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donna73

Our Wedding Dec 9th 2010

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Only got home today but thought would write a review while it's all still fresh in my head, firstly here's a link to our photos:

 

http://091219hodge.dreamsriveriacancun.adventurephotos.com.mx/hodge.html

 

Arrival: our travel agent had requested us all on high floors in the same block.  We were a party of 27 and spread all over the hotel, my husband's aunt and uncle were given a more upgraded room than us on check in which I thought was a little odd but we did receive a free upgrade to an ocean view room with a jacuzzi balcony which was lovely (2449). Check in took ages seeing as we were told all of our rooms were pre allocated.

 

Wedding: We had 3 wedding planners prior to arriving, Ana then Gabriella then Lisbeth.  It was a bit unsettling and replies to emails were few and far between.  We were wrongly advised by our travel agent that we didn't need to pre book anything and that the resort tried to avoid more than one wedding a day.  We found out about a week before we left that there was another wedding the same day and they had prebooked the deck.  I wasn't happy at all but they did compensate us by giving our extra 7 guests complimentary wine, cake and appetisers which I think should have been $26 a head. We were offered the jacuzzi area, japanese garden or the grass area in front of some rooms (!), I didn't really like any of these but they agreed to let us have the seaside grill at no extra cost. 

 

On the day: Our planner forgot to make our spa appointments despite me emailing her prior to our arrival to confirm 6 guests for hair and makeup.  Lisbeth told us she would book for me and the bridesmaids but the rest of the guests would have to book themselves.  I told everyone the next day we were booked in for 1pm for our wedding at 4pm.  When I went to the spa the day before our wedding our guests had been booked in at 1pm but the planner hadn't tried to book our appointments early enough and there was no space left to fit us in too. They booked us at 12 and I had to ask family members to switch so we weren't ready too early.  My bridesmaids also ended up having to do their own makeup because of lack of appointments.  I'd recommend going into the spa yourself to make your appointments. I was very pleased with my hair and makeup, we didn't get the right hair flowers but I preferred the ones that showed up anyway.

 

Flowers: They were beautiful.  I did go to check on them in the morning though and the buttonieres were wrong, they did rectify this at no extra charge and got new ones in time for the ceremony.  I had the flowers in big conch shells for the table, they weren't the same as the photos they show you though, they're supposed to be in a kind of driftwood stand which they weren't. I loved my bouquet as well as the bridesmaids ones.

 

Ceremony:  We had ours in the gazebo which I loved, it wasn't a scorching day and having it at 4 meant that the loungers around the pool were pretty empty anyway.  The flowers on the gazebo although an extra cost were well worth it and really enhanced the photos.  We had the mariachi trio for our ceremony and they played a bit before, as i walked up the aisle and afterwards, I loved having them there and in the photos which isn't usual for them as you usually have them during the cocktail hour.

 

Cocktail hour: We booked the desires terrace which would've been lovely but it was a bit windy so we moved inside.  There was a mix up with our appetisers and by the time they'd got my list to confirm 2 of them were wrong (you get a choice of 5) and sent out the right ones my guests had already eaten.  The sound system which costs $111 an hour to plug your i pod into didn't show up until 45 minutes into our cocktail hour by which point we'd convinced the staff to let us plug our i pod into the DJ system.  I sent it back when it did arrive, and we didn't pay for it.

 

Reception: After our photos we walked to desires and were stopped on the way and told we could no longer have the seaside grill and it was too windy and might rain.  We were told we were being moved to the ballroom which I refused as it's bland, lacks any atmosphere and would've been much too big for our party.  They then asked what we'd like instead and when I asked for one of the indoor restaurants even if it meant just a corner to ourselves I was told this wasn't possible.  Then 10 minutes later they changed their mind and put us in the italian which was closed that day so we had it all to ourselves. It's a lovely venue and I really appreciated them accomodating us.  The food on the other hand was diabolical.  We had the gold menu in with our ultimate package and chose mussels in cheese sauce, soup, crabcakes then lamb wellington or seabass.  I don't know what went wrong on the day but everything was stone cold and the mains just weren't nice at all, barely anyone ate and it was quite embarassing.  We did complain and were offered steak for everyone instead but by that point we just wanted to leave. They did refund us some of our money due to the food.  I was suprised the food was bad because when we ate at the restaurants all of the food was lovely ...and hot!  It wasn't just us being fussy either, everyone agreed it was the worst meal we had int he whole 2 weeks we were there. We were told the wedding chef is different to the regular chef.

 

Cake: We had the tres leche cake which is the traditional mexican cake and it was lovely, I'd highly recommend it.  If you want to try it beforehand it's on the buffet in the world cafe :)

 

Photos: We had Daniel and he was great, the photos really cheered me up after as I really wasn't hapy with our reception. I wasn't expecting for them to be of the standard they were and I'd highly recommend adventure photography, They're very helpful and pleasant to deal with when you go to view and choose your photos too.  I got 50 free photos with our package and ended up buying an extra 60 which cost $495 but I think was well worth it.  The video was great too and I'm glad we got both.

 

This resort generally have at least 2 weddings a day which I did find quite suprising but I guess I should've looked into it more.  On the day you really aren't too concerned that another wedding is happening.  It does make it feel like a bit of a conveyor belt though and if we were doing it all over I'd consider a smaller more exclusive resort.  We did try to accomodate all of our guests needs though which is how we ended up here.  Overall it's a beautiful resort with great staff and a lovely beach, great for family holiday and nice and close to the airport.  I'd recommend the trip to sian-khan, we got to see dolphins and turtles in their natural environment and more of the natural side of Mexico.

 

 

 

 

 

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