I wanted to give a run-down of our wedding on 11/19! First of all- it was AWESOME. The major things that we planned for went off without a hitch! My guests are still talking about what a great wedding it was. I'll give my run-down, and if you have any additional questions, feel free to ask!
We got married at the gazebo at 12pm... it was hot... I put a fan on everyone's seats, and I had parasols out for people to use and EVERYONE used the fans and the parasols.... so I'm glad I hauled them down. After the ceremony (which was conducted by Pastor York- he was GREAT!) we shuffled everyone off to the side as they set up the cocktail hour in the same place. After cocktail hour, we did photos on the beach (group) and then everyone went back to get ready for our reception on La Barcaza, while Brandon and I stayed to do our individual photo session with our photographer (whom we flew down for 3 night stay in exhange for our photo package- sooooo glad I did that!)
We had a 2 hour "layover" between cocktail hour and reception (got picked up by bus at the lobby), which gave everyone plenty of time to go back and freshen up, change into more comfortable clothes/swimsuits, get their towels, etc.... the bus ride over was kinda bumpy but nobody seemed to mind.
We did the reception on La Barcaza- it was simply WONDERFUL. We did it as a surprise so all the guests were shocked that we would be doing that. It was so unique and different. George was AWESOME and carried my grandfather in law on and off the boat in his arms (he is 90 years old and has history of falling). We ended up extending the boat tour to 5 hours because we were having so much fun!! The boat took us to a warm underwater spring, everyone got out, and were playing in the water, had footballs tossing around, etc. We did this while the sun was setting- just goregous. The meal was FANTASTIC- the cake from the PPC was awesome (we took it from the resort onto the boat with us), and the whole set-up on the boat was great. (I took my own centerpieces along- thankfully they made it through customs and everyone said how beautiful they were!)
We danced, and laughed and had a big ball for the rest of the night. We ended up getting back to the PPC at about 11pm, and people actually kept the party going and were dancing in the lobby to the band.
Honestly, the whole wedidng was great and I couldn't have imagined it any other way. November is an AWESOME time to go because we hit it right as the high season was starting... (half the time not-high season, half the time was) and the weather was great (warm and humid but nothing the ocean couldn't cool off) and the nights were beautiful and balmy. My husband and I got upgraded to the Reserve-which turned out to be very nice- quiet- hardly any kids while we were there. It was a nice place to stay as everyone else didn't upgrade, so we could go there to have our privacy if we needed.
There were just a few negatives:
1. When my in-laws arrived their first night, there was no electricity at the resort. My MIL made a big stink to the WC and she "compensated" us by letting us have the rehearsal dinner at the Gabi Club. This turned out to be FABULOUS- so beautiful and we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves.
2. The wedding gift bags were a NIGHTMARE. Half the guests got them, half of them didn't...and there was varying amounts of things in each bag...I don't know if stuff was stolen from them, or if my MIL just didn't place the right amount of things in everyone's bags...but honestly we didn't get it all remedied until the second to last day. (for instance, a few couples received 2 bags, while other people got none, etc.) even though a list was given to the receptionist area regarding how many went to what couple/person/group, etc. I don't know how I would have fixed this because half of my guests got there way before us and left the day after the wedding, so me just waiting to hand out bags when we got down there would have meant that they didn't have their bags until their trip was almost over... but it is something to keep in mind. They also charged me $3 a BAG to hand out through the front desk, and it wasn't done correctly so I was upset about this.
3. The day of the wedding, nobody came to pick me up until close to 12:30 for the ceremony. I later found out my guests sat in the hot sun for almost an hour waiting on me (I was ready to go at 11:30!!) and the ceremony should have started at 12pm. This was a pain in hind-sight, and I don't know what went wrong, honestly. But, also something to consider.
I think if I had it to do over, I would have either pushed back the ceremony an hour, or gotten everyone up earlier! haha
Overall, the wedding was a DREAM everything was pretty much fabulous, and most importantly everyone had a great time. Everyone is already talking about when the NEXT trip is!