My Dream Wedding at Dreams Riviera Cancun (Dreams of Love Package – 58 guests)
Wedding Coordinator: A+++++++ --My wedding coordinator, Elisa Guadarrama, was absolutely amazing. She began working with me about 4 months before my wedding and was usually very responsive (usually responding within 3 days or so). I know some brides want immediate responses but you have to understand that she is working with several other brides (some of whose weddings are approaching before yours), coordinating weddings real-time, waiting on responses from vendors, and also is not at work every day of the week so I thought the 3 day timeframe was reasonable. When I was checking in, she came to meet me and gave me the biggest hug and smile. As a southerner and avid hugger, it made me feel at ease. In our meeting, we went over every single detail of my wedding and welcome reception. I had planned to print out all of our email correspondence but it was going to be a ton of pages because we changed over 100 emails since January and it turns out that I didn’t need it! We went through the wedding planner form, then the budget spreadsheet then just other random extras that weren’t on either of those. We also went through the things I brought from home. I was very clear on our budget and that I couldn’t go over it but that I wanted it to be very classy, very glam, and very colorful with my colors throughout. She made things work and in the end, I got EVERYTHING I wanted and even a few surprises that I didn’t know she was throwing in. She executed my vision of colorful glam perfectly. She is amazing and I would choose her over and over again.
Resort: A+ --We really loved Dreams. It was beautiful. The rooms, the food, the lobby, the beach, pools, activities. We loved it all. We were pampered from the moment we walked in with the champagne and cold towels. We were there the weekend of the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight and Dreams planned a fight event where everyone could watch it on 3 large screens. None of my guests wanted to miss the fight and it gave them something to do Saturday night after dinner so it was perfect. There were a lot of special touches, excellent service, and other great things that made me feel great about our choice in Dreams. I did not have the privilege to do the site visit beforehand, but I can say it was better in person than all the pictures and reviews I obsessed over for months.
Room: A+ --Me and my mom booked the Preferred Club Master Suite. Then, my husband stayed there wedding night. (he stayed in an ocean view room for the nights before the wedding—I’m super traditional J). Ladies, the Master Suite was expensive yes BUT, I am so happy we booked it. We used the value of the free rooms (book 5 get a 6th free) we received to pay for it. On Friday night, my bridesmaids threw me a bachelorette party in our room before going out and with all 20 girls playing games, we definitely needed the space. Also, on our wedding day, with the photographers, videographers, my 4 bridesmaids, my mom, my backup makeup artist, my hair stylist – we really needed the space! I felt so comfortable. Plus, having that amazing view for the weekend was great, and I really think I deserved it after all the planning and stress!
Rehearsal: Our rehearsal was scheduled at 10am Saturday morning. I was on time and so was my coordinator but we were missing the GROOM and half of the wedding party. My wedding coordinator asked could we move it to 11 when they still were not there by 10:10. Had my first (and only, thankfully) bridezilla moment because I was furious that they were not on time. But so thankful my WC was available for reschedule. I blamed it on our crazy partying in Cancun the night before and asked them to please be on time for the rest of the wedding events.
Welcome Reception: We had our welcome reception Friday at 7pm at the North Jacuzzi. I had my guests all wear white and it turned out PERFECTLY. Elisa surprised me with lighting and signature drinks which matched my wedding colors called Purple Rain. She’s such a doll. We handed out our welcome bags at the welcome reception and everyone mixed and mingled. J Appetizers: roasted pepper and parmesan panini, shrimp satay, stuffed mushrooms, fish croquette, and spring rolls
Flowers: I love flowers and was insistent that there will be absolutely no fake flowers at my wedding and I’m so happy with the result. Loved my cascading bouquet and my bridesmaid’s bouquets, our centerpieces and the flower vases at the ceremony. I had fuchsia roses, purple orchids and purple lisianthus. Beautiful and vibrant colors just like I wanted.
