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RIU Palace Planning and Review

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11 replies to this topic

#1 krisbahamabride

  • Newbie
  • 6 posts

    Posted 22 October 2012 - 05:30 PM

    Thank you to Best Destination Wedding for the help in planning my wedding!




    After being engaged for 1 year, we decided to move ahead with wedding plans. Jason is from CA and I'm originally from Mississippi. After much thought, we chose a destination wedding because we knew it would provide an intimate gathering of our families and it would be cost efficient. We chose the RIU Palace based on reviews from this website and my mom had stayed at a RIU before and liked it. The prices were great, and Cabo was a short trip for most of our guests. 


    Travel Agent: 


    We used Babs with Wright Travel which is from this site. Babs was amazing!! Many of my guests decided to book on their own, we had several coming from So Cal so it was pretty easy for them. However, my guests from Mississippi all used Babs. We mostly corresponded through emails. She was very prompt in her responses, literally like within the hour. In the beginning, when we were still deciding the location and date, she ran multiple price comparisons for us until we found the right choice for us. She spoke with my mom on the phone several times. She was so good and I recommend her!! I will use her again if I travel outside the country. Her email is barbara@wrighttravelagency.com 


    Wedding Coordinator:

    Our first wedding coordinator was Jazz, then Kylene took over. They both got back to me within a 1-3 day turn around. They both answered all my questions. I would recommend saving all emails and printing prior to arriving at the resort, especially if you have special requests. I met with Kylene once I arrived to the RIU to finalize all plans. I brought her my reception decor, which wasn't much with detailed directions on how to set up. It was all set up perfect. Stop stressing ladies!! She knows what she is doing. 


    Wedding Package:

    We purchased the Royal Package ($1600). Extras we added on included the private reception at Steakhouse ($500), sound system ($190), extra flowers ($68), photographer and videographer ($2500) and some small other charges... I was very pleased with the prices and wouldn't have changed anything. 


    Wedding Invites and Save the Date:

    First of all, I need to tell you that I'm currently working on my doctorate in nursing and working 12 hour night shifts part time. So, I totally simplified this whole wedding as much as possible. For my STD I made a video using One True Media, it literally took me 2-3 hours max. It was a slide show of pics, set to music with one video clip of our dog. I wish I could attach but not sure how. You can google One True Media and it will take you to the website. The best part, it was all FREE!!! No money spent on STD or postage, we just emailed it. We also decided to not send out any invites, but did send out brochures about the resort and travel to Mexico. Many found this to be helpful. 


    The Resort:

    The resort was beautiful and very clean!! There was always people cleaning. We stayed by the lobby on the 3rd floor with an ocean view. Best Room!! I recommend paying the extra for the ocean view rooms and requesting the 3rd and 4th floor off the lobby. The rooms to the left of the lobby are better because the disco starts up at 11 pm and you can hear it. The La Ventana Piano Bar is beside the lobby also. That is where we had cocktail hour between the wedding and reception. We also met there frequently throughout the week. The view is breathtaking!



    This is my hubby, and the view from our room. 



    Well, I wasn't that crazy about the food. However, I'm very picky, mostly very healthy eater. My mom and husband both got sick on day #2-3. I'm not sure what they ate, but after that I felt uneasy about eating. No other guest got sick, and several mentioned how wonderful the food was. Again, I'm picky so it may just be me. The water is not safe either; you must use bottled water for drinking and brushing your teeth. Also, if you are going to eat lunch at the main buffet, eat at 12, this area is inside/outside area, and the food sits there for long periods. 



    The entertainment at the pool was fun, they had water aerobics and different games each day. Some were hilarious. I did not care for the night entertainment too much. Sunday night, they had a Best Couple game night, I would recommend that one. Otherwise, I would make plans for off the resort if looking for entertainment. 


    Guest OOT Bags:

    Again, being a poor grad student, we tried to be frugal. We bought everyone a 32 oz Bubba Keg, deck of cards, and small assortment of snacks. I believe everyone used the bubba kegs. Just a warning 32 oz is HUGE. I wish I would have gotten something smaller. I ended up putting water in mine and just having the server bring me drinks. 32 oz of ETOH would not be good for this little lady!! The cards were used by several of the guests. I wish I had brought more snacks. The rooms weren't stocked with snacks, so I wish I would have spent more money there. 



    Alina did an amazing job. She was very quick to get back to me. I sent her a pic of the bouquet I liked and told her to plan the rest. She sent me back a detailed, and priced out list of exactly everything I could have imagined. I deleted the boutonniere and added a hair flower for an even trade. 



    My Beautiful Bouquet



    I ordered 3 starfish boutonnieres off Etsy for $20 for all 3. 



