Veronica on Friday and we were met with Ana who told us that Veronica didn’t work there anymore and she would be taking over.  "OK" I said and we moved on.  Most stuff was already taken care of via email.  I gave her my d©cor, we cleared up confirmation numbers for hair and make-up, groom’s room, and the included spa treatments.  Then I meet with the DJ (I never caught his name but he was with Visual Sound) and Photographer (Anel’s co-worker from Adventure Photos). 

               

              “Rehersal”

              We wanted to thank our guests for making the trip so we rented a catamaran through CancunDiscounts.  It was the best thing we could have done!  Our guests loved this.  It cost us about $2,300 for 45 guests on the boat, open bar, and transfers (vs. $1,500 or so for a private dinner that they technically already paid for by being at an all inclusive).  Just be careful when navigating the CancunDiscounts website.  Certain boats dock in certain marinas and it we reserved a boat that we didn’t think we were getting.  It worked out in the end, but I suggest calling the 1800 number and going about it that way.

               

              Ceremony/Reception

              I brought hair and make-up pictures to the salon and things went fine.  I might suggest a trial with the hair for humidity purposes.  The stylist was great and fixed the shade of brown I wasn't into on my eyeshadow, no problems just ask!  My hair did some interesting things with the humidity and the hair spray.

               

              I didn’t want to rack up the budget on decorations or schlep a million decorations down to Cancun so I only brought chair sashes and napkins bought off of eBay.  In the end I got ambitious and brought some votives which I wrapped in vellum and put LED candles in as centerpieces but it probably wasn’t needed. 

               

              A friend of mine and I had a conversation about centerpieces once and it went something like this:

              Me: I don’t know what to do about centerpieces.

              Friend: Do you remember the centerpieces at my wedding?

              Me: Um, no…

              Friend: That’s ‘cause there were none.  No one cares!

              Ha!  That still cracks me up!  I saw another wedding being set up during my stay that did not have centerpieces and it definitely did not look bare, the scenery takes over!

               

              The ceremony was at 4:00 on the North Beach.  I just had the chair sashes, the included white fabric on the arch, and the included ceremony centerpiece.  They set out some conch shells and kept people from running around in the background (someone told me later).  The technician screwed up the songs and didn’t have the microphone working for the officiant at first, but again, we still ended up married!  This is the one part I would have someone double check for you (you’ll be getting ready or taking pictures when he sets up). 

               

              I suggest treating this like a 1 hour DJ.  Give him some songs (5 or6) to play while gusts are being seated.  My technician played some really sappy stuff that none of my friends will tell me about except to say that I would have died (I’m not at all sappy). Give him your wedding party song, bridal march, recessional, and then 3 or 4 songs to play after the ceremony when you’re doing the champagne toast with your guests.  I did not check the box on my to do list that said “talk with technician” and that would be my only regret.  I spent too much time turning my entrance song from 4 minutes to 2 minutes, fading things in and out, making CD’s and backups, and in the end, it didn’t happen the way I planned.  Oh well!

              I met the officiant when I got down to the end of the aisle during the wedding (she has done millions of weddings according to my husband who had time to befriend her).  She was great.  I got a copy of her “typical” script, took out a few sappy parts, added a few personal lines and called it good.  I couldn’t handle the idea of writing the entire ceremony.  Several people asked about the ceremony and said it was “so personal”.  Actually it was 95% her regular stuff!  Those 3 lines I added were enough.

               

              We walked back down the aisle, did the champagne toast and pictures, then the husband and I took pictures with Anel while the guests went to the Barracuda Bar.  I sprung for the all day package or whatever is $999.  I gave her one of my lists with picture ideas (90% stolen from internet searches).  It had a few examples and a few “no ways” (I refused to do gazing into one another’s eyes pictures – too sappy).  In the end though, I told her to take really wacky pictures and to get creative because it was her profession not mine.

               

              The Marriachi band was scheduled for 5:15-6:00.  They were tons of fun! We headed back to mingle with the guests, listen the band, and take a few candid shots.  We then headed BACK out with Anel to take some pictures in other parts of the hotel while our guests headed for the reception. 

