Jump to content

Riu Palace, Cabo Wedding Review November 15


MelissaH113
 Share

Recommended Posts

Recently returned from my wedding at the Riu Palace in Cabo San Lucas on November 15 and it was THE MOST amazing time of my life! I want to re-live it every day. I will never forget how much of an amazing wedding we had.

 

Travel Agent: We went with Liberty Travel as our travel agent. Our wedding guests booked through a link that the agency provided and I was able to download a report to see who signed up (this was perfect because I provided it to the hotel to prove that at least 80% of the guests stayed at the hotel, per the contract). It also helped me with RSVPs. No need to follow up on missing response cards if they booked their room ;). Liberty Travel also arranged for everyone's ride to and from the airport which worked out great. The only snag with this one was that there are TONs of agents at the airport trying to pick up the arriving tourists and some tried posing as our car service. However, since we were one of the first people to show up in Cabo, I texted our guests to warn them about this and remind them to verify who they are taking a ride with.

 

Hotel: The rooms were amazing! We had an Ocean Front Junior Suite which was fine for us because we didn't spend a ton of time in the room. Also, it was centrally located to everything. The hotel is HUGE so getting from one place to the next was a workout! Good for me so I could fit into my dress, but not so great for my grandma. However, she had a wheelchair so she had assistance getting around. I definitely recommend any elderly guests bringing or renting a wheelchair to get around the hotel. Also, don't drink or brush your teeth with the tap water. A few people got sick (bring Pepto and any sort of meds you can think of, just in case) and my in-law (who is a doctor) believes that caused it. Also, be sure to secure your restaurant reservations so you don't have the buffet every day for dinner. We really enjoyed the food.

We gave the front desk welcome bags to hand out and it worked out great. Our friends and family said the bags were placed in their rooms. The only sucky part is that it costed us $3 per bag for them to give them out. 

 

Hair Salon on site: My bridesmaids and I got our hair done at the salon on site and they did a fantastic job! My appointment was at noon (ceremony at 4). I showed my stylist a picture of the style I wanted from my phone and she got right to work on it. She nailed it, and pretty quickly too. She didn't even have to stare at the photo for long. My mom and my sister said the same thing, and they have pretty high standards. The salon can take on 3 hair appointments at any given hour so book your hair appointments as soon as you can, which I believe is 3 months prior to the wedding. You'll have to pay 50% of the bill up front to hold the appointments. I did my own makeup so I can't speak for the makeup artists on site.

 

Florist: We went with Baja Flowers (provided by the Riu) and they did an excellent job! I sent photos to Alina of the bouquets and centerpieces I wanted and she said no problem! She nailed it. The only thing I noticed is that the boutonnieres were a little heavy. They seemed to be weighing down the groomsmen's jackets. Not a huge deal though :)

 

Photographer: We went with the hotel photographer and she was on time and did not waste any moment directing us on the poses and variations of photos. I can't wait to see the photos! 

 

DJ: We went with the hotel DJ and he did a great job!! Everyone was dancing the entire time. I looked around at one point and everyone was on the dance floor. We asked to meet with him beforehand and he had my list and asked me what songs I definitely did't want to hear. He also asked me if it was OK to take requests from others. He played all the correct songs for our introductions and first dance. A lot of our friends said he did a great job with the music.

 

Wedding coordinator: We had Ana Maria and she is the sweetest person ever!! As we got closer to the wedding date, she was more and more responsive to our emails and I could see that she puts care and emotion into her job. She offered up lots of ideas and suggestions for us without us even asking. We met with her a few days before the wedding to confirm our details and choices. We did a cake tasting (yum!) as well. She had all our information organized. I also gave her our toasting flutes, cake servers, welcome bags, wedding favors, table number and name cards and it was all there at our reception. No exceptions!!! We loved her so much, we brought her on the dance floor at one point :). We also made sure to thank her by getting her a gift certificate to Hacienda Cocina y Cantina (great spot for dinner!).

Btw, I've seen some people mention in their reviews that they wished there was a rehearsal. For us, we found that it wasn't necessary. Ana told us exactly what time she would bring us the flowers, and pick us up for the ceremony and she was on time. Then she was right there directing each of us when to start our walk to the aisle. Every step of the way, she directed us so there was no confusion at all of what to do.

