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

2016 Brides Mexico Planning Tips

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#61 snswedding2016

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  • Wedding Date:January 9, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Azul Fives
  • LocationToronto, Canada

Posted 16 July 2015 - 09:05 AM

@ashhtayy if you can't borrow a steamer from a guest, I got my travel steamer from one of the bridal shows here in Toronto. It's called Steamply. I haven't used it since I bought it (I got it specifically for the wedding) since we have a stand up steamer at home but the demo at the bridal show was pretty impressive. You can use it as a steamer and as an iron. It doesn't look very heavy duty at first glance but the guy slammed it against the table several times to show us how sturdy it was! haha!


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

 

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#62 TinkerSofi

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

Posted 16 July 2015 - 11:32 AM

@ashhtayy if you can't borrow a steamer from a guest, I got my travel steamer from one of the bridal shows here in Toronto. It's called Steamply. I haven't used it since I bought it (I got it specifically for the wedding) since we have a stand up steamer at home but the demo at the bridal show was pretty impressive. You can use it as a steamer and as an iron. It doesn't look very heavy duty at first glance but the guy slammed it against the table several times to show us how sturdy it was! haha!


Ooh. This sounds fancy. I need to find one


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#63 Wafflesmom

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  • Wedding Date:January 23, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Moon Palace
  • LocationVancouver, Canada

Posted 16 July 2015 - 07:21 PM

@ashhtayy I love your save the dates! It's great to hear that zazzle.com has awesome customer service. I think us brides have enough stress to deal with so its great that they were so helpful and accommodating.

I'm also with air Transat but I never heard about the travel voucher. Maybe that's a new thing? I booked in October 2014 but I'll ask my travel agent. It's funny that I also just found out about the in-flight announcement. I'm a Leo and love attention so I'm definitely taking advantage lol. Plus I think it will get all of our guests excited for the trip!
My planning thread: http://www.bestdesti...anuary-23-2016/

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#64 calgarybride2015

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  • Wedding Date:January 21, 2015
  • Wedding Location:Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya
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Posted 16 July 2015 - 07:24 PM

@ashhtayy I love your save the dates! It's great to hear that zazzle.com has awesome customer service. I think us brides have enough stress to deal with so its great that they were so helpful and accommodating.

I'm also with air Transat but I never heard about the travel voucher. Maybe that's a new thing? I booked in October 2014 but I'll ask my travel agent. It's funny that I also just found out about the in-flight announcement. I'm a Leo and love attention so I'm definitely taking advantage lol. Plus I think it will get all of our guests excited for the trip!


Hahah I made a similar Leo comment. I'm August 11 :)


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-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

 

 


#65 Wafflesmom

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Posted 16 July 2015 - 07:32 PM

@calgarybride2015 well I guess you and I are birthday twins, my birthday is also August 11 ☺️
My planning thread: http://www.bestdesti...anuary-23-2016/

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#66 calgarybride2015

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  • Wedding Date:January 21, 2015
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Posted 16 July 2015 - 07:36 PM

@calgarybride2015 well I guess you and I are birthday twins, my birthday is also August 11


That's awesome!!! I may be a bit older though hehe :)

I worked once with a girl who was born on the same day and the same year! I didn't believe her till she showed me her ID!


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-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

 

 


#67 deecol

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  • Wedding Date:April 30, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Grand Bahia Principe Coba, Riviera Maya, Mexico
  • LocationToronto, Canada

Posted 17 July 2015 - 09:56 AM

@ashhtayy Just read your thread and loving it!  So happy I caught it at the beginning so now I can look forward to all the updates.  You make me want to start one lol!

 

Congrats and can't wait to read more :)



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My Planning Thread:

http://www.bestdesti...6/#entry1904529


#68 ashhtayy

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

Posted 18 July 2015 - 05:42 PM

I was so undecided about the timeline. I still am to some degree haha, but more on how things are going to flow throughout the day. These are the times when I wish I had some experience haha. 

 

So yeah, now I'd send an e-mail to them just choosing the details. Did you choose your welcome cocktail for your ceremony? What about any decor for the ceremony? Then yeah, it'd choose the menu, see if you need a DJ or you need to rent out the amplifier. Check whether you need any flowers or if you want to rent gazebo sheers from them, things like that.

