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Stephygirl's Planning Thread - Beach Palace - June 28, 2015

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Welcome to my planning thread!  My fiance and I are getting married on Sunday, June 28, 2015 at Beach Palace Resort in Cancun, Mexico.  I love reading everyone else's ideas, so thought I'd post my own in case anyone was interested!


Our Engagement

My fiance and I got engaged on a beautiful day in September 2014 at our favorite spot in our home city!


Choosing the Wedding Location

We decided it would be extremely expensive for my fiance and I to have a wedding in our home city.  We attended a friend's Cancun destination wedding in June 2014, and fell in love with the idea of a destination wedding!  There was a lot of debate as far as wedding location.  Original location ideas included Costa Rica (nixed because of lack of direct flights), Jamaica (nixed because not as many direct flight options), and Cancun.  Cancun ended up winning because: 1. There are PLENTY of direct flight options! and 2. There are SO many hotels you're able to choose from, and 3. Because of the plentiful number of hotels, prices tended to be cheaper.


Choosing the Hotel

This one was surprisingly easy for us.  My friend that got married in June 2014 had her wedding at Azul Fives in Riviera Maya.  Her e-ring ended up being stolen while she was down there, and she had other issues that contributed to her "not wanting to ever stay at an Azul/Karisma hotel ever again".  Plus, we didn't want to do the same exact wedding as her!  The other options we were looking into 


One thing we KNEW we wanted was to get married on a rooftop (THE VIEWS!!) versus a beach.  While at aforementioned friend's wedding last summer, we saw how crazy the beach can get, and knew we wanted something more private.  This led us to looking at hotels with rooftop terraces - and our initial choice was Sandos Cancun.  However, we started talking to my friend about her wedding, and she recommended either Moon Palace or Beach Palace - saying those were her backup options after Azul.  Once we looked at Beach Palace's reviews and pictures on TripAdvisor, we were hooked!  Moon Palace was second place, but Beach Palace seemed nicer.


We immediately contacted the Beach Palace Wedding representatives from the website, and were assigned a wedding coordinator who helped us reserve a date and the locations for our ceremony and reception.  We also worked with our coordinator to set up a Group Room block, so that we could get standard room rates and certain group benefits.


Save the Dates

Once we coordinated the Group Room block, we worked on our save-the-dates at the end of December 2014.  We ended up doing our save-the-dates using one of the Walgreens cardstock templates online in order to save some cash!  Along with the save-the-dates, we also sent all of our guests an email with additional details regarding location, booking, etc.  The email contained both a link to our group room block, and also a link to our theknot.com wedding website.



Invitations are the WORST.  Don't get me wrong, they're VERY cute.  But they're also extremely expensive and time-consuming.  We ended up inviting about 75 couples (150 people), and the invitations we ordered off Etsy were freaking ADORABLE, but almost $1,000!  That's not even including the postage stamps you need in order to mail them!  These were mailed at the end of February 2015 if my memory serves me right.



As our RSVP's came in, we started to get a pretty good idea of who was coming and who wasn't.  We asked that our guests RSVP by April 1st (as our room block needed to be closed by April 28th in order to avoid penalties). We wanted to leave a buffer of a few weeks since generally some people are late with RSVP's - and boy are we glad we did!  We had to follow up with a few people closer to the deadline in order to make sure they booked through our block by the deadline.  Some people booked outside of our block, which cost us dearly in missing out on certain benefits - but overall I'm more happy that they're able to come!  


The Dress and the Suit!

I ordered my wedding dress in mid-November 2014.  I believe it came in from the manufacturer sometime in March.  I had my first fitting April 28, 2015 to try it on in my size for the first time and see what needed to be done as far as taking it in and hemming.  Second fitting was on May 17th, and at this fitting the dress had been taken in and hemmed.  During this second fitting we discussed taking it in more and how I wanted a 3 point bustle.  The third fitting was May 26th.  At this fitting we discussed taking it in even more, and how a 5 point bustle is more appropriate.  More to come on the dress - I just suggest getting it earlier rather than later in the process!


I also bought veil weights from Etsy since I'm worried about the wind blowing my veil too much in all the pictures!  Accessories are TOM's ivory lace wedges, Marlosha (Etsy) pink and gold teardrop earrings, and a Nadri gold and silver teardrop bracelet.


My fiance is wearing a light brown linen suit he purchased at Suit Up! (just kidding, it's called Suit Supply).  Brown shoes, a brown belt, and a white shirt will accompany.


