Thank you for all the messages while we were in Cancun! We’re back now and I wanted to get this review written to help out all of you ladies that have been so amazing and supportive. We had a completely fantastic week, but there were definitely more than a few glitches and stressful moments along the way. I’m hoping some of our tips here will help out some of you. I’ve tried to organize it into categories so you can just read about the wedding, certain vendors, or everything . Here is part 1 of everything up to the actual wedding - click on the pics to see them bigger.
Small funny side note: I wrote this thing out then realized I kept writing “FI” instead of husband haha. Did a find and replace all to switch it so if it sounds weird at any point that’s why! Can’t believe I’m married now and definitely not used to referring to Tony as my husband yet haha
We had our legal wedding 2 days before we left and it was nice but a bit of a gongshow to be honest. It turned out a LOT bigger than we expected (our parents kept inviting people) and we honestly didn't really feel married at the end of it haha. I was so stressed that entire week because I was also finishing school and had 6 exams to study for as well in 3 days while still finishing up last minute wedding things. My skin broke out really badly but luckily makeup was able to cover up most of it. Timing was an issue for us but if you can ladies, definitely try to relax before you go. i was honestly a huge anxious wreck and I don't think I've ever been that stressed out before in my entire life. I got my hair done at Blo and my makeup done at Mac, and we had our ceremony at my in law's Catholic Church followed by an informal dinner at my in law's house. The ceremony was okay but we just kept having things go wrong - my WHOLE family showed up late including my parents (we had people arriving 15 minutes after the ceremony had started already) and then my husband's mom brought the wrong envelope to the church and we couldn't even sign the document and had to go back later that night to do it to make sure that we were actually legally married haha! It was super anticlimatic and I told my husband that our real wedding was the Mexico one. All in all though, it was nice to have family members attend who wouldn't be joining us in Mexico. I have a friend who's a photographer take pics for us, but I don't have any of those ones yet so here are a couple from my mom's phone:
Beach Palace is an amazing resort and I think all of our family and friends enjoyed staying there. Everyone was impressed with the look, service and overall feel of the resort. The beach is beautiful and I’m so glad we chose to go to a hotel w/ a beautiful beach because our whole party was pretty much at the beach every single day. The only ones that preferred the pools were the ones with the children, and we only had a few. Check in was relatively uneventful but my hubbie and I were really disappointed when we saw our room because we had been promised a free upgrade. We splurged on the ocean front view and our “upgrade” was literally the exact same thing but w/ fancier pillows and bath products :S. We thought we’d be getting the concierge suites but they changed their listings recently. So for the other BP brides, think about if it’s worth it to you or not. We wish we had just paid for the lagoon because then we could have been upgraded to ocean view and not paid a few hundred extra. Palace also has this $1500 resort credit promo which was great for our group and everyone did tours, golf and spa which was a nice extra touch and made everyone’s week that much better. The 24/7 hour room service was also a fave of everyone and used a lot. No regrets at all about the hotel and highly recommended - great service, amazing hotel and beach, luxurious feel and the on-site wedding team are fantastic. Would totally go back
We had our welcome party on arrival day and I would have done so much differently. It took us longer to get to the hotel and checked in than I had anticipated because we and so many people traveling with us and we wanted to make sure everyone else was settled first. By the time we got checked in, it was about 3pm and we had our meeting with the on-site wedding co-ordinator exactly then and our welcome party at 6pm - not a lot of time to do everything. The meeting was great and our co-ordinator was fabulous - more on him later - but I was starting to panic about getting the OOT bags assembled. Luckily with my MOH and mom’s help, my hubbie and I were able to finish them up on time but I was so stressed about getting them done on time. I also had my first huge anxiety attack here. I had just showered and couldn’t find one of the carry ons that had my welcome party dress, all of my makeup, wedding shoes, and other important things. I completely freaked out - I think it was just too much stress at that point - and I burst into tears. Tony was really great and told me to relax and ran downstairs to check. I was convinced we had left it at the airport (we had like 12 bags total!) but luckily he was right. He was so patient and great that night - really helped me calm down. I think I just had too much pent up stress and it exploded at that point.
