Posted 08 June 2016 - 07:35 AM
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
My Planning Thread:
Posted 09 June 2016 - 12:03 PM
It was beautiful! I watched the WHOLE thing!!! lol I get emails when Ustream goes live. Gorgeous girl!! Your dress looked stunning on you! I knew something was up with the location.... couldn't figure out what happened.
Can't wait to see more photos!! Such a cute couple!!! Congrats on being a Mexico Mrs!!!!
- ashhtayy likes this
I said "yes" again to the love of my life at Grand Coral Beach Club, Playa del Carmen, Mexico on our 4th anniversary - October 20, 2015
Posted 15 July 2016 - 02:54 PM
My review has been a work in progress since the day we returned. I'm really holding off so that I can include some photos. As some of you know our photographers (friends first, photographers second) came from Toronto with us and have been sneaking us pictures as they finish editing. Here's one more I just received a day or two ago...
I can't wait to see them all!
Posted 18 July 2016 - 01:15 PM
Our Wedding Review
I want to start my review by saying our wedding day was PERFECT and we would go back to Azul Fives in a heartbeat. One of the most stressful parts of planning a Destination Wedding is picking the resort – Mike and I feel we nailed it with Azul Fives. The food is delicious, the grounds are the best kept I’ve ever seen, the staff are kind and super accommodating, the rooms are so modern and gorgeous, the pools are plentiful and the beach always had lots of loungers to choose from. Before returning from our trip one of my bridesmaids had already booked to return to AF in November – a true testament to how much she and her boyfriend loved it!
Before I get into the details, I want to caution you that I’ve decided to write my review in a way that celebrates the resorts successes but also spells out their shortcomings (in OUR experience!). I had read many, many times that you just need to go with the flow when you get there and that is what we did. Before leaving I wish I had of mentally prepared myself a little better for all of the things that could of went wrong – and this is on me, I recognize that 100%. Again, our wedding day was PERFECT but it was a bumpy ride getting there. The things that I will tell you went wrong are so minor and ultimately did not matter but it was a scary start to our trip.
Friday the 3rd
Toronto Airport & Our Luggage –
Divided between my parents, Mike, myself, my brother and my bridesmaids we had one carry-on box that contained a fake layer of cake, my dress and Mike's suit in @perianjay 's travelling wally bag (which is amazing!), 7 carry-ons and one 44lb checked luggage of decor. The Air Transat lady at check-in was quite rude at first – she was upset we hadn't put our baggage tags on but the other Air Transat lady had just told us not to. I was so nervous and anxious at this point because two of our bags were overweight and she wasn't the least bit friendly. Once she realized it was our wedding her attitude completely changed and she was so sweet. She didn't even mention the bags being overweight and sent us on our way with well wishes. We were through customs in 2 minutes and so excited to make our way to Mexico. The Air Transat rep that checked us in even made her way to our gate without us knowing and came to find us to board before everyone else. We had the biggest Air Transat plane so there actually was a spot for them to hang my dress which was perfect. I wasn't too worried about this but it worked out great because we weren't worried about someone else putting something on top of my dress in an overhead bin.
Baggage Allowance with Air Transat (Option Plus for Bride & Groom) –
We were each allowed 66lb, my dress + 1 carry-on. You can actually have multiple checked bags each as long as combined they are less than 66lb. There is a size allowance when having multiple checked bags but it is so large that you wouldn't go over. The overhead bins on Air Transat are smaller so you need to make sure your carry-ons are on the smaller end. They say 20" but a few of ours were 22-23" and they fit but it was tight. On the plane we had the Option Plus head rests that meant the staff treated us like gold. We received bottles of champagne, free beers, blankets, snacks & ear buds. They never asked if we wanted the on board announcement so we didn't get one but we were okay with that. We flew in 2-days before most of our guests so it would have only been 9 of us cheering lol
Cancun Airport –
INSANE! I have no idea how many flights landed right as we did but it took us about three hours to get through customs and on to our transfer to the resort. It was so hot but our excitement overcame our frustration. Mike and I got green lighted but my parents were red lighted. This added about 30 minutes to our wait at the airport. The gentleman that led our transfer was great. There were beers on the bus for $3 each that were cold and seriously tasted like the best beer I had ever drank. We were SO excited to be on our way to the resort.
