Our Jellyfish Wedding – May 6, 2014
This was the first wedding held at the Jellyfish without our beloved Mayte. She was so sweet to email me on our wedding day to say how sorry she was she couldn’t be there to make our dreams come true. She had our guest seating cards all prepared and said she was crying that morning as she knew she let us down.
Please keep in mind, Jellyfish is a business - turnover happens everywhere for various reasons. At the end of the day, its not about 'who' decorated the venue, its about us, and our guests. Dont get caught up in the drama.
I am giving my honest review, and I would say even without Mayte and her unique ideas I would still give the venue a 9.5/10! There were 41 people including us, and our theme was ‘romantic bling’. Pictures are posted by myself/Isaac/Katya Nova on the facebook groups if you want to see some of the new decor.
Feel free to PM me if you have questions!
MEETING/MENU TASTING: We arrived for our tasting at 2:30pm on Sunday May 4th, 2 days before our wedding day. I let the hostess know I had a meeting with Mayte, and I was seated by Raluca (the restaurant manager) who then told us she was no longer working there. I hadn’t checked the internet for a few days and was not aware of the news, so I was immediately concerned about what was happening with our wedding. Mayte and I had been chatting through her personal email address for the last 2 months regarding the final details and last minute changes, which the new staff were not aware of.
Clara, Raluca, Isaac had the (somewhat outdated) documents/emails printed that were sent to the ‘jellyfish’ email address. We began with tasting some cocktails and appetizers, starters and a sample size main course. During this time we discussed the décor, cake, flowers, music, food allergies, etc.. and I filled them in on the changes they weren’t aware of. I also had a look at the bridal suite which at the time had boxes and was not set up and decorated yet.
At the end of the meeting we reviewed the invoice and I left a large cash deposit (for the vendors). I believe this is changing where everything is all on one bill (taxes on everything) and it can be paid with any credit card, no limits.
FOOD: For cocktail hour, we decided on the seafood ceviche, mozza sticks and bacon wrapped shrimp, then mozza sticks & chicken hot pockets which were served as a late night snack. All were delicious, the ceviche was a guest favourite – but I loved the hot pockets!
We had a custom dinner menu priced at $55 each consisting of 1 ceasar salad per person & chicken brochettes (skewers) served family style. The entrées were seabass & shrimp or chicken supreme or beef filet. Each were served with rice & veggie side dishes. Our vegetarian guests had a stuffed pepper with cheese which they raved about.
I ordered my beef filet medium rare, but it arrived nearly ‘blue’. I was not hungry enough to ask for it to be corrected. The guests loved the food and said it was a nice change from the resort options!
CAKE: This was a bit of a disappointment. Mayte told us we’d be doing tastings so I had asked for a hazelnut option, and the famous nutella cake to try for our mini cake. My husband picked the cupcake flavours (30 vanilla/peanut butter icing and 30 traditional red velvet/cream cheese icing). There was no tasting available. The cake document was not printed off during our meeting, but Clara had printed out some decoration options to show us and was ready to take note of the flavours. Isaac had access to my document with the cake flavour/décor. What we ended up getting was a vanilla cake/vanilla icing for both the mini cake & cupcakes. I found it to be bland and nothing special. Im confused why we didn’t get what we asked for, but as the story goes with weddings, approx. half went to waste. By the end of the night we were exhausted and couldn’t be bothered to bring it back to the resort.
MUSIC DJ/MC: Exceeded our expectations!! The MC kept the flow going and checked in with us often. We had specific youtube versions for many of our key songs and everything went off without a hitch. Infact, the DJ found a ‘better’ version of AC/DC thunderstruck for our bridal party entrance. The DJ really knew how to keep the party going after the crazy hour ended. Guests song requests were played. We also gave him a list of songs to play during dinner/cocktail hour – and ‘must play’ and ‘do not play’ songs.
BRIDAL SUITE: We used the bridal suite to touch up our hair & makeup right before the ceremony. This is where our flowers were kept (in the A/C) to avoid wilting. We also pinned the boutonnieres here. There were 2 small chandeliers, 2 small tables and 4 chairs pulled in from the dining room. There are lots of mirrors and a bookcase to store the girls’ purses/bags shoes, etc. I think the room is approximately 8’x 8’. We had 6 bridesmaids and 2 sets of parents in there, it was a bit tight.
FLOWERS: Another disappointment. I requested a large bouquet of white fluffy peonies with a white ‘bling’ ribbon. I received a bouquet of white and pink roses with a tan ribbon. The bridesmaids should have had the same, except in pink but received 3 long stemmed pink roses. The boutonnieres were white roses but should have been peonies. We ordered 7, but only 4 arrived… however, it took only 15 mins or so for the vendor to deliver the rest.
