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Gran Bahia Principe Esmeralda 2013 Brides

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Hello everyone, I just joined as a member so I could give some feedback on my wedding. We were married Feb 12th 2014


-We had a legal ceremony at 2 at the garden gazebo. I was so happy with the location as it is much more private than the beach location and there is a much nicer aisle to walk down.

I requested that they cover the entire arch with flowers (usually it's just a small arrangement on the top of the arch) and they did an amaaaaazing job. I had beautiful peachy and pink roses and what I think were fully opened peonies as well as greenery covering the arch. Flowers are important to me so I was willing to spend extra (it was only 300 which I thought was not bad at all for that many flowers ) We brought paper parasols for the guests to give them some shade and keep them cool. They were so pretty in the pictures as well :)


- After the ceremony we had a cocktail hour with canapés, drinks and fruit skewers. This went from about 2:30 to 3:30 or so. This was at a different location (the iron gazebo area) but they picked up our guests on a trolley and drove them over. I loved that we did this so that we had a chance to celebrate and mingle with everyone before heading off for pictures. Also there were some great candid pictures taken during this time.


-We did the family portraits in a garden area and then the bridal party and parents sat and had a rest and a drink before heading to the beach for the rest of the pictures. The timing worked out well because by this time the beach was not crowded and the lighting was beautiful. We used the resort photographer and he was fantastic (request Louis!)


- Our private dinner was at the Piscis at 7. I had brought a few little decorative items for the tables (some gold mason jars which the coordinator ordered some extra flowers for and some little mini frame place cards) and Doralis did a beautiful job setting them up for us.

We chose a beef entree for our guests and they were very happy. We had a few vegetarian and other dietary concerns and they were very accommodating. We opted to do the sound system for our dinner music and dance party and it worked out so great. It wasn't that hard to come up with a playlist and the sound system was really loud.


We really did have the perfect wedding and such an amazing week with our friends and family. I wouldn't have done anything differently.

If I can figure out how I might post a few pics :)

Oh and I forgot to mention, we did do the open bar for the reception. If you are only having a dinner you wouldn't need to as they will serve beer and wine, but for the two hours or so of dancing it is nice to have your own little bar. There isn't a bar close to the Piscis so there is no way for your guests to get a drink during that time

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Hi Blushrose,


So glad that I read your feedback re the resort before I submit the form to them. I am getting married there in November and I must say that I am anxious as I don't know what to expect. I was going to choose the beach as the place of the ceremony but after reading your post I will do it at the white gazebo (is that the same as the garden gazebo?) I would really appreciate it if you could answer some of my questions.

1. The time of ceremony is also at 2:00PM but my concern is what are the guests going to do in between before the reception. I chose the Unforgettable Package but told the coordinator that I may change to Romance Extravaganza closer to the date because I don't know how many guest will be attending. 

2. Is Piscis nice? Did you have any concern re mosquitoes? Is it work the extra $$ to have a private reception at Piscis.

3. Did  they charge you extra for bringing your own decorative items?

4. Where did you do your hair/makeup? Any tips would help.


I hope you can share some of your wedding photos. I look forward to hearing from you.


Thank you and congratulations!!

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Hi Tinnih,

I just uploaded some photos but I don't know if it worked?

There is a great site that I go on called Weddingbee that I put a bunch of photos on. If you go on that site, go to boards and then beehive and you should be able to find my post. My name on there is peachrose.


I was also worried about the timing of the 2 o'clock ceremony, and that's why I ended up doing a cocktail hour after so that it didn't feel like it was soooo much time in between.

I believe most people that weren't involved in the photos and bridal party photos went for a swim and just relaxed in between. There was enough time for them to get ready again for the reception. In the end I was so happy with the 2 o'clock ceremony because my wedding day felt longer because of it.


I was very happy with the Piscis restaurant. As far as I know there wasn't any issues with mosquitoes (although some people during the week had some bites from staying out late in the evenings and going down to the beach at night)

The thing that I loved about the Piscis is that it is open air but still covered. I didn't want to be cooped up inside. It is close to the beach so you get a nice breeze from the water. It was important to me to have a private reception


I wasn't charged anything for bringing my decorative items so that was good. As far as hair and make up, we did it ourselves. My self and two bridesmaids are make up artists and with hair we just wanted it to look natural. I used some clip in hair extensions and wore it down and wavy with a sparkly headband. It actually lasted pretty well but I have to admit after the beach photos it did get a bit disheveled.

I just knew I wouldn't like what they would do at the resort because I didn't wasn't stiff hair.

Feel free to ask me anymore questions! I'm happy to help because I know how stressful planning can be

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What a gorgeous bride!!! You're so beautiful!! Thank you for sharing your pictures. I will definitely do the gazebo, i guess the white gazebo is also known as the garden gazebo 'coz you mentioned that the cocktail was at the iron gazebo area. I love how they decorated the arch. I guess you took the romance extravaganza package bec that includes the canapé and the drinks. What did you mean by "you opted to do the the sound system"? Does it mean you didn't hire a DJ? 


