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Originally Posted by Tibbetts2B View Post

 

Oh ladies, thank you so much for getting back to me! I think we'll definitely plan on a welcome dinner/drinks, and perhaps a night out in Playa at some point. My fiance and I were at an all-inclusive in Aruba recently and we NEVER left the property and were exhausted every night by 10pm, so I'm sure everyone will have plenty of booze and fun in the sun, but it helps to know we have some options. Thanks so much!!

Great idea Tibbetts2B! Trust me, the sun, the fun, the umbrella filled drinks and overall excitement will have your friends + fam worn out!! :-)

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We had 30 guests at our wedding @ the end of June (only the 4 parents were older than 30), and we did NOT plan any excursions off the ERC property.  Our wedding was on a Friday, and some of our guests arrived as late as Thursday, and left as early as Sunday.  We wanted everyone to be able to relax & enjoy the resort, so we purposely did NOT pack the schedules. 

 

Although I think an excursion could have been fun, I'm not sure it would have been worth it for us because we had SO MUCH fun at the resort!  Agree that you will be having some drinks during the day, which will wear you out earlier in the night than you think!  We spent a lot of time around the pool bar!

 

Yes, the resort "club" is only open until 1am, but I know I was never there that late!  And I agree with Bondgirl, once all your family and friends are in the same place, you'll be surprised how good of friends everyone becomes!  We all had SO MUCH fun together!  It was crazy!

 

We decided to skip a welcome dinner because we were told by the wedding coordinator that we would have to have a "set menu".  She said if we went to a restaurant on our own, the biggest group they could accommodate would be 6 people/table.  We thought the welcome dinner sounded too much like the actual reception dinner, and we wanted our friends and family to be able to enjoy the resort at their leisure.  Once everyone was in Mexico the Thursday before our wedding, we had everyone meet at the Martini Mar for a "welcome cocktail" before dinner (this rounded up the troops so that we had a central meeting place).  After that, everyone was to head to the restaurant of their choice, and then meet back up after dinner... well, we ALL headed to the Mexican restaurant!  They said they would be able to seat us as a party of 6 and a party of 14, which we thought was great!  It was like having a welcome dinner, but un-planned! ...then it took FOREVER to get our food... we are talking like 3+ hours.  Drinks didn't come quickly either, but they did keep us loaded up on chips/guac/salsa.  I talked to our waiter, and he apologized profusely saying that they "can't accomodate groups > 6 people unless there is a set menu".  Sigh.  I kind of wished they just would have broken our large group into smaller tables, but we did have a great time sitting with our friends and family that night.  The staff was so gracious it was impossible to be mad!!!  After this night, everyone kind of did their own thing for dinner, and then met-up afterwards for drinks.  Bryan and I always picked a couple or a group to eat with each night, which was nice.

 

So long story short, either book a welcome dinner with a set menu, or decide you're not doing it at all!  And "welcome cocktails" are a great substitute!   :)

 

And seriously, don't stress... because everything will work out.  I was actually glad that we "planned" as little as we did, because once we got to the resort, our "plans" kind of went out the window, and we just let things happen naturally!  SO MUCH fun!!  It was seriously perfect all week!  I am so happy that we picked the ERC!!! :)

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Here's a question for the ladies that have been married here before.  We are getting married on the beach.  What did your guests do about their shoes?  Did you let them know ahead of time that they don't have to wear shoes, did they wear shoes, did you put out a basket out for their shoes when they came on the beach?  My guests are starting to ask questions about shoes and not sure what I should tell them.  Thanks in advance ladies!

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I let the guests choose what they wanted to do about shoes... and they decided to do EVERYTHING (barefoot, closed-toe, flip-flops).  We did NOT do a basket because it was something "extra" we did not want to drag down to Mexico.  I went barefoot, and I took my shoes (flip-flops!) off right before the ceremony, and just left them with Gloria (the wedding coordinator) up by place where I started to walk down the aisle.  Most of my guests, including the groom & my father flip-flops (nice leather or sperry; not Old Navy!).  I think we had a couple of the guys wear closed toe shoes.  I wouldn't stress about it too much... honestly, I got this question before we went to Mexico too, and I just said "do whatever you want, just remember, you're in sand! --- more for the ladies because heels would NOT be the best choice!).  The guests all kind of chatted each other up once we got down to Mexico :)

