Dreams Cancun Wedding Review
Posted 21 October 2007 - 12:13 PM
I think I can speak for all 90 of us that made the trip, when I say that the memories we made will last a lifetime! To the best of my knowledge, it was the first DW that any of our guests had ever attended. I think everyone agreed, it's the way to go. We had 4+ days of fun in the sun, sand, and sea, and most of all real quality time to catch up and reconnect.
Location: Dreams Cancun Spa & Resort
We picked Dreams Cancun for our DW after falling in love with the place a year ago on a 4-day getaway. We weren't even engaged at the time, but by the time we left we both had our hearts set on coming back when the time came. The gazebo location is breath-taking, and IMHO, the best gazebo setting around. The staff is superb. The facilities are very well maintained. The activities are entertaining without being overbearing. The size of the resort is ideal (enough space for everyone to be together without being so large to never find each other). The location was perfect, not only for its physical beauty (it's the only resort in Cancun located on the point known as "Punta Cancun" and surrounded on three-sides by crystal-blue water), but also for ease of accessibility. Most of our guests were coming from the Chicago area. United has daily, direct flights to and from Cancun. Once at the new and improved Cancun airport, it's a short shuttle ride to the resort. Our plane left at 9am form Chicago O'Hare and we were literally in our suite by 1:30pm. With several guests only able to get away for a long weekend (Thursday-Sunday), this couldn't be better for maximizing vacation time and minimizing travel time. Finally, with most of our guests being in their mid-20s, there is plently of late-night entertainment nearby. The best club in Cancun, Coco Bongo, is just a 5-minute walk away, but feels like a world away from the relaxing beaches (yes, there's two!) of Dreams. (More on Coco Bongo to come).
Cancun gets a bad rap for being overly-Americanized and less-than-authentic Mexican, and rightfully so, but that was fine by us. We chose to stay in an all-inclusive, so we wouldn't even have to leave the resort (which we didn't except for one outing to the above mentioned Coco Bongo). Again, we wanted to maxamize our "togetherness" time. The purpose of this trip was not for a cultural experience, but rather for a beach-getaway. That was exactly what we wanted, so for those of you looking more for the former, I wouldn't suggest Cancun. Although, with that being said, there are plently of do-able day trips from Cancun that can give you the culture you're craving. We did have one couple rent a car and drive along the coast towards Tulum, stopping at Chitza-nitza along the way. The rest of us, spent our time at the pool, ocean, beach, or bars. Call us shallow, but that's our idea of a vacation
Arrival and Check-in:
I contacted Daniela (the WC) a few days prior to our Tuesday arrival to let her know that we would be there around 1:30pm (check-in time is @
3:00pm). She arranged an early check-in for us. Our honeymoon suite was ready and waiting for us when we arrived. We also provided our guest-list to Daniela, and with the exception of just a few rooms, all were ready for our guests that arrived prior to 3:00pm check-in on Wednesday and Thursday. Everyone was greeted with cool towels and a champagne. and the wonderfully friendly bell-men whisk your luggage away to your room or if you prefer, escort you so you know just where to go. Most of our guests booked "super-saver" or "garden-view" rooms, but everyone ended up with "ocean-view" or "ocean-front" rooms. Several guests had great "dolphin-view" rooms and about 6 couples were up-graded to the "Tower Club" building. We didn't spend a lot of time in our rooms, but I think everyone was pleased with the accommodations. The rooms look just as they are pictured on the website; very clean and well-appointed with mini-bars stocked daily for beer, soda, and bottled water (and a Fanta too!) all included!
Posted 21 October 2007 - 12:14 PM
It was fabulous! It is a two-story suite with two balaconies facing the ocean and gazebo. The first floor has a living room/ and dining room area and full bathroom. A stairway leads you to the second floor bedroom suite with another full bathroom. There is tons of closet space and drawers. Oh, and there's a doorbell...we thought that was pretty cool...and actually quite useful! Matt and his seven GM got ready here on our wedding-day. There was plently of space for them all to get dressed, hang out, and pop a few beers!
