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Hey everyone! I am looking to get married at the RIU Santa Fe in April.  I have stayed at this hotel before and really thought the price was affordable for most of my guests.  I was curious to see if anyone has used the gazebo at the Santa Fe and what they thought of it.  Also, are you allowed or do they have the capablity to play music if you have it on the beach? I think I am going to get the package that includes the cake and the toast for 40 people but what did everyone do for their reception? Also, what restaurant do you usually have your semi private dinner in?  One more ?  We are wanting to do it at sunset but not sure exactly when the sun sets there in April.  Any ideas?


Any help would be greatly appreciated! :)

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Hey Tiffany, we are getting married at the Riu Palace in April,so I can't answer your questions about the gazebo or restaurant, but I found a website that helped me alot while planning my wedding time. We chose to have our ceremony at 4pm, as the sun sets at about 6:15 on the date we are getting married. We figured the ceremony would last til 5 at the latest, then an hour or so for beautiful sunset pics and as we are sitting for dinner, the sun will be setting in the distance. HOpe this helped, here is the link:




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Hello! I am also a RIU Santa Fe Bride---2.2.2012 :) I am doing a beach wedding at 4 pm. I have read reviews of the gazebo and seen a few pictures and trust me, you won't want to have your wedding there. It looks like the gazebo is basically in the pool, and the brochure that the wedding coordinator sent me states the it can only hold up to 20 guests. So if you plan on having more than that, I would definitely go for the beach location!

I hope they are able to play music on the beach! I am sure they can accomodate it. I am hoping to hear some reviews of the different restaurants as well, and which one most brides choose for their dinners.

Good luck with all of your planning!

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I had my wedding at the Santa Fe on Oct 15.  We had an amazing time.  The resort did a wonderful job, the staff was extremely friendly and helpful.  There of course were a couple hiccups but nothing anyone noticed except for me.  We had 75 guests and brought all of our own decorations (10 suitcases worth, ha).  Through out the year long planning process I wrote for a blog...check it out if you want to see pictures and more ideas and thoughts... http://lhcalligraphy.com/category/destination


Everything was included except the few "extras" we purchased that did not come with our package were: 

- Guitarist and violinist for the Ceremony ($400)

- Disco for the Reception ($500 for 4 hours, bartender and DJ included)

- Mariachi Band to play in the disco (got a huge discount because they were scheduled to perform that night for the resort as the nightly entertainment, so they just came a little early and played our reception)


WC Meeting

- Meet with Karla and Kathy on Wednesday, our wedding was on Saturday.  They seemed a little overwhelmed (we were their biggest wedding ever!).

- I gave her very specific lists of how things should be set up.  After going to Costo and Walmart some items changed so I gave her the revised list on Fri when I dropped off all the suitcases.  I left specific notes in each case and had them separated by ceremony, dinner, disco.  

- The organization worked out well because almost everything was set up correctly.  


Wed. Thurs. Fri.

- My fiance, my dad and his dad all took turns meeting our guests up front as they arrived and gave them welcome bags and programs.  Guests loved this personalized touch.  They were excited to see people they knew.  We only missed a few people, but Nate was able to hunt them down quickly. Our welcome bags included 3 inserts all wrapped individually. 

In Sickness and Health…

-          Tylenol, Tums, Floss, etc.

Beautify Me for the Big Day…

-          Nail kit, Comb, etc.

Resort Relaxation…

-          Mad-Libs, Drink Stirrer, Chiclets, Beach Ball, etc.


Thursday's Meet and Greet

- I set up a few tables by the outdoor bars at 8:30pm.  We got snacks at Costco. We made funny door hangers and pens with our logo and set out as well. Almost everyone stopped by.  I left about 10:30pm to go work on wedding stuff, most people were still hanging out at the bar, very low key fun.


Friday Welcome Dinner 

- At the Mexican Restaurant at 6:30pm. Very good food and lots of it...the service was ok. 

- I had Nate's mom and aunts set it up.  We had maraca's and pens (to color/design your own, huge hit) and napkins with our logo at each place setting.   We also added chair bows to some of the chairs and laid out a bunch of the extra wooden flowers on the tables.  It looked really pretty.

- After dinner I got the wedding party to meet us at the Tequila bar (by the ocean and where the wedding would take place, to practice).  We went down to the beach and practiced the walk and everything. I just made it up as I went.  I had Nate take his parents down first, then the flower girl and ring bearer walked together, then the groomsmen walked down the stairs by themselves and lined up at the beginning of the aisle, then the bridesmaides walked down the stairs one at a time and were met by the groomsmen who proceeded to walk them down the aisle.  Then I walked down the stairs by myself and met both of my parents on the sand and walked down the aisle with them.    



Ceremony on the Beach at 5-6pm:

- we did our pictures at 2:30pm before the ceremony, worked out perfect.  

- Had friends go down early to make sure it was all set up and looked good...it was.

- Ceremony was at 5pm and started basically on time...5 minutes late.  It was sooo hot 100 degrees! unheard of for October, but we had nice big bamboo fans for everyone which were lifesavers!  

- We wrote our own ceremony.  The minister was good.  He tried to memorize our ceremony and did a pretty good job.  He added some of his own stuff which annoyed us a bit, but wasn't that big of a deal. We did a sand ceremony and it was beautiful...the colors looked great, we used orange and blue sand. 

- We had the guitarist and violinist play.  They were pretty good.  I am just happy we didn't have to deal with a sound system and out own music because the timing would have been off.

