I've gotten a few private messages with questions, so thought I should just do a review on here!
Overall, we had a great time. I thought the resort was perfect for a destination wedding - lots of a la carte restaurants, big enough that you don't always have to run into th same people, and enough different places to hang out so you can do something different every day (several beaches, spa pool/ adult pool area, main pool).
We loved that there was live music every night beginning at 9pm at the Infinity Bar by the pool. It was nice to be able to meet up with people after dinner for drinks. Then around 11pm, we would head down to the disco, with whichever of our guests weren't ready to call it a night yet! I think disco is open until at least 2am?
The resort is a bit big, so sometimes it is hard to find people and takes a while to get around. However, the resort has these motorized carts that can pick people up and take them around.
Overall, I did not find the service and staff to be as friendly as at some of the other all-inclusives I've been to in Mexico. That said, none of us had horrible service, and there are a few staff that stand out as being super friendly and memorable!
We did have a little mix-up with our rooms - we had sent a group room request form months ago, so that all of our guests could be in the same villa or at least the same area. When we arrived to check in, the front desk claimed that we never sent it. As such, they said they weren't able to accommodate us all in the same villa or area, so all of our guests ended up in different villas, and we were disappointed at first. However, we managed to work with this and it turned out fine! My advice is not to complain too much - from what I've read on various forums and posts, the more you complain (even if trying to do so nicely), the less accommodating the resort is.
The food is pretty good. Nothing to complain about, but nothing really to write home about either.
We picked the Bliss in Bloom Package in mango, but modified a few options (color of bouquet and boutonniere flowers, color of parasols).
We met with our WC the day after we arrived and she was really helpful in answering our last minute questions and confirming details. We felt much more at ease after meeting with her. They will take your final balance between then and the day of your wedding. Our WC also gave us a tour of our ceremony location (garden gazebo) and backup location (spa atrium). No rehearsal took place, but then again, it wasn't necessary.
I brought in Rashel Edwards from Chasity Artistry to do my makeup, and she brought a hairstylist, Sophia. Both were great. A lot of Jamaica destination brides bring in Rashel. I had to pay for daypasses for each of them (I think $75 each?).
The day before the wedding, I had my gown steamed by resort laundry staff, and it turned out great. Think it cost me about $20.
We had the steel drum band at the ceremony - $500, was totally worth it, in our opinion. We gave our WC a list of songs we wanted the band to play and she forwarded this info to the band. Very unique experience for our guests.
Our ceremony took place at 2pm at the garden gazebo. Beautiful, secluded location. Loved it.
For reception music, we just brought a battery-operated Bose iPod dock, which cost us about $300 to buy. The resort offers to rent you their iPod dock and mic for $500, but we felt this was an unnecessary cost.
Our reception was at the Blue Lagoon. At around 9pm each night, there is live band music directly upstairs, so my suggestion is that you finish speeches before then! I've also heard that if you are really nice to the band and you tip them, they will start later or play quieter music.
We also got the Zurielmalaka fire/acrobatic show at the reception (between main course and dessert), which I think was $750. Our guests loved it and said it was the coolest thing they'd seen.
We also brought our own lanterns, which we lit and released with our guests at the end of the night. That was really fun!
I did not bring any extra decorations or pay for any extra decorations. They will bring all the flowers from your ceremony location to your reception location.
We also did not hire a DJ as we determined that there wasn't really enough time at the reception to make the cost worth it. I have heard that they shut down the reception at 10pm sharp. Not sure if that's true, as we finished before 10pm anyway. Plus, we decided we would just go to the disco after to dance, which we did with our guests, and had a lot of fun!
I did not do a cocktail hour, as we thought most of our guests would like some time to freshen up, take a nap, or do whatever they wanted.
Our photographer was Katya Nova Photography, whom we flew in from the Dominican. She specializes in Caribbean/ destination/ beach weddings, so her photos are amazing. Our pics aren't all up yet, so I will do a full review later. But Katya and her husband, Rob, are amazing, fun people! They will make you feel so comfortable in front of the camera. Also, the resort has a lot of cool, scenic places for photos!!
I think I might have missed a few points for sure, but hope this helps!!