Azul Fives Check-In –
For some reason or another we weren't given the cold cloths and champagne but everyone before us was. Check-in was a bit crazy but again excited us because everyone arriving was kind and seemed like they would be a lot of fun. Once we got to the front of the line the first of several (in the end, minor) hiccups began. We paid for a one-bedroom room and that's what we were given. From what I had read and what my travel agent had told us I was really banking on us getting upgraded to a Sky Suite. I understood it was based on availability and was a perk not a guarantee but was super disappointed this wasn't happening for us. Gladys called her Supervisor over and the first words out of his mouth were "you weren't upgraded to a Sky Suite because your travel agent didn't request it". For the GTA brides that have heard some stories about my experience with our travel agent, you can probably imagine what my face looked like. I was so angry; not at the resort, solely at our travel agent. The compromise they came to was they would switch us to a Sky Suite at 3pm on June 7th. Obviously I declined stating that was our wedding day and we were getting married at 4:30pm. After almost two hours of the staff trying to sort this out, I broke down in tears and was so embarrassed I had done this. I wasn't mad at the staff I think I was just so overwhelmed that I needed a second to myself to calm down. Side note: throughout our planning I can’t recall ever shedding a tear; I think I was so overwhelmed with emotions and had so much on my mind that the first thing that didn’t go as planned just set me off. Planning a destination wedding has a lot of ups and downs, way more ups than downs for sure but this is not what you want walking into your resort on day one. Again, this was a perk not a guarantee so really I should have just been happy with the room we paid for. We decided to take our luggage and go to our one bedroom suite (which was absolutely stunning!) and wait for concierge to call us and let us know when we could get upgraded.
We were in Villa 15 in the new Essence section. Our one bedroom suite was perfect and my family was also in that villa so it was super convenient. Villa 15 and Villa 16 share a pool. It is the only pool (I think) that doesn't have a swim up bar but if you got out and took 10 steps to your right you were at the pool bar. It was always a calm pool and a great place to relax before people woke up or to meet and make your plans for the day. I would 100% stay in Villa 15 again. Villa 16 was great too but a little loud on the one side as Villa 17 is under complete construction. Villa 18 was open and later on we had guests in it. It's pretty far from most people and most things; while 17 is under construction I'd personally request not to stay in Villa 18. The rooms were beautiful but a little out of the way with the current resort lay out. And by out of the way I mean only 4 minutes lol
That night Mike, my family and I went for dinner at Flavours, one of their delicious food displays and then walked around aimlessly trying to get a grasp of where everything was before our guests arrived. We ran into Mario - he likely has one of the most fun jobs on the resorts. I have no idea what his title is but I would guess its Social Committee Coordinator or Client Experience Coordinator. He's the guy that's always in the middle of all the fun. He's leading pool volleyball, group dancing or making sure everyone on the resort knew where the fun would be later that night. Every woman in our group over 45 had a serious crush on him. I mentioned we were getting married on Tuesday and hadn't seen the Sky Deck. He took us all there and walked us through what our day would look like. He was unbelievably good at his job and someone that put a smile on our face every time we saw him.
This is my mum and Mario <3
Saturday the 4th
Meeting with Wedding Coordinators –
Mike and I had a meeting at 10am with the wedding department. My adorable 24 year old brother decided to come to the meeting to "help". I secretly loved that he came – he must have been bored out of his mind as he had no reason to care for the little details but he sat through our 1.5-2 hour meeting with a smile on his face. He knew I was upset when we arrived so I think he wanted to be there for moral support. He's the best baby brother. Ever.
