Hello ladies!! Well we got back late last night and everything was AMAZING!!! I know you're all dying to hear all about it so here goes...
Most of our group flew together on the same flight and that went smoothly other than the plane that we were on did not have a single closet on it and therefore they were unable to hang up my dress:( There was another bride on our flight as well and she couldn't hang her dress either. We both had to cram our dresses in the overhead bins. Luckily people were nice enough to not try and put their stuff in the bin that had my dress in it. The other thing I should mention is that I had to put my dress through the security scanner on the conveyor belt and it got the garment bag dirty (I was NOT happy about that but luckily the dress didn't have a mark on it). So make sure you have a good garment bag!
Once we got to the resort check in was fairly quick and they upgraded us to an ocean view junior suite. The juniro suite is basically about 5 feet longer than the regular rooms but other than that they are exactly the same. The ocean view was a nice touch though. Karla was waiting for us when we chacked in and we had a brief meeting with her to go over all the details. She is very nice and is extremely organized so you don't need to worry about anything with her. We gave her a cd with some music that we wanted played during our ceremony and she also let us know that she would leave us a letter which contained all of the charges so that we could pay for it at reception. That letter arrived in our room the next day. She also explained that we had to pay the penalty to the resort photographers one day prior to the wedding in order for our external photographers to be allowed access to the resort. Well we didn't do that and our photographers had no problems getting access. We thought we would try to avoid paying the penalty like Tara did but when we went to check out it had been charged to our room so ladies there is no getting around it anymore! Oh well!
We had a "rehearsal" dinner with our whole group of 42 at the Meditteranean restaurant and that was really not all that great. They seemed a little disorganized at the restaurant and they had a really stupid set up for our tables even though there was hardly anyone else in there. I would suggest you stick to the Japanese restaurant like Erin had recommended. That was a way better experience when we had one of our a la carte dinners there. Make sure you let your guests know to book their a la carte dinners as soon as they arrive as the reservations fill up very quickly and if you wait a few days you will only get 9pm reservations (if that).
The day before our wedding I decided to be a wedding crasher and watch someone else's wedding which took place in the gazebo. That location is definitely very private as compared to the beach so if you don't want strangers around then you should probably stick with the gazebo. It is also more shady as it is amongst the trees. If you ask Karla she will let you know if there are weddings in the days leading up to your weddings and by watching one it will give you an idea of how they set things up etc.
On our wedding day we didn't do much in the morning and we tried to stay out of the sun to avoid gettint too burnt! I met my photographers in the lobby at 1:30pm and took them back to our room to get started. We used PHOTOS IN CANCUN and they were wonderful! They stayedw ith us the whole day and at the end of the night they gave me 4 DVDs with all of the photos that they took (more than 2500!!). I now have the daunting task of going through them all to pick my 100 favorite which they will then edit and send to me on a new disk!
So back to the wedding day.... Lorena (one of the photographers) did my hair and make up in my room while Derek (the other photographer) snapped photos all the way through. I LOVED my hair and make up! I would also highly suggest that you all put your hair into up-dos as it is pretty windy on the beach and you don't want your hair flying around in all your photos. A couple of my girlfriends and my mom and sister came to my room and hung out while I was getting ready. My bouquet was delivered right to my room and it was GORGEOUS! I just got the flowers that were included in the package and they were beautiful.... I wouldn't have wanted anything different. It took me much longer to get ready than I thought it would so make sure you leave yourselves plenty of time. I was about half hour late for the ceremony!
Once I was ready they sent a golf cart to come get me and take me to the ceremony location. There is a pretty long walk way and half of it is through a bunch of trees so you walk for a while before you see the ceremony site and your guests. The ceremony site was beautiful and I was really surprised at how many people had gathered to watch our wedding. I would say we had at least 50 strangers all around watching us!
The minster spoke pretty good english so I was happy about that and they had a microphone so everyone was able to hear what we were saying. We wrote our own vows and every single person was crying when we read them!! Even the strangers who were watching cried and I had people coe up to me throughout the resort in the days after the wedding commenting on how beautiful everything was! The ceremony was about 25mins and once it was done they handed out champagne to everyone so we could have a champagne toast.
We took tons of pictures with everyone on the beach and then we let everyone go their own was so the two of us could get photos alone. The reception srated at 6:30pm at the open air restaurant on the Del Mar side. I am so happy we chose to go with the private dinner as that venue is perfect! Karla had the tables set up exactly as I specified on my seating plan and they had all of the centerpieces in the middle along with everyone's place cards. The cake was set up on a seperate table and it looked great too!
We had hired DJ Doremixx for the reception and they were great! Everyone was dancing the night away.... he brought glow sticks and masks which made everything even more fun. We ended up sneaking out of the reception for about 20mins so that we could go get some pictures take at the beach while the sun was going down and I am so glad we did that! Those are some of my favorite photos!
The reception went until 10:30pm and then we all went back to our rooms to get changed. After that we went over to the disco to continue the party. I had cut my bracelet off for the wedding so they wouldn't let me into the disco until I went to the front desk to get a new bracelet:( That just about started a rumble at the entrance to the disco since it was so ridiculous that they wouldn't let the BRIDE in!
All in all I am very happy with how everything turned out... the wedding was perfect and everyone had the time of their lives!! You will all have beautiful weddings at the Iberostar!
Here are a couple of things that I want to let you know about so that you are aware:
- The resort is HUGE!! Much much bigger than I would have ever expected. You will be doing A LOT of walking as their trolleys don't really run regularly. Make sure you take lots of flat shoes cuz you won't be able to wear heels much!
- Make your a la carte reservations as soon as you get there.
- Go out to the beach early in the morning to "reserve" your beach loungers. I would recommend bringing your own beach towels with you because then you will be able to tell which ones are yours among all of the resort's blue beach towels.
- It is almost impossible to find your family/friends in the resort unless you happen to catch people while they are in their rooms. I would recommend letting your guests know that it may be a good idea for them to put an international texting package on their cell phone for the month so that you all have a way of communicating that won't cost an arm and a leg. We had a couple of people who had thought of that (wish I would have!) and it made their lives MUCH easier.
- Provide people with a list of important events (ie. rehearsal dinner, group outing etc) along with times & locations so that everyone can plan around them.
- Bring ALOE with you no matter what! People will get sunburned and it is very expensive to buy it there.
- I highly recommend getting a massage on the beach.... it was wonderful and a great way to relax before the wedding!
I think thats all I have for now but feel free to ask me any questions that you may have. I am still trying to sort through the pictures so once I get that done I will try to figure out the best way to share them!
Hannah - I will mail you the starfish tomorrow!