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2011 & 2012 PLAYACAR PALACE BRIDES!!!!!!

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Playacar Palace was the best decision ever!  To all of you that are having your weddings there in 2012 - you will be blown away by the beauty and the service.  I seriously can't put into words how amazing it was.  I would be more than happy to answer any questions you have.  We were married 11-4-11 in the Wedding Terrace.  I will post pictures as I get them from my photographer.

 

We had 44 adults, ages 24-60 and one child, 18 mos.  The majority of the guests were +/- 30.  Nobody wanted to go home.  The last week of Facebook status updates has been full of our guests talking about how much they miss Playacar Palace.  My husband's parents are long time KC Chiefs season ticket holders and are considering cancelling the tickets so we can make this an annual trip.

 

Don't worry about the "wedding planners" you have to deal with via email.  I had Mercedes and she took forever to respond.  When you get to the resort, you'll work with Wilma.  Wilma is absolutely fantastic.  She is professional, efficient and incredibly kind.  Oh - and very experienced and patient with large groups of people that aren't following directions because they've taken full advantage of the top shelf tequila shots :)  She took care of every, single detail and made it perfect.

 

As for the staff...WOW...  The word "no" is not in their vocabulary.  Anything you or your guests want... "My pleasure."  Not only did the waitresses and bartenders know our names, they knew our drinks!  And, what we liked and didn't like.  They even remembered that I don't like salt on the lime with my tequila shot.  Watch out though!  They get you a new drink before you are even done with the one you have in your hand.  This caused a few of our guests to go to sleep early.  And by go to sleep early, I mean pass out :)  The guys that work at the swim up bar are a blast!  They are so nice and seem to truly enjoy their jobs.  Carlos was our favorite.  Besides the fact that he treated us like royalty, he loved my niece (the 18 month old and flowergirl) and would hold her and teach her to say "hola!"  He even held her and rocked her when she was crying.  It melted my heart.

 

We had unlimited events due to booking 100+ rooms, but only used two.  I wanted the guests to be able to relax and not be on a schedule.  We did a cocktail hour the night before the wedding and a private dinner after the wedding ceremony.  We had a 2:00 pm wedding and a 5:00 dinner.  The guests were on their own between the ceremony and dinner.  They were fine with this!  They all went to the outside bar and drank and mingled until dinner.  The reason for the two hours in between was we wanted ample time to take pictures up and down 5th ave and the beach.  (We paid to bring our own photographer because photos were absolutely the most important thing for me.  I cut from a lot of areas to bring our own and it was worth every penny.)  For the reception dinner, we had the Caribbean Buffet - they added potatoes to the menu because hubby doesn't like rice.  The food was the best meal we had all week.  

 

They just opened a 5th floor reception room "La Villa Suite," which is where we had our reception.  Once again, amazing...  There is a set up fee for this location.  It's worth it!  I loved the privacy of the Wedding Terrace and La Villa Suite.  We had our cocktail hour on the Cielo bar - it was also beautiful, but not as private.  It was funny though, when some lady accidentally joined us for a welcome cocktail, then realized it was a private party :)

 

We didn't upgrade the wedding package or cake.  We got the chocolate, heart shaped shell cake and it was so good.  I wish we could have taken the rest home to freeze!  The only decorations I brought with were 40 chair sashes and 10 table runners from www.tableclothfactory.com and the vases for the sand ceremony.  (Bought the vases at Target for $1.99/each for small ones and $2.99 for the big one.  The wedding themed ones online are a rip off.)  

 

I saw other weddings that week that upgraded the packages.  It was pretty, but I don't think it was worth paying or using the resort credit on.  The complimentary is just as pretty.

 

Do not believe any of the bad reviews you see on Trip Advisor.  Some people just complain about everything.  Take it from me - I travel for work and stay in hotels all across the country every week.  This is by far the best service you'll find.  The rooms are immaculate, the food is great and the service is just unbelievable.

