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Ashhtayy's Planning Thread - Azul Fives - June 7, 2016

2016 Brides Mexico Planning Tips

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#161 ashhtayy

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

Posted 17 December 2015 - 08:07 PM

@calgarybride2015 I've been thinking about everyone's replies all day and I'm so glad I posted because everyone had some good points.

To your husbands comment - LOL and with our group, the party group, it might get TOO crazy.

I think you're right - it's too long. It would be set up for standing but I know (I think lol) there are couches for lounging. I'm leaning towards what @snswedding2016 is doing - much more economical and I like the freedom it gives people. Why pay for the food and booze everyone has already paid for? I like the idea of preconfirming a meet up spot where people can get snacks and drinks but leaving it as optional. Freshen up, grab a quick power nap, go for a quick dip, etc and be back in an hour. Less stress for us - no music, no food, no drinks, no additional costs.

Steph - where are you telling people they should go (if interested)? You know the lay of the land best - what makes the most sense? And yes, please send me your floral contact. I'd love to check out someone locals site. Even if we have to pay shipping at least it's not travelling far.

I think when the WD suggested it I was too excited and would have agreed to just about anything she proposed. I talked to Mike about it and he agreed it isn't necessary given where we are.

And if we decide to do no cocktail hour we then save on my hair and makeup - good trade off I think.

Thoughts on switching reception from 4 to 5, anyone? She said 4 is the best time but if we move to 5, ceremony at 7 then we would only have to pay one hour extra to keep the party going until 12. Too late? Sunset issues?

I know my mum and dad won't care if we chose not to have a cake but I'm going to run it by Mike's Nonna and mom before we make that call. If they feel strongly about it we could always buy the "large" cake that only serves 6 people ($60) and at least have that traditional cake cutting photo. I never eat wedding cake and neither does Mike so we are happy to cut that out especially because our dinner comes with a variety of desserts.

Edited by ashhtayy, 17 December 2015 - 08:09 PM.


#162 TinkerSofi

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  • Wedding Date:August 13, 2015
  • Wedding Location:Azul Fives Playa del Carmen
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Posted 18 December 2015 - 03:28 PM

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions...

I had sent about 10 questions to our Wedding Designer and instead of responding to all of them she felt we should schedule a call. Maribel and I spoke from 4:30 - 5:30 last night and she filled me in on everything I needed clarification on. She was so lovely to talk to.

Dinner -

My mum and I found the menus so confusing. Really they're not but we couldn't believe you get as much food as you do. We couldn't understand why it didn't say "pick two of five options" but that's because we don't have to pick - we get it all. Because we are getting married on the Sky Deck we cannot have a plated meal. Initially we were pretty bummed but now I am grateful because it limits our decisions. We've settled on a family-style dinner. One thing I dread when going to a restaurant is having to pick one meal from 75 and luckily now it doesn't feel that way. Our options are international, mexican or italian. We're deciding between international and italian. Both options are attached.

Welcome Drink -

We picked the bellini. My fingers were crossed it was served frozen but they don't have a blender on the sky deck so no luck. Our WD said it was her favourite drink and that it is a soft pink colour. I like the idea of it matching our wedding colours lol We're going to try it the day we arrive and if for some reason we don't like it we can switch it the next day when we meet with our on-site WC.

Hor D'oeuvres -

Very confused. Way too many options. I've attached the two we are considering - mexican donkey bar and white glove service. Apparently we can mix between the two.

Timing -

Initially we were getting married at 4PM, cocktails 5PM to 6PM, pictures 5PM to 6PM, reception 6PM to 10PM and paying extra to keep the bar open until 1AM. The WD recommends switching this up - one to save costs and two to give us more mingling time with our guests.

New Plan: married at 4PM, cocktails 5PM to 7PM, pictures 5PM to 6PM then join cocktail from 6PM to 7PM, reception 7PM to 11PM and pay for only one additional hour of bar service.

Ladies, what do you think of the new plan? Any suggestions or feedback is appreciated.

GI Freebie -

Although our TA said the cocktail hour was the best value the WD says the voucher to the spa is more valuable. The spa voucher gets your hair and makeup trial, hair and makeup wedding day, mani and pedi for bride and for one other member of the bridal party. I haven't priced out spa services but once I do I'll decide where to spend the voucher.

