Time for the review and pictures that everyone has been waiting for! Let's start off with how my day started. The pictures are all the ones we took, as I still haven't received the professional ones
Spa on wedding day:
While there, I decided to book a bridal spa day. For about $200, I got a facial, a massage, reflexology, my hair and makeup was included in this package, and the use of the bridal suite at the spa for that day. My bridesmaids could come over, and even though they had a maximum 4 people limit, we ended up being 7 at one point haha. Another good thing, your bridesmaids don't necessarily have to get any services done at the spa to come in and get ready there, but if they want to, they'll do their hair and makeup all in the same room.
I am so glad I did this, it was so relaxing to begin the whole ritual at around 11am (wedding was at 5pm), getting my massage done, being able to have a shower at the bridal suite and having my hair done before people came over. Just the smell at this spa and the whole ambiance is amazing and so relaxing. I could have also gone before 11am to use the hydromassage room, but with so many last minute preparations, I didn't have time. The airbrush makeup application was an extra fee, that again I thought was very worth it.
I took some really bad pictures of the room we were in. It looks messy because the massage bed had not been re-made yet. This was right after I took my shower and before Andrea came in to do my hair and makeup. The lady who did my massage (I can't remember her name) came back and put the bed back together for everything to look nice again before the bridesmaids and bridal party came over.
Andrea again did my hair and makeup. On the day of, and the trial, I totally forgot to give her my headband haha, so without headband it was . Here I am with her when she was done
they also provided us with some mimosas and a few bites, which were delicious BTW:
The guys getting ready:
They gave Juan and the boys a room to get ready in as well. They provided them with food and drinks. It was in the newer section. He had to go on the day of, at around 11:30 to find out what room they'd be staying at.
Then they were off to the ceremony...
The Wedding Department:
I cannot say enough good things about this department. After all my frustration and anger with Lomas throughout the planning process, these guys totally made it up to me. We met with them on Tuesday, there was a person from the hotel and the Lomas representative, Lucely and Claudia. We went over the last few details, including who was in the bridal party, who was the MC, my timeline, they asked me when I'd like to do the toast and offered me their opinion when I had no clue haha. I gave them a few sheets detailing in point form how I wanted my decorations set up and we talked about it.
One thing I recommend future AF brides, make sure you have an electronic copy of your script and bring it with you. I didn't give it to the Miami coordinators and just printed off a copy and gave to the on site coordinators. They asked me if I could send them an electronic copy to give to the officiant before hand but my email didn't work all week so I couldn't. I only had an electronic copy on my email, but if you have a flash drive that would work.
On the day of the wedding, they communicated non stop to make things flow really well and even reminded me of things on the timeline as we went along. I felt so scattered, I was having too much fun haha, but thanks to them we hit all the items on my timeline and things had a nice flow.
Brian was there on the day of the wedding as well, helping me with my bouquet and shoes as we took pictures and making sure the reception flowed really well. He was awesome!
The ceremony and reception looked amazing. I didn't have a lot of decor for the ceremony and I guess it looked a little empty. As I was getting my hair done, Claudia from Lomas came up and asked me if I wanted to dress the chairs with the Vintage Elegance theme for $150. I thought the price was reasonable so I said yes and I'm glad I did. I think it added to the whole thing and otherwise it would have looked like it needed a little extra something.
Juan arrived first, at 4:30 to greet our guests. I came in at around 5, they drove me in a golf cart and funny story, I almost fell off on a curve there hahaha. It would have been pretty hilarious.
When I looked down the aisle I was amazed, everything looked beautiful, the smile on my guests' faces and Juan's face, of course, just made my day. It was the perfect day, hot and sunny, but there was a nice breeze going up at the sky deck which made it bearable. There was still drops of sweat running down my legs, but it was all good hahah. It sounds really windy on the video but it was actually very nice, we would have died without it.
our video, for those who haven't seen it yet. We will have our professional one hopefully quite soon .
Our officiant did our ceremony in English and we did our vows in Spanish. The whole thing took about 10-15 minutes, which is exactly what we wanted. Anything longer would have been torture in that heat.
