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David and Laura

My *long* Dreams Tulum Review...finally

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This review is a bit overdue, but better late than never, right? :)

 

Dreams Resort -- A

 

The resort itself was the perfect place for our wedding. We were greeted with champagne upon our arrival and upgraded to an ocean front suite. The staff was warm, friendly and very accommodating. We had 40 guests at our wedding. Two of the couples had minor issues with their rooms; both were given new rooms, but did have to put up a bit of a fight to get them b/c the resort had no availability (there was wedding with 200 guests on Saturday). I accidentally booked my photographer at Dreams Cancun instead of Dreams Tulum and they made room for him in Tulum, which was a life saver. The rooms were beautiful, the food was good, the drinks were good (and plentiful) the beach was nice; no complaints. Our group was very diverse; some young, some not so young :), some world travelers and some people who had never been out of the country. The resort was very nice, but not too stuffy; the perfect combo for our group.

 

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Rehearsal Dinner at Portofino – B

 

We had our rehearsal/welcome dinner in the wine room at Portofino. We had to pick a set 5 course menu (no choices for the guests) site unseen. Overall the food was good, but some of it was not so good. It felt like a restaurant trying to be 5-star by throwing in some exotic touches, but falling short. The room itself was beautiful and perfect for a group; very private.

 

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Spa – A-

 

Massages and facials were included in our wedding package. I have had about 10 massages in my lifetime, and this one was the best I have ever had. David said it was the best he’d ever had as well. The massages get an A+. Make sure you request a female masseuse if you have a preference.

 

The manicures and pedicures were a different story. I was just not impressed with either. The french manicure was not done very well. I am not super picky, but I had to ask her to re-do a couple nails because the white line on the top was shorter than my natural nail; it looked weird. My pedicure didn’t turn out all that great, either.

 

 

Hair and Makeup -- B

 

I bought several photos of hairstyles I liked as a source of inspiration for the stylist. That seemed to confuse her. Make sure you have pictures of exactly what hairstyle you want from all angles. The stylist did not speak any English. I speak decent Spanish and was still having a tough time communicating.

 

I don’t wear a lot of makeup so I only asked her to do my eye makeup. I I just showed her a magazine photo and told her I wanted it to look natural. She did an excellent job; exactly what I wanted.

 

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Ceremony and Reception – B

 

The ceremony and reception were just ok. Maybe my idea of a destination wedding was not what itshould have been, but the whole thing felt very unorganized. No one knew where to go; people were standing around for awhile. Fortunately I was in my room during this so I had no idea it was going on. We did not do a rehearsal (Sandra said it wasn’t necessary) and it showed. Have a rehearsal of some sort, I wish we had. Another thing I recommend is having Sandra walk you around to the available spots for the ceremony and reception at the time you plan on getting married before you make your choice. We were married on the beach near El Patio at 4:30 and there were still people in their bathing suits lounging on the chairs right next to us. It was so hot and the sun was blinding. I was squinting through the ceremony. I had to stand in David’s shadow which didn’t make for the greatest pictures. The ceremony music was awesome. We went with the violinist, and she gets an A+; she can play anything. The wedding party walked to “Heaven”, and I walked down to “Canon in D”; I can’t remember what the recessional song was, but she played it well.

 

The cocktail hour was disappointing. I thought there would be waiters walking around with the hors d'oeuvres, but they were just sitting on the table with saran wrap on them. They did not look appetizing. The trio was good, but I would recommend paying more for the mariachi band if it’s in your budget.

 

The reception was held at El Patio; great location. When we got there after taking our pictures everyone was sitting around and there was no music playing. Fortunately it was fiesta night so you could hear the music from that at El Patio, but I was still very disappointed. The DJ was sitting at his booth smoking a cigarette (no joke). We had an Ipod there for him to use, but he did not have the cord to connect it to the stereo so he was sitting there doing nothing. My brother had to go get a cord from his room for the DJ to use. Sandra knew we were using the Ipod so I am not sure why there was no cord. Also, there was no microphone for speeches. Make sure you ask for one if you plan on having speeches. I am not sure what options there are for an outside DJ to be brought in, but if it’s in your budget and you are particular about the music or want things played in a certain order, I would recommend looking into it.

 

The food was awesome. We went with the surf and turf (steak and shrimp; lobster is an extra $20 per person). Everyone loved it. The only bad thing was the tortilla soup was super spicy, and I like spicy foods. The cake was not the prettiest cake I’ve ever seen, but it tasted fabulous. It was dulce de leche with strawberries in the middle.

 

I’m used to wedding with an open bar being at an actual bar. All of our drinks had to be ordered from the waiters. I would have preferred a physical bar setup that people can order from. Be sure to ask specifically for this if you want it.

 

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Photographer A+

 

I saved the best for last. Our photographer, Jean-Marcus Strole (Jean-Marcus Strole - Photography), was awesome! First and foremost, he is an amazing photographer. Not only is he good, he loves what he does. We wanted to capture the experience of the time together with our friends and family; not just the wedding day. He shot us every day we were there (Thursday through Sunday). He takes care to make sure every shot is perfect, and he shot over 3000 photos. All of my guests loved him. He really is like having an extra, fun guest at the wedding. I think this helped him really capture people in each photograph b/c everyone was so relaxed and comfortable around him. Even though he was fun, he was still very professional. He never drank even though we were at an all-inclusive resort. He was always on time and dressed appropriately. He was a real life safer on the wedding day. He ordered room service while we were getting ready to be sure I ate something (I was not hungry; nerves). After we had taken our post-ceremony pictures and were walking through the lobby, David stepped on the back of my dress and it ripped a 6 inch tear right where the hooks for the bustle were. Jean-Marcus got a sewing kit from the lobby and sewed up my dress. It took a good 15 minutes and he poked himself with the needle a couple time. He really does put his blood and sweat into his work. :)

 

Overall, the destination wedding experience was amazing. Our families were able to get to know each other in a low-stress environment and we were able to actually spend time with all of our guests. We enjoyed every day we were there. The things that went wrong were not noticed by most other people. Everyone had an unforgettable time. Dreams is a great resort. Don’t expect a “U.S.” style wedding where everything is planned to a T. Make sure you are extremely clear about what you want and keep an open mind, and your wedding day will be all you’ve dreamed it would be.

 

Please feel free to ask questions. :)

 

-Laura

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Thanks for the review! Your pics look awesome! I'm glad to hear that the photog-hotel issue worked out - that seemed like it would have been a major stress. Congrats and thanks again :)

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