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Tara's Dreams review 7/8/06


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#1 TammyWright

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 08:43 PM

Hi everyone, this is a review from dreams that did not transfer when we moved from the old forum.


Tara’s Review – Dreams Hotel: July 8th, 2006

To See Pictures: www.pottichen.shutterfly.com

Dreams-

Overall, the hotel is beautiful. The food is good and the environment is nice and relaxing. The staff are generally pretty good, as long as you have the right attitude and just go with the flow. Everything takes a lot longer in Mexico than what we are used to here. One night dinner took 3 hours because we waited sooo long between courses.

The hotel did a fabulous job with the rehearsal dinner. The set up was awesome and the food was good. Towards the end of the night the staff was drinking alcohol (which I didn’t know until later)…so watch out for that…because as they were carrying our things back up our room they dropped the hand painted ceramic signature guestbook platter and broke it into a million pieces. L I’m still so sad about this….

The front desk staff is very unhelpful or caring. Our check in was such a disaster!! First they checked my mom into our honeymoon suite, then made her move so we could get in, then they thought my hubby’s sister was me and tried to check her into our room. It was crazy and super disorganized…I would say ½ of our guest had problems checking in, from lost reservations to names wrong it was just a mess. If you need something done track down a manager. These guys actually seemed to care about helping you out, instead of just blowing you off like the people at the front desk.

The other MAJOR issues we had with the hotel was theft. The 1st day we were there my Mom and I were standing at the reception counter and this old man walks up and starts complaining that 5 people out of his party have been robbed out of the room safe. The lady at the reception didn’t have any noticeable reaction to him or his story she just told him to go talk to security. Well my mom started freaking out, but I thought, hey, this guy could just be a complainer, or an exaggerator. Unfortunately it turns out that he wasn’t. 3 people from my party had their safes broken into and all their cash and jewelry stolen. How bad did I feel, recommending this place to all my friends and family and then they all get robbed!!?!? It was horrible. The worst part is that you have to go file a police report in town and then the management will look into replacing your money. So you basically have to ruin a day of your vacation, take the bus to downtown, try and speak to the cops, and then you might get refunded by the hotel. It was horrible. My mom got robbed on our last full day there and just didn’t want to ruin her vacation, so she didn’t file the report. My aunt and uncle did file the report and the hotel gave them back the cash that was stolen, but didn’t reimburse for the jewelry. Pretty crazy huh? Basically, be careful who you trust and where you put your valuables. Just because you pay a lot to stay at a nice hotel, it is still MEXICO and it doesn’t mean you are “safe”.

Maye Cortinas (15% fee + 10% tax on everything I booked thru her)-

I used her coordination services for the fire dancers, sparklers, and guitarist. She was professional throughout our interaction, but made a very serious error. I reserved the Fire Dancers for the night of my rehearsal dinner, it was very clear and the date was even written right on the invoice. Well, they never showed up and I had already paid her in CASH!! (All of my vendors required cash). It was very stressful and made me look like an idiot to my guests because everyone was waiting for the show. She didn’t act very sorry and even tried to blame me for her getting the date wrong. She left a check for my refund, but it certainly didn’t make up for the huge blunder. If I had my choice I would not use her. The guitarist was fine, but I could have booked him directly and saved the money on her fees. The sparklers were good. They were $2.50 each but were nice and big…so that worked out well.

Lisa Galvan- ($650 day of coordination ONLY, with 1 assistant)

I meet with Lisa on the day before my wedding. She was over 30 mins late which made the rest of my day run behind and all rushed getting ready for the RD. We went over everything I wanted, walked the site, took an inventory of all the items I had, and she tried to conduct our ceremony rehearsal. She was okay, but I thought she couldn’t really get control over people and make them listen…she seemed kind of timid which isn’t a quality I would expect in a wedding coordinator. The day of the wedding she came around noon with an assistant and I was already hanging with my girls starting to get ready. I left with her to go back to my room to go over everything one more time and make sure she took all the items down to the ceremony location. We accounted for the things she was bringing down and she said that she would make sure everything got back up at the end of the night. That was pretty much the last time I saw her until I was standing down there with my dad (20 min. late, she wasn’t keeping us on schedule at all). Then I really didn’t see her or talk to her the rest of the night. I have no clue what her and the assistant were doing the whole time, sometimes I would see them standing together talking, but most of the time I couldn’t find her. There were several times I needed her, or needed something in general and she wasn’t there for me. I heard from other people that she was around and doing stuff. She went up to my mother in law and asked her if she needed anything, but she never checked in with me or my mom. She did make the announcements for the cake cutting, garter belt, and bouquet toss. Overall, for $650 and everything she said about making sure “everything would be perfect and I would be taken care of” I felt really disappointed in the service. It was definitely better than not having anyone at all, I just had higher hopes for that kind of money.

