We just returned from our wedding at Now Jade resort, and because I know how unsettling the process can be (especially at the beginning!), I'd like to offer a short review of our experience:
We arrived at the resort, and our room was not prepared. Our friends' room was not the room they had reserved. Apparently, some resorts do not reserve specific rooms, and operate on a "first come, first served" basis. After some negotiating, we were upgraded to the Government Suite. It was beyond beautiful! We did give the Preferred Club attendent a nice "tip" to help us get the room, but we were upgraded at no cost. I definately recommend spending a little extra for the Preferred Club upgrade.
The resort is spotless, as are the shuttle buses and vans. The staff is very polite and accommodating. We took $200 in small American bills for tips, and were more than happy to use them. The restaurants do not accept reservations, however, we did not have more than a 30 minute wait at any of them. The buffet was amazing! There is plenty of food, and it is fresh. Room service operates 24/7, and is included in the all-inclusive plan.
We met with Deisy, the wedding coordinator, the morning after our arrival. She was very organized, and made the process very easy. We had a very small wedding party, so we did not need chairs for the ceremony. She said that she would "make the pergola nice" for the ceremony, but she really outdid herself! The pergola was beautiful, with flowers, drapes and colored overlays on the Minister's table. Since we had such a small ceremony, we married legally in the US. We then had the vow renewal ceremony, instead of a wedding ceremony. Deisy arranged the ceremony so that it was a combination of a vow renewal/wedding. It was perfect for our situation! The Minister was wonderful, and chose a beautiful ceremony that lasted 20 minutes. We upgraded the wedding bouquet and flowers, and they were perfect. Also, I was able to bring them home. I didn't think they would survive customs. Our wedding dinner was held at Spice, the Asian restaurant. Again, the staff went out of their way to make the evening perfect for us!
We chose Juan Navarro as our photographer. I can only say GREAT things about him! He replied to my emails quickly, and was very accommodating. He and his assistant are very professional, and our guests commented many times that he was very nice to them (some photographers don't appreciate other people taking pictures). His ideas were awesome, and he used to be the resort photographer at Now Jade, before it was sold to the present owner. He knew all the best places for photos. His prices are very reasonable, and he probably gave us more time than we had purchased. I cannot wait to see our pictures!
That sums up our experience. I hope it helps anyone who is considering Now Jade or Juan Navarro. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!