I spent a lot of time lurking on this site as I was planning my destination wedding, so I thought I'd post some thoughts about how it all turned out.
We got married at El Dorado Maroma on Dec. 30. EDM is a smaller resort, but don't let that deter you - it was absolutely awesome! The resort is beautiful, the beach is one of the best in the world and the service is outstanding. We loved that it was a smaller resort - we had about 35 guests stay there and we could always find people in our group without any trouble. The restaurants were great - 5 restaurants in total and a good variety of food. The only "downside" with this resort would be that the nightlife is pretty quiet, but we were an older crowd and it didn't bother us at all. One of the nights was the wedding and another night was New Year's Eve, so we had plenty of stuff to do.
Weddings by Lomas is the company that provides the wedding services - we had Shelley as our coordinator and she was great! We picked the resort in February for the December wedding and over that whole time she was very responsive - I never had to wait more than a day for a response and most often it was quicker than that. She provided me a lot of information to help me plan - at one point she sent me pictures of every flower that the florist had in my color scheme so I could pick what I wanted in my bouquet. So while there is a huge number of pre-arranged flower arrangements for bouquets, they basically made me a custom one and it wasn't very expensive. We also had a few last minute guests and she accommodated this with no issue.
When we arrived at the resort, we had the pre-wedding meeting and met the on-site coordinators (Paty and Nelly) and Shelley. They went through all of the details of the wedding - down to every decision that I had made along the way to make sure everything was in place. They even helped me pick out some music for the ceremony that I hadn't gotten around to and downloaded a few songs right at the meeting to help us choose what we wanted. After that meeting, I had no concerns about the plans for the wedding.
On the wedding day, Paty and Nelly brought me my flowers mid-day to make sure that I liked what the florist had put together and they were beautiful. They also brought me the hour by hour weather report for the rest of the day and I had to decide whether to keep everything on the beach or move some or all of the events inside. All week before the wedding, the weather reports for the wedding day showed 80% rain, but the forecast improved and when Paty and Nelly arrived the worst of the forecast was 55% chance of rain right when the ceremony was scheduled. It was a touch & go decision, but I looked at another weather app, and looked at the radar and decided to take my chances with the weather.
We had selected Bridal Moments to be the photographer and our assigned photographer was at the pre-meeting and discussed timing and any specific shots that I wanted to have. They brought 2 photographers and they split up to get both the groom and I while we were getting ready. A few minutes before the ceremony was to begin, Nelly arrived at my room to take me to the beach. The weather was perfect - sunny and a little windy but that just helped people not be too hot. The ceremony was quick - and I don't remember much of it, I was so focused on my husband! But the guests said it was really beautiful.
After the ceremony we had a 1 hour cocktail party before the reception started - also on the beach, right next to the ceremony. The groom and I did most of our pictures during this time, but we were close enough to the guests to get a lot of shots with them as well. The photographers seemed thorough - I haven't seen their proofs yet though.
The reception (also on the beach) was excellent. The food was great - we got lots of compliments on everything. We had chosen the filet and the shrimp as entrees, and a mousse/crème brulee dessert, which people raved about. We just got a small cake to do the cake cutting with - we thought people would like the dessert from the menu better than the cake. The cakes were good, but the fondant icing was a little too sweet.
We used DJ Max as the DJ and he was outstanding. I had given him lots of song suggestions and he picked all of the best ones and the night went without a hitch. Our guests were up dancing for the entire night - which is exactly what I wanted. DJ Max also changed songs for me if I didn't like something he had chosen.
The service at the reception was top notch! The waiters and bartenders took note of what the groom and I were drinking and we never had an empty glass all night long. Many of the guests also tipped the waiters because they were so great.
Another thing that we really appreciated was the location of the ceremony and reception - the resort had us away from the main beach seating area, so there weren't really any other people around. Sure, there were some people walking along the beach during the cocktail hour and reception, but overall it was very private, which was different from other destination weddings I had been to, where the ceremony was surrounded by people at the beach, in their bathing suits, watching the whole event.
When we finally got back to the room, the resort had decorated it with rose petals and had brought back my bouquet and cake and a few other things from the reception, which was a nice touch.
As part of the wedding package, we had breakfast room service the next day, which was also outstanding. There was an amazing amount of food - we couldn't eat it all, but everything tasted great.
Overall, we both feel like El Dorado Maroma and Weddings by Lomas exceeded our expectations for our wedding. We were pleased with everything and wouldn't have changed anything about our wonderful day.
Sorry for the long post, but let me know if you have any questions.