Some other major issues are that there were 5 disposable camera’s that never made it back up to the room (we used them for the RD & reception, so the lost camera’s had pics from both nights on them and I’ll never see them L) Also, I discussed with her twice and it was written in our itineraries that I wanted to get the menus back. I spent way too much $ on these metallic cardstock sleeves and I wanted to save them and use them again in another project. I was explicitly clear about wanting those back, and I didn’t get any of them back. There were several other things that never made it back up to the room, but those were the most important. The worst part was that at first when I called her to talk about it, she acted like she didn’t care and got all defensive. Then she called back and apologized and said she was just caught off guard. She then said she would give me “some kind of credit, if I felt that she made any errors”. We settled on a $75 credit (for the $250 menu sleeves) and nothing for the cameras because she was sure that our families just picked them up by mistake (not the case, I’ve checked with everyone). Then, the day we are leaving she comes to the hotel “to drop off the credit”. I sent my hubby down to collect it because I was in the shower. He calls the room and says that Tara Null is here and she wants to talk to me. (see below)

Tara Null –

So I hustled down there expected a big apology from the owner of the company, I had heard many nice things about Tara, so I wasn’t expecting what happened next. Tara Null was there with Lisa and explains to me that they are NOT going to refund me anything because they shouldn’t be responsible for “paper products”. She was extremely CONFRONTATIONAL and quite insulting to me. I felt tricked by Lisa, saying she was going to give me a credit, then she shows up with this BULLDOG who lectures me in the middle of the lobby. Tara just said that she fells that my wedding was too big for 2 people to coordinate (I had 70 guests) and that I should have hired them from the beginning because there weddings are always perfect, etc., etc. and they would have had 4 coordinators there but even then they are not responsible for paper products. I said that I understood, but this was an explicit request and Lisa said she would take care of it and she didn’t, so I said that I didn’t think she was making a smart business decision by not giving me a credit and that I wouldn’t treat my customers that way. I felt so angry about the way Tara was talking with me. She acted like she was the best, and anything that went wrong wasn’t their fault, it was mine because I didn’t hire them from the beginning. It was such a horrible experience… I can’t even really put it into words. In the end, Lisa slipped my hubby $60 and told him not to tell her boss. I know she felt bad because she knew she really dropped the ball. Personally, if it was me and I had messed up that bad, I would have refunded a lot more than $60….but it is what it is. I think Lisa just needs a lot more experience and to not be so timid. She seems like a nice girl, but she certainly wasn’t a good wedding planner (for me).

Systema Sound Control – DJ Yeyo ($200 per hour x 4hours)

DJ Anatares wasn’t available for my date, so he sent DJ Yeyo. He doesn’t speak any English at all. I gave them a huge stack of songs that were okay to play. I even had a very clear list of songs broken down into time periods and everything. I gave that to them 3 days before the wedding when I meet with him to pay them, plus I had emailed it weeks before. (DJ Anatres was an hour late, so if you’re planning on meeting vendors, plan on most of them being late…I spent SO much time those few days before the wedding sitting in the lobby, waiting for people!) The day of the wedding DJ Yeyo was on time and overall played OK music. He didn’t use our lists at all and when we first sat down for dinner he was playing this horrible Kenny G crap. We had to call Erika over and ask her to tell him to change it. Then he changed it to the same kind of music!! Finally after Erika talked to him again, he seemed to understand the type of music we were going for. They did play the music for our first dance, garter belt, and bouquet toss correctly. They messed up on the intro song for the bridal party and didn’t play ANY slow songs during the whole reception. I was having so much fun, I didn’t even notice that until the next day.

Guitarist, Auturo Sotomayor – ($270 per hour)

I met with him the day before the wedding to make sure he could play the song I wanted to walk down the aisle to, but he didn’t bring his guitar. It was okay though; he was very nice and brought a translator with him because he doesn’t speak English. From what I heard it was very pretty music, but I didn’t really hear very much. He was supposed to play for 1 hour so that would have been about half during the ceremony and then a little during the cocktail hour, but I heard that he didn’t end up playing at all during the cocktail hour. I’m not sure since we started 20 mins late that maybe he just thought he had played close enough to an hour. I don’t know….it worked out fine and ultimately I would recommend him.

Erika Razo

Erika is a sweet person and she tries, but she is so over whelmed and busy that she really isn’t a wedding coordinator. In the 7 days we were there she alone had 5 weddings and the other coordinator had some weddings too. Just know that she does her best BUT don’t count of her for anything beyond the legal details and the basic set up. Also, don’t expect much help from the hotel for set up as well. We had people (family & friends) working their buts off to finish getting the tables ready for the reception almost right up to the start of the ceremony. And the hotel staff wasn’t that helpful with this at all.

Cake

I had Dreams do the cake so my expectations were low. It ended up looking okay with flowers on it. The frosting was missing in a few places, but the flowers covered it up. My hubby and I only tasted the little piece we fed to each other (and that was good), but then the next day when I asked everyone how the cake was, every person I asked said “I don’t know” I guess Dreams served the cake and then cleared it before people got back to their seats. I don’t know it was weird, but everyone said they didn’t get to taste it, so I don’t know if it was any good or not.

