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LALA's Dreams Los Cabos Wedding Review 12/07 (long)(pics)

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#1 -Kate-

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    Posted 16 December 2007 - 01:33 AM

    If you thought my site review was long…grab a drink and settle in for the night with this one! I didn’t really do grading because I’m bad at that.

    We left on Wednesday December 5 and returned Friday December 14. There were 54 people at the wedding – with only 4 staying “off campus”.

    We checked 3 bags and carried on 2 bags, my purse, and our dress/suit bag. In one carry on we had our welcome dinner clothes, one bathing suit each, and all the clothes/accessories we needed for the wedding. In the other we had wedding stuff – CDs, menus, etc.

    Alaska Airlines
    We had direct flights to and from Cabo. Abbie (Dougsgirl) was SUPER sweet and tried to get us upgraded but first class checked in full. The planes both ways were nice and comfy, even without first class. I had my dress and Brett’s suit in a garment bag and they let us board early to find it a spot. It ended up in the rear closet which was perfect. I knew it was going to be wrinkled no matter what – I mean, I was carrying it basically in a ball the whole way through the airport – and it was fine when we got to Cabo. Yea for Alaska Airlines!

    Arrival in Cabo
    Our bags came out with no trouble and we both got green lights. We walked out without being harassed by anyone (except for the guy who saw my dress bag and started yelling at Brett to “turn back” “don’t do it” – super funny!)

    Dominic Rental Car
    When we got out of the airport we plopped our stuff down and Brett went around to the various shuttle people to find Dominic. He found the guys right away and they helped us with our bags. They had maps and stuff in the car for us. They gave us the key, simple instructions, and we were off. We had a Nissan Tsuru(?) for the entire time we were there. It was $40 a day including insurance. The car was nice (but not so nice it drew attention) and worked for us. When we were done we just left it with keys locked inside at the airport. The whole thing couldn’t have been easier!
    I am glad we rented a car. I used it for my hair trial, a trip to Costco, and we used it a TON in Todos Santos after the wedding.

    Here is the portion about the resort in general. I’m trying to go in chronological order to make sure I cover everything.
    We got to the resort and check in was fine – cool towels, nice people, etc. Mariana came and met us right away and whisked away the dress and suit to have them pressed.
    FYI – Dreams has an ATM now.

    Rooms: We were given a honeymoon suite on the top floor and it was beautiful. It was on the far right side of the resort (near El Patio). My parents also got a suite on the 5th floor. FI’s parents were given a room on the 2nd floor above El Patio and they had to change rooms. It was super loud and they couldn’t open their patio door because the smoke from people smoking at El Patio flew straight into their room. They went to the front desk on the morning of the 6th and were given a much better room – no problem.
    I didn’t hear one complaint about the rooms the entire time we were there. No plumbing issues, cleanliness issues, etc. We had guests spread out throughout the resort and everyone was fine with their rooms. Some couples got stuck with double bed rooms – but that was just the luck of the draw as to when they arrived.

    Restaurants: While we were there Seaside Grill (or whatever it is called by the main pool) was closed – under construction/upgrade. No big deal. Also, we got a note that on 12/11 Oceana would be closing for upgrades and Seaside would be opening. I don’t think this affects anyone on the forum.
    Oceana: We ate here for dinner Thursday and lunch Monday. Lunch is fine there – standard burgers, nachos, chicken nuggets, fries, etc. Dinner – I didn’t like it during our site visit and I still don’t like it. They put WAY too much salt on everything. I had the Jack Daniels shrimp and it was fine, but everyone else’s food was super salty. The mousse was good for dessert but the cheesecake was bad.
    Hirisuma (or whatever the Japanese one was called): We ate here on Wednesday night with our families. I was SUPER scared because I’d heard bad things, but everyone liked their food. I stuck with simple chicken satay and it was good. Brett had squid and liked it. Everyone was happy. The new d©cor is nice as well.
    ******BUT WAIT!!!!!******* A group of friends went here on Sunday for dinner. They were seated at the table that is lowered into the ground. They sat there for a while before they realized there was a mouse stuck in the foot well area!!!! It had been running around down there while they were eating.
    Now, I know it is Mexico and the animals need food too – but a mouse running over your feet in a confined area while you eat is NOT COOL! They all got up and were moved to a new table. Luckily for the restaurant they are all from Chicago and were happy it wasn’t a big ass Chicago sized rat – the mouse wasn’t too big of a deal to them.
    Portofino: We ate here on Sunday night. It was yummy for sure. Everyone liked their food. The interior is also super cool.
    El Patio: We ate breakfast here daily and lunch a few times. It was good every time. It was also a good spot to go to find people if you didn’t have someone to eat a meal with!
    Room Service: Certain things were good. I heart the club sandwich. Pizza – not so good. I had breakfast in my room the day of the wedding and it was just as good as El Patio.