The welcome party was great and a really great way for everyone to get to know each other. We did it at the Palenque Terrace at Beach Palace and it was simple but very prettily set up - everyone was very impressed. I had been planning on using Songza for music on our UE Boom but just a head’s up that the wifi out there is pretty poor and Songza only works in the US and Canada but luckily I had a party playlist from our engagement party in the summer. Everyone was really impressed with our OOT bags and we got so many compliments on how thoughtful they were. After the dinner part, most of the older people went to bed and it was just our friends and younger family members out so we decided to start the drinking! We played flip cup and it was a ton of fun and just a really good way to get everyone bonded immediately. We had different family members, groups of friends, etc. and we wanted people to get comfortable. Everyone was pretty drunk and we had a blast that night doing shots. We were both exhausted but we knew we needed a night like this to begin our week. Our servers were really great and we’d be using the same guys for our next 2 events so we made sure to tip them really well and they did a fantastic job all week.
To the Beach Palace ladies, the Palenque terrace is pretty cool. It’s HUGE which is kind of fun. We had a bunch of circular tables set up under some criss crossed Chinese lanterns and it was a really nice ambiance. We had brought some gold votives and led candles that we added to the table and that was a really great buy because we ended up using at all of our events. I think I like the sky terrace and infinity terraces better for smaller groups - they’re a bit more private because this one has all of the lagoon room views facing it and we had people watching us from the balcony and taking pics even! The food was okay - we did Mexican apps were were great but the Caribbean buffet was awful - don’t choose that one ladies. It was by far the worst of the ones we tried.
We gave each single/couple a tumbler with their initials, a beach bag, deck of cards, oh shit kit (advil, chapstick, kleenix, shout stain remover, pepto bismol, vitamin c packets, band aids, bobby pins and hair tiers, safety pins, nail file, condoms for the singles) a pashmina for the ladies, fun colourful plastic sunglasses for the men, a room key card, door hanger, thank you note/itinerary and meet the guests cheat sheet. I had also gotten bath poufs but I completely forgot about them and forgot to put them in.
Overall the biggest hits were the pashminas, sunglasses, key cards and the cheat sheets. People LOVED the cheat sheets and loved seeing everyone’s pics on it. A lot of guests actually seemed to study it and knew exactly where people were from, etc. Some even folded it up and put it in their key cards to carry around with them. The key card holders were the other huge hit - everyone used theme everywhere and we got told over and over again how good they were. The bags were used by everyone - the boys used them as beach bags (the girls had beach bags already for the most part) and the ladies used them as spare bags to carry things randomly. All of the ladies used their pashminas because the evenings were colder than expected and people really liked them. The boys all loved the sunglasses, especially because the waves were pretty high and people were losing their sunglasses. I would have gotten one for each person if I could do it again.
The tumblers were a big waste - no one used them including us. It was just a lot easier to order drinks from the waiters. I’m not sure how we’d have been able to use them as we were pretty much on the beach the whole time, and I can’t see the waiters carrying them back with them each time for refills. I’m hoping people will use them at home at least. The door hangers looked cute but I don’t think anyone actually used them, and people kept asking me when and what time things were at so I”m not sure how many people actually read the itinerary. Still, they were all cute. So my main regret was the tumblers because they were a pain to carry down (a bunch cracked along the way - thank god we had extras) and they took up so much space but overall we’re happy that we put the time and money into the bags because people really liked them. My husband, btw, is really happy now that we did extras like the OOT bags (though he complained before about costs, effort, etc.) because he saw how much everyone appreciated the gesture and it really added to the feel of the week
We did our TTD photo shoot the next day which was both a good and bad decision. My hubbie was really hungover so complained a lot at the beginning, but I figured it’d be best to do it at the very beginning so we could relax the rest of the week and not worry about wedding obligations. Our photographer took us to these incredible cenotes about 1.25 hours away and we spent the full day there taking pics. The process was pretty miserable I’ll be honest - the water is COLD and you’re literally standing around in dripping wet clothing or redoing the shot over and over again. I’m not a strong swimmer at all so it was also a bit stressful for me so my face isn’t great in a lot of the pics haha. Our photographer was really going all out to take the pics and he did a good job of directing us. I’ll be honest in saying I don’t think his TTD pics are the best out there (he doesn’t edit his pics to be really contrasting the way Del Sol does), but it was included in our package and I do think his prices are the best bang for your buck. I wore the dress I got for our legal ceremony and it was a great TTD dress - very light weight and flawy and photographed well. I honestly can’t imagine doing that in a heavy wedding dress.
