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January 2016 Mexico Bride - Planning And Budget

2016 Brides Cancun Riviera Maya Budgeting

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#1 TaraMarie33

TaraMarie33
  • Newbie
  • 38 posts
  • Wedding Date:January 7, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Mexico
  • LocationToronto, Ontario

Posted 17 February 2015 - 03:24 PM

Hi everyone! 

 

I have decided I should start a planning thread - I figure I should share my experiences as I go. A little bit about me .. I am from Toronto, Ontario. I got engaged in August 2014 and am planning to have a Mexico (on the caribbean side) wedding in January 2016. 

So far, planning has been quite a process and I haven't even booked a resort yet! Kenny (my fiance) and I knew we wanted a destination wedding from the beginning. We are avid travelers .. backpackers, living abroad, that sort of thing. Our families and wedding guests are from all over the world (literally!), which makes planning a destination wedding a bit of a hassle as far as booking through an agent. 

 

STARTING TO PLAN

We started in November by setting out to Mexico to search for a perfect wedding venue. We went to see 5 resorts, and have narrowed down our list to 2.. The Dreams Tulum and the Azul Sensatori. We wanted to give our guests extra time to savearrow-10x10.png for our wedding, so we didn't book a venue right away. We are finally ready to book now - and our TA gave us prices that are WAYYYY above our budget per guest. (budget = $1800 per guest). Our rates given this week were between $2100-$2400 per guest double occupancy from Toronto. 

 

After visiting these resorts ourselves - we deem it outrageous to charge that much per head. (Especially when I have seen bookit.com deals for about $1500 including flights for these resorts). So, because we are now at a loss.. We are reaching out to other resorts to see what their quotes are. Unless there is a great deal - we will just continuearrow-10x10.png to wait it out... see if the prices go down. Although that is really risky for us, considering we are getting married the first week of January. Its a bit stressful, because I have my invitations all designed, and ready to go ... but without a date/time/place! ARRGGHH. 

 

In the mean time, I have started a list of things that i CAN do while I wait. (decor, dress, color schemes, etc). I really never realized how much planning goes into a wedding. I wanted someone to do it all for me ... we can only wish. 

 

THE DRESS: 

This was another process. Dress shopping was REALLY difficult for me. Im about a size 2, so I always swam in the dresses I tried on. Nothing but $14,000 designer gowns fit me. The cup sizes were all huge, the backs so high, the waists like a paper bag.  I went to about 8 shops total. And went back and forth from style to style, fell in love with quite a few, but nothing was really PERFECT. I wondered what was wrong with me. Why a dress was speaking to me... why I wasn't crying. Why nothing was quite right. I was even asked to do Say Yes To The Dress Canada, and didn't find anything. So, one day I just decided. If you like it, buy it. So this search can be over and done with. I showed my maid of honor a pictures of the dress I have been looking at online, and as we walked by a small boutique we saw the EXACT dress in the store. I made an appointment for the next day, went in, tried it on, and gave my depositarrow-10x10.png. I splurged a little (about $3000 for my dress, not including alterations). BUT, I think it will be stunning when it comes in my size. The dress is Allure Couture c288. Its truly so beautiful! 

 

Havent quite decided if I am going to have a veil or not yet.. I may get a cathedral veil for pictures, and then just have a headpiece or flowers for the ceremony/reception. What do you think? 

 

DECOR/COLOR SCHEMES:

I know even though I haven't picked a resort, we will get married on/near the beach. So I have started to plan out my color scheme, archway, chairs, that kind of stuff. The more I research, the more I realize I have expensivearrow-10x10.png taste. I also realized I really like dark/deep colours, which doesnt exactly fit with a "beach" theme, but why does it have to be a beach theme? I have chosen coral for my bridesmaids dresses (the girls really wanted coral, I wanted burgundy, haha). BUT, instead of burgundy dresses, my decor colours are going to be burgundy, nude, gold. I have decided I want them to have bouquets of deep red calla lillies, about 25 in each bouquet. I think I will buy silk, or fake ones and bring them with me .. I found a website online $85 for 105 fake calla lillies - making about 4/5 bouquets. 

