Alright ladies, here is part 2 of my review and all the details about my actual wedding day. I hope you meant what you said about wanting to see pics because I've included a ton of them! Just click on the picture strip to see it bigger
Wedding Day Vendors
These guys were amazing. Honestly I cannot say enough good things about them. They cost a lot but I absolutely loved my wedding makeup and it was the best makeup I’ve ever had. I’m also so happy I did a trial because while I liked my trial makeup, they tweaked it to make it even better for the wedding. My sister and cousin were also really impressed and they’re both really picky when it comes to makeup. They used good quality professional makeup and I have to say that the team is GORGEOUS! It was hilarious when they walked into my hotel room the first day - 3 beautiful, tall Mexicans with all of their equipment and rolly bags. It reminded me of Katniss’ styling team from the Hunger Games because I literally had all 3 of them working on me at once at times. Adrian, the owner, was there because I requested him specifically and I’m really glad he did because he has a fantastic eye and is really nice. Apparently he only shows if you request him to be there so make sure you do that! We also had Esperanta doing hair and Suzie on makeup - both fantastic and I would recommend them in a heartbeat. They were probably the vendors I was most pleased about. One tip is to use a primer before they get started because they don’t and my makeup did last well, but I had to reapply some concealer at the end of the night in certain areas. The airbrush was great and my skin looked flawless, but it was pretty windy so it didn’t last the whole night and I had to retouch. Other than that though, just let them do their magic. I looked like myself but a better version of myself - so pleased. I kept my hair mostly down because it is more me, but I will be honest in saying that it was pretty messy at the end of the night. This didn’t bother me, but if you’re a stickler, than get it put up for sure. My MOH did that and her hair looked the exact same at the end of the night after wind, partying, jumping in the pool, etc.
A note to the Beach Palace ladies, a lot of my family got their makeup done at the salon. I’d say they were so so - our makeup definitely looked better. My sister and my young aunt looked good but the makeup was heavier than they were expecting (Mexican styles!). My mom really disliked her makeup and thought it made her look older. So just a tip that if you can afford Styling Trio, I’d definitely go w/ them
Photographer - Lancelotti Photography
I’m updating this after having had a chance to really go through our pics and I have to say I’m very very satisfied and pleased with how our pics turned out. I’m not super photogenic in pics and make a lot of awkward faces (all captured on film haha!) but there are so many that I actually love and I think our photographer captured our moments really well. We went with someone relatively unknown on these boards - Juan Carlos Lancelotti - but I came across his website and I really liked the softness of his pics. He is also incredibly affordable which was important to us. We paid $2800 for our package which included 8-10 hours of photography and our TTD session in a cenote.
Overall, I am super pleased with Juan Carlos. I personally like a softer type of photo rather than the super high contrast style - I wanted a more romantic feel even though we’re on the beach and it’s a DW. I think Juan Carlos did a fantastic job - I love our pics, he was super professional the whole way and he really worked for the pics. I also think he’s a super nice individual. I wanted sparklers but the resort was charging crazy prices for them. I asked our DJ and Juan Carlos if they knew where I could get them in Cancun, and Juan Carlos got them for me at cost price and had them shipped to his house! I paid $35 for 50 sparklers - Discomovil tried to charge me $100 for the same thing :S. We actually also already have our edited pics - he works fast! He gave us a cd of 300 edited pics, a highlight video and over 2000 raw images on 4 cds 2 days after our wedding. At first I thought this was almost TOO fast and would have liked more editing, but the more I go through them the more I like them.
My criticisms are that I don’t think his TTD pics are comparable to the best seen on this site - I think Del Sol really are amazing here and Samuel Luna as the more affordable version. I also didn’t like that he came a bit later than we had originally agreed on. I wanted him to come for 1 but he came at 1:30 - apparently he had talked about this with our videographer and thought that was best, but he didn’t tell me he was coming later and I did feel the getting ready shots were rushed and I didn’t get all of the pics I wanted here. Also he didn’t photoshop as much as I wanted for some pics (haha!) - mainly that I had a really bad pimple and wanted it edited out. Not sure if I was supposed to express this to him but I thought it was a given that it’d be taken out? I know it sounds funny and kind of trivial to write it down, but it is something. I was able to edit it out myself pretty easily but I'd have preferred him to do it.
