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SASSYGIRL's 07-07-07 Review


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#1 SASSYGIRL

SASSYGIRL
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    Posted 26 July 2007 - 01:12 AM

    I know that it has been a while since I got back from my wedding and I am sorry that I took so long to post this review. I have been a member of this forum for a long time and have always enjoyed reading the reviews and felt that they offered such great advice! I figured it was better to write mine late rather than never right! So here goes!

    Frontier Airlines – (A+)
    I got a group code and everyone was able to get 10% their ticket costs. The flights were on time and the staff was very friendly. The planes were very nice with direct TV screens at every seat that was free to use. You could also purchase movies to watch at your seat if you wanted for $8.

    Los Cabos Airport Shuttle – (A+)
    I used them when we traveled to Cabo in the past and emailed them to get rates on providing transportation to the Hilton for all my guests. This was not easy because everyone was coming on different flights, airlines and dates but they did a great job. The buses / cars were always clean an on time. I made all the reservations for the airport transfers and the cost averaged out to be $17 per person roundtrip. We also hired this company to provide transportation from the Hilton to Mi Casa on the night of our welcome dinner. We paid $450 for a huge luxury bus to take our group of 40 to the restaurant and then back to the hotel at the end of the evening. It was fun to travel downtown together and I would totally recommend this company.

    Hilton Los Cabos – (A-) overall
    We had 40 guests stay at this hotel and everyone loved it. Everyone is greeted at check in with a margarita or lemonade which is a nice touch. This is a first rate hotel and they keep the grounds and the rooms in excellent condition. The pool is fantastic and those who are interested can rent Jet Ski’s by the hour on the beach in front of the hotel. This was our 3rd time staying at this hotel and we have always had a great experience. I think it is important to note that we feel extremely safe at this hotel – we always try to use the safe in the room but have on several occasions left valuables and cash out and never had anything go missing. We were able to negotiate a group rate for our guests of $170 (not including taxes) which is extremely low for this hotel. Please keep in mind that we signed our contract over a year in advance so that helped with being able to secure a lower rate. We treated our guests to 3 nights hotel stay however several of them booked for an entire week stay. I was worried about how the room charges would be handled since I didn’t want to end up covering people’s room service or bar tabs – it was not an issue and everyone was charged correctly.

    My only complaint with the Hilton overall is that I felt the communication was not great when we checked in. Apparently there was a flyer that we should have gotten when we checked in letting us know about promotions that were going on through out our stay. No one in my party got this flyer and it would have saved us money and made our trip more enjoyable. I find it strange that everyone should have gotten this flyer and no one in my group of 40 got one!

    These are some of the promos that were going on during our stay:
    Kids eat free at all Hilton restaurants including room service and at the pool (we found this out on our 3rd day at the hotel)
    20% discount at Cabo Dolphins (we booked ours on-line before we left for Cabo and got 10% off)
    Free transportation to Cabo and San Jose on the Hilton Shuttle (normally $10 per person per day)

    Hilton Spa (A+)
    There is a bridal package here and the cost was about $240. This included a full make up and hair trail (which I had done before our welcome dinner so I looked all pretty for that) as well as a full manicure, pedicure, hair and make up on the wedding day. The staff was extremely nice and calming. I don’t wear make up on a daily basis and they did a good job of making me look like myself. My Grandmother and flower girl also had their hair done at the Hilton Spa and both loved how it turned out.

    Emeline – Wedding Coordinator at the Hilton (A)
    Emeline is a true gem. She is the wedding coordinator that the Hilton provides and she did a great job for us. We brought her 5 huge crates of decorations when we went for our food tasting visit in February and she stored them for us free of charge for all those months – that was above and beyond what she needed to do for us. Emeline made sure that everything we talked about over year plus of planning happened. I think she did a great job of thinking about the details that I might have forgotten and she always got back to my emails in a timely manner. I do not think it is necessary to hire an outside coordinator for your wedding if you are getting married at the Hilton. Everything flowed nicely and I think it would be a waist of money.

    Hilton – Wedding Food and Drink (B)
    Our meals were awesome and everyone loved the food. We elected to have an open bar all night and the total cost of that was $2500. I thought this was a lot of money for drinks but when it is all said and done there is no way to know who had what to drink and how many drinks were served. Just thought I would give you guys a point of reference so that you can plan for this part of your budget.

