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How are you tackling your site visits?


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#1 brownsugarbride

brownsugarbride
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  • 599 posts

    Posted 13 May 2013 - 11:46 AM

    Hi all:

     

    I was talking with one of my friends about flying down to RM/Cancun to scout out wedding locations.  We're trying to save money, so we would have to do everything in one trip. My concern is that by going down to scout out places, that wouldn't leave any opportunity to have a tasting.  Since the food is one of our top priorities, this would NOT be good.  On the other hand, I'm a little nervous about picking a hotel/AI site unseen, especially given comments about some hotels being much nicer than they appear in photos (or visa versa). 

     

    I would appreciate any thoughts, previous experiences, or other comments on this one!



    #2 Yazmin De La Mora

    Yazmin De La Mora
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      Posted 28 May 2013 - 01:49 PM

      Hello brownsugarbride,

       

      I completely undestand your point.

       

      To define a location will be one of the most difficult things in the wedding process so if you are not really sure about certain locations you should take the site inspection as a part of your wedding budget.

       

      When the couple hire our services before a site inspection we normally send photos, links, reviews and ask them to send us also photos from their needs and taste so we can together define their top 2-3 options for locations depending on their budget and needs.  

       

      Depending if their choices are AI or private locations we also suggest hotels, villas or condos for their guests to stay.  If they have a catholic ceremony, we also visit the Chapel.

       

      On the same day or the day after we arrange meetings in our offices with all the vendors such DJ, sound & lighting system, dance floor, musicians, flowers, decor, tablecloth, photo, video, furniture, cake tasting so bride and groom can meet them, see their work, prices and their offers.

       

      If Bride and Groom have a private venue then we also arrange a menu tasting with wine pairing and cocktails depending on clients desires and needs.

       

      We have been working like this for more than 7 years already with great results!

       

      Here is a link where I talked about it in this forum:

       

      http://www.bestdesti...g-site-planning

       

      Hope the above helped a bit!

       

      Kind Regards,

       



      #3 brownsugarbride

      brownsugarbride
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        Posted 05 June 2013 - 05:33 AM

        Yazmin-

          It's always great to get perspectives from professionals like you that have been doing this for a long time! I know things will come together for me eventually! Thanks again!



        #4 Yazmin De La Mora

        Yazmin De La Mora
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          Posted 05 June 2013 - 08:26 AM

          Originally Posted by brownsugarbride 

          Yazmin-

            It's always great to get perspectives from professionals like you that have been doing this for a long time! I know things will come together for me eventually! Thanks again!

          Hey!

          I am happy to know that we can help some how and I am sure things will come together for you very soon! 

          Happy planning!



          #5 FutureMrsSingh

          FutureMrsSingh
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          • 34 posts

            Posted 10 June 2013 - 01:07 PM

            Originally Posted by brownsugarbride 

            Hi all:

             

            I was talking with one of my friends about flying down to RM/Cancun to scout out wedding locations.  We're trying to save money, so we would have to do everything in one trip. My concern is that by going down to scout out places, that wouldn't leave any opportunity to have a tasting.  Since the food is one of our top priorities, this would NOT be good.  On the other hand, I'm a little nervous about picking a hotel/AI site unseen, especially given comments about some hotels being much nicer than they appear in photos (or visa versa). 

             

            I would appreciate any thoughts, previous experiences, or other comments on this one!

             

            Hi there,

             

            My fiance and I scouted about 5 resorts in one day as part of our overall vacation/scouting trip to Moon Palace in May 2013. We kind of figured we were going to go with Moon Palace before we headed down to Mexico, which is why we booked out stay there. Our travel agent arranged for us to spend one whole day doing site inspections of other resorts up and down the Riviera - we did 2 in the Cancun hotel zone (Beach Palace and Sandos), 2 along the Riviera (Dreams Riviera and Azul Sensatori), and 1 in Playa del Carmen (Playacar Palace).

             

            We rented a car and had a very tight schedule that we completely got off course from within the first two inspections! It was a very busy day and we ran extremely late for every appointment after the second one. Each inspection took at least an hour, and we did not do any food tastings except at one location, which in turn delayed us even further. That being said, it was good to sample the food at that spot because it demonstrated to us that while the food at the resort was pretty decent, the amount of time it took to get our food was ridiculous! 

             

            I would highly recommend doing site inspections in this fashion, because it allows you to see the different locations back-to-back, and allow for immediate comparisons. Plus you only have to rent the car for one day. Start early, allow enough time in between to get lost (it's actually really tough to get from one side of the highway to the other in some areas if the resort is not on the side you are currently driving on). Make sure you take your phones with you, and have them fully charged, because we took videos of EVERYTHING so that we could refer to them later. 

