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The Now Riviera Cancun


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#1501 hammy0426

hammy0426
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    Posted 02 March 2011 - 12:44 PM

    Okay brides, I am going to try to give you my review.  I am going to try to talk about different things than the other brides reviews so that you can get another review.  First of all, let me tell all of you to stop sweating the small stuff -I did not believe the other brides that said the same thing but it is so true!  After the first day, I totally relaxed and everything worked out perfect and even better than I imagined.

     

    So by now, we all know that you meet with Pilar or Ana when you. get there and we set everything in detail.  Pilar was Awesome!  We sat together and put together a model of the table decorations that I brought and she even had more ideas and finishing touches that I had not even thought of.  I ended up changing my reception location from the Bamboo room to Castaways.  Don't worry, the Bamboo room is beautiful and great location but I decided to change it for two reasons: I felt like the bamboo room was actually too much like a wedding reception room that I could have gotten at home and I really liked the outside/open feel of Castaways.  the other reason was that I have big drinkers in my family and it is so close to the Blue Bar that I feared that if we did not get the service quick enough from the waiters that my guests would end up hanging at the blue bar (I actually saw that happen to one wedding and there was only about 5 people dancing in the bamboo room and the rest of the brides party was at the bar).  I liked Castaways because you had the servers for the wedding or if you wanted a drink fast, there is a bar right there too.  Once I post some pics of all the dancing that went on, you will see how much fun we like to having dancing and why it was a concern for me.

     

    The ceremony was perfect.  I had mine on the Pergola and I loved that you could see and hear the ocean in the background.  My only advice on that would be to review with the WC and/or your father about when he gives you away.  I am the first daughter in my family to get married so we did not know really what to do.  and Pilar told my FI to stand on the wrong side so there was a shuffle there between me and FI and I ended up just standing on the wrong side during the ceremony....not sure if he misunderstood or what but oh well.  Oh and I wore a veil and the wind had it blowing in my face and all around -totally annoying and I do not recommend it if you are on the Pergola or the beach (unless you could do the small half face one..it prob wouldn't move).  And Tiffany's video showed that her veil was perfect at the garden location so I guess it depends on where you are.

     

    The cocktail hour was at the Blue Beach bar.  I missed most of it getting pictures taken.  Two complaints about it: one -I believe that the wedding book said that the appetizers feed 7-8 pieces per person between the 4 apps that you choose.  I had 31 adults and the since so many of us were doing pics during this period, I did not order any extra apps besides the 25 people that come with the package thinking it would be fine.  My mom was upset because each person only got about 2-4 pieces each so they were hungry.  the 2nd complaint was really about the photgrapher I guess, the pics too so long that it extended the cocktail hour for about 3 hrs and without enough apps, people were getting ansy.  The bartender at the beach bar is great and we were able to hook up our Ipod to the bar speakers so that was nice to not have to pay extra for music.

     

    About the decorations:  I got all 36 vases down there unharmed and I think only 4 broke during the set-up/breakdown.  I left all of them there for any of you guys to use so you don't have to cart them.  I am not sure which 4 broke but I originally had 12 vases that were 9 inches tall (cylinder with a small lip on the top), 12 vases that were 7 inches tall (tall cylinder and slimmer) and 12 vases that were 4 inches (looked like a juice glass).  You might be able to see them in some of the pictures.  I had wrapped some of them in eyelet fabric and placed candles in those ones.  The other ones I had water in with starfish and gems on the bottom with waterproof lights to illuminate them -those were the best and came out great.  The fabric that I put on the other ones are on there with double sided sticky tape so it can be easily removed for future use.  By far the crystal curtains were the stars of the show!  I was feeling guilty bring that huge box down there and spending all that money but in the restaurant, they flowed in the breeze and sparkled and shimmered.  Castaways have sort of a "water/fish" theme and the curtains looked like sparkle seaweed or something.  It was awesome!.

     

    We had the divine package and the entrees were good.  the tuna was a bit over cooked but still tasted good.  my FI order the beef carpacio for the first course and I am not sure what it normally is like but it was not very good and most people did not eat it.  2nd course was the raviolis and it was with a pesto sauce which scared me at first by the green color but it was really good.  The package comes with a dessert which I don't think anybody ate.  I would suggest seeing if you could substitute a salad or something instead of the dessert because you have the cake anyways...  The cake was pretty, I had emailed pictures of the styles that I liked to Pilar and it was simple and pretty.  The taste on the other hand is only ok -definitely not something that I would have ordered at home but I didn't really care about it.