    Overall: Certain things definitely improved since August. The d©cor of the restaurants is awesome – they really are fixing stuff up well. Also, they got Negra Modelo beer on tap at all the bars which made us all happy!! I think the quality of the food is improving too. Oceana is the only one I can say we didn’t like and that was just for dinner.

    Staff: They were awesome!!! Everyone was nice and friendly to everyone in our party. I only heard one complaint about staff (see below) and it was very minor in my opinion. Yea for the staff!!!!

    Gym: I went 3 days and it was nice. They had enough equipment to get a good workout in. It was clean and never too crowded.

    Dreams Spa: At 9 on Friday morning my BMs and I went to the spa for manis/pedis. I had gone back and forth about having Suzanne Morel come and do it or just doing it at Dreams. I decided on Dreams because 1) it was a little cheaper, 2) it could be done the day before the wedding not the day of and 3) Morel was only going to have 2 people do them. That means one person would be sitting there doing nothing while the other 2 got stuff done. Also, I have pretty normal nails and had figured out what polish I wanted so I didn’t need any expertise from the spa people.
    We got our own little room so we could talk and be loud. The services were ok. The lady totally hurt me while trimming my cuticle and she did the same with each of the other BMs. I brought OPI ChipSkip with me and made them put that on me first. I think it helped because my nails were fine until I got home (other than normal grow-out) and the BMs had chipping after a few days. The services were overpriced for sure.
    I think that if I could change one thing about the wedding I would have just dealt and had Suzanne Morel come and do nails. Dreams was fine for me, but if you want a quality mani/pedi, don’t use them.

    Suzanne Morel Trial: I had a hair and makeup trial on Friday at 2. My BMs came with me and we drove there. It is pretty easy to get to. All the staff was very nice. Paulina is adorable and Suzanne was very nice.
    I had plenty of pics of the hair I wanted and I brought my earrings and hairflower. They did my hair just like I described and both hair and makeup looked good when I left, but I’m the kind of person that has to live with it for a little while before I know if I really like it. They redid my hair for me so I would be ready for the welcome dinner. I also washed off some of the makeup so FI didn’t see me totally done up.
    I am SO SO SO glad I did the trial. After I left the salon and thought about what I looked like that night and the next morning I decided I wanted some things changed. I went from “messy” to “smooth” hair and had them tone down the makeup. If I hadn’t done the trial I never would have figured that out and would not have been as happy with the final wedding day look. I know it is $$$ but I recommend the trial if it sounds like you are at all like me about hair/makeup.

    Mi Casa Welcome Dinner
    Thursday night Maye arranged shuttles to take us all to Mi Casa for dinner. We met in the lobby at 6:30 and the shuttles were there right on time.
    Transport: FI’s parents paid for this whole event which was kind. The only problem was that we didn’t know that the shuttles had to be paid in cash beforehand. The FIL’s had to so some scrambling in the afternoon to get that much cash because they were prepared to use a card. Not a huge deal – just kinda annoying. In the end it was my fault for not asking.
    The shuttles were nice, on time, and there was plenty of room. When we were ready to leave and come home we just had the restaurant call them and they arrived in about 5 minutes. Unfortunately I don’t know what company Maye used.

    AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When we arrived they had welcome beers and margaritas waiting for us all. The plan was to have a cocktail hour then sit and eat, but everyone just sat and wanted food so they moved up the schedule with no trouble. The younger people sat in an area which was sort of separated from the family/grownups which was great because we could get a little rowdier than we would have normally. We had a vegan with us and had pre-arranged for a special meal. I pointed him out to the guy in charge and it was no problem. We were told the meal was good. I know our food was FAB!!! Also, service was constant and fast. They were very sweet to us. The mariachi band came around as did the balloon animal clown – they all “discreetly” mentioned to several guests that “they work for tips” which I thought was funny.
    It was a really fun night with a lot of really good food and drinks. We even did a group tequila shot at the end of the night.
    After the dinner, some of the younger people walked to Cabo Wabo and stayed out. (FI was one of them and his night involved a statue, shot, and some barf. So funny!) This was such a fun event!!!!

    Wedding Day (Pre-wedding TIMELINE portion)
    FI slept (passed out) in his bro’s room the night before the wedding because I didn’t want to see him at all on the day of the wedding. That was my one area of “tradition.”
    I woke up and ordered room service – yum. I sat around the room and read for a while. I stayed in my room all day. I just wanted to chill alone and relax and not risk seeing Brett. My BM’s each came and visited me separately.
    At 10:30 the hair and makeup girls came and did my mom’s hair in my room. She looked great – simple French twist. After they finished with her they started in on me. There were 3 of them (I take a lot of work) and they were all sweet. They made the changes I asked no problem and were very nice. It was a relaxing process overall, but it does take quite a while.
    At 2 Juan came and took pics of Brett with his family. At about 2:45 or 3 he came to my room and took pics of the rings, shoes, etc. Somewhere in there Gabby (from Maye’s place) brought me the bouquets. At 3 my BM’s came in and Juan took pics of me getting in my dress. He also had Brett come to the room to open his gifts. I stayed locked in the bathroom during that event. When we were done there we took pics of me alone and of me with my family.
    At 3:55 we met at the towel stand and at 4 the wedding started.

    Suzanne Morel wedding day: They were awesome. I looked more like I wanted then I did after the trial. Both my BM’s were amazed!! I want to point out that this is not because I looked bad after the trial, it’s just because I didn’t know exactly what I wanted. Also, about 5 minutes after the girls left Suzanne called me to make sure I was happy. It was very professional and kind of her.
    My makeup stayed put all night long – through a LOT of sweating and dancing. My hair stayed in place too. I had a piece that sort of swept down in the front and over my ear and as they were doing it I was like “it’s fine if that piece falls out at the reception” because it was the kind of piece that didn’t look like it would hold through a night of dancing. The lady kept telling me it would hold, it would hold and I just nodded – figuring she was being nice and confident. Well let me tell you…that piece stayed in place all night!!! I was totally floored.
    This is an amazing salon and I think everyone should use them!!!!

    Juan Carlos Tapia: I totally loved Juan. He arrived on time and went straight to take pics with Brett and his fam. He knew exactly what the schedule was supposed to be and stuck to it perfectly. I also loved that he didn’t bother me to get Brett’s pics started – he just showed up and started working. Also – he was just a lot of fun to work with. He humored us when we wanted to take goofy pics. He also dealt with all our crazy guests.
    My favorite thing about him was that he didn’t give us any crap. He didn’t tell me I looked good if I didn’t and I love that!!
    I don’t have to see the final pics to know that he did amazing work. I have complete faith in his ability and skill. I heart him.