Bridesmaids are wearing a Laundry Hibiscus (i.e. pink/purple) tulip maxi dress, with either white or nude shoes.  I bought them Kate Spade multi-colored cluster earrings in pink/purple.  Gold chain bracelets with amethyst will accompany.


Groomsmen are wearing Brooks Brothers white linen short-sleeved dress shirts (un-tucked), and stone colored pants.  Brown belt and shoes will accompany. 


Planning the Wedding

As the wedding planning is still in process, I will just share my vision for the event and things I've purchased/organized along the way!


Welcome to Beach Palace

My lovely mother is going to organize welcome bags for each room.  The welcome bags will include sunscreen, ibuprofen, a flip flop bottle opener, a "Get to Know the Guests" sheet, and an itinerary of the wedding events.  I'm still toying with the idea of purchasing waterproof key card/ID holders.  I think they'd be nice for people to not have to worry about getting their tip money wet at the pool bar!


I've heard the Beach Palace wedding coordinator ("WC") will deliver the bags to each guest room for $3/bag.  Not sure if we will do this, or just try to catch up with our guests each day they arrive.


Night Out

We would LOVE to do a night out on the town of Cancun with our guests on Friday, June 26th - two nights before the wedding!


Rehearsal Dinner

We will have 34 adults and 2 kids, and have booked the rehearsal dinner for 6 to 8pm on Saturday, June 27th - the night before the wedding. This will be on the Infinity Terrace and we will be having the Italian Buffet dinner option.  The buffet is $55/person since we didn't have any resort promotion for the dinner.  We are not using any sound system or additional lighting for this event.


Morning of the Wedding

My mother and I are getting our hair (only) done at the Beach Palace Salon at 10:30am.  I've heard bridal hair takes almost 3 hours at the BP salon, so I wanted to get mine done early!  I don't really wear makeup so I'm doing my own.  Afterwards, my girl friends are going to do their own hair and makeup in my room while drinking mimosas (yum).  



We're using Dream Arts photography - the Beach Palace recommended vendor.  We are doing 3 hours from 4 to 7pm, with a 15 minute mini-movie.  We're doing our own "getting ready" and reception dancing photos.



The ceremony will be on the Sky Terrace at 4pm.  Purchased the Metallic Sands ceremony package for decorations!  Hoping to have regular chairs rather then the "pods".  We are doing ring exchange and vow exchange in a symbolic ceremony.  We are getting legally married upon our return back to the U.S. We are putting our ceremony programs in a basket (maybe from Crate & Barrel?) on a table as you walk in, and gluing the programs to a stick to turn them into fans since it will be quite warm out!  After much debate on whether we use the BP officiant, or one of our guests, we decided on the BP officiant after hearing good things.  One thing we want to make sure to do is have someone take a group picture of us and all our guests near the altar on the Sky Terrace!


Cocktail Hour

The cocktail hour is on the Sky Bar South from 5pm to 6pm.  During this time, the wedding party will be doing photos on both the Sky Terrace and also at the beach.  We ordered the Mexican appetizers for the rest of the guests enjoying the cocktail hour.



Ufffffff...so much info to list here!  To start off, it's on the Palenque Terrace starting at 6pm!


Entrance - we will have a basket of flip flops on a table for guests to take as dancing shoes.  I ordered Navy Blue assorted size flip flops for the men and Lavender assorted size flip flops for the women from Dollar Tree.  The basket will be the $29 fold-able bamboo basket from Crate & Barrel for luggage packing ease.  On the table, there will also be everyone's table number assignments.  We purchased Wilton ivory fold-able place cards.  My fiance is going to tape washer to the inside of the cards to weight them down and combat the wind.


Tables - 6 tables, with 6 people each.  Using the Metallic Sands decoration package so we don't have to worry about much!  We're printing the table numbers ourselves, and ordered some natural sea-shell table card holders from Etsy to display.  


Favors - At each table setting, there will be Mexican loteria matchboxes that we ordered on Etsy.  Our favors also kind of include the flip flops and the glow sticks mentioned below.


Lighting - We ordered necklace glow sticks from Amazon.  The best man will be handing these out to guests as it gets dark.  We also ordered Zuniga 4 column lighting with 2 string lights (via Beach Palace).


Music - We ordered 2 speakers from JSAV (the Basic Package) and will be playing our iPod during the reception.


Food/Drinks - Went with the BBQ buffet as it seems to be something that would appeal to everyone.  We ordered a chocolate chantilly frosted cake.  Possibly ordering additional champagne.