     

    The DJ was great!  I gave him a play list before we got there and I brought an extra one with us -which we needed and gave to him the day before.  The DJ contacted us the day before we left to set up a meeting to discuss.  We had some flight difficulties so we missed the first appt and I was busy so I sent my FI to meet with him and everything was great.  He did not play all of the songs that we listed but I was more trying to get an idea for him of the types of music that I wanted which he totally got spot on.  They also have lights that they use so it gave the dance party a different feel.  We had an MC that announced us, the wedding party, first dances, speeches, cake cutting etc.  Pilar gave us an extra DJ hour for free so we danced the night away.

     

    The photgraphers:  I used an outside photographer, Octavio Montales for the wedding and used the resort photographer for my welcome dinner.  I was definitly impressed with the resort photographer and the quality of his work.  Tiffany also posted her pictures of the wedding and I think that she used the same guy and hers came out great!  Don't be nervous about using the resort photographer if you don't have the money to an outside photographer.  My photographer was great and I like almost all of the pictures.  The only thing that was hard for me was that it took so long for all the pictures to be taken.  we were so sick of pictures that by the end, you could see that our smiles were fake and that we were no longer into it.  Because it was February and daylight was not as long, he had to use special lighting to make some of the pics work and I was totally impressed by his knowledge and the pictures during that time.  We ended up with over 400 pictures on a CD to take home which is great because we have the rights and can print them out anywhere.

     

    Oh, the videographer was great!  It really captures the moment and the ceremony and the feeling even better than the pictures and actually the disk is my current favorite.  I will post the video and some pics soon.  Let me know what questions that you have for me...

    -Meg



    #1502 hilla4805

    hilla4805
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      Posted 02 March 2011 - 02:40 PM

      Thanks for your review meg!  How long was your reception?  If it was four hours, did you have to pay for the extra hour?



      #1503 hammy0426

      hammy0426
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        Posted 02 March 2011 - 02:58 PM

        Hilla, I can't really remember the actual timing of it all.   I know that we started the reception late due to the pictures.  I know the DJ played a set music track during our dinner period and then we had 3 hours of DJ/dancing.  I did not pay any extra for the extra hour or for him playing through the dinner.  Although the DJ did tell us that Pilar gave us an extra hour for free....



        #1504 hammy0426

        hammy0426
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          Posted 02 March 2011 - 03:02 PM

          here is a link to my photos from the photographer.... over 400 pics there but you can get the general idea without having to through them all

           

          http://www.octaviomo...eghan/index.htm



          #1505 hammy0426

          hammy0426
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            Posted 02 March 2011 - 03:17 PM

            here is some more random pics from my family and friends

             

            http://www.facebook....660&aid=3012073



            #1506 saraandjon

            saraandjon
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              Posted 02 March 2011 - 07:22 PM

              Hammy, 

               

              How man guests did you have?  I am planning on using Castaways (Las Olas?) for the reception too!  You looked beautiful!  Congrats!



              #1507 hammy0426

              hammy0426
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                Posted 03 March 2011 - 07:45 AM

                Sara, a bit of a story about the Castaways/Los Olas.... I had 32 adults and 5 kids in my party.  When I had originally asked Pilar about the space a few months before the wedding, she had said that the venue was large and better suited for a party of 80+ people.  I had thoughts of having beach side for dinner tables, the far side for the dance floor and the bar area for drinks and lounge furniture.  Eventually she agreed for us to have it there but then stupid me...I switched it back to Bamboo room because the pictures are so pretty of that room.

                 

                When I got to the resort and wanted to switch to Castaways, I had a very hard time switching.  After my negotiation skills, Pilar and the food and beverage manager agreed.  Now the trick of that was that I agreed to let other customers on the other side and the restaurant was open to other people on that side.  For me, it did not really bother me because we had dinner later and ultimately, they were the ones that would have been uncomfortable, not me and my party.  I figured that people who did not like it would leave and anyone who stuck around was cool enough to join the party.  We did have a couple of girls join the dancing and festivities and the more the merrier.