Photographer and Videographer:
I can't wait to see these pictures and the video!! We worked with Octavio Montes for both photo and video. He was very nice, he had a very good sense of humour and he was assertive enough when he needed to be in order to get people organized. I felt like I was very disorganized as to what I wanted from the pictures. By the time we went downstairs to the beach, we only had about an hour left before the reception, so we didn't get to do any pictures on the grounds of the hotel (more towards the rooms), which are gorgeous. It was a tough choice as to whether I wanted beach photos or photos on the grounds, but oh well. I'm sure they'll turn out beautifully. I wanted sunset photos and we got an amazing sunset. Brian (one of the wedding coordinators) said they don't always get a sunset like that, with pink and orange. Juan wanted some night time photos and from the ones that Octavio showed me on his camera, they looked amazing .
I didn't even notice Octavio in the whole commotion of things haha, or the videographers for that matter haha. I guess that's the point, for them to be seamless . According to my guests they were always there, taking pictures of every moment.
We went back to the sky deck for the reception at 7:00. They had changed everything and set up the tables. We chose the Vintage Elegance theme and it looked beautiful as the sun was setting down. We chose the BBQ deluxe menu, it was family style, so each table had their own sides which they passed around and the servers came with the meat and people chose what they wanted to eat.
We had the food served right away, and while people were eating the salads I went and changed into my attire for our first dance. Originally my mom was going to help me change, but I decided to let her enjoy the food and the guys from the wedding department helped me out. The dance came out ok, Juan had had a few too many tequila shots and he blanked out ahaha. I tried to help him out but we missed a bunch of steps, oh well.
After the first dance, I changed back into my long dress to party the night away haha. I'm so glad I didn't stay with my short dress. once again, the coordinators helped me back into my dress. I got back to the reception on time for the main course. I actually had a lot of food! I was surprised because everyone tells you that the bride and groom have no time to eat, but we definitely did, despite the wardrobe change and everything. The food was soo good!
After we finished the main course we had a toast and then kind of opened the floor for speeches. They were all very heartfelt, we had one from our best man, one from each one of my MOH's, from both our parents and my brother. When it came to my brother, everyone was crying. I was bawling like a baby.
After that, we cut the cake, and then we finally got to the dances with our parents and then the party!! We had so much fun, that the 2 hours left for the party felt like 10 minutes, not just for me, but even for my guests. I was really sad when at 11 they said we had time for one more song. We then went downstairs to the sky deck and continued the party there. We actually gave my phone to the DJ there and gave him a nice tip for him to play our songs! haha, it was like we never left the sky deck. Again, time flew by, and at 1am they kicked us out. All of us could have kept on partying until 4am haha.
I need to thank the bartender at the sky bar, Salvador, for keeping our hands full of drinks haha. Both Juan and I definitely had a nice buzz going when we left . Juan was so happy I don't think I had ever seen him dance that much hahaa.
Overall we had a blast. Our DIY photo booth was a hit, as you can see on the pictures above haha. I'm really glad we did that. I actually left my prop signs with the wedding coordinators. Maybe they threw them out, I don't know, but if your wedding is coming up you could always ask about them . I had forgotten to give them about half of the signs , so there was a limited selection at the wedding, I still didn't notice until I found them the next day in my bag hahah.
I'll post this first because I'm afraid that I'll lose everything I've written, there's one more part with some miscellaneous things.
I wanted to post some more pictures from our guests
I think I'm just forgetting one piece for the review to be complete:
Wedding DJ app:
This was definitely the best choice when you don't have a dj. If you organize it properly, everything is really seamless and it's so easy to learn that anyone can be using it in about 5 minutes . The hardest part is thinking of everything and making sure that you have music for every part of the wedding, and having the playlists in the right order. I'll post some screen shots later so you guys can see how I organized things. I will say, if you're on the fence about this app and you're not planning on hiring a DJ, buy this! Even Juan said those were the best $7 spent haha.
Edited by TinkerSofi, 18 August 2015 - 01:45 PM.