    Hair flower. My sister did my hair! I loved it!


    The Ceremony:


    The wedding was at the Gazebo. First off, our wedding was the first of October and it was HOT, HOT, HOT. Future brides, please take this into consideration when planning. If you do decide on August/October, do not pick beach unless it is later than 4pm, the sand is very hot on your feet. We kept the wedding ceremony short and I was thankful. We made group pictures in the grass, because it was shaded and my poor guest were melting. 











    The reception was at the terrace of the steakhouse. It was a very private area that was level with the beach. However, because of its location, there wasn't much breeze, therefore, it was HOT. And the only fan they had on the property was spitting our sparks of fire. I would recommend trying to have dinner where your reception will be held prior to the wedding night. That way maybe you could change sites, or at least buy some fans at Wal Mart. We did not use a DJ, I decided to take on the task of doing our music. This was one of the fun things during the planning phase. Jason and I had several nights where we drank wine and downloaded music. They did have a guy that ran the music. Prior to the wedding, I dropped off my iphone to Kylene with directions as to what to play during the ceremony, first dance, cake cutting, and etc... It all went smooth. 





    This table sat 24. We had dancing at the other end. There was plenty of room. 






    Haha, obviously these weren't used!!



    All of these were printed from Vista Print 



    This was sea glass that was given to us to give as favors. I loved them and they were a big hit with our guest. 



    Didn't eat it, the dinner came with dessert. But I was pleased with how it turned out. 





    We went with the resort photographer myweddinginloscabos.net/blog , and I am very pleased. We haven't received our video yet. All of the attached pictures are from the resort photographer, so you can be the judge!;)







    Hope this helps!!

    #2 Peach

    • Sr. Member
    • 1,293 posts

      Posted 23 October 2012 - 12:17 PM

      Lovely! Thanks for posting! You looked gorgeous on your big day!

      #3 kellykanester

      • Jr. Member
      • 236 posts

        Posted 23 October 2012 - 01:07 PM

        congrats, the wedding looked perfect !

        Happily married and now Mrs. West

        #4 brgephar

        • Jr. Member
        • 166 posts

          Posted 23 October 2012 - 02:40 PM

          Thanks for sharing! Everything looked wonderful -- congratulations!! :) I have to ask since I am getting married next October - how hot was it and where would you recommend having your reception if not the Steakhouse Terrace?

          #5 krisbahamabride

          • Newbie
          • 6 posts

            Posted 23 October 2012 - 07:21 PM

            It was in the 90's. 

            I wanted to do the Mexican restaurant but my husband and mom were totally against Mexican for the reception. But the terrace there is beautiful and it gets the ocean breeze. The area is not very private though, the terrace is level with the inside restaurant and the wall that separates it is glass. I didn't see any weddings by the pool, but that probably would have been better also.  When in October is your wedding? I've heard it's cooler toward the end of the month. 

            #6 brgephar

            • Jr. Member
            • 166 posts

              Posted 24 October 2012 - 04:59 PM

              Our wedding is right in the middle of the month - the 14th. I imagine it will be hit or miss and hard to predict the weather! Did it cool down some at night or was it still pretty stuffy? I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions and I hope newlywed life is treating you well --Congratulations!!

              #7 krisbahamabride

              • Newbie
              • 6 posts

                Posted 25 October 2012 - 04:44 PM

                It was stuffy. My reception turned out amazing anyways. I don't think I would have changed anything. However, if you really are interested in dancing, you might consider renting the Disco. It is air-conditioned. I think you can rent if from 8pm-11pm. Maybe do private or semi-private dinner, you can do your first dance there to get the photos and then head to the disco after. I guess it depends on your guests and what kind of reception you want to have. My family stuck around and danced with me until 11pm, they were real troopers because it was pretty miserable. But they all had fun!! 


                We did our dance followed by the cake cutting as soon as we entered the reception, just to get it out of the way and I wanted to make sure I got the photos. We were also nervous about our first dance, so it was nice to get it out of the way ASAP!



                Haha, I literally spent most of my reception like this!!

                #8 RNtoBe

                • Jr. Member
                • 255 posts

                  Posted 05 November 2012 - 08:54 PM

                  Thanks for posting a review! It's great to here from Riu Brides! Congratulations, your wedding looked beautiful. 

                  #9 kard613

                  • Jr. Member
                  • 225 posts

                    Posted 18 November 2012 - 04:16 PM

                    Thanks for sharing! So many great ideas and you looked beautiful!

                    #10 Mimi127

                    • Jr. Member
                    • 221 posts

                      Posted 19 November 2012 - 06:34 PM

                      Thanks for sharing. You were a beautiful bride.

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