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BDW Newbies Cancun Riviera Maya Decor & Details

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#11 snswedding2016

snswedding2016
  • Member
  • 667 posts
  • Wedding Date:January 9, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Azul Fives
  • LocationToronto, Canada

Posted 18 May 2016 - 10:58 AM

@sassldiva I totally feel you pain trying to price it out and finding that the package per person prices are really high - that was my experience too. I found that none of the packages at the resorts I was interested in initially offered items my husband and I really wanted. It included many things we wouldn't use and didn't include things that were important to us. With the help of an amazing TA, I found that the Karisma property - Azul Fives was exactly what I was looking for. Be warned that you COULD spend a fortune but if you're careful you could have a beautiful wedding on a budget at a 5+ star resort. 

 

I had 60 guests 

 

Private terrace (overlooking the ocean) ceremony 

Cocktail hour with bar services and hors d'oeuvres

Private Reception (3 course plated meal)

 

for $3000 USD

 

Check out my budget saving tips http://www.bestdesti...a-wedding-tips/

 

Note: I did bring most of my decor (I only purchased flowers through the hotel vendor) and did not use a DJ. 

 

As the other ladies mentioned, it really depends on your budget for your guests, what kind of resort you're looking for, area etc. so this resort may not work for you otherwise but just know that it can be done and there is a resort out there that will suit your needs. Just be prepared for a lot of little details to really add up (ie. chair covers, decor, other private events etc). 

 

I hope this helps! :)


Edited by snswedding2016, 18 May 2016 - 10:58 AM.

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

 

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#12 vancouverpetunia

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

Posted 18 May 2016 - 05:04 PM

@sassldiva $5000 should be doable, but you probably won't have room to add a lot of extras. I don't know if Cancun is more expensive, but to give you an idea, our invoice at Now Sapphire was $6000 USD for 40 people.

 

The package itself was $3800 (including taxes) and then our only additions were extra people, $350 in set up fees for decorations and $230 for some extra flowers. We brought some decor and we rented a sound system locally (no DJ), which cost us about another $500.

 

Our package included (for 25 people):

  • Officiant (symbolic ceremony)
  • Sound system for ceremony
  • Bride's bouquet, 2 corsages, 3 boutonnieres, 1 centerpiece
  • Wedding attire pressed 
  • Cake
  • Sparkling wine toast (after the ceremony)
  • Ceremony arch with white draping
  • Chairs, tables, white tablecloths, napkins & chair covers (incl set up)
  • Private cocktail hour with appetizers and open bar
  • Private reception (3 hours) - plated 4 course dinner with open bar
  • 30 minute video
  • Photo album with 24 photos
  • Solo musician at ceremony
  • Hair & make-up for the bride (plus 20% off spa services for the bridal party)
  • Couples massage
  • Bottle of sparkling wine & chocolate covered strawberries in our room the night of the wedding
  • Room service breakfast the morning after our wedding (not a big deal, room service was free at our resort)
  • Private dinner on the beach for us
  • Room upgrade if available (which it was)

Did we need all of this? No, we really didn't. For example, we brought our own photographer and a musician friend of ours played at the ceremony. And we didn't NEED a private dinner or a massage - but we sure enjoyed them! And since we paid for this laundry list, we used it ALL! LOL It still seemed easier/cheaper than just buying the bits and pieces separately. 


@snswedding2016 I'm impressed you were able to pull off your beautiful wedding with that budget! I looked at the Azul properties and they seemed more expensive than the Now properties to me. Maybe I misunderstood the info I received... hence all the questions, stress and confusion we see in these forums by new brides starting their planning!  :wacko: It can certainly be complicated and overwhelming. 


Edited by vancouverpetunia, 18 May 2016 - 05:05 PM.

- Erin

 

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

 

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


#13 jes0912

jes0912
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    Posted 19 May 2016 - 02:04 PM

    Hi @sassldiva

     

    I'm also planning my wedding for January 2017 and we booked at the Moon Palace. Because we met the group minimum, we're actually not paying per head for our wedding or any private events. We booked back in 2015 and I believe their group minimums have now changed since then. When we booked, it was, 75 room nights or more to get free unlimited private functions. As far as wedding costs go...most things like string lights, dj, fancy chairs, tables are at an extra cost. 

    I know that Moon Palace is more expensive than most resorts in Cancun...but for the size of the resort, resort credits, and amount of activities and things to do, we felt like it was worth it for our group.

     

    Hope that helps!


