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Cuba Destination Wedding

Barcelo Cayo Santa Maria

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I had a wedding group of 27 people - almost all traveled together (some came from England) from July 31st - August 5th 2011 -

Once we landed in the Santa Clara airport we were greeted and shewed off into a private air conditioned van - took us 1 hour and 40 minutes to drive through the town and the causeway to get to our resort.

As soon as I (the bride) stepped off the bus, Maikel (wedding coordinator) whisked me and my group to a private room to have priority check- in - it was amazing!  room keys were handed out along with a VIP bracelet - we were also given champagne to toast our wedding off that week!

Sean and I thought we were just getting a standard room little did we know....  Maikel took us straight to our Ocean View Suite - we were amazed and shocked that we got this luxury for the entire week we stayed - our room was equipped with 2 bathrooms - one having a jacuzzi and a stand up shower for 2 :)  walk- in closet with a safe,  a  dining area and lounge area for if u want ur guests over to hang out and watch tv.   we also had a tv in the bedroom - we had a king bed that could fit an army!  AMAZING!!  we seriously felt so spoiled

Maikel was so easy to talk to, he had his check list for the Symbolic Wedding - we got a free bottle of rum, we also got breakfast in the morning after we got married, they also delivered champagne to the ladies while we were getting ready to walk down the aisle!

We went down to Cuba thinking our family would be the photographer's well, we changed our minds last minute we choose to have a photographer - We got Package I - 100$//CUC same thing....  it got us like an 1 hour and half of his time, plus a book of 24 prints and 1 large print - I would also recommend spending the extra 25 peso's for the actual CD of pictures that way you have them all!!  we have 150 pictures plus what our guests took..

after the ceremony our guests were taken to the theatre were drinks and small snacks were served (this was nice because we were off taking photo's)  after we were down we went to our private reception -

Maikel had us choose from 2 menus of what food we wanted for our wedding dinner - I highly recommend the VEGETABLE CREAM SOUP - omgg the best thing ever to be tasted there!! my entire group loved it - its either that or cream of shrimp?

we were having our reception in the part of the resort that was closed for the summer - it was just us and it had AC - we had a 3 course meal - the wedding cake was delicious - didn't know what it would look like but we didn't care!

Maikel will always ask you if everything is going good - we assured him it was - it was perfect - I am sure he has some pretty nasty ppl in the past!  he stayed with us from the time the ceremony started till we wanted to end it -

I suggest that if you like dancing to take ur wedding group to the disco - which is like a 2 minute walk into the town which is connected to the resort - entry fee - 5 peso's -from lobby that will get u in and 3 drinks... if u pay at the disco doors its 10 pesos which is ur entry fee plus 8 drinks....

it was awesome -

the rest of the week was sooo relaxing!!  upon checking out - we all check-out together - we ready to leave the resort the bus driver called for the Wedding Group only and we all travelled together - i bet some ppl were mad because there were 100's waiting before us to leave... but hey,  it was nice to go all together!

if there is any little things i left out like pricing and all that let me know....

oh surprise pricing for me was the bridesmaids bouquets - there an extra 15 peso each - Maikel told me this 1 day before heading out there! 

anywho, im sure I rambled!

We had a great time,

Melissa Sanderson

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Sorry Melissa, I just noticed page 2 of the thread after I sent you a pm. Thanks for posting pics. You looked so beautiful! I am very impressed with the shots. Do you mind if I ask what kinds of additional costs you incurred? What kind of a budget did you have for the event? Were there many opportunities for upgrades? I have asked my wedding coordinator for more info regarding this but I am finding that making any wedding day arrangements to this point has not been easy. Did you find that you did most of the planning for the event once you got there?




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what kinds of additional costs you incurred? What kind of a budget did you have for the event? Were there many opportunities for upgrades? I have asked my wedding coordinator for more info regarding this but I am finding that making any wedding day arrangements to this point has not been easy. Did you find that you did most of the planning for the event once you got there?






Hey Angela,


There wasn't really any "surprise" costs - although a day before we left my wedding coordinator told me it would be 15$ for any extra bouquets! (for some reason i thought they were all included) only the brides and grooms flowers are...


