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midnight24 - GRAN BAHIA PRINCIPE-COBA/TULUM wedding ~ Fri April 23/2010 (+pics links)


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#1 midnight24

midnight24
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    Posted 30 May 2010 - 01:53 AM

    Well it’s time for my review, sorry it took so long to write but things have been hectic the last 5 weeks between a destination wedding & AHR. This website is amazing for ideas, information and encouragement. Thanks for all the help along the way in planning our special day and if I borrowed anyone’s ideas.

    Gran Bahia Principe Resorts & Spa ~ Riviera Maya
    Sunday April 18th - Sunday April 23rd
    Stayed at the Royal Gold Club Coba side
    Wedding – Friday April 23rd, 2010
    Married at Tulum Gazebo, Dinner at Coba - Mediterreano Al la Carte Restaurant
    Wedding Coordinator – Karla
    Guests – 42 including Bride & Groom

    Travel/Flight
    After months of pricing group rate quotes through several travel companies (Air Canada Vacations, Air Transat Travel, Flight Centre, itravel2000, Selloffvacations and Weddings By Oceans) we decided not to use them. We booked our trip individually and let our guests know that was our plan. We felt that the deals were better online than the group rate quotes. We had been to this resort 2 xs before so we knew what a good price was and what was overpriced for that time of year. In the past we paid $1050/each & $1125/each with taxes included. All of the group rate quotes were in the $1500-1700 price range. We booked our trip mid November '09 and paid $1275 with tax and insurance. We booked through TD travel/itravel2000 ~ the royal gold club Coba.

    We flew Air Transat, from Toronto to Cancun @ 06:15 am. We stayed at the Sandman Hotel near the airport the night before to do the park/fly deal. It was $109 for a room/parking for the week. The hotel is great, newly renovated, very comfy beds. We took the shuttle from the hotel to the airport at 04:05am. The lineup when we got to the airport was huge, but seemed to move fairly quickly. Check in went smooth, we got 2 seats together. We had 8 other guests on the same flight. The plane was huge, I put my dress in the baggage compartment above, there was lots of leg room, and they served complimentary sparkling wine and even had a vegetarian breakfast option. Our flight was delayed for 45mins, but they made up most of the time in the air so we still arrived in Cancun on time. Customs in Cancun was fast, about 5 mins. We waited for our luggage, went through the x-ray machine, got the green light and proceeded outside to the bus area. We stopped for a beer and then I realized I didn't have my luggage and neither did my FI. Ooops…I left it on the x-ray machine. Once you leave the airport you can not go back in, FI had to flash his badge and do some sweet talking, but he got my luggage back for me. Oh…and I forgot to mention when we checked out of the airport hotel I almost forgot my wedding dress in the room.

    Bus ride from the airport to the hotel took a little longer than usual. Our whole bus was guests for the GBP and it seemed to take quite awhile for some to find it. They sold beer & water onboard, and they have a bathroom that came in handy.

    Gran Bahia Principe ~ Coba

    Check-In
    Once we arrived at the resort, we got a shuttle over to the Coba-Gold Club lobby. It was around noon at this time; we checked in but were told our rooms wouldn't be ready until 3pm. We've been there before and I knew this was policy so we came prepared with bathing suits in our carry on bag. Some of our guests were not prepared so they were not happy about the wait. We had cocktails in the lobby while waiting for each other, than ran into 2 of our other guests who already arrived at the resort. We put our carry on bags in there and went to the buffet to eat/drink. By this time we checked back and our rooms were ready at 2pm. Note: when we arrived the hotel was overcapacity due to guests from Europe not being able to leave because of the volcano.

    Room
    We stayed in Villa 31A, 3rd floor, right near the main pool and main lobby. It was decorated for us upon arrival, with flowers, towel art, a fruit basket and champagne. There was a note from Karla about where/what time to meet her on Monday. The rooms are kept spotless; we had a great view of the main pool area. It wasn't too loud in the morning but we were up by 10am at least everyday. The beds are a bit harder than I prefer, but they did not seem to bother me as much as they had in the past. I made good use of the jacuzzi tub everyday. The mini fridge was stocked daily, although we didn't use it much.

    Food
    We ate at the Coba buffet, Tulum buffet, Coba snack bars, El Pescador , Le Gourmet, Mediterreano (wedding night) and Don Pablo. Even though the resort was at capacity we had no problem when making reservations at the al la cartes. We went on Monday afternoon and got all of our first picks. I have food allergies to beef, pork and chicken and I'm lactose intolerant. I did not have a problem finding food to eat. They even gave me a printed note to give at the al la carte restaurants if I had a problem with the language barrier, but I did not need it. I have been dealing with this issue for years and I had been there before so I know what to eat/what not to eat pretty well. I carry my epi-pen, digestive supplements/remedies with me at all times. I had minor stomach issues while away mainly from the diet coke, as aspartame upsets my stomach. Some of the food is a bit saltier than I would prefer, but still very tasty. Most of our guests commented on how good the food was. I know a few people had some stomach issues near the end of the trip, not sure if it was food or alcohol related.

    Drinks
    What can I say, we all drank our monies worth in booze that's for sure. The bartenders were always serving with a smile and plenty. We spent our time throughout the day at the Beach Swing Bar, Akumal pool bar, and Coba pool bar. At night we drank in the Coba lobby, Tulum lobby, the Hacienda, the disco…and even the all night snack bar at Coba. Unlike most of our guests I steered clear of shots and tequila. Mostly drank beer and rum drinks and lots of bottled water!!!

    Entertainment
    The Coba entertainment staff was fun as always, getting you involved in activities all throughout the day and night. I enjoyed some aqua fit in the morning, some dancing at night, and we actually made it to the show one night when it was raining. The disco was fun every night; we mostly hung out, outside of it but did a bit of dancing.

    Excursions
    The guys went on the ATV tour and a fishing trip. Some guests went to the Tulum and Coba ruins. We went shopping in Playa Del Carmen one day. Other than that, we mostly hung out at the resort. In the past we went on the ATV tour, Coba ruins, cenote, fishing…everything is fun and interesting. Every time we've fished we have never caught anything so that would be something I would probably pass on again. Oh a couple guests went snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming with the dolphins, parasailing and golfing. I never heard anything negative about any of those trips, nothing but good things.

    Wedding Location
    When we decided to have a destination wedding this resort was our one and only choice. We had been here 2 xs before and had a great time. Funny part is we never actually saw any of the wedding locations when we were there. So when we saw them for the 1st time it was in pictures online…and then not again until our wedding ceremony. Originally from seeing the photos I wanted the Akumal beach location and FI (well DH now) wanted the Tulum Gazebo. I have to say after seeing them both in person, I am glad we got the Tulum Gazebo…it was beautiful

    Wedding Coordinator
    I got in touch with the Coba resort manager Luis in April '09 and he gave me Paloma’s email. I contacted her and she gave me all the info we needed to start planning our wedding. We were in touch back and forth until Nov '09. We wanted a specific a date so the only location still available was the Tulum Gazebo. After we booked the trip and could provide the 'booking info' she passed me along to Karla the wedding Co-coordinator for Coba. Karla & Paloma were always quick to answer my emails within a day or two. We met Karla and she had all the info we discussed in the emails. We confirmed all the plans on Monday, and I saw her again at the ceremony. She was sweet, polite, friendly and helpful.

    Legal Requirements

    It is so simple to do a legal ceremony at this resort. We brought our passports, and tourist card (you get this on your flight and need it to leave the airport), 4 witnesses, who also need the same info, and a simple blood test. We went to the doctor’s office at the hacienda and paid $90usd/each cash. The process took about 15mins if that. We ended paying in pesos as you need to pay in cash. They also gave us a receipt and said we can try and submit it to our insurance company back home to see if we can get reimbursed as other people have in the past. I have yet to send in the form so I am unsure if that is true. Either way, we weren't expecting that. The doctor’s office is very clean and the staff is very polite and helpful. I am afraid of needles and the guy was very comforting and reassuring.