We had Lucely and Sharma (not her name but something like that). I gave them my 12 page set up document (thanks @snswedding2016 for the template!) and they were in awe. Mike and I also wrote (somewhat wrote, a lot plagiarized from the Internet) our entire ceremony script. We gave this to them and went over it in detail. They were so happy to have everything laid out for them. I had taken photos at home of everything as I wanted it placed. I was very clear that this was only a guide and that I wouldn't mind at all if they felt things should be moved slightly to make it look better. They literally go through everything with you at this meeting. Rehearsal dinner time and menu, wedding day hair and makeup appointments, ceremony details, officiant details, reception details, breakfast in bed details and candlelight dinner details. They then go through every single piece of decor you brought and check off what you give them. I did not bring my decor with me to this appointment, which I knew I was supposed to, because not all of my decor had arrived yet as three of my bridesmaids weren't arriving until 12pm that day. We coordinated a drop off for 1pm the following day. There was one issue from what they had on their paperwork and what was in my builder which was the appetizer for our rehearsal dinner. They corrected this on their end and said it was taken care of. At this meeting I also requested a rehearsal walk through on the Sky Deck. They were hesitant as they said we didn't need one but I pushed for it. None of us had been there before and I didn't want it to look that way on our wedding day. They booked us in for a Sky Deck rehearsal for 2pm on Monday, the day before our wedding.
When we left the wedding room we literally walked into 8 of our guests that had just arrived. They didn't have their rooms yet as they weren't ready but they headed to the pool and we made our way to the Ball Room to check it out in the event of rain. The Ball Room is not at all what I expected. It didn't have the cheesy carpet or the bad wallpaper; it was plain but clean and very well maintained. I was very quickly totally fine with the idea of potentially having to move our reception down here if it rained. We left the Ball Room and walked to the pool to meet our guests that had just arrived. A storm was coming in and they literally told us all you have three minutes before the rain comes. We went upstairs to the Zky Bar which wasn't opened (it opens at 5 and it was around 12:30pm). We saw a staff member and asked if he could get us some drinks. He apologized and said he couldn't open the bar until 5. Then came Mario and we thought we'd try asking him the same question. 10 minutes later he and a bunch of other employees showed up with 6 coolers filled with beer and water. Great service! The rain/storm lasted 40 minutes max and we were back out at the pool.
This ended up being one of the most fun days we had. At this point we had 17 of our 49 guests at the resort. We took over the pool between villas 1 and 2 after spending time on the beach and had the best pool party ever. Jose killed it as a bartender. We all took turns filling a tray with drinks for the group and carrying it from the pool bar back to where we were having all our fun. You are definitely not supposed to carry that many drinks on a tray across the pool bar but Jose became our best friend and at that point, anything went Miraculously we all made it to dinner that night and then to the Zky Bar for the Michael Jackson show. This will forever be a pool party to beat. We still message about it daily.
Sunday the 5th
We had two buses coming in that day, one with our BC and AB group and one with our ON group. The BC/AB group made it in no problem with the exception of a handful of them being upgraded to one bedroom suites. In theory this was great, in actuality it wasn't because that meant two grown men had to share a king sized bed. Again, this seemed to be a travel agent issue not a resort issue but I can't say 100%. The resort did their best to make the requested changes. Some happened right then and others happened a day or two later. The suites do have a pull out bed so some guys actually decided to keep them rather than changing to a deluxe two bed room.
Our poor ON group took just under 12 hours to get from Toronto to Cancun – a four hour flight normally. My heart broke for them. They were delayed in Toronto for almost two hours, a storm hit Cancun and they circled the airport for two and a half hours before making an emergency landing in Merida to fuel up. The plane ran out of food and water. Thankfully it was filled with 5 other wedding groups that were apparently amazing. One of the groups were actually at our resort for the week and both our groups partied together most of the time. Concierge was supposed to leave at 11 but they had to stick around until 2am for their flight to arrive. Ricardo, who ended up being my best friend all week, helped me get shots for everyone and filled buckets of beer at the front doors for us to give out when they got in. When our group arrived they were actually in such great spirits. They were so happy to be there and the experience actually bonded them all together before they even arrived.
Welcome Event –
We planned our Welcome Event for 9pm at 1910 Cantina. Ps. The Cantina is THE BEST!