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We advised everyone to go barefoot but told them that in the long run to go with what they were more comfortable with. Our ceremony was on the beach, cocktail hour on the pier, and dinner on the beach, so shoes weren't necessarily required but we knew that some people just prefer not to go barefoot. As it turned out, quite a few people wore sandals. We did do a sign for the ceremony and a lot of people ended up removing their shoes though:

 

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Thanks ladies.  I was thinking of sending a pre travel packet to my guests and will include a part about shoes being optional since the ceremony is taking place on the beach;)

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Ok next question for my ladies that have been married here already.  As you know in the packages certain flower arrangements/bouquets are included.  After emailing Gloria they don't seem to substitute arrangements for what you need/want. For example, the package comes with a "centerpiece for the dinner table" but instead I wanted a centerpiece for the ceremony table but Gloria said they can not do this.  Did anyone else experience this problem?  Also the flowers in their catalogue show arrangements in particular colors.  Did you just ask her for a specific arrangement but in your wedding colors?  And if so how did they come out?  Just so hard to not have a visual of the product they will give me.  Thanks in advance!  And btw thank goodness I've found this website for questions like thesecheers.gif

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Our ceremony centerpiece was missing all together the day of our wedding!  It was so beautiful we didn't even notice until we got home & were looking at pictures! Ha!  Per Gloria, EVERYTHING used from the wedding ceremony is moved to the dinner table (I was bringing chair ribbons from home, so I wanted to ensure if I had 20 ribbons, and we had 20 guests the ribbons would be moved from the ceremony to the dinner, which they were!).  I would consider asking again, because in my experience, the dinner centerpieces and ceremony centerpieces were interchangeable.  That being said, I wouldn't worry about it too much, because everything will be so beautiful, it won't matter too much!  Seriously, I didn't even know they were missing!  Hilarious!

 

I found pictures of flowers online that I liked (and didn't see anything that matched exactly in the Excellence catalog), and Gloria/the florist/resort were able to duplicate the bouquet PERFECTLY (see pictures below).  In the catalogs I saw bouquets with both roses and lilies (but not these colors), so I figured "why not".  Look at the picture I sent compared to the picture of my bouquet.  It was spot-on.  I couldn't have been more happy! 

 

I didn't give much direction with our dinner centerpieces... I just said, "make them match my bouquet".  Same with the cake... I just told them to "make it match the bouquet".  Gloria is fantastic, and the staff at the resort do many, many weddings.  I think part of the fun of a destination wedding is giving up control and "going with the flow".  I let them have some freedom with my decorating, as long as it was in the "orange/ivory/tan" theme, and it was PERFECT.  Again, could not have been happier.  Try not to stress :)

 

 

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Beautiful, right!?  I'm not sure I would have wanted flowers blocking the amazing view!

 

 

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This is the picture I gave to Gloria... I didn't really "pick" from the Excellence catalog of flowers... and... 

 

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This is what my flowers actually looked like!  Pretty close, right!?  I was so happy!

 

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Here's a shot with the "matching centerpieces".  I'm not sure those were really a "choice" in the catalog either!?  I brought the maracas and stationary from home.  Of note, I only brought a "thank you" & a name card as stationary (we didn't have menu cards because I didn't finalize our menu in time), and when we sat down at the table, Gloria and the resort staff had somehow created matching menu cards that were inside each envelope!  They were SO CUTE, and I was SO GLAD that I didn't pay to have them printed at home!  It would have been another thing we would have had to drag down with us!

 

Also, we brought the orange chair ribbons from home (I ordered them online for < $1/each).  "Additional Decoration" was included as part of our package, and Gloria informed me this meant either: 1. Chair Ribbons or 2. Rose Petals for the aisle.  I asked for additional chair ribbons (we had 2 ribbons on each chair: Champagne & Orange ribbons both @ the reception and the dinner).

 

Hope this helps! 

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Also, thank you Juan!  You are too sweet!  Bryan & I had an AMAZING time working with you and your staff!  We have nothing but good things to say!  Our wedding would not have been the same without you, and we will NEVER forget our morning session in the cenote!  So beautiful!  

 

Ladies, if you are looking for a great photographer, please take a look at Juan Navarro's work.  He was an absolute pleasure to work with, and his assistants were great.  They were extremely professional, quick with communications, the pictures are BEAUTIFUL, and they were so much FUN!  Our wedding would not have been the same without Juan and his crew :)   We are forever grateful for the moments captured on our big day!  

 

Thanks again Juan!

 

 

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