Q & A With Bride Johnna: Fiesta Americana Condesa

Bride: Johnna

Groom: George

Resort: Fiesta Americana Condesa

Agent: Audrey

 
What made you decide on having a destination wedding?
We wanted to have our wedding, reception and honeymoon in one location. We also wanted all of our guests to have a really good time. Plus, I have always dreamed of a beach wedding. The beach is the only place I could imagine getting married. My husband had never been to a beach resort and he was blown away. It was our first time in an all-inclusive resort and it was fantastic.
 
What made you decide on the destination/resort/venue?
I picked Mexico. My travel agent, Audrey Kupovics, helped me narrow it down to Cancun. She picked Fiesta Americana Condesa, Cancun, Mexico, which was an excellent pick. The first day I got there I called her and told her, “Audrey, you were right.” 
 
 
What was the biggest difficulty in planning your destination wedding?
Not being able to really see the venue. I could have flown down to Mexico the year before, but we’re on a tight budget.
 
What was the highlight of the experience and what was the biggest surprise?
The ocean front resort and ocean front room were like being in paradise. Seeing the sunrise over the ocean every morning was breath-taking. The biggest surprise was the staff-to-guest ratio. We had several servers at our reception and we had a small wedding. The party favors of balloons and glow sticks were huge hits.  
 
 
How well was the resort and your Onsite Wedding Coordinator to work with?
Lucia was fantastic. She was very responsive and so pleasant to work with. We adored her and our wedding photographer, Adrian.
 

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

Start early. I needed the entire year to get everything done. The little details make all the difference. It also helped our tight budget to pay over time.
 
 
Was there anything that you would change looking back?
No. It was our perfect, dream wedding.
 
Is there anything else you want to add about the resort or your booking agent?
I give them both an A-plus.

Q & A with Bride Adrienne- Dreams Tulum

Bride: Adrienne

Groom: Pablo

Resort: Dreams Tulum

Agent: Alyssa

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

We decided on Dreams Tulum because of its location in the Riviera Maya; the fact that it is a luxury, all-inclusive hotel; has beautiful ambiance; English and Spanish languages are spoken; and their wedding staff has a lot of experience coordinating weddings.

 

What was the highlight of the experience and what was the biggest surprise?

The biggest highlight was how perfect and fun our wedding was.  After months of back and forth emails with the coordinator Landy and our travel agent Alyssa, our vision for our wedding was brought to life!  The biggest surprise for us was all of the added fees and costs at the venue. 

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

Start planning early and plan a wedding that not only meets you and your fiancé’s needs, but the needs of your guests as well.  

 

Was there anything that you would change looking back?

If I could change anything, I probably would have visited the venue prior to the wedding. I was riddled with nerves about the size of the reception hall and the actual look and feel of the chapel.  However, when we arrived to the venue a few days before the wedding, everything was absolutely perfect! I wish I wouldn’t have spent so much energy leading up to the big day worrying about things that ended up being even better than I could have imagined.

Lexi and Juan’s Dream Punta Cana Wedding

Bride: Lexi

Groom: Juan

Resort: Dreams Punta Cana

Agent: Nicki

I chose a destination wedding because I’ve always dreamed of getting married on the beach in a beautiful tropical atmosphere. My husband is from the Dominican Republic so it just made sense to have it in his native country. I chose Dreams Resort and Spa in Punta Cana because their wedding packages seemed to give you the most bang for your buck.

I do not enjoy being stressed out so having everything put together for me made life a lot easier. What I’ve learned from my experience is to roll with the punches. Unexpected things are going to occur and if you let it bother you, it will interfere with your wonderful experience. Your special day comes and goes so quickly so you have to enjoy every moment.

I did not have a lot of people attend my wedding although I invited quite a few. A few friends and family decided to wait to the last minute and the resort sold out so please tell your loved ones to book in advance. I also had friends and family that were unable to go but I didn’t find out till the last minute. This definitely altered my plans and bridal party but I refused to let that interfere with my special day. Keeping a positive attitude is key when having a destination wedding. The service was wonderful at the resort and I know I made the right decision.

Ashley and Randy’s Dream Wedding

Bride: Ashley
Groom: Randy
Resort: Dreams Sands Cancun  
Agent: Lesley
 
What made you decide on having a destination wedding?   
 
It was the most cost effective option that gave us a dream wedding and honeymoon all-in-one at a fraction of the traditional wedding price tag!
 
 
What made you decide on the destination/resort/venue? 
The free wedding package, awesome and romantic honeymoon suite, it was kid friendly which was a must for us since my 11 year old son would be joining the celebration, and the beach! The white sand and clear blue water is why I picked the resort. It had the best beach of all the resorts I looked at… and I looked at A LOT! 
 
 
What was the biggest difficulty in planning your destination wedding?
 
I planned my destination wedding in 2 months start to finish… I didn’t run into complications but I would say that what took me the longest was picking the destination and resort. We initially wanted a Jamaica wedding for a legal ceremony with out the blood tests, etc that Mexico requires. In the end we decided to get married in Cancun to save money. We did the symbolic wedding to avoid the mentioned requirements and our guests were non the wiser. We got married in the court house privately before we left. We had no issues at all. 
 
