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Dana's RIU Palace Riviera Maya Wedding Review


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#1 dana

dana
  • Jr. Member
  • 285 posts

    Posted 17 November 2010 - 06:04 PM

    We got back from our wedding and honeymoon a few days ago and it was wonderful! I don’t regret for one second doing a destination wedding. For me it was a very stress free experience and I really owe it all to this forum. I am a Type A personality and without this forum I think I would have gone crazy. The forum allowed me to relax over the past year knowing from all the past brides that is was going to be great.  Here is my review of our wedding, if you have any add’l questions don’t hesitate to ask.

     

    Airline A-

    We flew Continental direct from Newark, NJ. Continental still allows you one 50 pound checked baggage for free when flying international so that was great. My grandmother was our travel agent and gave us two vouchers to be upgraded to first class. We got to the gate very early and my charming husband got us upgraded to first class. I gave a small negative though b/c we didn’t find out we were upgraded until half way through boarding so we were boarding with most of the people from coach. When the flight attendant saw my wedding dress right away she said that she didn’t have anywhere to store it. As soon as I told her we were flying first class she offered me the closet and then decided that wasn’t good enough and cleared out an entire overhead for my dress so it could lay flat. That was awesome, but had I not been flying first class I wouldn’t have gotten that service.

     

    Resort A+++++

    The RPRM was awesome and I can’t say enough about it. When we checked in we mentioned that we were getting married at the resort and the women smiled and said told us to hold on. After a few minutes she came back with a huge smile and said she was able to upgrade our room (we hadn’t even asked). We had originally upgraded our room to the Superior Suite (just meant it was the normal room, but had a view of the courtyard). Well when we got to our room it was amazing, we had been upgraded to the Jacuzzi Suite and it was enormous. It was prefect for when my sisters and I were getting ready on my wedding day.

    My husband and I arrived 2 days before our guests started to arrive and we made sure all the staff knew that we were getting married on Friday and that we had 50 guests coming. By the time all the guests arrived they were treated like royalty. The service is tremendous here; all the bartenders and wait staff knew us by name. The pool bartender Marvin who remembered my husband from last year when we were there even requested to be our bartender at our wedding.  He was awesome.

    I didn’t hear one complaint about the food.

     

    We ate at the buffet every night b/c we had so many guests coming in and we didn’t want to exclude anyone. We had several guests eat at all the restaurants with no complaints. So often people make reservations and don’t show up so if you go to the restaurant at the seating times and they have open seats they will allow you in. I had told all my guests this and it worked 90% of the time.

     

    Welcome Dinner A+

    We arranged with Nancy ahead of time a welcome dinner at the Buffet the night before the wedding. There is a private section behind the desserts and that is where they set it up. They had 4 servers that were only taking care of our section and bringing everyone drinks. It was a really good night at the buffet with beef wellington, shrimp, grilled salmon so everyone was raving about it. It was completely free and since we had 50 people it worked great for us.

     

    More to follow....



    #2 dana

    dana
    • Jr. Member
    • 285 posts

      Posted 17 November 2010 - 06:05 PM

      Ceremony A+ (3pm)

      We bought the Caprice package because we had over 40 people.  We had the ceremony at 3pm at the Gazebo. The Gazebo is gorgeous and the background is all palm trees and the ocean. I brought our own chair sashes that they put on for me. Unlike some other brides I did not have any set up fee, however, this was the only special thing that I had brought with me so I don’t know if that is why?

       

      The only complaint I have about the Gazebo is the stones they have for you to walk on. They number one move and are difficult to maneuver so I was looking down in a lot of pictures b/c I was afraid of tripping.

       

      We did a symbolic ceremony and I never met the minister until I was up there getting married. My husband said the minister asked him 10 minutes before the ceremony what type of readings that he wanted. I found that quite comical because I am the religious one and not him so he said he didn’t care. I honestly didn’t hear a word he said b/c I hate being the center of attention, but everyone thought the minister was great. He did call me Diana once instead of Dana, but that is really common for people with accents to do.

