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***TULUM BRIDES 2012-2013***

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Update:  I posted reviews of DJ Doremixx and Maya Floral in the vendor reviews section.  A couple of our other vendors are not listed, but deserve to be shouted out.  So here goes...

 

Wedding Invitations

We used The Aerialist Press, and we could not have been more impressed.  Our invitations were top-quality, gorgeous, and Alexandra was able to customize them to exactly what we wanted without charging us the higher "couture" price.  Our invitations were as beautiful as samples we ordered from places that charge double the price, and with the added bonus that the design was personal to us.  I loved them so much I still think about them and smile!  We customized them a bit further ourselves by lining the envelopes with black and white photos of Tulum.  It took a lot of work, but it was well worth it.  So many people said that when they opened the envelope, they thought "Ah, paradise!" -- which was exactly what we wanted.  Thank you Alexandra!

 

Welcome Bags

We ordered samples from a bunch of places, but we found the best combination of quality and price at 4imprint.  We designed a logo and they executed it perfectly, the bags came out really beautiful and our guests loved them!  We filled them with welcome letters, information on local restaurants and attractions, and shawls for the ladies.  We got the shawls at WholesaleScarvesUSA.com, which has amazing deals on pashminas.  They were a big hit, we saw guests wearing them everywhere.

 

Rehearsal Dinner

We hosted our rehearsal dinner at Hartwood, and I have to say I'm pretty sure it had to be the best rehearsal dinner in history, IMHO.  Food and cocktails were out-of-this-world, atmosphere and service perfect, and very affordable!  I still dream of the slow-cooked pork.

 

Flamenco Guitarist

Angelina gave us a couple options for flamenco guitarists, but Camilo Nu impressed us the most, and I am so glad we picked him.  He was amazing!  He set the mood so perfectly for our cocktail party -- he is really, super talented.  Also, when it started to rain he had no problem relocating and moving all his equipment indoors, and when our friends surprised us with a bunch of speeches (which we didn't plan on), he was apparently super helpful, running out to his van to get a wireless mic and setting it up for our friends.  Just a great guy and a great musician.

 

Trio

Originally we planned on a solo violinist, and Angelina found us Albino Garcia, who seemed good from his YouTube videos.  When we gained a bit more flexibility in our budget, we requested a trio, and Albino was able to find a cello and percussionist to join him.  We didn't give them an easy task, as we asked them to learn Irish music for the seating and my wedding march, and they even had to adapt the wedding march from the bag pipes.  I was nervous to see how it would come out, but I was blown away by their performance.  It was just exactly perfect, how I dreamed it would be.  As I heard my wedding march start to play and as I was walking down the aisle, I literally thought "Yes! This is it!  This is what I dreamed of!"  I really can't describe the feeling, but I don't think anything could match it.  Now that I know how it made me feel, I think it would have been worth any price.  I am so happy it worked out that we decided to expand to the trio, and that Albino was able to adapt the songs so well.  My only complaint is that the cello player was 30 minutes late -- all the guests were assembled and the whole wedding was literally waiting for him.  Luckily Las Ranitas made sure everyone was comfortable and had drinks, etc., so it wasn't a disaster.  But Albino, if you are reading this, I will never, never forget how you made my walk down the aisle so beautiful.  Thank you.

 

Singer

As a fun twist, my husband surprised me by having a singer come out and serenade me as part of his vow.  I was so surprised, I had no idea what was going on at first, but she was awesome!  She had an amazing voice and performed the song beautifully.  Her name is Maricruz Emilia, Angelina found her.

 

Hair & Makeup

This was one area where I had complete sticker shock -- there is some kind of crazy market for makeup artists in the Riviera Maya, and they are more expensive than in New York or D.C., where most of my friends have been married.  I paid double what my matron of honor paid a few months earlier at her wedding in D.C., and her people were really good!  But it is what it is, and you and your wedding party need to look your best, so what can you do?  I used Nora Grey on Angelina's recommendation, and she and her team were really great.  She came to do a trial with me a few days before the wedding, and she was really tuned in to the look I wanted (natural).  Also, I swear my mother has never looked better, and it was worth the price just to see her looking so good and feeling so good about herself.  So thank you, Nora.

 

Churro Cart

Amazing!  So fun and best churros ever.  Angelina set it up, the guy's name is Miguel.  Very highly recommended!

 

I think that's everyone, but please let me know if anyone has questions!  Consensus among our friends is that our wedding was the most fun, more than one couple has said they liked our wedding better than their own.  We have to agree -- we wish we could do it all over again!

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Thanks for posting Kate, your wedding sounds and looked beautiful! I'm about a month away from mine in Tulum and I will also be using Nora Grey for my hair and make up. Do you have any more pictures of what her team did for you and your mom? I also want a really natural look. Thanks.

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No problem!  Here is a close-up my friend took of me walking down the aisle -- I think you can see that I did a smokey eye, light blush and nude lips.  It looked a little bit bolder in person, but still very natural.  I had my lashes done in NYC before I left, so I didn't wear any mascara (good thing, because I cried a lot!).  There are good ones of my mom in my del Sol photos, but I don't have my USB with the web JPEGs on me right now.  Will try to remember to post later.

 

Kate

 

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Hi Kate,

 

Can you please upload more pictures about your make up? And I will really appreciate if you can tell me a little bit more about Nora's work. I am having a though time deciding if I should hire her. Thanks a lot!

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Hello fellow Tulum Brides! I'm finally settling in after returning from my dream wedding at Ana y Jose Hotel. I'll try to be as inclusive as possible for all future Tulum brides. 