@snswedding2016 - what did you do? I think @TinkerSofi took the spa voucher.

Other -

- Do we need a cake? They cost a fortune. And no way I'm subbing cupcakes in for cake - they're $7 US each. I laughed when I read that. Outrageous.
- Need to decide between bringing silk florals or purchasing from the resort.
- Waiting on DJ prices

That's it for now. The ball is rolling :)

My opinions, I'm glad you went with the family style. You'll have so much food!! and since you have wedding planners on site making sure everything goes smoothly, you can busy yourself with eating hahah. The food is very good and there's tons to try. Everyone will be satisfied.

I'd leave a little bit more time for the pictures. I know it sounds like an hour is a lot, but we had an hour and a half and even that felt like a really short time. We still got tons of pictures in that time, but it felt a little rushed for me. The good thing is that since your reception is not starting right away it's not a big deal if you guys show up a little bit later to your cocktail hour. 

 

Your drink sounds a lot like ours. I can't remember what it was, but it was delicious, it also looked like a pink juice. At that point there was so much going on that all I cared was that it tasted good haha. 

 

I chose the spa package. I felt like that was the best value because people can always go down to the sky bar to have a few drinks for free. No one really missed a cocktail hour I don't think. There's also the Oriolla grill right downstairs if they want a taco for a snack before the reception. I didn't feel bad at all for not having one.

 

On the other hand, the spa package saved me a lot of money. I didn't get a chance to use the mani and pedi. Like I said, there was tons going on that week and I didn't want to be stuck inside a spa for a couple of hours. I wanted to be on the beach with my guests! I got some gel nails before I left and that was perfect :). After my free trials, I decided to book the bridal suite for getting ready. It included the hair and makeup on the wedding day, plus a massage, facial and reflexology. I could have gone earlier to use the hydromassage room as well but you'd be surprised how insane your wedding day is haha. However, it was nice to relax for a couple of hours before my bridesmaids and the moms arrived and we got ready together :). That service was worth every penny. I then gave the "free package" to my mom, so she could get her hair and makeup done and not pay anything. I think it was all worth it, even if you can't pay for the bridal suite, I think it's a very good value. Had I stuck to it, I would have paid $80 in the end, just for upgrading the trial and wedding makeup to airbrush. 
 

cake - if you do want cake for the picture, and because it's a tradition that you don't want to break, I suggest you get the cheapest cake you can. We got one for 25-30 people, 2 tiered, and had 30 guests. We had about 3/4 of the bottom tier left at the end of the wedding, which they put in our fridge by the time we got back to our room :). It was delicious and i'm happy we got it, but I could have easily gone for a cheaper/smaller one. 



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#163 ashhtayy

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  • Wedding Date:June 7, 2016
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Posted 18 December 2015 - 06:30 PM

Vow Books

 

I'm lying in bed sick on a Friday night. The worst. Even missed hockey :( Updating our budget tracker and realized I didn't post our vow books. I ordered these back in April and I LOVE them. In hindsight I wish I wrote 'Ashley's Speech' and 'Michael's Speech' but I am very much over it. They are adorable.

 

Etsy Vendor: NoteWorthyDesignsCo

Cost with Shipping: $17.69 CAD

 

Highly recommend the seller - she was so quick to respond and we were so happy with the final product.

 

image.jpg
 
***I REALLY think I did post this picture but I can't find it in my thread. Sorry if it's a repeat :) ***

Edited by ashhtayy, 18 December 2015 - 06:31 PM.


#164 ashhtayy

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  • Wedding Date:June 7, 2016
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Posted 18 December 2015 - 07:06 PM

@TinkerSofi Thank you for popping in to share your wisdom! I am so scared for when all the bride’s I’ve been following or communicating with leave. How will I ever make a decision? Sure I have Mike but well…he doesn’t see the reason to put so much thought into any one decision. Example – we get white table cloths, why would we want anything else? lol

 

My concern with family style is how much of each will they provide. I’d hate that the last person to get the dish gets stuck with something they don’t like. I hope it is one for each person?! I am going to ask our WD if she has actual pictures of the food that will be served. Is that crazy? lol I asked her if pop was included because it only says “includes 4 hours of international open bar and coffee, decaffeinated and herbal teas”. She laughed and said of coarse but I had to know. I was thinking how embarrassing would it be if someone is like “can I have a coke?” and they said “the bride and groom didn’t pay for that”. The charge for everything else; I didn’t think it was that crazy of a question.

