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Yycbride2016 Grand Sirenis Planning Thread February 2016

2016 Brides Planning Tips Mexico

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#501 yycbride2016

  • Jr. Member
  • 495 posts
  • Wedding Date:February 23, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Grand Sirenis, Riviera Maya

Posted 11 March 2016 - 07:22 AM

Hi ladies! I know I've been keeping you waiting for far too long. This is the first week I've had a bit of time to just relax. This weekend Kyle and I have decided is a lazy weekend and that means I fully intend to write my full review for you ladies! Complete with the pictures I have. I'm still waiting on my professional ones and that might be another week or two. It's wedding season there and I think Lancelotti is super busy at the moment. Sorry for keeping you waiting but just a few more days and you'll have a lengthy review to read!

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My planning thread 




#502 vancouverpetunia

  • Member
  • 668 posts
  • Wedding Date:April 7, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Now Sapphire, Riviera Maya, Mexico
  • LocationVancouver, Canada

Posted 11 March 2016 - 04:47 PM

It's so cute that you are concerned about us waiting for your pix & review. I love this group :)

- Erin


My planning thread: http://www.bestdesti...2016/?p=1893268


My Now Sapphire review: http://www.bestdesti...riviera-cancun/

#503 krystalball

  • Jr. Member
  • 227 posts
  • Wedding Date:April 9, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya
  • LocationToronto, Canada

Posted 11 March 2016 - 05:33 PM

So excited to read your review and see more pictures!

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#504 yycbride2016

  • Jr. Member
  • 495 posts
  • Wedding Date:February 23, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Grand Sirenis, Riviera Maya

Posted 11 March 2016 - 11:03 PM

Hahaha @vancouverpetunia I know, I just know other girls write their reviews so early and I feel like a slacker haha.

@krystalball I'll share what I candor pictures but it'll still be probably 2 more weeks for the professional ones. Mind you we have some really nice ones from friends and family. It'll give you a good idea what it was like!

I'm half way through my review!! Prepare yourselves. It is very lengthy, at 5 pages thus far! I'm hoping everyone wants detail haha. I just remember how detailed @calgarybride2015 was and that helped us chose this resort so I want to be helpful for future brides!

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My planning thread 




#505 calgarybride2015

  • Sr. Member
  • 4,504 posts
  • Wedding Date:January 21, 2015
  • Wedding Location:Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya
  • LocationCalgary, AB

Posted 12 March 2016 - 07:10 AM

It's cause everyone else was so detailed before me !!! Such a great group :) can't wait. But oh so glad you had a great wedding as sometimes I feel pressure hehe

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Married on 2015/01/21 at the Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya with 43 guests in attendance   :)


Planning Thread - http://www.bestdesti...s-riviera-maya/


Wedding Pictures http://www.bestdesti...ra-maya/page-36


Wedding Review http://www.bestdesti...31#entry1885600



#506 nkavanaugh

  • Newbie
  • 86 posts
  • Wedding Date:May 3, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Grand Sirenis Rivera Maya
  • LocationOntario

Posted 13 March 2016 - 11:41 AM

I am so excited for your review!!



#507 yycbride2016

  • Jr. Member
  • 495 posts
  • Wedding Date:February 23, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Grand Sirenis, Riviera Maya

Posted 13 March 2016 - 05:08 PM

Grand Sirenis Wedding Review

February 23, 2016 



Here it is ladies... Sorry for the wait as well as the massive length in this review. I wanted to be thurough for the future Grand Sirenis brides!



Travel agent- Pamela Walker

Our travel agent Pamela Walker was absolutely amazing throughout our entire experience. I know a few of our guests were getting nervous when they hadn’t received their tickets or anything a month out. I had previously advised everyone that they wouldn’t get any documents until 2 weeks prior to departure but what can you do when people don’t listen :P. The documents Pam sent out to us and all of our guests was fantastic and so thorough. She sent our tickets, any upgrade information, as well as travel tips and tips for staying and vacationing in Mexico. It almost made my brochure I made for guests pointless haha. She was always so quick to respond and super friendly. I’d recommend her to anyone looking for a travel agent!


Transport- Air Transat

Air Transat started out rough. When I booked we had the Cloud Nine package. This got removed without telling us and was changed to the Option Plus package. This package is not specific to weddings AT ALL. I will say though the extra 10kg of luggage each was super helpful and despite all the items we brought we never came close to hitting it. We actually asked all of our family to carry a lot of items which made our suitcases a fair amount lighter. Which was super helpful when carrying a wedding dress and suit around. 


