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Finleys7 (Shannon)'s Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar Review: 5-1-2010

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#1 finleys7

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    Posted 12 May 2010 - 11:20 AM

    Hi everyone,

    I am married for 11 days now and I feel like the luckiest woman alive. I have an amazing husband, wonderful family and awesome group of friends. Of 70 people, not one had a bad time. We had a blast and it was worth every penny. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

    Here is my review of the Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar – Riviera Maya, Mexico (April 26th – May 3rd)

    Travel Agent – A+++++

    Erin Finley with Top Shelf Travel in Baldwin New York. Excellent. Not only did everyone get a huge package with a welcome letter, it explained step by step what needed to be done and provided vendors for shuttles to the airport from home. The company she booked with was Travel Impressions and they had the CHEAPEST rates that Apple and Go-Go couldn’t match. It was great. We got a kick back for every 15 rooms booked. Great Job.

    Airport Transfer Transportation - American Express C –

    Okay so wasn’t ideal to start off our vacation…First they try and pack our luggage and us in a 10 person (with 2 people already in the van)…that didn’t work. Then they unpack and put us in a separate van with the luggage that barely fit. We had bags everywhere. And on the way to the resort (which is 20 minutes away) the van starts to breakdown and the driver pulls off on the side of the road to wait for 10 minutes for back up that never arrives and proceeds to finish the last 5 minutes of the trip and gets us to the hotel. UGH. Pain in the BUTT!!!! But we got there safe and that’s all that matters.

    Click the image to open in full size.

    Hotel – A

    OMG. We love the Iberostar chain, but we REALLY love this resort. It was so clean, the service is unreal…so nice and on top of everything. They never stop working. Room service, the maid, concierge…everything was great. We highly recommend the Del Mar (especially for large groups – they were very accommodating). The buffets were different every night but the same in other areas…the Ala Carte restaurants were yummy – Japanese was awesome, so was the Mediterranean. Mexican not so much. We did a lot of buffet dinners because everyday new people were coming in and we would eat with them. Breakfast was my favorite. The pool was awesome. It wrapped around the whole place, just like a big, long, lazy river pool.

    Click the image to open in full size.

    The lobby was beautiful and open. The check in was so easy and they upgraded us right away to ocean front. My sister was in the presidential suite which was amazing. It was two bedrooms, 2 ½ bath, 2 walk in closets, kitchen, dining room/living room combo, bar area and Jacuzzi on the balcony that stretched the entire length of the rooms. She got it for us girls to get ready in, plus she had the baby and it was so much easier with feeding her and such.

    Click the image to open in full size.

    Wedding Coordinator – B

    Karla was great. She met us on the day we arrived and we set up an appointment for the next day. She went over the wedding details and we gave her two big duffle bags of items for the ceremony and the reception. For the most part, things were placed and done correctly. She failed to give out the bubbles and wedding program fans, or even put them in a central location for all to grab (they were on a table off to the side). We made 70 program fans and we came home with about 40. =( But it’s nothing in the grand scheme of things. There were also some botch ups with the trolley and transportation to the cocktail hour/reception which was on the other side of the resort. But eventually everyone got there. I wasn’t told about it until the next day. But after the reception everyone forgot about the trolley.

    Rehearsal and Dinner – A

    We had the rehearsal in the chapel after a wedding was done, so it was decorated. Their wedding location was changed due to high winds on the beach so that delayed us about 30 minutes, but we were outside taking pictures in the gazebo area. The rehearsal walk through was helpful because the guys came in a separate door than the girls and came together before walking down the aisle. Plus it’s nice to get the order down. I was more nervous at the rehearsal than the wedding day – which was weird.

    My parents and us
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    His parents and us
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    Dinner was at the Japanese restaurant and it was AMAZING. Everyone found something and it was Hibachi style. We had (2) private tables and we gave out gifts there and a quick speech. It was very yummy and fun.

    Starfish in rice

    Click the image to open in full size.

    YEAH---We Did It! **May 1st, 2010**
    Our Wedding SlideShowMy Wedding Review - Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar http://bestdestinati....-2010-a-58966/My Planning Threadhttp://bestdestinati...ding.com/fo....

    #2 finleys7

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      Posted 12 May 2010 - 11:24 AM

      Hair and Makeup
      My friend (Groomsmen wife) did our hair and makeup. She did a phenomenal job and was great! It’s nice to have someone on site, because she touched me up later and the windy beach shots, before we made our entrance. But I did see the resort do a bride’s hair two days before and it was beautiful. She just said…BRING PICTURES!

      Ceremony Judge – C-

      Well I was late…(what bride isn’t). But because of this we lost our English speaking judge and had a fill in, who is a civil judge and doesn’t perform weddings. He was nervous and horrible (to be generous). Karla our WC was the translator but even she as nervous and it just didn’t go smoothly. They married us without the ring ceremony. We laughed about it then but looking back…it probably looked horrible to an outsider. Luckily everyone just laughed and made the best of it. I wasn’t about to let it ruin our wedding.

      Ceremony Location
      – A

      The chapel was BEAUTIFUL. The white tulle and flowers were perfect. It was hot, but let’s face it…it was May 1st in Mexico. They really did a nice job with the chapel. Some people stood to get better pictures, but there were extra seats for those who didn’t fit in the rows. But we fit and it was GREAT!

      Click the image to open in full size.

      Flowers – A

      The flowers at the chapel, my bouquet, the girls bouquets, corsages, and buttonholes were done by the resort and they were beautiful. I went with Gerbera Daisies and orange/white roses, to tie in the boys white rose buttonholes. The corsages where pink gerbera daisies with orange roses.

      My Bouquet
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      My Sister’s Bouquet (Matron of Honor) I paid to have hers bigger than the other 3 girls to stand out – it was $35 and the girls were $15 each.
      Click the image to open in full size.