 

Did you do a first look? I want to so badly so that we can have some of our pictures done and because I want to see Mike before everyone else does but he is NOT on board – like won’t even budge on the topic. Good advice. We need to sort this out.

So you got to enjoy your ‘Welcome Drink’ at your wedding? Our WD said “well remember you are picking for everyone else because you won’t be there to drink it!” Glad to know you liked the pink juice and I hope @snswedding2016 reports back that she loves it too
J

 

Good point. Didn’t realize the Oriolla grill was so close as well. I am really leaning towards not paying for a cocktail hour (or two). That money could easily be spent in other places. Mike agrees that it seems silly to pay for something everyone already paid for. Glad to read you didn’t regret or feel bad for not having one.

 

Question about the spa – do they do shellac? I chip regular polish in 5 minutes so if they don’t offer that I will for sure have my nails done before heading to Mexico. Would you do the bridal suite again for getting ready? I like the idea of getting ready in our room – that is if we get upgraded to a Sky Suite (FINGERS CROSSED!) Also thinking air brush is a must. I have a ton of freckles/sun spots/moles and I’d love if they could cover them (not all just the big ones lol) and I think air brush is the only way. They seem to EAT concealer. Too much info?  Sorry lol

 

Being a bride that LOVES a deal, can you suggest any areas that you were able to get them to come down in prices? If you don’t mind sharing of course. 

 

Thanks so much for all the help. Much appreciated!!



#165 snswedding2016

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  • Wedding Date:January 9, 2016
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Posted 18 December 2015 - 08:28 PM

@ashhtayy Sean and I are doing a first look for the same reasons you want to. I wanted to have a private moment with him before seeing everyone else. I also wanted to maximize our time with our photographers and get some extra time to get certain pics taken care of. In case this helps this is our photography schedule:

 

2:00pm getting ready pics

3:00pm first look

3:15pm bridal party & family pics

4:30pm ceremony

4:55pm group pic 

5:00pm bride & groom pics

6:00pm reception (starting with first dance)

 

We actually made up our own welcome drink while we were there for the BDR in Sept. We had a menu tasting for our specific menu and then we tried a couple of options for the welcome cocktail. We wanted something local to Mexico and we LOVE the Cantina tequila and mezcal cocktails. They came up with a drink they called "Tequila Party" - I'm pretty sure they just made that name up for us ...haha! It is Amaretto, tequila and sour mix - really good!


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

 

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#166 ashhtayy

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 09:42 PM

@snswedding2016 I really hope Mike comes around re: first look. He's being VERY traditional about this one thing. I asked if we were going to stay in the same room the night before, assuming he'd say no, and he said "absolutely - why wouldn't we?" lol

Thanks for your photog schedule - super helpful.

On the BDR topic, did you see it went up to $699 from $399? Just saw that on the site yesterday. Creating your own drink is so fun. Sounds delicious.

#167 snswedding2016

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 09:53 PM

@ashhtayy Sean was not really into it either at first but then I explained the advantages of having it and he came around. He really wanted that moment of seeing me for the first time walking down the aisle but I told him we'd still have that moment but just with each other (plus our photographer) and it would be really intimate and special. He liked that idea. 

 

Wow I can't believe the BDR went up that much...although I'm not totally surprised, even in low season when we went there were a lot of brides spread out through all the Karisma properties. The old price was also amazing for the value. I'm really glad we did it. I don't think it is completely necessary but a nice bonus if you can squeeze it in.  :)

 

Side note: you should come to our next GTA meet up!!


Edited by snswedding2016, 18 December 2015 - 09:53 PM.