The issues came when we got to the gate of the flight. I wanted to be extra certain that we would have a place for my dress when we boarded the plane so I went and talked with the boarding desk. When we booked we were told Transat doesn’t have a closet but we would be guaranteed an overhead bin for the dress. The lady at the boarding desk was really not helpful and frankly a little rude to me. I’ve been pretty calm up to this point (even with only 1 hour of sleep). I told her I was told I would have one and she said, well we can’t guarantee anything. Guests may have to put their suitcases in there too, but you can just hold the dress on your lap. WHAT?!?! Who says that? Wedding dresses are big and heavy! Plus airlines never even let you hold your purse on your lap while flying, let alone a big wedding dress. We decided to stand at the boarding gate for the time the priority boarding took place, the guy took pity on me carrying a huge dress bag and said go ahead. The lady on the plane was so kind and helpful. Right away she blocked off an entire cabin for my dress and Kyles suit and told us she would keep an eye on it and make sure no one attempted to use it. She was so sweet and helpful and also said that the other lady should not have said that to me as it is against policy. Going back home we had a super kind flight attendant as well who helped us get the suit and dress up in the cabin. 


The transfer to the hotel was pretty simple. Pam had told us we would have someone holding a sign for our group. This was not the case. Someone named Stephanie was having a wedding at our resort and I think that was actually for our group because they brought us where we needed to be. The bus ride was about an hour and 15 min. We were in a large bus so that made it easy with the dress. It also gave me a chance to hand out all my welcome packages to the guests. It gave everyone a little bit of reading for the drive (although not everyone read them). 


The transfer back to the airport at the end was a little different. They transported our group in two busses. One was super cramped with most of the guests and most of the luggage plus my dress and kyle’s suit. We made it so thats all that matters. 




The resort

The resort is amazing. Overall impressions is that the rooms could use a little upgrading but the rest of the resort is so large and fantastic. You will never get bored. 


Rooms: The rooms are spacious without a doubt. I’m not entirely sure upgrading to the ocean view was worth it when travelling with a group as we really only spend time on the balcony the day we were leaving. The beds are really large but not super comfortable. My in-laws however had what looked like a pillow top bed. I was a little jealous to be honest haha. The bathrooms are very nice as well with a very large Jacuzzi bath tub. The safe also worked perfectly and helped us keep all our wedding jewelry and gifts safe. I will mention that as a Transat guest you get a bottle of tequila in your room and the safe is included in your safe. You also get 1 hour of free wifi per day with Transat. Not all of our guests got this to work however. Kyle and I never had any issues. 

View from room:

view from room


Food: The food is good. It’s not like the AM Resorts that I’ve stayed at in the past but it is still good. For a seven night stay you get 3 A La Cart restaurant meals. As a wedding couple you also get a dinner at the French Restaurant. We ate at the Steakhouse, the Mexican restaurant, Japanese restaurant, and the French. The steakhouse was the weakest out of the four. It was good but not like a Canadian steak (although I had ribs and quite enjoyed them). The Mexican restaurant is really good. I highly recommend it. The Japanese is also really good. They cook right in front of you and also really cater to allergies. As I have a Soy intolerance they cooked me a separate meal in the kitchen to make sure it was safe for me. The French restaurant is so nice! The best there. We decided to do this the day after our wedding. It was a 4 course meal and we followed that up with a coffee with baileys too. If you are a lobster fan apparently it is their best dish. I can’t exactly remember what we had but it was all super delicious, its a romantic restaurant and well catered. Lunches are usually the typical buffet of french fries, hot dogs, and other typical bbq foods. Breakfast was also a good buffet with lots of options. 


Drinks: Not many of our guests are fussy when it comes to drinks. We did have a few wine lovers on our trip who were not very impressed with the house wines. Everyone else was not fussy. They are a little watered down, but trust me, you will be thankful for that on your wedding day when all of your guests are doing about 7 shots and just getting silly haha. I myself drank a lot of pineapple mojitos as they weren’t too strong but more so refreshing. 


Beach: If you are a beach goer this is a great resort. In fact if you are a pool person, this is a great resort. There is plenty of both beach and pools. We never had an issue finding a spot to sit. Rarely were were all sitting together as a group however. This is more down to the fact that everyone mostly did what every they wanted when they wanted.  The water is also very nice. You have to be careful where you go into the ocean as there are lots of rocks in some spots. You can snorkel pretty much anywhere and see lots of fish! 



Staff: The staff at the Grand Sirenis were also very friendly and helpful whenever you needed something. Everyone says hello to you as you pass them around the resort. They always do whatever they can to help you. I would recommend however to put the do not disturb and lock the door if you do not want any staff to come in. We did once have a mini bar staff come in when we were just sitting in our room but didn't get up quickly enough to answer the door. 



Entertainment: The entertainment is not quite like I’ve seen at other resorts. Most of our group would go to the highly shows at the resort just for a good laugh. They really are not that great and Kyle and I skipped most of them. I wouldn't waste your time unless you want a good laugh. 


