Q&A: Dreams Tulum Beach Wedding

Bride: Angela
Groom: Daniel
Resort: Dreams Tulum
Agent: Audrey

  1. What made you decide on having a destination wedding? We love the water and wanted a scenic beach wedding.
  2. What made you decide on the destination/resort/venue? We discussed our options with our travel agent, Audrey, and decided that Tulum was the best fit for us.
  3. What was the biggest difficulty in planning your destination wedding? We didn’t have any difficulties. Legacy travel and our agent, Audrey, made the entire process very easy.
  4. What was the highlight of the experience and what was the biggest surprise? The highlight of the experience was our wedding ceremony. The biggest surprise was how our room was decorated by the staff on the day of our wedding. 
  5. How well was the resort and your Onsite Wedding Coordinator to work with? The resort and the onsite wedding coordinator were fantastic. Upon our arrival, our wedding coordinator met us in the front lobby. She sat down with us and confirmed all of our arrangements. 
  6. If your best friend were planning a destination wedding what would your advice be to her? Book at Dreams Tulum. It is worth every penny and then some.
  7. Was there anything that you would change looking back? We would have stayed longer.
  8. Is there anything else you want to add about the resort or your booking agent? The resort staff was very attentive. All of the restaurants served amazing food. The transportation service to/from the airport were very prompt. Last but not least, the excursions were a lot of fun and very well organized.

Q & A: Elizabeth and Kelly at Valentin Imperial Maya

Bride: Elizabeth
Groom: Kelly
Resort: Valentin Imperial Maya
Agent: Hannah

  1. What made you decide on having a destination wedding?

 

 

My husband, Kelly, and I have always dreamt of getting married on the beach, barefoot in the sand, ever since both of us were little kids. But, we didn’t think it would be financially possible. After meeting with Hannah and contacting a few resorts to get an idea for the package cost, plus extras, etc., we discovered that our dream wedding on the beach was possible!

 

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

 

We ultimately decided to choose the Valentin Imperial Maya for several reasons: (1) The cost for our guests to stay 4 nights was reasonably affordable; (2) We read SO many raving reviews of the resort from people who were first time visitors, as well as repeat customers who don’t stay anywhere besides the Valentin – some of which had gone back 5, 7, and even 9 different times!; and (3) A few years ago I had spoken with a Cheap Caribbean rep about potential resorts for a vacation with friends and he told me that him and his wife are loyal Valentin customers – it’s their favorite resort of all the resorts they’d ever visited. They went for the first time for their honeymoon, and liked it so much they’ve been back every year since!

 

  1. What was the biggest difficulty in planning your destination wedding?

 

The most difficult part of planning was probably figuring out the transport situation for all of the decorations and welcome gift items we were bringing with us. I had done an enormous amount of research online about the best way to transport the items, and it sounded like shipping them ahead of time was too risky, so we checked everything on the plane. But even with all of the prep work, taking a spreadsheet listing out each group of items with their respective costs, we still encountered a little pushback in the Cancun airport customs area.

 

I think we were flagged because Kelly and I had checked 5 large bags between the two of us – 3 for decor/welcome gifts and 2 personal bags, plus my dress and other carryons.  Luckily Kelly speaks a little Spanish and was able to explain to the customs agent that the items in our bags were gifts for our 65 wedding guests! He was prepared to charge us $1,000 extra tax for the items since we were carrying more than $500 worth of items per person (he asked for the total value of the items so I pulled out my spreadsheet.) After about 15 minutes of the agent searching through all 5 of our checked bags, he let us go, but it was a nerve racking experience to say the least.

 

I would recommend to any destination bride who is bringing a significant amount of decor/gift items with them, make sure you ask 2-3 family members or bridal party members to check the extra bags under their names so that you don’t get flagged in the first place. But also make sure you have a list documenting the cost of each item with a grand total, just in case they ask for it. And make sure each person isn’t checking more than $500 worth of stuff.

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

 

The biggest highlight was when I was walking down the aisle and initially saw Kelly for the first time at the altar. The sun was about to start setting in the sky, the waves were crashing behind him, all of our closest friends and family was there – it was truly the most perfect day and a moment that I’ll never forget!

  1. How well was the resort and your Onsite Wedding Coordinator to work with?

 

Our wedding coordinator at the Valentin, Leslie Robledo, was unbelievable!! I started emailing with her in January and finished the bulk of the planning by the end of August, for our wedding on November 5. I’m a perfectionist so it helped that Leslie has amazing attention to detail because she understood how important the details were to Kelly and me.

