LONG review ahead; youâ€™ve been warned J.
Hi ladies! Iâ€™m back from my wedding. Here are the main details for my wedding:
- Wedding was Saturday, August 10th
- Ceremony 6 PM, Reception 7 â€“ 10:30 PM
- Pearl Shimmer for ceremony, Metallic Sands table d©cor for reception (I paid the $300/per table from BP)
- DJ+MC for reception
- Ceremony on the beach, reception pool/south lagoon area
- Arrived Wednesday, August 7th and departed Monday, August 12th
- Used all of our resort credits towards wedding collection
- Our group was 30 people (27 adults, 3 kids)
- Out of pocket expenses (PM me if you want to know amounts I paid):
2. Reception table d©cor
3. Zuniga (3 lycra columns)
4. Legal ceremony fee
5. Hair/makeup (Tania Tangle)
6. Photography package upgrade to Deluxe
7. $50/per person and $25/per child for reception for 3 hours (we didnâ€™t make the 75 room nights and qualify for free reception)
Iâ€™m going to try and review the main things and in chronological order. Iâ€™m sure Iâ€™ll leave stuff out, please let me know if you have any questions whatsoever.
I was nervous the Cancun airport was going to be some small-time airport and sketchy, but it was nice. We had no problems whatsoever going through security/customs when we arrived and departed.
Airport is like 15-20 minutes from the hotel.
For our departure we arrived 2 hours early just to be on the safe side. We were content with the shopping, my husband shot hoops at the random basketball hoop and got free prizes from Panama Jack, ordered guac and drinks from Margaritaville. Side note, check-in with US Airways was a breeze (who we flew) but the line for United was LONG.
I booked transportation directly from the Palace website. After we arrived at the airport, went through security and customs (no issues whatsoever) and got our bags we were looking for what we thought would be someone holding a sign with our name for transportation to BP; we didnâ€™t find that. Thankfully, I had my handy-dandy wedding binder with me and it included literally everything so I was able to pull out my Palace Transfer confirmation and it said the uniform their staff wears (khaki pants, blue polo). Well, there were about a hundred of them. So my husband asked one of the guys where our transportation was and we finally figured it out (we were directed to area #12). I did not realize we would have to wait until they had enough people per van/shuttle. There seemed to be plenty of people standing around so Iâ€™m not sure why we had to wait. We ended up having to wait about 30 minutes which was frustrating, especially since we were up at 3 AM that day to make our flight. My husband eventually told the our guy â€˜Hey, we have a meeting at our hotel and we need to get there ASAP please.â€ We eventually got onto a shuttle but then we had to take a bunch of other passengers to other hotels (non-Palace hotels too which confused me since I thought it was Palace Transfers).
Bottom line; if you book through the transportation offered on BPâ€™s website, just be weary that you may have to wait upon your airport arrival and you may have to take other passengers to their hotels too. There werenâ€™t any issues whatsoever with the shuttle or transportation itself, just frustrating having to wait. Iâ€™m sure others would be like us; youâ€™re tired/exhausted and just want to get to your hotel. I know that other Brides have booked through Cancun Transfers, but I canâ€™t speak to that company.
*Fee for Palace Transfer is added to your hotel bill. Price is $24/per person roundtrip.
Only frustration with checking-in, BP somehow didnâ€™t account for my step-daughter so they had us down for an Ocean View (free upgrade from my WC) and king size bed. All of the double bed ocean view rooms were taken we opted to stay in an ocean view room and get a roll-away bed for her. Alternative was a lagoon view room with 2 double beds, but we were told it was smaller. Hubs and I both recognized we could have asked to speak with a manager and made a stink about it, but we didnâ€™t want to do that and figured it really wasnâ€™t a big deal in the end. My step-daughter was fine with the roll-away, it was basically a twin bed on wheels and we had plenty of space with it in the room.
*FYI, seems the hotel front desk is CONSTANTLY busy; we frequently had to wait in line even though they would have 3-4 employees working the front desk.
Room was nice! Great view of the ocean, love the Chi products in the room and the open mini bar even though we completely forgot about it and didnâ€™t use it once. Apparently I donâ€™t have the hook-up though because my sister-in-law booked the exact same room and rate as us and she got a massive suite! Maybe they were out of rooms when she checked-in, who knows but both Chad (my husband) and I were like â€œWhat the heck?! Why didnâ€™t we get this?!â€ We teased her about it though.
