Claudia's Dreams Los Cabos Wedding Review 11/11/07
Posted 24 November 2007 - 05:01 PM
We picked Dreams based on a few factors including: Availability of our wedding date (11/11), reviews and all of the positive feedback of the resort on this forum, tripadvisor.com reviews and pictures and we wouldn't pick a different resort if we did it all over again. This was the best decision we made and all of our guests (34) loved the resort. There was mixed feedback on specifics including the food (some weren't all that impressed with the food selection but others LOVED it) and the fact that it's an ocean front resort but you can't swim in the ocean. We personally really enjoyed the food (especially at the Oceana Restaurant & Grill which was our favorite for their awesome seafood dishes for dinner) and were fine w/the ocean not being available for swimming since the main pool was our favorite spot anyways. The daytime bartenders at the main pool bar are AWESOME and kept the vibe at the pool bar very lively and playful. The vibe in the main lobby bar was always very fun, especially on nights when they had live music which most of my guests danced to. Himitsu Japanese restaurant was closed for rennovations sadly so I have no review on that restaurant. Portofino's inside restaurant was nice but the food was just OK to be honest. We had shrimp and steak dish and the steak was overcooked which ruins it totally for me and the service was just so/so. The first night we arrived at Dreams, they were having a Stargazing themed party on the beach including a limbo contest and thanks to my many years of yoga and competitiveness I crushed at the Limbo contest and won a gift cert for 25% off of a massage (which I gave to a friend of mine so I didn't end up getting a massage there to tell of). WOOT! We got a bottle of champagne in the room waiting for us the first night we got there and another bottle on our wedding night, not to mention a delicious two person cake (some sort of pineapple/coconut cake which we TORE UP, though they forgot to leave a fork or spoon so we ended up eating it using just ice tongs, classy, I know but it was soooo good) and the candles leading up to the bed and flower petals on the bed and a cut towel creation of two kissing doves. So cute! All in all, we loved the resort and had a great experience there and would go back in a heartbeat. Heck, we may even renew our vows there in a few years and invite the whole group back again.
Dreams Spa - C+ - I ended up having my hair and nails done at the spa and it was just OK (though in their defense, I didn't bring a picture of what I wanted for my hair and hadn't thought it through too well) and the stylist doing my hair burnt my forehead w/a curling iron. OUCH! Luckily I was able to cover it up with some makeup and it didn't scar up till a day or so after the wedding but, yeah, bad timing for a forehead burn. She also did a really shoddy job on my manicure for charging $40 (or maybe it was $35). No cuticle trimming, uneven polishing, etc... Way overpriced for what I got in my opinion. But, it could have just been my particular stylist (she looked pretty grumpy in general... bad sign).
WC - Mariana - A - Mariana was very sweet and always answered all of our questions promptly via email and when we got there, she met with us right away and had everything covered and then some. She may be the cutest woman I've ever met too w/a very polite and friendly demeanor. Now I will say that we realized that we should have also hired an outside WC because there was a few things that we needed more guidance on and Mariana is really more there to take all of your requests/ideas and make it happen as opposed to giving guidance and tell you what you're forgetting/missing, which is understandable as that's really their job. No complaints though, just a mental note for future brides if applicable. A lot of the brides on this forum were uber organized and on top of their game so a lot of them didn't need that much more help but I was not really one of those super bride-to-be's so, yeah, I could have used a bit more help.
Welcome Dinner - Patio of Portofino's restaurant. AH-Mazing! This was a perfect location and they have everything set up beautifully for you and even have a sign at the entrance for the guests to see that it is a welcome dinner for the couple (by name) and the date of the wedding. So cute! A lot of our guests took pics w/the mariachi hats that were out and the waiters even decked some of the men out in the Mexican ties and belt sashes for pictures. Victor was our main waitor and he was GREAT. Love him! We opted to rent out the speakers for our mp3 player for the welcome dinner as well and it was very good decision as it started off the weekend events with a festive air.
Ceremony location - Gazebo - This worked out great and was set up beautifully with the rose petals and red bows on the chairs. We had the legal ceremony by a lady who is a judge there and we really liked the verbage to the ceremony. We added in a unity candle ceremony for our Moms to be involved in the wedding but because of the ocean breeze coming up, that didn't work out too well so we encouraged the group to use imagination and pretend they lit. Mariana translated the ceremony for us and that worked out great.
Cocktail hour - Worked out nicely and took place there at the reception site at the Patio terrace. While our guests enjoyed the cocktail hour, we were on the beach taking pictures.