 

Once you get your photographer let them know who it is, and how many people he/she is bringing. Then they'll add the $800 if they're an outside vendor. Check with your photographer as to whether they'll need dinner as well. Ours told us that him and his team wouldn't need dinner, so I let the hotel know. 

 

Then as you get closer you can book the time for your hair and makeup and maybe even the trial. 

 

Did you already choose your menu for the flavours dinner? 

 

Those are the things that I can think of right now. 

 

@TinkerSofi

 

no, i haven't chosen our welcome cocktail. do you mean the one the guests are greeted with when they check in or at the wedding? i don't think i have seen options yet. i'll double check tomorrow. thanks for the heads up!

 

i still have all the big things on my list - decor, dress, dj, etc. i have a plan for the photographer but my FI and i haven't decided 100%. i'll share details on that soon and get some opinions from you ladies - the experts.

 

hair & makeup - i have been nervous that i haven't booked our appointments yet. did you only book yours a few months out? if so, i can stop worrying about that!

 

thanks for the feedback. definitely gives me a great starting point.


@ashhtayy if you can't borrow a steamer from a guest, I got my travel steamer from one of the bridal shows here in Toronto. It's called Steamply. I haven't used it since I bought it (I got it specifically for the wedding) since we have a stand up steamer at home but the demo at the bridal show was pretty impressive. You can use it as a steamer and as an iron. It doesn't look very heavy duty at first glance but the guy slammed it against the table several times to show us how sturdy it was! haha!

 

@snswedding2016 thanks for the suggestion! i'm in no rush at this point but it's great to know the demo sold you on it. if i decide to buy and not use my bridesmaids i'll price Steamply out.

 

another thing i LOVE about having your own thread is it's SO easy to go back and find what you were looking for. i find so often i read something and then can't remember in what thread i found it.


@ashhtayy I love your save the dates! It's great to hear that zazzle.com has awesome customer service. I think us brides have enough stress to deal with so its great that they were so helpful and accommodating.

I'm also with air Transat but I never heard about the travel voucher. Maybe that's a new thing? I booked in October 2014 but I'll ask my travel agent. It's funny that I also just found out about the in-flight announcement. I'm a Leo and love attention so I'm definitely taking advantage lol. Plus I think it will get all of our guests excited for the trip!

 

@Wafflesmom thanks so much! they weren't my first choice (i would have loved to hand make/design them) but we ended up being so happy with how they turned out. great customer service can be seldom - i am so thankful for how they handled my mistake.

 

not sure if the voucher is a new thing but my fingers are crossed it isn't and you get to take advantage as well. did you hear back from your TA?


@ashhtayy Just read your thread and loving it!  So happy I caught it at the beginning so now I can look forward to all the updates.  You make me want to start one lol!

 

Congrats and can't wait to read more :)

 

@deecol thank you! you should start a thread for sure. like a few people said to me, there are no rules. i did it so that i could start holding myself accountable to making the big decisions i've been putting off. i'll keep an eye out for your thread ;)



#69 ashhtayy

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

Posted 18 July 2015 - 06:19 PM

The Booking Process for Friends & Family

Like many brides-to-be will tell you, your wedding is not as important to anyone else as it is to you. Even my bridesmaids who knew how stressful this had been for me (and Mike because he had to deal with me lol) didn’t even book right away. As I said we sent our STDs in late April and didn’t follow up with anyone until three weeks before the deadline. I decided to create a new gmail account with our wedding website (also our hashtag) @gmail.com and sent all communication to guests via that email.

 

The first email read:

 

Hello Friends & Family!

By now you should have received the ‘Save the Date’ for our June 2016 wedding in Mexico. We really appreciate all the kind emails, texts and phone calls we have been receiving. It is great to see you are as excited as we are.

As we hope you are all aware, our wedding is Tuesday June 7th, 2016 at Azul Fives Gourmet All Inclusive Resort (
http://www.karismahotels.com/hotelsresorts/foreveryone/azulfives). Our travel agent is X from X.