Edited by stephygirl
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Can't wait to see more/pictures! Ours is in December (Also Beach Palace). I loved the resort when my fiance and I went.

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Below is my review of BP and the wedding.  I’m sure I’m forgetting a lot, so please let me know if anyone has questions!  I also posted a few more pictures:  



Airport Review (getting my dress through security and on the plane):

-   Arrived at O’Hare airport and were able to check 2 bags for free since we flew business class.  I HIGHLY recommend upgrading to business class if you can (priority checked bags, free bags, free drinks, first on the plane – which is super important for your dress!).


-    I carried on my dress, which ended up being a great decision.  To get it through security, I had to put the dress on the belt, which was fine since it was in a garment bag and wrapped in plastic underneath the garment bag. 


-   Since we were some of the first people on the plane, I was able to get my dress in the short airplane closet in the first class section.  About 15 minutes later, another lady sitting in economy boarded and tried to put her dress in the airplane closet, but it was already too full. 


Cancun Customs:

-   Breezed through and had no issues


Trafic Tours Transportation from Airport to Hotel:

-   Initially horrible to work with as far as setting up transportation.  Service got better in the 2 to 3 weeks before the wedding.


-   On arrival day, walked outside of airport and had no trouble finding the Trafic Tours representatives.   We were loaded into a van and waited about 10 minutes for two other couples.  Then off to the resorts we went!  It took us about 35 minutes to get to the resort, but we were the last stop along the strip. 


-   All of our guests used Trafic Tours, and only one family had an issue – they took them to Moon Palace instead of Beach Palace (total pain).


Hotel Check-In:

-   Upon arrival at the hotel, the women were greeted with a fresh flower, and then we dropped off our bags and my dress with the bellhops.  I was terrified to drop off my dress, but no problems there. 


-   The check-in process was relatively quick.  Everyone checking in gets a wristband, and if you lose it you have to pay $100+.  However, if you cut it off for the wedding day and then bring it back to the front desk to get a new one, they shouldn’t charge you. 



-   Rooms typically aren’t ready until 3pm (we got there around 1pm) so we headed to the buffet and wandered around the resort. 


-   Eventually we headed to our room and fell in LOVE with our Ocean View balcony.  There is a Jacuzzi tub in every room, a lounge bed on every balcony, dual sinks, a nice shower, L’Occitane or Chi bath products, Chi straighteners, a safe, stocked refrigerator, Lavazza coffee maker and products, and steamer in every room – just to name the things I can remember off the top of my head.


-   If you’re lucky enough to get a suite, they’re pretty sweet!  They are large rooms with HUGE balconies and are a great place to have groomsmen/bridesmaids get ready.  We had two couples get upgraded to suites…only because their original rooms started flooding :( 



-   Pros:

§  Service is fantastic

§  Food is quite good, especially at outside food stations

§  Lots of activities available


§  Infinity pool

§  Waterslide for kids (or adults :) )

§  Beautiful beach

§  Lots of chaise lounge chairs

§  ROOM SERVICE BREAKFAST IS THE BEST THING THAT’S EVER HAPPENED TO ME!  There are room service cards they should hang on your door each night that you have to fill out by 3am the night before.  You can check when you want it to arrive (e.g. between 9 and 9:30, 9:30 and 10, etc.).  The waffles, bacon, and jug of coffee are so so so good.

§  Sports bar is great and there are pool tables

§  Nice spa

§  Rooftop pool bar is open late

§  Specialty restaurants have good food (Asian = 1st place, Italian = 2nd place, Steak = 3rd place)

-   Cons:

§  Can get SUPER crowded.  There is a shuttle bus from Moon Palace to Beach Palace at noon every day (leaves at 5pm) that brings a TON of people in.   Some days it’s worse than others.

§  Sometimes a “college-y” crowd

§  Need to put your stuff down on chaise lounge chairs early in day (before noon, ideally)

§  Restaurants don’t require reservations, so you have to line up and wait – which can be for a while depending on how crowded the resort is that day.  However, they do give you a pager that will work in the sports bar

§  Elevators sometimes take a long time


On-Site Wedding Coordinator Meeting:

-   Headed over to meet our AMAZING wedding coordinator, Zaray on Day 2 at 9:30am (Day 2 was Weds and wedding was on Sunday).  Zaray is so great.  She will walk you through the whole wedding from rehearsal dinner through the reception, going over specifics. 


