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The new Paradisus Playa del Carmen (La Perla and La Esmeralda)


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#691 Ao1070

Ao1070
  • Newbie
  • 18 posts
  • Wedding Date:April 2, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Paradisus Playa Del Carmen- Gabi Bridge
  • LocationHouston, Texas

Posted 13 July 2015 - 04:36 PM

We are having our ceremony on Gabi bridge (150) and reception at the Hadar restaurant (120). How strict are they with the "max number of guests" does anyone know? I am hoping someone has experienced this at the Paradisus and can offer some insight.

Thank you!

#692 Ao1070

Ao1070
  • Newbie
  • 18 posts
  • Wedding Date:April 2, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Paradisus Playa Del Carmen- Gabi Bridge
  • LocationHouston, Texas

Posted 17 July 2015 - 10:45 AM

Hello! I am getting married at the Paradisus in April of next year. Does anyone have any photos they don't mind sharing with me of the All white welcome bbq, the Poolside La Esmeralda location and also any pictures of the reception if it was held in the ballroom location? Thank you so much! You can send to ashleyotto86@yahoo.com

#693 brdonelan

brdonelan
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    Posted 26 July 2015 - 09:58 AM

    Attached File  BeachBridalParty.jpg   25.23KB   4 downloadsHi All! I just got back from Paradisus resort after celebrating our wedding there on July 10th with 81 of our closest family members and friends. I cannot tell you how impressed I was with everything, especially the onsite vendors and romance team. They truly made my dream wedding come true and everything went flawlessly once onsite (we had a couple bumps in the road before we arrived!). After visiting the resort last July on a "Love at First Site Trip", where we met the vendors, saw the different ceremony/reception locations, and tried the food, we purchased the tailor made package. Our All White Welcome BBQ was hosted poolside at La Esmeralda the day before the wedding. The ceremony was then held on the Gabi Bridge, the cocktail hour on the Gabi Beach Deck, and the reception at the Gabi Club. Below I tried to give as much information as possible, and fill you in on some things I would have loved to know in advance: 

    Invites/RSVP: We sent invites out about 11 months before our wedding (we did not send save the dates) so people would have time to plan and save. The invites then directed people to RSVP at our wedding website "BrieandRyanswedding.com" - here I included information about the resort, excursions, and some tips. In order to reserve rooms for our guests, and ensure the wedding rate, we gave a deposit to block off 30 rooms. You can either do this directly through the resorts booking service, or through a travel agent. We worked with a travel agent because I thought this would be easier for my guests; however, some guests found deals at Cosco or great deals online that were better than the wedding rate - so they booked on their own. Guests who booked through our block got us rewards. In the end we booked 34 rooms at the resort. Initially we had planned that the "room blocking deposit" would go towards our room, along with a couple thousand more - but since we booked so many rooms we actually ended up getting some of our deposit back and not having to pay any extra for our 11 night stay! 

    Communication with Romance Team Before the Wedding: A majority of my communication before the wedding was done via email with Jessica, who is located in the US office. Jessica was excellent! She replied to all my emails within 36 hours (it was nearly impossible to reach her via phone, email was much more effective and allowed me to keep a record of everything). She also kept me on track as to what I needed to submit and when I needed to submit it. I had read in previous reviews that a lot of times planning done at your "love at first site" trip, or with the US office, is not clearly communicated with the onsite team - however this was not the case at all for me. Everything Jessica and I had discussed was clearly communicated to the onsite team. About 30 days before the wedding, Jessica introduced me to the onsite team via email. Communication with the onsite team prior to arrival was much more frustrating. At this point I only needed to finalize some things or sort out some minor details, but I wanted this issues resolved before my arrival. I was never told who my primary contact was, and when I sent an email it typically took 1-2 weeks to get a response (many times I had to get Jessica involved in order to get a reply). I was beyond nervous about what I would experience upon arrival; however, once on the resort all my worries were put to rest and the team was extremely impressive. 

    Onsite Romance Team: When we checked into the resort, Lucero, our romance team coordinator (who I had been emailing with and struggling to get a response), was waiting at the desk to greet us. After getting lunch, myself, my fiancé, my mother, and my brother then met Lucero at the Romance office for our final onsite planning meeting (which we had scheduled for 1:00 pm. the day of our arrival).  All the details of the wedding were reviewed (everything Lucero had was correct, and nearly everything just had to be verified). I gave Lucero the items I had brought for the wedding and discussed how I wanted them set up (i.e. welcome bag contents, wedding guest book, candles, fans, etc.). We then met with each vendor one by one to review and finalize all decisions (once again everything was all set, and things just had to be verified). I had entered this meeting on the defense, after being upset with the onsite team for their poor communication the past month, but after the meeting all my worries were put to rest.