 

As indicated on our website (www.weddingwire.com/X) a deposit of $150 per person is due by June 7th, 2015. In case any of you weren’t unaware of that date, we thought it might be a good idea to reach out and let you know. In order to take advantage of our group rate, we ask you make your deposit as soon as possible. After the deadline you are still able to book, but unfortunately, your rate may increase. After your deposit is made, a payment plan will be coordinated between you and X. The final payment due date is March 28th, 2016. Should the rate drop, X has provided a one-time price drop guarantee.

 

When you reach out to X, she will ask for your:

  • name as per passport,
  • date of birth,
  • address,
  • telephone number,
  • departure city,
  • room category, and
  • preferred date of travel, if different than June 5th – June 12th, 2016

X can be contacted via email at X or by phone at XXX-XXX-XXXX.

 

We realize that our wedding is over a year away and that making a commitment this far in advance is difficult for a lot of you. Keep in mind that you are deserving of a vacation and we would love if you spent it with us…in the sun…in beautiful Mexico. If you could be so kind as to let us know whether we should expect you or not we would really appreciate it.

 

If you have any questions, concerns, thoughts, etc. feel free to reach out to us.

 

Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts. We hope to celebrate our wedding in Mexico with you!

 

Very few people even replied to our email. I sent a second email out one week before our booking deadline. It read:

 

Hello Friends and Family!

 

By now you should have received our 'Save the Date' and our first 'Deposit Reminder' email. We are writing today to remind you that deposits are due in one week (Sunday June 7th, 2015).

 

Because there has been some confusion, we wanted to clarify a few things:

  • The deposit of $150 that is due Sunday June 7th, 2015 is per person, secures your room at Azul Fives and is taken off your total trip amount.
  • Full payment is not due until March 28th, 2016. You are able to pay weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc. How you pay for your trip is entirely up to you. The only two mandatory dates are Sunday June 7th, 2015 ($150) and full payment by March 28th, 2016.
  • We are guaranteed a one-time price drop guarantee. If the price drops prior to our final payment due date, X will work with Transat to ensure each and every one of us is granted that deal. If payment has already been made in full, a cheque will be issued to you or a credit to your credit card (if that was your original method of payment).
  • If you are interested in attending but cannot stay for 7-nights, our travel agent will customize a package for you.
  • Azul Fives is a small gourmet all-inclusive resort with less than 400 rooms. A lot of resorts have 2000+ rooms and are able to accommodate last minute bookings; because of the size of Azul Fives, this is rarely the case.

If you have any additional questions, feel free to reach out to Michael or myself via phone or by replying to this email. If it is a travel related question, contacting our travel agent would be best as she is the expert and is able to provide you with the best advice/answers.

 

Our travel agent X is in Mexico this week but will be available via email. In her absence, the agency owner, X and Operations Manager, X, will be in charge of our file while. Their contact information is as follows:

 

X

Email

XXX-XXX-XXXX

 

or

 

X

Email

XXX-XXX-XXXX

 

and

 

X

Email

XXX-XXX-XXXX

 

Resort Website: http://www.karismahotels.com/hotelsresorts/foreveryone/azulfives

 

Our Wedding Website: www.weddingwire.com/X

 

Again, we realize our wedding is over a year away and that planning this far in advance is not easy. We would love if you could make it but understand for all of you that is not possible. We ask again that you let us know whether we should expect you or not - we would really appreciate it. Letting us know will also mean we can stop bothering you with these emails :)

 

Thank you in advance xx

 

The last email I sent was on the day our booking deadline. It read:

 

Hi All,

 

We are writing you this very last time (we promise!) because either Michael and I or our travel agent X have not heard from you.

 

Today is the booking deadline of $150 per person. Because X was in Mexico this past week, she is able to accept your RSVP via email tonight and will contact you this week in order to process your deposit.

 

Again, if you cannot come or have alternative plans, please share this with us as soon as possible. Knowing how many people will be attending makes planning the wedding much easier.

 

Please contact X exclusively. She can be reached at:

 

X

Email

XXX-XXX-XXXX

 

Thanks in advance xx

 

PS. We're getting married one year from today!

 

As per advice from our GI TA we told people deposits were due a week and half before they actually were. I later realized this didn’t seem to benefit us, rather gave our GI TA more time to play catch up.