    Jess

     

    My Planning Thread: http://www.bestdesti...lanning-thread/


    #14 snswedding2016

    snswedding2016
    • Member
    • 667 posts
    • Wedding Date:January 9, 2016
    • Wedding Location:Azul Fives
    • LocationToronto, Canada

    Posted 19 May 2016 - 02:43 PM

    @vancouverpetunia The information packages they send out are confusing. I feel like they are parking signs in Toronto...like they are deliberately trying to confuse you so you end up spending more money lol! I have to give a lot of the credit to my TA who helped me price it out in the beginning before I even looked at the property or the packages. She broke it down and said that I could have all of the things I wanted within my budget (which was $6000 for the resort bill). I was able to cut it in half and it even shocked my TA. 

     

    The biggest problem with trying to stay under budget at a Karisma property is that you fall in love with the most expensive options. I have to admit that the sky deck was what really drew me to Azul Fives but in the end we realized it wasn't that important to us. We ended up getting the same effect (private terrace) but just not as extravagant for free!

     

    The Karisma properties make everyone start off with the basic package (unless you choose to upgrade it to a Memorable moments package) but it is very basic and then you add on to it. It's only $950 so from there you can pick and choose.

     

    The "Always and Forever" package includes:

    -Wedding Guest Concierge (helpful to guests during the week)

    -Wedding Day Attendant (someone other than your coordinator that stays with you all day the day of and is there to get stuff for you if you need it. ex. if you forget your veil in your suite)

    -Groom's room with food and alcohol (Sean got 4 large bottles of alcohol)

    -Wedding website

    -Honeymoon registry

    -Semi-private dinner for 40 (most use this for a rehearsal dinner or farewell breakfast)

    -Personalized menus for the semi private dinner

    -Ceremony location

    -Chairs & tables with white linen

    -Aisle runner

    -Sound system w/ speakers and microphone (ceremony)

    -Non-denominational minister

    -Honeymoon breakfast in bed

    -Candlelit dinner on the beach

    -Champagne in your room on arrival

    -Beachfront sky massage (2for1 - we transferred this to our honeymoon resort another Karisma property and we got them both for free!)

     

    As you can see decor is not included, cake, flowers or hair and make up. If you any of you choose Karisma - look for a GIWC or GIVC they are TAs who are certified through the Gourmet Inclusive brand with Karisma (Wright Travel is!). They can get you perks like free hair and make up which included a mani & pedi for you and a bridesmaid. We were also upgraded to the sky suite through our TA. It's clear that we would have been lost without our TA. Moral of the story get an amazing TA to help you!!


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

     

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    #15 sassldiva

    sassldiva
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    • 7 posts

      Posted 19 May 2016 - 06:10 PM

      OMG @snswedding2016 @vancouverpetunia @jes0912 you ladies rock!!  I can't believe you all had over 40 guests and stayed in those budgets.  Maybe I am misunderstanding these packages when they are sent to me. 

       

      @jes0912 I just received a pdf from Moon Palace today with all the additional fees, like an extra $27 per guest to keep the food warm...I laughed out loud at this.  I know Moon Palace gives you credits and free event time but I am not sure of how many people I will have.  It can range from 30 - 60 people. 

       

      @vancouverpetunia @snswedding2016  Here is what I am looking at the Dreams Sands in Cancun...let me know if I am misundersanding:

       

      Dreams of Love Wedding Package This package includes:

      • Service of Judge or Minister

      • Wedding organization and personal touch of on-site wedding coordinator

      • Preparation and ironing of the couple’s wedding day attire

      • Complimentary room for one member of the wedding couple the night before the wedding (based on availability and upon request)

      • Bouquet(s) and/or boutonniere(s) for wedding couple

      • Two boutonnieres and two corsages for wedding party

      • Hairstyling and makeup application for one member of the wedding couple for day of ceremony

      • Wedding Cake and sparkling wine (up to 20 guests)

      • Private Cocktail Hour with hors d’oeuvres (silver menu, up to 20 guests)

      • Private Dinner Reception (silver menu, up to 20 guests)

      • Natural floral centerpiece for the sweetheart table (1)

      • 36 full color photos and wedding album (taken during ceremony)

      • Special turn-down service the night of the wedding

      • 15% discount on all spa treatments (boutique purchases not included)

      • Newlywed Package (see pg. 9 for details)

      • Waterford Yours Truly toasting flutes

      • Late check-out for the couple (based on availability and upon request)

      • Free Anniversary Nights (see pg. 8 for details)

       

      For $3199

      Each additional person is $117.90

       

      -I do my own nails.  I am not having a bridal party (just maid of honor). My sister in law does hair and makeup so that's covered. 