    Rehearsal: Although I hadn’t planned on doing a rehearsal, at our planning meeting I decided I wanted one. Last minute we planned one and before the white BBQ (which was the day before the wedding) we did a 15 minute rehearsal

    White BBQ: The White BBQ was hosted poolside at La Esmeralda. For the menu we chose the Mexican Buffet and it was absolutely amazing!!!! I had very low expectations for the White BBQ, just because I expected tables set up poolside and not much more, however it was stunning. When I walked up to the event I was blown away, and so were my guests. The décor company suggested we use the  “hanging  lanterns” included in the tailor made package at the BBQ instead of at the reception. This was such a good call. We also were watching our budget, so instead of extra décor or flowers we just did 3 latex balloons at each table with a balloon weight. It was truly the perfect ! We also didn’t have it in our budget to get speakers or a DJ, so we brought our own speaker. Even though it’s a relatively loud speaker that we use at outside BBQs at home all the time, only the two tables close by could hear the music. If speakers are in your budget, music would be a nice addition to this event, but not necessary.

    Ceremony: Our ceremony was held on the Gabi Bridge at 6:00 pm. At 12:00 pm I had to sign a rain waiver, saying that if it rained the ceremony location could not be changed. Lucero and I looked at the weather together, and then I signed the waiver. Little did I know that July was the rainy season, and even though there was a 10% chance of rain it showered on and off all afternoon – but no rain for the ceremony or reception so that was okay with me! I would definitely recommend a 6:00 pm wedding and not afternoon – because even at 6:00 pm it was hot and very sunny (be sure to have fans on the seats for your guests – these were really appreciated and needed). I paid extra to rent a runner from the décor company and this was definitely a good idea as the wooden Gabi bridge does have gaps between boards which heals go into if you don’t walk on your toes. My bridesmaids were scared about falling because of this, but everyone did just fine! The bridge was closed off 15 minutes before the ceremony and after, which worked out perfectly. I was also really excited that the Gabi Bridge allows yours guests to be surprised when they see the bride for the first time, as they couldn’t see me until I turned the corner to walk down the aisle. Lastly, the sign that used to be at the end of the Gabi Bridge which people complained about  (due to it taking away from their photos) has been removed, which you can see in my pictures.

    Reception:  After taking photos, people proceeded to the cocktail hour (the groom and I did not attend the cocktail hour, as we were going around the resort taking additional photos). Then the reception was held at the Gabi Club. The two restaurants attached to the Gabi Club were closed due to electrical issues, so we lucked out and the venue was completely private. Although the upgrade fee was a lot, we are glad we upgraded to Gabi Club. Our guests were blown away by the view and the open air concept was awesome. The only drawback was no AC or fans so it was warm, especially when you were dancing – but everyone embraced it and had a blast. Lucero and the romance team really made sure the reception went flawlessly, coordinating all the events that had to take place. We did a sit down menu, and our guests good not get over the quality of all the food. Everything was exceptional, and everyone just kept saying “this is not wedding food” (our main course was filet, sea bass, vegetable lasagna, or chicken nuggets for kids). I did not upgrade the wedding cake, but I did bring a topper for it – and it was absolutely beautiful. From 9:00-11:00 we rented a photobooth which was the perfect way to end the night. Although it was $600 it was completely worth it, and our guests loved it. Also, the last hour of the reception is "Crazy Hour" and they bring out fun props for your guests to get the party started. After the reception was over, guests were happy that the party could continue at Red Lounge (we had a DJ make an announcement about this).

    Welcome Bag Delivery: We brought white sunglasses to Mexico for each of our guests, with a little tag that said “Don’t let our Love Blind You Brie & Ryan 7/10/15” – we thought these would be perfect for people to wear to the white BBQ. We decided to have  the sunglasses  and an itinerary delivered to each room for our guests on the day of their arrival (we paid $5 per room for this service). Sadly, at least 5 of our rooms never received their welcome bag or the itinerary (and these were only the people who told me about it, I’m sure several didn’t know they were missing out).  Upon finding this out I informed the romance department that some did not receive the welcome bag, and they told me they’d take care of it – but the issue was never resolved. I think there was a problem with the computers the day most of us arrived, which caused them to have a hard time keeping track.