       

      Cocktail Hour A (5:30-7pm)

      We did the cocktail hour, outside at the Lyrico Bar. We decided not to do appetizers because we were paying for the private reception and did not want to spend the extra money. In retrospect, this is the only thing that I would have changed about the whole day. It felt a little strange just standing around talking and drinking without appetizers. They had the patio set up so it was semi-private with tables and chairs and background music playing. They had a station set up for champagne that they were handing out to guests as they arrived.  There were about 5 servers going around taking orders and delivering drinks.

       

      Reception A++++++ (7pm-11pm)

      We had our private reception with DJ at Chili’s which is the Steakhouse.

      We paid extra to have the private reception which was a last minute cost b/c the RIU changed their policy and would not honor their old prices.  Originally it was supposed to cost $1700 for the private reception and DJ, but landed up costing us $2280. I found this out two months before our wedding, but it still was insignificant to what I would have paid at home. The cost was $20/person for the food, $8/person for open bar and the DJ was an add’l $1200.

       

      We did not bring anything add’l with us to decorate the table. Included in our package were two bags of rose pedals, but since we did not have a flower girl Nancy put those on the table and then the gorgeous flowers that were on the gazebo were used for center pieces.  Also, as soon as the cermony was over someone came and took 5 chair sashes to decorate the tables with.

       

      For dinner they provided the two appetizer options on the table for everyone. There was chicken caesar salad the seafood plate (it had crab legs, shrimp, smoked salmon, calamari). There was one plate of seafood and one salad per two people. While they served the appetizers they came around and took everyone’s order for dinner. The options were Prime Rib, Filet Minion and Shrimp Skewer, Chicken, and Rack of Lamb. I don’t know how they did it, but the food was out in no time and it was really good. They did not serve dessert besides our cake.

       

      More to Follow.....



      #3 dana

      dana
      • Jr. Member
      • 285 posts

        Posted 17 November 2010 - 06:06 PM

        The DJ was AWESOME! I can’t say enough. Since we had time between our pictures and cocktail hour my mom and I went to check out the reception set up. We happened to run into the DJ, David, who asked me what kind of music I liked. Every song was better then the other. If you are having a DJ def request him. Almost every guest came up to me and asked where I found my DJ b/c he was great. I did not sit down the entire time and everyone was dancing. I realized at 10:30pm that he had not played one slow song so I asked him to for the “older” people and he did.

         

        I thought about paying them to stay later, but I asked some of my friends and it seemed as if everyone was tired. We went to the sports bar after, but I lasted about 5 minutes and we went to bed as we were exhausted!

         

        Wedding Cake A+

        We got the wedding cake included in our package. I ordered Vanilla cake with strawberry filling and Chocolate Icing. I know it’s so untraditional, but I love chocolate icing. The cake was awesome. One suggestion I would have for people. We cut the cake and then everyone started dancing. They did not put a piece at anyone’s place that was not sitting so a lot of people hadn’t gotten cake. At the end of the night I saw the ¼ eaten cake sitting there. I had the DJ make an announcement that there was cake if anyone wanted any and everyone that was left feasted on it. One weird thing with the cake happened with Nancy. At our meeting she hadn’t talked about cake decoration as I had my own cake topper. She calls my room at 2pm (an hour before my ceremony) to say she has been trying to get a hold of me all afternoon because she forgot to charge me for cake flowers. Hmm, hello did you check the spa? At this point I told her I didn’t need them. I’m not sure if she ordered them and didn’t charge me or realized I might of wanted them??

