First of all I want to say how much these threads have helped me in my planning process... Trey and I got engaged on May 14, 2011. We had both been married before and had done the whole big wedding thing in our hometown so we knew right off the bat that we wanted to have a destination wedding. We had origannly thought of going to the Dominican Republic as neither one of us had been there before but, after a lot of careful consideration we decided on Playa del Carmen! It is such a beautiful place, its not to far from Texas and is really budget friendly.. I wish picking a resort would have been as easy as picking a country! It seemed like we looked at 100's before finally deciding on The Royal & The Gran Porto Real. Reason we choose here: LOCATION it is litteraly in the middle of downtown, PRICE we went thru a travel agent (which I highly reccomend!) and she got everyone a great deal, KID FRIENDLY both my sister and future SIL have kids so they could stay at The Gran Porto which is family friendly but still be right next door to the people staying at The Royal (all adult).
Like I said, we went thru a TA and she did all of the booking for us and our guests... We did a "group vacation" thru a trvel company called GOGO Vacations. This worked out very well for us bc all of our guests were leaving from the same airport and staying the same amount of days. Basically the more people you have in your group the better the deal. We have 40 people going so it should be fun with all of us on the plane together! Our guests are staying 4 nights 5 days and we are gonna stay 9 nights 10 days. I also got everyone shirts to wear at the airport!! Um ok so Glenna whcih is my TA got me set up with Maritza which was my on site wedding coordinator. She then contacted me and we began to set everything up. Let me say that I have heard on here that some of the WC are horrible but Maritza was wonderful!! She always replied back to my emails within a day or 2. She answered all my questions even tho I had a million of them!! We got the date, location, and time all set and then it was time to sign the contract!! I kinda let that all sit in for a month so that we could send out our STD and get our engagements photos done. I sent out our STD 6 months prior, now I know that seems like not enought time as I have seen other girls send theirs out loikie 12 months prior but all of our friends already knew what was going on so it worked out well for us! Here our our STD, we got them at weddingpaperdivas.com
We liked the postcard idea, plus stamps are cheaper :-)
OK so back to planning with Maritza... You have to make certin deposit amounts like 90 and 45 days out. I think the first one was like $300.00 we decided on the Eternal Romance Wedding and then added a cocktail hour and a private reception. So just to let you know, everything comes standard. Fro example I am getting married on the beach so white chairs and a huppa draped with with linens will be provided. If you want to add color, that is something that you need to provide. The hotel does offer color chair sashes but they are so pricey so I ordered mine online and then Im just gonna take them with me. The wedding team will make sure they decorate the chairs and huppa for you! Centerpieces for the reception are these little boxes with sand, rose petals and a candle thing. Personally I dont really care about center pieces so I am going with the ones that they provide. Ok so here are some pics that Maritza sent to me...
This is a standard ceremony on the beach and then you add all the "extras" if you want! Speaking on getting married on the beach, we decided that we were not gonna go a leagal ceremony in Mexico as it just wasnt work out for us. They have some stipulations on how many days you have to be there prior to the weding day and that didnt work for us. So we are gonna go to the JP as soon as we get back. Also they wanted to charge us $600.00 for someone to read the ceremony. I thought this was crazy esp since it wasnt even going to be egal. So we have a friend that is very special to both Trey and I so he is gonna do the ceremony for us! I put together a ceremony by piecing things that I found on the internet. He doesnt have to be ordained since it is not leagl and since he is staying at the resort they wont charge you that $600.00 fee!!!
These are the centerpieces that they provide. I printed all these pictures and are gonna take them with me so that I can make sure that I get what they told me I would!! I am adding a sash down the middle of the table to give it some extra color. Our ceremony is at 4 on the beach then we have a 4:30 cocktail hour and a 5:30 dinner and dance party... Unless you want to pay an arm and a leg you have to have these back to back. The cocktail hour isnt really that necessary but I figure we would take pics right after the ceremony so that would give the guests something to do! I paid $10 a guest for the cockail hour which kinda sucks esp when its a All Inclusive hotel but whatever I learned that the more nice I was the more helpful everyone is!! That includes hot and cold appetizers and a full bar so that is nice.
For the dinner/reception I got to pick 1 entree, 1 salad, 1 garnish and 1 dessert. Now, I have seen that alot of brides give their guest options but Martiza said I could only pick one so I picked the beef fillet and lets face it all my guests are from Texas so it worked out well. Also know that if you have 2 different entrees you have to have place cards for everyone and something that helps the waitstaff know who gets what. Again I am simple and didnt want to do place cards so the 1 entree was fine for me. A signature cake was included in my package so I just picked one (as I have heard that not many people pay attention to the cake) it is white and the inside is tres Lesches which heard is amazing. I paid the $700.00 for the light up dance for cause we LOVE to dance!! I also went ahead and piad for DJ Jvan (who Ive head is amazing) and that was $950.00... Kinda pricey but hey you only live once right! They do have a standard dance floor that is free I think it just like a plain brown wooden dance floor. They also have a hook up for your IPOD if you wanna go that direction. I think there is speaks that come with it. We just didnt want to have to deal with that so thats why we got the DJ... The lady that works for the DJ will send you an email with songs that you can pick out to have them play. Also they keep the party flowing with cake cutting, garter and bouquet toss. Our reception is 3 hours which is what the package comes with. You can add extra hours but the price is RIDONKULOUS!!! Ok so I think that is about everything that I can tell you right now about the reception.
I did want to say something about the flowers... The package that I got comes with a bridal bouquet and a bout for the groom. If you go thru the resort to get the rest of your flowers, let me just say that you better have your check book ready!!! I wasnt going to pay $80.00 for my BM bouquets so on here I found Marvin from Maya Floral. He is awesome and way less exspensive!! I contacted him thru email and we were able to get all the details worked out. He is going to meet me in the lobby at The Royal the day of the wedding with the flowers. I did it this way so I would avoid the vendor fee. He has a pay pal account so I just went ahead and paid for everything up front. He is really nice and thru in 2 bags of petals for me for free!!! These are for my BM's I love Gerbre Daisys. My BM's dresses are all different colors so thats why I went with the white.
The package I got comes with a hair syle, mani and pedi... I booked my hair appt with Maritza and then she gave me the contact info for the spa as my BM's are gonna pay to get their hair done and therefore they cant be booked by the WC. Anways so I emailed the spa and was able to set up appts for everyone. I also booked my mani and pedi but after reading some of the bad stories on here I think I am just gonna get it down the day before we leave. Oh make sure you take some pictures of how you want your hair done. I have heard that they dont speak alot of english but can look at a pic and do a great job!
We have a friend who is a photographer and her and her husband are going with us so I didnt have to worry about finding someone down there. Basically me and her made a deal. She took our engagements, my bridals and the wedding day so we are paying for her and her husbands trip!!! It worked out perfectly esp since it saved me money! I have heard that Del Sol is really good but kinda pricey. Plus you have to pay a vendor's fee if you have someone like that come. Since our photographer is staying at the resort, I didnt have to pay that.
I really just wanted to give ya'll an idea on certain things. You may have a different WC so some things might not be the same for you as it was for me. I really didnt argue to much as I felt that everything I as told was legit. You may be able to get better deals on things which is great!!! Again I am very simple and planning this was really stress free for me. Just relax, you are planning a wedding in an amazing place and just know that everything will work out!!! Please if you have any quesitons let me know. I will try to answer them as best as I can!!! I am down to 19 days and I cant wait!!!!