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

 

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#168 TinkerSofi

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  • Wedding Date:August 13, 2015
  • Wedding Location:Azul Fives Playa del Carmen
  • LocationCanada

Posted 18 December 2015 - 10:21 PM

@TinkerSofi Thank you for popping in to share your wisdom! I am so scared for when all the bride’s I’ve been following or communicating with leave. How will I ever make a decision? Sure I have Mike but well…he doesn’t see the reason to put so much thought into any one decision. Example – we get white table cloths, why would we want anything else? lol

 

My concern with family style is how much of each will they provide. I’d hate that the last person to get the dish gets stuck with something they don’t like. I hope it is one for each person?! I am going to ask our WD if she has actual pictures of the food that will be served. Is that crazy? lol I asked her if pop was included because it only says “includes 4 hours of international open bar and coffee, decaffeinated and herbal teas”. She laughed and said of coarse but I had to know. I was thinking how embarrassing would it be if someone is like “can I have a coke?” and they said “the bride and groom didn’t pay for that”. The charge for everything else; I didn’t think it was that crazy of a question.

 

Did you do a first look? I want to so badly so that we can have some of our pictures done and because I want to see Mike before everyone else does but he is NOT on board – like won’t even budge on the topic. Good advice. We need to sort this out.

So you got to enjoy your ‘Welcome Drink’ at your wedding? Our WD said “well remember you are picking for everyone else because you won’t be there to drink it!” Glad to know you liked the pink juice and I hope @snswedding2016 reports back that she loves it too
J

 

Good point. Didn’t realize the Oriolla grill was so close as well. I am really leaning towards not paying for a cocktail hour (or two). That money could easily be spent in other places. Mike agrees that it seems silly to pay for something everyone already paid for. Glad to read you didn’t regret or feel bad for not having one.

 

Question about the spa – do they do shellac? I chip regular polish in 5 minutes so if they don’t offer that I will for sure have my nails done before heading to Mexico. Would you do the bridal suite again for getting ready? I like the idea of getting ready in our room – that is if we get upgraded to a Sky Suite (FINGERS CROSSED!) Also thinking air brush is a must. I have a ton of freckles/sun spots/moles and I’d love if they could cover them (not all just the big ones lol) and I think air brush is the only way. They seem to EAT concealer. Too much info?  Sorry lol

 

Being a bride that LOVES a deal, can you suggest any areas that you were able to get them to come down in prices? If you don’t mind sharing of course. 

 

Thanks so much for all the help. Much appreciated!!

Yeah, sorry I haven't been around as much. I know I used to hate it when older brides would never come around. I had so many burning questions! haha. We moved and then I've been settling down into my role as an adult haha. It's been time consuming :P

 

We had the BBQ deluxe, which was also a family style dinner. The way it worked was that they brought bowls with the salads and sides to each table, so people could serve themselves. They grilled the meat right on the sky deck and one server would come around to each table and you could pick whatever you wanted. You really have nothing to worry about, they are very good at what they do and everyone will have a chance to try everything if they wish to. I tried, but there wasn't enough room in my stomach haha. 

 

I can't remember if they have shellac. I have the same problem, regular nail polish takes ages to dry for me and lasts 5 minutes. That's why I decided t get gel nails before I left. I got them french and just my natural nails' length. They looked very nice.  If they do have it at the spa you probably need to pay an upgrade fee, kind of like the same for airbrush makeup. My suggestion is that if you want to get that done you get it before you go. I was planning on getting my feet done while there, but I just really didn't want to be inside for longer than I had to. In between going to appointments, organizing last minute details, etc. I was in my room for longer than I wanted to be. I had gotten a quick pedicure before I left and I just went with that. Usually shellac is not very expensive at home, so I would bite the bullet there. 

The bridal suite had its pros and cons. Pro's: The service was amazing and I was so relaxed that I fell asleep at one point. I am extremely ticklish and I thought I wouldn't be able to get through the reflexology session but that's where I fell asleep haha. It was nice that everything is there, there's even a shower so you can shower right after your massage to wipe off all the oil. Then they come in with all their tools and do your hair and makeup. They also bring you mimosas and a few bites for you and your bridesmaids (I don't know who said brides don't eat, I devoured those things haha. I think it was the anxiety). The only con I can think of is the light. There's not a lot of light in there, which makes getting ready pictures a bit more difficult for your photographer I imagine. It's not super dark, but there's more light in your room for sure. Again, I've been trying to post pictures forever and the system won't let me, it always freezes. Also, it can get crowded if you have a lot of bridesmaids. For me it was my mom and Juan's, my two bridesmaids and Juan's sister initially. But then Juan decided to invite people who weren't on the bridal party, to my bridal suite (grr, I know haha). Only one girl showed up, thankfully, and I wasn't going to kick her out. It was getting a little crowded though haha. Would I do it again? Absolutely :)