    Bridal Suite: After visiting the resort and seeing the bridal suite I knew it was a must have, and I am so glade we booked it! I had 8 bridesmaids, and several other people getting their hair and makeup done. Not only was the bridal suite perfect for this (at one point we had 10 stylist from the spa in the suite making us all look pretty), but it was also a great location for photos. During my love at first site trip I was told that my flower girl couldn’t get ready with me since the bridal suite was on la perla side, but the spa set her appointment up for the bridal suite and she  was able to spend the whole day with us. We had the bridal suite form 1:00pm -6:00pm. A beautiful cheese and fruit platter was there when we arrived, along with orange juice and champagne – and then at around 2:00 sandwiches were delivered. I would definitely recommend the bridal suite to brides with several bridesmaids.

    Hair/Makeup: My bridesmaids and I were very nervous about getting our hair and makeup done at the resort, as we didn’t know how experienced the staff would be and we didn’t know if there would be cultural differences in hair/makeup. Prior to arriving at the resort, I sent pictures of how I wanted my hair done along with pictures of myself so the stylist could see my complexion.  I booked all of the services in advance, with Javier Palacios, Spa Manager. Communication with the spa via email was a pleasure, as Javier always got back to me right away.  By 6:00 pm the day of the wedding all my bridesmaids were hugging and kissing their stylists, as we all loved the way we looked. I’ve never been so impressed with my hair or makeup and after having the services complete everyone felt they were well worth the price. And not only was our makeup was done beautifully, but it also lasted in the heat (and even in the water when I did my trash the dress!). Itzel Chavez was my stylist, and the coordinator of the other stylists. She was truly exceptional.

    Photography: Let me start off by saying we absolutely love our wedding photos and we were blown away by the photographers. The photography company the resort is currently using is WeddingDayStory. Initially we didn’t like that we had to book with the resorts company, or else we had to pay $1,000 for another vendor to come onto the resort – but we figured if the resort recommended them they had to be good.  We liked the company when we met them at our love at first site visit, and we also were impressed by the photos we saw on their website. I also liked how great they were with email communication and how fast they got back to me. We felt their prices were fair and we got the package with 5 hours of photo (2 photographers) and 1 videographer. We photographed 1 hour before the wedding of us getting ready, the ceremony, the cocktail hour, and then 2  hours of the reception – the last hour of our reception was not photographed professionally but we did have a photobooth..  Two days after the wedding, we also selected to do the “Trash the Dress” in the fresh water Cenote. This was truly an incredible experience – it was just my husband and I and 2 photographers. I really love the photos and think it was worth the price. You can check all our photos out at: http://photos.weddingdaystory.com/Brie&Ryan Password: tequila

    DJ/Music: The DJ/Music was also absolutely awesome! Once again, we used the company the resort recommended “JS Audio Visual” – and we were blown away. Communicating with the Stephen, my primary contact with the company, beforehand via email was a pleasure. The day of the wedding our MC/DJ was someone different, but Stephen stopped by to check in. Stephen had given the MC/DJ all of our information in detail, and he really made the night go flawlessly. He even stopped by to double check pronunciations with us before  people entered the reception.

    Decor: Let me start by saying, in the end we were very pleased with the décor at our ceremony, cocktail hour, reception, and white BBQ. We once again went with the vendor recommended by the resort,  Planner1Events. Communication with Planner1Events via email the months before the wedding was not ideal, as it always took them several weeks to respond to me and usually several follow-up emails from me and at times getting Jessica involved. Planner1Events does beautiful work, as one can see via their website and the package options they’ll send you; however, upon receiving our quote we were taken back. We felt that many things were overpriced, and I even wrote a heated email saying that “we felt we were being taken advantage of”. For example, I had 8 bridesmaids and decided to do a mini version of my bouquet for them – after being quoted $85 a bouquet, which was not in our budget, we decided each bridesmaid would carry a single white flower (I suggested a calle lilly but was flexible) tied in ivory ribbon. Initially I was quoted $30 per flower, which I thought was absolutely ridiculous. In order to save money, we also decided to move the lanterns from our ceremony and the flowers from our cocktail hour into the reception space for additional décor. I was quoted a price to “use the lanterns for the reception” and to “move the flowers”, which I thought was absolutely crazy since the lanterns were already being used and the flowers had to be moved 5 feet. After telling the company that I’d find my own white flowers and have my guests move stuff, a manager replied to my concerns, revised their quote, and worked with us.  The day of the wedding the flowers were gorgeous and the décor was even prettier than I had imagined.