-   During this meeting, we realized that our interim wedding coordinator booked EVERYTHING for our reception wrong.  (You work with 3 people – 1 for your initial wedding day reservation and room block, 1 for the interim wedding planning, and 1 on-site wedding coordinator).  Our interim lady reserved the wrong terrace and the times were wrong.  We initially worked with Alejandro to book our wedding day and the locations – he got everything reserved perfectly.  Then Margarita took over and apparently changed all the bookings!


-    I highly recommend THOROUGHLY reviewing the times and locations on your final purchase order.  I didn’t give them a 2nd look over because we’d already coordinated everything with Alejandro. ..but they were totally messed up.  Thank GOODNESS nobody had reserved our location in the meantime.  Zaray re-booked it ASAP, and then we had to track down our DJ services, lighting, etc. in order to extend the times for everything.  Margarita booked our reception from 6-8pm (that is SO short!), so we extended everything – and had to now pay more  for 10pm.


-    Zaray fixed everything.  She’s so great.  She also took us around the resort and showed us all the terraces and helped us envision our wedding.  Additionally, she set up our meeting with Dream Arts photography (they have a desk in the lobby of BP resort).   Lastly, she told us we could drop off all our wedding-related stuff in her office and she’d set it all up for us at the reception.


Rehearsal Dinner (Infinity Terrace):

-   Per my other post, don’t love the Infinity Terrace for a rehearsal dinner.  Not my favorite spot.  It's RIGHT by the pool and the showers where people wash off sand after coming up from the beach.  There is basically a big row of chaise lounges and umbrellas there during the day that they clear out for the event at night.  


-   If you HAVE to do your rehearsal dinner there, try to do it NO EARLIER than 7pm...because people were typically still in the pool until it got dark out.  We made the resort take down the pool volleyball net and basketball net so that people wouldn't be hitting us with balls during the dinner!  


-   The spot I'd recommend is probably the Sky Bar South - it's more private.  We weren't able to get that spot because there was another event going on that night...and we didn't want the Palenque Terrace since we wanted that to be special for our wedding reception.


-   Overall the rehearsal dinner on the Infinity Terrace worked out great - it just could have been a bit more private.  No real complaints though - it still ended up being a lovely event with a beautiful view!  They even had these nice little cosmopolitans they served, which was a nice touch.  It could be cool to do an event on the beach, too, but I think they charge more per person to bring the food out there.  Our cost was $55/person.  We did not have music during the event.  We had the Italian buffet, and we liked the lasagna, fish, and chicken.  Desserts were MEH.


-   After the rehearsal dinner, we went to the rooftop pool.  Victor (best server ever!) gave us bottles of champagne and LOTS of drinks.  Everyone partied pretty late and really enjoyed ourselves.



It was like 95 degrees with no clouds…ouch.


Got my hair done by Minerva at BP and loved it.  Did my own makeup.


Got ready, the photographer came, Zaray came and coordinated the wedding party to head to the rooftop sky deck.


Ceremony was at 4pm on Sky Deck.  Zaray coordinated the wedding music and lined everyone up.  She had an assistant play the music, and she cued the wedding party to walk down the aisle.  All worked out great.


We met our officiant for the first time on the Sky Deck, and she pronounced both my last name and my fiance’s last names wrong – hah!  It ended up being really funny, but must have been embarrassing for her.  She was great though and I loved the ceremony she gave!  Wedding ceremony was only like 20 minutes, which was nice considering how hot it was up there.  We made fan programs so our guests were fanning those like crazy!


Cocktail hour (5 to 6pm) on the Sky Bar followed the ceremony, but we were too busy taking pictures so didn’t get to partake in it.  We had the Mexican appetizers and the guests told me they were good.


Reception started at 6pm on the Palenque Terrace.  There was a nice breeze on this terrace so it wasn’t nearly as hot.  It was perfect when the sun started going down!  Had the BBQ buffet and really liked the chicken and shrimp kabobs.  The wedding cake is SO good – we had the chocolate with vanilla Chantilly frosting.  Pretty cake, too! 


Had the iPod and no problems with that – there is a “technician” there to help you with any problems.  Basically we had full control of what we played and it was awesome.  For lighting, we only had 2 gold votive candles, under the table lights, and the 4 column and 2 string lantern lights from Zuniga.  The lighting was perfect! 


We seriously had the BEST time at the reception.  Everyone danced all night, drank all night, and partied all night.

After the reception, we went to the rooftop pool again and everyone went swimming.  Victor again gave us LOTS of drinks.  Great time!


Overall, everyone in our party had a blast.  Got a lot of compliments on how it was the best wedding ever!