About 17 of us went to Coco Bongo on the Tuesday night and we had a blast. I organized a group rate of $65 that included open bar, transport to the club and a designated area while there. The hotel reps were quoting us $80 otherwise so we were pretty happy with the deal. We were able to do it so people’s rooms got charged which made it a really easy process. We also got my fare comped for bringing them the business which was great for my hubbie and I. Coco Bongo was a blast and we spaced it out so we basically had a heavy drinking day every other day that worked well. It was definitely another bonding moment and we tipped there so we had a pretty good table location. They brought my hubbie to the top stage for Gangnam Style which was pretty hilarious as well and I caught it all on my phone.
For excursions, everyone in our group was doing excursions because we wanted to use our resort dollars. We broke into 2 groups - one group did Chitchen Itza and the other did Isla Mujeres and Dolphin swim. This was the day after Coco Bongo though so a lot of people were super hungover and some people even missed their trip haha. We did Isla Mujeres w/ the and we’re really glad we did because it was a fun, laid back day. We got to swim w/ dolphins which was amazing, and then we rented golf carts and took our family to see Punta Sur which is where we did a lot of our engagement pics. It was a pretty great day. The Chitchen Itza people didn’t have as good a time because it took forever to get there, and then it seemed like almost a waste to them when they did finally get there because there wasn’t much to do. They weren’t letting people climb the ruins so they could only walk around the outside. They also had a bunch of people coming onto the bus to sell them stuff which they didn’t like. Overall though we really liked how Palace had the resort credit so people could do tours for not a lot extra.
Rehearsal dinner/White Party
We had our wedding rehearsal then had our White Party after for all of our guests. The rehearsal was a must - really helpful to have Marco, our coordinator, walk us through the ceremony and what to expect. Our ceremony went off without a hitch because of this, I think. This party was such a hit. We did it on the Infinity terrace overlooking the beach in front of the main pool and it actually look great at night w/ the lights we got. People were giving me grief before about getting white pants, etc. but honestly when everyone showed up they all LOVED it because it just looked so awesome. Tons of pics were taken and it also acted as a second welcome party for us because we had a bunch of new arrivals. We deliberately kept it low key because didn’t want people to get drunk the night before the wedding. We hired a cigar roller and people really liked the cigars. I got my makeup trial this day so I was able to use my fancy hair and makeup at this party too. People at the resort kept asking us where we were going because everyone was in white. It honestly just looked so good and was the perfect low key night before our wedding.
To the Beach Palace ladies, I’d really recommend this space for a welcome dinner or rehearsal dinner. It’s super pretty between the pool and beach at night. During the day it totally looks like an odd space, but it really came alive at night and all of our guests were impressed. We rented 2 lighting stand things to put at either end from Zuniga and people loved them and it was all that was needed to jazz up the area. Marco got us the coloured tablecloths and put on some lanterns as centrepieces. We added the gold votives and led lights we used at all of our parties
I'll post part 2 later this week about our actual wedding! Have to get some more pics sorted
Edited by tygrrlily, 28 December 2014 - 11:49 PM.