Flowers

My family had them shipped from America. DON’T DO IT!!! What a fiasco!! My family has owned a flower shop all my life, so they promised that they had it all worked out. Their flower vendors promised that flowers were coming from a grower in Mexico and would be shipped to our hotel 3 days prior to the wedding. Well….I ended up with flowers but only because my poor uncles had to drive to La Paz (7 hours roundtrip), in the dark, the night before the wedding, in a Ford Focus (!!) to get to the air cargo place….that was closed for the weekend. By some miracle an employee came back to pick something up and let them in after a $100 bribe. So, I got flowers but it was stressful. My advice would be even if you have talented people in your family, just hire someone to do them for you. It is not worth the stress.

Mailing boxes to Mexico

I had a big group of family traveling together so they offered to take some boxes as part of their check-in luggage. Well for some reason about 1 week before they left they decided they wanted to mail the boxes instead of bringing them. Without telling me they brought the boxes to the USPS and mailed them 5 day guaranteed delivery. Well, as you probably guessed, they never arrived to the hotel. Through the tracking we could see that they got to Mexico, but somehow they disappeared. Those 4 boxes had all my favors, tons of d©cor items, all the supplies to make the flower arrangements, and a ton of other stuff that I had spent time and money on….so needless to say it was pretty disappointing that they never arrived for the wedding. I’m now left fighting with the post office trying to get a refund, but to me it really isn’t about the money, the worst part was just not having what I wanted at the wedding. And a side note, everyone keep telling me to “delegate” tasks to other people because I was stressing a bit and wanted everything to be perfect, but everything I delegated to other people got royally messed up! From my bridesmaids, and my family everything I didn’t have control over went wrong. I don’t know if there is a lesson in that or if I just had some bad luck, but if I was going to do it over again, I would do everything myself. It is such an important day, and although it isn’t the little details that make the day memorable, if they are important to you, then do them yourself or pay someone who you trust to make sure it gets done right.

Overall

It was absolutely the best day of my life. I had so much fun and really just had to let go of all the negative things. It took me a full month after the wedding to have the mental energy to write this review. It is really hard for me because literally NOTHING went as planned. I hate being negative or critical of people, but I just had some really bad experiences. Again, it was still the best day of my life, BUT if I was going to do it over again or if I was going to recommend a destination wedding to one of my friends I would have to say don’t get married in Mexico. I feel that the vendors have a completely different idea of what customer service is (pretty much nonexistent), the country in general has a “lets take advantage of the rich American” mentality which caused me to feel on-guard with everyone, I honestly felt extremely taken advantage of and screwed over at every chance they had. I really hate that feeling and love to connect with other people and other cultures, but for me, after those 7 days in Mexico and after the things I experienced I don’t think I’ll be going back in a really, really long time.

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#2 EDYTA

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    Posted 05 December 2006 - 11:41 PM

    Thanks for posting that review Tammy...that's so awful that so many bad things happened to this poor girl on her wedding day...things getting stolen that's awful now it's my biggest fear...Tammy did you hear anything bout theft at Dreams??

    Also it sounded like she complained about everything and its pretty obvious that she just wasn't pleased with any of her vendors...dont know if it was just 2 high expectations or if things actually went that bad...although her pics are beautiful

    #3 TammyWright

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    Posted 05 December 2006 - 11:57 PM

    i think it is always a possibilty wherever you go that things could get stolen. try to hide things (i did)...something like this is probably not a bad idea for hanging out by the pool...it is a metal mesh bag that is light weight but locks to chairs, etc.

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    #4 NATASHA

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      Posted 07 December 2006 - 12:05 AM

      OK -but MY GOODNESS how gorgeous her flowers were!
      Shawn and NatashaHappily MarriedNovember 11, 2006

      #5 Natalie Z

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        Posted 07 December 2006 - 12:10 AM

        wow! I feel really bad for this girl! I will definitley learn from her review though! Thanks for posting!

        #6 TammyWright

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        Posted 07 December 2006 - 12:45 AM

        Quote:
        Originally Posted by NATASHA
        OK -but MY GOODNESS how gorgeous her flowers were!
        her uncle did them for her...he is a florist in the states.

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        #7 TammyB

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          Posted 07 December 2006 - 01:03 PM

          I wish she was still a part of this forum. It's sad when people leave after they are married. :-(((

          #8 TammyWright

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          Posted 07 December 2006 - 03:55 PM

          Quote:
          Originally Posted by TAMMYM
          I wish she was still a part of this forum. It's sad when people leave after they are married. :-(((
          she pops in every once in awhile!

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          #9 mexico15

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            Posted 31 January 2007 - 07:04 PM

            Tammy,

            Do you have contact with Tara anymore? I want her alter decoration really bad!!! Do you know if the hotel had that stuff? Or did she bring down the circle shell strands and material to drape? If she brought down the shells...I want to know where I could find those!
            Thanks for any help you can give, if not, no problem. I will keep searching! :)

            #10 LCBride2007

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              Posted 31 January 2007 - 07:12 PM

              I totally agree - I snagged some of her pics to show my WC to see if I could do anything like that!




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