 

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The link below is to see some of the pictures.  Please keep in mind, these are copyrighted pictures.  I love our photographer and don't want to break the rules, so please don't reuse these in any way.  These are the only ones we have so far, but they do a good job showing the colors and beauty of the wedding terrace.

 

https://picasaweb.google.com/tiffanyscally/WeddingPicsByAmy?authkey=Gv1sRgCKjCgY_Xkcrz7wE&feat=email#

 

Also - I forgot to add this above.  Tipping is not required, but the service is so great, they deserve it.  We took $100 in $1 bills and $100 in $5 bills with us to tip.  (I knew to take small bills, because my sister got married at Vallarta Palace and I ran out of small bills on the first day.)  I wish we would have taken $300.  We ran out towards the end and had to use the ATM.  We were there 9 days.

 

If you want to take really great pictures on 5th Ave, also be prepared to tip.  The guy in the 6th picture expects tips - we have him a $5 because we took lots of pictures with him.  In the 5th picture, I asked the little boys if I could jump on their trampoline and they said no!  I asked nicely, said por favor and offered them a couple bucks and they let us :)  We also went to a bar with swings and tipped the bartender for letting our wedding party pose on his swings, even though we didn't buy a drink.  We tipped the band more because we took a ton of pictures with them with our wedding party and just as a couple.

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Thank you so much for all of the info Novbride! You were such a beautiful bride BTW. I hope we get to see more of your pictures. Iâ€m curious about what you did for a DJ or MC? Any other PP brides planning on using the iPod setup for music?

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This was amazing to read! Thanks so much....

I've been kinda nervous about my decision, but I feel waaaay better now.  I'm getting a lot of conflicting info regarding outside photogs.  Yours was no problem?

Originally Posted by novbride View Post

Playacar Palace was the best decision ever!  To all of you that are having your weddings there in 2012 - you will be blown away by the beauty and the service.  I seriously can't put into words how amazing it was.  I would be more than happy to answer any questions you have.  We were married 11-4-11 in the Wedding Terrace.  I will post pictures as I get them from my photographer.

 

We had 44 adults, ages 24-60 and one child, 18 mos.  The majority of the guests were +/- 30.  Nobody wanted to go home.  The last week of Facebook status updates has been full of our guests talking about how much they miss Playacar Palace.  My husband's parents are long time KC Chiefs season ticket holders and are considering cancelling the tickets so we can make this an annual trip.

 

Don't worry about the "wedding planners" you have to deal with via email.  I had Mercedes and she took forever to respond.  When you get to the resort, you'll work with Wilma.  Wilma is absolutely fantastic.  She is professional, efficient and incredibly kind.  Oh - and very experienced and patient with large groups of people that aren't following directions because they've taken full advantage of the top shelf tequila shots :)  She took care of every, single detail and made it perfect.

 

As for the staff...WOW...  The word "no" is not in their vocabulary.  Anything you or your guests want... "My pleasure."  Not only did the waitresses and bartenders know our names, they knew our drinks!  And, what we liked and didn't like.  They even remembered that I don't like salt on the lime with my tequila shot.  Watch out though!  They get you a new drink before you are even done with the one you have in your hand.  This caused a few of our guests to go to sleep early.  And by go to sleep early, I mean pass out :)  The guys that work at the swim up bar are a blast!  They are so nice and seem to truly enjoy their jobs.  Carlos was our favorite.  Besides the fact that he treated us like royalty, he loved my niece (the 18 month old and flowergirl) and would hold her and teach her to say "hola!"  He even held her and rocked her when she was crying.  It melted my heart.

 

We had unlimited events due to booking 100+ rooms, but only used two.  I wanted the guests to be able to relax and not be on a schedule.  We did a cocktail hour the night before the wedding and a private dinner after the wedding ceremony.  We had a 2:00 pm wedding and a 5:00 dinner.  The guests were on their own between the ceremony and dinner.  They were fine with this!  They all went to the outside bar and drank and mingled until dinner.  The reason for the two hours in between was we wanted ample time to take pictures up and down 5th ave and the beach.  (We paid to bring our own photographer because photos were absolutely the most important thing for me.  I cut from a lot of areas to bring our own and it was worth every penny.)  For the reception dinner, we had the Caribbean Buffet - they added potatoes to the menu because hubby doesn't like rice.  The food was the best meal we had all week.  