    Dreams Wedding Portion:
    Location: We had the ceremony on the beach, cocktail hour on the sand area near the putting green, and the reception on the portion of Cascade Terrace near the sand. I was very happy with all the location choices. The beach was obviously lovely. I liked the cocktail hour in the sand (even though we missed most of it for pics) because it continued the “beachy” feel of the wedding. People wandered around and sat on lounge chairs. It was nice. I also loved having the reception on Cascade. Originally I really wanted the Oceana area and was kinda bummed about having so many guests that we had to switch. Now, I’m very happy about the choice. There was SO much room for dancing while still allowing everyone to be in the same space. Plus, it was easy for those who wanted to “get away” for a minute to sit at the Baracuda Bar. I would recommend Cascade for anyone who has more than 30 people.
    D©cor: I got the red chair bows for the ceremony and reception from Mariana. They added a nice splash of color. I also got the turquoise table runners from her. She also did the candy buffet, wedding pie table, and the flipflop tables. Everything was laid out nicely. All the stuff Dreams provided was very nice. I’m going to leave this part up to the pics (once I get some good ones) because it’s hard to describe.
    Food: Eh. We had the salmon/scallop carpaccio, asparagus soup, seabass/stuffed chicken double plated, and wedding pie for dessert. The carpaccio was nice and light. The soup was really really good. The pie was good as well. The dinner – eh. The sea bass was too salty (ala Oceana) and the veggies and potatoes were gross. The chicken was fine though. I knew going in that this would not be the meal of my dreams – I figure most wedding food is just eh. People ate it, no one starved, it was fine. Also, all the special meals were prepared. The vegan meal did come out with cheese on top, but that was quickly fixed.
    We did get churros and hot chocolate at 10 pm. They were YUM and were the perfect snack after a couple hours of dancing. Totally do this!!!!!
    Mariana: I love her. She is so sweet. From the first second she had everything covered. She and Maye work really well together. There isn’t a lot to say about her because she is good at what she does.

    DJ Ricardo: We met with him on Thursday morning to go over everything. We had worked out the playlist before we left for Cabo so the meeting was just to review. He is very nice and professional. We rented the speakers from him for the ceremony as well. Our plan was to hook up our mp3 player and have Mariana run it. Ricardo said that since he was going to be there anyway for the setup that he would just do it – SO nice of him!!! He had all the timing perfect for the ceremony.
    At the reception he got everyone up and dancing. He didn’t play any of our do-not-play list songs. He made all the announcements we asked him to. Also, we tend to karaoke to Blister in the Sun and when one guests asked him for the mic to do that he waited for me to give the ok. I liked that he wouldn’t just do weird stuff like that without checking with me. Finally, he played our last song twice! We SO didn’t want the party to end so he played it for us twice – sweet!
    Small issues: One speaker was placed really close to a table. During dinner one of the guests at that table asked him to turn down the music, which he did. I didn’t realize that had happened. Well, when Dinner was ending I went over to talk to the people at that table and the music was SO loud. I don’t know how they dealt that long. Brett immediately told him to turn down the music and he ended up turning the speaker around. I don’t know if was a problem with his setup or with the way the tables were set up but it was a problem.
    Also, we told him that our friends would probably request N’Sync and that was fine. I told him that over email and again on the Thursday morning meeting. Well, at the wedding they did request it a couple of times but it never came. Finally my BM told me he said he was sorry but that he didn’t have any! He had plenty of notice so I was bummed. Luckily, my BM volunteered to run and get her ipod so he hooked that up and played it that way. Those were little things which didn’t bother me – but I wanted to let you all know!
    Overall – totally use him! He is very professional and has great equipment. He also works with Mariana and Maye a lot so they all know how to operate with one another.

    Baja Wedding Production: We used them for 4 hours. They were very sweet. I “met” Enrique as I was getting lined up to walk down the aisle. Marci came up to me right after the wedding and introduced herself. She is so nice. I can’t really say much other than that because I haven’t seen the tape yet. I know they did video “confessionals” with the guests which was nice – we totally didn’t ask for that but they took the initiative to do it. It also seemed like they stayed out of Juan’s way. There was one time where Juan had to wave Enrique out of the way, but that was it. Now, if I get the ceremony pics back and it’s a different story I will let you know!

    Farewell Brunch: We had this at the porch of Portafina on Sunday at 10. It was the Mexican breakfast buffet. It was simple and good. It was nice to have everyone together because it was at this point that guests started to leave. It helped us make sure we got to say goodbye to those leaving early.

    Legal v Non-legal: I know some of you are debating legal/symbolic. I just wanted to tell those on the fence that the legal stuff was easy. They came and took our blood at the hotel on Thursday. It didn’t hurt at all. Brett didn’t even know they took it. Maye had the paperwork sent to our room so it was there waiting for us that night. She also had a license apostilled in La Paz. We picked it up at Dreams on our way out of town on Friday.

    OOT Bags: Everyone loved them. The meds were used, as were the pash’s, hats, and bags themselves. I didn’t see anyone using the pens/paper or the cards. We were going to have the front desk hand them out, but ended up doing it ourselves as we saw people. The last were handed out at the Welcome Dinner.