    Hair
    Myself and my mom got our hair done at the Coba spa. I brought in a photo of what I wanted my hair to look like, and it was fairly close. I had a hair piece/feather to be added. They did a nice job and it cost $85usd, charged to our rooms. I knew ahead of time that no matter what I did to my hair I probably would not like it, and I did not love my hair that day. My hair is very thick and in the humidity gets frizzy. I knew that no matter how much hair product was used in the heat and wind it would not hold up all day. I got my hair done at 12pm and the ceremony was at 4pm. In hindsight I could of went for a hair trial ahead of time just to make sure I liked it, but I don't know if that would of helped much. All I really knew was I wanted it down, but pulled away from my eyes. I went for a hair trial at home before the trip and did not love it then either.

    Makeup
    I did my make up myself back in the room after my hair was done. One of my friends helped put on the eyelashes. I used MAC makeup and it held up really well all day. I did no touch ups besides lip gloss and my make up still looked good at midnight.

    Clothing
    My wedding dress was Maggie Sottero - Kadence dress in ivory Kadence - by Maggie Sottero. I added thin beaded halter straps to give it a different look. This dress is perfect for a beach wedding. From the waist down it is one layer of material, with a slit up the left leg. Great for blowing in the wind and thin enough to keep you from sweating so much. Price range about $1150 with taxes and alterations. Purchased at “It’s Your Day Bridal” in LaSalle, ON. It's Your Day Bridal Boutique - Windsor, LaSalle
    My sandals were 'Kate & Mel' from Town Shoes and very comfortable. They did not bother my feet at all and that was the first day I wore them. Price $115

    Groom wore a beige/grey suit from Club Monaco, sandals from Aldo, shirt from the Bay, tie from Tip Top Tailors. Can't remember about the belts. Total price around $650

    Bridesmaids all picked their own black dress, which worked great as they all got something that suited their body type and personality. Price range from $70-140.

    The groomsmen all wore the same black shirts, light beige pants, tie and sandals. The shirts were from The Bay, pants were Dockers from Sears, tie from Tip Top Tailor and sandals from Aldo. Total price about $140

    We paid for the wedding party’s outfits as a gift to them for being in our wedding and coming to Mexico.

    Flowers
    My bouquet was BR-3B from the catalogue that Karla sent. It was beautiful, and I got tons of compliments on it. It was included in the wedding package. It also came with a white rose boutonnière/corsage which we gave to Nora to wear. The centerpiece for the ceremony matched my bouquet, and they brought that to the dinner for our centerpiece.

    We brought our own flowers/boutinerries for the wedding party & parents that we had made by a florist friend.

    We had a peacock themed wedding.
    Men wore a peacock feather boutonnière. Cost about $5/each
    Bridesmaids carried a silk green/white hydrangea hand tie bouquet with 3 peacock feathers coming out of it, with teal blue satin ribbon around stems. Cost about $10/each
    Mothers wore a silk green/white hydrangea wristlet corsage. Cost about $5/each
    We reused the bouquets/bout’s for our AHR a few weeks later.

    Before Ceremony
    We had 3 guests staying in the same villa so we used those 3 rooms to get ready. That way it was easier for the photographer/videographer to go up & down and take pics of us getting ready.

    Karla arranged for guests to meet in the Coba lobby and take a shuttle over to the Tulum Gazebo. Some of our guests staying at Tululm made their own way there around 3:30pm. They enjoyed drinks at the Tequila bar/restaurant right next to the Gazebo. A cart was arranged to pick us up at our Villa for me, bridesmaids, photographer & my parents.

    Once we got to the location, Jasmin confirmed with me the music selection and Karla organized the guests to be seated.

    Ceremony Music
    Karla said we could bring a CD with our own music to be played and we needed at least 4 songs. Originally we wanted the Mexican trio to play, but to cut down on costs we decided to bring our own music. Off iTunes I downloaded 8 songs just in case. 5 of them got played. Best part was no one knew not even DH what songs were going to be played. Everyone commented on the songs. Fun…and cheap!

    Prelude – Don’t Stop Believin’-Journey ~ Instrumental Piano version
    Processional – You’re My Best Friend-Queen ~ Vitamin String Quartet
    Bride Entrance – Friday I’m in Love-The Cure ~ Vitamin Piano version
    Signing the Papers – Time after Time-Cyndi Lauper ~ Vitamin String Quartet
    Recessional – Viva La Vida-Coldplay ~ Vitamin String Quartet

    Ceremony-Blissful Love Package

    DH had a female ‘Best Man’ and 2 groomsmen. I had a male ‘Maid of Honor’ and 3 bridesmaids. Both my parents walked me down the aisle. The ceremony itself was probably about 15-20 mins. It seemed to fly by for me. The judge read the ceremony in Spanish and Karla translated. The only thing we had to say was ‘I DO’. We signed the legal documents and ‘fingerprinted’ them. After we were pronounced Mr. & Mrs. we walked down the aisle and the guests threw red rose petals at us. Karla arranged for this to happen and gave them to the guests and we had no idea. It was a nice touch and I was very surprised. We did a champagne toast, and then do photos/video. We did not add any extra décor to the area. The seats had white sashes on them and the location was décor enough for us. I bought 40 green, blue & purple maracas and 2 blue & black sombreros in Playa the day before. The maracas cost about $1-1.50usd/each and the medium size sombreros cost $12usd/each. I copied a ‘shake at the kiss’ tag template from someone off of BDW, and changed the font/color. I cut/glued and tied with ribbon around each maraca and had one of my friends hand them out to guests before the ceremony as the favor.

    Dinner/Reception
    We were at the Mediterranean al la carte restaurant at the Cobo side from 6pm-8pm. We were the only guests in the place during this time. We had a served dinner of Mediterranean salad, tomato soup and a choice of grilled shrimp or lemon chicken. We had cheesecake for dessert and anything we wanted to drink. There was a little mix up with the salad & soup as they both had seafood in them and we had a couple guests with seafood allergies. I thought I arranged to have something simpler, but I did not ask the proper questions. The staff was very accommodating to those who wanted something without seafood. During this time we did speeches and toasts which was fun and kept the time moving. Guests kept shaking their maracas to get us to kiss. After dinner the waiters had DH and I do tequila shots/boom booms which was funny cuz I don’t do shots. Then we cut the cake. We had a guest who showed us how to saber a bottle of champagne so that was fun and unexpected.

    After dinner we were originally planning on going to the Tulum lobby bar for drinks & dancing but before Karla left for the night she suggested we go across the path to the Akumal Premier Lobby bar. That worked out great because it was hot and I’m sure in the transfer across the resort we would have lost a few guests. They had live music, drinks and plenty of seats for everyone. One of our groomsmen arranged for the band to play a song for our first dance, the bouquet toss and garter toss. We had not planned on doing any of that stuff, so it was fun. I also ran into Cheryl (HereFishie) there, which was great because we were planning on meeting up the next day. We mostly just sat around and drank, talked etc as we had some guests who just arrived the day before. It was really hot, so around 9:30/10pm DH & I went to change. We stayed at this lobby bar until around 11pm then headed to the Hacienda/disco with about half the guests. It was loads of fun.

    Blissful love package cost us about $1400usd. Not exactly sure why it was cheaper than listed but I think it’s because we didn’t use a couple things offered.

