So we just got home on Friday from our wedding and honeymoon, so I thought I'd give you all some feedback on our experience.
We had a blast! I mean...it really was a fantastic venue and family resort. We only had 8 people with us...so just 10 (9 adults, 1 child) in all, and I will say it was a perfect sized group for that resort. My husband, stepson, MIL, and SIL arrived on Wednesday. Most of our other guests came on Thursday, and the group went over to Moon Palace for dinner at the Brazilian steakhouse. We waited like an hour and a half, but it was fun. It's a lovely resort and we sat outside on the terrace and had drinks. Dinner was great, but I could see that having a really large group would be difficult, so I wouldn't recommend that place with too large of a group.
Friday I opted to use my cocktail reception as a welcoming event. I wish I'd chosen a different location though. We did it on the infinity terrace, which is right in front of the main pool. I would have rather been up on the Sky Terrace for that. But we had excellent service and the hor d'ouvers were great. We did the Mexican menu. After the cocktail hour, we all went to Wok for dinner - and again had excellent service.
I used the salon for my hair and makeup...and honestly, I don't know what anyone was complaining about. This was probably my #1 stresser the entire trip. To ease my worry, my hairdresser at home helped me come up with a style and a friend of mine who was going with me watched her do it...just in case the salon couldn't replicate it. We had lots of photos on my phone. When I got to the salon, the stylist Rosie had a book of styles to look through, and I showed her one that looked like what I wanted and I showed her my phone pics. Basically, I have shoulder length, fine hair...and we swept it over and to the side in a soft curly "nest" at the bottom of my neck. I was a little worried b/c she didn't roll it in rollers or set it...just backcombed the hell out of it. She used a very small curling iron which I didn't like on the ends...so my sister suggested she use the larger curling iron so I didn't have "prom" ringlets. In spite of the language difference...we were able to get the look we wanted and I was really happy.
On Saturday, I got a different stylist Paty, but my friend who watched my hairdresser do my hair is Hispanic...so she came with me. Now there were a few times where I had to say, "No, there's not enough volume on this side" or "It needs to go over my ear" or "No we need to use a larger curling iron for my bangs"...so having my friend with me to translate was imperative! But again, in the end, it looked amazing and held all day and night. Also it helped that Rosie was right there to kind of tell her how she'd done the updo. I had some little beaded bobby pins that we stuck in a few places that just completed the entire look.
The same stylist did my makeup. I had actually seen her do makeup for another wedding the day before, and it was beautiful. I was very impressed with the products they use...all name brands from the hair products to the makeup. Again, my friend was able to translate that I wanted a bold eye with big lashes b/c my eyes are small and squinty and I wanted them to show up in photos. She applied my lashes that I brought with me. Also she told her not to put any apricot on me b/c it turns orange. She lined my lower lids which I didn't like...so I made her take that off. I ended up tweaking it a little w/ some extra concealer and highlighting on my brow....but other than that, I have NO complaints. My makeup looked flawless after an hour under the sun, dinner, and our little after party!
Bottom line...the salon and spa are great! Just make sure you have photos with you...and are ready to communicate with them if they're doing something you don't like. They do a lot of wedding hair - don't be a snob about it just b/c they don't do things exactly how your stylist does it at home. They have their own tricks to keep the hair in place for that climate and environment. I know not everyone can have a personal translator there with you..but if you can, I highly suggest it. Same thing w/the makeup. This is what they do...and if you're stressed about it...pay for the trial. It was so worth it, and I looked great at my reception.
We spoke to Mario on our second day there. I had coordinated everything with Janessa and my TA prior to coming....so the entire thing was really already planned out. We did the complimentary set up, and I purchased an extra bouquet for my MOA and flower for the BM. I also got three separate roses to lay on empty seats for my parents and my husbands father who have passed away. I know they have another vendor they use for additional decoration for receptions...but we didn't need it. Really the comp package was plenty. I would really stress to you ladies, that the little things you are worried about...decor, chair covering, table settings...no one is going to care or remember. They may, in the moment say..."Oh wow, cute chair bows"...but now having gone through it...I just don't see it as a necessary expense. The pergola was beautiful, my complimentary bouquet was gorgeous (and kept, by the way for almost a week). Your guests are there for YOU. They will remember how in love you are, and how beautiful you look. They will not care that you spent an extra $2000 on the Collin Cowie Peacock Collection. We had about 200 onlookers from the beach and the pool which I thought would look tacky in the photos - and it MADE the ceremony. They all cheered when I walked out to the beach. When the pronounced us man and wife, there was a ton of applause from the pool. It was precious.
Mario is amazing and took care of everything. He even remembered that one of my guests didn't drink alcohol so he had a Sprite poured in a champagne glass for her. He explained to me that a few weeks ago, the company split and that is why the Miami office closed. They are in the process of moving the wedding office to Mexico...so that might be why some of you are having difficulty reaching a coordinator. I feel this will be fixed in the next few weeks. However, after seeing how efficient this resort is, I feel confident that none of your issues will fall through the cracks. By the time your day comes...they will be working hard for you. Just keep in mind, they have to focus on the weddings that are happening at the resort right now. It is a really easy, pain free process.
After the ceremony we took photos and then all went in to cool off (the wedding was at 3:00pm on the beach!) upstairs at the sports bar. I took my crinoline off (I had sweat running down my legs) and chilled out with my guests and photog and had some cocktails until dinner.
Since we had a small group, we just had dinner at the steak restaurant that is outside on the terrace. It's a la carte so everyone ordered what they wanted. I think the only other thing I would have done differently was that I would have opted for the Italian restaurant. We ate there the next night and their food was amazing. You must, must, must try it! Oh, the cake! The cake was great too....very sweet, but moist and the fondant was actually very delicious (and I usually hate fondant).
After dinner we went back up to the sports bar, again...I kept my dress on (I'm getting my money's worth out of that sucker) and my MIL signed me and my husband up for a kareoke song! So we got a big introduction and got up on stage to sing "What I Like About You"...and it was hysterical! Everyone came up to our table and congratulated is.
We had rose petals on our bed, and a hot bath drawn in the jacuzzi when we got back to the room. Perfect ending to the day. It was exactly what I wanted and I'd do it all again.
Here are a few pics of my hair/makeup. I'll get some more posted when I get my images back from my photographer.