The dinner starts at 7, what time did you guys finish? Also, were the food ok? Any tips on what to order or not to order? What about your wedding cake? 


I am so happy that I came across this site and found you  :)


Thank you so much Blushrose!! I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. 

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Thank you! I'm happy to be able to help. I remember trying to find information when planning and it was a bit stressful, so it feels so nice to help someone else. Here are the answers to your questions:


-You're right, the white gazebo is called the garden gazebo. As far as the arch, I did ask to have them cover the whole thing, normally they just stick a small arrangement at the top and I wasn't a fan of how it looked. They charged me 300 to cover the whole arch. I didn't do sashes or anything on the chairs, just the white covers. I wanted the flowers to be the focus.


-I can't remember the package we chose, but it was the medium one, not romance extravaganza. It was so hard to choose which package because of course at that point we didn't know how many people were coming, it was a bit overwhelming.

In hindsight we probably should have done the extravaganza package, especially since we did the cocktail and canapés. We had to pay extra for that. It was something I decided to do just a couple of weeks before we left.


-initially we did have the dj booked, but I just didn't like how you don't have any contact with the dj as far as giving them a list of songs to play or not play. The coordinator said she would pass on a list to him, but it just felt weird to me. So about two weeks before we left I changed my mind and asked if we could do the sound system instead. It worked out great.

We made a playlist on an iPod for the dinner music (we did instrumental versions of popular songs) and then made a playlist for the first dance, and the dance party music. It actually wasn't that hard to come up with a list and our guests really enjoyed the playlist (the oldies songs were the biggest hit) The sound system was really loud and worked out great. It was 260 for the sound system and would have been 500 for the dj. I think what it comes down to is that I was too much of a control freak to trust the dj to play music that we like.


- I can't remember what time dinner finished.....but I definitely wished that we had a bit more time for dancing. The reception was supposed to end at 11 but we begged them to let us stay until 11:30 and they said yes, so that was nice. We also were tipping the bar tenders really well too so that probably helped ;)

After the reception ended most of us continued the party at the disco. It was so much fun. I didn't think I would want to party that late but I just didn't want the day to be over


-for the meal we went with one of the beef options (the one that has the Caesar salad as the starter) and our guests were raving about it. My husband and I are vegetarian and they were very accommodating.


-to be honest I didn't really care what the cake looked like (they get you to pick from a few different pictures when you have your meeting when you get down there) but we chose coconut flavour and it was sooooo good! I wish I ate more of it but I was too busy dancing and having fun.


I hope this helps....keep the questions coming! It's fun for me to relive my wedding day by telling you all about it, haha.

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I'm so glad I seen you're posts. It didn't seem like many people were posting getting married at this site. I am getting married here April 28th. A lot of my day is similar to your blushrose. Mine is at the piscis as well and I chose the same menu. I have an open bar as well. I was planning on having the ceremony at the beach but I may wait and decide upon arrival. Your pics look beautiful at the garden gazebo.

I am having dj mannia for the night. It is too bad it ends at 11.. Not very late.

Did you have a welcome dinner?

I wasn't going to have apps since my ceremony is at 4. Or would you still recommend it.

Did they have a variety of colours in the flowers to choose from? I would like tropical flowers with a main focus on coral.

Any other suggestions would be helpful!

I'm glad you had a good wedding and vacation week!

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We had a welcome cocktail hour in a little private area of the lobby at the Esmeralda, this is where we handed out our welcome bags. To do a private welcome dinner it would have cost the same as having a private reception. They were really great at the buffet when we would show up with a big group, they would always try to seat us all together. I'm sure they would have lots of options in those colours for flowers. She was really great and had the florist send over a peach colored rose to make sure I liked the colour. I wasn't even that worried about it but she wanted to make sure I was happy..

Oh and about the beach ceremony, I'm sure it would be better at 4 than at 2, but it's such a crowded area on the beach...I don't think I would have enjoyed having my ceremony there very much.

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I know you have to pay extra for a private reception at Piscis. Did they decorate the place nicely for you? What about the table setting? I'm also going to have a plain white cover for the chairs. Any tips what to bring in terms of decorating the reception area? I really hope that Pamelalayte and I will be as lucky as you on our wedding day  :)  I told the coordinator to give me the 4:00PM time slot should it become available. 

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We had a civil ceremony where the judge speaks in Spanish and there is a woman who translates to English. I was worried it would be awkward or strange but it wasn't at all. I actually forgot the trio was included in my package, it was the coordinators idea to use them during the cocktail hour. I was so glad she suggested that, it added a fun atmosphere..

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