ALCOHOL: We chose a white ‘coco loco’ for our free welcome drink. For cocktail hour, pink/purple pina colada’s and for the guys, a blue vodka/triple sec. There was a champagne toast as we sat down to dinner. Wine/beer/water/soft drinks were served during dinner followed by 2 hours of ‘silver’ open bar. Mamajuana was also available for shots. We then had a tab going, the party ended around 12:30. Guests could order drinks from the bar inside the restaurant or the beach bar, the set up was absolutely perfect!
FAVORS: A bottle of brugal rum ($5) and a burlap bag of coffee ($3). We also had leftover cigars from the cigar roller. We saw the same bottle of rum at duty free for $15 so this was great value in our opinion!
CRAZY HOUR/CIGAR ROLLER: Crazy hour show… WOW! After dinner the MC led the guests out to the dance floor where we had our first dances and bouquet/garter toss. Then he instructed everyone over to another area where we had the fire show. Then, back to the dance floor for the Dominican dancers and the Brazilian dancer. Then, the best part – the dancers in costumes and stilt walker! The masks, confetti and horns were a hit and everyone had so much fun! This is what made the party and it was worth every penny! The cigar roller was set up in the restaurant and the guys loved it.
CEREMONY: We had my husband’s uncle officiate our symbolic ceremony. They set up the speakers/microphone, along with a ‘mixing of the red/white wine’ ceremony that he created for us. We requested a fake marriage certificate for us to sign as a keepsake. We had the white wood aisle and white gazebo, white draping and some flowers. White wood chairs and pink sashes. The ceremony lasted approx. 30 minutes
PHOTOGRAPHY/VIDEOGRAPHY: We were lucky enough to have Katya Nova to capture our day, and Rob shot the video. I have followed her blog religiously for over a year now and was so excited to meet them! We booked Katya, Rob & Lacy a room at our resort to avoid the vendor fee. It was also convenient as we shot our sunrise Rock the Dress session on our resort’s beach the next morning. The 3 of them played the role of bridesmaid/wedding planner/photographer as we had some issues with our room/schedule (which was a mixture of ours/resorts fault!!) . It was a rushed afternoon to get off the resort and be on our way, but we managed to get all the shots we wanted. Even during the chaos, Katya was so great at making me feel relaxed and helped me enjoy every moment. She had the music going and had a great sense of ‘calm’ about her.
We had our first look at the Jellyfish entrance infront of the seashell curtain. It was a beautiful private moment where we could be emotional and take it all in before the ceremony. I’d absolutely recommend it – I would have otherwise been a sobbing mess during the ceremony!
After the ceremony we did some shots with family/bridal party beside the restaurant and on the beach. By the time dinner was finished we needed them to stay for 2 hours of overtime which they seemed happy to do with short notice. Our guests noted how they were so friendly and fun to work with!
We received a 5:30am wake up call the next morning for our Rock the Dress sunrise session. We didn’t have much of a sunrise, more of a dark stormy sky and a strange calmness in the ocean. Who knew this would create such a pretty contrast with the turquoise water and my pink wedding dress We cannot wait to see the pictures and video!!!!!
HAIR & MAKE-UP: Krystie Ann glammed up my bridesmaids, my mom and myself and did an excellent job!!! Most of us just showed her a picture and she delivered. I was so happy with the results which lasted through the (hot & sweaty!) party and through the photo session the next morning! I just paid the $50 vendor fee – a small price to pay to have access to our rooms/food/drinks all morning.
RESORT: Ocean Blue & Sand. Sigh… this was a beautiful place. Even the basic rooms were large, updated and very nice. It was a perfect size for a group, not too big to get lost but… big enough to get lost It was a $20 cab ride each way to Jellyfish for our tasting, approx. 20 mins away. We were impressed with the food, pools and beach. The service at the bars and restaurants were outstanding. The honeymoon suite was jaw dropping! The problem was the front desk/hotel management and wedding/group booking department. Promises were not fulfilled, security could not control screaming teenagers, our welcome dinner reservation was not made (we bribed the supervisor to put together a section for 41 people at the last second!). Its really too bad because the resort itself was PERFECT otherwise!! Unfortunately we wont return.
My advice for future brides: The little details do NOT matter!! There is always a chance things may not go as expected but don’t let it ruin your day. Remember why you chose Jellyfish as a venue – the uniqueness of it in comparison to the resort or a golf & country club ‘back home’. Its about you & your partner and enjoying the company of family & friends. I was the only one who noticed the mistakes – believe me, even my husband didn’t notice or care LOL J You are all in good hands!