Greetings, Fellow Destination Brides!
I have found this website to be extremely helpful so I thought I would start a planning thread in order to help other Dreams Tulum brides with their process.
I literally just booked our wedding date for January 14, 2013 today so I will continue to update as I go along.
For now, I'll start from the beginning...
My fianc©'s name is Cameron. We had been together for five years when he proposed on a bench in the garden of our new house that we'd bought a couple months before. He awoke me from a groggy nap on the couch and lured me outside by saying he had a belated housewarming gift for me. I shuffled my lazy feet out the front door to see him dressed up, holding a big bouquet of flowers and a bottle of champagne. He sat me down on the bench and started talking about one of our first dates all those years ago - on this date, we sat on a bench and it was there that we both realized that we were with "the one". Before I knew it, he was down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I don't even remember saying yes! I just jumped into his arms and started crying.
After initially starting to plan a winter wedding in Vancouver and discovering that it would cost over $35,000 because of both of our large families, we decided to go with the less expensive option of a destination wedding. I'd always wanted a destination wedding but Cam had always wanted something more traditional. He quickly changed his tune once he saw the golf course wedding prices!
I started researching resorts immediately. Every coffee and lunch break were spent scrounging the internet for reviews, pictures, and information. I have spreadsheets galore comparing wedding packages, prices, locations, etc.
PICKING A DESTINATION:
It was really important for us to have not only a reasonably affordable resort for our friends and family, but also one on the higher end with a great wedding package. We decided on Mexico for this reason - it's the cheapest. People will complain about the price either way so it was really difficult to find a good compromise.
If I can offer any advice so far, I would say to start as early as possible! It can take up to a week to get quotes from tour operators since prices aren't released yet. We have been corresponding with tour operators via our travel consultant since early January and it's now March. We would have liked to have gotten all of our stuff together and have our invitations sent out long ago but it's been much longer of a process than we originally planned on. We will hopefully have our invitations sent out next week *fingers crossed*!
I initially set my heart on the Playacar Palace, but after getting quotes of $2100 from the tour operators, I had to give up that dream.
We then started looking into wedding cruises as that seemed to be a more affordable option but it quickly turned out to be much more of a hassle than I had bargained for. Cruises don't really have wedding packages so you're forced to book everything separately. They also don't do receptions (just cocktail hour) and that is something that is non negotiable with me.
So back to Mexico!
Dreams was my second choice after the Palace resorts - simply because the Palace has AMAZING wedding packages for quite cheap. Their communication is also fantastic as the main wedding office is based out of Miami instead of on-site. The only reason Dreams was my second choice is because of the higher wedding package cost and the less extravagant wedding decor.
I contacted Dreams Riviera Cancun and after the first initial response email, I never heard from them again. I emailed several times as well as wrote a few times on their Facebook wall. Even after a Facebook response saying to expect a direct message from them, I still did not hear back. It's been over a month and I've yet to hear back.
This lead me to Dreams Tulum. I know it sounds bad that this place was my third choice, but I've been extremely happy with them thus far. The wedding coordinator, Natalia responds to my emails within a matter of a couple hours and has been very helpful in answering all my questions.
Since we just confirmed our wedding date for next year, she informed me that I would not be hearing from them until about two months before the wedding date; however, any questions I have are welcome. Now is the time to sit back, relax, and plan the fun stuff!
That's all I have for tonight! I'm a full time nursing student so I don't have a whole heck of a lot of time to write on here regularly but I do promise to update as I go along. And I'll make it more "reader-friendly" because I realize this first thread is a bit wordy.