I am sitting in the lounge at Le Reve writing this review because I want everything to be as fresh in my mind as possible! Here are a few thoughts about the vendors we used for our Le Reve wedding. Since we are still here and have a few things to wrap up, I will write a separate review on Le Reve later. We also worked with del Sol for photography and PlayaWeddings for videography, but I'd like to save those reviews until after we see their work
Transportation - Mayan Hospitality Services
We worked with Raffaele Pata of Mayan Hospitality Services for airport transfers. Raffaele was great to work with via email leading up to the arrivals. Raffaele himself was even at the airport to greet us when we arrived! He wasn't the driver but it was really special that he was there - totally unexpected. In general all of the transfers went well, except for one coming from the airport to Le Reve. The driver dropped off four of our guests at the resort next door (Azul Fives), then left before anyone realized it wasn't Le Reve. While the distance between the two hotels is short, it would have been impossible to walk on either the dirt road or the beach which separate them with all of their luggage, so they had to call another taxi. The expense and delay this caused was inconvenient, but if that's the worst thing that happened, we are still very happy. Overall I would strongly recommend working with this company.
Alcohol Purchase - La Europea
We negotiated a corkage fee with Le Reve, meaning that we bought the alcohol and paid them to open and serve it (beer, wine, liquor). We bought the alcohol form La Europea, a store in Playa del Carmen that works with distributors to sell their products. Having corkage was important to us for a few reasons: 1) The open bar packages Le Reve offered didn't include the kinds of alcohol we wanted to serve - even their most premium package didn't have a few liquors that we knew our family wanted 2) It was a lot less expensive than buying an open bar package. While these are major points, it was a really big headache for both us and Le Reve. Our contact at La Europea was very unresponsive. We thought that he would consult us on how much and what variety we should buy for our number of guests, but basically we had to do all of the research and figure out exactly what we wanted to buy, then he gave us a price. We ended up not finalizing everything until the day before we left for Mexico, which needless to say added some anxiety that we did NOT need at that time. We ended up having a LOT of extra alcohol. We are able to return unopened bottles of liquor and red wine, however, which is nice and in my opinion the only positive to working with them. If I had to do it over again, I would either stick with the open bar despite its cost (soo much easier for everyone!) or just go to Walmart and buy everything ourselves so we would have control over the situation rather than waiting to hear back from someone. I think Walmart's prices were better, too.
Flowers - Vanessa Jaimes
The flowers at our wedding were absolutely gorgeous and we got so many compliments on our floral arrangements. The most beautiful part was our floral arch which I actually didn't get to see until AFTER the wedding because it started pouring the minute my bridal processional was set to begin and they couldn't move the arch inside Yes, everyone was seated and waiting for me and had to make a mad dash inside!! But anyways, Vanessa did an incredible job. I think she gave us more flowers (for centerpieces, cocktail table arrangements, etc.) than we were supposed to get which was really amazing (thanks Vanessa!). My only one complaint is that my bouquet did not have one of the flowers (hydrangea) I requested (or if it did, it was such a small quantity that it was unnoticeable). Hydrangea is expensive in Mexico so I was a little annoyed, but Vanessa more than over-delivered on everything else so I really cannot complain. The most amazing thing about Vanessa is that she was able to take our ideas, our pictures we shared - and make the final result EVEN better than we could have imagined. She also provided some smaller centerpieces for our rehearsal dinner which were beautiful as well, and also less expensive than other local florists we had quote the job. I am really gad we worked with Vanessa and would highly recommend her to future brides.
Decor - Planner 1
Almost all of our decor was DIY (napkins, table overlays, etc - we brought 9 suitcases with us!) or provided by Le Reve, but we hired Planner 1 to install 20 star lanterns hanging from the trees around the pool. They had the best price for this and Fernanda was very easy to work with - very responsive and kind. It is probably due to the availability of electrical outlets, but all the lanterns ended up hanging from 2 of the 6 trees, but they looked great nonetheless. I did see a few stars randomly sitting on the floor (unlit) in the corner of the dancefloor which surprised me, but we were happy enough with the others. We did a lot of research on decor before deciding to bring things with us, and overall we thought Planner 1 had the best options and "taste" in decor and would highly recommend them to future brides.
Minister - Enrique Monroy
Enrique is such a kind man and we were so happy we found him for our wedding. We also had a legal ceremony, but basically the judge was called up just to collect our signature and fingerprints, and Enrique did everything else. A few of our guests also commented how great he was. He also works with the Palace chain I think and he is a VERY busy man - we were lucky to hire him at the last minute.
DJ and Lighting - Plug in Audiovisual
Andrew and I are NOT dancers - In fact we spent the majority of the reception far away from the dancefloor - so the DJ/music was not important to us. Our wedding coordinator at Le Reve (Arlenis) recommended Agustin from Plug in Audiovisual and we blindly booked him with no research or comparisons. He was AMAZING! All of our guests were raving how great he was for the dancing portion of the night. We basically gave him a list of all the dance songs to play (we got requests from our guests in advance) but he was incredible mixing and transitioning, etc. Everyone said it was an awesome dance party, which was especially surprising since we are not dancers! The company also provided all of our lighting, which included the reception and dance floor areas. They were even able to create a custom gobo with our monogram to project on the dance floor, which turned out AWESOME. Our photographers got a great shot of it, and as soon as we have the photos back I'll post it! Arlenis mentioned a long time ago that they have an exclusive partnership with him for weddings at Le Reve so unless that has changed I'm not sure you can book him elsewhere, but he is great. She said he does about 90% of the weddings at Le Reve.
If I had to do it over again, I would stick with the open bar package - In fact, Le Reve has informed us that they will not be doing corkage anymore for future weddings.
That's it for now, please let me know if you have any questions or if you need contact info!