    Mailing things to the resort: To try to save money, my fiancé and I ordered a bunch of things online and were going to bring them to the resort (i.e. fans, bubbles, candles, personalized cake cutting kit, ring bearer box, flower girl basket, frames, guest book, etc.). We then realized that we would never be able to fit everything in our suitcases, so we decided to ship it. The resort recommended we use a shipping company that specializes in sending things to Mexico for events, but we decided to try to save money and use UPS. This was a disaster!!!! First off, when you ship things to Mexico through UPS you have to pay taxes once the shipment arrives. If there isn’t someone on the other end to pay the import taxes, the box get rejected and sent back to you. Second, there are lots of regulations about sending  things to Mexico, and a great deal of items need permits (i.e. anything made of wood – such as my flower girl basket and ring bearer box). There’s also a regulation about sending items that are made in China to Mexico.  Because of this 3 out of 5 of our boxes got rejected and sent back by customs. Although we got our money back from UPS (since they didn’t inform us of any of this), it put us on a bit of a time crunch. The resort recommends you send items at least 3 weeks in advance. Once our items were sent back to us we were 12 days out, but luckily the shipping company the resort recommended was amazing and we were able to get everything there in time. If you need to ship stuff, spend the extra money (its not that much in comparison) and use the shipping company.

    Our Room: If you are going for your wedding/honeymoon definitely upgrade to royal service. It was nice to have a space to get away from family/friends at the private pool/restaurant so we could have some alone time. It was also nice to have a private butler who helped me coordinate with the romance team the days before the wedding.

    Guests Experience: Overall, our guests had an amazing time. We chose this resort because it would accommodate both families and people who wanted the adult only experience. Both sides of the resort are equally as nice, which was very important to us. We also wanted a resort that had complete reciprocity and would let adults go to both sides. Our guests felt that the food was delicious, the people who work there are incredible, and were impressed by the rooms and amenities. They also took advantage of all the excursions available in the area, especially the scuba diving.  We spent our time on both sides, including the kids pirate ship, which was a lot of fun.  I warned my guests that upon arrival, the resort from the outside does not look impressive – but as soon as you enter you are in awe. I also let my guests know that you could not see the ocean from most rooms – because most people expect seeing the ocean from the pool and their room when going to a resort that’s right on the beach (the mangroves between the ocean and the resort make it so the ocean is only visible form the upper floors – Ocean View Rooms). Another thing to be aware of, is the water is slightly rocky on  La Perla side; however, if you go in the ocean closer towards the kid side or near the middle (Gabi Bridge) there are far fewer rocks. This is also the season for seaweed to wash upon shore, but every morning they clean the seaweed up and by 9:00 am the beach is beautiful again.  Although my fiancé (now husband!) and I didn’t go downtown, our guests raved about how awesome the downtown area is for both couples and families.

    Tips:

    1.    Bring plenty of singles for tips during your stay!  Also bring money to tip your waiters, bartenders, DJ/MC, after your wedding. – we had forgot about this.

    2.    Make sure your guests bring plenty of sunscreen. If you run out it’s expensive.

    3.    Have a plan about communicating with your guests and groomsmen/bridesmaids. Most people don’t have international cell phone plans so their texting/call feature wont work without crazy fees (and there’s so much to do its nearly impossible to catch someone while their in their room). We turned our data off, and linked up to the free resort WIFI I had created a Facebook message group of all wedding attendees before going to Mexico and we all used this to communicate (and/or private Facebook messaging).

    4.    If your guests don’t upgrade to an international cell plan they can communicate with people at home for free using Facetime audio/voice call – all they need is to hookup to the WIFI

     

    I know this was a lot of information, but I hope it was helpful!!!! Feel free to email me with any other questions. Brie Donelan: Brdonelan@yahoo.com

    Attached Files



    #694 Ao1070

    Ao1070
    • Newbie
    • 18 posts
    • Wedding Date:April 2, 2016
    • Wedding Location:Paradisus Playa Del Carmen- Gabi Bridge
    • LocationHouston, Texas

    Posted 26 July 2015 - 12:02 PM

    thank you!! This is awesome information!



    #695 Ao1070

    Ao1070
    • Newbie
    • 18 posts
    • Wedding Date:April 2, 2016
    • Wedding Location:Paradisus Playa Del Carmen- Gabi Bridge
    • LocationHouston, Texas

    Posted 30 July 2015 - 08:54 AM

    what site did you use for invitations?



    #696 velauria

    velauria
    • Newbie
    • 1 posts

      Posted 02 August 2015 - 06:05 AM

      Hi All!

       

      My brother is getting married here in 2016. We have about 60 guests. We are trying to plan a small, simple wedding - maybe just a cocktail hour type celebration after the ceremony.

