Q & A with bride Sage: Dreams Sands Cancun

Bride: Sage
Groom: Luke
Resort: Dreams Sands Cancun
Agent: Hannah
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1. What made you decide on having a destination wedding?
 We love to travel! The idea of a all inclusive, week long celebration with our closest friends and family sounded like the perfect fit for us. We also understand how expensive weddings can be. When weighing the options and looking at the cost of a wedding in our city compared to a destination wedding, it was a no brainer for us!
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2. What made you decide on the destination/resort/venue?
I had heard from a friend that had stayed there and said it was wonderful. Also my awesome wedding planner Hannah just planned a wedding for another couple there and she said it was beautiful as well. This made us feel comfortable choosing Dreams Sands. 
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3. What was the biggest difficulty in planning your destination wedding?
I would say the biggest difficulty would be just basing decisions off of pictures and actually seeing it in person. It was a little bit difficult at the time but i think it was the best way for me. I am not a big planner and can get overwhelmed when i have too many options. You just have to trust your wedding planner.
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4. What was the highlight of the experience and what was the biggest surprise?
The highlight of my experience was how absolutely stunning the ceremony and reception was! I could not have asked for a better wedding day. The reception was amazing i would definitely recommend the light up dance floor, all 50 of my guest danced all night long, it was a blast! The best surprise was during our first dance they had fireworks shoot up behind us, it was magical! 
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5. How well was the resort and your Onsite Wedding Coordinator to work with?
The resort was perfect, every single person was so accommodating and so friendly. I can not rave enough about our onsite wedding coordinator Rubi. She is the best! She made sure everything was perfect for us on our big day. If you get a chance to work with her you are in good hands.
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6.  If your best friend were planning a destination wedding what would your advice be to her?
The best advice i have is don’t stress. Your wedding planner and wedding coordinator are professionals. They do this all the time and will make sure your day is amazing so just trust them!
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7. Was there anything that you would change looking back?
  Honestly, i wouldn’t change anything! The entire week was the best week of my life. When i look back i could not think of one thing that would have made it more perfect. Destination weddings are the way to go!

Q &A: Secrets Playa Mujeres with Elizabeth & Justin

Bride: Elizabeth
Groom: Justin
Resort: Secrets Playa Mujeres
Agent: Hannah

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

B&G – Having been a wedding/event planner for almost 4 years in my prior job, I knew what the average wedding would cost in the US as well as how much work/planning you have to put into it for it to be what you can afford. Luckily my fiancé and I also love to travel so we just knew when it was time to plan our wedding that it would be abroad for less price and less planning on our part and way more fun than a traditional wedding!

 

2.What made you decide on the destination/resort/venue? 
B&G – We tossed back and forth about the location because we wanted something exotic and a place we had never been to before, but when it really came down to choosing – we kept in mind who we wanted to attend with us and how far we could go on such limited vacation time, so we compromised on Mexico. Mostly for how close it is to Texas (for the majority of our family & close friends) so flights were a breeze for most of our guests but we knew we wanted an Adult Only – and 5 Star accommodations that we have been accustomed to traveling and wanted to share that experience with our guests. We selected Secrets because we knew the brand having been to their new location in Cabo the prior year so we knew the quality we would get for the price. We chose Playa Mujeres because it was a new resort location and off the “touristy path” of Cancun, but still close enough for guest excursions to Isla Mujeres or Cancun.

3.What was the biggest difficulty in planning your destination wedding?
B&G – Surprisingly everything was super easy start to finish, but if I had to choose the hardest part was probably just communicating with the wedding coordinators at the resort since their primary language is not English and they are super busy planning tons of weddings every week. SO it was hard for me to relax knowing they got my messages and would take care of me when it was my turn. (Trust me – just relax they got it and they will make it all happen when its GO time!)
4.What was the highlight of the experience and what was the biggest surprise?

B&G – Our biggest surprise was at the reception, we didn’t know we would have a separate M/C with the Dj. We knew we hired a Dj ahead of time and that he had our music list to play, but when we arrived at the reception our M/C Alfonso introduced himself to us and took charge of all the formalities and just asked us a few simple questions before getting started. He really helped set the mood we wanted for the reception and really was such a delight to our guests! Our friends were so complimentary of our wedding afterwards, that it was the most fun they have ever had at a wedding and that was saying A LOT because we are older than most couples so our friends have been to quite a few weddings already! We were so thrilled to keep hearing that over and over! We even had “on lookers” at the resort wanting to join in our fun!

 

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

B&G – Overall the resort was accommodating to us, with a few bumps in communication here and there. (We assumed it was because the resort was still new (only 7months old) so most things were still being worked out rather than systematic like most we have been to) but our wedding coordinator Claudia was absolutely amazing! I slightly panicked when we arrived because the wedding coordinator we had been working with for 6 months was no longer at this resort so we had to down load all of our information onto Claudia two days before the wedding but she really absorbed all of our information and requests and really made our wedding ceremony and reception perfect for us.

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

B&G – DO IT!!! For the amount money we spent, we really got so much more out of it than we ever expected. We walked away with a wedding video, professional photos (on cd and hard cover album in the mail), a plated reception dinner (4 courses!) and all alcohol all included. But most of all – the memories we made with our family and friends while we were there on the trip really made it all so worth it. These memories and experiences together are so valuable to us and we will treasure this adventure we had for our lifetime!

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

B&G – YES! We would definitely build time into the trip for “just the two of us” time. Remember it’s still planning a wedding, so there are days which you have appointments to attend/follow up with photographers and such as well as guests to wrangle and inform, a rehearsal, plus a day for the event and a day to recover. So plan some “alone time” days after all your guests leave so you can decompress after all the excitement.