Otherwise, I think Juan Carlos did a great job and we have great pics of both our ceremony and reception. I do like our candid pics a lot more than the cheesy shots and poses, but I think that’s also partly a Mexican aesthetic and we could have spoken up more (but we didn’t really care to). My husband and I are not photo ppl at all and we actually found the couple photo shoot incredibly draining and not fun at all. In hindsight, I wish we had allotted more time for pics because we were definitely rushed and it was incredibly stressful because we were trying to balance so many things at once. We call the photo part the WORST part of our day haha but that’s how we are - we just wanted to go have fun. And it turns out I like some of the staged pics, but most of my favourites are just the candid moments that were captured beautifully. Overall, Juan Carlos is a definite recommendation from me and I really hope he does become more popular!
>> Here is Juan Carlos showing us a pic he had taken. We have all of the outtakes too and I'm a nerd so I like seeing pics like this too
Videographer - Indigo Weddings
Again, we went away from the popular choices on this site and went with Indigo Weddings. I liked the cinematography style of his videos - I want our video to be more like a music video and less just a recording of our wedding if that makes sense. He was also quite a bit cheaper than some of the other videographers which appealed to us because while we wanted a video, it wasn’t our main concern. Matias is super super nice and friendly and we really liked him the day of our wedding. He was unobtrusive but always present and I’m looking forward to seeing our video from him. He and our photographer actually knew each other from before (they’re both from Argentina) and we had them come under the same “team” to save on vendor costs. He definitely let the photographers do their thing before he stepped in which I thought was really professional. We paid him $1900 for our package which includes the highlight reel and main video and 9 hours of coverage. I’ll give a better review after we get our stuff, but his communication is great and he’s super friendly (and cute! haha has to be said ). He also was really professional and stayed the exact amount of time we had paid him for. We had to do a couple of cheesy shots (i.e. dancing under the chandelier at our ceremony spot - see pics below haha) but I think it’ll look awesome in the video. I’ll give a better update after we actually get our video from him and I’ll post the highlight reel for sure if you ladies want to see it
>> You can see the staging in the bottom pics (hilarious pics!) but I hope it makes for a good video!
DJ - Discomovil
I think if you can afford to get a DJ, definitely get one for your wedding reception. We used the UE Boom and my own playlists for our other 2 events which was fine, but it did definitely amp things up by having a real DJ and turned it into something more special. The DJ can read the crowd, take requests, etc. For us, this was money worth spending because we wanted our wedding to be a big party and we were definitely successful here! So that being said, I do have mixed feelings about Discomovil. He did a fairly good job at our wedding - he didn’t blow us away but he did play everything we asked him to and made changes when necessary. What I don’t like is his communication and how he was inconsistent with the way he charged people - it left a really sour taste in my mouth. I had asked him about sparklers (recommended from NJBride) and he tried to charge me way more than he did Sandy, and when I asked him about the price jack, he told me he did her a favour. When I read that, It was kind of like okay… that makes me feel great. I think he should be a bit more consistent with things like that. Our photographer got us the same ones for $35 - way less!! He also said he’d bring balloons to our wedding (the coco bongo style ones) but there were none there.
Positives: he did play mostly things we liked and he was accommodating with people’s requests. We had a really great dance floor, and he rolled with the changes we had to make last minute. I do think though our friends are an easy group because everyone wanted to dance - another DJ would have probably accomplished the same. He had a cool DJ booth - added to the atmosphere.
Negatives: communication - he never even came up to me to introduce himself or anything, the way he was inconsistent w/ pricing and didn’t keep his promise of bringing the balloons. I also think he was just okay as a DJ - we’re from a big city so we’re used to songs that are mixed together well, etc. I also didn’t like some of his song directions (started playing boy bands at one point - we are not boy band people!) but he did change the song when asked. Not sure if we were expecting too much, but we did pay quite a bit for everything and he was the vendor I was least impressed with.