      In this package I have 20 guests included for $3200 but if I have another 30 come that would be another $3537 in addition to the $3199.   I do want a reception with dancing.  I am not paying for a dance floor.  I am mixing my own music and one of my fiances friends will be an MC for our announcement and speeches.  So I am looking at $6736 for just feeding people.  No flowers, no changing out chairs or linens, etc.  Am I going about it correctly?  I would pay to add some centerpieces for color and pay for sound equipment and lights.   I can't find any resort in Cancun that has a package for 40 people.  I've been in contact with a few different resorts and having a call with Dreams Sands on Monday morning. 

       

      @jes0912 Here is the link to the pdf I received from the Palace resorts with all their additional fees : http://weddings.pala...l_services.pdf 

      I feel like these fees aren't even avoidable.  They will just tack on $27 to keep your food warm, etc. 


      @jes0912

       

      I believe the 75 room night is still in effect but you receive 9 hours of free event time.  When I spoke with the lady at Palace Resorts she said that people would have to book through Moon Palace to qualify for the group package and they would have to book for a minimum of 3 nights.  If they book 2 nights, it wouldn't count.  I know I will definitely have at least 15 couples going (lets say they book for 3 nights each that comes to 45 nights).  At 45 room nights, this will give me a free cocktail hour. Then the question becomes, will people book through the resort directly or just go onto expedia or orbitz to book.  Moon palace said if they book throgh those sites, it does not count.  

       

      I'm speaking with a travel agent tomorrow so perhaps she will have more insight to getting free things.  But with a price tag of $1200 per person to travel from NY with airfare and hotel, I would feel terrible making my guests pay that much for me. 



      #16 yangher

      yangher
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      • 3 posts

        Posted 20 May 2016 - 06:01 AM

        @sassldiva, can you send me the pdf of the link that Moon Palace sent you? I tried clicking on the link but it just sends me to an error page. I am also looking at a wedding at one of the Palace Resorts, specifically Moon Palace. From what I got from other brides, Moon Palace is a stickler about having your guests book at their resort vs others. If you can, I'm curious to hear what your TA says since I'm pretty much in the same situation as you. I do not feel comfortable with having my guests spend so much on airfare and hotel. But I do know as well, after research that I've done, Palace Resorts and HRH have one of the better wedding packages in terms of being budget friendly.  

        #17 sassldiva

        sassldiva
        • Newbie
        • 7 posts

          Posted 20 May 2016 - 07:44 AM

          @yangher  Here is the link again.  I just copied and pasted it from the email she sent me. 

           

           

          http://weddings.pala...al_services.pdf

           

           

          What hotel is HRH?  I am closing in on Dreams Cancun and I'm really hoping it works out.  Their outside vendor fee is $150 per a vendor.  They charge around ~$120 extra per person if you exceed the 20 people in the package and that covers food, chairs, open bar, plates.  I think I have to pay extra for their ceremony chair but not sure yet about that.  I was really looking for the Hyatt Ziva because of their gazebo but my goodness are they difficult to work with.  They tried to get me to put down a deposit when I called their 1-800 number for the first time!!  I would stay at the Ziva as a guest but I think if I had my wedding there I would be so annoyed finding out I have to pay $400 because of the lag between my ceremony and cocktail hour. 

           

           

          I can let you know what my travel agent says and what Dreams says after I speak with them.  I do like the fact that Palace resorts gives you free event time and the coordinator is really pushing that on me but I told her she would have to lower her room prices for my guests lol.  

          http://weddings.pala...al_services.pdf



          #18 vancouverpetunia

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

          Posted 25 May 2016 - 12:24 PM

           

          @vancouverpetunia @snswedding2016  Here is what I am looking at the Dreams Sands in Cancun...let me know if I am misundersanding:

           

          Dreams of Love Wedding Package This package includes:

          • Service of Judge or Minister

          • Wedding organization and personal touch of on-site wedding coordinator

          • Preparation and ironing of the couple’s wedding day attire

          • Complimentary room for one member of the wedding couple the night before the wedding (based on availability and upon request)

          • Bouquet(s) and/or boutonniere(s) for wedding couple

          • Two boutonnieres and two corsages for wedding party

          • Hairstyling and makeup application for one member of the wedding couple for day of ceremony

