Hi Friends! Made it back from our wedding! Overall, everyone had a marvelous time at the resort and wedding! Weather was PERFECT- thank God! Here's my review and some helpful tips:
# Guests: 57 (47 adults , 10 kids)
Venue: Stone Gazebo @5-5:30
Cocktail Hour (@5:30-630) + Reception: SKY Bar 6:30-11)
Color scheme: palm trees, gold, pinks, gray, white
I'm really glad I chose the Stone Gazebo. Weather was nice and sunny and standing under neath, there was a really nice breeze blowing through. And it was shaded for our family and friends and had concrete floors so guests and myself could wear heels. Located behind Building 5, it was nicely tucked away with a gorgeous beach, palm tree background. And was great for family pictures right after. We had to buy additional a ante garde chairs (package came w/ 20)-- rememeber to deduct ur wedding party in the head count for this.
Ceremony Music: download all your songs on Spotify and make sure they can play off-line using a phone or iPad. There's someone who will connect to speakers. Oh and make sure the officiants microphone works!
Cocktail followed and was nice that it was at the same area as the reception so guests didn't have to travel around too much which I liked.
The GOLD Package included: your choice of shells or lantern to decorate the isle, and a runner, a small podium table and a floral center piece, rose petals to sprinkle on floor or for use for flower girls.
TIP: I had 2 friends not in the wedding party that helped check on the decor and sent pics back to me to make sure it looked as I had envisioned. They were my eyes and ears. Asking a BM would be not possible bc they were w us through the whole day for photos.
TIP: Make sure you have someone tell the officiant to announce that a cocktail hour at location is immediately following !!!
Cocktail Hour: We did it on sky bar, it's off to the side of where the reception is, had seats , podium high tables. I brought some pics in gold frames as decor on the tables, made a sign of all the hor d'ourves. Used a Trio band that came w the package. The bridal party used that time to go take pics.
Reception: I used Alquima-- I didn't even think to use outside vendor, they were pricey. I used them and paid to do 2 long tables , garland center piece for each table made of greens, succulents, pink roses, upgraded gold TIffany chairs, white linens, 60 votive candles, gold chargers. I though they did a lovely job with the table decor! I brought my own table numbers.
I wanted to add string lights up there. Alquima charged $600 for 3 x 50ft string of globe lights 😳. That's way too much-- so I ordered them on Amazon ($55 each) and brought my own lanterns. TIP: if you bring your own, they will string them up for you for free.
There weren't any additional lights up there, and I really wanted to lighten it up for photos. Glad I did.
I also got a garland of flowers for the bride groom table. Brought my own "Mr&Mrs" sign. And brought my own gold sequin table cloth.
The package also comes with welcome table abt 6ft long. I brought everything to decorate.
Menu selection: We were able to negotiate plates dinners with 3 different entree selection, and everyone gets the same salad, soup, dessert. My husband liked that each guest was served a dish versus having to get their own food via buffet style. Food was good but not spectacular. I barely ate bc we were so busy so I have no idea what it tasted like. If you do this, create a color coded place card to help the waiters.
DJ: we used DJ Mannia- he was really good and very nice... really quick to respond and good to work with. Give him your play list and write down when he needs to introduce stuff : 1st dance, cake cutting , etc.
SPARKLERS: I ordered them from INPLAYA in Mexico. Eugenia, the owner, was wonderful to work with! Very prompt in responses and she drove an hour to deliver them to me. They were cheaper than some other vendors, $91 for x60 2ft sparklers.
My coordinator was Barbara. She was nice. She executed her role. And she was pretty quick in her email response. I thought she did her job. She was a bit late in getting the ceremony started and there was a lot of confusion abt that but it was ok in the end.
TIP: Create a diagram and Picture of how you want your stuff to look and layout. That's the best way to get what you want. And be prepared.
Rehearsal: They never mentioned that rehearsal was a big deal. But I think it was. We did rehearsal 30 min before our welcome dinner. That was NOT enough time. Plus having drunk groom and groomsmen not present didnt help either 😂
TIP: I would recommend at least 45-60 min. Some ppl had trouble finding the gazebo.
WELCOME DINNER: The day before wedding day, we did a private dinner at Lizo (first choice as Dunas but it was already booked). I thought here was an outdoor component to it, but there wasn't. It was free however and we were not charged for this!
TIP: if I could do again, I wouldn't do it here. I'd rather free up guests for dinner here as an option. I woulda just done cocktails/ drinks at Dunas or something on the beach, bonfire perhaps.
FLOWERS: I didn't like the flowers in their brochure and they were expensive. I brought my own faux bouquets bc I wanted peonies, dahlias, hydrangeas. And they quoted me $570 for something similar to what I envisioned for my bouquet alone! I thought the ones I brought looked great! I only bought 2 Boutineers for dads and 2 coursage for moms.
HOTEL: it was a beautiful resort-- your guests will have a great time. MAKE SURE YOUR PLANNER TELLS THEM ITS FOR UR WEDDING, AND MAKE SURE THEY KNOW AT CHECK-IN. You should get some nice things in your room.
Food was ok. If you can stay in Finest Clib or Excellence (Building 5 and 6)
Lastly, I gave guests welcome bags with goodies inside. I ended up not having the desk deliver the bags ($4/ person), and just handed them out when I saw them.
Over all it was a great wedding, and weather was great to make that happen.