    Photographer – Nora Bohanon
    Nora is BDW vendor and she offered a contest online for a free wedding package. I entered and found out about 10 days before we left that we won. I contacted her via email & then phone to discuss details. She was great on the phone, answered all my questions and concerns. I sent her the $500 deposit via paypal and the details of where/when for our wedding date. She confirmed plans with me about 2 days before we left for Mexico, where I informed her I would confirm plans with her when we got there on when/where to meet the day off. On the Monday I emailed her letting her know our room number and spa location/time of where I would be. She confirmed she would meet me at 12pm at the spa. She was right on time, very nice and laid back and very professional. At the spa it was just me & my mom so we were both relaxing and enjoying the quiet as I warned Nora my friends are loud and I knew the rest of the day would be hectic and crazy. I was right cuz after about 10 mins of being back in my room to get ready everyone else started showing up and the rest of the day really feels like much of a blur for me. Thank god for photos or I wouldn’t remember a thing. Nora made me feel at ease and after awhile I got use to her snapping photos. She took lots of detail photos, candid photos and posed photos after the ceremony. The day was extremely hot and she stayed til about 8:30pm. She stayed at a different resort in Cancun, paid her own travel costs, and day pass as that was part of the ‘free’ contest.

    She took about 1000 photos, sent us the link on Pictage for us to view about 2 weeks after the trip. ..:: Pictage | Registration ::..

    She posted a few pics on her wedding blog. Wendy + Josh ~ Tulum, Mexico Nora's Wedding Blog. If 25 people comment on our photos she will send us a 20x30 free canvas print.

    We are expecting the DVD of photos in the mail in the next week or so. Overall…we were more than happy with Nora’s work, professionalism, and the amazing offer to win her contest. Everything she said she would do, she has done, and everything else has happened in the expected time she said.
    For anyone considering using Nora as their photog you are in great hands. She is great to deal with, and falls through on everything asked.

    Previous to the date, I informed her I don’t feel I am very photogenic. I am very self-critical of myself in photos and I found many that I loved. We also discussed photos that we would like, and the day of she was more than accommodating to last minute requests.

    Resort Photographer-Gabriel
    Originally we were planning on using them for all our photos. The package came with 10 photos, with the option to buy more. I didn’t even notice the photog until the end of the ceremony where he came up to us and said to meet him the next day to see the photos. I was half expecting that as I read that on someone else’s review. The next day we checked out the photos and I think he probably took a few hundred photos. Some were great, some not so great. Reason I say that is the angle he took the photos. He was crouching down and shooting up. So many photos of me & DH we have double & triple chins, so not exactly flattering. If we hadn’t had another photog we probably would have bought more, but we wouldn’t have been happy with them. We ended up getting 14 photos in total. 10 as part of the wedding package. 2 he gave us for free, they were detail shots and we purchased 2 photos of our bridesmaids that I really loved. They cost $15usd each. He put all the photos on a DVD, with a picture, our name/wedding date. It wasn’t until we got home the next day that we realized he put the wrong wedding date and didn’t give us the one photo we paid for.

    I suggest for future weddings that you meet with the photographer before the wedding date and discuss what you want/don’t want. Even if you are only getting 10 photos. It never even crossed our minds to meet with him, and it wasn’t out of the way. They are located in the Coba lobby.

    But with that all that said, there are several pics that we did get that I just LOVE!!!
    Wendy Rose's Photos - Tulum Wedding Resort Photographer Pics | Facebook

    Video
    A week before the wedding DH brother decided to come to our wedding and do our wedding video. He just started taking an interest in video/editing so he did a great job for his 1st time. It worked out great for us, as we couldn’t afford to hire someone else.
    Josh & Wendy Edit 2 on Vimeo

    Summary
    We loved our week away with friends and family. We couldn’t of have asked for a better wedding day. We were very happy with how everything turned out. Everyone got along, everyone had a great time. It was exactly what we wanted and more.

    For the most part, there we’re minor complaints here and there from a few guests. That will always happen no matter where or what you do. So as long as you don’t let those things bother you, you’ll do fine.

    We tried to keep our planning simple and easy, to keep our DW stress-free. We didn’t do OOT bags, or plan group excursions, or bring down all this extra décor. We wanted to enjoy our time with our guests. We are also not the type of people who get mad if things don’t go as planned, so this type of wedding worked great for us. The week was filled with so many laughter and good memories; we’ll all be talking about for years to come!

    If I had to change anything, it would be to stay for a few extra days or week after the wedding. As much fun as it was to spend time with everyone, DH and I barely had any time alone. We knew that would happen, and that is ok. I had to get back to work the next day after the trip. A ‘proper’ honeymoon would have been nice, but it’s a great excuse to go away again within the year!!

    P.S. Sorry this is soooo long, and the grammatical errors! If anyone has any questions about the resort, wedding etc…I’ll be more than willing to help anyway I can!

    #2 waybuloo

    waybuloo
    • Jr. Member
    • 306 posts

      Posted 30 May 2010 - 04:04 AM

      Excellent review...thank you for all the detail.....you looked stunning :)
      Quote:
      Originally Posted by midnight24
      Well it’s time for my review, sorry it took so long to write but things have been hectic the last 5 weeks between a destination wedding & AHR. This website is amazing for ideas, information and encouragement. Thanks for all the help along the way in planning our special day and if I borrowed anyone’s ideas.

      Gran Bahia Principe Resorts & Spa ~ Riviera Maya
      Sunday April 18th - Sunday April 23rd
      Stayed at the Royal Gold Club Coba side
      Wedding – Friday April 23rd, 2010
      Married at Tulum Gazebo, Dinner at Coba - Mediterreano Al la Carte Restaurant
      Wedding Coordinator – Karla
      Guests – 42 including Bride & Groom

      Travel/Flight
      After months of pricing group rate quotes through several travel companies (Air Canada Vacations, Air Transat Travel, Flight Centre, itravel2000, Selloffvacations and Weddings By Oceans) we decided not to use them. We booked our trip individually and let our guests know that was our plan. We felt that the deals were better online than the group rate quotes. We had been to this resort 2 xs before so we knew what a good price was and what was overpriced for that time of year. In the past we paid $1050/each & $1125/each with taxes included. All of the group rate quotes were in the $1500-1700 price range. We booked our trip mid November '09 and paid $1275 with tax and insurance. We booked through TD travel/itravel2000 ~ the royal gold club Coba.

      We flew Air Transat, from Toronto to Cancun @ 06:15 am. We stayed at the Sandman Hotel near the airport the night before to do the park/fly deal. It was $109 for a room/parking for the week. The hotel is great, newly renovated, very comfy beds. We took the shuttle from the hotel to the airport at 04:05am. The lineup when we got to the airport was huge, but seemed to move fairly quickly. Check in went smooth, we got 2 seats together. We had 8 other guests on the same flight. The plane was huge, I put my dress in the baggage compartment above, there was lots of leg room, and they served complimentary sparkling wine and even had a vegetarian breakfast option. Our flight was delayed for 45mins, but they made up most of the time in the air so we still arrived in Cancun on time. Customs in Cancun was fast, about 5 mins. We waited for our luggage, went through the x-ray machine, got the green light and proceeded outside to the bus area. We stopped for a beer and then I realized I didn't have my luggage and neither did my FI. Ooops…I left it on the x-ray machine. Once you leave the airport you can not go back in, FI had to flash his badge and do some sweet talking, but he got my luggage back for me. Oh…and I forgot to mention when we checked out of the airport hotel I almost forgot my wedding dress in the room.

      Bus ride from the airport to the hotel took a little longer than usual. Our whole bus was guests for the GBP and it seemed to take quite awhile for some to find it. They sold beer & water onboard, and they have a bathroom that came in handy.