 

They just opened a 5th floor reception room "La Villa Suite," which is where we had our reception.  Once again, amazing...  There is a set up fee for this location.  It's worth it!  I loved the privacy of the Wedding Terrace and La Villa Suite.  We had our cocktail hour on the Cielo bar - it was also beautiful, but not as private.  It was funny though, when some lady accidentally joined us for a welcome cocktail, then realized it was a private party :)

 

We didn't upgrade the wedding package or cake.  We got the chocolate, heart shaped shell cake and it was so good.  I wish we could have taken the rest home to freeze!  The only decorations I brought with were 40 chair sashes and 10 table runners from www.tableclothfactory.com and the vases for the sand ceremony.  (Bought the vases at Target for $1.99/each for small ones and $2.99 for the big one.  The wedding themed ones online are a rip off.)  

 

I saw other weddings that week that upgraded the packages.  It was pretty, but I don't think it was worth paying or using the resort credit on.  The complimentary is just as pretty.

 

Do not believe any of the bad reviews you see on Trip Advisor.  Some people just complain about everything.  Take it from me - I travel for work and stay in hotels all across the country every week.  This is by far the best service you'll find.  The rooms are immaculate, the food is great and the service is just unbelievable.

 



 

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Thank you so much for the update! I am really excited now. Did you have any trouble booking your reception or was it pretty open. Did you schedule all this at 3the months or when you got there? Thanks for sharing! Taylor

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Thank you so much for the compliment!  By the way - I had my hair done at the spa and used my resort credit, so it was free!  Rosa did my hair and I loved her!  I tipped her $20 - I hope that was enough.  I figured that was 20% of what the regular cost was and since I loved my hair, I was very happy to tip her!  I didn't get a practice updo, because I wanted to use my credits for the couples massage :)  Make sure you get this - its amazing!

 

We brought our own ipod dock and they were sooooo cool about letting us use it.  We used it almost every night.  One of the first nights, we went out to the pool bar, asked the bartender to plug it in and had a dance party!  Other couples that weren't from our group joined us and it was so much fun.  It started pouring rain and the bartender got out a huge garbage bag to cover the ipod dock from the rain and let us all crowd into the end of the bar until the rain stopped.  

 

Another night, we hooked the ipod doc up in the lobby bar and had a dance off.  As long as you ask nicely and are respectful, they will let you do just about anything!  I had to keep turning it down though, because every time someone turned on a new song, they would turn the volume up.  

 

They even let us play the Iowa Fight Song Saturday afternoon after the Hawkeyes beat Michigan.  They just hooked my friends iphone up to their sound system at the bar.

 

In my opinion, if you have a good playlist and an ipod dock, a DJ is unnecessary.

 

 

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Sorry - still learning how to use this forum :)  That post above was for reeses.  This one is for trw26. 

 

I did have trouble booking the reception area.  Mercedes was very slow in responding to my emails.  I think part of the problem is that so many brides wait until the last minute, that they are forced to reply to the brides closest to their wedding date first.  I plan way in advance because I hate having a huge list of to-dos.  I'd rather get it done and check it off the list.  

 

So, Mercedes would take a while to respond.  By the time she finally responded, the "free" reception areas were already booked.  (The free ones are the solariums and the cielo bar.  By free, I mean no set up fee.)  I was ticked because I had been trying to reserve them for over a month.  My wedding planner (independent planner - not a Palace Planner) was able to negotiate the set up fee with them since it wasn't really my fault she didn't respond.  

