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Riu Palace Riviera May 29 Wedding review

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First of all thank you so much BDW forum for all the great info and ideas! Here is my review for our wedding at Riu Palace Riviera Maya May 29,2010…

Resort: A We chose the gazebo at the Riu Palcae Riviera Maya. Overall this resort was perfect for our group of 55. It is kid friendly, has friendly staff, a beautiful beach and the food is OK . I say not great but due to our big group we were at the buffets almost every night instead of the specialty restaurants. But that would be my only complaint for the resort. We ended up most nights having drinks at the theatre bar listening to the shows and then staying in the sports bar since it was open till 4AM.

Our wedding coordinator was Pamela, she comes across as not too friendly but she got the job done.

We did a grooms/rehersal dinner the night before at Don Manolos. They had the back room set up and it was perfect. After we headed into downtown Playa to the Blue Parrot ($5 cab ride). We had reserved a private area right on the beach- we paid $30.00 cover for each of our guests which included all their drinks. Our group loved it- It was so nice we had our own area and werenâ€t all just roaming in the crowd & they had an amazing fire show.

The wedding was at 3:00- It was pretty hot! I had made raffia fans (and the Riu staff had set them on each guests chair) & when I looked out at the guests they were all fanning themselves like crazy- Which reminds me- having the cocktail hour inside at the lobby bar was the best idea- it gave the guests a chance to cool off and they had it set up really nicely. I also walked into town and bought really cute maracas that were hand painted- they were $3.00 for a pair- and had these set out on the chairs as well with a tag that read “ Please embrace the bride & grooms wish and shake me at their first kissâ€. You can ask the spa if you can wait in there b/f the wedding begins to keep you from walking a mile in the heat to get to the altar.

Renova Spa- I had an appointment to get my hair and makeup done. I took a picture of my hair style- I feel like she got the general idea of it, but I was having trouble communicating with her just the little changes I wanted, needless to say I ended up taking it all down and doing it myself. I also decided then that I was gonna do my own makeup too- I mainly wanted her to apply false lashes but she didnâ€t know how to. I would suggest spending the money on your own make up and doing it yourself. But I think she is probably ok for a hair style- just donâ€t let her hair spray till you are sure you like it.
The massages on the other hand were fabulous and reasonably priced. We also had a $25 vouvher that came through our travel agent.

We had wedding dinner & reception at Chilis from 7-11:30. Chilis is an open air restaurant near the beach. We got lucky that it was a pretty windy night otherwise it would have been too hot to dance & be comfortable, however it is bigger than Boto Fogo & the way to go if you have more than 50 guests & want a dance floor. If you choose this restaurant b/t June and Sept. I recommend having a reception dress that you could change into. We paid an additional $9 per person for open bar during the reception which was definitely worth it.

I did make OOT bags for the guests- they included a drinking mug which I ordered through a seller on ebay- these were a huge hit at the pool. A hangover kit with a few of the essentials (motrin, alka-seltzer,spf chapstick, emergen-C, cristal light, ), welcome letter and schedule for weekend events. I ended up handing these to guests as I saw them instead of paying the hotels $2 per bag delivery fee.

Negatives: When planning the wedding the Riu was somewhat annoying because unless you have 60 people they only offer you dinner/reception from 8:45 till 11pm- which is the same price as if you had 60 people and could choose the 7-11. Also with an early wedding waiting till 6 is fine- it allows you to take all the bridal party and wedding grp pics but 8:45 is not as convenient. And even though I had booked a yr ago they upped their prices and changed several of their ‘fees†b/f the wedding took place- so just have everything in writing and take all your emails with you.

Photographer: A+ We used an outside photographer- Dennis with Blue Lens Caribe. I really cannot say enough good stuff about him, or the amazing pictures he took. He went above and beyond our expectations to provide great service from our first email months in advance, to driving to our honeymoon resort days after the wedding to do a TTD session. Dennis captured every aspect of our wedding day. I am still amazed at how the pictures seem like he was a million different places at once. Dennis gave us exceptional quality prints and DVDâ€s of all of our photos- and even though we were a 90 minute drive away, he made sure we had them in hand before we left Mexico. He was absolutely worth his price.

I feel like this is a very scattered review- but there is so much I could go on forever. If I have left anything out please feel free to ask!

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