 

As far as my archway - I want it to be draped in chiffon. I don't know if resorts do that .. or maybe they do for $$$$$$$$, but I am thinking of just bringing my own with pictures to set it up. I am going to go with Tiffany Chairs and have white chiffon decorations on the back row of all the chairs in the ceremony. Only the back row so they it doesn't look too busy. I will use the same decorated chairs for my head table at my reception. 

 

FLOWERS: 

I know I want those calla lillies for my bridesmaids, for myself I will probably have a mix of white/burgundy/gold flowers. I think they are usually included in the wedding packages. 

 

I want quite a bit of flowers on my arch - two circle chunks of them on each side of the archway down halfway in the middle. I may outsource and get a florist off the resort, depending. The dreams, and other resorts charge upwards of $300 per bundle of flowers on each side.. CRAZY. They also charge $6 per tea lights.. ha, insane. I hope to bring SO much stuff with me. I will probably use my bridesmaids flowers as centerpieces for the reception, which will bring in the burgundy tones. 

 

RECEPTION: 

My overall vision is clean, white, burgundy, gold, crisp. Nothing too tacky like shells on tables, or nothing too bright. I want it very "glam" looking, not "beachy". Although, nothing against the beachy theme. I just want more of a warm winter feel. I envision a lot of lighting, a lot of white chiffon decoration, and a lot of flowers. Not much other than lighting and flowers. I think I will buy tons of tea lights, or small candles and bring them with me. I may/may not have chinese lanterns. Depending on the reception venue, they may look cheap. But I really like them! 

 

MUSIC: 

Probably going to hirearrow-10x10.png a DJ. Probably going to have to rent a sound system for the ceremony for music.. Dreams charges like $275  just to use microphones for vows. GEEZ! I'll keep you posted on how much that stuff costs at other resorts. You would think it would be included for the ceremony at least?

 

DINNER: 

Not really sure about any of the food options, etc yet. I know that most venues with over 40 guests have buffet style - which I think is horrible when you are charging me about $100 per person to eat. I would prefer a plated meal for that price, but we'll see depending on where we book. How have the dinner prices worked out for you guys? 

 

BUDGET: 

Our budget was originally $10,000 - not including rings, dress, or our trips. $10,000 just for the wedding at the resort. I don't necessarily want a cocktail hour, I would rather use that moneyarrow-10x10.png for an extra hour in the reception. The dreams only includes 3 hours .. do other resorts include 4? That would be awesome. How much is it usually to have an extra hour? 

I don't know if $10,000 is doable. It is seeming at a place like the dreams, it will be tight. Ie: $250 set up fee if you bring your own decorations. $300 fee if I use an outside florist. $870 for the DJ for 3 hours. $4 per table napkin... LIKE HONESTLY! Crazy! 

I would love to hear about pricing for other resorts. Either that, or I will be bringing in ALL of my own stuff, haha - and still probably ending up paying more than $10,000. 

 

Previous brides - is $10,000 a realistic price? Let me know. It seems like until just before the wedding you really get the pricing, which seems crazy considering we are bringing thousands of dollars into the resort. 

 

Anyway, that is all the planning I have done so far. It gets kind of crazy, and I could literally spend hours doing research - its sooooo much work! I never knew. Maybe we should all elope, haha. 

 

Good luck planning. I welcome any feedback, advice, comments you guys have! I attached a few photos of some of my decor ideas. 

 

 

 

Attached Files



#2 snswedding2016

snswedding2016
  • Member
  • 667 posts
  • Wedding Date:January 9, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Azul Fives
  • LocationToronto, Canada

Posted 17 February 2015 - 04:40 PM

Have you considered Azul Fives - the sister resort to Azul Sensatori? I was told it is usually a bit cheaper. I'm from Toronto as well and we got a pretty good rate. I'm getting married Jan 9 2016 and I know our week now is pretty booked up and the rooms that are available are getting pricey but if you're flexible with your dates it might be worth considering. 

 

I think a $10,000 budget is definitely doable it just depends on all the details you add on. I really like that Karisma allows you to choose from various different menus at different price points. You can do a plated meal from $19 pp or you can do a buffet - it really depends on what you have in mind.

 

Happy planning!


