Ok...Im finally doing it! We got married July 2010 at Secrets Maroma Beach! This is going to be very detailed, because when I was planning it helped so much!
First off, I sent out postcards from vistaprint as invites with all the info for my guests to book themselves. I have heard that having to book all your guests vacation is the biggest headache, so instead I told them to do it and call me with their itinerary. This was SO stress-free!!!! We had our transfers included with our flight and that went smooth. When we arrived at the hotel, we tried to get an upgrade and failed. We had 35 rooms booked and thought we deserved a bit of an upgrade but we're told the hotel was full (more on that later) Our room was in bldg 14 and after another try in upgrading we were moved to bldg 16 with a hot tub on the balcony. At 11:00 we were told to hang out a the pool and our bags would be moved (which included my dress which made me VERY nervous) When we got back to our room at 6:00pm our bags were not there yet. It took another 2 hrs for someone to bring up our stuff! The hot tub was never used because I kinda freaked me out. It didnt look clean. It just looked like a bathtub outside....so not really worth it. I didnt think we would use the swim-out, but alot of our guests got it and loved it. So next time I would DEF spend the extra money. Sometimes at night you just wanted to relax in the pool, but it closed so early. So in my opinion, the swim-outs are worth it! So this is called all-inclusive, but our guests were denied room service (food and drinks) because the staff thought they had too much to drink. It was the night before my wedding so I was sober, and my friends were def not causing any trouble. They were told numerous times to be quiet and once it was at 4:00pm because "other guests wanted to nap". This was the biggest upset to me because all-inclusive means as much as you want!
I used vistaprint for everything....Lg postcards for bookmarks, invitations, keycard tags.
I made canvas bags and used a stencil to paint "welcome to paradise". Filled them with landyards, bookmarks, koozies, gifts for wedding party, hangover kits (filled with packs of gatorade, advil, gum, bandaids)
I would skip the kooozies and bring plastic mugs, the drinks during the day get warm fast so these would work great.
The pools were great and the service was amazing! Make sure to bring dollars and tip them. On the beach they wouldnt let your drink get empty before they were bringing you another. The restaurants were all amazing. The Italian was our favorite!
Cecilia: I was happy with her as I was planning. She usually took a few days and sometimes a reminder email to get back to me. But when we arrived I had to call HER to make an appointment to clarify my wedding day details. She was not prepared at all. Didnt even know what day my wedding was. It wasnt a big deal to me because I knew she was so busy but things we talked about over email didnt seem to matter in Mexico! After our ceremony we were going to just join the hotel guests at the fiesta (every friday they have a buffet fiesta). But she told me the hotel wasnt full enough to have the fiesta. (Remember I was told it was too full to move rooms???)
I was shocked because she never told me this was a possibility. We ended up paying for a poolside reception with full bar and servers serving food from the mexican restaurant. (We had a reception back home, that is why we didnt want to have and pay for a reception in Mexico) This ended up being AMAZING!!!!! She worked with us on the price seen as it was last minute. They did a great job decorating using my things from the ceremony and added candles all along the pools edge. It was next to the gazebo. It was def worth the extra money. After this we went to the disco, dancing all night long. They played us a first dance and we had a unforgetable night!
I brought her a little something from Bath & Body. She def does work hard and she seemed to appreciate that.
Hair/Makeup: My friends who do this for a living did my hair and makeup...so I was lucky. Didnt have to go to the salon.
Photg/Video: We had the cheapest package so I wasnt really counting on the photos to be amazing. Well Juan and Miguel did AWSOME! Our photos and our video are amazing...we ended up buying 2 dvd's and he gave us 3, and bought the cd with every picture because they were all so great! Facebook me if you want to see pics (Melissa McGuire-Fons)
Flowers: In ou package I got a bouquet and so did my hubby. I didnt want to spend money on flowers that die so quick in the heat, so I made the guys boutinears (SO EASY) and bought my girls parasols. (FYI-cant carry then on the plane, must check)
Colors: I had orange strapless dresses from The Limited and green parasols. Everyone loved the colors! I brought fake orange rose petals for the aisle on the sand, but was told you cant use them because if they go in the water the fish can die. Cecilia gave me real ones for free. I gave my girls starfish necklaces and the guys got watches.
Music: I made a cd and an had my ipod with our songs. We rented the sound system which is def worth it. With the waves and wind, nobody would have heard anything. I was super nervous about how it all works with fading the music and switching songs...but they had someone doing it and they did great. We had "One Love" for the seating of guests, "Over the rainbow" for my girls, "Canon D" for me walking down, and "Could you be loved" for our exit. Everything went perfect! We had a civil ceremony since we got legally married at home at the courthouse. It's so much easier doing it that way. We made up our own vows and I asked for an english speaking minister. He did a great job, obviously not perfect but you could understand him!
We used our Ipod/I-home on the beach (quietly) and nobody said anything.
I would bring some movies because the tv channels are not good. They have movies you can borrow but not alot of choices and most of them were already gone by the time we asked.
So my mom and I went parasailing at the marina (Viajes acuaticos playa del car) You can pay for the shuttle and they have tons of stuff you can do there. BUT, if you walk down the beach to the right (south of the resort) you can walk there!! It's about 1.5 or 2 miles so that would save money. They have a beach bar (cash only) and a restaurant. Just something else to do and see!
My advice is to plan for everything and once you're there, relax. I did and everything fell into place! I was so calm on the day of my wedding, it was crazy!! I woke up and sat on the beach all by myself and wrote out my cards to my parents and hubby. I went for a good run and made sure I ate. Had a Mango-Tango to help me relax and got ready with my girls. I gave myself so much time so I never had to rush. It goes by so fast, so during the ceremony I made myself take a look around at all my guests and at the ocean and take it all in.
I would def recommend staying here and having your wedding on the beach! You are catered to and everyone always greets you with a smile!
Im not on here very often anymore, but if you have any questions or want to see pics, find me on facebook!