    IPOD – ceremony and reception (A)
    This is the way to go for sure – we had a great party with dancing and it worked perfectly. My cousin who is 16 ran the IPOD. We rented speakers from the hotel (I was afraid our BOSE sound dock was not going to be loud enough and so didn’t end up using it after all!) We rented a microphone for the ceremony but not the reception and I don’t know that we needed it. I guess it was good because our guests could hear our vows but I didn’t like having to talk into it – felt kind of funny.

    Cabo Flowers – Francine (B-)
    When I went to Cabo in February I met Francine at the flower cart. She gave me her email and sent me a quote. Her prices were good and she seemed nice so I decided to use her. I should say that flowers were not that important to me and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on them. I paid $275 for my flowers total. Francine never told me that she was no longer working for the Flower Cart and that my contact was actually with her. When I got to Cabo I went to the Flower Cart to pay my balance and they said I didn’t have an order with them. After some confusion they got Francine on the phone and she said she was sorry that I didn’t know but she had opened her own shop called Cabo Flowers. She asked if I could take a cab to her new shop and I told her that wouldn’t work for me since I was suppose to meet some of my guest in town in a little while. She said that she would come to the Hilton to meet with me and get the rest of the payment for the flowers. She arrived at the Hilton at the time we agreed upon and was nice about everything. The day of the wedding the flowers were on time and looked pretty. The flowers were as I ordered but nothing that blew me away. Cabo is such an amazing backdrop that I don’t think it is necessary to spend a lot on flowers.

    Mi Casa – Welcome Dinner (A+)
    We love this restaurant and it was perfect for our welcome dinner. We negotiate that everyone would receive a free welcome drink when they arrived at the restaurant. When we got there the drinks were ready (strong and big margaritas) and the waiters passed them out as the guest walked in the restaurant. It was a great start to a fun night. We sat in the “ox room” and the mariachis and clown who made balloon animals visited us all night. We did not want to have a set menu and they let our group of 40 order off the menu which was a great decision. Everyone was able to order all the food, drink and desert their hearts desired. One of the highlights of the night was the slideshow that I put together of pictures of Scott and I and our families. There is a huge screen up high in the ox room and all of our guests could easily see the show. The staff at Mi Casa was very kind and we were able to use their screen and projector for no additional cost. Everyone loved the food and atmosphere at Mi Casa and the evening ended up costing about 2K for 40 people including 8 kids.

    Cabo Dolphins (A)
    About 20 of our guests including children and myself swam with the dolphins. It is a wonderful experience. The facility is clean and well organized. The staff is great about teaching about the dolphins and making you feel comfortable. This is a pricy activity but one that I think is worthwhile.

    Picante Fishing (A++++)
    Several of the boys went fishing and had the best time. We met them back at the dock when they got back and they were beaming! They caught several marlin and other types of fish. They said it was awesome and the boats looked brand new – really nice. Apparently the crew at Picante know exactly where to go to catch the big fish and I was glad they had fun.

    Juan Carlos – Photos (will rate later)
    Everyone loves his work and I am waiting for our pictures. I booked him over a year ago and he made sure to remind me what I great price I got. He was on time and took pictures all night. I know that we will love what he shot but it is hard to rate him with out seeing the final product. He said we should expect our pictures a month and a half after our wedding date and the wait is going to kill me. I will be sure to share some of the pictures with you ladies when I get them!

    DIY Projects – (A+++++)
    This is what made our wedding unique and all of our guests loved the details! Here is a list of some of the things we did and I hope to be able to post pictures of the final products when we get our shots back from Juan.

    OOT Bags – we used iron on transfer paper and put our logo on black canvas bags – cute and they we used all week long

    Shirts – The boys got black golf shirts embroidered with our logo from queensbro for $10 each and they were a good quality. For the girls and kids I ordered black tees from Old Navy and used the iron on transfer paper to put our logo on them. I paid $5 for the kids and girls shirts and I love Old Navy.

    Poolside Puzzles – I spent some time and not much money to make little books for everyone called poolside puzzles. In the books there were crossword puzzles with info about us and saduko puzzles and word searched using all our guests’ last names. I was able to create all these puzzles for free on-line and it was a nice personal touch.

