Interview With Bride Danielle

Bride: Danielle

Groom: Blake

Resort: Secrets Capri

Advisor: Audrey

What made you decide on having a destination wedding? We decided to have a destination wedding for several reasons. The first and biggest reason was that we didn’t want to have the same type of wedding that everyone else has. It just wasn’t the right fit for us as a couple. Second, we also wanted to have more of an experience and more time with our guests. With having the bonfire (aka rehearsal dinner) on Friday and the wedding on Saturday we were able to spend much more time with everyone who attended. Lastly, we just love to travel. We got engaged in Europe and consider travel to be a very large part of our lives. Since traveling is such a big part of our lives why wouldn’t we pick a destination wedding? 


What made you decide on the destination/resort/venue?  Audrey, our wonderful travel agent, helped us narrow down the giant list of resorts to about 5 that she and the team at Legacy Travel had been to personally. This insiders information was what gave me the trust and knowledge that I was making the most informed decision that I could. Looking online at the website can only tell you so much, but having a group of people who had been to the resorts and knew the wedding coordinator made the world of a difference. We decided on Secrets Capri mainly because keeping my guests budgets in mind was at the top of my list. However, I cannot say enough good things about this resort. It was fantastic and surpassed my expectations in every way. 

What was the biggest difficulty in planning your destination wedding?
The biggest challenge was getting all of my younger guests to book and planning/coordinating the wedding from miles away via email. A lot of the problems that I have heard about destination weddings are about the long wait times when communicating with the wedding coordinator. This was NOT a problem  at Secrets Capri with Angie and Maria. They are very quick at communicating with you via email (quick replies as in 1 day, but no more than 2). This was SO important.   

How well was the resort and your On site Wedding Coordinator to work with?
Secrets Capri- The Resort:
We had read all of the reviews on this resort and some were good and some were bad, but this is typical for every resort. So, we went in with honest expectations as this was reasonably priced resort. The resort although older is lovely. It is a fun hacienda style (very yellow) and offers a little bit of everything for a big group of people (47). For us, we loved that our younger friends could go to the sports bar at night until 1:30 AM and that our parents friends could have a quite night in or join us at the bar. Everyone loved the smaller size as this resort is not as large as most of the other ones in Playa del Carmen & Cancun. Secrets Capri was the perfect combination of fun for everyone as we had all ages at the wedding (19 to 75). One complaint that we heard was that a lot of people think that the pool is rundown. We honestly didn’t spend any time at the pool, so I cannot review it more than to say that its pretty. However, this resort is all about the beach. It is fantastic. So, you will not need the pool with a beach like the one here. Go ahead and rent a Bali Bed they are 50$ a day and extremely nice to have. Lastly, the service overall at Capri is amazing. My father in law loves Dr. Pepper and asked that they have it for him in the rooms mini fridge. He was so surprised, all week long they had Dr. Pepper stocked for him. We loved that they had this level of service. If you ask for something at this resort they will do their absolute best to make it happen. 

The Wedding Coordinator: Angie and her assistant Maria were 100% on top of everything. They were organized and professional at every step of the planning process. Everything concerning the wedding was put into a contract and signed at the bottom whenever a change was made. This made the planning transparent and there were no surprises once we arrived at the resort for the wedding. These two women made both the Bonfire and the Wedding so much better than I thought they would be. They thought of everything and spent so much time and effort making our day perfect. I couldn’t have asked for a better wedding coordinator.      

What was the highlight of the experience and what was the biggest surprise?
The highlight of our wedding was the wedding! The bonfire was a huge surprise as I had no idea that it would be as nice as it was.  

If your best friend were planning a destination wedding what would your advice be to her?
Find a place you like and book it. Don’t listen to anyone else besides your significant other. A wedding is between the bride and groom no one else. 

Was there anything that you would change looking back?
I wish we had added more days to the trip!


