wow, girl, you outdid yourself! everything about your day looks beautiful and perfect! I can't wait to hear the details once you are feeling rested and not under the weather.
Dreams Riviera Cancun 2015 Brides
Posted 01 March 2015 - 10:42 AM
@nattiegams325, CONGRATULATIONS!!! You looked absolutely beautiful and everything looked exquisite!
I'm getting married in the Gazebo as well, how did you feel about it? Did it lack privacy like everyone is saying (bathing suit clad people laying around) or was it fine?
I'm sorry to hear about your photographer, but your pics are still beautiful. Welcome, back and thanks for sharing your day! xo
Posted 02 March 2015 - 08:19 AM
Hi everyone! Still not feeling well and this fever just won't break but since I took the day off work to recoup I figured I could write up my review :-) I'll try to address the major parts of the wedding and them go back and see individual Qs. I had the Ultimate Wedding package on Feb 23 with the ceremony at the Gazebo, cocktail on the pool terrace, and reception at the Seaside Grille.
Travel: Bill and I flew with Apple vacations/Frontier Air. We had no problem taking our wedding outfits on the plane (the biggest pain was carrying it through the airport!) and we got a private overhead compartment to lay our clothes down in. They said they didn't have closet space. No problem with customs. My parents brought most of the OOT bag stuff and fans when they came the next day in carry-ons and one agent asked what the fans were for - when my parents said "for a wedding" the agent let them through no problem.
Arrival: Got to DRC and found out we were upgraded to the preferred club (we had booked the cheapest garden view room) and the supervisor came out to welcome us. We had to wait a couple hours for our room. In the room we had champagne and fruit and a welcome letter waiting for us. We were in room 1204 which was the closest room to the ocean without being the ocean view suites. We met with our Apple representative and reviewed all our guests he would be picking up throughout the next few days.
Over the next few days our guests arrived without a hitch. Our parents were both upgraded to the next room category. We bumped into Claudia Solis (my WC) on Friday and she immediately remembered me and gave me and Bill a big hug. She reconfirmed our meeting for the next day.
Pre-wedding meeting: We had our meeting on Saturday at 10am (wedding on Mon). First, Bill's parents confirmed everything for the welcome dinner they were hosting on Sunday night on the beach, then they left and my parents came to go over all the wedding stuff. We went over every detail, she collected everything I brought for decor, and I showed her how I wanted everything set up. We went over the place settings again. I had asked her to get me some postcards for our guest book, which she bought from Walmart in Playa, and wouldn't accept payment for them I also got the maracas which were delivered 2 weeks prior from Maracas Mexico because Bill and I had to affix the place cards to them that night. My parents paid for everything and the meeting was over by 11:15.
Maracas: I got the multi-color maracas from Maracas Mexico with personalization on the back. We ordered 45 but only received 40. I was pissed. I'm not a mean or confrontational person, but I sent a nasty email to the company. She blamed Claudia for not checking as she had received it 2 weeks prior. While I think Claudia should have checked, they still sent the wrong amount and at the end of the day, it was their mistake. I was going to pursue a refund for the 5, but determined $12 wasn't worth the effort. The maracas themselves were great and Claudia miraculously had extra maracas in her drawer that she wrote "Natalie and Bill Riviera Maya February 23 2015" on the back like the personalized ones. People didn't even notice.
Spa: Since Styling Trio did my hair and makeup on wedding day and my trial on welcome dinner day, I used my included hair and makeup on Saturday evening. I told her I wanted loose waves in a half updo and natural makeup with browns and golds. I showed her some pictures of me at home to show what "natural" meant to me. I'm sorry I didn't get a picture of the finished product, but I got into the shower as soon as we finished and redid my hair and makeup. The makeup was bad. Glittery makeup all the way to my eyebrows and my hair only needed some butterfly clips to complete the homecoming circa 1999 look. It was bad... I'm glad I trusted my gut and didn't go with them for my wedding day, but I know many girls are very happy.
I also used the spa on wedding morning. Massage, mani, and pedi with Perla. The massage was only 35 minutes (supposed to be 50) but was nice and relaxing (free with ultimate package), the manicure was BAD, but the pedi was fine. My sister said her mani was bad too with another girl. Like it was chipping the next day, but at least it looked fine for pictures.