- The toast was set up nicely on the beach and they had bottles of water for everyone too.  I bought extra champagne and sparkling cider at Costco and they happily chilled and served that for us

- Our fathers both did their speeches on the beach. Microphone is included. 

-  We took a group picture and then Nate and I went off for a bit to do our pictures with the photographer (be careful of the sneaker waves...one totally drenched us!).  Guests found seats at dinner or went to their rooms to freshen up since it was so hot. Everyone was off the beach by about 6pm. 

- the people at the pool were very respectful.  we had no problems at all.    


Dinner at the Steak House from 6:30-8pm...

- Had friends go up there early and make sure it was all set up, they only had to fix a few things.  I had 3 friends act as hostesses and it worked out perfectly when seating everyone. We decided against assigned seating and everyone really enjoyed that.

- Even though it was "semi private" we honestly felt totally secluded.

- We made all the centerpieces out of birch wood flowers I purchased from Etsy. (took like 6 hours one day, but totally worth it in my opinion). They looked amazing. 

- We also purchased a bottle of Red Wine and a bottle of Champagne to be placed on each table at Costco.  The resort was happy to accommodate and the guests loved it as the wine at the resort is horrible!  

- They served some guests sangria, but only like 2 tables and we didnt get any...make sure to tell your server that you all want it because it was the best drink there!  

- Karla set up the wedding cake here at dinner so people could take pictures and we could cut the cake.  They then took the cake and we served it later at the disco.  


Disco 8:30-11...

- My sister and I went into the disco the first night and it smelled sooo bad, I was literally close to tears. I told Karla that we were going to buy air fresheners and she said ok and they would put them up on Sat.  Sat morning Nate walked by the disco and they were totally hosing it down and scrubbing everything!! It smelled great the night of the wedding!!!  Crisis averted.

- I had friends carry the guestbook and photos over to the disco from dinner and they set up the guestbook table there for me.  When they got there the lanterns were not set up!  So they rushed to get them all put together.  Apparently Karla didnt get to it or something, but I am glad I had friends to back me up. 

- Wedding party and family carried centerpieces from the dinner to the disco as well and placed them all around.  Then people took them home.

- The mariachi band was wonderful, they played our first dance.  We got there a bit late so thats really all we enjoyed them for, but our guests listened to them for a about a half hour before we arrived.  

- After the first dance we did the speeches.  My sister and Nate's brother both spoke.  We all sat on stools in front of the DJ booth and all guests stood and sat in front of us.  It worked out perfectly.

- We used a premixed CD my sister created.  The DJ was actually very good once that 1.5 hour CD finished, he played all the trendy stuff.   

- The bartender in the disco was super fun too.  Ask for the rainbow shot! They made so many fun drinks us!! 

- My mom and aunts cut the wedding cake and served it in here...there was no one to do it for us so we just took charge. It was actually really good cake.  We got 2 layers of vanilla, 1 chocolate and one Orange.  Guests thought it was excellent and it was gone super fast, people went back for seconds.  But I am glad we ordered an extra sheet cake from Costco everyone ended up having more than once piece so it was a good thing we had extra!  I was a little worried because the deserts at the resort are not the best, the wedding cake was a huge shock.  

- After the speeches people danced, ate cake and smoked cigars outside.  We all chilled outside and ate nachos from the sports bar from about 11-1.  


We honestly had a wonderful time.  Everything went very smoothly. All our guests have been asking us to plan another trip!   


Hope this helps!!!


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sounds like everything went very well with your wedding, which is music to my (and my fiance's) ears!


Since you just went through the process, I was wondering if I could ask a few questions?


We're getting married at the Santa Fe on June 9th, 2012 and are having difficulty figuring out the wedding packages and what exactly we need.  We'll be having about 20 guests and will be doing the beach ceremony from 6-7pm, including a judge/marriage certificae.  We'd then like a semi-private dinner for our guests as well as cake for the guests (2-tiered).  Following that, we are considering renting out the Disco, but want to make sure the timing will work out, as you can only rent the disco from 8-11pm.


Based on what we are requesting above, does anyone have experience with this or know what we should be expecting?  Price isn't really a factor, but we are not looking to spend a ton as we're having a large reception in our hometown a month after..


Sorry if this seems basic, but the language barrier seems to be more difficult than originally anticipated...RIU aren't the easiest folks to talk to.




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Hello, new to the forum and had some questions about Riu Santa Fe!


Getting married on June 9th, 2012 and am having difficulty working with the "coordinator" Karla.  Her emails are few and far between and usually raise more questions than they answer..


We're having roughly 20 people and want to make sure we choose the correct package, without spending an arm and a leg...as we are having a LARGE reception in the States once we get back.


I've tried reviewing the packages and nothing seems to accomodate what we are asking:


Legal Ceremony (judge/marriage certificate) on the beach from 6pm-7pm (this is what we decided on, how long does it last? when should we have dinner?)


semi-private dinner for 20 at one of the restaurants.  (The timings all seem odd..looks like we are either going Steakhouse or Mexican due to the amount of people)


disco from 8-11pm.



Seems basic, I know...but the "Free" package (which actually costs $620) is not legally recognized...so we looked at the "Classic" package ($899), which includes the certificate/judge, but does not include the dinner (what are you paying for?)...then the Caprice and Royal packages skyrocket upwards at around $1600 and $2000...which, seems ridiculous.


So for what we're looking to have, does anyone have an idea what it will cost/what package we are going?  I realize they nickle and dime you with these things, and have no problem shelling out the cash...it's just not what we initially expected when we agreed to have our wedding here.


Any help is GREATLY appreciated.


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