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My Puerto Vallarta Wedding Experience

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#1 springwater

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    Posted 18 June 2013 - 08:45 AM

    Hi All,


    Just thought I'd post a review of my wedding experience...hopefully it can help people looking for some information.




    We knew that we wanted to do a villa wedding as opposed to a hotel/all-inclusive thing, and I'm so happy with the Villa we chose.  We finally settled on Villa Celeste in Conchas Chinas.  We had the wedding on the beach nearby and the reception at the Villa (which our family was staying at).  It was absolutely gorgeous!  There are so many great spots in the Villa to get beautiful pics.






    We found the Villa to be really affordable, and it came with chef service...which leads me to:




    We received a quote for catering the wedding, which was actually really reasonable.  But since the villa comes with chef service we wanted to use them to save some money.  By using them, we paid about half of what we would have paid with an outside caterer, and the food was delicous.  Our wedding planner helped us to figure out how much alcohol was needed, and the staff went out and bought it and we just had to reimburse them.  


    Wedding Planner


    We went with Vallarta Weddings to plan the wedding for us.  I am extemely happy we picked them because I couldn't have been happier with their work.  When I originally began planning I reached out to Dazzling Details, and while their work looks beautiful, they were way out of my budget.  But this turned out for the better, because I got Eva and Michael from Vallarta Weddings and everything turned out beautifully.  I think a big reason why everything turned out great was because I tried not to be overbearing.  I gave them a theme that I wanted and let them come up with the details, and they did an amazing job of interpreting my vision.  Also, since the villa itself was so beautiful I didn't want to overdo it with the decorations.  They did a fantastic job!










    For the DJ we went with Michael of Vallarta Weddings.  He set up speakers on the beach to play the wedding party and bridal entrance songs, and also had a setup for the reception.  Honestly, we were a little worried because we planned on making a playlist to give him and we never had the time to do it.  But I'm so glad we didn't because he was so great at reading the crowd and keeping everyone dancing, and I feel like it could have only been for the worse if he had to be confined to our playlist.  And, his services were very affordable.




    For photography we went with Eva Sica of Photoshoots Vallarta.  As you can see from the pics above, she did an excellent job.  They were very easy to communicate with and prompt at answering emails.  No problems there!




    Photoshoots Vallarta has videography services, but we went with Raul Rolando Rios Torres (http://raulrolandorios.com/instead.  This was a tough choice for us because I couldn't find many reviews on him.  Even though the videos on his site were very nice, you never know to whom they actually belong.  But we decided to take a chance anyway and this was possibly the best decision we made for the wedding.  The video he produced for us was absolutely beautiful!  All of our guests have been raving about it.  And the best thing was he was very affordable.




    Just to try and make things a little more special, we went with a donkey, a cigar roller, and fireworks, all coordinated through Vallarta Weddings.  These were the little things that I think made the wedding more memorable, and it only added roughly 1k more to the wedding cost.


    I hope this helps in someone's wedding planning.  Any questions feel free to ask!



    #2 california10

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      Posted 20 June 2013 - 09:05 AM

      He Steph!


      Your wedding looked stunning. Had a couple questions? How much did it cost in total to go with the villa route? I was looking at Playa Fiesta but an open to options that are more affordable. Also, you were able to buy alcohol? Did the villa provide tables, linens, all the necessary dining materials? Any info on your budget would be appreciated! Thanks!

      #3 springwater

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        Posted 23 June 2013 - 11:12 AM

        Hey California,


        We booked two villas through Vallarta Shores - Villa Azul, an 8 bedroom villa where me, my husband, and our wedding party stayed, and Villa Celeste, a 5 bedroom villa where our immediate family stayed.  We saved a little money by booking early in the rainy season, with the hopes that we would get lucky with the weather (which we did).  So all together we paid under 1,400/night for 13 bedrooms.  The villlas were amazing and everyone loved them.  And since we booked both for 5 days, we didn't have to pay an event fee to have the reception at Celeste.  


        For alcohol, our wedding planner gave us suggestions of what to buy based on the number of people we had.  We had a little left over at the end of the night, but it was ok for us since we still had 2 more days in the villa after that.  But overall it was pretty reasonable.  For instance, you can get a bottle of Jimador tequila for roughly $8 USD.  


