Like some brides, I have been lurking in the background and reading all the reviews of vendors and recommendations from other brides. So now it's my turn to return the favor. I just got married October 9, 2010 at El Presidente Intercontinental in San Jose Del Cabo. There were 37 of us and we had a blast!
Resort- El Presidente: A
If you are looking for something very secluded, very private, this is the place! The staff was very friendly and always willing to help. The beach was HUGE and the best thing about the resort is that they only have one wedding per day so you can practically choose where you want your ceremony and reception and select your own vendors. The resort is at the very end/beginning of the hotel strip next to the esturay so it is very peaceful. It was only a 10-15 walk into San Jose Del Cabo for shopping and restaurants or $5 for a taxi ride. It was $35 for a taxi (up to 4 people) to Cabo San Lucus and if you had more than four then if was an additional $7 each person. So if you traveled with a group, the cab ride to and from Cabo San Lucus was only around $10 each way when sharing a taxi. The resort is a 3 1/2 star so the food was decent and drinks were as good as you can expect. The staff was very friendly and we quickly found out that if we tipped well, the drinks got a little stronger, especially if we ordered directly from the bartender.
We had our ceremony on the beach, then walked back to our cocktail hour under a palm tree grassy area, and then moved over to the reception area which we used the gazebo as our dance floor.
Wedding Coordinator at El Presidente: B-
I had Jesus Elizalde. At first, he was very quick at responding to my questions, but once I booked in February, our communication kinda trailed off which I was expecting because we were 7 months out prior to my wedding. So within the 3 month mark, I was expecting a little more communication and a contract. I did not get my contract as promised until I sent a note to the GM outlining the lack of response I've had with him. I came to the conclusion that Jesus is better in person or over the phone. In email, it took him 1-2 weeks to respond back to me and his explaination was that he was out of town on business. So if you are expecting something fast, I think setting the right expectation upfront would be helpful.
The good about Jesus was once we got there he was very accommodating to make sure we found the perfect location for our ceremony and reception. I had pictures, but he stated it would be better if we finalized the location once I arrived. I arrived on Wednesday and my wedding was on Saturday. He even suggested that we do our speeches during our cocktail hour to maximize our reception time for dancing. He was even willing to relocate the hotel fiesta show they were having on our wedding day to make sure it didn't disrupt our wedding.
One big hiccup I do want to warn if you are considering Presidente is to ask up front about the removal of the all inclusive wristbands for your bridal party. When we checked in, we were told that our wristbands (bride and groom) will be removed for our wedding and I automatically assumed it would be no problem for my BM and GM to get them removed on our wedding day for pictures. Well to my surprise on the day of my wedding, I found out if we wanted to remove them and put new ones back on for my bridal party (3 BM and 3GM), I was going to be charged $90 per person!! That would have been $540 total just to get them removed for pictures and back on. I even called our photographer, Bradley Fraser, to see if he can photoshop the bands out and he said he has never heard of a policy like this. He told me to talk to my wedding coordinator and insist they be removed. I talked Jesus and after much debate he finally made an exception to allow my BM and GM to remove them without a fee. It was unnecessary drama before my ceremony.
Other than that, Jesus was great for information and did do a good job cueing everyong when do walk out for the ceremony. I would say if you do get him, just set expectations upfront on communication, how frequent, etc.
Hair/Make Up - Suzanne Morel: A+
As everyone else that used her stated, her staff was wonderful! I never had professional make up done before and her team was great. I had one person doing my nails, another person doing my hair and make up and then the translator. I enjoyed every minute of it. Everyone commented how good my make up was and my hair was great. I did the trial first and highly recommend if you have the funds to do it. It really helps you imagine your wedding. I was set at doing a half up do, but when I went to my trial, after looking at all the great up dos, I decided to do an updo instead. I highly recommend a trial if it fits your budget.
Cake - Jennifer Hatton Dessert Diva: A
Jesus referred me to her and I am glad he did. Jennifer worked with my budget and we did a simple two tiered cake with one flavor. Funny story. I was going back and forth with Jennifer on the flavors I wanted. At first I wanted 2 flavors - carrot cake for top tier and vanilla for the bottom tier. Then last minute I decided on just doing vanilla with strawberry chocolate mouse filling. To my surprise, when we cut into the cake, it was all carrot cake! But it was the best carrot cake ever!! All our guests raved about the cake. There were no pieces left! So I'm glad we had the little mix up
Photographer - Bradley Fraser: A +++
Bradley was awesome! We met him a couple of days before the wedding and we instantly loved him. He was cool, calm and very helpful! Before our ceremony, he even stepped in to help direct the florist on where to go. He was very fun to work with and made everyone feel very comfortable. He kept me at ease and made sure I enjoyed getting my picture taken. We had him for 3 hours and I wish I could have booked him for my whole wedding. He was that good! The pictures speak for themselves
Florist - Florenta - Lola: A
My bouquet was beautiful! I had 50 red roses and I was surprised at how big it was, but it was perfect. Since my BMs were wearing a dress that had a flower embellishment on it, we decided on single white mexican cala lilies for them. Everything was great, except she did mix up the colors. I had requested white rose boutonnieres for the GMs and a red rose boutonniere for my groom. Instead I got all red boutonnieres and the GMs red roses had white ribbon. I think again, like the cake, it worked out better this way because in the pictures the red really stood out. Overall, Lola was wonderful and her prices were very reasonable and fit within my budget. She also did my centerpieces which were brown branches with candle votives which we replaced with red roses in their holders. They looked great!
DJ - DJ Systems - DJ Pedro (Ricardo's Brother) - A+
Ricardo is usually the one that gets the most attention on this forum, but since he was already booked, I got his brother, Pedro. He was great. Very friendly, and very professional. He mixed our playlist of songs perfectly so they transitioned very smoothly. He had everyone on the dance floor and was very easy to work with. He was on cue for the introductions and annoucements. We were very pleased with him.
Transportation - Cabo Transfers - Monica: A
We had my bachelorette party in Cabo on Thursday. I wanted everyone to be together and make the 30 minute trip to Cabo fun so I rented a charter bus from Cabo Transfer. It fits up to 45 people (we had 28 people including the boys) and I was surprised at how nice the bus was. For some reason, I was expecting a school bus, but when the bus drove up to our hotel, everyone was excited to get on the bus. We played a trival game on the bus and gave away prizes. If you have a big group, I would recommend getting a bus instead of separate shuttles. It makes the trip more exciting Also, there was a guide/translator on the bus. He stayed with us the whole night while in Cabo to make sure we were safe and even recommmended some bars to go to.
Cabo Transfers also booked our golf tee times for the boys. They were very helpful and gave us a better price than our hotel!
Wedding Favors - Cottonfruit.com - Beach Towels - A
I ordered the bigger beach towels since they ran out of red in the smaller ones. The towels were huge and have great quality. Since we had to order 48 towels, it weighed 62 lbs when they shipped to me. Instead of giving them away at the wedding and paying extra to ship them there, I made arrangements to hand them out prior to us leaving. It worked out great.
I hope this review helped. Please feel free to ping me if you have any questions. Cabo was beautiful and I can't wait to go back! Here are some pictures that Bradley took.