*FYI, be careful when you open the balcony door. Day of my wedding, it was constantly being opened and closed. When Ocean Photo arrived to take pre-wedding getting ready pics they asked us to take a few outside and the door was left open; it made floor VERY slippery due to condensation. If the weather was anything like ours (perfect), keep it closed.
You will love the hotel. How can you not? Its modern, very pretty. When we there it was super crazy busy, people everywhere. If we ever had to wait for the buffets and/or restaurants it wasnâ€™t ever a long wait, maybe 5 minutes at the most. They are VERY strict about the day pass thing. I managed to avoid it with Tania and her hair stylist which saved me $200. My sister-in-law had points with Marriott so for a few days she stayed there and came to BP to hang with us during the day/night until she checked into BP on day of the wedding. Her first time there she managed to avoid paying the day pass for her and her family, second time BP would not let her in. She complained because they let her in the day before without paying and they said she and her husband had to pay for second day only, but she didnâ€™t have to pay for the kids at all.
Hotel kindly attached each of my guests reservations to their OOT bags so when everyone checked in they received their OOT bags. I was worried this would be a disaster, but hotel got it exactly right. Side note, in my OOT bags I put:
- Lip balm w/SPF
- Aloe Vera
- Mini Patron Tequila bottles to get them started
- Breath Mints
- Cigars for the guys
- A ton of personalized Hershey Kisses â€˜Happy Wedding Wishes and Kisses from Chad and Stacieâ€™ (cheesy, I know). Good thing I gave them a lot because everyone said they ate these right up throughout the week and I literally gave handfuls in cute little bags to each guest/family member.
- Wedding Program (just gave it to them ahead of time)
- Wedding Itinerary
- BP Resort Guide
I have 2 complaints with the hotel:
1) There really isnâ€™t a fun bar at the hotel. There is the sports bar, but it was totally dead and it definitely wasnâ€™t a club. We made plans to go to Moon Place and hit up their DJ pool party (every Thursday starting at noon), but just never got around to it.
2) A LOT of restrictions on how to redeem resort credits. I would highly recommend having something for your guests ahead of time (perhaps in OOT bags) that clearly says what you can, cannot use them on. My guests had a lot of questions about them and I knew in general terms what they could use them on but not specifics. For example, can only use so much at spa and only on certain services, only certain amount at jewelry store, only on certain excursions/activities, etc. I would see if your WP or WC has a list or something. It will probably be helpful for your guests.
*If any of your guests want to do the excursions/activities or spa treatments, tell them to book upon arrival. We wanted to do the Xtreme thing (heard GREAT reviews about it), but found out the day we planned to do it (Sunday) it wasnâ€™t open, itâ€™s also 7 hours long and you cannot use any resort credits. I donâ€™t recall the price, but it was pricey. Some of my guests were able to get spa/hair/makeup treatments using their credits, but the available times were random because they booked at the last minute.
Actual Wedding Review:
Meeting with WC (Mario):
We had our meeting with Mario the day we arrived. If youâ€™re doing a legal/civil ceremony you have to do the blood work. You also have to have your witnesses with you so they can sign some forms. Other than that, we just reviewed the details for our wedding. Think the whole thing took maybe an hour. No issues or anything.
I didnâ€™t have any issues prior to the ceremony. Ocean Photo arrived at 4 to take pictures of me with my ladies and then with Chad and his guys. The wedding party and the groom and groomsmen went down to hotel lobby 15 minutes prior to start of the wedding and then Mario came and got me from my room right before start of the ceremony and took me out to the beach area.
Our ceremony was on the beach. I wanted the sky deck, but my husband wanted the beach. I had picked out everything else and made all the decisions, so I had to give him something J. When I was walking towards him I did hear some club-ish music from some bar on the beach, but as soon as I saw him it was as it everything went quiet and everyone disappeared; I only saw him. I canâ€™t even remember hearing the violinist or seeing my guests. When I was waiting to walk towards him, people at the pool were congratulating me, taking pics, etc (random people get very excited to see you). A few of my guests said there were excited people nearby us on the beach taking pics and it actually didnâ€™t annoy me, I took it as a compliment and I didnâ€™t notice at all because I was so focused on Chad.
So, if you have your ceremony on the beach it is somewhat private, but not completely. But the setup, regardless of your collection, looks awesome. I had the Pearl Shimmer and it looked exquisite.
