Lomas Weddings / Events at El Dorado Maroma-
We were assigned Valeria Martinez and had issues from start to finish. Working with Lomas Weddings is a challenge to say the least. First of all, the only communication with them is email due to their being in Mexico. You canâ€™t call them. So, there is naturally a lot of extra back and forth with this processâ€¦even when you have a top GIVC person involved like we did with Gayle Ailshie of Travel Haus St. Louis.
We had nearly 60 people for our wedding, and had to plan an opening cocktail reception, rehearsal dinner, and wedding reception. We also had another family wedding the next day, so were working with them on four events total.
With that amount of people, we wanted our events to go well. For some it was small change, for others a major investment to be a part of our destination wedding at this resort. We really donâ€™t know what we would have done if Gayle had not been there. Right away she had to get involved with room issues for several of our guests. Who would they have gone to if she wasnâ€™t there?
In spite of the extra planning prior to arrival, we had to meet with Valeria, Victor, and Adrianna (with El Dorado Maroma). Adrianna is an absolute gem, and resolved so many unnecessary issues for us. Victor was very green, and clearly not at the time of our wedding up to handling one of our size. He got a tongue lashing from the bride, mother of the bride, and groom at different times. I will say this for Victor, he handled himself professionally, and that is to be commended. But, he was simply not ready to handle our wedding. We would have rather had Adrianna run the events, and would not have had as many issues.
On to the issues.
They moved our wedding meeting on us without telling the bride and groom of the revised time. While we sat down to eat breakfast (note did not even get to start), we were ushered off to our meeting by Lomas staff. I really donâ€™t understand how we go from having a confirmed time the day before to them moving it up by two hours after that, without telling us. I can maybe understand moving it back, but you canâ€™t plan your day for things in advance of where they are scheduled.
While at our revised meeting, we let the staff know of the brideâ€™s allergy to mangos. In reviewing each menu item for the rehearsal dinner, wouldnâ€™t you think to double check for that? They didnâ€™t and the groom saved the bride from an inevitable allergic reaction.
The groom does not eat much seafood. The surf and turf (lobster & steak) dinner for the wedding reception was not going to work for him. He does eat crab cakes, but the Gourmet Inclusive staff was unable to make that. Still baffled by that one, but instead they suggested two steaks for him. The groom objected because he didnâ€™t want it to appear that he wasnâ€™t eating and get the likely attention from others encouraging him to eat.
The solution was a simple oneâ€¦a larger steak. The result, two smaller ones. So, after eating one of the smaller steaks, the groom took his plate over to Victor during the wedding reception. I asked him why we had the meeting and menu discussions in detail if they were going to mess up the two specifics we asked for.
Having already expressed during the meeting the concern of it appearing that nothing had been eaten, Victorâ€™s solution was to bring out a brand new plate with the large steak. This really set the groom off, and he took the whole plate and handed it personally to Victor.
Lomas wanted to charge us $4 per out of town gift bag to be delivered to each personâ€™s room. Gayle from Travel Haus took care of this for us, but we were quite put off have brought the amount of people we did for there to be an additional charge like this. Yet another issue with Lomas that was really unnecessary.
Lomas Weddings Equipment Rental (iPod Docking Station & Speaker)-
During the rehearsal dinner, there was a set playlist. Somehow the sound tech changed the settings and instead chose to shuffle the songs. After spending a hefty amount of time selecting the playlist, it was noticed immediately. The assigned tech chose to argue with the groom that it wasnâ€™t on shuffle. The groom promptly fixed the issue, but Lomas needs to have their assigned techs proficient in minimal iPod operationsâ€¦especially if they are charging $250 for it.
During the wedding reception, the tech was not watching the sound volumes between songs and the bride had to repeatedly ask him to turn up the volume. It was eventually corrected, but again had issues with the assigned tech on back to back events.
Lomas Weddings Webcast-
There were issues with this also from start to finish. Choosing to go the destination route for our wedding was an easy one because there was an option to webcast our wedding. Not only would our friends and family back home get to see it live as well as after the eventâ€¦.we would get a video as well.