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I read your reviews and I got chills for some reason haha. It just made me so much more excited for mine now. I'm so happy that it went well and everyone loved it. I keep hearing the cake is good at BP and i'm glad!

We are having our reception at the Sky bar. I did schedule our rehearsal and welcome dinner at the inifinity terrace. Our cocktail hour is at the palenque. 

It was a shot in the dark when I was booking the spots. I didn't want to book anything where we would be having the actual wedding festivities (Sky deck, sky bar or palenque) so that basically left me with Inifinity terrace.


I am a bit bummed about the moon palace guest thing. Funny enough I was one of those people once.. I get why they come to BP because the beach at Moon isn't very swimmable.. it's super murky, brown and full of seaweed. It's going to be a bit irritating though because I keep reading that in reviews. Lots of people flooding in and Beach Palace is too small to be accommodating bus full of people. The only good thing is that they give a time limit, but still.


I had no idea that you get a technician to help with the ipod. I rented speakers through PSAV, but that's it.. I didn't bother paying extra for a DJ. Were you charged anything for his services? What exactly did he do? I'm intrigued. It would be great to have someone watch over that aspect of everything.


I'm probably going to go with the Mexican appetizers. I hadn't picked my cocktail menu yet.

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Thanks for such a detailed review! It made me get so excited about my wedding all over again!


Is the rooftop pool where the skybar south is located? What is the difference in the skybar south and skybar north areas (other than south and north location haha).  My reception is currently scheduled for the skybar south and our welcome party is on the skybar north a couple of days before. Thanks!

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@ - Good I'm so glad you're getting excited!  It's amazing to pretty much have a vacation with all your closest friends and family...and to be able to celebrate your wedding in such a beautiful location!


The Infinity Terrace is fine overall - the view is gorgeous!  Just make sure you do it no earlier than 7pm when the pool closes.  From what I've read on the forum and from others most people tend to have their rehearsal dinner there!  Funny how our cocktail hour and reception places were reversed!  I chose the Palenque for the reception because it's a MASSIVE terrace, and I liked the big open space.  The Sky Bar South is a lot smaller, but has nicer views overall!  


Yeah the Moon Palace thing is a bummer, but I hear they're trying to do away with it.  We went to BP from Tuesday to Tuesday, and most days it wasn't OVERLY crowded.  For some reason BOTH tuesdays were bad - but most other days it seemed fine.


All the iPod technician did was set up the audio (before the reception started), plugged in my iphone, and played my playlists!  He literally just sat there in case something went wrong (nothing did).  I just tipped him at the end of the night since he sat there the whole time in case of emergency. I rented the speakers through JSAV - I did the $450 JSAV Basic Package.

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Awesome! I'm really excited now. What buffet option did you chose for your reception dinner?


The Moon Palace thing is a total bummer. I can see it being OK if BP was bigger, but the resort is pretty small so that aspect of it isn't really good. Again, I can see why people do it.. the beach difference is SIGNIFICANT. I didn't see one person swim in the ocean when I was at MP.

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@@Danielle1 - You're welcome - and yay get excited!  Yes, the rooftop pool is where the Sky Bars are located.  Good question about the difference between Sky Bar South and Sky Bar North.  I'll tell you what I THINK it means, but I'm not 100% certain...only like 95%.  When you take the elevator up to the Sky Bar, you can either exit out to the left or right side.  If you exit right, that side is the "Sky Bar South" - because that's where my cocktail hour was set up.  I saw a couple of wedding receptions going on at the Sky Bar South.  There is a pool and a bar.  One side opens up to the lagoon and one side opens up to the ocean. 


The Sky Bar North is just a replica of the Sky Bar South. I have a few pictures of people hanging out on what I believe is the Sky Bar North so you can see what it looks like (PM me if you can't find them). 


My main concern for you is that I wouldn't think you can comfortably fit all your wedding guests and tables on the Sky Bar South.  Did your WC tell you you'd be able to fit a group your size?  It's really not THAT large of an area...and you definitely don't want to do Sky Bar South and Sky Bar North together, since there's a big big big separation between the two (a big elevator lobby).  Who is your WC?  You may want to consider the Palenque Terrace.  That can definitely hold a group your size.

@ - Agreed on the Moon Palace thing!  It was fine overall, but I was pretty freaked out the first day I got to the resort and saw all those people.  Ended up all working out though.  For the reception, we chose the BBQ buffet.  I barely had time to eat, but people really enjoyed the BBQ chicken and shrimp skewers!


We had the Italian buffet for the rehearsal dinner, and the beef lasagna and fish were decent.

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