This is the Cantina:
It's like a hidden gem at the resort. It's closer to the essence side so it seemed like those in the other villas didn't visit that often. We felt like we owned the place and kind of loved that. People were scheduled to arrive at 9pm and that's when the torrential downpour started. I'm not even exaggerating. I have never seen rain like this in my life. By 9:15pm there were only about 10 of us at the Cantina and my phone was blowing up with messages from guests saying we are stranded here and there and will make our way over when the rain dies down. This rain did not die down. My best friend and her husband grabbed as many umbrellas as the Cantina had and ran to the restaurants to shuttle our guests over. I was SO happy. As guests started to arrive we got some bad news. Mike’s Nonna had left the group and tried to make her way from Flavours to the Cantina and had fallen in one of the ponds. The rain was so heavy that you couldn’t see two steps in front of you and if you hadn’t been at the resort for very long, you wouldn’t have realized these ponds were even there as they had flooded over. She ended up being okay, thank goodness, but she and Mike’s mom had gone back to the room for the night to ice her bruises. Gabriela was the Manager on Duty and she took excellent care of Nonna.
So here we are at our Welcome Event – torrential downpour, Nonna back in her room after her fall, a quarter of our guests stranded in Merida and then the next bit of bad news came. People’s rooms were flooding. OMG. I went around the Welcome Event and made sure those people who had ground level rooms went back to their room to double check if they were affected. My guess now, trying my best to remember, is that half of our guest’s rooms had minor floods. After checking their rooms, most guests came back to the Cantina after throwing some towels down on their floor and continued (or started) to enjoy the night. This was not how I expected this night to go but we weren’t going to let it ruin our night. After the Cantina closed at 11pm we made our way to the Gin Bar while we waited for our stranded Merida guests to arrive J
Monday the 6th
Ceremony Rehearsal –
We had coordinated this for 2pm. Our entire wedding party and parents went to the Sky Deck in our bathing suits and waited and no one showed up. I ran down to the wedding room and they stated they had no appointment booked. I showed them my notes from our meeting on Saturday which stated our 2pm ceremony rehearsal and asked if they could send anyone up there to help us. After about 30 minutes two other wedding coordinators came to the Sky Deck and helped us facilitate our mock-ceremony. We brought our music and practiced a few times before getting back to the beach.
Rehearsal Hair & Make-Up –
We were having so much fun on the beach with all our guests that I had actually forgotten about my hair and makeup trial. Thank goodness one of my girls asked about it and I remembered it was scheduled for 4:30pm that day. I was kind of devastated to leave the group and seriously contemplated cancelling the appointment. One of my bridesmaids (also our co-MC) convinced me to go and said she would come with her laptop and we would go everything for our wedding day one last time. I had Karen for hair and makeup and she was such a doll. I showed her my inspiration photos for hair and makeup and she got to work on making me beautiful. She was very open to my opinion and worked with me to make everything perfect. I had opted to go for airbrush – one thing is that air brush is extra and if you decide to trial it it was an extra $50 US. If you want to save some money, just go for it on your wedding day and forget about it for the rehearsal.
We were in a HUGE rush as our Rehearsal Dinner was scheduled for 7pm that night. In hindsight we should have made my appointment for 3:30pm, not 4:30pm. Give yourselves lots of time! At the end of the trial Karen took my hair out and put it in a low up-do for our dinner so that no one would actually see what my hair would be like on the wedding day. She did this without asking and it was perfect because at this point I literally had 5 minutes to run to our room to throw on my dress and get to dinner.
Rehearsal Dinner at Flavours –
Flavours is VERY loud when you have a large group in there. It is delicious, service is fantastic but not the best location to communicate with a large group of people. We decided to just make our rounds and share any information that had changed with our bridal party and immediate family. During dinner Mike’s brother said “I think they forgot the salmon”. I looked down at my menu and it said nothing about salmon, I looked at the person to my lefts menu and it said salmon. Earlier I mentioned that at the meeting with the wedding coordinators they had the wrong appetizer down – I wasn’t sure how this happened because it was correct on our Wedding Builder. Well it turns out they served exactly what they were supposed to but half of the menus had the incorrect menu on it. Again, minor detail, food and service were still great, just another little hiccup along the way.