Ocean Photo and the videographer took pics before, during and after ceremony and then at the reception. Photos after the ceremony took around 30 minutes or so. And we did all sorts of poses. I actually havenâ€™t seen any of the professional shots yet, so I canâ€™t really comment on the quality but they were great to work with. I had 3 people; 2 photographers and the videographer.
My reception was scheduled for 7:30-10:30, but Mario (my WC) let guests come at 7. I had it on the rooftop pool, south lagoon area and it was awesome. The view was breathtaking. I opted for reception d©cor from another collection (didnâ€™t realize you could do this, but apparently you can). I used squared tables from the Metallic Sands collection and it looked AWESOME. If you donâ€™t mind paying the $300/table I highly recommend this collection. It was just so, so pretty especially the chair covers they were so shimmery and pretty. I did receive quotes from Zuniga for reception table d©cor but I was never fully satisfied with the d©cor options she was giving me. The table setup from BP includes everything too; chargers, chair covers, real flower, etc. I also rented 3 lycra columns from Zuniga, but somehow 6 appeared and 6 made it look really pretty. DJ also provided some lighting with the package we selected.
We had requested our first dance be after dinner, but somehow after they announced us they announced the first dance. We just smiled and went with it, no big deal. After we did the first dance, dinner, cake cutting, speeches etc, everyone found their way to the pool (and most not by choice) and thatâ€™s literally where we stayed and danced all night long. We did do a lot of dancing out of water, but mostly everyone was splashing around and having a good time in the pool and on top the bar (hey, we love getting on the bars haha).
We opted for the BBQ buffet with a few other items from other menus and the food was REALLY good. Cake was 3 tiers (one is fake FYI); one was chocolate and one was vanilla. Both were delish.
BP let the reception go until about midnight, so 90 minutes after it was supposed to end and that was appreciated. Mario my WC stayed with us the entire time.
When we got back to our room we found rose petals everywhere; on the bed, in the bathtub with the bath ready to go with bubbles, on the floor. They also had a mini cake, champagne, soft music playing. It was very sweet. They also brought the leftover wedding cake to our room.
They brought our honeymoon breakfast to our room the next morning and we nibbled on it, but wanted to get downstairs to eat breakfast with everyone. We chose number 5 with a few items from other menus and cappuccino and mimosas.
Iâ€™m glad we opted for a DJ. I know a lot of other brides do the iPod thing, but I didnâ€™t want to worry about someone working the iPod or anything. DJ and MC were great (JSAV brought 4 people), worked the crowd, played good tunes. We had requested a few must-play songs and they didnâ€™t play all of them. Not sure why, but we didnâ€™t even notice until we were talking about it the next day. The music they did play was really good though.
I had no issues with them. Havenâ€™t seen my professional pics yet, so unfortunately not a whole lot to comment on yet.
Tania Tangle (hair/makeup):
I booked Tania for hair+makeup. First off, Tania is super sweet. When I saw my makeup the only thing I wasnâ€™t thrilled with was the amount of eye makeup. Everyone told me I needed to go a bit more bold for the pics, but she did tone it down a tad. I really liked my makeup though.
I liked the way her hair stylists did my hair. Although, towards the end of the night the curls didnâ€™t really hold. Maybe from the wind and humidity, I donâ€™t know, but by the time I was in the pool really didnâ€™t matter anyways.
I definitely recommend Tania for makeup. It was HOT at 6 PM for my ceremony, but the airbrush she uses for foundation really stays on.
Only surprise charge at check-out was the shipping for my wedding photos. I wasnâ€™t told about that prior to and it was around $70. Other charge was for the transportation (roundtrip) and its added to your bill.
I paid for literally everything prior to my arrival and Iâ€™m glad I did because I was able to relax and not worry about having to pay for stuff at the last minute. If you can go that route I recommend it.
It was very busy at check-out time so plan ahead. Again, hotel was constantly busy with people checking in and out. So I would give yourself ample time to check-out and get to the airport.
*DO NOT LOSE your wrist bracelet they give you at check-in. Day of my wedding my WC cut it off so it wouldnâ€™t be in pictures and then the next day the hotel staff gave me a new one. When you check-out you have to return all of them. My friend had my original so thankfully I was able to return my original and the new one. If we hadnâ€™t returned my original they would have charged me $75. So if you lose your wrist band, donâ€™t turn it back it, etc they will charge you $75.