Wedding Ceremony: We had the symbolic ceremony at the gazebo at 5pm Sunday, May 3, 2015. I had been so nervous about it being so close to the pool and the onlookers but I did not notice anyone but my guests and groom. Now, looking at the pictures from my guests, I see there were a LOT of people watching from the pool and their balconies. Thankfully my photographers did not capture them in a lot of the pictures. It was BEAUTIFUL. I did not want to get married on sand because I love wearing heels and knew my now husband wanted to wear shoes too. Overlooking the ocean was just absolutely breathtaking. Elisa surprised me with the chandelier and drapery which looked amazing. Everything we had went over, from the flower vases, rose petals in aisle, chair sashes tied on the silver tiffany chairs, fans, reserved seating name tags – was executed perfectly. Better than I imagined. I love how all our pictures look and it felt magical. Our officiant was Luis Armando Sanchez Navarrete. I met with him on Saturday to go over the script I wrote and our name pronunciations. Very sweet man. Also very gracious, considering I was late for our appointment the day before. He did great but I will say I could not understand about 20% of the ceremony due to his heavy accent, but it was totally fine J I completely customized the ceremony script, did not have a sand ceremony, and we said our own vows. It was a very sweet ceremony.
Informal Cocktail Hour: We opted to use the money included in the package for the 20 guests for the cocktail hour to extend our reception by 1 hour. So happy we did this. Our guests went to the lobby bar while we took pictures and it turned out great.
Wedding Reception: MY FAVE. Our reception was on the pool deck from 7pm-11pm. I had 2 long empire tables and we sat at the sweetheart table. I upgraded the tablecloths to purple satin and our sweetheart table cloth to silver sequin. We also upgraded to the love seat for our sweetheart table. We had several beautiful flower arrangements, tall glass vases with floating candles, votive candle holders (with LED lightsJ), and mirrors under the vases down the center of each long empire table. I had exact seating arrangements, with a name tag on each maraca (which also tripled as our wedding favor and exit) that was placed directly on their napkin. For lighting, we had 2 strings of 20 floating lanterns. The bridal party entered the reception to Treasure by Bruno Mars. We then had our first dance to our guests holding sparklers, which I loveddddddddd. They only lasted a couple minutes but it was fine because we got great pictures and video while they did last. We had a combination of all the buffets, it was delicious. My guests said it was the best they had all weekend. We had the marble cake with orchids decorating and brought our own cake topper. For our guest book, we had a Polaroid camera where guests could take pictures with props and then sign a message under their picture. We made our own dinner playlist using our favorite love songs on Spotify. I did not want to rent the DJ because I did not think he would play all the songs we wanted, so we just had a mix made by a local DJ that we played through our iPad. We did not rent a dance floor but instead danced directly on the deck. We partied!!!!! My guests are so much fun and we didn’t sit down the entire reception. We exited to everyone shaking their maracas and we danced down the middle. PERFECTION. Buffet: pasta salad, mixed greens with vegetables, chicken caesar salad, potato salad with scallions, homemade bread and rolls, seafood salad, cajun roasted potatoes, creole pasta, corn on the cob, chicken breast stuffed with spinach, seafood casserole, jamaican chicken, cajun beef brochettes, seafood paella, BBQ pork ribs, coconut and rum cake, brownies, carrot cake, apple strudel
After the wedding reception: Never ever ever thought I would be a bride to continue partying with the guests after the reception was over but we really didn’t want the night to end. I changed out of my dress into a cute little white outfit (had to stay looking bridal haha) and we headed down to the Desires Nightclub until 1am. We had SO MUCH FUN. And the DJ played whatever we wanted. It was perfect.
Farewell Brunch: Most of our guests were leaving Monday so we had an informal brunch at the World Café 9:30am-11am. Mostly everyone came and some of our guests had gotten there early to save us a few tables. It was so great to hug and kiss everyone goodbye before we went to our amazing honeymoon (at Excellence Playa Mujeres – separate review on Trip Advisor).