Styling Trio trial: Sunday evening ST was supposed to do my trial at 4:30. About 4:15 we got a call that they had been in a car accident and would be 1/2 hour late. Yikes - everyone was ok! My trial was a little over 2 hours which included wedding day hair/makeup + changing the look for the welcome dinner. I wasn't thrilled with the trial look but me, Adrian, and Sandy (hair stylist) discussed what we could change for the next day (e.g. less yellow on eyes, more liner, different blush, more volume, etc.). They were so open to suggestions and I don't care how expensive they are, you get what you pay for.
Welcome Dinner: I wanted the welcome dinner to be a Style Me Pretty-worthy event, and it was. We had the rustic wooden tables with lanterns/candles in a |_| shape (3/4 of a square) facing the ocean with the light bulb strands above us. We had the Caribbean Trio and the Mexican buffet (SO GOOD). The wait staff catered to all of my guests, but especially Bill and I - they carried our plates, made sure we had everything we needed. The music was fantastic and it was just amazing.
We had the videographer included in our package from Adventure on this night since we had an outside videog for wedding day. He wasn't friendly and came up to me at the end of the night and said "ok what music do you want the video to?" That's a hard question!!! So I asked him to give us a few minutes and he looked irritated...the photographer (Karolina from Adventure) was also there since we opted out of the TTD session. She barely introduced herself and did not capture the beauty of this night. She didn't get a picture of Bill and I except with a mouth full of food. It was really disappointing.
Bill got a complimentary room for the night before the wedding, so we said goodnight and headed to bed early.
WEDDING DAY - Getting Ready!!! Like I said before, me, my mom, and my sister started the day at the spa. We were there from about 8:40-11. I made a schedule so Bill wouldn't run into us Went back to the room and showered, then headed to the other side of the hotel to my parents' suite to get room service for lunch and to start getting ready!
Matias from Indigo Videography arrived around 1-1:30 with his assistant and they immediately got to work. They were SO nice and asked for as many details as they could get - jewelry, vows, etc. He told me to pretend they weren't there
Styling Trio started at noon on Bill's mom in her room then came to my parents' room and did my mom and sister's looks before starting mine at 3:00. No joke - Styling Trio is freaking amazing. Adrian is like some makeup god and Sandy is some kind of magician and her curling iron is a magic wand. Adrian wasn't took involved in my mom or sister but he was the leader for me since I paid extra for him. He airbrushes away any imperfections without making you look cakey or ridiculous. He even will make-up your neck, ears, chest, and back if needed. My finished look was exactly what I wanted.
Karolina the photographer arrived at 3:30 to Bill's room and 4:00 to ours. She left at some point to get outside pictures before returning to get me getting in the dress and putting on shoes and stuff. I had to keep telling her what I wanted: "Can you get a picture of my earrings?" "Can you get a picture of my grandmother's handkerchief?" "Can you get a picture of me with the flower girl?" Seriously I was like I'm the bride, I'm not supposed to be making sure the photographer is doing her job. Everytime I said something she'd look at me for 2-3 seconds and then say, "Umm ok."
Flowers were delivered one hour prior - at 4pm. Once dressed, we were very rushed at the end and I barely had time to look at myself in the mirror before we left. Claudia came to the room at 4:55 to pick me up. I was kind of upset that I was so rushed and the problem was my crazy Italian family had to have everyone in the room. At one point I told my sister/MoH to get everyone out so I could have a minute of quiet.
Ceremony: Symbolic ceremony (legal wedding at home before). The officiant used to be a lady who spoke perfect English but she no longer works at DRC. We had a man who was very nice but did have a heavy Mexican accent that made it a little hard to follow what he was saying. Extras: bamboo fans with ribbons on the chairs, 2 large floral arrangements at the entrance to the aisle, mason jars of bouquets at the end of each aisle, the large floral arrangements on the gazebo, the gold chandelier, the white Tiffany chairs, the fabric hanging from 4 sides, guitarist. The best man sang Josh Groban's "For Always" (we rented a piano and his wife played) after the vows and my sister did a reading before the vows.
Cocktail Hour: I didn't get to enjoy too much of this because we were taking pictures. But we had the mariachi band with the paper lanterns, floating lanterns in the pool, and 6 appetizers. They used the aisle bouquets as centerpieces and our signature drink was "Love Potion #223" which we picked out during our site visit in September. They gave us the white seating arrangement (2 of them) for free.