 

Together, we planned every single detail of the ceremony and reception, and upon my request, she quoted costs up front for every extra expense that was above our package cost so that I could easily track expenses for my parents throughout the process.

 

And when it came time to execute our incredible vision, Leslie and her team carried out every tiny detail to perfection! She even surprised me by throwing in the gold sequin tablecloth that I wanted for the cake table at the reception but had to nix early on. It put the finishing touch on our glamorous reception – what an awesome surprise!

 

I would highly recommend working with Leslie. She never said “No” to any of our requests, she always said “Let me see what I can do,” and we really appreciated that. Leslie and her team made our dream wedding come true!! ūüôā

 

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

 

Do it! And never look back. So worth it!

  1. Was there anything that you would change looking back?

 

No way! Every detail of our wedding weekend was absolutely perfect! All of our guests had a blast, too. A few of them told Kelly that it was the most beautiful and fun wedding they’d ever been to ūüôā

 

Q&A with bride Barbara: Dreams Riviera Cancun

Bride: Barbara
Groom: Kevin
Resort: Dreams Riviera Cancun
Agent: Hannah

Amazing wedding at Dreams Riviera Maya - Moshi Moshi Photography - Moshi Cabo Photography

 

What made you decide on having a destination wedding? 

We actually both envisioned ourselves having a destination wedding.  We had each been to a couple of them and loved the idea of spending multiple days with family and friends.  Another big factor was how much easier and less stressful it would be to plan a destination wedding!

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

We narrowed our location down to the Cancun/Riviera Maya area due to the number of beautiful resorts, the amazing look of the beaches there, and the cost of travel for our guests!   We did a little bit of research before contacting a travel agent, and fell in love with the layout and look of the rooms at Dreams Riviera Cancun.  I searched for the top rated destination wedding travel agencies in DFW, and Legacy Travel came up during my search.  I contacted them, and Hannah Cote was so quick to respond!   After giving her our list of wants/needs she sent back a list of resorts that met our requests with great prices for our guests.  Dreams Riviera Cancun was one of those resorts!  It was a great price point for what you get (beautiful rooms, nice resort layout, plenty of restaurants, many activities)!  The icing on the cake was that Dreams Riviera Cancun are known for their weddings.  They do an amazing job!  More than anything, we wanted this to be a vacation for our guests with a cool wedding on top of it!

 

Amazing wedding at Dreams Riviera Maya - Moshi Moshi Photography - Moshi Cabo Photography


What was the biggest difficulty in planning your destination wedding?

I didn’t feel like planning a destination wedding was very difficult for us.  I was a very laid back bride so I didn’t need to ask our wedding coordinator a lot of questions during the planning phase.  The thing I realized about planning a Destination Wedding, is that you can make it as easy or as difficult as you want.  One thing that might be difficult would be waiting for the wedding coordinator to contact you regarding the wedding details.  Depending on the resort, some of the wedding coordinators typically don’t reach out to you until about 3 months before the wedding.  They are so busy planning other weddings, but when your time comes, their focus is on you!  I actually liked that they waited so long to contact us.  I can’t even tell you how many times I changed my mind about what I wanted.

 

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

Our wedding day!  Both our ceremony and reception were beautiful and more than I dreamed of!  We had our reception in the ballroom and it had a WOW factor!  Our flower arrangements were large and beautiful, the lighting was amazing, and everything was put together so well! 

 

How well was the resort and your Onsite Wedding Coordinator to work with?

Dreams Riviera Cancun is a well-oiled machine!  They know exactly what they are doing when it comes to hosting weddings.  Our wedding coordinator, Natalia, took care of everything for us!  Natalia, the wedding department, and the service team were amazing.  The DJ, the food, really everything was fantastic!  They also have so many options to choose from when it comes to planning your wedding.  We chose to add a cigar roller and that was a hit!

 

Amazing wedding at Dreams Riviera Maya - Moshi Moshi Photography - Moshi Cabo Photography

 

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

A destination wedding is the way to go!!!  Definitely get a travel agent to handle all of your guests travel arrangements!  I would highly recommend Hannah with Legacy Travel!  She was amazing and answered every question we had.  Having a travel agent handle our guests travel arrangements was one less thing for us to worry about.  Plus they sent these awesome fliers out with the resort information so that our guests had Legacy Travel’s info when they were ready to book.  Our guests had nothing but great things to say about Hannah and how easy it was for them to book.  Another piece of advice would be to research weddings at different resorts they are thinking about.  I think the reason I did not stress about how our wedding would turn out, was because I saw so many pictures and read many reviews of different weddings at Dreams Riviera Cancun.  I knew they would make my wedding vision a reality.