 

Ceremony: We were initially going to have the ceremony at the San Jose Gazebo, however, the grass was a little torn up from the hurricane. There were some bald spots and construction going on right out of the gazebo, so we opted to move it to a beach ceremony on the quiet side of the hotel. We made this change just a few days before the wedding! The beach ceremony was gorgeous! The only odd part was that some hotel guests overlooked the ceremony from the infinity pool but it didn't matter to me once the ceremony music started :). It was also fun when they cheered at clapped at the end. The view from the beach ceremony was absolutely stunning. A few days prior, there were some cruise ships that blocked the view of the rock formation, but they were gone on the day of the wedding. It was so breathtakingly beautiful. Our ceremony was at 4pm which was perfect. The temperature was so comfortable and we had enough sun light to take photos afterward before the sun set. We used the hotel Reverend Marco and he was great! Very sweet and gave a lovely ceremony. He provided us with a few different ceremony script options and said we could mix and match or customize how ever we wanted. He was also on time.

 

Violinist: We went with the hotel violinist (Wioletta?) for the ceremony music and it was sooo perfect. She played the exact songs I asked and I received a TON of compliments on how it set the mood for the ceremony. I walked down the aisle to A Thousand Years and there were no dry eyes in the crowd. She didn't miss a beat.

 

Reception: We chose Baja Norte for our reception and it was stunning! Like I mentioned earlier, everything I gave Ana for the reception was right there and ready when we showed up. The food presentation was very nice! They had our names carved into watermelons which was a nice surprise ha! There were hotel staff who took great care of us. They carried my food plate to our table and always kept our drinks filled. 

 

Fire Dancers: We decided to add an extra touch and hired 3 fire dancers for 20 minutes. Our wedding guests were definitely surprised and loved it! They made a few minor mistakes but overall, it was a great show! We watched them perform on the beach from the balcony at Baja Norte (for safety). 

 

Overall, I had the most amazing time of my life. Everything was just beautiful and it completely exceeded my expectations. During our first dance, my husband was like "I cannot believe this is our wedding. It is SO amazing!" Our family members and friends were stunned as well and I have received sooo many compliments on it. We had a blast! Now everyone is talking about how we should all go back for our first anniversary hahah. 

 

Let me know if you have any questions!!! I definitely recommend having your wedding at the Riu Palace in Cabo and if you can, request Ana for your coordinator. I can't speak for the other coordinators, but she was the perfect person for us :).

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@MelissaH113 Congratulations on your wedding and thank you for your review and detailed information.  We have decided on Riu Palace for our June 2016 wedding after so much research and debating.  After hearing your amazing and positive experience, I am very excited to start the planning process. 

 

Did you reserve a room block with your TA and if so how did you determine how many rooms to reserve?  Also did you have contact with Reverend Marco (via email or phone) prior to you going out to Cabo?

 

Thanks again for your help!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@AmorDeMiVida Congrats! 

With the travel agent, I estimated the amount of rooms we would need and they held them with the hotel. About a month prior to the wedding, the travel agent would release any unused rooms to the general public so you don't get charged for them. But by the agent's initial deposit date, we needed to have at least ten rooms booked to keep our group room rate. The travel agent will explain everything to you. Also, keep in mind this was with Liberty Travel. Not sure who you are planning to use. They could use a different method.

 

I had contact with the Revernd prior to Cabo and it was via email. He asked us to confirm the details of the wedding and provided us with 6 or so different options for the ceremony script which he said could be customized if we wanted. He need to know about 2 weeks prior what our decision on the script was so you get lots of time.

 

Happy Planning!

Edited by MelissaH113
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey! Thank you sooo much for your awesome review! I am getting married at the Riu Santa Fe on July 20, 2015! If you don't mind I have some questions for you!

 

Dress- did you have your dress shipped or did you bring it as a carry-on? Did you send your dress out to be steamed? I saw that there is not a steaming service on site and I am a little nervous about sending it out somewhere. I do have a handheld steamer that I was going to bring but am not sure how that will work.

 

Welcome bags- did you have the option of having them hand them out upon guest arrival or was the only option to have them place the bags in your guests' rooms? Is there a $3 charge per bag regardless?

 

Hair Appt- I will need my hair done along with my 7 bridesmaids. My wedding ceremony is at 5PM. Do you think you chose a good time to have yours done? I'm trying to figure out timing for all 8 of us without having anyone sitting around too long! Is there a standard cost for the hair appt or does it depend on what you have done?

 

Photographer- did you go with the 3 or 5 hour photo session? Are you happy with the one you chose? Did they take pictures while you were getting ready or did they not begin until the ceremony started? Did you have the videographer as well?

 

DJ- did you just make a list of your own songs or did you actually have them all available on your Ipod? I wasn't sure if they have a lot of the songs that a typical DJ in the US would have or if I should have all the songs downloaded and with me

 

Favors- if you don't mind me asking... what did you do for favors? I'm trying to think of something light that I can pack in my suitcase. We are having 80-90 guests so I am having trouble!