1) Breakfast Buffet:
Prior to our stay I had read mixed reviews on the breakfast. I actually thought it was good. Waffles were sooo good, but there was always a long line for them (they make them fresh), bacon was deliciously fattening. I usually stuck to fresh fruit, a piece or two of the spicy cheese and sometimes I would try something new. I was a BIG fan of their cappuccino. My guests loved the fresh omelets.
2) Lunch Buffet:
We never had it. They cook burgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets out by the pools and all but one day we skipped lunch altogether. Day we did eat lunch we munched on the nuggets (typical chicken nuggets) and I shared a burger with my man (it was a good burger but you know when youâ€™ve been drinking itâ€™s like the best burger ever). My guests ordered a lot of food throughout our stay from the pool bar and had good things to say. I was still trying to starve myself so I watched what I ate and stuck to liquid calories.
3) Room Service:
Ordered room service twice. When we first got to BP we were kids in a candy store with everything being free (we were all-inclusive virgins). We ordered the guac (ehh, I was actually disappointed but I am a guac snob), spaghetti Bolognese (yum) and dessert for my step-daughter. Day of wedding we ordered cheese pizza (just okay), more spaghetti (I was a big fan), french fries for my step-daughter and champagne bottles for the ladies while we got ready. A lot of our guests did the room service option throughout and I remember one couple saying the flank steak with salad was really good.
Steak House (outside):
I had read reviews of their steak house (its outside the breakfast/lunch buffet area) and most of the reviews werenâ€™t good. My husband and I werenâ€™t too pleased with our steaks. They werenâ€™t cold or cooked wrong, just not that great. Step-daughter had chicken and she said it was delish. View is nice though being outside. We also ordered the clam chowder and literally had 1 clam in it. So it was basically a bowl of cream soup. They did bring some deep fried dough with cheese thing (said it was the house appetizer) and I could have literally eaten 30 of them; very good.
We ate here and everything was really good. We ordered way too much food, but also had 15 people with us. Soups were good, sushi was good, meals were good. I would definitely recommend this place.
I had requested a welcome dinner for 30 people night before our wedding. They setup several long tables out on the terrace and roped it off so people couldnâ€™t pass by us, behind us, etc. It was very nice and private. Since we had so many people with us, we ordered a set salad and dessert ahead of time (through my WC) and then everyone got to pick their own entr©e at the actual dinner. Salad was chicken Cesar; itâ€™s a little different that typical chicken Cesar you would get here in the states, but it was very good. Dessert was chocolate lasagna; presentation was so pretty and it tasted delicious. They also brought out some pizza appetizer thing and I wish I could tell you what it was, but I canâ€™t remember. I do remember it was very, very good. All of my guests opted for either the filet mingon with mushroom risotto or the penne arribiata (spicy sauce). I had the penne and it was SOOO good. Hubs had the steak and he said it was really good, better than what we had at the steak house. I definitely recommend trying out Bocelli.
One night we tried the dinner buffet and I canâ€™t remember what everyone had, but I do remember I had some delicious soup. Kids got ice cream literally every night and said it was the best ever. We got a huge plate and our group sampled every single dessert they had set out. Some were a little iffy, but most were outstanding.
*Restaurants donâ€™t take reservations. For the Wok restaurant we had a large group and we told them ahead of time we wanted to dine at 7. They were able to reserve tables for us.
At night we went to the rooftop pools because the view was amazing. I played bartender with the BP employees at the rooftop bar. I tell ya, all you have to do with these guys is flash a smile in your bikini and you will have them eating out of your hands.
During the day we would spend a little time in the ocean (oh my goodness, most GORGEOUS water ever) and then we always ended up at the swim-up bar pool. Story about that in a minuteâ€¦
Oh and the kids slide, you can literally do whatever you want on that slide. We went down all 27 adults together all at once. Let me tell you, it literally took us like 5 tries to get it right so we would all go down together at the exact same time. We alternated couples and finally got it right. Canâ€™t wait to see the pics from that adventure. But we saw people going all sorts of ways down that slide and it was literally so much fun.
***BEWARE, stone area by the pools can become REALLY slippery.
Okay, now onto my story. We had drama one afternoon of course! Remind you we had 27 adults drinking. So weâ€™re at the pool bar one afternoon talking, hanging out and we had definitely been drinking. A kid, maybe 10 years old or so, was sitting by himself at the bar. His Mom comes over after a while and gets in the face of my sister-in-law and calls her all sorts of names and says we need to change what we were talking about (sex) because this is a family resort. This woman was looking for a fight. My sister-in-law argues her son shouldnâ€™t be at the bar because there are 2 other pools filled with kids. All of our guys were actually calm, my sister-in-law and two other girls in our group got in the face of the woman and added to the arguing. Thankfully nothing physical ever happened, just a lot of arguing that eventually ended.