 

Was there anything that you would change looking back? 

I don’t think there is anything we would change!  Our guests still rave about how much they loved the resort and the entertainment team there.  They even talk about how beautiful our wedding was!

Q & A: Sandals Royal Bahamian with bride Hannah

Bride: Hannah
Groom: Corey
Resort: Sandals Royal Bahamian
Agent: Lesley

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What made you decide on having a destination wedding?

Many of my married friends who had traditional weddings have confided in me that they wish they had just gotten married on the beach instead. I decided to skip the regret and just go for it! I was shocked and pleased when I realized how affordable it was to have a¬†destination¬†wedding (especially if you don’t have a lot of guests), and you can’t beat the stress free experience of tying the knot at an all inclusive resort.
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What made you decide on the (original) destination/resort/venue? 

My main criteria was that I wanted to be on a beautiful beach, and be at an all inclusive resort. Originally I chose Jamaica, but my now husband told me during the planning that, “Everyone gets married in Jamaica, let’s go somewhere more exotic.” We settled on Sandals Royal Bahamian (in the Bahamas), but in an ironic twist of fate we had to choose another resort about a month before the wedding due to unexpected maintenance. And guess where we ended up? Jamaica. We both loved every moment of our experience in Ocho Rios, and are happy to join the ranks of “everyone” who has gotten married there. I feel like we definitely ended up there for a reason!

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What was the biggest difficulty in planning your destination wedding? 
 

It was a little disappointing that none of the guests we invited were able to make it out to the wedding, but we ended up really enjoyed the intimacy of a one on one ceremony and not having our family at the resort during our honeymoon. As I mentioned. the original resort we chose ended up closing for 2 months which happened to include our wedding date, so we had to scramble a little to change our plans and choose another resort. It was a very stressful bump in the road, but luckily we had new reservations and flight booked within a week.

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What was the highlight of the experience and what was the biggest surprise?
The actual day of our wedding could not have possibly been more perfect. We had a brief but sweet ceremony barefoot in the sand, which I had been dreaming about for a long time. We met another lovely couple at the resort who attended and took some photos for us, and shared our cake and champagne toast later. Everywhere we went for the rest of the day, the staff and other resort visitors congratulated us. Then we spent the day on the beach and saw the most beautiful sunset of our entire lives.
The biggest surprise came when we went back to our room on our wedding night. Our butler really went all out to decorate our room, including a disco light, an entire cake, rose petals, and a card. I was so surprised that I accidentally locked myself out of the room running to get my husband to come and see it!

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How well was the resort and your On site Wedding Coordinator to work with?  

It felt a little awkward at first sitting in the wedding coordinator’s office, because we knew going in we were just going to have the bare bones minimum and not make any extra purchases. I was worried she might pressure us into buying something additional, but she ended up being absolutely understanding when we told her we wanted to keep it super basic since it was just the two of us with no guests. I feel like she put the same amount of effort into our wedding as she would for a bride with 100 guests. I really can’t thank her enough for her understanding and her help.

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

I would tell her to really embrace the stress free experience. Don’t worry about planning and just let the resort coordinator take care of it, all you have to do is show up. Make your wedding about you, not about your guests.

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Was there anything that you would change looking back? 
I might have set some more money aside to use for excursions and spa treatments, but I still think that my experience was absolutely perfect and I would not change a thing.

A Beach Wedding in Cancun

Bride: Chelsey
Groom: Erik
Resort: Iberostar Cancun
Agent: Nicki

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We spoke to bride Chelsey about her beach¬†wedding and here’s what she had to say:
My favorite memory of the trip was
waking up every morning to the view in our room and feeling like we had nothing to worry about the whole time we were there!
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We chose Iberostar because it was recommended to us by Nicki and we trusted her judgement and the reviews it had online! It was more breathtaking in person then it was in pictures online.
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I would recommend this place for any bride or couple wanting to get away! It was a dream every morning and we didn’t want to leave! Everything was taken care of the moment we got there and the biggest advice I can give to anyone is go through a travel agent because they will take care of everything to keep you from worrying about anything while you’re there. We would not change a single thing about this trip and we plan on going back next year for our anniversary.