         For the wedding night, the staff cooked the dinner that was served but the tables, linens, etc. were rented from an outside company I believe.  My wedding planner handled all of that so I don't have all of the details.  But even with that cost added in, my final reception price per person was still half of the original quote I received from an outside catering company ($75pp).   This also included waitstaff and bartenders.

        #4 california10

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          Posted 24 June 2013 - 06:25 AM

          Thanks for all the useful info! That really is a good deal. How many guests did you have in total? I was look at 50-60 people so we would need to find multiple places for them to stay. I was also looking at Dazzling Details for planning but and they are out of my budget. How much was it go through vallarta weddings? Thanks! 



          #5 springwater

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            Posted 24 June 2013 - 06:43 AM

            We booked out villas through Vallarta Shores and they have a few other villas and they also have a condo hotel with 1-3 bedroom condos. I can't speak for all of them, but the two villas we chose were beautiful and averaged about 100/night, which was within our budget. We also had some other guests that were comfortable just finding their own hotel, and they were fine taking taxis to our place when they wanted to hang out with us. In total we had 32 people, including myself and my husband. I would recommend you shoot them an email with a brief description of what you're looking for, because they replied to me very quickly with a very detailed estimate. My original quote was under 7k for up to 40 people (it was closer to 6k, I can't remember the exact number). This didn't include the donkey, fireworks, cigar roller, or alcohol. It did include a guitar player for an hour. Also, this was with the 75/pp caterer, which I didn't go with in the end.

            #6 california10

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              Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:24 AM

              Thank you! So helpful! 

              #7 california10

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                Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:25 AM

                Hi Steph...How did it work with your guests and food/alcohol for their stay at the villa other than the day of the wedding? Were you able to negotiate a rate so a certain meal was included or was everyone just on their own for the duration of the stay? Thanks! 

                #8 JennaLea

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                  Posted 28 June 2013 - 12:48 PM

                  Hi there - 

                  Thank you so much for letting us all know your experiences, I wish more brides would do this. 

                  I love the idea of the two villas, because I have more people I want to stay at the villa with us, but it'd be so nice to have a different house so we're not all piled into one. 

                  I really didn't want a beach wedding though, I want it at the house, overlooking the ocean, if possible...do you think there's enough room on the terrace to do this? I am going July 16th to go look at villas and meet all the vendors so I will see them all, but it's nice to know ahead of time. 


                  Did you feel like it was unorganized once you go to the villas? With getting food and alcohol? I'm worried about the other guests who are staying at the hotels, was it easy to get them to a from the villa?


                  Thanks so much for your help! Your wedding was so beautiful. I am meeting with Photoshoots Vallarta too, their work is so great!!



                  #9 springwater

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                    Posted 28 June 2013 - 01:03 PM

                    California10, you pick which 2 meals you want served daily and the time (included with the villa). We picked breakfast and dinner, assuming people would be going out during the day and could get their own lunch. There is a menu you can pick from, and the chefs will present you with a receipt at the end of each day for the groceries. I will admit, it was a little hectic splitting up the bill, so I would recommend doing a total estimate for the week and having everyone pay up front. Then just have one person settle the bill everynight. Jenna, it's my pleasure. I know when I was initially planning I really wished there were more reviews available, so I'm glad to help. Depending on the number of people you have you can definitely have it at the villa, it would be gorgeous. I just wanted to break mine up since we already have family staying at the villa and we were having the reception at the villa. I wanted a different background for some of the pictures. We had 32 people and it felt a little empty at Celeste because there was so much space. Besides splitting the bills amongst ourselves and our guests, there was absolutely nothing unorganized about the villa. The staff was excellent, they really took care of everything. We were able to tell them what we wanted stocked ahead of time, so when we got to the villa there were margaritas and guac and salsa all ready for us. It was really fantastic. We didn't have to wash one dish, pour one drink, or even call a taxi if we needed it. We never lifted a finger! But at the same time we didn't feel as if they were in the way. Bear in mind that you can't really walk from Villa Azul to Villa Celeste, so your guests will have to take a taxi if they want to get from one to the other. I was a little worried about this but it turned out fine, the taxi was always there within 5 minutes of us calling and the ride was very cheap. Our other guests staying at hotels didn't have any issues either, they actually hung out with us a lot during the trip.

                    #10 springwater

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                      Posted 28 June 2013 - 01:07 PM

                      Sorry for that wall of text...I don't know where my paragraph breaks went ;)

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