Animals: Be prepared to see lots of wildlife at this resort. It is truly a great animal resort. We saw countless iguanas, racoons, and lemurs? Not sure what everything was but you will see lots of animals! I personally loved it even though I was also terrified of everything haha. 


Off topic


Mani-pedi: I got my nails done before leaving but this is more so wedding related so I saved it for here. I got a shellac pedicure with rhinestones on my toes! Absolutely love it and was so bridal. I recommend shellac on your toes for your DW. It is so durable. I even got a nasty cut on my food while walking around the beach and the nail polish held up. Infant 3 weeks later and it still looks good as new. As for manicure, I got UV Gel nails. I loved them! They also held up amazingly. I decided to go with the super sparkly french manicure and had no regrets. I was sad to get rid of my wedding nails on Thursday this week as it really meant the whole wedding was over. But I would recommend Gel nails for the wedding. They are durable and very pretty. However I have done shellac in Mexico and had a 50/50 experience with them. Once didn’t go well because sunscreen ruined them, and then the next time I was very diligent and they lasted better. 


Rings/ manicure:

The rings!


Back on topic (now for the juicy stuff!)

Wedding department:

The wedding department at the Grand Sirenis is absolutely amazing. I can’t even begin to say how wonderful they were. Our coordinator Aranza left us a message at the check in desk to meet her at the wedding office the day after our arrival. After putting all of our stuff together the morning of we headed to the wedding office at 12pm to meet the wedding team. They literally welcomed us with hugs. Aranza is so sweet and only a year younger than me making it feel very comfortable for us. We started off by going through all the documents we had previously sent them to check for any changes or extra details we required. This took the bulk of the time. Honestly if any of you ladies getting married here are worried about the details, don’t. They go through everything in full details so that you feel confident walking out of your appointment. We went right down to flowers, timing, layout, etc. I also mentioned to Aranza that I know @calgarybride2015. She remembered her to the point where she knew her exact wedding date. This just goes to show how amazing the wedding team truly is. I even asked if it was possible to add teal flowers into my bouquet (since this was not a listed option) and they did it no problem at all and at no extra cost. 


They were actually very excited to see we had brought more than a suitcase worth of decorations for them to set up. I was a little nervous about this and thinking they may make us pay more money to set it all up since its not the “basic” set up. They were so happy to do it and Aranza took so many notes to makes sure everything we went through was exactly how I envisioned it. I truly left this appointment not worried about a single thing. I knew I was in good hands. 


On the actual wedding day, Aranza was truly amazing. She was so calm and such a professional. We were running late and she found a way to make it look like it was all planned to start the ceremony 15 min late. She made the guys wait telling them the golf cart wasn't there yet. Although later on I found out my brother-in-law knew this was a lie and that the girls were running late. He never said a thing to Kyle so to keep him calm haha. Aranza also found out where our photographer Lancelotti was getting held up and got him to us promptly (apparently he got stuck at security). My only concern was the boutonnieres and bouquet didn’t arrive any where near the same time. We got a call from the guys saying the do the boutonnieres arrive. And I panicked a little because I already had my bouquet and they should have had theirs too but didn’t. If this happens to you, don’t panic. It will all work out and you don’t need to stress at all. 


From what I remember, Aranza was around with us the entire evening. She would get us anything we needed if we asked. She set up everything perfectly and exactly how we had discussed. If anything wasn’t the same, I don’t think I noticed. Her and her team of interns did an absolutely beautiful job. I can’t say enough times how much we appreciated them. 


Welcome packages:

As previously posted, I made small welcome packages for everyone that contained: welcome brochure, resort map, custom postcards, waterproof phone cases, and I may have missed a few things. I think everyone thought this was super sweet on the bus ride to the resort. We only did one package per room but had enough of everyone according to the number of people in each room. Some of the single male travellers didn’t bother to really read the brochure which would have been helpful for them but at least were were always near by to help if needed. I would highly recommend putting this together even if you don’t want to make OOT bags. I think it was a sweet gesture for the guests. 


Welcome gift bags:

As you know, we made gift bags for the wedding party containing all sorts of goodies.The only person who got their gift bag early on was my brother-in-law because he actually stopped by our room. The only issue with only making these for the wedding party was it was difficult to pull them aside to give them gift bags so not to make the other guests feel like they were missing out. One guest didn’t get their bag until the second to last day which was unfortunate but also a bit her fault for not coming by our room every time I reminded her. Overall I think they really appreciated them but maybe didn’t get the reaction I had hoped for. 