      Gran Bahia Principe ~ Coba

      Check-In
      Once we arrived at the resort, we got a shuttle over to the Coba-Gold Club lobby. It was around noon at this time; we checked in but were told our rooms wouldn't be ready until 3pm. We've been there before and I knew this was policy so we came prepared with bathing suits in our carry on bag. Some of our guests were not prepared so they were not happy about the wait. We had cocktails in the lobby while waiting for each other, than ran into 2 of our other guests who already arrived at the resort. We put our carry on bags in there and went to the buffet to eat/drink. By this time we checked back and our rooms were ready at 2pm. Note: when we arrived the hotel was overcapacity due to guests from Europe not being able to leave because of the volcano.

      Room
      We stayed in Villa 31A, 3rd floor, right near the main pool and main lobby. It was decorated for us upon arrival, with flowers, towel art, a fruit basket and champagne. There was a note from Karla about where/what time to meet her on Monday. The rooms are kept spotless; we had a great view of the main pool area. It wasn't too loud in the morning but we were up by 10am at least everyday. The beds are a bit harder than I prefer, but they did not seem to bother me as much as they had in the past. I made good use of the jacuzzi tub everyday. The mini fridge was stocked daily, although we didn't use it much.

      Food
      We ate at the Coba buffet, Tulum buffet, Coba snack bars, El Pescador , Le Gourmet, Mediterreano (wedding night) and Don Pablo. Even though the resort was at capacity we had no problem when making reservations at the al la cartes. We went on Monday afternoon and got all of our first picks. I have food allergies to beef, pork and chicken and I'm lactose intolerant. I did not have a problem finding food to eat. They even gave me a printed note to give at the al la carte restaurants if I had a problem with the language barrier, but I did not need it. I have been dealing with this issue for years and I had been there before so I know what to eat/what not to eat pretty well. I carry my epi-pen, digestive supplements/remedies with me at all times. I had minor stomach issues while away mainly from the diet coke, as aspartame upsets my stomach. Some of the food is a bit saltier than I would prefer, but still very tasty. Most of our guests commented on how good the food was. I know a few people had some stomach issues near the end of the trip, not sure if it was food or alcohol related.

      Drinks
      What can I say, we all drank our monies worth in booze that's for sure. The bartenders were always serving with a smile and plenty. We spent our time throughout the day at the Beach Swing Bar, Akumal pool bar, and Coba pool bar. At night we drank in the Coba lobby, Tulum lobby, the Hacienda, the disco…and even the all night snack bar at Coba. Unlike most of our guests I steered clear of shots and tequila. Mostly drank beer and rum drinks and lots of bottled water!!!

      Entertainment
      The Coba entertainment staff was fun as always, getting you involved in activities all throughout the day and night. I enjoyed some aqua fit in the morning, some dancing at night, and we actually made it to the show one night when it was raining. The disco was fun every night; we mostly hung out, outside of it but did a bit of dancing.

      Excursions
      The guys went on the ATV tour and a fishing trip. Some guests went to the Tulum and Coba ruins. We went shopping in Playa Del Carmen one day. Other than that, we mostly hung out at the resort. In the past we went on the ATV tour, Coba ruins, cenote, fishing…everything is fun and interesting. Every time we've fished we have never caught anything so that would be something I would probably pass on again. Oh a couple guests went snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming with the dolphins, parasailing and golfing. I never heard anything negative about any of those trips, nothing but good things.

      Wedding Location
      When we decided to have a destination wedding this resort was our one and only choice. We had been here 2 xs before and had a great time. Funny part is we never actually saw any of the wedding locations when we were there. So when we saw them for the 1st time it was in pictures online…and then not again until our wedding ceremony. Originally from seeing the photos I wanted the Akumal beach location and FI (well DH now) wanted the Tulum Gazebo. I have to say after seeing them both in person, I am glad we got the Tulum Gazebo…it was beautiful

      Wedding Coordinator
      I got in touch with the Coba resort manager Luis in April '09 and he gave me Paloma’s email. I contacted her and she gave me all the info we needed to start planning our wedding. We were in touch back and forth until Nov '09. We wanted a specific a date so the only location still available was the Tulum Gazebo. After we booked the trip and could provide the 'booking info' she passed me along to Karla the wedding Co-coordinator for Coba. Karla & Paloma were always quick to answer my emails within a day or two. We met Karla and she had all the info we discussed in the emails. We confirmed all the plans on Monday, and I saw her again at the ceremony. She was sweet, polite, friendly and helpful.

      Legal Requirements

      It is so simple to do a legal ceremony at this resort. We brought our passports, and tourist card (you get this on your flight and need it to leave the airport), 4 witnesses, who also need the same info, and a simple blood test. We went to the doctor’s office at the hacienda and paid $90usd/each cash. The process took about 15mins if that. We ended paying in pesos as you need to pay in cash. They also gave us a receipt and said we can try and submit it to our insurance company back home to see if we can get reimbursed as other people have in the past. I have yet to send in the form so I am unsure if that is true. Either way, we weren't expecting that. The doctor’s office is very clean and the staff is very polite and helpful. I am afraid of needles and the guy was very comforting and reassuring.

      Hair
      Myself and my mom got our hair done at the Coba spa. I brought in a photo of what I wanted my hair to look like, and it was fairly close. I had a hair piece/feather to be added. They did a nice job and it cost $85usd, charged to our rooms. I knew ahead of time that no matter what I did to my hair I probably would not like it, and I did not love my hair that day. My hair is very thick and in the humidity gets frizzy. I knew that no matter how much hair product was used in the heat and wind it would not hold up all day. I got my hair done at 12pm and the ceremony was at 4pm. In hindsight I could of went for a hair trial ahead of time just to make sure I liked it, but I don't know if that would of helped much. All I really knew was I wanted it down, but pulled away from my eyes. I went for a hair trial at home before the trip and did not love it then either.

      Makeup
      I did my make up myself back in the room after my hair was done. One of my friends helped put on the eyelashes. I used MAC makeup and it held up really well all day. I did no touch ups besides lip gloss and my make up still looked good at midnight.

      Clothing
      My wedding dress was Maggie Sottero - Kadence dress in ivory Kadence - by Maggie Sottero. I added thin beaded halter straps to give it a different look. This dress is perfect for a beach wedding. From the waist down it is one layer of material, with a slit up the left leg. Great for blowing in the wind and thin enough to keep you from sweating so much. Price range about $1150 with taxes and alterations. Purchased at “It’s Your Day Bridal” in LaSalle, ON. It's Your Day Bridal Boutique - Windsor, LaSalle
      My sandals were 'Kate & Mel' from Town Shoes and very comfortable. They did not bother my feet at all and that was the first day I wore them. Price $115

      Groom wore a beige/grey suit from Club Monaco, sandals from Aldo, shirt from the Bay, tie from Tip Top Tailors. Can't remember about the belts. Total price around $650

      Bridesmaids all picked their own black dress, which worked great as they all got something that suited their body type and personality. Price range from $70-140.

      The groomsmen all wore the same black shirts, light beige pants, tie and sandals. The shirts were from The Bay, pants were Dockers from Sears, tie from Tip Top Tailor and sandals from Aldo. Total price about $140

      We paid for the wedding party’s outfits as a gift to them for being in our wedding and coming to Mexico.

      Flowers
      My bouquet was BR-3B from the catalogue that Karla sent. It was beautiful, and I got tons of compliments on it. It was included in the wedding package. It also came with a white rose boutonni¨re/corsage which we gave to Nora to wear. The centerpiece for the ceremony matched my bouquet, and they brought that to the dinner for our centerpiece.

      We brought our own flowers/boutinerries for the wedding party & parents that we had made by a florist friend.

      We had a peacock themed wedding.
      Men wore a peacock feather boutonni¨re. Cost about $5/each
      Bridesmaids carried a silk green/white hydrangea hand tie bouquet with 3 peacock feathers coming out of it, with teal blue satin ribbon around stems. Cost about $10/each
      Mothers wore a silk green/white hydrangea wristlet corsage. Cost about $5/each
      We reused the bouquets/bout’s for our AHR a few weeks later.