My planning thread - http://www.bestdesti...016-azul-fives/

 

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#3 Wafflesmom

Wafflesmom
  • Member
  • 948 posts
  • Wedding Date:January 23, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Moon Palace
  • LocationVancouver, Canada

Posted 17 February 2015 - 09:03 PM

Hi fellow Canadian bride, and fellow January 2016 bride!!! I can't believe the quotes you've received for departure out of Toronto. Those sound more like Vancouver prices!

I'll be sure to follow your thread, I hope you get great quotes soon. We're also budgeting for $10,000 for just wedding (ceremony and reception costs. What affects this the most is the number of guests and resort you choose. Some have really great wedding incentives like palace resorts while some have wedding packages that are really reasonable like Grand Sirenis (see @calgarybride2015 's planning thread and review).

definitely take advantage of the reviews from other brides on here. That may give you a sense of the budget needed for the resorts you've narrowed it down to.
My planning thread: http://www.bestdesti...anuary-23-2016/

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#4 Smellsey

Smellsey
  • Newbie
  • 125 posts
  • Wedding Date:January 7, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Azul Fives
  • LocationWinnipeg, Canada

Posted 18 February 2015 - 08:35 AM

Hi there!

I am getting married January 7th, 2016 at the Azul Fives.

 

Fortunately, we booked our wedding in September, 2014 so we got 2014 pricing. I looked yesterday for our resort and the prices went up about $300. It is because of how crappy the Canadian dollar is doing. Unfortunately, nobody really has any idea if it is going to go down. Our guests paid their deposit by December 1st, 2014 and the prices for a double occupancy for a deluxe room for 7 nights was $1950. Now it is about $2200.

 

You pick your dinner menu and that includes 4 hours of open bar. The menu ranges from 19pp to 45pp so whichever your price point is. I agree with the cocktail hour. I would rather pay the 15pp per hour to have the bar open an extra hour or to then pay for the cocktail hour. I find the cocktail hour pricing quite outrageous. especially when the dinner will be in an hour. That is just my opinion though. Our total budget is $25,000 but that is including the $6500 for our trip so really our wedding is around $15,000 or so. Our gift to our guests is a catamaran and that is included in that price also so $10,000 can definitely work.

 

I was thinking of doing silk flowers for some aspects of the wedding as well such as flowers behind the arch on the sky suite. Flowers that will not be seen up close or felt. I think that will save me money because their flowers are quite expensive.

 

Let me know if you have any questions...



#5 emmapalmer

emmapalmer
  • Newbie
  • 64 posts
  • Wedding Date:January 15, 2015
  • Wedding Location:Occidental Grand Xcaret - Riviera Maya
  • LocationPhoenix

Posted 18 February 2015 - 08:53 AM

 

FLOWERS: 

I know I want those calla lillies for my bridesmaids, for myself I will probably have a mix of white/burgundy/gold flowers. I think they are usually included in the wedding packages. 

 

I want quite a bit of flowers on my arch - two circle chunks of them on each side of the archway down halfway in the middle. I may outsource and get a florist off the resort, depending. The dreams, and other resorts charge upwards of $300 per bundle of flowers on each side.. CRAZY. They also charge $6 per tea lights.. ha, insane. I hope to bring SO much stuff with me. I will probably use my bridesmaids flowers as centerpieces for the reception, which will bring in the burgundy tones. 

 

 

The red Calla Lilies are so pretty. A unique floral color that will add touch of contrast.

A few more items you will want to include as part of your budget is photography, video, and resort vendor day pass fees.

The vendor day pass fee is a charge from the resort to allows entry to your outside vendors. The fee may be applicable to your outside DJ, wedding decorator, makeup artist, videographer, and photographer. You may want to ask your resort what the fees are as they can be $500USD+ per vendor. We didn’t know about this until we declined the resorts photographer. You will also want to request from your resort their photography and video packages. If their prices are too high you can look towards bringing in your own. In our case it was much more economical to bring out own photographer from Toronto.


Our perfect wedding in the Riviera Maya.