 

No matter where you have your reception, it will be beautiful.  The Solariums are beautiful because the trees have ropes of lights wrapped around them and its very romantic.  The Ceilo Bar has a fantastic view and is very close to the lobby.  The beach is obviously pretty, but can be very windy.  I'm not sure I'd like a beach dinner because of the wind.  La Villa Suite is awesome because it's air conditioned.  We were ROASTING after the ceremony, so we loved the air conditioning!  The sun beats in on the Wedding Terrace at 2:00 pm, so we were on fire.  It was still amazing, even if we were sweating :)  

 

Speaking of air conditioning - the morning of your wedding day - crank the air in whichever room you are in.  People will be in and out of the room, which lets the air out.  

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Sorry yunric - just saw your message!

 

Originally Posted by yunric View Post


This was amazing to read! Thanks so much....

I've been kinda nervous about my decision, but I feel waaaay better now.  I'm getting a lot of conflicting info regarding outside photogs.  Yours was no problem?



 

 


You are very welcome.  I hope my post helps everyone relax and feel good about choosing Playacar.  I was really nervous because my sister's wedding at Vallarta Palace was so amazing and I felt like she set the bar so high!  We are only a year apart and are friends with the same group, so our friends went to both resorts!

 

As far as the photographer - ours was our "guest."  Since you aren't allowed to hire outside photographers, your photographer either has to buy a day pass or stay at the resort.  Our photographer happens to have a sister-in-law that is also a photographer, so they both came!  One stayed at the resort, one stayed at another hotel and paid for the $88 guest pass.  

 

The hotel never once questioned any of it.  And they had to know that both women were photographers because they had backpacks full of camera equipment.

 

I fell in love with a local photographers work and contacted her about doing our reception.  We talked for a long time and she mentioned that she would love to go to Mexico.  I was dying for her to come with but I couldn't afford it!  So, I figured out what I could cut from my budget and gave her the max amount I could afford to spend (including the cost of flight and hotel.)  She was willing to take a much lower amount because she also wanted to go to Mexico and wanted the photographs to use on her website, blog at wedding fairs, etc.   

 

Don't skimp on photography!  After the wedding is over - the photography is one of the only things you get to keep!  My sister did and totally regrets it.  I cut out the wedding cake for the reception - my uncle is a chef and volunteered to make cupcakes.  I'm using very cheap centerpieces.  Dollar Tree has nice clear, round vases for $1 each.  I have 26 tables and I'm spending less than $100 on centerpieces.  We are borrowing sand from the golf course by our house for the vases and putting candles and shells in. We will take the sand back!  We didn't hire a florist.   We are just doing a beach themed centerpiece.  I might stop by Trader Joe's the morning of the reception and buy some cheap flowers if I feel like it.
 

I looked at Sol photography.  They do amazing work, but their packages start at $3200 for 3 hours.  Our photographer did ours for just a tad more than Sol, but she was there for the rehearsal dinner, 12 hours on the wedding day, took photos of each couple as our thank you present and set up a "photobooth" area at the reception so the guests could get their pictures taken with sombreros, panchos, maracas, etc. That also included our engagement pictures and 5 hours at the reception at home.

 

I really recommend hiring the photographer you love.  Anyone can buy a nice, expensive camera - but the pictures won't compare that the work of an experienced photographer.

 

 

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Thank you Novbride for all the information. We are getting married August 3,2012 and can't wait. My biggest concern is the photography. When we first decided to have it at Playacar Palace I started researching local photographers in Playa del Carmen but was dissapointed to find out that they do not allow outside vendors. However I read on your post that as long as they pay for the pass or they stay there it's okay. I did ask Wilma as well and she said that no outside vendors are allowed : ( We thought of taking someone who takes pictures but is not a professional however the more I think about it the less I want to do that. I have to agree with you about anyone can buy an expensive camera but their work can't compare to a professional . I will continue to keep looking for a photographer with the hope that they will allow them in the resort.

I have a question regarding the sashes and table runners you bought. Do they have a variety of colors to choose from?

Thank you

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