During dinner Gabriela, the Manager on Duty, pulled me aside to ask how everything had been going so far. Not the best timing as I was trying to mingle with our guests but I took her up on this opportunity to let her know some of the “hiccups” we had experienced.
Here is what I shared with her:
- We were told we would be contacted regarding our room change and no one had been in touch with us in 4 days.
- The menus were incorrect at our Welcome Dinner.
- My fake layer of cake which I had cautioned them MANY times to be careful with was found upside down and squished in the wedding room.
- Our Ceremony Rehearsal was scheduled for 2pm that day (Monday) and no one was there to coordinate it. I did let her know that after going to the wedding room they had someone other than our wedding coordinators come up to the Sky Deck to do the walk through with us and that it had gone great.
- A few guests were still in their incorrect rooms and no one had followed up.
Gabriela was not aware of any of these “issues” and said she would look into them and come back before our dinner was over. She stuck to her word and arrived with the Manager of the Wedding Department with good news.
- They upgraded us to a Sky Suite the night before our wedding. She gave me her phone number and said to call once we were ready to move all of our things. Fortunately we were hoping for this upgrade and hadn’t made ourselves at home yet so the pack up didn’t take long at all.
- The Manager of the Wedding Department came to apologize for the mix up with the menus and the Ceremony Rehearsal and promised us she would repair our fake layer of cake and said it would look perfect on our wedding day.
That night after moving to our Sky Suite, which is AWESOME by-the-way, our MCs met us in our room to go over a few last minute details. Afterwards Mike and I got into bed, practiced reading our vows and speeches to ourselves and called it a night.
Mike and I at our Rehearsal Dinner:
Tuesday the 7th
My bridesmaids, my mum and I met at 9AM at La Brassiere for breakfast and it was my first time eating there. Flavours is great, room service is delicious but La Brassiere for sure has the best breakfast. We cheered with mimosas and I opened my adorable gift from my girls. They bought me a Kate Spade necklace that said ‘Mrs’ – loved it!
During my hair and makeup rehearsal Karen recommended I go for a facial before my appointment. She said 1. it will calm you down and 2. the airbrush always looks better on a freshly facialed face lol I took her up on this and I am so happy I did.
Side Note #1: the facial was not cheap but I justified it because the day before Mike had decided to get his beard lined up at the salon. They won’t just shave you, you have to get a beard massage/shave lol He said it was the best thing ever so I figured I would pamper myself too.
Side Note #2: During our best pool party ever day – Saturday – Mike decided to wear his hat backwards…the entire day. When we got back to the room and he took off his hat he immediately regretted his decision to sport his hat backwards. Half his forehead was white, the other half was nicely tanned. It was actually hilarious. He immediately freaked out thinking he had ruined our wedding. I think it made him more mad when I kept laughing and saying “but how funny will this be 10 years from now?” After showering he went to the Spa to see if they could “fix what he had done”. Karen, my hair and makeup artist, also laughed at him then promised to make it all better. Yes ladies, I wasn’t the only one that got airbrushed on our wedding day, my husband did too!
Vassa Spa – Hair & Make-Up –
10:30AM – 11:30AM: Ashley – Facial
11:00AM – 1:00PM: Bridesmaids (5) – Hair & Make-Up
12:00PM – 3:00PM: Ashley – Hair & Make-Up
1:00PM – 2:00PM: Mom’s (2) – Hair & Make-Up
I opted not to book the bridal suite or have the spa come to our room. Although both options would have been more ideal, we decided the added cost was not worth it. The spa is not set to accommodate 6 people getting their hair and makeup done at the same time but they made it work. They have three salon chair and two mani/pedi recliners and a bunch of stools. We literally took over the spa with our group in every corner. We gave them a phone, they played all our music and served us mimosa and snacks. Not wanting to drink more than one mimosa before having to read my vows, I opted for a diet coke. They were fantastic and never let my glass go empty.
How was I feeling that morning? Anxious. I really don’t think there is any other way to describe it. I was so excited but my stomach was in knots. The facial was great because it forced me to relax, reflect and appreciate everything and everyone that was in Mexico with us.
