Originally Posted by Noxx
Thank you so much for sharing your photos they are so beautiful.
Did you bring down your own decor? I have been looking for cheap chair sashes and table runners. Your centerpieces are beautiful did you use the hotel ? any suggestions or tips for future brides that you would change or get if you were to do it again?
Also which package did you go with? I have the Devine not sure what the arch will look like if it comes decorated or do you have to pay extra?
Thanks for all your info!
Thank you for the kind words about my pictures. I am happy to answer the questions you asked about my specific decorations and flowers.
Let me begin by stating, that I brought ALL of my own decorations.
Chair Sashes: I bought my chair sashes on recycledbride.com (You could try Ebay too). They were about $0.90 each including shipping. The resort charges $5 per sash to rent theirs. Also, some brides have been charged up to $2 per chair for the resort to tie on your own sashes, but I had a great working relationship with Ramon, so he didn't charge me this fee. I had many extra sashes so Ramon creatively used the extras as table runners, tied others around the bottom of the cocktail tables, and even used some to decorate the canopy in the ceremony.
Lanterns: I bought the paper Chinese lanterns from justartifacts.com. They have myriad colors and range in price from $0.90-$4 each depending on size. I got battery-operated LED lights from Joanne Fabrics to light them up. I had 26 lanterns and it was plenty to decorate the terrace above the dance floor. Ramon hung the lanterns for me free of charge.
Luminaries: I bought white paper luminaries with palm trees cut out from an online company that I would not recommend. The bags were cute, but the shipping was a nightmare. I bought LED tea-lights from Dollar Tree. Ramon set these up around the perimeter of the terrace for free.
Votive Candles: I brought votive candles in holders. The holders were custom with our names and wedding date and a palm tree all in purple. You can't see these in the pictures, because they didn't get put out on the tables. I didn't notice until half way through the reception and the tables were decorated enough that it didn't matter. I asked Ramon about them the next day, and he said he didn't put them out because of the wind (tropical depression Debbie was still trying to clear out).
Other Decorations: I also brought my champagne flutes, cake knife, sand ceremony set, guest book, and probably other things I am forgetting. We had bubbles, kippot (yalmukes), and program fans handed out at the ceremony. No one used the bubbles, because no one explained to the guests what they were for (and apparently it isnâ€™t as universal as I thought). I brought place-cards and Ramon set them out on a table in a very cute tray of sand so they wouldn't fly away. We also had little glass bottles of sand with our wedding logo at each place setting along with menu cards. All of my printed material (programs, escort cards, menu cards, table numbers) were coordinated which really pulled the look together.
Ramon completely surprised me and decorated the cocktail tables. He set out some vases with purple rocks and tropical flowers. It looked great and completely matched my decorations. I had not even thought about asking the cocktail tables to be decorated. He did not even charge me for it! Ramon thinks of everything, even things you wouldn't think of. He even had the wait staff color-coordinated for my wedding.
Centerpieces/Flowers: My guests were raving about the flowers. I outsourced my centerpieces and bridesmaid bouquets to a local florist (as recommended by HeatherViolet). The florist is Floreria Lucy. The florist's name is Liz Rubi and her direct email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Liz was wonderful. When I filled out the contact us form on their website, she emailed me back in less than 10 minutes. We communicated by email before I got to Mexico. I sent pictures of what I was looking for and she sent back her ideas and examples and we agreed on a price. She was willing to meet me at the resort when I got there just to go over the final details, but I thought that was unnecessary. The night before the wedding, she emailed my photos of my flowers.
The centerpieces were $30 USD and the bridesmaid's bouquets were $20 USD. The resort wanted $150 USD for the same centerpiece and $80 USD for the same bouquets. All together 4 centerpieces, 4 bouquets, the delivery fee, and the tip I gave because I was so happy, it cost $250 USD.
I saved a lot of money on flowers. The only flowers I got from the resort were what was included in the divine package (my bouquet, 3 boutonnieres, 2 corsages, 1 centerpiece-used it on the ceremony table and then moved it to the guest book table), flowers for the cake at $25 USD, and the flower garland for the top of the ceremony canopy at $150 USD. All the flowers from both the resort and the florist matched perfectly. I will say the flowers from the florist had bigger blooms and looked a bit fresher than the resort; they were also willing to do more customization, like filling the vases with fresh-cut limes. My guests are still raving about the centerpieces, including a florist of 30 years.
The resort charges a $300 fee for off-site vendors. To get around this fee I met the florist outside the gate of the resort. It was not a big deal. It is honestly 100 feet from the front door. I asked her to meet me at noon on the wedding day (wedding was at 5:30 and I didn't start getting ready until 1:00). She called my room when she was there and my husband, mom, dad, brother, sister-in-law and I walked out to the front to get the flowers and pay. We walked the flowers back to my room to keep them cool. When the groomsmen went down to the wedding, they carried the centerpieces down and placed them on the tables. This was NOT a big deal. It really wasn't any trouble and I was happy to do it to save a ton of money. You just have to ask yourself what is more important to you, not having to lift a finger on your wedding day or saving nearly $1000. We used the money elsewhere.
Arch/Canopy: The Divine package arch is a bamboo canopy with sheer fabric. Flowers and colored fabric is extra. As I said above, the floral garland across the top of mine was $150 (it is normally much more for the size I got, but Ramon is super awesome). The garland was a last minute addition, since I had saved so much money on my centerpieces and bouquets. I was glad we added it. It was stunning and really added a lot to the pictures. The purple fabric on the canopy in my pictures is my extra chair sashes that Ramon used to add a splash of color. He did not charge to do this. (Do you see the pattern?)
Regrets: I had an awesome wedding. My biggest regret is that it went so fast. It felt like an out of body experience. I wish I had been more present in the moment. My second biggest regret is hiring the resort DJ. We planned to use our iPod and the AV equipment for the first hour of the reception during dinner and then pay for the DJ for the last 2 hours during the dancing and what not. The DJ was there early and started playing during dinner, which would have been fine, but I wanted my play list to play. He started playing a bunch of Christian music and we are Jewish. We had a choreographed dance, for which we provided him the song we wanted on our iPod. Rather than playing it, he played the song from his library, and it was a different version! My husband canâ€™t dance to save his life and had spent weeks practicing with the slow version of the song. During the later portion of the night, he was playing only fast music and the old people felt left out and started to leave. The DJ is not an emcee at all. I had to ask him to turn off the music for the cake cutting. I had to take the microphone and announce the cake cutting, the bouquet toss, garter toss, etc. Since I had to do all the work anyway, I wish I had saved my $777 and just used the AV equipment and iPod. That was the only real mistake.
A much smaller regret, was having the wedding on a Saturday. Pick a Friday, or even a Thursday, if you want a party. Most people travel home from resorts on a Sunday. If your wedding is Saturday night, everyone is packing in early to get a good nightâ€™s sleep. Even the dance clubs were dead on Saturday night. On Friday, it was a non-stop party all over the resort.
Wow...sorry that was so long. You can see why I haven't done my review yet. Any other questions, don't hesitate to ask. I am happy to assist anyone with anything. I especially love finding bargains and ways to save $$$! So if you need some ideas, just ask! This thread was so helpful in my planning, I feel the need to pay it forward.