Interview with bride Nicole: Dreams Riviera Cancun

Bride: Nicole

Groom: Mychael

Resort: Dreams Riviera Cancun

Advisor: Lesley

  • What made you decide on having a destination wedding?

We decided pretty early on in the wedding planning process that we wanted to do a destination wedding. A couple of years ago, we attended my cousin Ali’s wedding in Tulum and had the most incredible time. It wasn’t about the actual wedding day per say, it was about all the quality time we got to spend with everyone. Instead of just having a few hours to try and chat with all the guests, people were able to spend real time and have actual conversations. Family had a chance to catch up and friends all mingled. People from different parts of their lives, all got to know each other. We loved so many things about that trip that we decided to do something really similar. Fortunately, my cousin is really cool and was flattered when I asked if we could model our wedding after hers.

Second to that, our family and friends are spread throughout the country, so pretty much no matter where we decided to get married, most people would have to travel and it would be a destination wedding. And we love the beach, so we knew from the get-go that our ceremony would be on the sand.


  • What made you decide on the destination/resort/venue?

We decided to use my cousin Ali’s travel agent (told you we were copying her wedding J) Lesley from Legacy Travel. Originally I was researching resorts myself and trying to keep track of everything in a very complex excel grid, but once Lesley got involved, life was so much easier. She has strong recommendations on the best areas and also the best hotels – not just in terms of location, but also which ones have helpful and responsive wedding planners (hugely important for a destination wedding).

Lesley arranged for a site check trip and we looked at 8 hotels in the Riviera Maya, specifically in Playa Mujeres, Cancun, Puerto Morelos and Playa del Carmen. In the end, we decided on Dreams Riviera Cancun in Puerto Morelos. The hotel was tucked away and felt very private, but was still only a short distance to the airport, which was something we kept in mind for some of our older guests and those that were anxious about traveling out of the country. It is a beautiful hotel, situated right on the beach. One of the things that stood out for us was the pool area and the entertainment staff. We wanted to make sure our hotel had things to keep people entertained, but was also relaxing for those that wanted a quieter vacation. We also wanted to be sure kids would have fun as well because plenty of our friends have children.

All the hotels we saw were really nice and the staff was incredibly friendly, but Dreams checked all the boxes for us.


  • How was the resort?

The resort overall was incredible. Perfect for groups with plenty for everyone to do, whether they wanted to be entertained or just relax. We had some trouble with the room drops, so I’m not sure I would recommend going that route. We gave the list and the gift bags to concierge, and met with them three different times to go over it, but still some of our guests never received a gift bag. We were charged per room drop, so that was a bit disappointing. Unfortunately, we had so much going on and were running around so much that I didn’t have a chance to go back a fourth time to try and sort it out. In general though, the resort staff was so helpful and accommodating. The stick to a very high-level of service and some of the people we met went so far above and beyond, it was impressive.. The entire activities staff was so fun and did an incredible job of keeping people entertained. Also, our photographer was INCREDIBLE! I didn’t really know what to expect since you have to use the onsite photography company, but we ended up with a really amazing photographer – Nicandro Jimenez. He had such great ideas, his photos came out amazing and he was really fun to be around. If I could, I would hire him for all our shoots! Maybe I can convince him to move to San Francisco.

  • If your best friend were planning a destination wedding what would your advice be to her?

Understand in advance that not everyone will be able to attend, be flexible and don’t get too stuck on any idea, and arrive early before any of the guests get to the location

  • Was there anything that you would change looking back?

Had we known about the seaweed issue down there, we probably would have chosen a different location. There was so much seaweed in the water that you couldn’t go in the ocean. We have friends that went up to Playa Mujeres and said it was much better. Other than that, just small things. I may not have done gift bags because that ended up taking more of my time than it was probably worth.  And I definitely would have arrived a day earlier. We needed a day to take care of things before people started to arrive.

Katina and Brandon’s Dreamy Wedding

Bride: Katina

Groom: Brandon

Resort: Dreams Playa Mujeres

Advisor: Nicki

I chose my destination/venue because my friend had her wedding at the Dreams Resort in Rivera Maya and she used Nicki with Legacy as well. I looked into the same resort that she used and stumbled upon the Dreams Resort in Playa Mujeres. The pictures were absolutely breathtaking and the resort is newer with more upgrades. The view in person was far better and breathtaking than any picture.

            The biggest surprise for us was getting preferential treatment immediately upon arrival. The amazing staff met my husband and I with champagne and my kids with a glass of lemonade. Nicki from Legacy Travel worked with the Resort to have us upgraded to preferred which offered us a luxurious vacation. My children 10 and 12 enjoyed the room service and that they could order non-alcoholic beverages from the swim up bar and at dinner. The staff treated them with the same respect that they treated the adults. This was wonderful and made the experience that much better.