I guess my point is, just FYI there may be some bitchy people if your group is anything like mine and gets a tad crazy because yes it technically is a family resort. Although, the 5 days we were there the swim-up pool bar area was filled with all sorts of shenanigans. At times, it was literally like spring break gone wild in the pool and not just from our group but from other adults too.
I read one review that the pools close early, that wasnâ€™t the case when we were there. Several nights we were swimming up until late at night and thereâ€™s always some staff member around who can get you drinks.
You can literally get whatever you want. If you ask for the top shelf stuff they have it and will give it to you, but make sure you ask for it or else you get generic stuff. We always asked for Grey Goose and Stoli or Patron Tequila.
*Fernando (my favorite bartender at pool bar) makes AMAZING shots. Ask for the bumblebee shot. He also made a drink called the Miami Vice (½ strawberry daiquiri, ½ pina colada) and it was sooo good.
Okay, you will see club promoters at the hotel. We wanted to go out at least once while we were there and got suckered into Coco Bongo. Its $75/per person and gets you VIP access (no waiting in line), VIP table inside and all-you-can-drink. We got the girl down to $60/per person since we had so many people. You meet your promoter in the hotel lobby at 10 and a shuttle takes you to the club. Shuttle only takes you to the club, doesnâ€™t take you back because club stays open until 5 AM so you have to take a taxi back. We took a taxi back and I was afraid we would all end up in some ditch, but it was fine and cheap.
So the club has a show. The show consists of people dancing and lip syncing to various acts (Madonna, Elvis, Michael Jackson, etc). They also do some cirque du soleil type stuff. The music is deafening loud. I didnâ€™t mind it, but one chick thought it was a bit too much. Theyâ€™ll do an act and then play club music while they get ready for the next one. Club is also SUPER crowded, but we (all the girls) we dancing on the bar the entire time so we didnâ€™t have to worry about the masses down below.
It was a fun experience, but Iâ€™m not sure I would recommend it since it is kind of pricey. I was drinking water and not alcohol (hungover), but Chad my husband said he literally had 10 drinks and thinks they put little to no alcohol in his drinks. Said it also kind of took a while to get drinks from our VIP waiter. Iâ€™ve seen him good-to-go and the man was sober, so I have to assume heâ€™s right about the little to no alcohol. The music they played and the acts were really fun though. There are a ton of clubs downtown, so lots to choose from if you donâ€™t want to do the Coco Bongo thing. Tania (my makeup lady) said Daddy-Oâ€™s is really fun, but we only went to Coco Bongo.
Michael Jackson Show and Miscellaneous Events:
Hotel did a MJ show one night and it was AWESOME. Not sure what night they do it each week, but we watched it when we were eating outside at the steak house.
Another night they did some fire dancing thing and it was also really cool. It was the night of our welcome dinner (Friday) so it was definitely cool to have an act to watch after our dinner.
BP staff also does things during the day. One day, a guy come to the pool bar and he had a floating blackjack table. They had some volleyball balloon game in the pool, another day they had a drink making contest that a lot of the girls participated in. They do play music during the day but its random; theyâ€™ll play current pop songs like LMFAO and then the next song would be Lionel Richie. So we had a good laugh and teased the DJ that he needed to play more booty shaking music.
Weather was seriously perfect when we were there. Upper 80â€™s every day and sunny. We are a tan family and we got a little red on our shoulders and noses, so donâ€™t forget about the sunscreen. I also didnâ€™t want any funny looking bikini lines for my wedding pics so I always wore strapless bikini tops. It did rain one afternoon while we were in the pool, but it felt great and only lasted a few minutes.
Ocean is awesome. The water is so, so, so pretty and crystal clear. Sand is nice and white. BP has an area where you can lounge on chairs too.
Okay, I think thatâ€™s about all I can say. Whew J! All in all, I HIGHLY recommend BP for your wedding. Looking back, everything went fabulously and the staff truly goes above and beyond to make your accommodation and wedding top-notch.
Iâ€™ll post when I receive them from Ocean Photo.
Again, let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks ladies and congratulations to the future BP brides!!!