I got my bouquet, 2 bridesmaid bouquets, hair flower and a bunch of boutonnieres and corsages from Bloom Bridal in Toronto. I decided to go for real touch because I’m extremely picky and wanted my bouquet to look a certain way. I loved my bouquet and it was 100x nicer than the complimentary one given to me by Beach Palace (mixed pink and ivory roses). The bridal bouquet was huge and looks amazingly real - I got a lot of compliments on it. Judy is the owner/creator and she’s kind of expensive but I think she does a fantastic job. I didn’t like the first bouquet she made and she made a bunch of changes according to what I wanted. I’d recommend her 100% and I’m really glad I got a nicer bouquet. My husband and groomsmen ended up NOT wearing their boutonnieres because they said it looked weird w/ the suspenders and no jacket. I would have made them wear them anyway had they consulted me (haha!) but it’s fine - though that was definitely wasted money. The boutonnieres and corsages were nice and cheaper than what Beach Palace was quoting us on. I got calla lillies for the bridal party, roses for the fathers, and a calla lily and rose corsage for the mothers. Overall, definitely recommend Bloom Bridal.
I got my centrepiece flowers from Marvin of Maya Floral and the flowers were great - no complaints. He created exactly what I wanted, delivered them on time and they lasted great. Our wedding was at the very end of the week so we unfortunately didn’t get to enjoy them for very long. I would 100% recommend Marvin - quick to reply to emails, prices were better than the resort, and met all of the requests/changes I made. I ordered 4 round centrepiece flowers for the guest table and 1 oval shaped one for the head table with 2 smaller arrangements for either side. We got a lot of compliments on them and they looked great on the tables. I wanted to have real flower centrepieces and I was happy w/ the ones we had.
Styling Trio came in at 10am to do makeup for myself and the 2 in my bridal party. In hindsight, I wish we had had them about 30-60 minutes earlier because we were a bit rushed at the end. As I mentioned above, they were completely fantastic and I cannot say enough good things about them. We took some pics of the ladies and groomsmen getting ready and they got the footage of me getting into my dress and my mom giving me the pearl necklace she gave me. I'm very glad btw I got a pretty robe because I'm wearing it in a lot of these pics and I think it does look nice. Also a bit of an awkward side note, I basically had 4 men watching me get changed into my wedding dress . My ladies all covered me and I don't think they saw anything other than what I look like in a bikini, but it was still a bit awkward. Not sure how else to get the "changing" pics though?
Our ceremony was absolutely beautiful and I’m very happy with how it went. My mom helped me oversee the set up of the Sky Deck for the ceremony space and it turned out lovely. They forgot to put one of the reception centrepieces on the table, but the set up still looked very pretty and exactly how I had planned. One of the best/nerdiest things I did and I’d recommend anyone else to do it if you’re as picky as I am (haha) is I outlined every decoration detail with pics and instructions for the coordinator and my mom. Everyone laughed at me for doing it but they said it was really helpful and it enabled them to follow my instructions to a T . Also I’m glad I splurged on some of the extras here because even though you’re only in the ceremony space for like an hour, this is where the bulk of my pics are and I love all of our ceremony pics! So the upgrades we had - tiffany chairs, chandelier, crystal curtain - were all totally worth it in my book! We added program fans, rose petals in cones and scattered along the aisle and faux floral bouquets on the aisle chairs. Another thing I’m glad for is wearing a veil. It blew around like crazy and I had to push it out of the way a bunch of times, but I think it looks really romantic in the pics.
>> Our ceremony set up with things we added: chandelier, crystal curtain, gold tiffany chairs, faux floral details and rose petal cones
We had my husband and his groomsmen walk out first after the guests were seated (to no music). Our officiant, my husband’s younger brother, was already standing at the front. Next our wedding party song played (Somewhere Over the Rainbow/It’s a Wonderful World) and the groom’s parents walked out followed by my bridesmaid (sister), the MOH (cousin) and then our 3 adorable ring bearers w/ their parents (our nephews are only 2 and 3 so our siblings walked out w/ them which was a nice touch). My nephew was carrying a sign that said “Here Comes the Bride.” After that, there was a bit of a pause as our “flower girls” (my brother and cousin) both spread out flower petals down the aisle for me. My coordinator suggested doing it here so the petals would be fresh for when I walked. Apparently it was really funny while they were doing it because we had 2 grown men as our flower girls . My coordinator in the mean time went to go get us in my room. I walked down to a piano instrumental version of Elvis’ I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You with both of my parents and it was really lovely.