    Oriental trading company – we got a bunch of stuff from here pretty cheap but fun – we purchased beach balls, squirt guns, personalize pencils and playing cards.

    Picture Frame Centerpieces – we used velum for ink jet printers which we got at office depot and printed pictures of us with all our guests in black and white. We purchased picture frames at IKEA and painted them black – then we nailed 4 frames together and put a tea light in the middle. The candle illuminated the pictures on the tables at our reception and it looked amazing. Guests took the frames home for a favor. I hope to be able to post pictures of these because they were really awesome.

    Candle place cards – I purchased tall votives in clear glass containers from pottery barn – they were sold in packages of 16. I printed each guests name on vellum and then cut them so that I could wrap them around the votive. I used different colors of ribbon at the top of the votive for the different meals that each guest had selected in advance. I used clear gift wrap tape to attach the vellum and ribbon to the glass votive. Easy and the candle light looked pretty. I know the waiters were happy to have the colors on the ribbon so that they knew who got which meal.

    Linens, napkins, vases, candles with hurricanes and chair ties – Yes we brought all this down with us to Cabo. My degree is in Interior Design and I am a bit crazy about how things look. When I started planning I really didn’t think I would end up purchasing and dragging this stuff across the border but I got a picture in my mind of how the tables would look and then there was no stopping me. In the end it was totally worth it for me. Our long table of 40 guests looked breathtaking and I love that memory of how amazing it was to see. Who knows if all the guests realized how much time and money and effort it took to put together but I loved it and that is all that mattered. I will say if anyone is looking to do this IKEA is the best place to get stuff cheap. Also be sure to get the plastic crates to carry it all down in since they are cheap and super strong.

    OK I am really sorry that this review is soooo long. I hope that you find it helpful and please let me know what questions I can answer for you. I will say that having a destination wedding was the best decision we made. We enjoyed a wedding for a week rather than a few hours. If we would have had a wedding at home it would have cost us the same amount because we would have had to invite so many people. Since we got married in Cabo we were able to really enjoy our 40 guests and give them a trip that they will never forget! Thank you to all the girls who have helped me with my planning. This is an amazing forum and I am so grateful for those who make it possible and successful!
    Sarah's little girl-Isabella Nicole-10/31/08
    http://i83.photobuck....sabella034.jpg

    #2 gkashmira

    gkashmira
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      Posted 26 July 2007 - 01:21 AM

      Great review Sarah - I am dying to see your pics!!!! get some non-prof pics up here for us!

      It sounds like everything went perfectly! YAY!
      Kashmira & Dan
      Happily married since June 16, 2007
      http://i95.photobuck....a/IMG_0769.jpg
      Our mini-video: http://www.bajavideo...m/Kash_Dan.html
      Photo slideshow: http://www.tomasbarron.com/recent.php

      #3 TammyB

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        Posted 26 July 2007 - 09:28 AM

        wow great review. we missed you around here.. How's married life treating you

        #4 JENESIS

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          Posted 26 July 2007 - 09:59 AM

          Congratulations. Sounds wonderful. It really is a beautiful place

          #5 Natalie Z

          Natalie Z
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            Posted 26 July 2007 - 10:14 AM

            Congrats sarah it sounds like everything was beautiful!! I can't wait to see your pictures!!

            #6 Janet

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              Posted 26 July 2007 - 10:58 AM

              Great review! please pretty please post some non-pro pics?!??! :)

              #7 jpkw

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                Posted 26 July 2007 - 12:05 PM

                Congratulations!!! So glad everything was so wonderful!

                Yes, please post pictures asap!

                #8 Nrvsbride

                Nrvsbride
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                  Posted 26 July 2007 - 12:25 PM

                  I am so glad everything went well! It sounds like you and your guests had an amazing time. Congrats !

                  #9 SarahMc

                  SarahMc
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                    Posted 26 July 2007 - 09:32 PM

                    Congrats Sarah! It sounds like you had a great time! Can't wait to see pics!
                    Sarah & James
                    Dreams Los Cabos
                    June 28, 2007

                    #10 amyh

                    amyh

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                      Posted 26 July 2007 - 09:41 PM

                      oh Sarah! I'm dying to see pics of you DIY projects!!!! Congrats!




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