I got my hair done at the resort spa and was super happy with my decision. The girl didn’t speak very much over the 3 hours we were in the spa but she was very sweet. I highly recommend printing off some pictures of what type of style you are looking for. I feel like this really helped her to capture my vision. I also brought my own hair accessories and she had no problem adding them into my hairstyle. 


At the Salon
Hair done 1
Hair done 2
hair done 3


I had booked a makeup appointment at the spa as well. My mum went first and got her makeup done. She looked really nice. My sister also came along to the spa with us for company. I got really nervous about the makeup while my mum was getting her makeup done. I’ve become a bit of a makeup snob I think over the past year. I learnt so much about makeup and how to apply it and what works for me and what doesn’t. I ended up panicking and since it was too late to cancel my appointment (plus I really really didn’t want to offend the makeup artist because she actually did a really good job on my mum but it wasn’t what I wanted). I ended up giving my appointment to my sister as a gift. She looked so pretty. I think when it comes to false eyelashes though, you have to ask for them. They are included in your makeup price but make sure you ask because they will just “forget” to put them on. My mother-in-law also got her makeup done and she looked great! 

Because I didn’t get my makeup done at the spa I felt a bit panicked to get back to the room (as it was already 1:40pm and the ceremony was at 4pm). They called us a shuttle to bring us back to our room. She kept saying it would arrive soon but it didn’t. This was when my inner bridezilla started coming out as I was so stressed and emotional by this point. The shuttle took about 20 minutes to get to the spa which was unusual. The driver didn't speak much english. We told him which room building and he said okay. He brought us to the Riviera Maya side of the resort which is the complete opposite end. We kept saying no Mayan Beach side. Block 24! And in as much spanish as I knew I said it all in Spanish. I even said “ Today! Bodas! Now!” (Bodas means wedding in spanish).The poor driver got so panicked he stopped and got another driver to bring us to the room.We didn't get to the room till about 2:30pm. I was so nervous about getting my makeup done, jewelry, getting the bridesmaids ready, etc. I also hadn’t eaten since 8am. One of my bridesmaids ran out and got me some food, although I was so rushed and nervous I barely ate anything (like 2 french fries and a piece of fruit). I managed to get my own makeup done just as I wanted it with the help of my sister saying where I needed more emphasis and what not. I’m really happy I decided to do my makeup myself. It turned out perfectly and looked just like me. 


Helpful tips for brides doing their own makeup… My process in order:

  • exfoliate lips
  • Smashbox primer water
  • Laura Mercier Foundation primer (a must if you don't already use any primers)
  • Loreal 3 in 1 foundation
  • Elizabeth Arden eye primer (or you can use Urban decay eye primer)
  • Eye shadow
  • Brush away any fallout
  • E.L.F concealer (under eye, bridge of nose, forehead, cupids bow, chin)
  • Lower lash line eye shadow 
  • eyeliner (waterproof)
  • eyebrows
  • conceal around eyebrows 
  • Laura Mercier Setting powder (an absolute must as I never got shiny)
  • Contouring
  • Blush
  • Highlighting cheekbones, nose bridge, forehead, cupids bow, chin
  • Mascara (waterproof)
  • False eyelashes (I used Velours fluffy collection)
  • Urban decay All Nighter Setting Spray (Again an absolute must use as it prolongs the wear of your makeup by a huge amount). 


Bridal gifts:

We got the girls starfish earrings and a matching necklace. I had them out on the bed with their custom bouquets I made for them. From what I could tell, the girls loved them. I was a little disappointed when one girl lost her earring already because they came from Tenerife and I can’t get another one for her. 

I also got my sister (maid of honour) a special wishing bracelet as a gift from Stella and Dot. She loved it and She’s been wearing it every time I’ve seen her since. 

Bridesmaids jewelry

Groomsmen gifts:

We got the guys their teal ties, and watches. They loved them and they looked so sharp on the day. So glad we did that. 


Parents gifts:

We got the moms bracelets from Stella and Dot and they both loved them. It was nice to be able to do something special for the parents. 


The dads we got cuff links. Kyle’s dad really likes golf so his were golf clubs/balls, and my dad loves motorbikes and so his were motorbikes. They were a little silly but I think they still appreciated the gesture. I also had my sock gift sent to my dads room that had a message that said “Special socks for a special walk”. I think he really liked that. 


Wedding gifts:

Kyle got me a weight set for our home gym before leaving for Mexico! It might sound silly to most but it is super awesome to me because working out is so important to both of us. On the actual wedding day Kyle had his mum deliver a Swarovski bracelet to my room for me and a heart melting note saying “Janelle, You are the love of my life, and I can't wait to call you my wife. Counting the minutes until I see you. Love, Kyle.” Of course it sent me off crying. I was so emotional all day. He’s truly the sweetest. 

wedding gift


As you know, I got him a boudoir photo shoot. He loved the photos. I also had socks sent to his room that said “For my handsome groom, in case you get cold feet”. I thought it was super cute. 