 

Thank you sooo much and I look forward to hearing back from you!!

 

Jenna

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@jenna32schap

(Disclaimer: I got married at the Riu Palace, so I cannot guarantee my responses apply to Santa Fe)

I carried my dress onto the flight and since the flight didn't have any closets (I asked), I laid it out in the overhead storage. I also gave my dress to Ana (the coordinator) during our meeting and she sent it out to be steamed. No issues at all! It was perfect when I got it back the day before the wedding :).

 

For welcome bags, I specifically requested them to be handed out during check in, but they did the room thing instead. However, I did see a few days where the front desk was absolute madness and since it's out in the open, it's probably better that they delivered it to the rooms. The charge is $3 no matter which way.

 

The salon at the Palace is only able to accommodate 3 hair styles at a time and they reserve an hour for each appointment. We had 7 people getting their hair styles and our ceremony was at 4pm. The first 3 appointments for us were at noon, then 3 more at 1pm, and 1 appointment at 2pm. This timing worked out great for us! The last appointment at 2 was for the flower girl, though, so its not like she had to do her makeup afterward. If the Santa Fe salon has the same amount of stylists, you may want to have everyone start their appointments around 10 or 11. Some bridesmaids said their hair didn't take long so tell everyone to get to their appointments early and maybe they will be done faster. There are standards costs and the salon can give you a price list. The cost may vary depending on hair length.

 

For the photographer, we went with a 5 hour package and I almost wish we did an extra hour but that's ok because we had lots of friends with great cameras. The photographer took great photos as well. We love them. Our ceremony was at 4 and she arrived at the groom's room at 3 to take 15 minutes of his "getting ready" photos. Then she came to our room around 3:20 to take photos of us getting ready. We did not get videography done. The photographer was only there for about an hour of the reception.

 

The DJ is on Spotify and I had put together my list of songs on there. So then I "shared" the list with him on Spotify. He has pretty much every song that's popular for wedding receptions right now. They do hundreds and hundreds of weddings so when I met with him, I could tell he knew what kind of music we like. He even made a comment "I see you like Calvin Harris" haha. And EVERYONE was on the dance floor so it wasn't an issue.

 

For favors, we went with mason jars: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/1/1/188356-yorkshire-17-5-ounce-chalkboard-mason-jar-glasses-set-of-4.html

It was a bit of pain to bring over. However, my husband went to visit right after the hurricane and we used that opportunity for him to bring them for the wedding coordinator to keep in her office for a month. If I were to do it all over, I probably would've chose something smaller and lighter, but people loved them. Whatever you do end up choosing, be sure to bring a copy of the receipt in case customs agents ask for it. They asked my husband and gave him a hard time, but eventually let him through with them.

 

Hope this helps! Let me know if you think of anything else :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was married at the Riu the same week as MelissaH113 - Gazebo, Baja Norte, ipod w/ sound system (we had a friend make an awesome playlist), in house photographer etc. 

 

My feedback:

 

Gazebo was amazing, super private, really nice photos and excellent ceremony. I was in touch with Reverend Marco prior to the wedding. My husband and I didn't want to write our own vows but we did want some choice in what would be said. He sent over about 7 different ceremonies that we could choose from, cut and paste or make additions to. We ended up with a really nice ceremony and I am super happy with how it turned out. He was fantastic. 

 

I went outside the resort for hair and makeup and I could not have been happier. I saw Alma, http://www.cabomakeup.com/ shewas super great over email and honestly did an amazing job. It was myself, 4 bridesmaids, and my SIL that all got hair and makeup done. My wedding was scheduled at 2pm so we got started early at 930~. We finished with good time to get back to resort and get ready for the ceremony. All of my girls loved their hair and makeup, no melting in heat as she uses a combination of standard foundation etc. and airbrush to finish. I also had a low back dress and she airbrushed the tanline on my back away! She had two other people with her, one strictly for hair and another that did both hair and makeup. They were a well oiled machine. I cannot say enough and I had my makeup done professionally for two other weddings this year and this was by far the top. I decided to meet her at her studio outside of the resort as the Riu charges $300 for every outside contractor that you bring in. Our cabs to and from only cost $30USD total.  

 

We booked photography and videography last minute for 1 hour each. My husband is a videographer so I was reluctant at first but he was happy to have the footage. I thought the photography was OK but nothing amazing. They definitely know how to organize big groups and maximize time which was great. 

 

We also brought bags for all our guests but did not pay to have them placed in the rooms. We decided instead to meet all of our guests as they arrived (most of them came in big groups from certain cities which made it easier). We met them in the lobby, gave them their bags, gave them our run down on where to go etc. It worked fine and the resort had no issue. I opted to use the welcome bags as the favor for the wedding.

