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Dreams Tulum wedding review- 5/21/10

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#1 AchiCAp0547

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    Posted 12 July 2010 - 02:45 PM

    May 21st, 2010
    Dreams Tulum Review

    I couldn’t ask for a better resort to get married at. Upon our arrival we were greeted with cold towels and champagne, which was much appreciated after the long hot bus ride. Unfortunately our TA was the worst, and booked a smaller van then we needed, so it was very hot and cramped. We stopped on the way to the resort though, and bought some beer for the ride, so that was cool.
    It took us a while to check in, because my then fianc© was trying to get our room upgraded, which they did not do for free. We did upgrade to an “ocean view” room, which really is a pool view but nonetheless very beautiful, our upgraded room was in the perfect spot. We were in room 6112 on the first floor. Everything in the room was great, and we could order drinks from the waiters when we were just hanging out on the little deck we had, it was close to everything. They did upgrade my parents for free though! Thankfully, because they were booked to stay in the hacienda section of the resort which is definitely not as nice as the newer section. Some of my friends stayed in the hacienda section and they had A LOT of mosquitoes, but they still enjoyed their rooms! If you are just staying for a long weekend is would be fine, but I do not recommend staying there for a week, that’s just my opinion.

    Food- I didn’t really like the food in the world Caf© buffet, not sure why, maybe I just wasn’t into eating that much the week before my wedding (you know, hoping to dear god I don’t gain any weight and don’t fit in my dress come the end of the week!). The Portifino was absolutely delicious, the El Patio was okay, the Seaside Grill- we only ate there for lunch but that was okay too, the Asian restaurant was okay too. We never tried the French restaurant.
    It was very hard getting reservations in the Portifino for such a large group- we had 10 one night when we ate together, but it worked out fine. YOU DO NOT need to order bottles of wine to be in the private room at Portifino! The manager told us we did, then a waiter told us we didn’t- so we ordered glasses which are included in the all-inclusive rate. I think the manager must have been a little angry about that, but we left a very good tip.
    Reception Food: was GREAT! We had the Surf and Turf (filet mignon and shrimp), some shrimp salad for the salad, and the bruschetta for appetizer. It was AMAZING and I ate every last drop on all 3 of my plates ehehehehe. I don’t remember what we ordered for the cocktail hour, but I didn’t hear anything about it so I assume it was fine.
    We had tres leches cake with vanilla filling. Our DJ played “bride cuts the cake, groom cuts the cake” song, it worked out really well. The cake was absolutely delicious. Too bad I only had a bite of it- I was too busy dancing at that point. I did tell Natalia that I only needed cake for the first 20 people, I didn’t want to have to pay extra. There was so much cake left over and we had 36 guests.

    Wedding Coordinator- I emailed Aurora for the past year with all of my questions. She was absolutely GREAT. She always responded to me in a timely fashion. I bought her a NYC tee shirt and gave a nice tip for her hard work. Our actual wedding coordinator was Natalia. She was good too- left a bit of a bad taste after she told me I would have to have my wedding in the convention center if it rained (I’ll explain), but overall she was a nice person. She was late to our first meeting, then never showed to our payment meeting so that kind of set me off on the wrong foot as well. I gave Aurora all of the decorations for the welcome dinner (world caf© buffet) and the reception; she did a great job with all of them.