The dress:

I’m so happy with my choice of dress. It was so beautiful and the sparkle on the dress was amazing in the sunshine! It took all 3 girls to get the dress done up but it was so worth all the work. It was about 6 layers and so hot. But surprisingly not as hot as I thought it would be. A few times I lifted the dress up to walk through the rocks on the beach and what not and the breeze was heaven haha. Be prepared for your dress to get dirty by the end of the night though. I had a “Bradeinator” (blue custom drink) spilt on me at the end of the night but amazingly we couldn’t find a blue stain anywhere on it the next day. 

wedding dress


The jewelry:

I bought my jewelry on Etsy and it was so beautiful with the dress. I’m glad I got the necklace with the back drop on it. It did keep flying to the front most of the night with dancing and what not but it still looked gorgeous. Unfortunately my bracelet broke at dinner and my amazing husband managed to fix it so that it was still wearable for the rest of the night. It completely broke in half at the end of our AHR unfortunately but at least it lasted to the end of both events. The earrings were also so stunning. Not too much bling either. It was perfect. Everyone kept commenting on how sparkly I was!

Couple photo


The shoes:

I ended up getting 2 pairs of shoes. I had a wedge flip flop style from Le Chateau and a sparkly heal from Aldo. The wedges worked great for the ceremony but unfortunately the rhinestone decoration on them kept snagging on the dress constantly making it so difficult to walk in. Kyle had to keep unhooking the shoes from the dress so I wouldn’t rip it. They also weren’t as comfortable as I originally thought they would be. I switched into my heals for the reception and they were so pretty. I even stuck silver sparkle stickers on the bottoms of them that said “I do”.I think Juan Carlos got a picture of them but I’ll have to wait and see. I wore them for most of the night but because I cut my foot the day prior they hurt the cut a little bit. 



Something old new borrowed blue:

My something old was my baby ring from my great grandmother. I had it safety pinned to the inside of my dress along side the evil eye (its that blue eye charm you see on necklaces and bracelets). It is supposed to ward off evil spirits. I borrowed it from my sister and pinned it to my dress. My something blue was 2 things: a little blue bead to go with the charm and ring inside my dress, as well as my starfish anklet that had a blue charm on it. My something new was pretty much everything else, basically my jewelry. 


Bridesmaid's dresses:

The bridesmaids dresses were the teal floor length infinity dresses from Dresslongbridal on Etsy. I have zero regrets with this. they did blow around a fair amount in the wind but I think the girls appreciated it. I got so many compliments on the dress choice from so many people. The girls definitely loved that they could wear it how ever they wanted and how worked best for their body type. I know one bridesmaid now wants another dress in that style. They looked so good and their dresses matched the groomsmen’s ties perfectly. They looked so good. They all wore flat black sandals (all different). Worked out great. 



Bridesmaids's bouquets:

The custom bouquets for the girls were perfect. They were so cute and matched my bouquet flawlessly without even planning that. I’m happy I ended up giving them the bouquets as it was also something they could keep as a memory of the day. 

bridesmaid bouquet


Groomsmen's attire:

The guys we went with grey suit pants, matching vest and dress shirt with teal ties. They looked so sharp. I’m so happy with our decision to go with that. All three guys have different body shapes and the vests made that work for them the best. The looked so good.



Groom's attire:

My groom looked absolutely handsome. He looked amazing. We went with the full suit including the vest. He was super hot he said but he looked so good! Everyone commented on how sharp he looked. He looked great next to the groomsmen too. He was also able take his suit jacket off as soon as we got to the reception to help him cool off. 

just married



Now time for the exciting details you are all waiting for!


Golf cart rental:

We had to rent the golf cart for the day because we rented the private palapa. It worked out great as some guests had to go back to their rooms at times and they were able to shuttle back and forth. It also worked out good for going back to the rooms at the end of the night, as it would just keep going back and forth. The driver actually went home before we were at our last shuttle back and so Aranza drove us back to the rooms it was pretty funny. 




The Gazebo was perfect. We did the included white paneling and flowers on the gazebo and nothing more. It was perfect. I don’t think adding in extra coloured fabric. The flowers are also really pretty and large and really add that extra elegance to the wedding set up. 

Ceremony site 2
First kiss
Ceremony site

Ceremony set up:

The ceremony was so beautiful. The wedding team put all my chair sashes on the chairs and every other chair had the starfish chair hangers. She handed out all my “blow bubbles” to all the guests as well. Aranza put our ring box and vow books on the ceremony table for us. We had a white aisle runner going down the centre as well as our 4 lantern lining the aisle. It was perfect! It felt really beachy and still elegant. 