We were greeted with a "honeymooners" sign on the door, a beautiful floral arrangement, a bottle of chilled champagne, and a bowl of fruit. Rose petals led up the stairs to the bed which was covered in more rose petals and two "towel swans". It was great. There is turn-down service every evening (for all guests), and as honeymooners, we were also treated to a nightly surprise (one night it was chocolate covered strawberries, another sushi, etc.) All rooms have Sharper-Image alarm clocks that will dock and play any i-Pod or MP3-player through the head-phone jack. It also has a "soother" mode. We brought along our own travel-speakers for our iPod, but never used it. All guests are also treated to bathrobes and slippers...very comfy! I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking.
View from our balaconies:
From the gazebo, looking back towards our suite. Our suite was on the top two floors.
Stay tuned, for much more to come. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I've got to pull myself away from the computer for a little bit, but I promise to be back with more details and lots of pics!
Posted 21 October 2007 - 12:45 PM
I originally was working with Claudia, the other Dreams WC, but switched over to Daniela about a month before the wedding, after talking with her on the phone. She was VERY responsive. Our e-mail contact was GREAT! She e-mailed me the contract, I made minor changes, she e-mailed me a revised version, and we went back and forth several times until pretty much every detail was in place. Daniela and Claudia are VERY busy people. There was a wedding almost every day we were there (most of them were very small, but still required their attention). I was frustrated with Claudia's slow response time, but once I switched over to Daniela and the wedding date got closer, I was very impressed. Daniela always got back to me within 24-hours, if not faster, and on several occasions we had more than one contact per day. With a large wedding and bridal party, communication was key. Pretty much everything was in place before we got there, so a quick fifteen minute meeting when we arrived and a few phone calls after that were all that we needed to finalize everything. Daniella arranged for all the guys' suits to be pressed (110 pesos..about $9-$10 each...Matt's was part of the package...which I thought was a steal! They looked great!) More on this to come...
Prior to arrival, we had arranged a rehearsal for Thursday evening. I pretty much knew exactly what I wanted... I had all the music planned, and timed. Having visited Dreams previously, I knew exactly where I wanted to guys to stand, and where the girls and I would make our entrance. I knew the order I wanted for the processional, etc. So I pretty much ran the show (sometimes I'm guilty of micro-managing), but Daniela chimed in when necessary and gave some pointers along the way. On the day of the wedding, she knew exactly what we wanted, and executed everything perfectly. She had the boys in place and on time, and called us down from hiding. Everything was set-up just as we discussed. She came back later in the night to check up on us, and we settled the bill easily the next day. My only disappointment was that the chair bows were no exactly the ones I picked out. I selected a deep chocolate color in a satin fabric, and on wedding-day they were a medium-chocolate brown in a different fabric. I noticed it, and was annoyed, but I don't think anyone else did... and I got over it, although I admit, it still bothers me a little because I think what I had picked out looked much better, but whatever, everyone else thought they looked nice. By the time I realized they were wrong, I was already in my dress ready to go, and there was no sense in changing them. I let Daniela know, she apologized and did not charge me (so in the end we ended up saving almost $350... probably worth it for a shade of chocolate Bottom line, I really liked Daniela. We hit if off great, and she is such a sweetheart. I would definitely recommend working with her. (More on rehersal, wedding, reception to come...)
More to come...
Posted 21 October 2007 - 03:53 PM
Posted 21 October 2007 - 03:57 PM
Like I mentioned above, I was in contact with Daniela prior to our arrival and made arrangements to hold a practice run at the gazebo on Thursday evening (the wedding was on Friday). There was no wedding scheduled on Thursday, so it worked out perfectly. Daniela also talked with the minister, a woman...I can't remember her name at the moment, and she also said she would come. As I said, having been there before, I had a pretty clear vision of what I wanted. I brought along a hand-held iHome so that we could practice with the music and get the timing all worked out. "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" was the first processional (readers, grandparents, my mom, his mom w/ him, and the groomsmen entered from the left), followed by "You Raise Me Up" for the BM and me. I had all the timing figured out beforehand, so it was just a matter of making sure it would play out as I imagined. A few of the GM had not arrived yet, but the other guys were able to fill them in. I would say it took no longer than 30 minutes and we were done. The pre-planning was key, and the fact that I'm a teacher definitely helped when it came time to get everyone to do what they were suppose to The minister did not show up, but I wasn't too worried because I knew she did a lot of these, and Daniela insured me that she (the minister) had a copy of the ceremony (I wrote the entire ceremony and e-mailed it to Daniela a couple months prior to the wedding). I had also brought along an extra copy of the ceremony, just in case. (More on the minister to come...)
