Posted 01 February 2008 - 06:35 PM
Hello all you ladies,
I am finally back from our wedding and honeymoon. I thought I would post a quick review since so many of your posts have really helped me through this entire process. All of our 120 guests stayed at the Grand Mayan and the Mayan Pallace in Nuevo Vallarta. They are basically connected and although they are kind of a pain to initially work with (they are mainly timeshares instead of overnight rooms), they were absolutely amazing once we were there. We went through a travel agency called mayanrental.com that arranged for all of our guests to have one week timeshares. The one week was cheaper than 3 nights ($650 for the week was the best rate that I got, but that might go up) Although all the guests got the whole week, most only stayed for 3 or 4 nights, while other stayed the whole week. Mayan Rentals were in contact with all of the guests (which took all the stress off of me) and it gave the guests a reason to take a vacation. The resort was absolutely gorgeous and we had a Friday Night Welcome Cocktail Party on the pool deck with a bonfire and mariachis and a Sunday Brunch on the beach in front of the hotel with bottomless bloody marys and mimosas. Having everyone at the same beautiful resort and these two parties really completed the weekend. Also in the resort they have wave pools, a lazy river, pool bars, great gyms, huge grounds and pools and all the suites have a full kitchen which is great for drinks, breakfasts, and lunches.
Las Caletas was breathtaking. All of us girls (my 6 bridesmaids and I) went over early in the morning and hung out all day. My fiance and the groomsmen took a taxi to a town nearby (Boca) around noon then got a 20 minute water taxi over. It worked out perfect that way. We took pictures around 3 and had plenty of time before the guests arrived. I didn't want to see my fiance before the wedding, but with the sunset right after the ceremony it made it great for pictures and I am now glad that I did see him. We set up a great meeting point on the beach and made it special with just us two the first time we saw each other. Leigh Miller, my photographer and her assistant captured the whole thing. Although I haven't seen any pictures yet, she and her assistant were AWESOME. I feel like they were all over the place really getting every memory.
The ceremony went perfectly, it was perfect length and very personal, we did the sand ceremony which I would highly recommend and had my fiance's aunt read a poem we picked out called "The Art of Marriage" The whole night couldn't have gone better. Dinner was delicious. My fiance and I actually went through with a first dance which started with our song (a slow one) and broke into a salsa dance we had practiced. It was a blast to do that dance and the guests loved it. All night everyone was dancing all over the place, the dance floor was packed, people were down by the water dancing, by the bonfire dancing and just in the soft sand. The only thing that I am only lukewarm about was the DJ. I am sure he is great for most people, but I wish I would have picked out a couple more songs and given him a bit more direction. One piece of advice, if you don't like what he is playing, let him know and request something instead of letting him keep going. He did change to our requests once we asked him.
As far as the how smoothly the evening went... it was PERFECT! I give all the credit to Nicole (who I worked with the whole time.) I got to meet Kelly the morning of the wedding and she is so sweet and does a great as well. I only saw Nicole when I needed to ask her something. Otherwise she was in the backdrop getting everything done. There wasn't one slip up and I didn't do a single thing the whole night! I didn't worry about the tables, the guests, the flowers, the dinner, the boat, the bar.... nothing! She had it all taken care of. It really makes it a great wedding experience to be so at ease that all the details are getting taken care of. I really think she is the best person out there for her job.
All the guests truly had a blast and if you want a place for people to remember your wedding, I can't think of a better one. The compliments on the setting and the whole day didn't cease all week. I highly recommend Las Caletas and I wouldn't have changed a thing about the day.
Little details: We got the tropical flowers and I loved them. Each of the bridesmaids got a bouquet which were also pretty. We got a videographer through Las Caletas and although his huge light got a little overbearing at some parts, it will be great to have it documented. We did do the white cake and I heard it was good although I don't remember what it tasted like. We added a couple bags of flowers for table decorations which look great. I walked down to Canon in D and the recessional was "Float On" by Modest Mouse. We got the DJ, but like I mentioned earlier, could have probably just done an iPod. We did an extra half hour which I am glad we got and did just seem to fly by. We named each table after a surf spot (i.e. Pipeline) and I actually brought down all the name cards and table names and gave them to Nicole a couple days before with which tables I wanted closest. She took care of the rest. People loved having the surf spots for the table names. Our photographer was Leigh Miller and she is great to work with, she really puts a lot into what she does and I am so excited to see the pictures
Alright I said it would be short, now its getting long. Unfortunately I don't check the forum enough so every time I do, I get so far behind. If any brides out there have any questions at all... please send me a private message with the questions or just a note saying you have something posted. I would really love to help. One piece of advice, don't sweat the small stuff, in the end if you didn't do a single thing to prepare, with the setting and the staff, it would still be an incredible day.
Needless to say, these last couple weeks have been the best of my life and I couldn't be happier with our wedding day.