Is there anything else you want to add about the resort or your booking agent Audrey?
Just book it! It will all be worth it once you get there. The memories you will take away with you will be ones you will cherish for the rest of your lives. 

Interview with bride Alexis: Dreams Playa Mujeres

Bride: Alexis

Groom: Vincent

Resort: Dreams Playa Mujeres

Advisor: Hannah

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

Neither of us ever really dreamed of having a huge at home wedding. Both of us love to travel so we decided it only made sense. We also knew that a destination wedding would mean an extended party in paradise with those that mean the most to us.

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

Hannah was great with providing us many options. We looked through the wedding packages and venues, read reviews, and considered cost. Ultimately, we needed a resort that could accommodate 100 guests, be kid friendly, and meet our expectations on food, service, and overall needs. I will say that having 100 guests limited our options, but ultimately we ended up at a new (only a year and a half old) resort and we couldn’t have been happier with our decision.

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

I would say the biggest difficulty was planning the decor for our wedding. The resort was great in the sense that they could make anything and everything happen. This wasn’t a resort that provided you with 5 style options and you had to choose one. I got to customize everything about it. The trouble with that came with the pricing. A lot of what I chose revolved around how much it would cost. The decor guides are limited, so it’s a lot of back and forth emailing of pictures to get quotes and making adjustments to meet your budget.

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

I would say the highlight was just getting to spend multiple days in paradise with my guests. Some family stayed a full week and others just a couple days. It was so nice to enjoy the reception without having to feel like I had to walk around and thank everyone for coming. I had already seen them at the pool the day before or at the welcome dinner the night before. It was a vacation with all of my closest friends and family.

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

The resort and our Onsite Wedding Coordinator were very sweet and they can customize almost anything to meet your vision. Most of the communication is done via email, but if you ask to jump on a call they are more than happy to do so. The more pictures and inspiration you have, the easier it is to help them help you get exactly what you want.

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

My first piece of advice would be to call Hannah:) She really made the process so much smoother for us. My second piece of advice would be to do your due diligence before selecting your resort and wedding packages. Take your time to look over the packages and ask questions around what is included and what isn’t included in the price. Also try to get enough information as you can around pricing for vendors and upgraded decor, flowers, lighting, etc. 

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


Honestly, I don’t think I would change a thing. If I had to pick something, I would stress less and know that Hannah and the resort will take care of anything and everything to ensure that your big day is just as you envisioned it. 


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!!

Interview with the Bride: Haley’s Majestic Wedding

Bride: Haley

Groom: Michael

Resort: Majestic Mirage

Travel Advisor: Lesley

 

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

We chose to do a destination wedding because it allowed us to extend the celebration. Couples spend countless hours and money in preparation for just one day, which goes by so fast. Why not make it a week long celebration with all your family and friends in a beautiful place!

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

We looked through countless resorts in Punta Cana and in other countries. What helped us decide was from reviews as well as the pictures of the resorts. I also liked the fact that the Majestic mirage was the newest of the resort. 

 

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

What was most difficult was in the beginning trying to figure out how many guest where going to actually be coming to the wedding. After finding out the actual number, decision making is much easier!

4.) What was the highlight of the experience and what was the biggest surprise? 
Besides the obvious my wedding was the highlight of my trip. Going on the excursion was very fun and a great time with friends and family. A pleasant surprise was how awesome the coffee shop was at the resort!! 
 
 
 
 
5.) How well was the resort and your On site Wedding Coordinator to work with?  
They where fantastic! Both of them where very attentive and on top of their jobs. They absolutely kept me on track during the week and especially for the wedding day. 
6.) If your best friend were planning a destination wedding what would your advice be to her?
Don’t sweat the small stuff! Don’t get to caught up on what Pinterest is telling you to do. Don’t ever assume things, don’t be afraid to ask questions!
7.) Was there anything that you would change looking back?
NO WAY! I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect week let alone a more perfect wedding!!