For the most part, my girls, my self and my mum’s were really happy with their hair and makeup.
Side Note #1: the lighting in the rooms are not that bright and it was difficult to “properly” maintain my eyebrows – I had asked Karen to pluck any that she saw that were unorderly and she accidentally took off the end of my eyebrow. I’m not lying, ladies – gone! All I did was laugh. So many little hiccups along the way; of course I would lose half an eyebrow! She panicked and I told her it wasn’t a problem, just draw it on. They looked great; no one could tell what had happened J
Side Note #2: One of my girls in particular did not like her makeup. In truth I think what happened was they had some women working the spa that didn’t normally do makeup because we had so many appointments at the same time. Example – she would get mascara on her face and instead of removing it she would cover it up with foundation. I don’t claim to be a makeup expert by any means but I am pretty sure that isn’t how you fix a mistake. In the end another makeup artist fixed up her makeup and she and all my girls looked beautiful.
Karen (Hair Stylist and Make-Up Artist) and I:
While at the spa I had two visitors. One was Carolina, the on-site wedding coordinator I had been dealing with via email leading up to our arrival and the second was Nelly, our on-site day of wedding coordinator.
Carolina came to talk to me about our spa credit – I received a discount on hair and makeup because I booked through a GI certified TA. My TA or Carolina, who knows, didn’t advise the on-site staff. She was visiting to tell me that she had taken care of the mix-up. Done. One problem solved J
Nelly came to show me the weather forecast for the day. 70% chance of rain for the ceremony and 100% chance of rain for the reception. The backup options available to us that day (ps. we were the only wedding that day) were the black and white wall for the ceremony (outside but covered) and La Brassiere for dinner (food display for breakfast and lunch, indoor, air-conditioned). I was surprisingly totally fine with this. There had been so many hiccups that I think I just knew our wedding day couldn’t end up perfect and there was nothing I could do to change this. I said I was fine with the backup locations but asked that they go and speak with Mike as I wanted to make sure he was okay with it. Because he hadn’t been to La Brassiere him and one of his groomsmen when to take a peak. He loved the look but wasn’t thrilled with the idea of not having everything on the Sky Deck and left the final decision up to me. Nelly explained to me the risks of going forward with the Sky Deck wedding – one being if they set up and it rains they will not relocate our décor without an extra set up fee (makes sense really!) and that if the DJ set up and it started to ran the DJ would not relocate to an indoor venue and we would essentially be music-less. We signed the waivers and decided to go with the back-up plan.
Rain Update: it lightly rained for two minutes right before our ceremony and that’s it! It was actually a beautiful day and slightly cooler than it had been so it was perfect for photos.
Feelings on the Location Change: TOTALLY happy we changed our location! It worked out for the better 100%; I’ll explain why a little further into my review.
Post Hair and Make-Up Getting Ready –
The boys were all set up in their grooms room. Mike ordered room service for everyone and we did the same for the girls.
The girls left the spa in stages and began prepping the room. We brought a travel steamer and touched up their dresses, the robes and my dress. The do offer discounted steaming to the brides but my dress really wasn’t that bad so I didn’t even bother.
We toasted with champagne, the girls opened their gifts and we all started to get dressed.
While in the room Nelly came to ask me if I was okay with the tables in chair in the restaurant (brown and square) rather than the white and round we would have used on the Sky Deck. The on-site staff really do want to make your wedding day perfect and meet your vision. I realized this was a lot of work for them, but I opted to have the white chairs and round tables brought in because that it what I bought our décor for and how I envisioned our day. She smiled and got right to work on it.
A golf cart picked up the girls and brought them to the ceremony location where they met the groomsmen. That same gold cart then came back to pick my parents and I up and we made our way to our wedding ceremony.
My girls and I in our robes:
It looked PERFECT! One concern I had was people watching our wedding – I really wanted a private location, hence the Sky Deck, and that actually wasn’t a problem at all. The staff ensured no one walked by and there weren’t any gawkers. They were able to use the white sheers we rented and they looked beautiful attached to the large chandelier that is fixed in front of the black and white wall.