            If my best friend was planning a destination wedding I would get her in touch with Nicki at Legacy Travel first and I would recommend the Dreams Resort at Playa Mujeres. My wedding coordinator Marcela was amazing and made the wedding of my dreams happen on my budget. The only thing that I would say that I would want other people to know is that my son absolutely loved the teen core club, My daughter who is 10 went to the explorer’s club that was available for her age group. She did not enjoy the club and felt like it was geared for kids 6 and under. That’s ok because the resort is family friendly and she was able to hang with us and have the time of her life.

We started our day out with a couples massage and enjoyed the rest of our day laying in a cabana by the pool. I then walked to the spa/salon at 3pm to get my hair and makeup done. They set me up in the bridal suite which had food and beverages and a personal bathroom. They had my dress and bouquet in the bridal suite ready to go when I finished with my hair. From there my wedding coordinator had all of my makeup and clothes sent back to my room and she drove my wedding party and myself to the area where it was just a short walk to beach. This is where all of the magic happened. I walked down the boardwalk to the sand and down the aisle to my best friend where we shared our own written vows to spend eternity together. We will definitely be back next year to celebrate our 1 year anniversary. I don’t know why anyone would ever get married any other way!!

Q&A with Bride Crystal

Bride: Crystal

Groom: Trent

Resort: Dreams Riviera Cancun

Travel Advisor: Hannah

 

What made you decide on having a destination wedding?

We both knew that we wanted something different. I, originally wanted to elope just the two of us. And then we decided we would just invite immediate family. Well, that quickly escalated to cousins, and nieces and nephews, so we decided to just have a wedding! A destination wedding was the best of both worlds. We had the intimacy we wanted, and the destination.


What made you decide on the destination/resort/venue? 

Hannah did an awesome job of giving us many options when it came to picking the location of the wedding. For us it was important
that the resort was small so we could see our guests everyday, as well as cost effective for all of those traveling. We ultimately ended
up choosing Dreams Riviera Cancun because it was:
A: On the smaller side
B: Only 30 minutes from the airport. This was important to use because we had a lot of guests that had never traveled to Mexico.
C: Amazing wedding reviews
 

What was the biggest difficulty in planning your destination wedding?
 
The most difficult thing for me was waiting until 3 months prior to speak to our wedding coordinator at the resort. 
By 3 month before the wedding, a theme is already planned, without any actual planning. Bridesmaids dresses 
were picked, wedding dress, groomsmen attire. It as difficult to envision what the wedding would ultimately
end up looking like without fully understanding what the options were. Thankfully, my planner was amazing
and everything came out wonderfully.

 

 What was the highlight of the experience and what was the biggest surprise?
 
Honestly, everything! I was just completely blown away with the details that went into each event
starting with our rehearsal/welcome party, the cocktail hour, and the wedding. Fernanda (our wedding
coordinator) has fantastic taste, and everything came together beautifully. It rained everyday while we
were there so we had to go with plan B for our ceremony and reception and moved it all inside. I was
so distraught over it on the day of the wedding, but it was all amazing. You couldn’t even tell that our
reception was being held inside of a Mexican restaurant!
 
 
 
How well was the resort and your Onsite Wedding Coordinator to work with?
 
AMAZING. Poor Fernanda, I was so stubborn when it came to the idea of moving the wedding inside.
She did not miss a beat on any of the plans that we had made. She even found sparklers for us last
minute on the day of! The details, I feel like the pictures don’t even do them justice. She was always
available and had great communication. I can’t rave about her enough.
 
 
If your best friend were planning a destination wedding what would your advice be to her? 
 
DO IT! Don’t listen to anyone. The people that want to be there will be there. Get a travel agent
aka Hannah because she will make your life so easy and also those of your guests. Those 4
days surrounded by loved ones on the beach have been no doubt, the best days of our lives
and we wouldn’t do a thing differently. 
 

 
Was there anything that you would change looking back?
 
NO! Honestly, even the dates because of the rain. We got amazing pictures and everything
worked out how it was supposed to.
 

 

Photobook: Amber and Robin

Bride: Amber

Groom: Robin

Resort: Finest Playa Mujeres

Travel Advisor: Terrah

 

Photobook: Addie and Shane at Riu Palace Mexico

Bride: Addie

Groom: Shane

Resort: Riu Palace Mexico

Travel Advisor: Terrah

 

Our trip/wedding in Mexico was everything I had ever dreamed of. Everyone was so nice and helpful throughout the whole trip! Thank you so much again for all your help.