    Rain situation- We arrived to Dreams on Sunday- it was monsoon hurricane season from Sunday to Wednesday. So- needless to say I was very concerned that it was raining the whole time, plus the weather forecast didn’t look so hot for the rest of the week. So in our meeting with Natalia I asked if I could have the Sea Side Grill as our back up. There was already a wedding of 100+ people booked she said, that’s ok of course. But then she told me I couldn’t have it in one of the restaurants because the resort was at full capacity and would have to have it in the convention center. Ok, let me explain something to brides who have never been to this Dreams- 1) if it rains, you would have to get married in the chapel (the chapel is VERY cute) (or in the convention center itself-seriously I did NOT want to have the actual ceremony in a convention center) which is- no lie- about ½ mile from the convention center. So you would have to have all of your lady guests walking ½ mile in the rain, in their high heels from the chapel to the convention center- good luck trying to find umbrellas for everyone. 2) the convention center smelled like a wet dog. Apparently they turn off the AC when they aren’t using it, so it has this disgusting odor. Natalia said that the smell goes away when they turn the AC on, but c’mon, who wants to take the chance of having your wedding reception smell like a wet dog? I was already very emotional because it was raining out, and I got my friendly lady monthly visit that same week, I just couldn’t take that chance. If I wanted to get married in a convention center, I would have stayed in NYC. A lot of the restaurants were closed all week because of wedding receptions, why would they try and stick me in the convention center, why couldn’t I have a restaurant? Sorry for ranting, maybe I’m a little bridezilla when it came to the location of our reception, but this is just how I felt/feel. And the convention center was the ½ mile away from my room, so I’d have to walk all that way in the rain… eh again, just how I feel.
    After Natalia having to go to her manager (landy) they finally let us have the reception in the El Patio restaurant because the weather wasn’t looking good. THANK GOD because it was sunny out for the ceremony, beautiful sunset, then poured like another monsoon for the rest of the night. (We were supposed to have the reception at the relax pool.) I HEARD, through one of my guests talking to another guest of a wedding earlier that week, that Natalia wouldn’t give them a restaurant and she had to be in the convention center and was heartbroken because of it. I hate to be the obnoxious one, but this time it actually got me what I wanted, so I’m happy I kind of acted like a little bridezilla in this case.

    Welcome Dinner- We had a welcome dinner at the World Caf© Buffet the night before our wedding. We brought down Mexican decorations–little Mexican teddy bears- maracas- maraca pens- sombreros- serapa placemats- maraca key chains and serapa looking candles. They were set up on a long table off to the side- for 36 people- and decorated beautifully. The waiters who attended to us took great care of us getting our drinks, and then had some cool shows for us. A magician came by, they did some bam bam shot, set shots on fire and played some games with the girls and guys. It was so much fun. I recommend having a welcome dinner or rehearsal dinner in the World Caf© Buffet- it’s a free option, and they definitely made it very special. It was one of the best nights….

    Photographer- We hired Samuel Luna’s services for our actual wedding day. He was SO nice and had us pose in so many different ways, I’m sure the pictures will be great. We will get the pictures back in 6 weeks. His brochure site is: Samuel Luna Photography - Destination Wedding Photography in Mexico - Information Brochure
    Samuel came to the resort at 230p and stayed until 930p. We did get him a full day pass so he could eat dinner, but he didn’t want to. ($90 for full day pass) I will write a review upon receiving the pictures if anyone wants to use him for their wedding! We used the resort photographer for our welcome dinner- we had the ultimate package so that came with 50 photos and the ceremony video. The 50 photos he took were AMAZING and they printed them out the next day for us and gave us a photo album to put them in. The video was beautifully done with the exception of some scratches on the DVD so it skips during my vows. (I emailed them to get another copy of the DVD, they sent me another DVD for free- wow) The resort photographer did such a good job, and if I knew that before hand, I probably would have just used the resort photographer for the wedding, but after choosing all of our wedding pictures it probably would have ended up being the same cost and Samuel was such a pleasure to work with and gives us ALL of our pictures- we do not have to pick and chose.

    Ceremony- The beach was set up with white covered chairs/ white covered tent with table and flower centerpiece/ the walkway was just sand with flowers lining it. Absolutely beautiful- simple and beautiful. We did not use bows or anything for the chairs. We did have fans/bubbles/and the programs handed out to each guest before they sat down. Considering it was raining the whole week prior, it was EXTREMELY hot and sunny at 4pm that day! I can’t complain, I got the sunny beach wedding, it was just very hot. Good thing we got those hand fans! I do suggest having the microphone and speaker for the ceremony. It was hard to hear the pastor speak as it was, I couldn’t imagine not having the speaker. Definitely speak up for your vows! You want people to hear them…
    We had a symbolic ceremony performed by pastor Kiko Fransisco. He sent me a copy of the ceremony so I could make my programs before we left. It was a religious symbolic ceremony; it didn’t really matter to me. I couldn’t hear him anyway; I was too preoccupied being nervous. He did do a great job, and we have a certificate of our marriage (not legal) with our witness’s signatures as little memento. We got married two weeks before we left for Mexico in our home town, just to make the paperwork easier. We left one day to go off by ourselves, to get our “blood taken” then walked around with band aids on our arms to show it. We didn’t want anyone knowing we got married in the states. I think Natalie was in charge of the music. It was just perfect. I was nervous about the music, but at the end of the day- this is a wedding factory and they know what they’re doing.

