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#1 anichols8

  • Jr. Member
  • 232 posts

    Posted 02 June 2012 - 07:24 PM

    Everyone says it and now it's my turn, I can't believe it's already time for me to do my wedding review.  We were in Cabo for 9 days (at Dreams for 7) and had an amazing time with 23 of our family members and best friends.  It was truly an unforgettable experience.


    May 21, 2012


    Today was the first day of our nine day trip with a direct, departure flight from Atlanta at 9:49 am, set to arrive at SJD at 12:13PM.


    Delta Airlines: A-


    I fly Delta as often as possible.  I was trying to book our flights and realized that I should try to use my saved up Skymiles.  I accidentally discovered that I had enough points to cover both DH and my flights so I only ended up paying 75.00/ticket!  It saved us over 1200.00 so, of course, that excited me.


    The reason Delta gets an A- is because when I called customer service to see about stowing my wedding gown the representative on the phone told me to put it under the seat in front of me.  I laugh about it now but I thought that was an absurd reply.


    However, the stewardess the morning of the flight saved the day.  We got through the new international terminal in Atlanta effortlessly, the flight was on time and the flight was about ¾ full.  The stewardess got a red permanent marker, copy paper and duct tape and sectioned off an entire overhead bin for the dress and tux and duct taped it shut so that others would not put anything other than wedding attire in there.  (Funny story: Some young guy boarded the plane late and ripped open the storage bin with my wedding dress in it, trying to rush and store his luggage.  The guy in the seat across from us, who knew it was our stuff, got pissed and yelled at him to pay attention to the sign and reprimanded him for trying to put his suitcase on top of my gown.  Awh!)


    SJD Airport: A


    We arrived at SJD airport at 11:44am.  By the time we walked into the airport and went through the short passport check line, our luggage was already on the carousel and there was NO LINE at customs.  I got the green light, which shocked me with all the crap we had and no one harassed us in the "shark tank", other than a few snide remarks telling DH to run when they saw the wedding gown. Our shuttle to Cactus Rental had not arrived but the lady sent to wait on us was there, as promised, with a sign.


    Cactus Rental: B+


    Advisory: This may get too graphic.


    We were headed out the door to try Himatsu and my stomach started to cramp, at about 7:30pm.  I went to the restroom and sat down and did not remove my arse from the toilet until 12:30…5 hours later.  I swear to you, I don’t have kids so I don’t know what contractions are like but after this I don’t think I ever want to know.  Accompanying the violent diarrhea was extreme chills and sweating.  DH stayed in that bathroom with me the ENTIRE TIME (poor thing) and wanted to take me to the hospital but the last thing I wanted to do was go to a hosptial...I don't even know if I would have made it.  The cramps, if you can call them that, seriously feel like what I would think it would feel like if a bear was clawing and chewing my guts.  At 12:30 am, I puked all of my guts out.  I haven’t thrown up in about a decade so I knew it was bad.  I don’t know what caused it because I only ate at Maro’s and Seaside and I didn’t eat much at either that day.  So much for healthy eating!  I was finally able to pry myself from the porcelain and sleep propped up for a few hours.




    May 23, 2012


    With a tortured stomach, it was time for mommy to get in.  If any of you are thinking of picking up your guests from the airport with your rental car, DON’T.  I didn’t even pick up all of my guests, just a few and I was exhausted.  Of the entire trip, we were the only ones that did not get caught up in customs.  We didn’t get mommy until an hour after she arrived.  She had a tough fight with them over the wedding rose petals but she got them in!  (They were freeze dried)


    When we got to Dreams for check in, mommy was on the first floor which was absurd to me.  I wanted her near me so after some going back and forth, they did move her to the 4th floor, right under me.


    Mom was hungry but by the time we got settled in, guess what?  The only place open was Seaside Grill.  I did not want to scare anyone with my illness the day before so I sucked it up and had some fries.  (Yea, diet really gone now, but I did work out!)  She hated the food at Seaside =(.


    MexSun Spa: Ummmm B-/C+ish


    I just can’t decide which one.  I had scheduled a mani/pedi and pedi for mommy at MexSun Spa in San Jose Del Cabo.  Kelli was great to work with via email and very quick to respond.  Once these appointments were set up she emailed me back and asked if I wanted to take advantage of free Shellac (which is similar to the gel polish) since it was the promotion.  I said sure and we were all set. 


    We got to the spa and well, it was just okay.  The person checking me in tried to charge me for the Shellac (binder with emails would have been handy but I forgot to bring it to the spa)  I think she stepped outside to call Kelli and eventually agreed to do for the quoted price.