      Centerpieces – A

      We went with Maya Diseno Floral who are contracted with the hotel for the centerpieces and they were PERFECT! We had ten tables and they were delivered while we were talking our pictures, so they were nice and fresh. Very easy to deal with and provided examples and prototypes before we went to contract. Very easy!!

      Click the image to open in full size.

      YEAH---We Did It! **May 1st, 2010**
      Our Wedding SlideShowMy Wedding Review - Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar http://bestdestinati....-2010-a-58966/My Planning Threadhttp://bestdestinati...ding.com/fo....

      #3 finleys7

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        Posted 12 May 2010 - 11:26 AM

        Cocktail Hour - ??

        We weren’t there, but everyone said the food was good and the drinks were flowing. So that’s a plus. There were cold and hot appetizers, cheeses, salads and fruits. We played our iPod for that hour and apparently it was on repeat for a while, so designate someone to check on that if you are out taking pictures (which we were).

        Dinner Reception – A-

        We had our dinner at the Italian Restaurant (used to be the Tropical) – open air (but covered). It was a private reception, we rented the restaurant for $800 on top of what we paid extra per head. The options were steak or grouper. I had the grouper and it was delicious. My husband had the steak and he said it was really good. So two thumbs up for dinner. The area was well lit and nicely decorated. We opted for the white wedding, so white table linens, chair covers and bows, and white silk bows through the columns with ivy. It was really nice.

        You can see in the background…
        Click the image to open in full size.

        A Table Shot
        Click the image to open in full size.

        Cake – A

        We had a three tier cake. Top - cheesecake, middle - vanilla and bottom – chocolate. I didn’t eat any (other than feeding each other) and it was good…and I don’t eat cheesecake. But everyone said it was yummy and moist. It was the starting to tilt (with the humidity) but we pulled it off. We almost forgot the cake, we were having such a good time, at 10:30 my photographer comes over and says “Do you want to cut the cake”, I was shocked with how late it was…the night just flew.

        Click the image to open in full size.

        DJ – A+

        If you get married in the Riviera Maya…get DOREMIXX. The DJ we had from this company was absolutely awesome. He met with us a few days prior to the wedding and got our entrance names and songs and was really on point. Our entrance was for the Bridal Party to come into “Tonight’s Gonna Be a Good Night” by the Black Eyed Peas and then mix in IMMABE, Boom Boom Pow, and Let’s Get it Started for us and he did BETTER than GREAT! He really got the party moving.

        Click the image to open in full size.

        He played our suggested songs for dinner and then got it started again for dancing. He needed some guidance regarding timing but I had no problem helping him along. We were dancing all night. It was so hot, but no one cared…we were just having so much fun!

        Click the image to open in full size.

        Cigar Roller – A

        We hired the hotel cigar roller for an hour. We set a price of $150 worth of cigars that ranged from $4 - $9. He was very nice, quiet and just did his job. The boys appreciated the cigars and my husband walked away with about 5-7 of the leftovers. It was a good $150 spent.

        Photography – A+++

        Our photographer was Claudia Rodriguez and I cannot recommend her enough. Not only was she the photographer, she acted as wedding coordinator. She really took the reins and told us exactly what to do and where to go. She was so easy to work with, that although I had the tips already sorted and in envelopes, we opened hers up and threw in an extra $50, she really was great. I cannot wait for the pictures in 4-6 weeks. Book with Claudia…she is GREAT!!!!!!

        Click the image to open in full size.

        Overall this was the most excited day of my life and the best vacation EVER! Everyone is getting together for drinks tonight (at home) to talk about it and we all want to go back for an annual trip =)

        YEAH---We Did It! **May 1st, 2010**
        Our Wedding SlideShowMy Wedding Review - Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar http://bestdestinati....-2010-a-58966/My Planning Threadhttp://bestdestinati...ding.com/fo....

        #4 **~Linda~**

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        • 1,326 posts

          Posted 12 May 2010 - 11:38 AM

          Everything looked amazing. Congratulations!

          #5 sorord1

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          • 240 posts

            Posted 12 May 2010 - 11:42 AM

            Congratulations! Everything looks great!

            #6 Lady_Di

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              Posted 12 May 2010 - 11:50 AM

              Everything looked so amazing!

              I can't wait for the pictures. Claudia is awesome.

              I am also using Maya Diseno Floral and DJ Ivan so I am so happy to hear raving reviews!!

              #7 Shoesiesluvr

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              • 2,727 posts

                Posted 12 May 2010 - 11:58 AM

                Congratulations!!! I just love all your dancing pictures! Looks like you had tons of fun!
                He's the Ying to my Yang...the Peanut Butter to my Jelly....the Oreo to my Milk...the Cheese on my Pizza...the i to my Phone...the Cream in my Coffee...the Jiggle to my Jell-O...the Star in my Sky...He's my BFF & I married him on 09.25.2010
                My Planning Thread

                #8 JENISE

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                • 652 posts

                  Posted 12 May 2010 - 12:51 PM

                  Great review. Everything looks wonderful. And your dress is so BEAUTIFUL. Congrats on becoming a MRS!

                  #9 Mags

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                  • 46 posts

                    Posted 12 May 2010 - 12:54 PM

                    Wow!!! So much fun to read!!!

                    OK, so for the private reception you had to pay how much for extra persons? I know that the private reception is for 35 or more and for now only 33 have booked...hopefully more will book because I really want to have a private reception!

                    About the DJ, do you mine me asking how much you paid
                    Thanks again!!

                    #10 Geralyn

                    • Sr. Member
                    • 2,677 posts

                      Posted 12 May 2010 - 01:07 PM

                      looks amazing....congrats!!

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