                 

                We ended up with one section closest to the beach with access to the bar.  I originally thought that it would only fit my tables for dinner but actually it was a huge space and we had more than enough room for 4 long tables, dance floor, DJ, cake table, etc.  I don't know how big your party is but if you set it up early enough with the WC, you should not have a problem reserving the space.  If she will not keep the whole space open for your party depending on the amount of guests that you have, I recommend that you still use the space.  The only thing that I would have changed is to have the center bar area reserved also so that guests felt more comfortable.  you could use some of the lounge furniture there and set up a nice lounge area for the guests that don't dance or need a rest.

                 

                One last thing, if you are doing any decorations, it is pretty windy on the beach side (which is what attracted me there)  but it makes it hard for anything light or candles to stay lit.  If you wanted candles or something I would recommend the battery ones because it would work better.  I was nto able to use the votive candles that I bought or the dried flowers that I had to place along the runners.  just an fyi...

                -Meg
                 

                Originally Posted by saraandjon 

                Hammy, 

                 

                How man guests did you have?  I am planning on using Castaways (Las Olas?) for the reception too!  You looked beautiful!  Congrats!



                 



                #1508 Mischaka

                Mischaka
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                  Posted 03 March 2011 - 09:05 AM

                  That was you and I was worried that I sounded mean. I told my husband later that I thought that was you!!! When you said michelle I was like uhhhhhh no. lol Vincent is the hotels photographer's name and he really was great.

                  #1509 Jessiphi

                  Jessiphi
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                    Posted 03 March 2011 - 02:51 PM

                    Hammy,

                     

                    Thank you for the review! It is very helpful! The only thing I am worried about is there being enough decoration on the tables. We are not bringing anything down there and are basically using what they have! Will this be ok? I just don't want the tables and the room to look empty! We are using the bamboo room for the reception. Also, we were planning on using the ceremony video for the home reception, which is a week later. Will I have the video in time for this? How long did it take for the videographer to get you the video?



                    #1510 hammy0426

                    hammy0426
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                      Posted 03 March 2011 - 08:46 PM

                      Hi Jessiphi, I was worried about the decorations also.  I am not sure if you have gotten through this whole thread but I brought A LOT of stuff with me for decorations for the same reasons.  Ummm....I had 4 extra bags to check in besides our 2 suitcases of luggage.  And I had about 5 family members bring some stuff in the 2nd carry-on bag allowed.  I didn't end up being able to use all of the stuff because I switched from inside at the bamboo room to outside at castaways and the wind would have blown out some of the candles and the flower decorations that I brought.  I liked how the tables looked with my decorations though and do not regret personalizing the space.  I am only sad that I could not use all of the decorations.

                       

                      I don't know if you are planning on doing welcome bags but this is where I would cut out stuff.  I did beach bags, travel mugs, personalized deck of cards, hand sanitizers, water-proof money holders, etc.  If I was able to go back in time, I would cut some of that stuff out because most people bring their own beach bag.  I loved the travel mugs because the bar will fill them for you with whatever drink you want and it does stay colder longer but most people did not even use them and they took up a lot of travel space.  I still love the cards with our monogram on it but there is so much to do there that I only saw them being used once.  If you are doing a home reception afterwards, it might be just as nice to do favors there with something like that and not have to cart it with you.

                       

                      We got the video about 4 days afterwards because we slacked on supplying him the background music to put to the video.  typically I think that you would get it about 3 days afterward the wedding so you should have it before you leave for your home reception.  My only suggestion is that he wanted copies of the downloaded music of our choice.  we had not prepared for that and did not have the music to send in an email to him like that -he wanted the actual music and not just the names.  He ended up choosing his own pics for music for the CD so I did not get all my songs on there.  Although he did get a copy of the song that we walked down the aisle so I was happy about that and 2 out of the other 3 songs were songs that I like anyways so it worked out for me.
                       

                      Originally Posted by Jessiphi 

                      Hammy,

                       

                      Thank you for the review! It is very helpful! The only thing I am worried about is there being enough decoration on the tables. We are not bringing anything down there and are basically using what they have! Will this be ok? I just don't want the tables and the room to look empty! We are using the bamboo room for the reception. Also, we were planning on using the ceremony video for the home reception, which is a week later. Will I have the video in time for this? How long did it take for the videographer to get you the video?



                       






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