The ceremony was perfect. I had written out what I wanted for my husband’s brother to read from, and he did a great job. I’ll upload a copy later but basically it’s a bunch of stuff I got from this website. There were some funny moments too and we have great shots of the audience and us cracking up at points. We did include a sand ceremony and it was really nice. I ended up buying some cheap vases from Dollar Tree and coloured sand from Michael’s - spent less than $15 total instead of getting one of those expensive kits. We’re not sentimental at all so we left the sand there on our balcony when we left - I just took a few pics of it before we left . After the ceremony, we had our toast w/ all of the guests and then took pics w/ the whole group and each family and group to make sure we had at least one professional pic w/ everyone. After, our guests had a break (my sister the MC announced it) and we went off to take our pics. I wouldn’t change anything about our ceremony - thought it was perfect.
Rainy Day Decisions
So on to the biggie - it RAINED on our wedding day after a week of pure sunshine! I was checking the forecast nonstop and I wasn’t sure what to do because everything I had planned for was for that outdoor Sky Terrace space. We got lucky during our actual ceremony - and it was beautiful - the rain held out and the set up was gorgeous. Our wedding co-ordinator onsite, Marco, was absolutely awesome and I’d kiss the man if I could. While we were taking pics after the ceremony, Marco came up to us and gently told us that the rain forecast was 80% rain, and asked us if we want to move it inside. He didn’t pressure us at all but basically just told us the facts and told us that if we waited it out and it rained, it could take up to an hour or two to move everything later (meaning a break in the wedding). They had already started setting up our reception and everything was absolutely beautiful.
He showed us the back up spot of the ballroom and I almost had an anxiety attack because it was the ugliest place I have ever seen. It looked like an old conference room - horrible carpet, beige walls with no windows or anything on them - the wedding would have been so awful in there. If I could at least get draping and lighting, it might have been okay but we would have to leave all of our Chinese lanterns and lighting we had paid for outside because they were already wet (literally over 1k down the drain). I think you ladies who have been following my planning thread know how important it was to me to have a beautiful wedding - everything I planned focussed around this. So I asked him (begged!) if there was anywhere else we could use and I mentioned the Palace member room because I remembered reading a review here that allowed them to use that space. He took us there and the room was great - all glass windows, big space, and even though we couldn’t have all of our lighting, it was pretty nice as is. So he went to speak to the Palace Members team and Tony and I were holding our breaths. Well we got lucky and we were able to use the space! He also waived any rain movement fees (usually $25/person!) which we were so grateful for. So we decided to keep our cocktail event upstairs on the Sky Terrace so at least some of our decorations and lighting could be used, and then move the reception inside where we’d be guaranteed the wedding. This decision was made about 1/2 an hour before our cocktail was to begin, so we had a lot of help from family members and friends to help the Palace team transfer everything over while we finished taking our pics. It was a tough decision to make because we could have chanced it and kept it on the Sky Terrace, but I’m so glad we decided to move it because it did rain quite hard later that night!
>> Starting to set up for our outdoor reception on the Sky Terrace before it got moved inside
Our cocktail party was on the Sky Deck in the originally planned space and it was gorgeous up there. My vision would have been really nice had it all worked out haha. The lanterns strung everywhere and in the pool were beautiful - my husband and I joked that we hoped our guests took a lot of pics because that was basically over 1k in lighting down the drain. We also had a nice lounge area that couldn’t be transferred either. The mariachi band was a lot of fun (though they came about 15 min late) and they played good songs - definitely recommended. The food was great - we ordered the cold hors d’oeuvres w/ a few changes and they were probably the best apps we had all week. There was a sushi board and some other cold apps that were different from what we’d had earlier in the week and they were delicious. They also seemed fancier, and people really liked them.
The cocktail hour was actually kind of miserable for me because I started feeling really sick at this point. I’m not sure if it was all of the stress of the venue change or because we were so tired and hungry from taking pics and had had nothing to eat, but I felt borderline nauseous and like I was getting sick. I took some Tylenol cold and felt better at the reception, but the cocktail party was really hard for me and I didn’t feel like talking to people or taking pics. My tip here is to space things out - I really wish we had done some pics before the ceremony so we could have had some time to relax before the cocktail party. Things were so rushed I didn’t even have time to touch up my makeup until the dancing part of our reception when I changed my dress! So I don’t look as good as I’d have liked in my reception pics, but I also didn’t want to leave people and the fun. I think having a half hour to an hour to just breathe and relax would have made a world of difference in how we enjoyed the afternoon. Luckily my sick feeling passed and I had a blast during our reception.