 

I didn't get a lot of deals. We got the ceremony for free because we upgraded to the sky deck for both the ceremony and the reception and because we paid for the vintage elegance tables. Our TA actually negotiated this for us before we left, but that's all we got. I tried to negotiate getting a photo booth company for a couple of hours for less than the $800 vendor fee but they wouldn't even let them in. They wouldn't budge on anything. I'm guessing you could negotiate the set-up fee when there but we thought what we paid was fair. Right before our ceremony they asked us if we wanted to cover the chairs with the vintage elegance chair covers for $100 and I said yes. I thought that was worth it, it definitely added to the whole thing, especially considering I didn't have many other decorations. You might have different luck, but that was my experience. 


oh, PS: we didn't do first look. I wanted to at first, but that meant that there would have been no pictures of our reception and it was important to me to have pictures of our first dance and the dance with our parents. We had our photographer for 5 hours 



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#169 ashhtayy

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

Posted 19 December 2015 - 09:26 AM

@snswedding2016 i'm going to talk to him about it again today. keep your fingers crossed for me lol

 

yes, i totally want to come to the next GTA meet up. i missed one because it was one of my bridesmaids birthday, another because we were in Montreal for Mike's birthday and i play hockey on friday nights. i'll miss hockey for the next one :)


@TinkerSofi lol don’t say sorry – I am just happy you’re around to answer my questions. Selfish, I know lol Hope being an adult is everything you had hoped for J

 

Oh, love that they grill the food right there and that everyone gets what they want. That’s perfect and definitely puts my mind at ease.

 

You’re so right about not wanting to spend the time inside. It seems silly to do that when you are in MEXICO! I’ll likely be too scared that I will run out of time and not end up getting my fingers and toes done while I am there that I will get them done ahead of time. We arrive on the Friday, most guests arrive the Sunday and we get married on the Tuesday. I should be able to keep the shellac looking nice for 5 days – I hope J

 

Oh my gosh – if you were able to fall asleep on the day of your wedding with your mind going a mile a minute that reflexology session must have been amazing. They mention bites for the groom and nothing for the bride. Glad to see they took care of you too. I can eat…a lot. I don’t see the morning of my wedding being any different lol Good point about the light – my photographer is a friend and will be there the whole week. If we book the bridal suite I’ll be sure to take her by beforehand so she knows what to expect. LOL at Juan inviting people haha Obviously he had good intentions, not wanting people to be alone, but I’d be so mad at Mike. I imagine I’ll be quite stressed out and won’t want people other than my girls and my mom there. If I need to scream I want to without any judgement lol
 

So by getting the ceremony for free you mean they waived the $1700 fee or the $950 fee? Either way if that’s the case…WOW! My TA will be no help, I wouldn’t even ask her. I have a hard enough time finding out who has paid their deposits or not or who has emailed to inquiry about rates. That’s a story for another day. Ugh.

 

Good to know they asked you right before and gave you a better deal. Maybe those things I want that I can’t justify paying for they will give us a better deal on in the moment. I won’t chance it for the important things but those unnecessary wants may come to fruition last minute…

 

Nice thing with having our friends as photographers is they are there the whole week. I by no means expect them to work the entire time but it’s nice to know they will be there and can snap random pics at any time. I guess that also means we don’t have to be as strict with timing because they aren’t going anywhere. 



#170 calgarybride2015

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  • Wedding Date:January 21, 2015
  • Wedding Location:Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya
  • LocationCalgary, AB

Posted 19 December 2015 - 12:34 PM

I think the ladies gave you great suggestions :)  If you have bars close, I would totally take advantage of that - I know i would have!!!  Unfortunately for us our ceremony and reception location was very secluded and they would have all had to take numerous shuttle trips back to a bar... then to get them all back on time for the reception stressed me out... so we paid to have the cocktail hour.   

 

Good luck, it will all come together :)

PS - your vow books are adorable.


-Kim

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

 

 






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