Reception - Oceana Terrace - The setup was just what we wanted including red chair bows, red rose petals scattered around the huricaine centerpieces. We just hooked our iPod up to the speakers and rented their microphone as well which was just what we needed. We had a little frustration over figuring out all of the controls on the speakers for the mic and all since it was kind of dim in the area where they were set up but we figured it out after a while (so just so you know, take a look at the equipment and familiarize yourself with it before the reception starts or let someone know how to use it if you put someone in charge of it). The waiters during the reception were good and no one seemed to need anything. I will say though that the food was very disappointing because it was all overcooked. The sea bass was overcooked as well as the beef tenderloin which is too bad since it would have been delicious had it not been overcooked. It may have been that it was cooked a bit too early and just left in the ovens on warm for too long, definitely disappointing. Not sure how that can be avoided in the future but figured I'd mention it. All in all, the reception was a big hit and as many brides have reported, guests unanimously were saying that it was the best wedding they'd been to because of the vacation element, the gorgeous scenery, the festive vibe and how can you not be having the time of your life in that setting Once I see the video, I can get more a feeling for how it went because, again, it was just a quick happening whirlwind event to me but unforgettable, no doubt.
Photographer - Gilda Badillo - A - We haven't gotten the pictures yet but our experience with her was wonderful from day one. She was very responsive to all the communications and when we finally met her a couple days before the wedding, we loved her professionalism as well as her demeanor which put us at ease. She showed us one of her photo books she put together for another couple and it was gorgeous so we can't wait to see ours! We're supposed to be recieving the proofs early next week so I'll post more on her as soon as I see them. Luckily she also had a great working relationship with Marci and Enrique of Baja Video Productions and had worked together several times already so it worked out perfectly. She brought an assistant photographer with her to get more coverage and they took a bunch of pictures so I have no doubt that our wedding was covered in full detail and we'll be able to have a thorough amount of pictures to remember our wedding day.
Videographer - Baja Video Productions - A+ - Marci and Enrique were amazing. Marci especially was so great in helping with a lot of details behind the scenes that we found out later on about. Enrique met us for the wedding rehearsal and was helpful in answering many of our questions about wedding procedures and made everyone feel totally comfortable off the bat. He was all smiles and a sweetheart as well and by the end of the wedding day, we felt like we had been friends with them for a while. He was covering everything and I'm dying to see the video now! Patience.. ((deep sigh)) All in all, we'd recommend them all day long and any couple would be lucky to be able to work with them.
Honeymoon - Pueblo Bonito Pacifica - A - After a week of partying and entertaining with our group, we were so ready for relaxation and serenity which was JUST what Pacifica offered us. No loud music (just light ambient or flamenco guitar music playing at a low volume at all times) or roudy groups and no children allowed (18 and over). Even the timeshare presentation that we were signed up for (to get a $200 voucher towards food and drink in their restaurants and half off a massage) was fine since we got to get a tour of the Pueblo Bonito Sunset Resort as well as the Monticello properties (which we were this close to signing on just because they were just that gorgeous and we'd already decided that we wanted to make yearly Cabo trips a tradition) and it was nice in getting ideas for decorating our own house. The accomodations were very nice and we loved smelling lavendar wafting through the halls at all times. We got a couples massage at the spa there and it was awesome. The only complaint I would have about Pacifica is that they charge you for EVERY LITTLE THING, even the packet of coffee to make in your rooms are $3 each and they prohibit you bringing any food or drink into the resort so you have to either eat out or obviously eat at their restaurants which weren't cheap but decent food. We were in such honeymoon bliss though that we ended up really not caring and just enjoying. If you want a peaceful and romantic retreat, this hotel would be it.
I'm sure I'm forgetting something but that's all I can think of now. Feel free to ask about anything. Sorry again for taking so long to post my review, especially since I got so much out of many other BDW BTB's reviews in the past 6 months of the planning process. I'm still in a honeymoon daze and being as unproductive as humanly possible. I love it!
Posted 24 November 2007 - 05:32 PM
Regarding what you said about Mariana; was there anything you'd wished she had brought up that you never thought of?? Did you review everything with her when you got there?
Proud Mama to Evelyn Eileen since June 8, 2010
Posted 24 November 2007 - 05:37 PM
Posted 24 November 2007 - 05:44 PM
Oh, and I forgot to mention that our ceremony was at 4PM and at the Gazebo, I was practically blinded by the afternoon sun at that particular time so we should have probably kept it at the previous scheduled time of 4:30 to avoid all the squinting.
Also the standard bouquet that came with the wedding package for Dreams was actually really beautiful for my needs. Mine was in the colors of red, yellow and orange with a red ribbon tying it together and I loved it. The bridesmaid bouquet was orange and yellow (her dress was red) and it was really nice as well. The two boutanniers (sp) for Sean and his best man were supposed to be ivory but mistakenly came as red instead. No big deal to me but I still wished they had been ivory as we requested so just confirm and reconfirm the specifics if you're going through Dreams for flowers.
Posted 24 November 2007 - 06:04 PM
Posted 24 November 2007 - 06:10 PM
| Originally Posted by Leia78 |
Does the reception and ceremony costs (for 2008 it's $25pp) include taxes and gratuities, or is that separate? I just want to account for it in my budget. Thanks!
Posted 24 November 2007 - 06:11 PM
Posted 24 November 2007 - 07:28 PM
Posted 24 November 2007 - 11:47 PM
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