We just got married at H3R on April 2nd and it was an absolute dream. Allibe and Luis were unbelievably helpful and totally on top of everything. Like the rest of you brides, I had my concerns about how things would turn out since I felt that I had so little control over things being so far away. I can assure you all that you are in good hands with Luis and Allibe. We flew to the resort in December and basically did all of our planning that weekend. Allibe and Luis kept diligent notes and everything that we had discussed came to fruition. We had 150 guests fly in and not one guest had a negative thing to say about the hotel or any of the staff. In fact, the hotel went above and beyond for all of our guests and they were blown away with just how accommodating the staff was (most of our guests are New Yorkers and can sometimes be difficult to please.) My crew tends to be foodies and the food was consistently amazing every single night. Oscar the chef is completely accessible and couldn't be nicer. The kitchen will basically make anything you want and everything tastes fresh and delicious. In reading some of the posts, I see that many of you brides are worried about using vendors through the hotel and I totally get it but I can assure you that they have impeccable taste and will totally work with you. If you don't like the first florist that they suggest, they'll find you someone else that you like. The reason that they prefer for you to use someone that they know is because they can then assure that the quality will be good and that you don't get taken advantage of. What I would recommend is that you go through bridal magazines and bring pictures of things that you like. That really helped the vendors and they were able to give us exactly what we wanted.
Here are the vendors that we used:
Photography/videographer: We used Aki Demi as our photographer and I would highly recommend her. She is extremely talented, has a great relationship with the hotel and is just a pleasure to work with. Her prices were amazing too. The hotel recommended a videographer (Claudia and Christian) who were completely discreet and didn't follow us around all night which was very important to me. There's nothing worse than a bright light shining in your face all night when you're trying to have a good time.
Hair/make up: We used Fernando and his group whom were recommended by Allibe. I can't tell you enough how gorgeous my bridal party looked. They were not overly done up and looked perfect. They were all really happy with the results which I know from experience is not always the case.
Wedding officiant: We got married in NY prior to the wedding so our ceremony in Mexico was purely symbolic. We used Petra Maurus who was wonderful and customized our ceremony to fit out needs. She was great and very reasonably priced.
Since we had such a large group, we decided to have a few celebrations. Here's the breakdown:
1. Thursday Night: Tequila party/welcome reception
-this was a causal event held on the "playita" which is the small beach near the pizza grill. We just did some pass around appetizers and desserts but the guests were instructed to eat dinner in advance of the party. We had some mariachi for about an hour which was a really fun way to welcome everyone to Mexico. We just used an Ipod for music and the hotel provided some cool lighting.
2. Friday night: Rehearsal Dinner
-This was held by the family pool. We had a cigar roller who was a big hit and a live band who played a mix of latin music. It was an absolute blast and was spectacular. We wanted to do a Mexican style BBQ so we had barbeque's set up with fresh fish, steak, chicken and shrimp and people could make tacos or whatever. It was an amazing night and people had a blast.
3. Saturday Ceremony
-We had the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception all on the beach. We had fireworks, mariachi to close the night, late night snacks and used Jaimme, the hotel DJ. The music was great. My husband and I are real music fans so we put together a list of songs to play and songs not to play. The DJ stuck with our list for the most part and it was sensational.
I really can't say enough great things about H3R and the staff that work there. Everything about the wedding went so smoothly and I'd be happy to talk to any of you brides if you have any other questions so just shoot me an email.