We had issues with the emails not getting out to our list of people to receive it. We had to send it out literally five different times. Additionally, Lomas attempted to raise the price from $300 to $350 after we had it in writing from them for $300. We got it for $300.
The genius videographer set up right in the middle of the aisle. He blocked wedding guests view of the bride coming down the aisle. He blocked the photographerâ€™s view pointâ€¦so we have A TON of pictures of the brideâ€¦and the videographer. He should have been set up in the cornerâ€¦.and Victor from Lomas should have known to proactively suggest he move to the corner.
Our wedding was at the beginning of May. Most people couldnâ€™t catch the wedding live, and also couldnâ€™t watch it on replay because it wasnâ€™t available. We paid for that service, but didnâ€™t get it. We were not aware of this until friends brought it to our attention a few weeks after the wedding. So, the â€œReplayâ€ became available not right after our wedding. It went up at the end of June. We started asking questions about this at the beginning of June. Why wasnâ€™t our wedding available online? Why donâ€™t we have the DVDâ€™s? We didnâ€™t have them edited, so we donâ€™t we have them? We had our nearly 2,000 wedding pictures from the photographer in less than two weeks after the wedding.
Valeria Martinez was who we worked with on this, and it honestly got tiresome to have to continue to ask her where our DVDâ€™s were and still not get them. This went on for over two months. Valeria let us know that the DVDâ€™s were sent out via certified mail and we should receive them in a couple of days. I asked her for the tracking number so we could see where they were. She didnâ€™t have one, so why would you send it certified if you canâ€™t track it? That was in early July (we still donâ€™t have them as of mid-August).
Oh, and the videographer was in Spain and wouldnâ€™t be returning until the end of Augustâ€¦and wasnâ€™t sure if he still had the video. They donâ€™t normally keep them that long. At this point I asked Valeria for a resolution. I let her know that at a minimum I expected a refund of the webcast. I didnâ€™t say how much of a refund, as I wanted to see what she felt was appropriateâ€¦but I had a few ideas in mind. I gave her the opportunity to make it right.
What did Valeria do? She threw the videographer under the bus and copied us on the email. Not only was this highly unprofessional, but we didnâ€™t work at all with the videographer. We werenâ€™t given the choice as we could only work with Lomas Weddings. She asked him for a resolution. Really? Seriously??
She represented Karisma Hotels, and their most expensive property in El Dorado Maroma. Given Lomas Weddings consistent and repeated failings, I asked her again for a resolutionâ€¦and it better be good. I expected a full refund of the webcast and I asked her to come up with an additional resolution that was on par with the level of service they give at that resort.
It wasnâ€™t until we let them know that we had reason to and would win a dispute of ALL Lomas charges that they finally got something done. Valeriaâ€™s revised solution? A refund of the webcast, plus an additional $46.40. The extra $46.40 came from taking off the brideâ€™s meal for the rehearsal dinner and the groomâ€™s meal for the wedding reception. I was honestly surprised that this was her view of making things right. We had invested so much time, energy, and effortâ€¦doing what she should have been doing. At this point we were done with Valeria.
In reading reviews of El Dorado Maroma, anytime there is an issue the resort is practically begging for the opportunity to host the couple/group again to show how things should be on property. It honestly was a factor in our choosing the resort in the first placeâ€¦the reviews. If something went wrong they would make it right.
When you consider all of the hassle we had to go through with Lomas for literally everythingâ€¦Valeria felt $46.40 was appropriate. We gave Valeria every opportunity and then some to avoid any negative review for Lomas. Reviews were why we picked our resort.
We wouldnâ€™t change where we had our wedding as El Dorado Maroma is quite magical. But those planning any events, outings, transportation, or anything with Lomas needs to be aware. Get it in writing like we did. Review everything with them. Review it on site. Review it again. Review it the day of the event. Review it an hour prior to the event. Then, you might have a decent shot at things going smoothly.