Photographer/Videographer: B --Digital Cinema. So I did not have a lot of money for photography. I knew I wouldn’t be spending the $5k plus like other brides even though I LOVE pictures. Thankfully, I found these guys by searching the #dreamsrivieracancun hashtag on Instagram and finding this beautiful brides pictures. I LOVE my pictures and love my highlight video. The communication was great at first, sometimes lacking but in the end I got a great price. I believe because of the language barriers, at times I do not think they understood some of my requests – specifically, about a week before my wedding I decided to extend my reception to 11pm instead of 10pm. I emailed them to ask the price to extend the reception to 11, they said $100, I said great let’s do it, they said okay and also they will arrive at 3 instead of 4 (my ceremony started at 5). Fast forward to 10pm at my reception, they said they are leaving because they got there at 3 and that was the amount of hours we agreed on in our initial contract. I was really upset for a few moments because I knew for a fact I was very specific in my emails but then decided not to argue with them. And plus I didn’t have my phone to pull up my email to prove we agreed they were supposed to leave at 11 so I just let it go and decided to enjoy the rest of my reception. The only thing they didn’t capture was the maraca exit but thankfully I have other footage of that. There were a few other issues of things I thought I should have received based on the contract, and I’m still waiting to see if I will :/ Also, there are shots I wish I would have gotten but I do love all the pics and video that we did receive so I’m not going stress out about it.
Wedding Favors: A --We ordered our personalized authentic maracas from Maracas Mexico. Communication was great and timely. The maracas were pretty and they were at the resort when I arrived. I ordered the original multicolor design and requested as many purple maracas as possible, which they agreed to. The only “complaint” I have is that I didn’t receive not 1 purple maraca! But it actually turned out fine, it didn’t matter J
Welcome Bags: I had paper welcome bags that I gave to everyone at our welcome reception that included tumblers from DollarTree with personalized stickers from Davet Designs, advil, hand sanitizer, bug repellent wipes, maraca keychains, welcome letter/itinerary/meet-the-guests booklet, and sunscreen. Only a few people used the tumblers, and even me and my now husband didn’t use them because I would forget to take them down with us to the beach/pool everyday lol. But oh well, it was another take home gift for our guests J People did love our booklets and said they used the advil, especially after our night partying in Cancun on Friday.
Makeup: A --I had my makeup done at the spa at the resort by Concepcion. I was very nervous about the makeup so I bought all the makeup beforehand for my dream look and had my girls ready just in case I hated what the makeup lady did. Concepcion did AMAZING. I was very happy and I’m very picky lol. She used all MAC products. She did use my foundation because I wanted a perfect match. She didn’t have the exact lip color I wanted so I used my own lipstain/gloss and polish that I brought. Very satisfied. As a side note, lashes are an additional $15 but I brought my own and had my friend put them on for me.
Hair: I brought my own stylist.
All in all, I HAD THE ABSOLUTE WEDDING OF MY DREAMS. I would not change a thing. A lot of my guests said it’s the best wedding they have ever been to, and seeing all their smiles in the pictures and videos, makes me feel very happy. It was worth all the money and stress! Best day of my life. Complete fairytale.
bags.png 467.38KB 8 downloads group1.png 919.64KB 8 downloads purple rain.png 1.03MB 9 downloads selfies.png 420.51KB 8 downloads us1.png 316.36KB 8 downloads dress.png 804.98KB 8 downloads bouquets.png 959.27KB 8 downloads robes.png 969.83KB 9 downloads before.png 705.24KB 8 downloads all on the way.png 1.16MB 9 downloads aisle.png 1.27MB 8 downloads aisle4.png 1.21MB 8 downloads alter2.png 1.05MB 8 downloads alter5.png 1.11MB 8 downloads alter9.png 1.1MB 8 downloads alter16.png 744.15KB 8 downloads alter28.png 1.03MB 8 downloads group.png 1.2MB 8 downloads bridalpartyalter1.png 1.15MB 8 downloads bridalpartybeach.png 1.06MB 8 downloads usbeach4.png 992.91KB 8 downloads usbeach5.png 865.73KB 8 downloads usbeach7.png 835.38KB 8 downloads us.png 707.48KB 8 downloads usgazing.png 770.49KB 8 downloads friends2.png 840.63KB 8 downloads guestbook2.png 863.18KB 8 downloads sweethearttable.png 1.21MB 8 downloads maraca.png 1.06MB 8 downloads cake.png 616.34KB 8 downloads firstdance3.png 752.76KB 8 downloads lights.png 792.66KB 8 downloads dancing2.png 1.02MB 8 downloads dancing6.png 1.15MB 8 downloads gazebo.png 1.21MB 8 downloads