The ceremony itself was a bit of a blur. I don’t remember much of what was said except for our vows and “i do”. Both kyle and I felt like we were just taking everything in and so stunned at how good each other looked, as well as trying to keep it together. I definitely did’t cry as much during this ceremony as I did during the legal ceremony which is good. (I still cried enough haha). The officiant was also really wonderful and would pause for us if we needed it. It all happens so fast so make sure when it’s your turn you take it in as much as you can. 




The flowers were so beautiful. I had asked Aranza during our appointment if she could add in some teal flowers to my bouquet and she did it at no cost. They looked so good and matched the bridesmaids bouquets to a teal, it was amazing. It looked planned out that way and no one knew that it was separate. They did such a beautiful job. The flowers on the gazebo like I mentioned already were also so beautiful. They took them off the gazebo and ceremony table afterwards and put them in the palapa (at least I think thats what they did). It really added a nice touch to everything. I do wish they would have brought the flowers to our room at the end for us to enjoy for the rest of the trip. I know when my sister got married she got to enjoy her flowers for the whole trip. The boutonnieres also matched my bouquet nicely and looked really sharp. I’m glad we decided to pay the little bit extra so that all the groomsmen had one. 




I had made little tags to attach to our wedding bubbles that said “Blow bubbles of good wishes for the new Mr. and Mrs.” I highly suggest not doing this for the ceremony. We didn't any bubbles till the ceremony was over and we were enjoy our champagne. It was just too breezy by the water for this to work. I would suggest doing this for the first dance if in an enclosed area like the private palapa where they bubbles may actually linger a bit for a while. It was still a cute idea. 

Blow bubbles!

Ring box and vow book:

We had these placed onto the ceremony table for when we would need them. They looked really cute. I’m still glad we did them. I think if you have a ring bearer it would be really cute to see them carrying to box down the aisle. 


The vow books also were a really nice addition. As much as I didn’t want to do my own custom vows I think it was really special and added a nice personal touch to the wedding. They really meant a lot to us and I think our guests appreciated seeing the love we have for each other in our choice of words. 


Cocktail hour:

The cocktail hour was great. Glad we did it. As soon as Kyle and I walked down the aisle they met us with special champagne for us two with cherries in them. It was so cute. Some of the cocktail hour was included in the package but we also decided to purchase quite a bit of extra champagne. I believe our Best Man managed to have 7 flutes of champagne before the reception. He loved it! I think everyone did. I would highly recommend the extra champagne for your guests as there isn’t much else for your guests to do while you are buy taking photos. 


Funny story about the set up for the cocktail hour. As I mentioned there was lots of wildlife at the resort. Before we arrived at the ceremony apparently an iguana jumped into the appetizer table and had himself a little feast. hahaha. Don’t worry the wedding staff were so attentive that they rushed to get a new batch of appetizers made up for us so that by the time the ceremony was over they had fresh food out for everyone. I didn't get to try anything but it looked great. 

Cocktail hour
Me apparently checking out my new bling during the cocktail hour :)
looking At My ring



Again I highly recommend the private beach and palapa. It was so nice that we really didn’t have any extra guests watching our wedding or swimming in the water behind us. It was so much more personal and private. We really loved this and I think so did our guests. Also being a ways away from the rooms meant we could be noisy all night and not worry about disturbing other guests or having other people watching us. 


The palapa is so beautiful. The fabric they have dropped everywhere gives it an instant elegance. We had thought quite a bit about adding the Chinese lanterns to the palapa but thought they were too expensive. Aranza had them included for us. I don’t want to guarantee that they will be there for future brides but I got a sense that they just leave them there for all weddings anyways. Aranza said they don’t. She said they take them down after every wedding to clean them. But they were there and looked so good. I’m glad we had them. 


Maid of honor and I:

Bride & maid of honor

Set up:

We had 4  tables for guests and a sweetheart table. They set up a long table for food, a table for the cake, and a table at the entrance that told guests where they sit and for our guestbook/ message in a bottle. I’m really glad we decided to do the sweetheart table and even our wedding party said they were really happy with that. It allowed them to be able to talk amongst themselves easily. When we did our AHR we did one long head table and it was really difficult to talk to everyone. The sweetheart table also allowed us to have a moment together and be able to talk to each other since we decided we weren’t going to see each other the whole day until the ceremony. It was really nice to have that time together just the two of us. 


We managed to get the K & J wooden letters in a suitcase to bring for decoration. They had them placed on the sweetheart table with swans made out of towels/napkins next to the letters and then the giant flowers on either end of the table. It looked so good. We had lots of comments on it. It was great because a few people thought I was being silly wanting to bring them and all of those people, said that I had such great ideas and that the letters were prefect! 