      Before Ceremony
      We had 3 guests staying in the same villa so we used those 3 rooms to get ready. That way it was easier for the photographer/videographer to go up & down and take pics of us getting ready.

      Karla arranged for guests to meet in the Coba lobby and take a shuttle over to the Tulum Gazebo. Some of our guests staying at Tululm made their own way there around 3:30pm. They enjoyed drinks at the Tequila bar/restaurant right next to the Gazebo. A cart was arranged to pick us up at our Villa for me, bridesmaids, photographer & my parents.

      Once we got to the location, Jasmin confirmed with me the music selection and Karla organized the guests to be seated.

      Ceremony Music
      Karla said we could bring a CD with our own music to be played and we needed at least 4 songs. Originally we wanted the Mexican trio to play, but to cut down on costs we decided to bring our own music. Off iTunes I downloaded 8 songs just in case. 5 of them got played. Best part was no one knew not even DH what songs were going to be played. Everyone commented on the songs. Fun…and cheap!

      Prelude – Don’t Stop Believin’-Journey ~ Instrumental Piano version
      Processional – You’re My Best Friend-Queen ~ Vitamin String Quartet
      Bride Entrance – Friday I’m in Love-The Cure ~ Vitamin Piano version
      Signing the Papers – Time after Time-Cyndi Lauper ~ Vitamin String Quartet
      Recessional – Viva La Vida-Coldplay ~ Vitamin String Quartet

      Ceremony-Blissful Love Package

      DH had a female ‘Best Man’ and 2 groomsmen. I had a male ‘Maid of Honor’ and 3 bridesmaids. Both my parents walked me down the aisle. The ceremony itself was probably about 15-20 mins. It seemed to fly by for me. The judge read the ceremony in Spanish and Karla translated. The only thing we had to say was ‘I DO’. We signed the legal documents and ‘fingerprinted’ them. After we were pronounced Mr. & Mrs. we walked down the aisle and the guests threw red rose petals at us. Karla arranged for this to happen and gave them to the guests and we had no idea. It was a nice touch and I was very surprised. We did a champagne toast, and then do photos/video. We did not add any extra d©cor to the area. The seats had white sashes on them and the location was d©cor enough for us. I bought 40 green, blue & purple maracas and 2 blue & black sombreros in Playa the day before. The maracas cost about $1-1.50usd/each and the medium size sombreros cost $12usd/each. I copied a ‘shake at the kiss’ tag template from someone off of BDW, and changed the font/color. I cut/glued and tied with ribbon around each maraca and had one of my friends hand them out to guests before the ceremony as the favor.

      Dinner/Reception
      We were at the Mediterranean al la carte restaurant at the Cobo side from 6pm-8pm. We were the only guests in the place during this time. We had a served dinner of Mediterranean salad, tomato soup and a choice of grilled shrimp or lemon chicken. We had cheesecake for dessert and anything we wanted to drink. There was a little mix up with the salad & soup as they both had seafood in them and we had a couple guests with seafood allergies. I thought I arranged to have something simpler, but I did not ask the proper questions. The staff was very accommodating to those who wanted something without seafood. During this time we did speeches and toasts which was fun and kept the time moving. Guests kept shaking their maracas to get us to kiss. After dinner the waiters had DH and I do tequila shots/boom booms which was funny cuz I don’t do shots. Then we cut the cake. We had a guest who showed us how to saber a bottle of champagne so that was fun and unexpected.

      After dinner we were originally planning on going to the Tulum lobby bar for drinks & dancing but before Karla left for the night she suggested we go across the path to the Akumal Premier Lobby bar. That worked out great because it was hot and I’m sure in the transfer across the resort we would have lost a few guests. They had live music, drinks and plenty of seats for everyone. One of our groomsmen arranged for the band to play a song for our first dance, the bouquet toss and garter toss. We had not planned on doing any of that stuff, so it was fun. I also ran into Cheryl (HereFishie) there, which was great because we were planning on meeting up the next day. We mostly just sat around and drank, talked etc as we had some guests who just arrived the day before. It was really hot, so around 9:30/10pm DH & I went to change. We stayed at this lobby bar until around 11pm then headed to the Hacienda/disco with about half the guests. It was loads of fun.

      Blissful love package cost us about $1400usd. Not exactly sure why it was cheaper than listed but I think it’s because we didn’t use a couple things offered.

      Photographer – Nora Bohanon
      Nora is BDW vendor and she offered a contest online for a free wedding package. I entered and found out about 10 days before we left that we won. I contacted her via email & then phone to discuss details. She was great on the phone, answered all my questions and concerns. I sent her the $500 deposit via paypal and the details of where/when for our wedding date. She confirmed plans with me about 2 days before we left for Mexico, where I informed her I would confirm plans with her when we got there on when/where to meet the day off. On the Monday I emailed her letting her know our room number and spa location/time of where I would be. She confirmed she would meet me at 12pm at the spa. She was right on time, very nice and laid back and very professional. At the spa it was just me & my mom so we were both relaxing and enjoying the quiet as I warned Nora my friends are loud and I knew the rest of the day would be hectic and crazy. I was right cuz after about 10 mins of being back in my room to get ready everyone else started showing up and the rest of the day really feels like much of a blur for me. Thank god for photos or I wouldn’t remember a thing. Nora made me feel at ease and after awhile I got use to her snapping photos. She took lots of detail photos, candid photos and posed photos after the ceremony. The day was extremely hot and she stayed til about 8:30pm. She stayed at a different resort in Cancun, paid her own travel costs, and day pass as that was part of the ‘free’ contest.

      She took about 1000 photos, sent us the link on Pictage for us to view about 2 weeks after the trip. ..:: Pictage | Registration ::..

      She posted a few pics on her wedding blog. Wendy + Josh ~ Tulum, Mexico Nora's Wedding Blog. If 25 people comment on our photos she will send us a 20x30 free canvas print.

      We are expecting the DVD of photos in the mail in the next week or so. Overall…we were more than happy with Nora’s work, professionalism, and the amazing offer to win her contest. Everything she said she would do, she has done, and everything else has happened in the expected time she said.
      For anyone considering using Nora as their photog you are in great hands. She is great to deal with, and falls through on everything asked.

      Previous to the date, I informed her I don’t feel I am very photogenic. I am very self-critical of myself in photos and I found many that I loved. We also discussed photos that we would like, and the day of she was more than accommodating to last minute requests.

      Resort Photographer-Gabriel
      Originally we were planning on using them for all our photos. The package came with 10 photos, with the option to buy more. I didn’t even notice the photog until the end of the ceremony where he came up to us and said to meet him the next day to see the photos. I was half expecting that as I read that on someone else’s review. The next day we checked out the photos and I think he probably took a few hundred photos. Some were great, some not so great. Reason I say that is the angle he took the photos. He was crouching down and shooting up. So many photos of me & DH we have double & triple chins, so not exactly flattering. If we hadn’t had another photog we probably would have bought more, but we wouldn’t have been happy with them. We ended up getting 14 photos in total. 10 as part of the wedding package. 2 he gave us for free, they were detail shots and we purchased 2 photos of our bridesmaids that I really loved. They cost $15usd each. He put all the photos on a DVD, with a picture, our name/wedding date. It wasn’t until we got home the next day that we realized he put the wrong wedding date and didn’t give us the one photo we paid for.

      I suggest for future weddings that you meet with the photographer before the wedding date and discuss what you want/don’t want. Even if you are only getting 10 photos. It never even crossed our minds to meet with him, and it wasn’t out of the way. They are located in the Coba lobby.