    The manicure was okay, the pedicure didn’t last long.  The price was reasonable for comparables from this site (40.00USD for mani/pedi combo and 25.00/pedi) but the job was mediocre.  The manicurist was really sweet but the pedicurist was not.  Then, when it was time to pay, the lady at the front desk basically asked me if I thought the $8.00 tip was enough for the workers.  I wanted to say something really slick but I just smiled and said yes.


    (I know this doesn’t seem like that great of a review so far but I promise, it gets better!)


    May 24, 2012




    We discovered that we had about 9 guests getting in on the same flight so we arranged transportation.


    Transcabo: A+


    I mean, they were fast, efficient, and on time with my guests.  They answered all my questions.  I paid for a one way private transfer to the resort.  It was 125.00 for up to 14 people.  I have no complaints about them.


    Checkin: A


    I met all the guests downstairs and handed out the OOT Bags.  They were all given/offered champagne and cool towels.  The majority of them were grouped together on the first floor.


    Rehearsal: B


    This is independent of the earlier stuff with Magda.  The rehearsal was fine, it was about 10 minutes long and I guess it served its purpose.


    Welcome Dinner: A

    El Patio Restaurant


    We are casual people with casual friends.  We had one long table set up and actually did not have to wait at all, which was good because they do not take reservations.  The rehearsal was at 7:00pm.  The waiter brought out a couple of each of the appetizers on the menu and then took individual orders.  I wish I would have put together a little speech or played a meeting game or something but I was out of it by Thursday and just happen to have the first three days behind me.


    MAY 25, 2012 THE BIG DAY!!!


    It went by so quickly and if you set a schedule, expect to deter from it.  I got up had a light breakfast and worked out.  Then I twiddled my thumbs for a while.  I went to the pool for a while and then twiddled my thumbs some more.  Then everything seemed to creep up and hit me at once.


    Enrique arrived at 4:15 as promised, to start with getting ready pics.  I got ready took pics and then at 5:02 I headed down to the gazebo.


    Reverend Arechiga: A++++


    Everything that you have heard about this man is right.  He was awesome, amazing, wonderful, great, I mean, words cannot describe how honored and great it was to have him!  He was FANTASTIC.  All of the guests, including MOM, talked about how awesome he was and she is a tough critic.


    Photography/Videography: Enrique Morales: A+


    This is based solely on his delivery, promptness and overall demeanor.  I do not have pics yet to judge those.


    Enrique is an absolute pleasure to work with.  He had a second photographer and two videographers.  They were also so attentive and Enrique gave great direction, he didn’t rush and you can tell he loves what he does.  I only paid for two hours of videography and he ended up having the videographers stay the ENTIRE TIME.  I can’t wait for the pics.


    Cake: Jennifer Hatton: A+


    My only sadness is that I never got to meet her in person.  I am posting my inspiration pic and my cake.  It wasn't an exact replica but I thought it was so cute and delicious.  When the cake came out, a few people had frozen pieces. =(  But, my piece was great and I am afraid to know what she put in it that it is still fresh to this day.  It was even better room temperature!! And yes, I brought the top piece home….and am not saving it for a year.  The two flavors were Vanilla with white chocolate strawberry mousse and then red velvet.  The outside was buttercream.  I was afraid of it melting but it did not.


    I also had Jennifer make her famous chocolate cake infused with Kahlua for a friend’s birthday the following Tuesday and it was AMAZING.


    cake.jpg               ourcake.jpg

    Inspiration Cake                                          Our Cake


    As for the Dreams cake; Magda did upgrade it to a two tier cake for free.  We got the chocolate cake and it was AWFUL.  We ended up leaving ¾ of the cake in our room.  It was bad.


    Flowers: Emporio A


    The centerpieces are FANTASTIC.  My idea came together better than I imagined.  I did by a flower for the cake but it never made it on the cake…and I never saw it again…oh well.


    centerpiece.jpg                 centerpiecesours.jpg

    Inspiration Pic                                                                                   Our centerpieces



    I only had calla lilies, for everything…yellow and white ones…they were fine.



    Food: A

    • Appetizer: Shrimp Puff Pastry.  TOO DIE FOR.  I had some guests get a second one. 
    • Soup: Cream Corn Soup.  DELIGHTFUL.  Everyone raved about
    • Entr©e: Either Chicken stuff with tiger shrimp and chees in red bell pepper sauce or beef tenderloin.  I had the chicken and it was great.  I also heard good things about the steak.
    • Dessert:  Magda told me it was included and that I could not get a discount if I chose to just have cake so we had the brownie with ice cream.  By this time, everyone was full and dancing.  I went to our table for a bite and it was actually quite good but I was stuffed and having a blast.


    Overall Ceremony and Reception: A


    We were married at the gazebo.  It is quite close to the restaurant but they do clear the area out so that people aren’t sitting right there gawking at you.  Having the waves in the background was gorgeous.  I must say the ceremony and the reception flowed seamlessly.  I handed Magda a suitcase filled with wedding crap and d©cor and she set it up as I requested.  I think the only thing out of place was the fact that the flower was not on the cake. 



