This is much overdue, but going to finally write a review from our amazing May 13th, 2011 wedding!!
Overview: We had 125 guests come (mostly from California). Most guests stayed Tues or Wed until Sunday. When I first starting planning, I knew the most important thing to me was choosing a great location that was reasonable for guests and a place that we could somewhat take over (not a huge hotel). It didn't take long to find Ceiba since it is one of the only medium sized hotels in the Maya Riveria. Most other hotels were too small (30 rooms) or huge. Luckily, when we went to our first visit to make sure Ceiba was as nice as it seemed on the website--we were more than impressed. The hotel is gorgeous, very natural and rustic yet has a bit of a luxury feel as well. The wedding optinos were great. There is a huge reception area next to the main part of the hotel, several options for cocktail hours (pier, 2nd floor terrace area, pool area). A great beach for the ceremony (and for guest to hang out during the day). I liked that the beach was private--so you didn't have to worry about random people hanging out during your wedding. Also, the reception area is sort of tucked back next to the hotel--so most of our guests didn't even know it was there until the wedding day. The staff was incredible. The only downfall is that it is 25 minutes to PDC, but for me, all the positives outweighed this one negative. We still rented a bus one night and went to PDC and the bus ride was actually really fun. Also, at first it seemed expensive for guests--but once you break it down, it is really not a bad deal considering what you get (amazing hotel, food and beverage). Other thing to consider is that the 2 bars close at 11 so some nights i wished we had more time. I think it was probably a blessign though, b/c our group drank all day and needed to be cut off at some point. Just remember to stock up your rooom with some beers and order a bunch of drinks before last call
Schedule: Tuesday night about 40 guests were there, Ceiba had a Meixcan buffet which was great. Wednesday night we had a cocktail hour and then everyone ate at the restaurant. We then took a bus with about 50 of us to downtown Playa. Thursday was rehearsal dinner (taco bar) on the beach with a steel drum band. Friday was the wedding (5:00 ceremony on beach, cocktail hour on pier, then reception on the terrace).
Ceiba Del Mar: A++++ Exceeded alll of our expectations. Truly amazing--this MADE our wedding. It was perfect and our guests loved this hotel.
Photographer: A++++ Melissa Musgrove from Santa Barbara. AMAZING! Highly recommend her!!!!!!!! We flew her in and it was soooooooooooo worth it.
Taco Bar From Ceiba for Rehearsal Dinner: A+ Amazing. Everyone raved about it.
Wedding Food from Ceiba: B+ It was good. not the best food I have ever had in my life but good (and I am a picky eater used to a high bar set in San Francisco). We offered a choice between Salmon and the Steak and Vegtable Risotto. Ceiba will work with you if you want to customize the menu a bit.
Dessert at Wedding : A+ Ceiba helped with this. We did Churros, ice cream, mexican cookies and sprinkles (we brought spinkles)
Alcohol at Wedding: We used La Europa. It is a bit more expnsive than Costco, but so worth it. They will buy back what you don't use. My worst fear was running out of alcohol, so I liked that we could overbuy and then return what we don't use. We bought a few things at Costco becaues it was a lot cheaper (vodka and a few other things. I am warning you though--it takes some time picking it all out. They will also come back and pick up what is not used after the wedding, which is nice. They are very trustworthy also. a very good and well run business.
Decor at Wedding: A- Planner1 did our flowers, chairs, ceremony decor, and rehearsal dinner flowers and laterns. Gabi is so sweeet---i really like her and highly recommend her. Everything looked amazing except the flowers on the tables ended up not being what i asked for. I didn't see this until i showed up at the wedding--so nothing I could really do and at the end of the day, I was so happy that everything else was going well, i wasn't too cocerned. Basically the flowers and even the colors were not really what we discussed but perhaps some things got lost in translation. We discussed the exact flowers that woudl be used and I showed up and say gerber daisys (which I hate) and the colors included light pink flowers (when they were all supposed to be bright colors). however, everything else Gabi did was great.
DJ: DJ Mannia--- A++ they were soooooooooooooo good. People did not stop dancing all night. Had all the most current music. They made our ceremony so much fun--best decision i made. Also, i highly recommend that you get the dance floor on the beach. that was SO FUN! Also, we had spotlights going out to the ocean otherwise the ocean is pitch black and you can't see it at all. these were only $300 or so for 4 spotlights--and they made our wedding so much prettier. Highly recommend this and the dance floor on beach.
Transporaton for guests to/from Airport: A++ I HIGHLY recommend Alex at Your Cancun DMC. She is SO organized and my guests were so grateful that they had someone to work with to pick them up and drop them off at airport. They even set up a desk at Ceiba to make sure our guests knew what time they needed to be at lobby. Prices were reasable also. Her email is
Javier - A++ I loved Javier. I sent him specific songs that we wanted played (mostly Beatles) and even how i wanted them played. He was amazing. So glad we chose to have live music.
Hair/Makeup A++ can't remember their names now, but it is Gabi's sister in law (from Planner1). I LOVED them They were so cool and nice-- i want to be friends with them. And they are great at hair and makeup.
Welcome Bags: The best thing I did was make a photo book on Shutterfly with a picture of all our guests, their names, and relation to bride/groom. People were referencing this all week and absolutely loved it. I reallly think it helped everyone get to know one another. Also--snacks and the survival kit were key (modium, advil, etc). All the other stuff was probably a waste of money. I should have gotten more snacks and less other schotcky crap.
I am probably forgetting things now. But if you have any quesitons---please let me know. Also, happy to talk on the phone as that is probably easier. I know how hard wedding planning is and I am so glad I got help from people on this site!!