    Reception- Again, we had our reception in the El Patio restaurant. It was the BEST choice. It was secluded, we watched the sun go down as we ate dinner, and the fans made it a bit cooler. The decorations were great. We had a tequila bottle sitting on a grass mat as our centerpieces. Each table had a different brand if tequila. There were shells and blinking lite cubes scattered around as well. We also had little seashell photo frames, in them we had pictures of words drawn in the sand such as “Thank you for coming” “Amanda and Rich” etc. Our seating cards were personalized shot glasses we got from favorfavor.com. It was a great website to order them from. The shot glasses had margarita flavored jelly belly beans in them, with a stick stuck in it and a name tag on top. Our menus were folded 12x12 cards, one side had the menu of the food, and the other side had a tequila tasting. We glued a star fish to each menu.
    This is what read on one side of our menu:

    When most Americans think of tequila, it brings them back to their college days--- and unfortunately too often the memories tend to surround bad headaches or even worse….

    The truth is that tequila is much more of a complex distilled beverage than most of us realize. It is a spirit that is made from the blue agave plant, which takes 8 to 10 years to mature, and can only be harvested once. The leaves of the plant are stripped away; leaving a core that can weighs on average between 40 and 70 pounds and can sometimes grow to 200 pounds.

    So let's get to our taste test!
    Most of us think the way to drink tequila is in a shot glass with some salt and a squirt lime. A true tequila aficionado would never do this, as it actually hides the qualities of tequila.

    The best way to taste tequila:
    •Pour approximately one ounce of tequila into your shot glass (or sifter). Hold the glass at the base, raise to eye level to determine color.
    •Swirl the tequila gently to the left for about one minute. Note if the tequila clings to the side of the glass and falls slowly to form a "string of pearls" effect
    •Take a small sip, keep between your lips and tip of your tongue for 10 seconds before swishing the tequila around the inside of your mouth, then swallow
    •Once you've tasted and found the one you like the best, whether you decide to make a margarita, other cocktail or just drink it straight, you'll be more satisfied.

    And by the way ... about "that worm" ... it's an invention of Hollywood! Tequila never contains a worm. Mezcal is another spirit made from agave plants other than the blue agave, and is distilled only once. A worm (white worms are more desirable than red ones) is placed in the bottle because the worm actually feeds off the agave plant and contains a concentrated essence of the plant and enhances the flavor.

    And of course, drink responsibly and never over indulge. Over consumption of any alcohol has been linked to many safety and health problems.

    Having a different type of tequila on every table and shot glass favors was the best idea. Everyone mingled and if they didn’t know each other- they did now! It really made the party. The waiters were amazing- by the end of the night the shortest waiter was standing on a chair pouring tequila into peoples mouths (not me!). It ended up pouring at the end of the night, and everyone (again except me) was dancing in the rain, it was a blast. After the reception we all went back to our rooms and changed- Rich and I wore “game over” tee shirts!

    Music- one of my MIL’s friends, son, is a DJ. So we flew him down for the week with us. He was great, he brought his laptop with the mixes of songs, and hooked it up to the Resorts sound system. I really don’t understand how brides just hook up an IPOD to a dock and play music- the DJ announced the parents, us for the first time, our first dance, father-daughter dance etc. I would highly recommend having a DJ of some sort, but it was very important to me to be announced, and have different types of music playing during the dinner/dancing etc. So if it isn’t that important to you, then do what is! I’m happy in the end we had him there.

    We did have a problem getting my wedding dress back after we sent it for being steamed. I would suggest getting this done before your wedding, maybe the first day you arrive there! Thank goodness I read on here to get it done before the wedding, so I did, and it took extra long to get it back to me because they “lost it in the laundry room”.

    We ordered our breakfast in bed the day after the wedding. (I guess this is included in the wedding package? An extravagant breakfast in bed?)

    It was the best day of my life; in fact it was the best WEEK of my life. Even with all of the rain =)

    #2 bsf&jpg

    • Jr. Member
    • 222 posts

      Posted 12 July 2010 - 03:49 PM

      WONDERFUL!!!! *claps*
      I very much enjoyed this review!
      CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      any pics??

      Question: your reception in El Patio? Was it private or semi-private? was there an issue with your music being too loud? did you notice other people or not so much?

      Decor: Did you buy your tequila in town somewhere? what types and about how much?
      I was thinking this exact same thing so I dont have to haul huge glass candles.