          • Wedding Cake and sparkling wine (up to 20 guests)

          • Private Cocktail Hour with hors d’oeuvres (silver menu, up to 20 guests)

          • Private Dinner Reception (silver menu, up to 20 guests)

          • Natural floral centerpiece for the sweetheart table (1)

          • 36 full color photos and wedding album (taken during ceremony)

          • Special turn-down service the night of the wedding

          • 15% discount on all spa treatments (boutique purchases not included)

          • Newlywed Package (see pg. 9 for details)

          • Waterford Yours Truly toasting flutes

          • Late check-out for the couple (based on availability and upon request)

          • Free Anniversary Nights (see pg. 8 for details)

           

          For $3199

          Each additional person is $117.90

           

          -I do my own nails.  I am not having a bridal party (just maid of honor). My sister in law does hair and makeup so that's covered. 

          In this package I have 20 guests included for $3200 but if I have another 30 come that would be another $3537 in addition to the $3199.   I do want a reception with dancing.  I am not paying for a dance floor.  I am mixing my own music and one of my fiances friends will be an MC for our announcement and speeches.  So I am looking at $6736 for just feeding people.  No flowers, no changing out chairs or linens, etc.  Am I going about it correctly?  I would pay to add some centerpieces for color and pay for sound equipment and lights.   I can't find any resort in Cancun that has a package for 40 people.  I've been in contact with a few different resorts and having a call with Dreams Sands on Monday morning. 

           

          @sassldiva Sorry, I missed your post last week. The package you are looking at for Dreams Sands Cancun looks similar to the one I had at Now Sapphire, except mine included 25 people. They are both AM Resorts and the packages seem to be similar between brands & resorts. It seems that 20/25 people in a package is pretty standard for most resorts though, from what I've seen here and in other groups. 

           

          As far as I understand, you would have minimal flowers - just your bouquet and a centerpiece. They usually use the centerpiece at both the ceremony and the reception (ask them) and your bouquet can be placed somewhere at the reception as well (again, ask). They will charge extra if you want sashes, runners, etc. but the package should include white linens for the ceremony & reception. Double check on that, since it's not mentioned. They will likely include a sound system for the ceremony, but you will probably have to pay extra for a sound system for the reception. You can rent that from the resort, or check out Love and Lace Decor on Facebook (that's what we did). I checked with my WC about lighting, since it wasn't mentioned in the package details. He assured me there would be sufficient lighting, and there was. It wasn't amazing in terms of ambiance, but it worked and I didn't feel it detracted or was too harsh. I did add some globe & string lights (also from Love & Lace) for a bit of ambiance. Everything that I'm saying "should" be included I'm just guessing at, based on what I've personally experienced, asked about at other resorts or read about online, so please do double check, as every resort will be different. 

           

          How did your call with Dreams Sands Cancun go?


          - Erin

           

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

           

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


          #19 jes0912

          jes0912
          • Newbie
          • 47 posts
            • LocationVancouver, BC

            Posted 04 August 2016 - 09:18 PM

            @sassldiva wow sorry it's been so long since i've logged on. hmm that's weird, it could also be because it's plated food, but we ended up going with buffet for ours at Moon Palace so we didn't incur any of those extra fees

             

            just to note as well, our group booked through my wedding planner who deals with a travel supplier to provide us with our rates to complete the group booking with moon palace, we didn't book directly with them but were still eligible for the group benefits. 


            Edited by jes0912, 04 August 2016 - 09:20 PM.

            Jess

             

            My Planning Thread: http://www.bestdesti...lanning-thread/


            #20 Arianne2018

            Arianne2018
            • Newbie
            • 4 posts

              Posted 20 August 2016 - 08:59 PM

              I had 60 guests

              Private terrace (overlooking the ocean) ceremony
              Cocktail hour with bar services and hors d'oeuvres
              Private Reception (3 course plated meal)

              for $3000 USD

              Check out my budget saving tips http://www.bestdesti...a-wedding-tips/

              Note: I did bring most of my decor (I only purchased flowers through the hotel vendor) and did not use a DJ.

              This is amazing! I will have to spend a day going through your planning thread and your budget saving tips thread to see how you accomplished the $3k! I just booked our wedding at azul fives for January 2018 and would like to spend around the same. I'm more than willing to bring our own decor too. It's nice to see the planning perspective from the Canadian side :)

              Edited by Arianne2018, 20 August 2016 - 08:59 PM.






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