             

            With regard to tastings, we also placed food as a top priority at first, because we wanted traditional Indian food and wanted to make sure that the resorts could accommodate. Most of them cannot. Having been to Mexico before, we have always found resort food to be very disappointing. We are big foodies, and I am a vegetarian, so this is a big deal for us. That being said, in the end we decided that the location is the #1 priority, because if the scenery, rooms and staff are sub-par, no amount of yummy food can make up for that. Everyone is different in terms of their priorities, but for us, we definitely shifted the priority in favour of a location that would be the most fun for us and our guests, with the understanding that neither of us have really ever liked the food at a Mexican resort, and we probably never will. Doing a wedding in Mexico really comes with some compromises, and sometimes food is one of them. 

             

            I hope that helps! Congrats on your engagement and good luck with the planning :)



            #6 brownsugarbride

            brownsugarbride
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              Posted 10 June 2013 - 01:17 PM

              Originally Posted by FutureMrsSingh 

               

              Hi there,

               

              My fiance and I scouted about 5 resorts in one day as part of our overall vacation/scouting trip to Moon Palace in May 2013. We kind of figured we were going to go with Moon Palace before we headed down to Mexico, which is why we booked out stay there. Our travel agent arranged for us to spend one whole day doing site inspections of other resorts up and down the Riviera - we did 2 in the Cancun hotel zone (Beach Palace and Sandos), 2 along the Riviera (Dreams Riviera and Azul Sensatori), and 1 in Playa del Carmen (Playacar Palace).

               

              We rented a car and had a very tight schedule that we completely got off course from within the first two inspections! It was a very busy day and we ran extremely late for every appointment after the second one. Each inspection took at least an hour, and we did not do any food tastings except at one location, which in turn delayed us even further. That being said, it was good to sample the food at that spot because it demonstrated to us that while the food at the resort was pretty decent, the amount of time it took to get our food was ridiculous! 

               

              I would highly recommend doing site inspections in this fashion, because it allows you to see the different locations back-to-back, and allow for immediate comparisons. Plus you only have to rent the car for one day. Start early, allow enough time in between to get lost (it's actually really tough to get from one side of the highway to the other in some areas if the resort is not on the side you are currently driving on). Make sure you take your phones with you, and have them fully charged, because we took videos of EVERYTHING so that we could refer to them later. 

               

              With regard to tastings, we also placed food as a top priority at first, because we wanted traditional Indian food and wanted to make sure that the resorts could accommodate. Most of them cannot. Having been to Mexico before, we have always found resort food to be very disappointing. We are big foodies, and I am a vegetarian, so this is a big deal for us. That being said, in the end we decided that the location is the #1 priority, because if the scenery, rooms and staff are sub-par, no amount of yummy food can make up for that. Everyone is different in terms of their priorities, but for us, we definitely shifted the priority in favour of a location that would be the most fun for us and our guests, with the understanding that neither of us have really ever liked the food at a Mexican resort, and we probably never will. Doing a wedding in Mexico really comes with some compromises, and sometimes food is one of them. 

               

              I hope that helps! Congrats on your engagement and good luck with the planning :)

               

              ^^^^Reason #10001 that I love this board! Thank you so much for this excellent advice!  (As it stands, I am supposed to go with my mom for a site visit, but if you recommend driving, I think I should go with my FH, who has driven in places like Jamaica! LOL)  Right now, I'm working with a planner on a possible off-site location that I think will work better for my needs and allow a bit more control over the menu.  I do, at the very least, want to look at AI resorts to make things easier on my guests (if not do the whole shebang there), so this is helpful.       
               



              #7 FutureMrsSingh

              FutureMrsSingh
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              • 34 posts

                Posted 11 June 2013 - 10:27 AM

                You are most welcome :)

                Honestly, I do recommend going with your fiance if you can. That way you can both see what you do and don't like about each place, and it's nice to have a shared vision - it really adds to the excitement when planning. The driving in the Cancun area is very straightforward for the most part though. It is one highway all along the coast. The Moon Palace car rental service had only Jeeps, and we ended up with a Manual transmission, which is fine cuz my fiance can drive stick. So that is something else to think about if you are renting a car. Make sure you get a car you can drive! Keep up posted on how things go!



                #8 nattiegams325

                nattiegams325
                • Jr. Member
                • 228 posts
                • Wedding Date:February 23, 2015
                • Wedding Location:Dreams Riviera Cancun

                Posted 17 January 2014 - 07:56 PM

                Thanks for the great info! I'm heading down Feb 22-26 and staying at Dreams Riviera Cancun. We plan on visiting about 5 resorts, hopefully we'll have them narrowed down by then! My fiance can't take off work :-/ so my parents and sister/MoH are all coming lol family vacay! :D We plan on renting a car and having my dad navigate. My TA will plan out our visits as well (Wendy from Wright Travel Agency through BDW).






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