Reception: PERFECTION. The Seaside Grille was totally transformed for us. Extras: White drapery, paper lanterns, chandelier, base plates, candles, table runners, centerpieces. We brought our own table numbers, and the stuff for the guest book table (a picture from our E-shoot, a large "B," instructions for the guest book, postcards, pens, then all the maracas). Lots of flowers re-used from the ceremony. The DJ was great - spot on for what we told him we wanted. My dad and I took dance lessons and did a choreographed dance to our song. My suggestion is to have the DJ cut off the music at the 2-3 minute mark. Dancing to a 5 minute song is not fun or exciting. He did that for the father/bride and mother/groom songs but Bill and I danced our 1st dance for 5 minutes when we told him to cut it off at 2 mins.
We had the platinum menu and the food was amazing. We brought the cake topper and we had a tres leches cake. You can't take the cake home with you or back to your room because it's sitting out for so long. Don't know if this is only with tres leches or all of them. With about 45 minutes to go they started bringing out shots for everyone and had the guys sit down and they poured tequila in everyone's mouths
After the reception ended, we went to the disco and danced until they closed at 1am. Back in the room they did the turn down service with some flower petals and a swan made of towels and they next morning we got our "romantic breakfast in bed" that we had to schedule with the concierge which is really just room service lol. Later that day they delivered flowers to all our family members' rooms, our marriage certificate, and all our stuff we brought to the wedding.
We did a wedding survey and got our certificate for free anniversary nights and that was it! Because we had SO many upgrades and my parents tipped very generously, they took extra good care of us the rest of the trip. Jorge (the wedding assistant) got us into restaurants, had the chef make us special foods not on the menu, and made sure our group was happy.
And I'm pretty sure I need more meds now. Any specific Qs?!
@desmiv I LOVED the gazebo and wouldn't have wanted to get married anywhere else. Because I had so many upgrades, I had a LOT of people watching, but I loved it! We had people lining the balconies and couples holding hands and crying with us and I thought it made it extra special.
@Dec2015 The weather at night can change drastically night to night. The first 2 nights we were there it was cold and crazy windy - they had to move the beach weddings inside. The rest of the time, including our wedding night, it was PERFECT temp with a light breeze. No need for a sweater or anything.
If there are 2 weddings they might clash. I've seen pool deck and pool terrace weddings at the same time. Luckily the other wedding on my day was earlier and the reception was on the beach so I didn't see or hear any of it
Posted 02 March 2015 - 09:14 AM
@nattiegams325 Natalie, wow. I am so so so glad your wedding week went great. Thank you for this very detailed and insightful review, it is so helpful!!! Disappointing to hear about the maracas but I'm glad that worked out. Again, your pictures look amazing and they have me excited all over again! You have been so helpful during this whole wedding planning process and I really appreciate your insight and detail. I hope you feel better and I'm sure you are enjoying being his wife <3.
58 guests plus bride and groom
Reception: Pool Deck
Posted 02 March 2015 - 10:35 AM
Has anyone read this from the FAQ?
105. I’m I permitted to bring my own vendors such as Florist, Dj, Photographers, videographer, hairdresser, makeup artist? No., due to bad experiences with other providers we no longer permit external vendors, because we are compromised to offer you the best so our internal vendors are highly qualified.
is this true?
Posted 02 March 2015 - 03:36 PM
@hsocorso we saw lots on the beach. It's really a matter of preference. We always knew we wanted to upgrade to the Seaside Grille ($1,000). It can get very very windy though. The first 2 nights we were there they had to move the beach weddings inside.
@pddcmc We ended up tipping the WC $400 over the course of 5 months (some during the site visit, some when we first arrived, and some after the wedding). The wedding assistant (Jorge) got $100. The waitstaff got like $40 each and the banquet manager got a little more. These people appreciate it so, so much. We tipped photog $50 only because I didn't like her, and Indigo $100 for his assistant (never tip the owner), and $50 each for Styling Trio assistant (Adrian is the owner so he didn't get one). Like I said, because we tipped a lot they took extra good care of us for the remainder of the trip and told my dad to call the wedding dep directly next time we want to book to come to the resort.
@SchroederWedding2015 No it's not true because I just had vendors...You do have to pay external fees but it's worth it if it's what you want.
Edited by nattiegams325, 02 March 2015 - 03:37 PM.
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