Our welcome/guestbook table turned out great. We did an instant photo guestbook using a Fujifilm camera and I got some props from Michaels for pretty cheap after one of their coupons. I had decided last minute I wanted to do a paper fan backdrop over the table and this turned out AWESOME. Got the fans on sale from BHLDN and my family put them up exactly how I wanted. It looked really beautiful! The guestbook is probably one of my favourite things and turned out so well. People really liked taking the instant pics, and the messages we got are so nice and heartfelt. We used colourful washi tape to tape the pics in but I’m going to switch them out for photo corners when I have more time because the tape is coming loose. For the guestbook, I used the photo book scrapbook I made for my husband as a gift. We’re huge Disney junkies so I ordered the book from the movie UP, and made a scrapbook of pics of us in all of the places we’ve been. So our guests also got to look at the pics of us in the book before putting in their own pictures and messages. Of course I was so busy that I didn’t actually finish the scrapbook until the day before our wedding haha. My husband was passed out in bed and I was sitting on the floor frantically trying to finish it up - ahh. But it is something I adore so it was well worth the time/stress. We also had pics of my husband and I and old wedding pics of my parents, his and my grandparents (and one of Mickey and Minnie haha) - people really liked looking at them.
Our reception in the Palace Elite room was very pretty. They still were able to use my tablecloths and linens, candles, frames, etc. I’m VERY happy that I decided to bring all of these things because they made our reception look like a proper wedding, and distinguished it from our other events where we used the complimentary Palace stuff. You can read more about my decor things scattered through my journal and see the pics below.
The dinner was okay - we chose the Italian buffet but subbed in steak. It was probably the best buffet of the week but we were all kind of sick of buffets. My husband regrets now not upgrading to plated for our wedding but that would have been an extra $55 per person so I’m totally fine with the menu choice. I didn’t eat very much - a combo of nerves, tight dress, excitement, etc. - but what I did eat tasted fine. Our servers were fantastic and literally would ask you if you wanted a drink when you still had a drink in your hands. We did some of the traditional things - speeches, cake cutting, first dance, but got rid of the bouquet and garter toss and father/mother dances. The speeches were all really well done - funny, heartfelt and people were just laughing and laughing. My MOH was so sweet and I cried during her speech. Her gift to us was SO sweet - a vintage wine in a wooden box with messages from everyone that attended the wedding for us to read if we ever had a hard time in our relationship. She had coordinated this during the week and it was a complete surprise. The Best Man killed it as expected and people were dying of laughter - we have the best pics of everyone just cracking up. My MOH and I made the slideshow and it was a huge hit! We did a family section, friend section and then one of my husband and I and it was so much fun to watch. I was holding hands w/ her and we were bouncing like giddy children while watching haha. The cake was not at all what I had requested and I would say do not pay the extra upgrade decor fee - just keep it simple. It looked fine but I am definitely glad we got the cake topper and gold tablecloth to jazz things up. The LOVE mugs didn’t work out as I had planned - I think the fake flowers look kind of obviously fake - and it wasn’t arranged the way I had wanted, but I didn’t care the day of at all. Haha but looking at pics now and me being me, I wish I had rearranged them a bit nicer . I had I think 2 bites of the cake (red velvet) and it was okay - the frosting was more cream cheesy than I’m used to for red velvet, but it was fine. The cake wasn’t all that important to me so I’m fine with what we got. We gave maracas as our favours with the “Shake for a kiss” tag on them and they were a huge hit and people shook them several times for us to kiss - worked really well! The reception is a bit of a blur to me but there are little moments that I remember really happily - it’s true how everyone says it goes by so fast!