      But with that all that said, there are several pics that we did get that I just LOVE!!!
      Wendy Rose's Photos - Tulum Wedding Resort Photographer Pics | Facebook

      Video
      A week before the wedding DH brother decided to come to our wedding and do our wedding video. He just started taking an interest in video/editing so he did a great job for his 1st time. It worked out great for us, as we couldn’t afford to hire someone else.
      Josh & Wendy Edit 2 on Vimeo

      Summary
      We loved our week away with friends and family. We couldn’t of have asked for a better wedding day. We were very happy with how everything turned out. Everyone got along, everyone had a great time. It was exactly what we wanted and more.

      For the most part, there we’re minor complaints here and there from a few guests. That will always happen no matter where or what you do. So as long as you don’t let those things bother you, you’ll do fine.

      We tried to keep our planning simple and easy, to keep our DW stress-free. We didn’t do OOT bags, or plan group excursions, or bring down all this extra d©cor. We wanted to enjoy our time with our guests. We are also not the type of people who get mad if things don’t go as planned, so this type of wedding worked great for us. The week was filled with so many laughter and good memories; we’ll all be talking about for years to come!

      If I had to change anything, it would be to stay for a few extra days or week after the wedding. As much fun as it was to spend time with everyone, DH and I barely had any time alone. We knew that would happen, and that is ok. I had to get back to work the next day after the trip. A ‘proper’ honeymoon would have been nice, but it’s a great excuse to go away again within the year!!

      P.S. Sorry this is soooo long, and the grammatical errors! If anyone has any questions about the resort, wedding etc…I’ll be more than willing to help anyway I can!


      #3 waybuloo

      waybuloo
      • Jr. Member
      • 306 posts

        Posted 30 May 2010 - 04:07 AM

        p.s commented on your photos...good luck!!

        #4 midnight24

        midnight24
        • Member
        • 754 posts

          Posted 30 May 2010 - 04:18 AM

          Quote:
          Originally Posted by waybuloo
          p.s commented on your photos...good luck!!
          thanks i appreciate that!

          #5 Patourn

          Patourn
          • Jr. Member
          • 377 posts

            Posted 30 May 2010 - 08:01 AM

            Quote:
            Originally Posted by midnight24
            Well it’s time for my review, sorry it took so long to write but things have been hectic the last 5 weeks between a destination wedding & AHR. This website is amazing for ideas, information and encouragement. Thanks for all the help along the way in planning our special day and if I borrowed anyone’s ideas.

            Gran Bahia Principe Resorts & Spa ~ Riviera Maya
            Sunday April 18th - Sunday April 23rd
            Stayed at the Royal Gold Club Coba side
            Wedding – Friday April 23rd, 2010
            Married at Tulum Gazebo, Dinner at Coba - Mediterreano Al la Carte Restaurant
            Wedding Coordinator – Karla
            Guests – 42 including Bride & Groom

            Travel/Flight
            After months of pricing group rate quotes through several travel companies (Air Canada Vacations, Air Transat Travel, Flight Centre, itravel2000, Selloffvacations and Weddings By Oceans) we decided not to use them. We booked our trip individually and let our guests know that was our plan. We felt that the deals were better online than the group rate quotes. We had been to this resort 2 xs before so we knew what a good price was and what was overpriced for that time of year. In the past we paid $1050/each & $1125/each with taxes included. All of the group rate quotes were in the $1500-1700 price range. We booked our trip mid November '09 and paid $1275 with tax and insurance. We booked through TD travel/itravel2000 ~ the royal gold club Coba.

            We flew Air Transat, from Toronto to Cancun @ 06:15 am. We stayed at the Sandman Hotel near the airport the night before to do the park/fly deal. It was $109 for a room/parking for the week. The hotel is great, newly renovated, very comfy beds. We took the shuttle from the hotel to the airport at 04:05am. The lineup when we got to the airport was huge, but seemed to move fairly quickly. Check in went smooth, we got 2 seats together. We had 8 other guests on the same flight. The plane was huge, I put my dress in the baggage compartment above, there was lots of leg room, and they served complimentary sparkling wine and even had a vegetarian breakfast option. Our flight was delayed for 45mins, but they made up most of the time in the air so we still arrived in Cancun on time. Customs in Cancun was fast, about 5 mins. We waited for our luggage, went through the x-ray machine, got the green light and proceeded outside to the bus area. We stopped for a beer and then I realized I didn't have my luggage and neither did my FI. Ooops…I left it on the x-ray machine. Once you leave the airport you can not go back in, FI had to flash his badge and do some sweet talking, but he got my luggage back for me. Oh…and I forgot to mention when we checked out of the airport hotel I almost forgot my wedding dress in the room.

            Bus ride from the airport to the hotel took a little longer than usual. Our whole bus was guests for the GBP and it seemed to take quite awhile for some to find it. They sold beer & water onboard, and they have a bathroom that came in handy.

            Gran Bahia Principe ~ Coba

            Check-In
            Once we arrived at the resort, we got a shuttle over to the Coba-Gold Club lobby. It was around noon at this time; we checked in but were told our rooms wouldn't be ready until 3pm. We've been there before and I knew this was policy so we came prepared with bathing suits in our carry on bag. Some of our guests were not prepared so they were not happy about the wait. We had cocktails in the lobby while waiting for each other, than ran into 2 of our other guests who already arrived at the resort. We put our carry on bags in there and went to the buffet to eat/drink. By this time we checked back and our rooms were ready at 2pm. Note: when we arrived the hotel was overcapacity due to guests from Europe not being able to leave because of the volcano.

            Room
            We stayed in Villa 31A, 3rd floor, right near the main pool and main lobby. It was decorated for us upon arrival, with flowers, towel art, a fruit basket and champagne. There was a note from Karla about where/what time to meet her on Monday. The rooms are kept spotless; we had a great view of the main pool area. It wasn't too loud in the morning but we were up by 10am at least everyday. The beds are a bit harder than I prefer, but they did not seem to bother me as much as they had in the past. I made good use of the jacuzzi tub everyday. The mini fridge was stocked daily, although we didn't use it much.

            Food
            We ate at the Coba buffet, Tulum buffet, Coba snack bars, El Pescador , Le Gourmet, Mediterreano (wedding night) and Don Pablo. Even though the resort was at capacity we had no problem when making reservations at the al la cartes. We went on Monday afternoon and got all of our first picks. I have food allergies to beef, pork and chicken and I'm lactose intolerant. I did not have a problem finding food to eat. They even gave me a printed note to give at the al la carte restaurants if I had a problem with the language barrier, but I did not need it. I have been dealing with this issue for years and I had been there before so I know what to eat/what not to eat pretty well. I carry my epi-pen, digestive supplements/remedies with me at all times. I had minor stomach issues while away mainly from the diet coke, as aspartame upsets my stomach. Some of the food is a bit saltier than I would prefer, but still very tasty. Most of our guests commented on how good the food was. I know a few people had some stomach issues near the end of the trip, not sure if it was food or alcohol related.

            Drinks
            What can I say, we all drank our monies worth in booze that's for sure. The bartenders were always serving with a smile and plenty. We spent our time throughout the day at the Beach Swing Bar, Akumal pool bar, and Coba pool bar. At night we drank in the Coba lobby, Tulum lobby, the Hacienda, the disco…and even the all night snack bar at Coba. Unlike most of our guests I steered clear of shots and tequila. Mostly drank beer and rum drinks and lots of bottled water!!!

            Entertainment
            The Coba entertainment staff was fun as always, getting you involved in activities all throughout the day and night. I enjoyed some aqua fit in the morning, some dancing at night, and we actually made it to the show one night when it was raining. The disco was fun every night; we mostly hung out, outside of it but did a bit of dancing.