      Cocktail: Did you have a cocktail hour? If so, where?

      again, many thanks and many blessings to you both!

      #3 *tinkertoy*

      • Jr. Member
      • 271 posts

        Posted 12 July 2010 - 03:53 PM

        YAY Congratulations! I'll be anxious to see your pics when they come in!

        #4 vlynnw

        • Sr. Member
        • 6,003 posts

          Posted 12 July 2010 - 03:54 PM

          Great review, it always helps my nerves a bit to hear another DT bride that had an amazing wedding. Can't wait to see your pics!
          Veronica & Adam - May 6, 2011 - Dreams Tulum

          #5 AmyandRich

          • Jr. Member
          • 344 posts

            Posted 12 July 2010 - 04:05 PM

            Great Review. Looking forward to the pictures. Makes me VERY glad I had no rain in the forecast for my wedding to add to the stress!!! Glad everything turned out for you. Congrats!!

            #6 Lite

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            • 96 posts

              Posted 12 July 2010 - 04:50 PM

              So happy to hear everything turned out and you had a WONDERFUL wedding!!! Dreams sure does sound like a DREAM!! Can't wait for mine!

              Thanks for your review!

              #7 OceanWonderland

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              • 177 posts

                Posted 13 July 2010 - 04:12 AM

                Sounds like you had a wonderful wedding :) Thank goodness you got El Patio! I'd be the same way...who flies to have a beach wedding in a convention center (). I'd rather have it on the beach in the rain personally. Sounds like most brides get a break in the clouds though, so that's good.

                Congratulations on being a Mrs!
                Leslie and Aaron ~ Dreams Tulum ~ November 15, 2010
                Our wedding slideshow from the amazing William Sanchez: http://www.williamsa...aron/slideshow/
                And our TTD session (William Sanchez and Ivan Luckie): http://www.williamsa...slie aaron/ttd/

                #8 AchiCAp0547

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                • 112 posts

                  Posted 14 July 2010 - 10:55 AM

                  Originally Posted by bsf&jpg
                  WONDERFUL!!!! *claps*
                  I very much enjoyed this review!
                  CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                  any pics??

                  Question: your reception in El Patio? Was it private or semi-private? was there an issue with your music being too loud? did you notice other people or not so much?

                  Decor: Did you buy your tequila in town somewhere? what types and about how much?
                  I was thinking this exact same thing so I dont have to haul huge glass candles.

                  Cocktail: Did you have a cocktail hour? If so, where?

                  again, many thanks and many blessings to you both!

                  The reception in the El Patio was PRIVATE. The music was just right (we rented the sound system, and had our friend DJ, it wasn't too loud or too soft). They didn't end up charging us for the private event, I'm not sure if it was because it was our rain back up or because we kind of made a fuss. But we didn't notice any other people. It ended up raining that night so I think most guests weren't out and about that night anyway! (we filled up the entire restaurant, but if it wasn't private, I'm sure you would see the other guests and it might be a little weird i.e. it would feel like having "other guests you don't know" eat at your reception- but that's just my opinion, I would like it private)
                  My hubby bought the tequila in town. It was much more inexpensive to buy it in town than on the resort (there is a cigar/tequila shop on the actual resort). He just took a cab into town, it was cheap, then bought the bottles. The store even gave him a free bottle of tequila and rum to say "Thanks" for buying so much! It was the best idea for a mexican centerpeice, it was so much fun. I got the shot glasses from favorfavor.com and they were beautiful and arrived fast. I have no problem bringing them down in our luggage as they were shipped to me in a lot of bubble wrap.
                  The cocktail hour was right outside the El Patio restaurant on the sand. We had the mexican trio play then. I was out and about taking pictures, but from the video I think it looked a little boring, but beautiful and set up very nice none the less.
                  I emailed Samuel to ask when the pictures will be ready- and he told me next Wednesday, so I'll be sure to post the link =)

                  #9 slyn

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                  • 18 posts

                    Posted 14 July 2010 - 11:44 AM

                    Thank you for your great info! I'm getting married there next August and always looking for great ideas!

                    #10 mimi73

                    • Jr. Member
                    • 282 posts

                      Posted 14 July 2010 - 12:00 PM

                      Loved the review! Congratulations and I am so glad to hear that you had such a phenomenal week.

                      Bride and Groom + 42 guests booked!

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