The officiant did a great job reading our script and almost followed it to a T. When my parents and I got down the aisle she said “who gives this woman to this man to be married?” I smiled and politely whispered “no one”. That was one thing I did not want in our script at all. That is why it wasn’t included in it. Not a big deal, everyone has it and she likely said it out of habit. Our guests laughed and my dad gave me the biggest hug ever.
During our signing our song was ‘Forever’ by Jesse and the Rippers (Full House). Our guests died laughing and it was a perfect photo-op because no one could stop smiling J
After our ceremony we took our group photo, family photos and bridal party photos before sneaking away on our own gold cart to take our own pictures. Again, no rain so this was the perfect time for beautiful photos!
We opted not to do a formal cocktail hour. Here is one of the reasons the location change benefited us: the Cantina is right beside the black and white wall. It is small and opened right as our ceremony ended so our guests had it to themselves. I was so happy about this because although the Zky Bar would have opened around the same time it would have been completely dead and less intimate.
While taking our photos Nelly asked us if it was okay that we didn’t have a bar at our reception. Mike and I looked at each other and immediately replied “NO!” Because it is a restaurant they don’t have a bar set-up. She ensured us that this would be fine as there would be extra servers and they would make sure no one’s drinks went empty. Mike and I were adamant – we wanted the servers but we wanted a bar since that is what we paid for. Nelly smiled and said “my pleasure” – they say that a lot J A make-shift bar was set up and it worked perfectly.
After finishing our photos we made our entrance along with our bridal party into the reception. Everything looked PERFECT. Picture perfect actually. I loved this location and I LOVED the air conditioning.
We had three dances – Mike and I’s, myself and my dad and Mike and his mum, and then a family dance that had a lot of different people involved.
We had fives speeches – Mike and I’s, my parents, Mike’s mom, his best men and my maid of honour. We laughed and cried. All were perfect.
We had the best MC’s ever; of course we are bias. My bridesmaid/co-MC brought up the fact that in university I used to always ask her to sing at my wedding – to my surprise she remembered this and boy did they sing! They sang short pieces that included a bridesmaid pick, a groomsmen pick, a parents pick and they ended off with an Italian opera song which my bridesmaid/co-MCs husband sang to Mike’s Nonna. It was both hilarious and beautiful. PS. He has two masters in music and sings opera. Everyone’s jaws dropped when they heard both their voices – most people had no idea that either of them could sing!
We had paid to extend our reception from 4 to 5 hours before arriving in Mexico but at the 4 hour mark we decided that we were having WAY too much fun for this party to end at midnight. We spoke with Ali, gave them our credit card and extended the DJ and bar service until 2AM. A costly decision but the best decision we made. No one got off the dance floor the entire night.
DJ – UNREAL! Mike and I did go overboard. We downloaded every song we wanted him to play for the ceremony, reception – with folders for dinner, dances, bridal party entrances, party music, etc. Our guests were in awe with the DJ because they couldn’t believe how good the music was. Mike and I felt pretty good about this seen as how we literally spent a month fine tuning the music selection. One thing we didn’t do was tell the DJ what que to play the bridal party entrance songs at. Because he is an expert and is amazing at what he does, he just knew and it worked out beautifully.
Overview of Our Wedding Day –
It was THE BEST DAY EVER! Sure, we didn’t get the location we planned on but the staff at the resort really are one of a kind. Everything leading up to the wedding day and even the morning of seemed to go a little wrong but truthfully, our ceremony and reception were perfect. The on-site day-of wedding coordinators, the food and beverage staff, the spa staff, the officiant, the DJ, etc. all did everything in their power to make sure that our wedding day was our best day ever and they didn’t disappoint.
Tip: don’t let the little things get you down. Your wedding day WILL be perfect. The on-site staff do this for a living and they are superb at their jobs. I am so happy I didn’t let the little bumps in the road get me down…they actually prepared me for the worst and I was so pleasantly surprised when everything worked out perfectly.
Very Minor Downfalls (not mentioned above) –
- Our (real) flowers were never delivered to our room post-reception as they were supposed to. Not a big deal.
