Janetâ€™s Bahia Principe Akumal Review (8.15.09)
Posted 09 September 2009 - 12:17 AM
Well, weâ€™ve been back now for a few weeks from a beautiful wedding and very relaxing vacation at the Bahia Principe Akumal. Iâ€™m finally getting around to doing this review. Itâ€™s bringing back so many good memories, I wish we could go back! We had such a great time having our wedding at the Bahia Principe and it meant so much to us to be in such a beautiful location with friends and family. Anyways, hereâ€™s my wedding review. I could have gone on and on and on (and used the word beautiful about a hundred more times than I already have). If you have any questions about anything I donâ€™t review here just message me and Iâ€™d be glad to help. Alright, here we go (this is pretty long!)
Wedding Coordinator â€“ A+
As previous reviewers have noted, Yuritzia, the wedding coordinator at Bahia Principe Akumal, is very hard to get a hold of until about a couple weeks before you wedding. But once we got to the resort, Yuritizia put us completely at ease. We met her in the lobby bar the afternoon that we got there and she had all of our information in a big binder including all my emails and a list of all the details we still needed to discuss. At the meeting, we ran through everything from the reservations she made for the welcome dinner Friday night to all the details of the day of the wedding for Saturday. Yuritzia had a backup plan for everything (e.g. rain during the ceremony, or rain during the poolside reception) and lots of good recommendations. After the meeting she walked us around to the venues and showed us the spa, the Dolce Vita where our dinner was going to be, the location of the ceremony and poolside reception. After the meeting, we had to run back to the room to get our sand ceremony kit and name cards for tables to give those to her. I also chose flowers right at the meeting with Yuritzia. The day of the ceremony, Yuritzia had everything timed and planned and did a really great job of directing everyone. She took a lot of stress off of us by being so organized.
Ceremony Officiant â€“ B+
The ceremony itself was really beautiful. Ours was technically a renewal of vows since we got legally married in the States. The officiant was really sweet and had a very nice ceremony. She spoke perfect English. The only thing was that the ceremony was a religious ceremony and neither Josh or me is religious. So that was a bit strange for us. But the sentiments she expressed were still true. Overall the ceremony lasted about 15 minutes and we really enjoyed it.
Ceremony Location â€“ B+
We originally had our ceremony planned for the Akumal beach location by the hammocks, but ended up changing it to the pier because it was going to be so hot at 5PM. The breeze from the water cooled things off nicely. The ceremony also looked really beautiful for us. We were right out there on the dock overlooking the ocean and it was just gorgeous. The reason I wouldnâ€™t give the ceremony location a top rating though is that it was beautiful, but there were probably 100 people watching, taking pictures, and swimming. We didnâ€™t mind the people watching â€“ everyone was really nice and respectful, just some of the photos are kind of funny with some guy in a speedo in the background. Being out on the pier also made it really hard for our photographer to get photos aside from getting on a boat and taking pictures from the water. Overall, the ceremony was very nice though.
Flowers â€“ A
The flowers turned out beautifully. I chose pink roses for myself and the maid of honor and pink rose boutonnieres for Josh and the best man. I brought my own ribbon for the bouquets, but forgot to tell Yuritzia to ask the florists to do wraps with pins instead of ribbons. But they still turned out quite nicely. (Iâ€™d recommend you bring a photo of what you want or email it to Yuritzia beforehand so you donâ€™t forget.) Yuritzia suggested white orchid corsages and boutonnieres for the parents and those turned out gorgeous. We ordered a couple extra large centerpieces that we used for the ceremony, then Yuritzia moved these to the reception and then later we moved them ourselves to the poolside reception. I donâ€™t even think we saw a picture of the centerpieces beforehand, we just told Yuritzia that we wanted centerpieces with pink roses and she came up with these really pretty rose centerpieces. We added fuschia rose petals for the aisles, also Yuritziaâ€™s suggestion.
Ceremony Music - A
The ceremony music was perfect. We gave Yuritizia an ipod the day before the ceremony with four songs: one for the maid of honor/best man walking, one for me and my parents walking, one for the signing of the certificate, and one for the recessional. The timing was perfect. Yuritizia had a resort assistant who was designated just for changing the songs on the ipod. Our recessional song was â€œAll You Need Is Loveâ€ and everyone on the beach started singing along. I guess everyone, American, Canadian, British, German, Spanish and all the other nationalities at the resort, everyone knows the Beatles!