 

Date:                  01/15/2015

Resort:               Occidental Grand Xcaret - Riviera Maya, Mexico
Guests:              70-80
Package:           Custom

Dress:                David's Bridal
Minister:             Family Friend

Photographer:    Decordova Photography ( www.decordova.ca )

 

 


#6 snswedding2016

snswedding2016
  • Member
  • 667 posts
  • Wedding Date:January 9, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Azul Fives
  • LocationToronto, Canada

Posted 18 February 2015 - 08:57 AM

@Smellsey I'm so glad I booked in 2014 as well (we booked in November)! The dollar is killing me as I look at my resort bill I have to pay in USD...I'm sure you're feeling the same way. What ceremony & reception venue did you choose at AF?


My planning thread - http://www.bestdesti...016-azul-fives/

 

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#7 TinkerSofi

TinkerSofi
  • Sr. Member
  • 2,217 posts
  • Wedding Date:August 13, 2015
  • Wedding Location:Azul Fives Playa del Carmen
  • LocationCanada

Posted 18 February 2015 - 09:48 AM

I think if you want to spend $10000 just on the wedding it could be doable, depending on the amount of guests you have. That is really what determines how far you can stretch your budget. 

 

Just an FYI, if you go with Sensatori, they won't allow you to use outside florists, so keep that in mind as well as the fact that their price for flowers are beyond ridiculous. Bridal bouquets are around $100 for the cheapest ones and bridesmaids around $80. Those are not included in the wedding package. There is a bride on here who got married at Azul Fives (sister resort to sensatori), she had quite a bit of flowers and said she spent around $2000, just on the flowers. 

 

The good news is Karisma offers 4 hours of reception with their standard reception menus, but if you want to extend it you can, for $14pp per hour. 



event.png

 

 


#8 Smellsey

Smellsey
  • Newbie
  • 125 posts
  • Wedding Date:January 7, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Azul Fives
  • LocationWinnipeg, Canada

Posted 18 February 2015 - 10:31 AM

@snswedding2016 We are getting married on the Sky Deck but I have yet to choose the reception location. The garden pictures are beautiful but my fiancé would like to have it in the ballroom so I don't know yet...



#9 TaraMarie33

TaraMarie33
  • Newbie
  • 38 posts
  • Wedding Date:January 7, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Mexico
  • LocationToronto, Ontario

Posted 18 February 2015 - 12:09 PM

Thanks so much for all the advice everyone! 

 

I wish we just booked in December when our quotes were $1800. Land - only prices were only $1160 CANADIAN! INSANE! We should have just booked it! But 13 months out seemed crazy. 

 

We are going to wait it out and see how the dollar does. I think in the next few months, we will see gas prices go back up and the CAD get better, which will give us much better rates. Destination brides a few years ago had it so great. Dollar at par, and prices were very reasonable. Lucky ducks! 

 

@TinkerSofi - the Azul says they do not charge if you bring flowers with you, only if you get a vendor to come in - which is awesome. We may just do silk fake flowers for the archway and for the bridesmaids bouquets, bring them from home, and assemble them when we get there! Could save us $1000 right there!! 

 

@emmapalmer some of the off resort fees are crazy too! The dreams is $300 for flower vendor. But again, nothing if we bring them in our "suitcase" as they said. Videographer we were quoted $350 with the dreams, havent checked for Sensatori yet. Dreams also includes a photographer (only 50 photos though).. My uncle is a photographer, we have asked him to do some of our photos .. during the week, at the wedding, and perhaps the next day? Haven't decided yet. He is FREE! Haha. He said he would be honored, so that is awesome. Saves us a TON if we are getting photos all week (rehearsal dinner, wedding, day after). 

 

HAIR/MAKEUP: 

I haven't thought of hair and makeup really yet. Too long away. I will just have it very boho - down and curly, natural makeup. My bridesmaids will probably do the same, so no big expenses there. 

 

GIFTS: 

Totally forgot to include this. I see "OOT" bags, what is that? Out of town? I wasn't really planning on doing many favours, other than for my bridal party. The girls - I am going to get tote bags, and bikini cover ups that can double as robes for our wedding day. The boys - they will get engraved flasks! Maybe I will get tote bags for everyone. I read a review that it helped so you could spot other wedding guests on the resort by their tote bags! Has anyone found any for a reasonable price? 