               

              Our reception started at 6:15 and went to 10:15 (I traded the cocktail hour for extra reception time).  The reception was supposed to be on the beach while another wedding was on the pool deck that night.  It RAAAAAIIIIIINED like crazy that morning and Ana told me she thought the ceremony would be OK on the beach but wanted to move the reception to a ballroom.  I politely gathered my confrontation skills to say “no stinking way”.  I didn’t come to Mexico to have non-memorable ballroom reception (for which I had zero decorations).  She got back to me later and said we could have the reception in Portifino.  REMEMBER THIS!  There is always a restaurant closed any night of the week so you should have options if you get rained out.  This was actually great, even though it didn’t rain that night, it was so flipping humid we were grateful to have AC!!!  Honestly, I didn’t see a beach reception the whole time I was there and wonder if the hotel is moving away from beach receptions.  It would have been way too close to the pool deck reception if it did happen as planned.

               

              The staff greeted my guests at Portifino with a martini (not my idea, but an added surprise), then we were announced, danced our first dance, had dinner (the Mexican Buffet was surprisingly some of the better food we had), did the toast, cut the cake, did the parent dances, and partied down. 

               

              The order of events wasn’t the order I gave the DJ, but it really didn’t matter.  I gave him a list (that’s right ladies, another list) of several songs and highlighted some that HAD to be played.  I also listed songs that there was no flipping way he could play.  I left the order of songs and the rest up to his professional judgment.  I don’t think I heard a song that we didn’t’ list.  I wish he would have announced which tables could go to the buffet, so I simply went and asked him to - no point in wishing about it when I can actually do something about it.

               

              In Summary

              Get yourself some list making skills!

              Save emails!  I don’t know if you need to bother to print them all.  You could print them at the resort in the Preferred Lounge if need be.

              Don’t forget the coordinators and other professionals do this more than once a day and trust them (it helps take stress off you)!

              Don’t be afraid to ask for things or follow up on details.

              Double check the technician situation, but everything else seems to be ironed out at the resort so kick back and relax!



              #6467 LindsayMichelle

              LindsayMichelle
              • Newbie
              • 105 posts

                Posted 20 June 2011 - 06:51 PM

                Justney - I think I just laughed out loud like 5 times while reading your review. Love your attitude about everything and sounds like it was a great time!

                 

                One question for ya - when did you get the officiant's script? I don't want to write one either, but I guess it wouldn't hurt to personalize it a little..

                 

                Congrats!



                #6468 LindsayMichelle

                LindsayMichelle
                • Newbie
                • 105 posts

                  Posted 20 June 2011 - 06:55 PM

                  Haha Colleen! I think everytime my list is getting small, I add 5 things. I have become a bit obsessive with the lists, but it makes me feel like I'm on top of things :)
                   

                  Originally Posted by colleenandclint 


                  Sharon and Lindsay,

                   

                  Not too much longer!!! Our month is almost here.  I had Lisbeth as a coordinator and was concerned when I heard that she was gone.  Good news, I got an email from Gina, my new coordinator, and she assures me everything will be perfect and she has all of my info. 

                   

                  I don't think I will ever be done with all the wedding details, I just keep updating my list.  Haha.  Are you all done with yours???
                   



                   



                   



                  #6469 ssapper

                  ssapper
                  • Jr. Member
                  • 182 posts

                    Posted 20 June 2011 - 07:13 PM

                    Justney thank you for your review! I love reading them... everyone has such good advice! It sounds like you had a wonderful time! Thanks again for the advice especially about the rain/ballroom thats my biggest concern. Just as you said i did not go through planning a destination wedding in mexico just to end up in a stuffy ballroom with little to no decorations! its great to know there are other options!

                     

                    Thanks again!



                    #6470 aimeelaco28

                    aimeelaco28
                    • Newbie
                    • 83 posts

                      Posted 20 June 2011 - 07:42 PM

                      wow! This website has truely been a godsent.

                      I just want to say thank you to everyone that has helped me out on here.






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