Hello fellow Tulum Brides! I'm finally settling in after returning from my dream wedding at Ana y Jose Hotel. I'll try to be as inclusive as possible for all future Tulum brides.
Ana y Jose Hotel vs Beach Club
My fiance and I have been visiting Tulum for years so getting married here was a no brainer. We usually stay at La Zebra and just assumed this would be our wedding site. However, after visiting and finding out more about their wedding policy, (must rent out the entire hotel for three nights) we crossed it off the list. As we soon found, not wanting to rent out the entire hotels left us with only a few options. We went to check out Ana y Jose Beach Club after seeing great pictures and reading reviews. As we approached the property my fiance and I were turned off, it felt like a catering hall or wedding factory and we knew that wasn't for us. (Please don't misunderstand me, I have seen beautiful weddings here it just wasn't for us.) But we headed to the hotel where we were meeting the planner for our tasting. The hotel was BEAUTIFUL! We loved the grounds and the view from the deck area as well as the open air restaurant. We asked to have the wedding there and while it was an unusual request they were happy to accommodate us. I CANNOT RECOMMEND THE HOTEL ENOUGH!!! It was truly the perfect wedding location. The staff was beyond excellent, always helpful and thinking one step ahead. When the party moved to the beach they brought drink trays with beer and water and another tray with tequila! True perfection. Our guests raved about the food, my Uncle even said it was the best wedding food he had ever eaten. The hotel's planning service Tulum Weddings was incredibly helpful. Jackie was the point person for planning and Claudia was on site during the wedding. They were both wonderful. Jackie was quick to respond and helped line up all the details from afar while Claudia was able to keep the night running smoothly even during a short 15 minute rain storm! If you are looking for a wedding location and planner I cannot rave enough about AYJ.
FineArts Studio Photography
My fiance and I thought a lot about the style of photography we wanted for our wedding. It was important to us to have mostly non-posed, candid shots and we went with FAS. We could not be happier with the photographs we got. Fabrizio and Hernan were wonderful and managed to capture both the emotions of the ceremony and the joy of the evening all at the same time. I will say that while they focused on candid shots there was a good deal of posed pictures. I am very grateful for them now (as they turned out BEYOND amazing) but it does take time. They are passionate about their craft and will take 3-5 minutes for the perfect shot. Just something to be prepared for.
Nora Grey: Hair and Makeup
This was the only part of the day I was a little nervous about. Not getting to have a hair and makeup trial, or even meeting the team till the day of was a little tense for me. I could not have been happier with the team, the process and the end result from Nora and her girls. The team of four came to primp myself, mother, sister and girlfriend. (Nora even came early to cut a guests hair!) I brought photographs of what I wanted for both my hair and makeup and they were able to bring my vision to life. I was a little picky and they would stop throughout the process to confirm we were on the same page. In the end what they created for everyone was flawless.
Vanessa Jaimes Floral Design
With Tulum's natural beauty and the pristine grounds of Ana y Jose, we knew we wanted little flowers or decorations. We ordered a bouquet for myself, a medium one for my sister and maid of honor and a small bouquet for my mother. At the last minute we added a few boutonnieres for the boys and I was so glad we did. The single orchid boutonnieres were beautiful. For our centerpieces we ordered round mirrors with candles on top and added Patron bottles to each table. They were understated and just the right touch. The one decoration I was set on and had a vision for was our wedding chuppah (arch), I knew I wanted four post bamboo arch with white fabric and flowers. After countless emails and pictures I was overwhelmed with what VJ team created. And impressed as they had to assemble and move it three times due to changes in dance floor plans! When I saw it in person an saw the amount of beautiful flowers on it I understood the cost. It was a perfect frame to our "I do".
OM Tulum: Welcome Dinner
We decided to have all our guests come to a dinner the night before the wedding at our expense to thank everyone for coming and welcome them to town. We chose OM for a casual dinner with great guacamole and cold beer. This was the perfect location! We considered a few places in town but along with our guests we did not want to leave the beach. Lissette and her team at OM closed down the beachfront area for us and brought extra tables down. We chose a few selections from the menu, guacamole and pico along with four types of pizza and nutella pizza for dessert to serve to our guests. It was great! Guests raved about the food and it was a constant stream as all the food was made fresh and brought to us on the beach. For drinks we wanted to pay for our guests without having two nights of open bar, we provided beer, soda and smoothies at our costs up to a limit at the bar. The bar tenders kept the tab and Lissette updates us on where the tab was as the night progressed. We ended the night below our limit and even took some beers for the walk back! While we were at OM a few turtles came ashore to lay eggs, it was the perfect start to wedding weekend.
We wanted to provide a welcome bag to each guest. We selected totes from weddingchicks.com that stated "Hola Amigo" and encouraged guests to use as beach bags to identify other guests when they were on the beach. Inside we put one sunscreen, one aloe bottle, a few bug wipes, ibuprofen and antacids, a map of Tulum, a schedule of events and meet ups for the weekend, wedding koozies and snacks from local grocery store. We did not provide drinks since each hotel provided complimentary water bottles. We encourages guests to pick up liquor at duty free for their rooms.
One other suggestion I have for EVERY destination wedding is to stock up on post cards! We purchased them for our guests to write to us in place of a guest book and mailed them home. We then got extras and used them as thank you notes, a great memory for guests to have. Also, if you plan on having your reception on the beach I would recommend a light up dance floor! I know you may be thinking no this is not a music video, I know that's what my husband said when I suggested it, but seriously it was fantastic!
Please message me if there is anything I can do to help any new brides!