         

        Wedding Coordinator

        Nancy was our wedding coordinator and a great person. She is very prompt with getting back to you through email before you get there which was great. You’ll notice I really didn’t put a rating b/c I’m not sure what she really did. I emailed her a few times starting in September to pick things that I wanted. I met with her once on Tuesday to finalize everything. I saw her for about 2 minutes right before my ceremony and once I was down the aisle I never saw her again. However, with all that being said I everything was perfect so I assume she did her job well.

         

        More to Follow....



        #4 dana

        dana
        • Jr. Member
        • 285 posts

          Posted 17 November 2010 - 06:14 PM

          Photographer B+ Juan Carlos

          We used the resort photog who was from Calypso Photography. We picked one of the lowest packages so he was only shooting our ceremony after the ceremony.  I met him for the first time as I as walking down the aisle. He was very efficient and got all our pictures taken and did a good job. I’ve gotten numerous compliments on how good my pictures looked. Although, if you are looking for more photojournalism I probably wouldn’t recommend him. He was supposed to photograph for 2 hours and he stopped after 1.5 hours, however, he took about 400 pictures so I had plenty to choose from. We went the next day to pick out our pictures and we were only supposed to get 70 pictures. We arranged that we got all 340 pictures on a disk and no photo album.

           

          Renova Spa A

          Included in our package we got a couples massage. Our couples massage included a body exfoliation which we didn’t know about and was great. Just as a warning to your FI’s that when they do the body exfoliation they have you put on paper underwear (very small) and my husband was a little uncomfortable in them to say the least. I thought it was hilarious! Also, make sure you wear your bathing suits to the spa b/c they let you use the Jacuzzi while you’re waiting for you appointment.

           

          Myself, two sisters and MIL got our hair down at the spa. They did an awesome job. They don’t speak good English so make sure that you bring a picture. We all had pictures and they did a great job!

           

          Also included in my package was a manicure and pedicure and it wasn’t great. It was okay, but I was glad I had it b/c my manicure and pedicure I had before I had left was chipped.

           

           

          I think that is all! It was the best experience ever and everyone had a blast before the wedding and at the wedding! If you choose RPRM for your wedding you won’t be disappointed!

           

           

          Here are some photo's from Juan Carlos:

           

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          #5 dana

          dana
          • Jr. Member
          • 285 posts

            Posted 17 November 2010 - 06:16 PM

            Don't know why the pics didn't work, trying again

             

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            #6 dana

            dana
            • Jr. Member
            • 285 posts

              Posted 17 November 2010 - 06:20 PM

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              #7 dana

              dana
              • Jr. Member
              • 285 posts

                Posted 17 November 2010 - 06:23 PM

                Last try, don't know why it isn't working tonight.

                 

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                #8 Nicyx

                Nicyx
                • Sr. Member
                • 2,914 posts

                  Posted 18 November 2010 - 11:34 AM

                  Dana.... Fab review, Thank you so so much!!!!! Gives me goose bumps reading it :-)

                   

                  So glad you had the resort photog as we are using them aswel and its nice to see "actual" pictures like what we will get... They are lovely!!

                   

                  So exciting reading your review :-)

                   

                  Congratulations Mrs :-) x



                  #9 celestial419

                  celestial419
                  • Jr. Member
                  • 198 posts

                    Posted 19 November 2010 - 02:06 AM

                    Dana - Great review!!  thanks for sharing.. can't wait for my wedding! 

                    Did you get the menu options prior to leaving for Mexico?

                    Where would Continental have put your dress if you weren't flying first class?  I'm also flying Continental so I hope they don't give me a hard time.

                     

                    I couldn't see your pics =(

                    Congrats again MRS!!



                    #10 dana

                    dana
                    • Jr. Member
                    • 285 posts

                      Posted 19 November 2010 - 05:40 AM

                      Celestial-They said I would have to put my dress in the overhead bins, I guess on top of everyone luggage.

                       

                      Yes, she sent me the menus for Botofogo and Chili's when she contacted me 2 months before. Your only options are what they serve at those restaurants.

                       

                      Let's see if it works this time?

                       

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