We didn't really have a budget - we had the Symbolic Wedding Package because we had gotten married in Canada at City Hall before heading to Cuba - (way cheaper)


Our Symbolic Package was 250 pesos -thats basically the same amount in CND funds


because the package only covered 14 people we had to pay an additional 10CUC for every other guests - we had 13 extra guests so that brought the price up - still affordable.




The coordinator will help you as best as they can, you plan your meal and whereabouts when your actually there at the resort!


as far as how you want your wedding party to walk you need to take control over that as they don't advise you on anything!   i had the groom and groomsman already waiting at the alter for us...   then i had my Maid of honour followed by the bridesmaids - then my 2 flowers girls then of course me and my granny who walked me down the aisle!



I would def purchase the Photographer on site! best $$ ever spent u get ur prints the day after you get married and we paid an extra 25CUC for the actual disc of pics so that we could have them all!!


if there is anything else please ask!!



Melissa Sanderson

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I am getting married at the Barcelo Cayo Santa Maria in Jan 2012!! Just wondering if anyone  has used the hair salon there?  I cant decided whether to try and do my own or not! If so, any clue on prices/if they are open everyday?  And any information on the locations that I get to choose from?

Also, was it difficult to legalize your marriage when you returned to Canada? 


Any info will be greatly appreciated!!!



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I did not use the salon services - only because they wouldnt do what I had asked..


I had extenttions that I would put in my self ,and they said they wouldnt curl them for me?

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We are getting ready to leave for our wedding on the 1st of February. We are finding it difficult to work with the wedding coordinators in getting any answers to our questions through email. I wonder if anyone can help...We were sent a menu but we are not clear if WE need to chose one dish for our entire group..or if this is the menu provided to our guests and THEY chose of the options that they would like.

We were also provided with the photography packages but are also not clear about these. I am wanting to have as many pictures as possible, along with a copy of the CD and have a video completed. Has anyone done the video? Also has anyone received the photobook? We were considering getting a few copies of the photo book for our parents...is this worth it?


Last big question is Does anyone know if they offer chair covers as part of the ceremony? I have this vision in mind and I really want chair covers...if necessary I will bring them down on my own but don't want to do that if its not necessary? Thanks for any help....


signed: freakingoutbride lol 











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from one freaked out bride to another...

I am getting married May 7th at the Barcelo, now "Memories Azul" I have had a terrible time getting in contact with the wedding coordinator and have lots of questions like you, so that I am prepared for the wedding.. after 16 emails and then a nasty one from my travel agent, she finally VAGUELY answered my questions:


What are options for music? Trioâ€s, Bands, DJ's ect & cost?. For Alive music there is an extra cost depending on the format. A trio could cost between 120.00 or 100.00.


Are we able to write our own, will there be a translator present for the official vows. Yes, after the legal ceremony (all the reading of Cuban family code articles) you can read your vows. The Notary only makes the official services, and just before the final declaration of marriage you can exchange ring, read your vows of have the sand ceremony if you want to.


What are options for flowers? Roses? I cannot confirma you that yet, because the flowers are imported and depends on the availability and season, usually we ask for specifically colors for the bouquet.

White chair coveres. No.

Navy Blue sashes
*attached picture of chair covers/sashes from the website - are these available? NO


Is there an option to have Alcoholoc & Non-Alchoholic drinks served at the wedding? Yes, if you ask for, it could be possible

Additional Questions:

Do we have an option for a "welcome" dinner the evening of arrival?. Please send in advance the guest list, to know if is possible. Subject to an extra cost

Do we have an option for a “rehersal dinner party†the night before the wedding. Subject to an extra cost

What are food/menu options for the reception? I´ll send you the options

What are the decorations/colors available? Usually the service decorate in red the tables and with candles an natural flowers

When/Where should legal documentation be sent? In three months after the ceremony

As I previously stated.. my clear questions were vaguely answered. I've really struggled with this as I am a really big planner.. I've just gone ahead and bought all the chair covers/sashes, any and every decoration I plan to have.

Please keep in touch & e-mail me with any questions: julia.hughes-@hotmail.com



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