What was the highlight of the experience and what was the biggest surprise? 
Highlights let’s see… the food was AMAZING! The staff was great (you MUST visit Armando the bar tender at the ocean side bar, he’s the best ever! He is so friendly and remembers every guest name! He makes your bar visit feel personal like you’ve been a regular for years.) The beach was perfect, so beautiful and clean! The rooms were the best I have EVER stayed in and my wedding was everything I wanted it to be. Ruby and her staff went above and beyond to make my wedding so nice, I can’t say that enough!! The night of our wedding the staff surprised us by having our room decorated with rose peddles, champagne, balloons, etc. 
 
 
How well was the resort and your On site Wedding Coordinator to work with?  
 
  The Resort staff was very accommodating. Ruby our wedding coordinator was beyond amazing! She took care of everything and when I couldn’t afford a few add-ons to our package she surprised me the day of with the few extra touches at no additional charge. I really think Ruby and her staff went above and beyond to make my wedding stress free and wonderful. We also added the Amber photography package and the photographer was great! I get complements all the time that our wedding photos look like something that should be in an add magazine. We are both very happy with the way our wedding photos turned out!
 
If your best friend were planning a destination wedding what would your advice be to her?
 
I have recommended a destination wedding to everyone I know. I am very happy we skipped all the traditional wedding stress and family drama with our choice. We had 12 guest come to our wedding, so with the bride and groom our total wedding party was 14 people. I feel like we had the perfect turn out!… Especially with only 2 months notice!
 
Was there anything that you would change looking back?
 
 The only thing I would have changed is that I would ask the wedding coordinator to do a walk through before hand. My son walked me down the isle and I wasn’t exactly sure where to walk, then once down in front the three of us (my husband, son and I) kind of felt lost as to where to stand. A walk through is the only thing that could have made my wedding more comfortable. 
 
 
Lastly I want to speak praise over my travel agent Lesley. She was Amazing. She helped me plan travel arrangements for 14 people and was there at every turn to aid and assist. I never had to worry or stress about anything. She always made me feel like I was her top priority. I never felt like she was too busy for me or that she was hard to get ahold of. She also had very good advice when I asked for it and was never pushy or over barring. My husband and I both decided that she will be planning all of our family and anniversary trips from here on out! Thank you so much Lesley for all you help and support. 
 
 
 
 
 

Ruba in Aruba: Q & A With the Bride

Bride: Ruba
Groom: James
Resort: Divi Aruba 
Agent: Alyssa

What made you decide on having a destination wedding?

I’ve always dreamed of having a beach wedding since I was a little girl, but since there aren’t any beaches in Dallas where I live, I had to look elsewhere!

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

I decided on Aruba for a few reasons. First, my name is Ruba – I know it is silly but I’ve always wanted to go there and it seemed like the perfect opportunity! Second, my friend had told me how she had just attended a wedding in Aruba and how wonderful it had been so it got me even more interested. I’ve also had family who had visited before who also had great things to say about it. Third, when I was reaching out to venues in Aruba, I heard back from an event planner in Aruba who showed me pictures of all the amazing weddings they had hosted at the venue that she works out of, and she showed me what she could do which gave me more faith in having the wedding in Aruba. 

What was the biggest difficulty in planning your destination wedding? 

Trying to get guests to RSVP on time – there were several who didn’t bother to tell us no so it was hard to get an accurate estimate on number of attendees. Without an estimate, it was difficult to assess how many goody bags needed to be prepared, how many guests would need transportation to the hotel, how many for the rehearsal dinner, how many meals were needed, etc.

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

I would tell her to pick a place that isn’t too expensive for guests to fly out to.

 

What was the highlight of the experience and what was the biggest surprise?

The highlight was seeing all our friends and family coming together and having a great time meeting and hanging out with each other in such a beautiful setting. This was most apparent when we booked a sunset cruise for all the guests two nights before the wedding. Everyone was relaxed and dancing since it was a vacation for all! We got to spend real quality time with everyone before the wedding which doesn’t typically happen at a non-destination wedding. The biggest surprise was seeing all the cactus growing in Aruba!

How was the resort and your Onsite WeddingCoordinator to work with?

My event planner was amazing! She is based out of the resort that we had the wedding at so she knew all the staff and had all the hookups. She was very organized as well. The resort where we had the wedding was very beautiful! There was a great place for the beach ceremony, and then the reception building was only a few steps away that also overlooked the ocean.

Was there anything that you would change looking back?

I would still probably do a destination wedding, but I would probably choose a more affordable/closer destination for the guests. I also probably would have moved us to a different resort after the wedding so that we could have a true honeymoon to ourselves – we kept running into the guests after the wedding since the resort was so small.

Is there anything else you want to add about the resort or your booking agent?

I think having a travel agent made travel arrangements much easier as there was less to worry about when it came to the hotel, flight, etc. I also think it encouraged people to come who otherwise wouldn’t have if they had had to book everything themselves. The resort we stayed at was perfect for the event – small enough that we could spend time with all the other guests staying there, but big enough to accommodate all of us at dinners, beach, pool, etc.