- Our cake was never delivered to our room post-reception as they were supposed to. We cut the cake at the reception but did not serve it (it was a very tiny cake just for cake cutting and our consumption at a later time). I had promised our fake layer of cake to a bride that was getting married three days after us and I had told the on-site staff that several times – the day after our wedding it got delivered to our room, without the top real cake layer and was completely melted. They had no explanation but after some deliberation they promised to repair the cake so Jasmin could use it for her wedding. We were persistent because we wanted to know what had happened because we would tell they weren’t being completely truthful with us – 9 days later, the day before we left, the Manager of the Wedding Department told me that they delivered the fake layer and real layer of cake to the wrong room in the wrong villa and those people at the cake and left the fake layer of cake to melt. Hilarious, right? In closing, we never got to eat our wedding cake but it did look pretty J
I am SO happy we had our wedding at the beginning of our trip. It took the stress off and allowed us to enjoy our vacation. Everyone had an amazing time and the weather was 100% on our side. Our trip was amazing and despite some set-backs, I cannot wait to visit another Karisma property.
I am a lady of too many words. If you made it this far, I hope this review helped you. If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to ask me. I am not on this site nearly as much as before so private message me and I’ll get back to you much more quickly!
One last BIG shout out to all the ladies on here that helped me plan my wedding - I couldn't have done it without you!
Edited by ashhtayy, 18 July 2016 - 01:26 PM.
Posted 19 July 2016 - 06:06 AM
AH!! I haven't been on here much, but I do come back here periodically just to check and see how your wedding went.
I have so many tears in my eyes going through your review and i'm in LOVE with how your wedding turned out - everything looked AMAZING.
You were such a gorgeous bride, Mike looked dapper as ever and the photos turned out amazing. You have made me miss my wedding day all over again.
I really hope that we can meet up sometime soon so that I can hear more about it in person!
Ps. Jessie and the Rippers?! I DIED at that part and that song is definitely in my head now.
- acw271011 likes this
My planning thread :
Posted 19 July 2016 - 10:46 AM
@ashhtayy your day looked gorgeous!! I'm rarely on here now as well but decided to log on today...I was so excited to see your review posted! I'm really happy to hear the set up doc helped! You did a great job with just going with the flow and it all turned out beautifully despite the minor hiccups! So glad you guys had an amazing time!!!
I agree with @pjay we definitely need another drinks night!
Edited by snswedding2016, 19 July 2016 - 10:46 AM.
My planning thread - http://www.bestdesti...016-azul-fives/
Posted 19 July 2016 - 01:40 PM
@pjay Thanks for popping in to check on how are day went I know what you mean - I miss our wedding and our wedding weeks so so much. Mike always jokes that he wants to get divorced so we can remarry and do it all over again.
I think one of the best parts when looking back, besides the actual wedding, is how well everyone got along. It was incredible. 40% of our group had never met (half from BC and half from ON) and there are quite a few of them who are in contact post-vacation. After our guests left we had servers and bartenders telling us how awesome it was to see an entire wedding group out together all the time - we were so happy to hear that from staff that see weddings all the time. I remember you saying something similar - about how your group all got along - they made it easy for us to spend time with 50 people. I rarely had to pick who to spend my time with because everyone was together. I loved it so much and felt so lucky!
I have your wally bag so if you need it before we schedule a TO meet-up, let me know and I'll bring it to you. Summer won't work for a Friday get-together but maybe early September...?!
@snswedding2016 Thanks Steph! Your set-up document helped me, helped the wedding coordinators and helped my girlfriend that was double checking that everything was perfect. Made everything so much easier all around
Early September Friday meet-up!? We should start looking to lock down a date soon or else it won't happen.
Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: 2016 Brides, Mexico, Planning Tips
Destination Wedding Forum →
BDW General →
Destination Wedding Forum →
BDW General →
Destination Wedding Forum →
BDW General →
Destination Wedding Forum →
Destination Weddings in the Caribbean →
Destination Weddings in Dominican Republic →
Destination Wedding Forum →
General Wedding Planning Information →
Wedding Invitations, Passport Invitations, Boarding Pass Invitations, STDs, photos & website →
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users