 

My husband brought glow sticks down which ended up being an amazing hit after the reception when we went to the club (we ended the night at Pacha which is up the stairs from Baja Norte). People literally went crazy for them, even people I didn't expect (old aunts etc.). I was a little disappointed at the end of the night as Baja Norte has strict rules about noise and they shut our party off promptly at 11pm which was right when everyone was getting going.

 

Everyone really enjoyed our food at dinner - no complaints there. Cake was good too.  

 

You're wedding will be great! Let me know if you have other questions. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@MelissaH113

When you met with the W/C and had the cake tasting, did they have a lot of different options?

 

@@thebestjacquie

Congratulations and thank you for your review.  It's good to know that Pacha is very close to Baja Norte.  I already know all of my guests will want to keep dancing/partying past 11.  Did you bring your own sound system or was it rented from Riu?  If so, what was the cost?  I'm still debating between hiring the onsite DJ or bringing my own music (fiance is a DJ and can mix all of our songs).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@AmorDeMiVida

In the spreadsheet the coordinator gives you with all the choices, it has all the cake and filling flavors. So we picked a few combos we wanted to try and told the coordinator prior to going to Cabo. Then during our meeting, we sampled just those flavors we requested. We ended up having each tier be a different flavor cause we liked all the flavors we tried!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@MelissaH113 thanks for all the great info!! As far as the DJ, did you do the traditional bridal party songs as each member of the bridal party entered or did you skip that? Also, did you do the traditional first dance, father/daughter dance etc... Thanks!!

 

@@thebestjacquie thanks for sharing your info as well! I was thinking about getting glow sticks too! Do you remember where you purchased yours from? As far as the welcome bags... how many guests did you have? We are having 80-90 guests. So far we have 30 rooms booked. I was planning on just doing a welcome bag for each room (30-40 total). I asked the wedding coordinator and she said that they can only be handed out at check in and it will cost $5 per bag. I like what you did since I can basically do the same thing and save $200 handing them out on my own. A lot of our guests are coming in groups as well. Was it difficult to have them all together... did you have a table or suitcase or something you brought down to check-in with you to carry them all? Thanks!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share



