Just got back from my wedding at NOW Larimar which was on May 4th 2013. I had the Divine package and paid extra for an additional 33 guests. My wedding coordinator was Silvia and she was amazing!!! My wedding day was perfect! They alone had 61 weddings for the month of May...there is no need to worry they handle everything!! I will answer any questions you may have but here are some tips and ideas I went with...
--I had my ceremony on the beach which was beautiful!! Yes it was a little windy but it's refreshing since the sun is so hot. There are beach chairs near the set-up and yes there were some onlookers but it was 5pm so most of the beach was empty. The weather was perfect at this time of the day which made for amazing pictures. I did not pay extra for sashes--it became too expensive and everything looked great without it. I did pay for 3 sashes for the cocktail tables and for 2 tiki torches with flowers which were 35$ a piece.
--I rented the bridal room for 150$ for 4 hours since we had 10 people for hair and make up--it was well worth it!! 4 bottles of champagne and lots of fruit. I also brought my ipod and played music. They did a great job with hair and make-up but I would recommend bringing a picture of what you want b/c of the language barrier. I also recommend doing a reveal with your groom ahead of time and getting your pics out of the way so you can enjoy your cocktail hour with your guests!
--Reception--we had booked the ballroom but they changed us last minute to Mercure...the french restaurant. Normally a 5000$ rental fee but since the last min change it was free and boy was I happy they did! Mercure was exquisite!! So beautiful with the red and white decor....the set-up was amazing and if you are looking to rent Castaway's or Mercure I would highly recommend Mercure!! I made a donation instead of favors so that was less to travel with. For centerpieces I rent vases from Silvia--10$ each and brought my own LED lights with clear stones and floating candles. I also brought my own votives with tea lights for each table, it looked perfect.
--I paid for their DJ services Package A. The DJ was awesome--he played everything we requested. I did not pay extra for the MC--save your money and have a family member do it! We brought our own props to hand out and these were a big hit!!
--I paid to have the reception extended and this was the best decision I made!! If you can do it --do it. 3 hours is not long enough and yes it's an all inclusive and you can go to the bar after but it's nice to be in a private area with your guests....well worth it! All you pay for is 200$ for DJ and how ever many people you X 12$ pp for international bar.
--My color was coral and I chose coral and hot pink roses and stargazers and the flowers were incredible. I did splurge on bridesmaids bouquets for pictures and they turned out better than expected.
--For dinner we chose the steak and lobster...this was by far the BEST meal we had all week. Dinner was incredible, the best lobster I ever had..guests raved about the food!
The one thing I am upset about is that they screwed up 20 out of 26 rooms! Most people booked suites or ocean view and they were placed in a tropical view in Secrets--when they paid for an Ocean view at NOW. Secrets is just across the pool area but our guests were very upset and this was a huge inconvenience. But other than that everything was more than I could have hoped for so don't stress, enjoy yourself, your wedding will be awesome
I would also recommend a Booze cruise Party boat--we rented through Malibu Party Boat
I booked on my own ahead of time. We had the boat to ourselves with 40 of my guests. It was so much fun!! We snorkled, danced, drank, had plenty mamajuana shots...and they took us to a shallow part in the ocean where got out of the boat and hung out in the ocean while partying with our guests. This was a highlight of our trip!
Attached are also pics of my Welcome Bags... I bought them from the dollar store and made a little hangover helper kit for all of my guests--they loved them! And we greeted our guests in the lobby to hand them out--the resort charges a fee to deliver them!
Anyway best of luck to all of you!!