 

As mentioned in a previous post we were able to receive a free trip (excluding taxes) for every 21 people that booked a 7-day trip (excluding children). My understanding was all of these people had to make their deposit by our booking deadline to be eligible. I later learned that is not the case; anyone that books a 7-day trip (or longer) and pays in full prior to our full-payment due date counts towards our free passenger credit. Had I of realized this earlier I would not have sent so many emails to our guests.

 

Post-wedding I will write a full review on our experience with our travel agent. Although everything started off as rainbows, butterflies and unicorns…it all started to change come time to get people booked – a very crucial time where it benefits you to have your TA be your bestest friend. I will leave it at that for now.

 

I was more than disappointed in a lot of people when it came to commitment time. My FI and I’s expectations were realistic. We knew there would be let downs when some people couldn’t make it, we knew there would be happy surprises when others booked…but it was those closest to us that seemed to give us the most grief.

 

A few debacles we ran into:

  • Almost half the guests never bothered to reply to our emails
  • My FIs father went behind our back and tried to get his own group rate with other family members because apparently our quote was too high. PS. We weren’t supposed to find this out and when we did, as you can imagine, it didn’t go over well. I will leave it at this: he is booked with us, the BC guest’s prices were adjusted and we can now move forward from that. As shady as that sounds, he is a good man and had good intentions…he is just very stubborn and admittedly went about this in the incorrect way.
  • People called to make their deposits and their credit cards weren’t charged for weeks. This meant many phone calls to Michael and I asking if they had done something wrong. We then had to follow up for almost every guest with our TA. TA fault, definitely not our guests.
  • People with requests for 4-day trips or departing from gates other than BC or ON had to wait AGES to get their quotes back. This made sense for the 4-day guests, not the 7 or 7+ day guests.
  • Our TA attended a client’s DW the week our deposits were due. She left the owner and operations manager in charge of our file. This was a complete and utter disaster as they were either rude to our guests, told our guests they wouldn’t answer any questions as they were just there to accept credit card payments, and worse, made Michael and I look like liars as they told everyone who called that we deceived them by telling them our deadline was much earlier than it was. Even after telling the operations manager she was not to disclose that information, she continued to do so. She told my aunt “well I wasn’t supposed to say anything because Ashley got mad at me, but your deposit isn’t due for another week and a half”. Please keep in mind we only told our guests the deposits were due a week and a half earlier because our TA advised us that that was the right thing to do.

If we were to do this again we would:

  • Not tell our guests the booking deadline was more than a few days before the actual deadline
  • Not agree to make our booking deadline the week our TA was going to be out of the country
  • Only send one reminder email (I hated pestering people)

As of today we have 54 adults booked and 2 children. 48 are booked for 7 (or more) nights and 6 are booked for a 4-night trip.

 

The majority for our guests are flying Sunday to Sunday. Michael and I decided to fly in Friday so that we could take care of some of the administrative things, prep our OOT bags (if we decide to do them), etc. We are staying for 2 weeks at Azul Fives and will have 5 days to spend together alone after our guests leave. My mom, dad and brother are also coming in Friday to help us with anything we need to do. It was important to Michael and I that we be right at the entrance greeting our guests as they arrived and we felt that arriving a few days early would be the only way to achieve this. It ended up working out perfectly in that our ON guests and BC guests flights will arrive at the airport within a half hour of one and other.

 

AH! So excited just writing this. Fingers crossed the TA drama subsides and it is smooth sailing from here on out (until final payment time anyways ;) )


Edited by ashhtayy, 18 July 2015 - 06:26 PM.


#70 vancouverpetunia

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

Posted 18 July 2015 - 06:48 PM

Argh! Sorry to hear about your booking debacles. I remember you posting about your future FIL. <insert eye roll here>

 

Gosh, is your TA based out of BC, by any chance? Sounds very similar to our experience!

  • Credit cards were not charged for weeks
  • Took forever to get quotes on anything "unusual"
  • She was away at another client's wedding the week our deposits were due

All that said, I'm relatively satisfied with her service. Even though she was away that last week, she was online at least once a day and was responding to people directly (not having someone else take care of it for her). I was very leery about her absence when she told me, but she managed it pretty well. She also made us aware that any packages booked up to the final payment deadline would count towards our room credit, so that was not an issue. Overall, she could have been better, but she could have been A LOT worse (based on some of the stories I've read here). 


- Erin

 

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

 

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






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