            Excursions
            The guys went on the ATV tour and a fishing trip. Some guests went to the Tulum and Coba ruins. We went shopping in Playa Del Carmen one day. Other than that, we mostly hung out at the resort. In the past we went on the ATV tour, Coba ruins, cenote, fishing…everything is fun and interesting. Every time we've fished we have never caught anything so that would be something I would probably pass on again. Oh a couple guests went snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming with the dolphins, parasailing and golfing. I never heard anything negative about any of those trips, nothing but good things.

            Wedding Location
            When we decided to have a destination wedding this resort was our one and only choice. We had been here 2 xs before and had a great time. Funny part is we never actually saw any of the wedding locations when we were there. So when we saw them for the 1st time it was in pictures online…and then not again until our wedding ceremony. Originally from seeing the photos I wanted the Akumal beach location and FI (well DH now) wanted the Tulum Gazebo. I have to say after seeing them both in person, I am glad we got the Tulum Gazebo…it was beautiful

            Wedding Coordinator
            I got in touch with the Coba resort manager Luis in April '09 and he gave me Paloma’s email. I contacted her and she gave me all the info we needed to start planning our wedding. We were in touch back and forth until Nov '09. We wanted a specific a date so the only location still available was the Tulum Gazebo. After we booked the trip and could provide the 'booking info' she passed me along to Karla the wedding Co-coordinator for Coba. Karla & Paloma were always quick to answer my emails within a day or two. We met Karla and she had all the info we discussed in the emails. We confirmed all the plans on Monday, and I saw her again at the ceremony. She was sweet, polite, friendly and helpful.

            Legal Requirements

            It is so simple to do a legal ceremony at this resort. We brought our passports, and tourist card (you get this on your flight and need it to leave the airport), 4 witnesses, who also need the same info, and a simple blood test. We went to the doctor’s office at the hacienda and paid $90usd/each cash. The process took about 15mins if that. We ended paying in pesos as you need to pay in cash. They also gave us a receipt and said we can try and submit it to our insurance company back home to see if we can get reimbursed as other people have in the past. I have yet to send in the form so I am unsure if that is true. Either way, we weren't expecting that. The doctor’s office is very clean and the staff is very polite and helpful. I am afraid of needles and the guy was very comforting and reassuring.

            Hair
            Myself and my mom got our hair done at the Coba spa. I brought in a photo of what I wanted my hair to look like, and it was fairly close. I had a hair piece/feather to be added. They did a nice job and it cost $85usd, charged to our rooms. I knew ahead of time that no matter what I did to my hair I probably would not like it, and I did not love my hair that day. My hair is very thick and in the humidity gets frizzy. I knew that no matter how much hair product was used in the heat and wind it would not hold up all day. I got my hair done at 12pm and the ceremony was at 4pm. In hindsight I could of went for a hair trial ahead of time just to make sure I liked it, but I don't know if that would of helped much. All I really knew was I wanted it down, but pulled away from my eyes. I went for a hair trial at home before the trip and did not love it then either.

            Makeup
            I did my make up myself back in the room after my hair was done. One of my friends helped put on the eyelashes. I used MAC makeup and it held up really well all day. I did no touch ups besides lip gloss and my make up still looked good at midnight.

            Clothing
            My wedding dress was Maggie Sottero - Kadence dress in ivory Kadence - by Maggie Sottero. I added thin beaded halter straps to give it a different look. This dress is perfect for a beach wedding. From the waist down it is one layer of material, with a slit up the left leg. Great for blowing in the wind and thin enough to keep you from sweating so much. Price range about $1150 with taxes and alterations. Purchased at “It’s Your Day Bridal” in LaSalle, ON. It's Your Day Bridal Boutique - Windsor, LaSalle
            My sandals were 'Kate & Mel' from Town Shoes and very comfortable. They did not bother my feet at all and that was the first day I wore them. Price $115

            Groom wore a beige/grey suit from Club Monaco, sandals from Aldo, shirt from the Bay, tie from Tip Top Tailors. Can't remember about the belts. Total price around $650

            Bridesmaids all picked their own black dress, which worked great as they all got something that suited their body type and personality. Price range from $70-140.

            The groomsmen all wore the same black shirts, light beige pants, tie and sandals. The shirts were from The Bay, pants were Dockers from Sears, tie from Tip Top Tailor and sandals from Aldo. Total price about $140

            We paid for the wedding party’s outfits as a gift to them for being in our wedding and coming to Mexico.

            Flowers
            My bouquet was BR-3B from the catalogue that Karla sent. It was beautiful, and I got tons of compliments on it. It was included in the wedding package. It also came with a white rose boutonni¨re/corsage which we gave to Nora to wear. The centerpiece for the ceremony matched my bouquet, and they brought that to the dinner for our centerpiece.

            We brought our own flowers/boutinerries for the wedding party & parents that we had made by a florist friend.

            We had a peacock themed wedding.
            Men wore a peacock feather boutonni¨re. Cost about $5/each
            Bridesmaids carried a silk green/white hydrangea hand tie bouquet with 3 peacock feathers coming out of it, with teal blue satin ribbon around stems. Cost about $10/each
            Mothers wore a silk green/white hydrangea wristlet corsage. Cost about $5/each
            We reused the bouquets/bout’s for our AHR a few weeks later.

            Before Ceremony
            We had 3 guests staying in the same villa so we used those 3 rooms to get ready. That way it was easier for the photographer/videographer to go up & down and take pics of us getting ready.

            Karla arranged for guests to meet in the Coba lobby and take a shuttle over to the Tulum Gazebo. Some of our guests staying at Tululm made their own way there around 3:30pm. They enjoyed drinks at the Tequila bar/restaurant right next to the Gazebo. A cart was arranged to pick us up at our Villa for me, bridesmaids, photographer & my parents.

            Once we got to the location, Jasmin confirmed with me the music selection and Karla organized the guests to be seated.

            Ceremony Music
            Karla said we could bring a CD with our own music to be played and we needed at least 4 songs. Originally we wanted the Mexican trio to play, but to cut down on costs we decided to bring our own music. Off iTunes I downloaded 8 songs just in case. 5 of them got played. Best part was no one knew not even DH what songs were going to be played. Everyone commented on the songs. Fun…and cheap!

            Prelude – Don’t Stop Believin’-Journey ~ Instrumental Piano version
            Processional – You’re My Best Friend-Queen ~ Vitamin String Quartet
            Bride Entrance – Friday I’m in Love-The Cure ~ Vitamin Piano version
            Signing the Papers – Time after Time-Cyndi Lauper ~ Vitamin String Quartet
            Recessional – Viva La Vida-Coldplay ~ Vitamin String Quartet

            Ceremony-Blissful Love Package

            DH had a female ‘Best Man’ and 2 groomsmen. I had a male ‘Maid of Honor’ and 3 bridesmaids. Both my parents walked me down the aisle. The ceremony itself was probably about 15-20 mins. It seemed to fly by for me. The judge read the ceremony in Spanish and Karla translated. The only thing we had to say was ‘I DO’. We signed the legal documents and ‘fingerprinted’ them. After we were pronounced Mr. & Mrs. we walked down the aisle and the guests threw red rose petals at us. Karla arranged for this to happen and gave them to the guests and we had no idea. It was a nice touch and I was very surprised. We did a champagne toast, and then do photos/video. We did not add any extra d©cor to the area. The seats had white sashes on them and the location was d©cor enough for us. I bought 40 green, blue & purple maracas and 2 blue & black sombreros in Playa the day before. The maracas cost about $1-1.50usd/each and the medium size sombreros cost $12usd/each. I copied a ‘shake at the kiss’ tag template from someone off of BDW, and changed the font/color. I cut/glued and tied with ribbon around each maraca and had one of my friends hand them out to guests before the ceremony as the favor.

