I was married in February at Azul Beach. It was so fantastic! I was really nervous beforehand, because I didn't feel secure that the wedding coordinator had really shared the information with the hotel. It is hard to plan a wedding from so far away! Well I have to say - that for all the stressing that I did - everything felt a MILLION times better after we arrived at the hotel and met with the wedding staff at the hotel. I was worried for instance that the DJ might not have my obscure father daughter dance song. The wedding staff immediately called the DJ and confirmed for me that he did have it.
Some of my biggest concerns
The DJ: I did not hire an outside DJ - too much money! The hotel's DJ package was fantastic and they were very accommodating. I had sent them a list of songs we liked - more than necessary - and let them know they could play whichever songs from the list that they wanted. They did an excellent job of keeping everyone on their feet dancing. They also hit all our cues right on time.
Guests enjoying the hotel: It was AMAZING. Beautiful. The beach is lovely and there were plenty of activities on the beach for people to enjoy. The restaurants were great - I recommend ordering off the menu at the sushi restaurant - ask for what you want!
Special dietary needs: My step father has a very intense dietary need and one of my guests is allergic to nuts. The executive chef met with both to work with them so that they would be okay at the various restaurants and on the day of the wedding. Amazing once again!
Set up: My sister offered to help set up the decorations on the day of the wedding - to help make sure the staff got it right. In the end - that didn't make any sense because they set up pretty close to the wedding start time. In the end it didn't matter anyway, because they did it just perfectly. Everything I asked for - they did.
The dress: The boutique that I bought my dress from correctly recommended that I carry the dress as a carry-on. The flight crew was really sweet and reserved some overhead bin space for my dress. I think they are used to destination weddings.
Azul terrace guest #: We were told that AB is really strict about the minimum guest number (50). I had 48 at one point and was still told this was not sufficient. In the end at the last minute my guest count dropped to 44. When I met with the on-site coordinators to go over all the wedding details - they didn't even bat an eye about my guest count. I was able to have my reception at Azul terrace. It really is such a lovely location.
Spa service: I highly recommend that you NOT make any of your spa reservations in advance - hair or makeup. They will offer you and your guests a discount that will not be valid if you make your reservation in advance. It is really really annoying and they will not budge on this. So wait for the offer to come in after you arrive and after you meet with the on-site coordinators and then make your appointments for hair, makeup, and massages.
Weather: On one of the evenings, it rained, and my beach bonfire was drowned out. We were moved to the tequila lounge. Not so bad - and our guests were still happy.
Decorations and guest treats: Don't ship your decorations! I met another destination wedding bride at the airport and she was telling me that her 2 shipped boxes were being held up at customs for the second time in a row. We were able to pack decorations, guest treats, and our personal belongings in 4 suitcases. We asked one of our guests to bring one of the suitcases to AB and then one home with whatever was left and my dress packed up so we could travel for honeymoon with a lighter load. We also made a wedding newsletter for all our guests along with valentines for them since it was around Valentines Day. Note: delivery to guests' rooms was $4 per room.
Welcome dinner or farewell dinner: We opted for a farewell dinner after the wedding. Honestly, we could have done without it. It could have been nicer to simply have a casual meeting at one of the bars so people could opt in or opt out.
Outings: It was easy for people to plan tours to Chichin Itza and Xel-ha etc. I wish I had spent a little more time helping my parents get in on one of those tours. I on the other hand was happy to simply be at the hotel the whole time.
I hope this info helps! Feel free to ask me questions.