    Guests illness: We had what felt like a lot of people get sick. Some were dumb (drank lemonade with ice in downtown Cabo) and some were maybe more sensitive. I don’t know. Out of the 54 of us we had probably about 7 or 8 get throw-up, poop all over, sick.

    #2 MikkiStreak

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      Posted 16 December 2007 - 01:53 AM

      Wow Kate!!! I was wondering how everything had gone--- I'm glad you had such a positive experience!

      You looked so beautiful!!! Your dress was gorgeous, especially with the flared skirt!

      #3 -Kate-

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        Posted 16 December 2007 - 01:58 AM

        I just re-read that and realized I left out all the good stuff!!!!!!!!!!

        The cermony was beautiful. Short and sweet. Full of laughter which is exactly what we wanted. We were both close to tears but just laughed through it. I was so excited to get down that aisle to DH that I seriously had to stop myself from running. Everyone said after that the whole wedding was very "us" which is just what we were going for.
        Also, the reception was super fun. Drinks all around and dancing until the music had to be shut down. I was a sweaty mess!!!!

        After the wedding I started to question if having it at Dreams was a good idea. A couple people stayed at Hilton and I know the Hilton is nicer. The mice and the random guest illnesses all kinda got to me which is why I questioned my decision. DH kept reminding me that the reason we picked an AI was that we wanted everyone up all night drinking and hanging out. That is exactly what we got at Dreams.
        We were up until 4 am on Wednesday, 3 am on Thursday, and 2 on Sunday just sitting around drinking, laughing, and having fun with our friends. That would not have been possible at a non-AI. Our people couldn't afford that at $8 a drink.
        If I had to do it again I would pick Dreams again. It made for not just an amazing wedding, but also an amazing week with our friends!!!!

        #4 Lizzy

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          Posted 16 December 2007 - 02:05 AM

          That was a great review! I love it when our brides tell it straight. It sounds like everything went as planned...I hope you also had fun!
          Congratulations and best wishes to you and Brett.
          For the dance, at the reception, Maggie wore her crinoline and a lovely lace top. Looks like Tadd likes it!

          Professional Photography by Michael B.www.michaelbstudio.comMinneapolis, MN

          #5 Janet

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            Posted 16 December 2007 - 02:37 AM

            great review! and i love the spanx pic...hilarious! i am so glad everything went so well!

            #6 Jackie

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              Posted 16 December 2007 - 11:09 AM

              Yipee I'm so glad your back and happily married!

              Great review I'm glad everything came together so well. Were you upgraded to a honeymoon suite for free or did you pay for that? Thats great that you were on the fifth floor. When we were there for our site visit we were on the third floor and all I kept saying to Ryan was that I didnt care to to much about a free upgrade but I would be super happy if we got the top floor next time.

              I cant wait to see more pictures :)
              My Dreams Cabo Wedding Review

              #7 cessyboston

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                Posted 16 December 2007 - 11:48 AM

                great review..thank ou cant wait to see more pics you got me so excited i have a lot of the same vendors so thanks for sharing...so happy for you....
                Married oct 10th 2008 ~ proud parents to Miss Sophia Emma feb 2, 2010

                #8 Christine

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                • Wedding Date:July 20, 2007
                • Wedding Location:Napa, California
                • LocationReno, NV

                Posted 16 December 2007 - 12:14 PM

                great review sorry for the few bad things but all in all it sounds like you had a fun time and a great wedding! Can't wait to see more pics!
                Christine + Will (married 7/20/07) + Ainsleigh (born 6/25/08) + Nolan (born 11/9/10) + Delaney (born 12/31/13) = One Very Happy Family!

                #9 Spazz

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                  Posted 16 December 2007 - 12:17 PM

                  Kate, that was such a great review! You looked beautiful, I cannot wait to see more pics!!!!!!!!!

                  #10 *JillD*

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                    Posted 16 December 2007 - 12:18 PM

                    Kate everything sounded perfect!! I'm so happy for you, I feel like we've been watching you plan for so long and it was finally time for your day! I loved how the red and turquoise looked together, your dress was gorgeous, and I love the spanx picture!

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