       

      Has anyone had a small wedding similar to this? If so, any recommendations?

       

      The fantasy package is a bit too simple.

       

      Thanks in advance!



      #697 KK2013

      KK2013
      • Jr. Member
      • 244 posts
      • Wedding Date:December 7, 2013
      • Wedding Location:Paradisus La Esmeralda- Gabi Club
      • LocationNew Jersey

      Posted 20 August 2015 - 04:51 AM

      Hello! I am getting married at the Paradisus in April of next year. Does anyone have any photos they don't mind sharing with me of the All white welcome bbq, the Poolside La Esmeralda location and also any pictures of the reception if it was held in the ballroom location? Thank you so much! You can send to ashleyotto86@yahoo.com

      Hi!  If you look in my gallery of photos I have pictures of mine.  I did black table cloths, so it wasn't very white!  :)  Did a fiesta with a mariachi band and the mexican buffet.  Doubled as our rehearsal dinner.  It was poolside at La Esmeralda.  Our reception was in Gabi Club.



      #698 Ao1070

      Ao1070
      • Newbie
      • 18 posts
      • Wedding Date:April 2, 2016
      • Wedding Location:Paradisus Playa Del Carmen- Gabi Bridge
      • LocationHouston, Texas

      Posted 25 August 2015 - 01:36 PM

      Has anyone got married/is getting married on the Gabi Bridge. Did y'all wear heels or those jeweled sandal type shoes that are popular with beach weddings. What do you suggest or advise?

      Thank you so much!

      #699 NG1515

      NG1515
      • Newbie
      • 4 posts
      • Wedding Date:April 16, 2016
      • Wedding Location:Paradisus La Perla - Playa del Carmen
      • LocationHouston, Texas

      Posted 04 September 2015 - 11:20 AM

      I was hoping to get some information from some of the brides here regarding the Romance Department for Paradisus PDC.  We booked our wedding for April 16, 2016 and signed a contract securing certain venue locations at the resort.  We just found out last week that somehow they had a "technical glitch" and double booked our ceremony venue.  They then proceeded to just tell us via email that they were moving us to one of the smaller venues without even discussing it with us.  Suffice it to say, we were very upset, disappointed, and frankly, insulted by how cavalier they were about the change.  It was our understanding that they never host two weddings at the same time.  We are now being left with the option of either using the Gazebo to host our 80-100 guest wedding on the 16th while another wedding is going on at our original ceremony venue, move the date of the wedding to the following day (keeping in mind that guests have already booked rooms, we have already sent save the dates and had our invitations printed) in order to use the bridge while a potential corporate event is going on behind us at Gabi Club, or pursue legal action for breach of contract.  

       

      It would be great to know if anyone else has had similar issues with the Romance Department and how it was resolved.  This has been a very stressful and upsetting week to say the least.  We are still trying to resolve this issue with the resort, but given their lack of understanding and consideration thus far, we are leaning towards having to start the venue search all over again and pursuing legal action.  

       

      Sigh.



      #700 Matt Adcock

      Matt Adcock
      • Vendor
      • 1,243 posts

        Posted 21 September 2015 - 11:32 AM

        I was hoping to get some information from some of the brides here regarding the Romance Department for Paradisus PDC.  We booked our wedding for April 16, 2016 and signed a contract securing certain venue locations at the resort.  We just found out last week that somehow they had a "technical glitch" and double booked our ceremony venue.  They then proceeded to just tell us via email that they were moving us to one of the smaller venues without even discussing it with us.  Suffice it to say, we were very upset, disappointed, and frankly, insulted by how cavalier they were about the change.  It was our understanding that they never host two weddings at the same time.  We are now being left with the option of either using the Gazebo to host our 80-100 guest wedding on the 16th while another wedding is going on at our original ceremony venue, move the date of the wedding to the following day (keeping in mind that guests have already booked rooms, we have already sent save the dates and had our invitations printed) in order to use the bridge while a potential corporate event is going on behind us at Gabi Club, or pursue legal action for breach of contract.  

         

        It would be great to know if anyone else has had similar issues with the Romance Department and how it was resolved.  This has been a very stressful and upsetting week to say the least.  We are still trying to resolve this issue with the resort, but given their lack of understanding and consideration thus far, we are leaning towards having to start the venue search all over again and pursuing legal action.  

         

        Sigh.

        Bummer this happened.

        Did they tell you which "Smaller venue" it is?     The property is actually very beautiful and this may not be the end of all ends if you dont want the stress...   It would be helpful to know which location they mentioned to you.






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