 

Ana y Jose Hotel vs Beach Club

My fiance and I have been visiting Tulum for years so getting married here was a no brainer. We usually stay at La Zebra and just assumed this would be our wedding site. However, after visiting and finding out more about their wedding policy, (must rent out the entire hotel for three nights) we crossed it off the list. As we soon found, not wanting to rent out the entire hotels left us with only a few options. We went to check out Ana y Jose Beach Club after seeing great pictures and reading reviews. As we approached the property my fiance and I were turned off, it felt like a catering hall or wedding factory and we knew that wasn't for us. (Please don't misunderstand me, I have seen beautiful weddings here it just wasn't for us.) But we headed to the hotel where we were meeting the planner for our tasting. The hotel was BEAUTIFUL! We loved the grounds and the view from the deck area as well as the open air restaurant. We asked to have the wedding there and while it was an unusual request they were happy to accommodate us. I CANNOT RECOMMEND THE HOTEL ENOUGH!!! It was truly the perfect wedding location. The staff was beyond excellent, always helpful and thinking one step ahead. When the party moved to the beach they brought drink trays with beer and water and another tray with tequila! True perfection. Our guests raved about the food, my Uncle even said it was the best wedding food he had ever eaten. The hotel's planning service Tulum Weddings was incredibly helpful. Jackie was the point person for planning and Claudia was on site during the wedding. They were both wonderful. Jackie was quick to respond and helped line up all the details from afar while Claudia was able to keep the night running smoothly even during a short 15 minute rain storm! If you are looking for a wedding location and planner I cannot rave enough about AYJ.

 

FineArts Studio Photography 

My fiance and I thought a lot about the style of photography we wanted for our wedding. It was important to us to have mostly non-posed, candid shots and we went with FAS. We could not be happier with the photographs we got. Fabrizio and Hernan were wonderful and managed to capture both the emotions of the ceremony and the joy of the evening all at the same time. I will say that while they focused on candid shots there was a good deal of posed pictures. I am very grateful for them now (as they turned out BEYOND amazing) but it does take time. They are passionate about their craft and will take 3-5 minutes for the perfect shot. Just something to be prepared for. 

 

Nora Grey: Hair and Makeup

This was the only part of the day I was a little nervous about. Not getting to have a hair and makeup trial, or even meeting the team till the day of was a little tense for me. I could not have been happier with the team, the process and the end result from Nora and her girls. The team of four came to primp myself, mother, sister and girlfriend. (Nora even came early to cut a guests hair!) I brought photographs of what I wanted for both my hair and makeup and they were able to bring my vision to life. I was a little picky and they would stop throughout the process to confirm we were on the same page. In the end what they created for everyone was flawless. 

 

Vanessa Jaimes Floral Design

With Tulum's natural beauty and the pristine grounds of Ana y Jose, we knew we wanted little flowers or decorations. We ordered a bouquet for myself, a medium one for my sister and maid of honor and a small bouquet for my mother. At the last minute we added a few boutonnieres for the boys and I was so glad we did. The single orchid boutonnieres were beautiful. For our centerpieces we ordered round mirrors with candles on top and added Patron bottles to each table. They were understated and just the right touch. The one decoration I was set on and had a vision for was our wedding chuppah (arch), I knew I wanted four post bamboo arch with white fabric and flowers. After countless emails and pictures I was overwhelmed with what VJ team created. And impressed as they had to assemble and move it three times due to changes in dance floor plans! When I saw it in person an saw the amount of beautiful flowers on it I understood the cost. It was a perfect frame to our "I do". 

 

OM Tulum: Welcome Dinner

We decided to have all our guests come to a dinner the night before the wedding at our expense to thank everyone for coming and welcome them to town. We chose OM for a casual dinner with great guacamole and cold beer. This was the perfect location! We considered a few places in town but along with our guests we did not want to leave the beach. Lissette and her team at OM closed down the beachfront area for us and brought extra tables down. We chose a few selections from the menu, guacamole and pico along with four types of pizza and nutella pizza for dessert to serve to our guests. It was great! Guests raved about the food and it was a constant stream as all the food was made fresh and brought to us on the beach. For drinks we wanted to pay for our guests without having two nights of open bar, we provided beer, soda and smoothies at our costs up to a limit at the bar. The bar tenders kept the tab and Lissette updates us on where the tab was as the night progressed. We ended the night below our limit and even took some beers for the walk back! While we were at OM a few turtles came ashore to lay eggs, it was the perfect start to wedding weekend. 

 

Welcome Bags

We wanted to provide a welcome bag to each guest. We selected totes from weddingchicks.com that stated "Hola Amigo" and encouraged guests to use as beach bags to identify other guests when they were on the beach. Inside we put one sunscreen, one aloe bottle, a few bug wipes, ibuprofen and antacids, a map of Tulum, a schedule of events and meet ups for the weekend, wedding koozies and snacks from local grocery store. We did not provide drinks since each hotel provided complimentary water bottles. We encourages guests to pick up liquor at duty free for their rooms. 

 

One other suggestion I have for EVERY destination wedding is to stock up on post cards! We purchased them for our guests to write to us in place of a guest book and mailed them home. We then got extras and used them as thank you notes, a great memory for guests to have. Also, if you plan on having your reception on the beach I would recommend a light up dance floor! I know you may be thinking no this is not a music video, I know that's what my husband said when I suggested it, but seriously it was fantastic! 

 

Please message me if there is anything I can do to help any new brides!

 

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We had no problem with bringing stuff into Mexico, but we did purchase all food at the store down there.

 

I'm not sure of our DJ as it was arranged by Jackie at Tulum Weddings. I will say though we had Fede folk band playing during dinner and they were AMAZING!! If we had it to do again we would have had they play during cocktail hour and dinner. It was the first wedding ever been to where people would stop eating to clap for the band! A great addition. Please let me know if I can help with anything else, this forum was so helpful to me. 

 

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