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Q &A: Secrets Wild Orchid with Valerie & Justin

Bride: Valerie
Groom: Justin
Resort: Secrets Wild Orchid
Agent: Hannah

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

B&G – We went to a friend’s destination wedding in Mexico and had such a good time and realized it would be less stressful and less expensive than doing a wedding here at home.

2.What made you decide on the destination/resort/venue? 
B&G – We picked Secrets Wild Orchid in Montego Bay, Jamaica because it was a good price, a little more than Mexico but less than the Bahamas.  We also really liked the decor of the rooms and the large assortment of activities and restaurants.  We wanted an adult only, all-inclusive resort.


3. What was the biggest difficulty in planning your destination wedding?
B&G – It is a little difficult to plan the details through email with the wedding coordinators, but they were great to work with and did everything I asked and set up everything, including items I brought.   (Getting all the guests’ rooms and travel scheduled would have been very difficult if it were not for our awesome travel agent, Hannah Cote, who took care of all the arrangements for the trip and a golf excursion.)
4. What was the highlight of the experience and what was the biggest surprise?
B&G – The highlight of the trip, other than our wedding, was how beautiful the scenery and sunsets were.    A nice surprise was how big and nice the presidential suite was and that we had butlers.  


5. How well was the resort and your Onsite Wedding Coordinator to work with?
B&G – The wedding coordinators were great to work with and did their best to try to make everything how I wanted it.  The minister was awesome! 
6.  If your best friend were planning a destination wedding what would your advice be to her?
B&G – Go for it!!!  It is a great way to get married.  We had so much fun spending time with our friends and family.  I would tell her that she may want to stay a few days after everyone else leaves or plan on going on a honeymoon later for some alone time.
7. Was there anything that you would change looking back?

B&G – We had our wedding at 2:00 on the beach, because the later spot (4-5) was taken, but as my wedding planners told me, it was hot!!!  Fortunately the guys wore white shirts and the girls wore dark purple dresses, so you could not tell in the pictures that we were all really sweating.  Later would have been better, but there is a higher chance of showers later in the day.  

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Q &A: Secrets St. James with Tiffany & James

Bride: Tiffany
Groom: James
Resort: Secrets St. James
Agent: Hannah

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

B&G – We thought that there would be less of a hassle with decisions and planning. This was also a second wedding for the both of us and we had both been through the “traditional” wedding and wanted something more low-key and easier.

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

B&G – My husband wanted to have a wedding on the beach. I had been to Secrets St. James before and had seen a lot of weddings. I knew that was exactly what I wanted and knew what I would be getting into. 

3. What was the biggest difficulty in planning your destination wedding?
B&G- Honestly, I did not have any problems or difficulties.What was the highlight of the experience and what was the biggest surprise?

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

B&G- The highlight of the experience was the beautiful wedding album that Secrets put together from the pictures we selected, and how calm, patient, and understanding the wedding crew was on the day of. The best surprise was all of the “extras” the resort gave us after the wedding.

5. How well was the resort and your Onsite Wedding Coordinator to work with?
B&G- The resort staff was amazing. They were all friendly and very helpful and accommodating. Simone was a wonderful coordinator that was always in touch with me or Hannah. Communication was very clear and easy among all of the parties involved.

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

B&G- Keep it simple. The view of a beach wedding and the sounds of the waves are all you really need in terms of decor. Trust your coordinator here in the States as well as your destination coordinator. Never hesitate to ask a million questions wedding related or even travel related. 

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

B&G-I would have booked everything sooner, but we also got engaged in October and wanted to get married that Summer. You just have more to work with in terms of dates, times, and airfare pricing the earlier you book.

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The New Dreams Sands Provides the Perfect Start

Bride: Lyndsay
Groom: Collin
Resort: Dreams Sands Cancun
Agent: Hannah

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What made you decide on having a destination wedding? 
The ease and cost of it! I’ve been to one before, and it was the most fun wedding I’ve ever been too. Cost was a big factor since we were paying for everything ourselves, and you can have a gorgeous wedding for way less the cost in another country than if we were to have it here in the states where hundreds more people would have come. Plus, we’re beach people, so having it on the beach just made sense 🙂
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What made you decide on this resort? 
I chose this resort because of the reputations I had read about, out of all AM Resorts,  Dreams Sands was the most cost efficient for our guests since it had just opened Fall of 2014. It was hard to find a bad review about any of the Dreams, Secrets, Zoetry, etc. 
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Who was your photographer, and if you had one, your videographer?
 Our package included an hour long session with the Adventure photographers there at the resort. He was actually awesome, and I ended up buying all of the pictures because I couldn’t decide on just 50 (what our wedding package included)! We will get the video in a few weeks, and I am anxious to see it 🙂 
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What was the highlight of the experience? 
The actual wedding ceremony, saying our vows on the beach in front of our closest friends and family, and then all the dancing at the reception! I recommend getting the light up dance floor…it was a hit!
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Biggest surprise? 
The MC at the wedding! I believe his name was Alfonso, and he was amazing. I had no idea we would have anyone like him MCing the wedding, but he had all the guests dancing, having fun, and the DJ played GREAT music!
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If your best friend were planning a destination wedding, what would your advice be to her? 
You HAVE to be laid back and TRUST the wedding planners at the resort know what they’re doing and will make everything beautiful! Luckily, that was easy for me, but some girls may be the opposite. You will not have much communication with them until the wedding, but just know…that’s ok!!! Also, bring whatever decor you want to save money. They will gladly set it all out how you want for you.
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