If you have never been to Dreams, I would suggest spending some time at the Gazebo when you first arrive, and decide how you want your ceremony to unfold (where the GM will enter, BMs, you, etc), especially if you have a large wedding party. Keep in mind that it is a long aisle and allow yourself at least a full minute to make the trek. Of course the WC can give you lots of suggestions, but me, the micro-manager, had my own "vision"..I wanted a little drama, and anticipation, and it worked out perfectly!
A few pics (Daniela, the WC, is in the pink)
After rehearsal, we headed over to The Seaside Grill (located on the beach adjacent to the Gazebo). This was one thing that I didn't have completely planned out before hand. I didn't like the idea of paying $12/person for a "rehearsal dinner" at one of the restaurants, when it was an all-inclusive. So right after rehearsal (while everyone grabbed a drink from the Tower lobby bar) one of my BM went over to the restaurant just as it was opening and said that we had a group of about 25 people for dinner. They set up two large tables, and by the time everyone was gathered, the tables were ready to go. The waiters brought out champagne and appetizers for everyone without even being asked. Again, everyone was SO nice (and it does always help that my Dad and I speak Spanish...then they really love you!) We had a beautiful dinner. The location is wonderful...on a quiet beach overlooking the ocean! Then we headed to the main-lobby bar for a meet-and-greet with all our guests. (More on that to come)
Posted 21 October 2007 - 04:27 PM
Among the OOT stuff, was an invite to a "Meet-and-Greet" at the main lobby bar, Rende-vouz. Having been to Dreams previously, I knew that this would be the best location for a large crowd. It's near the Reception Desk, so we could greet any late-arriving guests and entertain at the same time. There is a nice, large bar, along with lots of seating indoors and on the adjacent terrace. There was also a cover band playing (and they took requests!). Everyone met up around 8pm and it took off from there. I was planning on being in bed by 10pm, but I think it was after 11pm before I left. Most people (including my mom, who led the charge) stayed and shut the place down at 1am. It was a lot of fun, and required minimal planning (just a little note, and word of mouth). I think the bar-staff got a kick out of us too... it was a pretty quiet place until we all showed up.
Rendezvous terrace (bar and additional seating inside)
Meeting and greeting!
The boys loved the Cubans Cohibas (the cigar man is located right in the lobby as well)!
Posted 21 October 2007 - 04:45 PM
Planning Pics! PV and Wedding ReviewPro Pics (1); Pro Pics (2) By Nataly Lemus Photography and Rodolfo Arpia Photography Teaser Pro Pics from Nataly Lemus PhotogaphyTeaser Pro Pics from Rodolfo Arpia Photography
Posted 21 October 2007 - 04:48 PM
The bride and the groom:
My brother and our niece:
Lots of dancing and singing (my mom is in the white):
Matt and I had seperate rooms the night before. He stayed in our honeymoon suite, and I check into a 2-bedroom Master Suite at the top of the Tower building (overlooking the Gazebo). My MOH and one of my BMs stayed with me (the others were out late at the bar!). The suite was awesome; I wish I had some good pics. There were two large master bedrooms with HUGE bathrooms and jacuzzi tubs. There was also a dining room and living area, along with a terrace (and hot tub)! It was perfect because there were so many of us that needed to get ready the next morning, and we could peek out and see all the guests arriving to the ceremony (without them seeing us). When it was time to get the show on the road, Daniela gave us a call, we stepped into the elevator, and were right there ready to go. Matt and I also stayed there on our wedding night. It was so romantic! Another great thing about being in the Tower on the day of- it is isolated from the rest of the resort and has it's own lobby and pool area. So the girls and I were able to hang out by the pool, and have some breakfast, without fear of running into any of the boys.
And another great thing about the room, the photographer was able to go up to the room after the ceremony and get a bird's eye view group shot. I can't wait to see the results!
Ok, I need another break. Next up, the wedding day!
Posted 21 October 2007 - 09:35 PM
I love this play by play and with pictures!!!
I am waiting for the next episode - 'The One with the Wedding'
Posted 21 October 2007 - 09:43 PM
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