Entrance to reception
Palapa set up
Sweetheart table1

Our whole reception set up was truly so beautiful and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. The wedding department did an amazing job and the struggle of bringing everything over to Mexico was so worth it. 




We chose the bbq buffet as our dinner. We had to pay for 30 guests as that was the minimum and I think we actually had a lot of left over food in the buffet but at least we didn't have to worry about running out of food. There were options for all people. There was beef, chicken, fish, and sausage. As well there were potatoes, salads, hot veggies and cold veggies. Everyone really had something they could eat. Both Kyle and I didn't really eat much. I think that was just the theme of the day since there was so much excitement going on we really didn't feel like we had any appetite. Everyone seemed to enjoy it though. Some even went for seconds!



There are a lot of cake options now. A lot more than a year ago when they sent us the options. They told us a few days prior to getting there so we chose our cake when we got to the resort. My mum has a peanut allergy and they assured us it would be peanut free. We had the white chocolate 2 tier cake and they used our ribbon, starfish, and cake topper. The cake was literally so good. I actually wish I had more time that night to have a second piece of cake (I know my mind is post wedding dress now and I want all food haha). But in all honesty it was truly better than I had expected it to be. Again all our guests said the same. 

Wedding cake
Cutting the cake




I covered most of this in the “set up” category. But again, the wedding department did a fantastic job setting up all of our decorations. We had the K & J at the sweetheart table, and that worked out beautifully. At the entrance we had our message in a bottle set up with a chalkboard, bottle covered in twine, and pieces of paper with ribbon and different coloured pens. We also had a teal serving tray filled with sand and our little message in a bottles that stated each guests name as well as which table they were sitting at. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of this yet but I have one from our AHR that should be fairly similar to that set up. We had our cake table set up with our two chalkboards that said our hashtag “#happilyEverBrade” and the other said our names and our wedding date. We had a sign at the bar that encouraged guests to try our “signature drink” which we named the Bradeinator. This was admittedly Kyle’s idea the night before we flew out. I couldn’t think of a name and he made a joke and we went with it! Guests loved it. It was just some sort of alcoholic blue beverage. We used our teal striped straws for these drinks and I feel like it was a cute custom touch to our wedding. For the tables we had teal table runners, landers filled with candles and starfish (I warn you to use fake candles in the ikea lantern because it will burn the starfish if they are real candles). We also had small teal vases with fake white flowers, and small teal jars filled with crystals and fake candles. Everything looked so good and was simple enough that guests could talk over everything but still enjoy the beachy feel at their tables. 


We had all of our chair sashes and some the starfish chair hangers around the room. On Kyle and I’s chairs they tied the Mr & Mrs. chalkboard signs on the back. It was a cute touch even though not a lot of people saw that. 


Overall I’m really  happy with our choice to bring lots of our own decorations. It really brought a personal touch as well as saved us quite a bit of money and added a different feel than the resort had on offer. 


Mr. & Mrs. signs
Escort cards
Set up2
Set up 3
Signature drink


We made a list of songs for the DJ ahead of time and that was great. I’m pretty sure he played all of our songs and any songs that weren’t on our list were definitely our style. I’m glad we chose the dj and our guests were even able to make song requests which was nice. 



The bartender was really good as well. I’m not really sure I even ended up going up to the bar that many times. A lot of drinks were brought to me by guests and waiters. Even my glass of wine and my glass of champagne at our table never seemed to hit the bottom of the glass. Thank goodness the drinks were slightly watered down because our guests drank a lot! Everyone was drunk! But it was a good drunk and not a messy drunk. We only ended up with a few guests feeling rough the next day. It was truly a super fun night and everyone had so much fun. It was good to see the parents and family members let loose and have shots and what not. Both of our moms were so happy with how many shots they had it was hilarious. And Kyle’s dad who had knee surgery a few months ago was so funny telling us how much better his knee was feeling with every shot he took :P 


I wouldn't worry about the quality of the alcohol because your guests will have so much fun and just enjoy the ambiance of the whole evening they wont even care what it tastes like!



We booked the extra time at the palapa and I strongly recommend it. We had it till 11:30pm and that was definitely enough for us as we were all so drunk and tired by the end. It actually meant that when Kyle and I got back to the room we still were awake enough to spend some time together reminiscing about the night and enjoying the set up of our romantic wedding night room.  Overall my recommendation is that the extra hours at the private palapa are worth the money. 