Spa (Hair, Makeup, Nails) â€“ B-
I would recommend the spa at the resort for hair, but not for nails or makeup. At the last minute, I couldnâ€™t find my hair picture, so I just used the books and magazines that were at the spa. Most of the hair style books they had were spikey kind of updos. I ended up showing the stylist a picture of Miley Cyrusâ€™s hair from a German issue of In Style! My maid of honor, my mother in law, and one other guest got their hair done as well. They all got updos, and they turned out really well, but they were totally in the hands of their stylists because they did not bring pictures and the stylists didnâ€™t speak English. For makeup, I think it would be best to just do your own. My hair stylist at the spa also did my makeup. This consisted of foundation, eyeshadow and lipgloss, nothing else. I ended up doing the rest myself. As for nails, Iâ€™d say itâ€™d be best to do nails yourself too. I donâ€™t know whether it was the humidity or what, but the polish just wouldnâ€™t dry. Hours later it was still smudging.
Dress Steaming â€“ A
We got my dress, the maid of honors dress, Joshâ€™s suit, and my parents clothes all steamed and they turned out great. The laundry service comes to pick up the clothes in your room and then drops them off in your closet or hides the dress if you request that. The service gets billed to your room for when you check out. I donâ€™t remember what the price was, but it seemed reasonable. Just be sure that the laundry people come to pick up your clothes. We called them several times and they didnâ€™t come until a day later to pick up the clothes.
Dinner Reception â€“ B+
We had our dinner at the Dolce Vita. The other option was the Frutos Del Mar right next to Dolce Vita. The Dolce Vita is a bit of a walk from the ceremony location. We did our family photos after the ceremony and met everyone over at the restaurant. We ended up having a champagne toast at the ceremony and then ordering another round for the reception toasts. For dinner, we had to do the set menu. We went with caprese salad for appetizer, tomato soup, the chicken or the grouper as our entr©e option and the tiramisu. The only complaint our guests had was that the serving sizes for the appetizer and the entr©e were tiny. Josh described the soup as Spaghetti-os minus the spaghetti. The tiramisu was delicious. After the dinner, the servers brought us Mayan coffee which they set on fire - it was pretty spectacular.
Cake â€“ A+
We had the dulce de leche cake, the regular size that comes with the deluxe wedding package, and it was delicious! We brought our own cake topper and Yuritzia sent this back to us the next day with the sand ceremony kit.
Poolside Reception & DJ â€“ A
If you get married at the Bahia Principe Akumal, I think the poolside reception is a must. The location, right by the White Sands bar in front of the lobby and by the pool is just so pretty, and noting beats dancing your first dance in the moonlight. The DJ actually played Dancing in the Dark later in the night, so it was just a matter of time before some had a tie on his head! ☺ The decorations with white lights and white balloons look beautiful. Not everyone danced, but it was still a good time for those who did dance and others just to chat and enjoy the atmosphere. I actually never saw the DJ the entire night, but I think he might have been the resort DJ because the music selection was similar to what we heard in the disco the night before. We gave him an ipod with about 30 songs on it to get him started. He played some of these, but also added in a bunch of other songs and a few we didnâ€™t even know.
Photography â€“ A+++
Our photographer was Tim Cothran and I cannot recommend him enough. We love our wedding photos, and we loved working with him. He was just awesome awesome. In his spare time at the resort, Tim went around and researched places to do bridal shots and portraits after the ceremony. Tim was really easy to work with and adapted to all the surprises we ran into. After being told we werenâ€™t allowed to take a professional photographer to the Tulum ruins, Tim had already thought of a plan for us to go to the public beach and he had also spotted a great little rocky place overlooking the ocean. The rocky place he found turned out to be beautiful! I canâ€™t even explain how above and beyond Tim went to capture great shots for us despite the incredible August heat in Mexico. There are some angles he got where we were wondering, how did he do that?? Overall, we were just really impressed.
Now, hereâ€™s what youâ€™ve been waiting forâ€¦ PICTURES! Iâ€™ll post some more in a week or so. If you just canâ€™t wait, you can see them on Timâ€™s site:
Oh, I should mention also we used Cancun Valet for airport transportation and they were great. And last but not least, a big A+++ to all the previous Bahia Principe reviewers. Thank you all so much for sharing your thoughts and advice! Hearing others' experience first hand made planning a destination wedding so much less intimidating and much more fun. For those of you still planning weddings, here are the links to the previous reviews.
Special Thanks to All the Lovely Previous BP Reviewers
Martha - http://bestdestinati...om/forum/t27192
RyanAmanda - http://bestdestinati...om/forum/t27192
Trish - http://bestdestinati...om/forum/t19450
Scoutly - http://bestdestinati...om/forum/t38254
Jkcz0702 - http://bestdestinati...om/forum/t38680
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