  • Best Destination Wedding Sponsors



    Facebook Pinterest Google+ Twitter
  • Posts

    • What are you doing for your wedding's road signs? so that your visitors will know where to turn to enter the area. Any pictures? I had created some road signs with a nearby signage business. However, I want to create 2 additional signs. Please provide images so that I may alter my design.
    • The two people who matters the most in this situation? You and your partner. It is nice to get an outside opinion but if you have too much of it? It will get messy! I am replying you my response after that has happened to me with my wedding. Although it is quite hard, do not think of the negative opinions. The people who will turn up to your wedding? You will always cherish them even more! That is what has happened with me because my friendship with the people who attended my wedding has improved so much more that I know I can rely on them and they can rely on me. It is disappointing that people will not attend your wedding but it is their loss, not yours. At the end of the day, when they see pictures and videos of your big day they will definitely regret missing out on such event. I am waiting to deal with the aftermath of my wedding from my so called friends, if they say anything they will get an earful! Happy planning, your big day will be worth it! Keep us up to date!
    • Wow, I cannot believe it's been over a year since I last posted! Better keep everyone up to date as everything ended up positive in the end! So, let's start with the situation with W. From my previous post, I have serious consideration removing him from the groomsmen because of the hurtful things he has said to me. Not too after my second post, I asked him once again whether he wants to be part of the groomsmen. The response was around the lines of "I need more solid information". This was before the restriction were lifted. Then he said it was down to finances yet again, even though he said he could have made it but because of what A said, W didn't commit no more. As W was being difficult, I decided to drop him as a groomsmen altogether and replaced him with someone else. Plan B was already in motion and tbh, I wish I did this first to avoid any hassle. Everyone who got invited in plan B all committed themselves to the wedding!  The situation with A is this. I was feeling sad that I was losing this friendship and that spark with him was gone. By the time it was gone, A was "ready" to meet up with me to discuss life and the wedding. When I said I lost spark with him, I really did. I knew that he was ready to meet up with me because it was convenient for him. For example, he wanted to meet up with me because he was driving past my house or was in the area visiting his relative. If he was not doing those things he would not want to meet up with me. Needless to say, every time he kept asking, I just said I was busy. I think deep down something was not right between me and A but he does not want to acknowledge it. I know that W had FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) because that's what he is like. Around the end of last year, rather than messaging me about the DW he went behind my back and asked my SO. He was scared of asking me because he knows if he asked me, I would literally get angry at him. He's nosey and was happy enough to be part of the groomsmen but he listened to A. W didn't asked once but twice to mg SO. My SO just said that she was busy and should ask me about the wedding, not her. W did messagee but not about the wedding plans. I felt this was a sly move by his part. If anything not having A and W there was a blessing in disguise. I met up with the other 4 groomsmen over one weekend and it turns out it was the most fun we all have had for a while. It was as if we continued from the previous conversations in the past as if nothing has changed. I am so glad and proud of this group of groomsmen and glad the other 2 dropped out. The suit fitting went really well and we hung out again to see whether the suits altered fitted or not.  Unfortunately my SO UK group, 5 out of 6 declined the invite. Only 1 accepted it. The other 5 had reasons ranging from good ones to poorer ones 😅 As long one of them turned up then it was good enough for us. My SO's bridesmaids also were amazing. No problems caused whatsoever and they were really excited that our wedding was abroad too! To make things work out before our DW, myself and SO planned out 2 weekends for both groomsmen and bridesmaids to hang out before the DW. We did this so we would not encounter any awkwardness for the first time in DW. Lo and behold, everyone got to know each other and we really are happy that the wedding party weekend went smoothly. I will keep this ambiguous because I do not want A and his group finding out. I got married to my SO this year. What time and month? I will leave this intentionally blank. The wedding itself was everything we have expected. The wedding planner was amazing. The photographer was also amazing too, so glad we went for him. The sneak peak photos are absolutely great, couldn't imagine that the photos turned out like that. The good itself was okay could be better but could be worse. The first dance went relatively well although my SO managed to cock up s move which only I know hahahaha. The wedding ceremony itself went really quickly. I was a bag of nerves to which one of the groomsmen bought the groomsmen a shot each to calm everyone down. It did calm me down for a little bit but the nerves started again with the speeches. I got emotional throughout the speeches. I was not expecting the tear up with the best man speech at all. My speech was meant for my SO but for some reason everyone in the room also cried as well 😂 The all night dancing and fun was the best bit. When every serious part was done, I was able to stop being nervous! The fun went through the whole night and I can see everyone really enjoyed themselves. It was as if myself and SO correctly guess that lockdown restrictions would end. Everyone was thankful that they managed to take part in the DW because they all have been stranded in the country for 3 years! Do I regret having a DW? Hell no! Although it was a smaller party everything was all under control. Everyone had a great time!  More information about my UK group. Some of them congratulated us which was nice to hear. Those congratulated us, I can keep contact. They knew it was difficult coming to DW. At least they are mature enough to say something about it and they did not get the invite. On the other hand, A and W kept constantly monitoring my account for updates along with my SO. It got to the point that W really FOMO that he I followed our stories/posts. A on the other hand is completely out of order. He was invited to DW but made it really uncomfortable to me that he was not happy with DW. During that week, he went on holiday to Spain. I get that Spain is much more cheaper than my DW but it still is annoying. A also said before that he has a few weddings to attend during our DW month. He has not attended any weddings which makes me think that he has lied to me. A and W has lied to me saying it was costly for them to come to my DW. They have both bought PlayStation 5 and went to many designer outlets. If they are so stumped on money why go and buy things? It just shows that they are not good friends at all. Overall good DW. I do not regret it one bit because I know if I did it in the UK, the experience will be a lot different. The UK definitely not as scenic as my DW! 🤣    
    • Hi ! Myself and partner got engaged 7 months ago and we quite quickly asked our friends who we wanted in our wedding party (e.g bridesmaids, MOH and best men etc) who all agreed. After searching many English venues we have decided that we want to marry abroad, our dream is Mexico. We have been and priced this up today and we are incredibly happy. So we have put this forward to our friends and family who we really want there and now we are facing issues. My MOH and my partners Best man are together with a child, they now will not come unless we change to Spain or Greece. My brother, his wife and nephew can only come in one set week which isn't the time we want to marry and also will not come to Mexico. And both our Grandmother's won't come to Mexico.   What do we do? Do we carry on and go to Mexico with the people who will come or do we change our dreams and go to Spain or Greece?  Thoughts please, I'm getting to the point where I don't even want to marry as I'm fed up of friends and family ruining our ideas and dreams with their opinions. 
    • What purpose does a ring actually have? I think they look nice, but to me, wearing a ring doesn’t mean a damn thing. I’m engaged. I’m in a happy, healthy and strong relationship. And to be fully honest if you are ever in a relationship that you’d be willing to risk because of the price of an engagement ring, your partner could do better.
  • Topics

×
×
  • Create New...