Father daughter dance:
father daughter
Mother son dance:
mother Son
Our first dance:
First dance 2
First dance


Lancelotti is who we chose to do both our photography and videography. He was amazing. We purchased 4 hours of photo and 2 of video. When we arrived he told us he would do 4 hours of video as well because they came together. It was so generous of him. We also got more than our 4 hours I believe. We hand’t quite finished our cake cutting and dances before the 4hours were up so he told my dad not to worry and not to rush, that he would cover everything we had previously discussed. It was so kind of him. We made sure to give both Juan Carlos and his Videographer a good tip for the night. I will warn those brides who chose to do video with Juan Carlos Lancelotti that be prepared for a drone. I had no idea what was going on and even paused a couple times during our vows because I thought someone was doing landscaping near the ceremony and thought “how rude!” But after the ceremony Kyle told me what was going on and now I’m so excited to see what the drone footage looks like. I think it will be so beautiful. I will post the photos and video when it arrives. Will probably be another 2 weeks before we see it since it is wedding season there and he is probably very busy. 

Wedding party
Wedding kiss


Post wedding room:

When we got back into our room after the wedding it was so beautiful. We actually forgot to do the whole groom carries the bride into the room after the wedding but that is completely okay because our bed was covered in rose petals and swans made of towels and Kyle said he would have thrown me into it all and that would have stained my dress. There was a hot bath drawn recently (because it was still hot) that had bubbles and flower petals in the shape of a heart in it. And just flower petals all over the room. It was seriously so beautiful and romantic. It was great!



Breakfast in bed:

The next morning we had breakfast delivered at 10am. You get to chose when you want it delivered. 10 was actually a little late for us because we were up early talking about the wedding and just so excited to be married. We were a little worried that it would be a tiny little breakfast. Aranza told us we would have some bread and fruit delivered to the room. She was mistaken. We had literally enough food for 4-5 people. there were to sets of pancake breakfasts, eggs, bacon, sausage, pastries, coffee, tea, juice, and 2 fruit plates. It was amazing! so much food. It was a great breakfast, and so nice to get to enjoy it together in the room the day after the wedding. 


My overall thoughts on the wedding are that it was literally the most amazing day of our lives. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. It was so perfect! 


If anyone reading this is question whether or not they should chose the Grand Sirenis for they destination wedding, don’t question it any more. It is the perfect location! But then again I’m very biased now that I’ve been through it all already. I’m sure everyone else’s resort choices have been amazing too :P 


My planning thread 




#508 calgarybride2015

  • Sr. Member
  • 4,504 posts
  • Wedding Date:January 21, 2015
  • Wedding Location:Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya
  • LocationCalgary, AB

Posted 13 March 2016 - 05:52 PM

Yay!! Loved your review and I read it all ;) can't wait for your professional photos! You look absolutely beautiful and your groom looked handsome in his suit. All your work paid off and everything looked great!!!

I have Aranza on FB if you wanna scope her out and add her (if you haven't already) she really is fantastic.

Couple things - I agree. The golf cart getting to the spa was annoying. We had a little run in with the driver lol

Do you remember who did your hair? It looked fantastic. We had no issues with them asking re lashes!

I think Aranza delivered the bouts to the palapa but could be wrong. I do know that's where my dad got his put on

Did you not get drinks at your cocktail hour?? The waitresses would go to the palapa and deliver back to the beach! And I agree - I couldn't even get a drink done and they were delivering another!!!

Hahaha the iguana. I read that in another review too. So glad they got it sorted out.

The wedding cake was fab. I had more than once piece.

Soooooo glad you had the time of your lives. It is a great place :)

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Edited by calgarybride2015, 13 March 2016 - 06:17 PM.


Married on 2015/01/21 at the Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya with 43 guests in attendance   :)


Planning Thread - http://www.bestdesti...s-riviera-maya/


Wedding Pictures http://www.bestdesti...ra-maya/page-36


Wedding Review http://www.bestdesti...31#entry1885600



#509 ashhtayy

  • Member
  • 607 posts
  • Wedding Date:June 7, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Azul Fives
  • LocationToronto, Canada

Posted 13 March 2016 - 06:11 PM

Wow - what a detailed review! Grand Sirenis brides-to-be must be SO excited for their upcoming weddings. Very kind of you to take the time and break down every little detail - I read every bit and I'm an AF bride ;)

Congratulations! Your day looked absolutely perfect. Pretty sure I posted this before but I love the colour of your bridesmaids dresses - so elegant and beautiful. You looked stunning and your HUSBAND (is that weird still?) looked very handsome!

#510 WPGBride17

  • Newbie
  • 44 posts
  • Wedding Date:January 21, 2017
  • Wedding Location:Grand Sirenis Riveria Maya

Posted 13 March 2016 - 06:26 PM

So for the past few days I've been binge reading your thread and as a future Grand Sirenis Bride I thank you. You have given me so much good info and to do lists. I loved following all your DIY and you have inspired me to do a few of my own. My theme is also starfish so I instantly fell in love with all your projects. You looked absolutely beautiful on your wedding day!

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