            Dinner/Reception
            We were at the Mediterranean al la carte restaurant at the Cobo side from 6pm-8pm. We were the only guests in the place during this time. We had a served dinner of Mediterranean salad, tomato soup and a choice of grilled shrimp or lemon chicken. We had cheesecake for dessert and anything we wanted to drink. There was a little mix up with the salad & soup as they both had seafood in them and we had a couple guests with seafood allergies. I thought I arranged to have something simpler, but I did not ask the proper questions. The staff was very accommodating to those who wanted something without seafood. During this time we did speeches and toasts which was fun and kept the time moving. Guests kept shaking their maracas to get us to kiss. After dinner the waiters had DH and I do tequila shots/boom booms which was funny cuz I don’t do shots. Then we cut the cake. We had a guest who showed us how to saber a bottle of champagne so that was fun and unexpected.

            After dinner we were originally planning on going to the Tulum lobby bar for drinks & dancing but before Karla left for the night she suggested we go across the path to the Akumal Premier Lobby bar. That worked out great because it was hot and I’m sure in the transfer across the resort we would have lost a few guests. They had live music, drinks and plenty of seats for everyone. One of our groomsmen arranged for the band to play a song for our first dance, the bouquet toss and garter toss. We had not planned on doing any of that stuff, so it was fun. I also ran into Cheryl (HereFishie) there, which was great because we were planning on meeting up the next day. We mostly just sat around and drank, talked etc as we had some guests who just arrived the day before. It was really hot, so around 9:30/10pm DH & I went to change. We stayed at this lobby bar until around 11pm then headed to the Hacienda/disco with about half the guests. It was loads of fun.

            Blissful love package cost us about $1400usd. Not exactly sure why it was cheaper than listed but I think it’s because we didn’t use a couple things offered.

            Photographer – Nora Bohanon
            Nora is BDW vendor and she offered a contest online for a free wedding package. I entered and found out about 10 days before we left that we won. I contacted her via email & then phone to discuss details. She was great on the phone, answered all my questions and concerns. I sent her the $500 deposit via paypal and the details of where/when for our wedding date. She confirmed plans with me about 2 days before we left for Mexico, where I informed her I would confirm plans with her when we got there on when/where to meet the day off. On the Monday I emailed her letting her know our room number and spa location/time of where I would be. She confirmed she would meet me at 12pm at the spa. She was right on time, very nice and laid back and very professional. At the spa it was just me & my mom so we were both relaxing and enjoying the quiet as I warned Nora my friends are loud and I knew the rest of the day would be hectic and crazy. I was right cuz after about 10 mins of being back in my room to get ready everyone else started showing up and the rest of the day really feels like much of a blur for me. Thank god for photos or I wouldn’t remember a thing. Nora made me feel at ease and after awhile I got use to her snapping photos. She took lots of detail photos, candid photos and posed photos after the ceremony. The day was extremely hot and she stayed til about 8:30pm. She stayed at a different resort in Cancun, paid her own travel costs, and day pass as that was part of the ‘free’ contest.

            She took about 1000 photos, sent us the link on Pictage for us to view about 2 weeks after the trip. ..:: Pictage | Registration ::..

            She posted a few pics on her wedding blog. Wendy + Josh ~ Tulum, Mexico Nora's Wedding Blog. If 25 people comment on our photos she will send us a 20x30 free canvas print.

            We are expecting the DVD of photos in the mail in the next week or so. Overall…we were more than happy with Nora’s work, professionalism, and the amazing offer to win her contest. Everything she said she would do, she has done, and everything else has happened in the expected time she said.
            For anyone considering using Nora as their photog you are in great hands. She is great to deal with, and falls through on everything asked.

            Previous to the date, I informed her I don’t feel I am very photogenic. I am very self-critical of myself in photos and I found many that I loved. We also discussed photos that we would like, and the day of she was more than accommodating to last minute requests.

            Resort Photographer-Gabriel
            Originally we were planning on using them for all our photos. The package came with 10 photos, with the option to buy more. I didn’t even notice the photog until the end of the ceremony where he came up to us and said to meet him the next day to see the photos. I was half expecting that as I read that on someone else’s review. The next day we checked out the photos and I think he probably took a few hundred photos. Some were great, some not so great. Reason I say that is the angle he took the photos. He was crouching down and shooting up. So many photos of me & DH we have double & triple chins, so not exactly flattering. If we hadn’t had another photog we probably would have bought more, but we wouldn’t have been happy with them. We ended up getting 14 photos in total. 10 as part of the wedding package. 2 he gave us for free, they were detail shots and we purchased 2 photos of our bridesmaids that I really loved. They cost $15usd each. He put all the photos on a DVD, with a picture, our name/wedding date. It wasn’t until we got home the next day that we realized he put the wrong wedding date and didn’t give us the one photo we paid for.

            I suggest for future weddings that you meet with the photographer before the wedding date and discuss what you want/don’t want. Even if you are only getting 10 photos. It never even crossed our minds to meet with him, and it wasn’t out of the way. They are located in the Coba lobby.

            But with that all that said, there are several pics that we did get that I just LOVE!!!
            Wendy Rose's Photos - Tulum Wedding Resort Photographer Pics | Facebook

            Video
            A week before the wedding DH brother decided to come to our wedding and do our wedding video. He just started taking an interest in video/editing so he did a great job for his 1st time. It worked out great for us, as we couldn’t afford to hire someone else.
            Josh & Wendy Edit 2 on Vimeo

            Summary
            We loved our week away with friends and family. We couldn’t of have asked for a better wedding day. We were very happy with how everything turned out. Everyone got along, everyone had a great time. It was exactly what we wanted and more.

            For the most part, there we’re minor complaints here and there from a few guests. That will always happen no matter where or what you do. So as long as you don’t let those things bother you, you’ll do fine.

            We tried to keep our planning simple and easy, to keep our DW stress-free. We didn’t do OOT bags, or plan group excursions, or bring down all this extra d©cor. We wanted to enjoy our time with our guests. We are also not the type of people who get mad if things don’t go as planned, so this type of wedding worked great for us. The week was filled with so many laughter and good memories; we’ll all be talking about for years to come!

            If I had to change anything, it would be to stay for a few extra days or week after the wedding. As much fun as it was to spend time with everyone, DH and I barely had any time alone. We knew that would happen, and that is ok. I had to get back to work the next day after the trip. A ‘proper’ honeymoon would have been nice, but it’s a great excuse to go away again within the year!!

            P.S. Sorry this is soooo long, and the grammatical errors! If anyone has any questions about the resort, wedding etc…I’ll be more than willing to help anyway I can!
            Wendy your review is awesome and so informative. Thanks so much, I know that I will be referring to it as I get to the final stages of my own wedding! (And may have a few other questions that pop up!) The pictures are amazing!!! And you looked amazing nothing to feel self critical about at all!

            #6 Cindy*

            Cindy*
            • Sr. Member
            • 2,655 posts

              Posted 30 May 2010 - 01:04 PM

              Thanks for the detailed review. Sounds like you had a wonderful wedding. You look beautiful. Congratulations.

              #7 ames

              ames
              • Newbie
              • 150 posts

                Posted 30 May 2010 - 02:14 PM

                thanks for the detailed review. congrats! your photos are gorgeous :)

                #8 AishaB

                AishaB
                • Sr. Member
                • 2,350 posts

                  Posted 02 June 2010 - 08:07 AM

                  Great review... congratulations!
                  BDW the best place for my TYPE A personality!

                  #9 midnight24

                  midnight24
                  • Member
                  • 754 posts

                    Posted 03 June 2010 - 02:29 AM

                    thanks for all the well wishes and compliments...i appreciate it!

                    #10 roxmysockz

                    roxmysockz
                    • Jr. Member
                    • 418 posts

                      Posted 03 June 2010 - 03:42 AM

                      Great review - left a comment on the photos too x




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