We did our first dance to All of Me by John Legend and our original plan was to have everyone surround us with sparklers but we weren’t able to use them inside. So my sister gave the mic to my uncle Leon who is the life of the party and killed it at Coco Bongo so everyone knew who he was, and when the song transitioned to the faster Tiesto version, he got on the mic and said “Uncle Leon says let’s get this party started!” and it was awesome - everyone started dancing and it was a great start to our party. Tony and I immediately ordered round after round of shots from the servers which was a great idea because it got everyone drunk quickly which made for a better dance floor. All of the older people left soon after, but the younger friends and family members stayed and we had a pretty consistent dance floor of about 20-25 people til midnight. Tony and his friends are hilarious when they’re drunk, and the shirts quickly came off and a whole bunch of crazy dance offs ensued. He even ripped his brand new suit pants doing crazy dance moves! I changed into my TTD early on so I could actually dance too which was a good call. I couldn’t wait to get out of my wedding dress and breathe . Our party went to 12, then we told everyone to meet us at the roof so we could light the sparklers and jump in the pool. We gave my phone to a server up there and we have the most amazing pics of everyone playing with the sparklers then jumping into the pool one by one haha. I love our friends - this might be my favourite memory of the wedding and the whole week there. We had about 15 people in the pool at the end of the night and it was just such a great way to cap everything off. We had been joking about jumping in the pool after the wedding all week so it was funny that it actually happened. Everyone was super drunk and happy and I think our wedding was really a blast. We left after that and we got into the hot tub that the housekeeping had drawn for us with rose petals and ordered room service.
We slept in really late the next day - there’s NO way my husband would have been able to to a TTD shoot the next day, so I’m glad we had done ours in advance. For you ladies, if your husband is a big drinker def. think about if you want to do it the next immediate day or not. We had our honeymoon breakfast from Palace that looked great but tasted kind of weird haha, and then just had a relaxing day on the beach w/ everyone enjoying that the wedding was over . I really wish we had booked a few extra days to enjoy being married in paradise w/o all of the stress and pressure. It was funny because when it was over, we high fived each other and were like wedding over! It was really one of the best days of my life but I will be honest in saying I’m so glad the stress of planning it is over!
Post Wedding Reflection
All in all we’re really pleased with the way our wedding went. It was definitely disappointing that it rained and we had to change our venue, but luckily for us the changes were okay. Tony thinks it was actually for the better because it was nice and air conditioned inside and it would have been a lot muggier outside. In hindsight I definitely think it’s a bit ironic how things worked out. I cared SO much about the decor and look of everything and was a complete perfectionist in planning everything and NONE of it worked out haha. We had a lot of wasted decor and rentals which definitely sucks, but our wedding was still beautiful.
Honestly the day of the wedding I was very laid back - I think the anxiety attack of the welcome party kind of taught me to let go. So I didn’t sweat anything and even though things weren’t done perfectly how I wanted them originally, everything was still beautiful. I am so incredibly grateful to my family and friends for helping decorate and w/ the move. They executed everything so well and I know a lot of them were super stressed at the time as well. My best tip I can say is know that everything will NOT work out 100% to plan probably, and that that’s okay too. I kind of wish I had a separate coordinator or decorator to do everything for me and so that my family didn’t have to stress out as much as they did, but I think at the end of the night everyone had a blast which is probably the thing that was most important to me. I also decided at a certain point that I couldn’t obsess about everything because then I wouldn’t just enjoy the moment, and I obviously wanted to just live and breathe my wedding if that makes sense. SO I’m glad to say that my wedding day was truly the best day of my life and being surrounded by family and friends and knowing that people had travelled all the way to Mexico to celebrate with us - it is a truly unbelievable feeling and I still get teary thinking about it. I remember dancing at one point and looking around and realizing that everyone there had travelled all that way for us - and it just made me so happy.
I also have NO regrets in doing a destination wedding. It was a lot of work and frustrating at times, but we had such a fun time and we feel so close to our family and friends that attended. People have repeatedly told us that they had an amazing time and we got told that it was the best destination wedding ever. I’m SO glad I spent the time and money on all of the extra little things because I honestly think it made a difference in how people enjoyed the week. It was extra money spent for sure, but completely worth it. I do wish that my husband and I had booked a few extra nights to stay there afterward. Our wedding wasn’t until the end of the week and we had a lot of obligations and stress before. But all in all, it was the perfect week with the perfect group of people and I wish I could go back and relive it
Let me know if you have any specific questions! Here are some of our "photoshoot" pics. I'll post the TTD pics later
Edited by tygrrlily, 02 January 2015 - 11:02 PM.