 

We haven't looked into my fiances attire yet. He wants to wear all white and then a navy suit jacket. No ties. Then his groomsmen will be wearing navy suit pants and the same white shirt. We were thinking of doing just pocket squares for them, not flowers. 

 

CENTERPIECES: 

I was doing some more research last night and decide I am going to make my own pomanders and put them on every other chair at the ceremony, and then use them for centerpieces at the reception! I may bring some candlesticks as well for the reception to add some dimension.. I also fell IN LOVE with some pearl pomanders (also on candlesticks) that I can't wait to make. Have any of you made something like this? I feel like I've hit the jackpot bringing fake flowers .. Not for everything of course, but for all the things people dont usually touch - like the arch, etc. So ascetically pleasing for pictures! Here are the photos:

 

 

" /> 8


Here are the photos! Sorry, they didn't upload correctly. 

 

 

Attached Files



#10 TinkerSofi

TinkerSofi
  • Sr. Member
  • 2,217 posts
  • Wedding Date:August 13, 2015
  • Wedding Location:Azul Fives Playa del Carmen
  • LocationCanada

Posted 18 February 2015 - 08:55 PM

Thanks so much for all the advice everyone! 

 

I wish we just booked in December when our quotes were $1800. Land - only prices were only $1160 CANADIAN! INSANE! We should have just booked it! But 13 months out seemed crazy. 

 

We are going to wait it out and see how the dollar does. I think in the next few months, we will see gas prices go back up and the CAD get better, which will give us much better rates. Destination brides a few years ago had it so great. Dollar at par, and prices were very reasonable. Lucky ducks! 

 

@TinkerSofi - the Azul says they do not charge if you bring flowers with you, only if you get a vendor to come in - which is awesome. We may just do silk fake flowers for the archway and for the bridesmaids bouquets, bring them from home, and assemble them when we get there! Could save us $1000 right there!! 

 

@emmapalmer some of the off resort fees are crazy too! The dreams is $300 for flower vendor. But again, nothing if we bring them in our "suitcase" as they said. Videographer we were quoted $350 with the dreams, havent checked for Sensatori yet. Dreams also includes a photographer (only 50 photos though).. My uncle is a photographer, we have asked him to do some of our photos .. during the week, at the wedding, and perhaps the next day? Haven't decided yet. He is FREE! Haha. He said he would be honored, so that is awesome. Saves us a TON if we are getting photos all week (rehearsal dinner, wedding, day after). 

 

HAIR/MAKEUP: 

I haven't thought of hair and makeup really yet. Too long away. I will just have it very boho - down and curly, natural makeup. My bridesmaids will probably do the same, so no big expenses there. 

 

GIFTS: 

Totally forgot to include this. I see "OOT" bags, what is that? Out of town? I wasn't really planning on doing many favours, other than for my bridal party. The girls - I am going to get tote bags, and bikini cover ups that can double as robes for our wedding day. The boys - they will get engraved flasks! Maybe I will get tote bags for everyone. I read a review that it helped so you could spot other wedding guests on the resort by their tote bags! Has anyone found any for a reasonable price? 

 

We haven't looked into my fiances attire yet. He wants to wear all white and then a navy suit jacket. No ties. Then his groomsmen will be wearing navy suit pants and the same white shirt. We were thinking of doing just pocket squares for them, not flowers. 

 

CENTERPIECES: 

I was doing some more research last night and decide I am going to make my own pomanders and put them on every other chair at the ceremony, and then use them for centerpieces at the reception! I may bring some candlesticks as well for the reception to add some dimension.. I also fell IN LOVE with some pearl pomanders (also on candlesticks) that I can't wait to make. Have any of you made something like this? I feel like I've hit the jackpot bringing fake flowers .. Not for everything of course, but for all the things people dont usually touch - like the arch, etc. So ascetically pleasing for pictures! Here are the photos:

 

 

" /> 8


Here are the photos! Sorry, they didn't upload correctly. 

yeah, you can bring your own flowers from home :) they just charge you a set up fee, which is still lower than their natural flowers. 

 

I got some pomanders for the aisle as well, we're thinking of the same and just keeping everything else pretty simple. I just got them at michaels but your colors might be harder to find now that summer is coming. Check ebay or etsy, sometimes they have custom ones for a good price :)



event.png

 

 






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