    This pic was before they put down the rose petals.


    The reception was held at the Cascada Terrace, despite the fact that we had a small group.  At the time that I reserved Dreams, there was another wedding happening that day so it is all that was available.  I loved it.  We had five round tables and a sweetheart table along with the bar set up on the top level and the sound system and white and yellow lanterns adorned the bottom level which served as our dance floor.


    To Magda’s credit I also asked for a yellow signature drink and she made it happen.  It was served at the cocktail hour and during the reception.  She also had one waiting for my mother and me when we got downstairs but I couldn’t drink anything.




    We has so much fun at the reception, everyone raved about it and we had a few wedding crashers as well.


    Other Randoms:


    Himatsu Restaurant: A+


    By far my favorite place restaurant.  I love sushi and their’s was awesome.  There is not a huge selection but it was good.  The pad thai was awesome and they have this fried shrimp stuff with cream cheese that just made my mouth water thinking about it.  OMG, the fried ice cream…yes people…It is a small restaurant but we never had a wait.


    OOT Bags: B


    Um, yeah a big pain but they were appreciated.  People used the Sudoku/crossword books and they loved the little facebook I put together.  I did see a few people working on a crossword puzzle that we put together with facts about us.  I wish that I would have incorporated that into the welcome dinner and given a way a prize or something for the most correct answers.  People also used the survival kits and cups.  No one used the beach balls or water guns.  The bags were fun to put together though!  Well, kind of.


    Gym: B


    It gets an “A” among hotel gyms.  For a hotel/resort gym I was satisfied.  There are 5 treadmills, 4 elliptical machines, 3 bikes and lots of free weights.  They have cool towels and towels to work out with.


    El Patio Breakfast Buffet: B


    This is the only place I had breakfast and I like it because there is a lot there.  Is it the best breakfast I have ever had?  No.  But, we have to remember that we are in a different country, at a resort that has to feed a lot of people.  I was definitely satiated after eating there each morning.




    Myself and all of my guests always tipped a little extra.  The staff, especially the bartenders, are so nice and we made friends with many of them.  I usually tipped the bartenders one or two dollars and housekeeping didn’t get tipped everyday but maybe 3 times, about 5 dollars each time.


    Ladies, my biggest advice, try not to sweat the small stuff and please please enjoy your day…it FLIES by. 


    I humbly thank all of the brides before me because I am sure that 90% of my ideas came from this site!



    Groomsmen Outfits and yellow Rose Petals



    My BFF/BM sang as I walked down the aisle



    Mom and Me



    My loverboy and Me

    #2 anichols8

    • Jr. Member
    • 232 posts

      Posted 03 June 2012 - 11:49 AM

      I'll post some professional pics when they come in!  Happy Planning!

      #3 anichols8

      • Jr. Member
      • 232 posts

        Posted 04 June 2012 - 06:32 AM

        Still can't believe it's already over.  Monday blues.

        #4 McLecker

        • Jr. Member
        • 194 posts

          Posted 05 June 2012 - 09:40 AM

          Wow! What a thorough review. Sorry to read that some of it wasn't quiet as planned..... but the fact that your days was amazing hopefully makes up for it!  :) Welcome back and to married life!

          #5 anichols8

          • Jr. Member
          • 232 posts

            Posted 11 June 2012 - 08:15 AM

            Thank you!!

            #6 wedding92012

            • Newbie
            • 61 posts

              Posted 25 June 2012 - 06:25 PM

              Thank you so much for taking the time to write this review! Sorry to hear you got sick and had some obstacles during the week The photos you posted sure make it look amazing! Congratulations!

              #7 anichols8

              • Jr. Member
              • 232 posts

                Posted 12 July 2012 - 02:40 PM

                Okay so, I finally got my pics from Enrique!  It was like living it all over again.  Thanks so much EMWeddings!!!






                EMP_0479 EF.jpg









                #8 McLecker

                • Jr. Member
                • 194 posts

                  Posted 27 July 2012 - 11:13 AM

                  Great pics! Love your cake!! I didn't notice in your review if you got your hair done at the salon at Dreams or not. If so - what did you think? thanks - hope married life is treating you well :)

                  #9 anichols8

                  • Jr. Member
                  • 232 posts

                    Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:57 PM

                    My mother did my hair!

                    #10 wedding92012

                    • Newbie
                    • 61 posts

                      Posted 12 September 2012 - 10:14 PM

                      McLecker: My bridesmaids, my mom, and MIL are getting their hair done at the Dreams Salon for our 9-22-2012 wedding. I will be sure to include a review of the salon. I am having Neysa Berman do my hair and make up, as well as make up for my mom and MIL.

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