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I am so very happy that we picked the Palladium as the venue for our daughter’s wedding. Destination weddings are definitely the way to go and we couldn’t be happier with Matt and Colleen’s wedding celebration. We always felt we were in good hands when it came to one of the most important days in Matt’s and Colleen’s lives and the Palladium proved this to be true.
Dan and I arrived at the resort on Thurs. April 22 with our son, Phil. The flight was good- JetBlue, direct out of Boston. This gave us a few days to chill before other wedding guests began to arrive, which is a good idea. If I had it to do over (and I could have been given the extra time at work, I would have taken a few more days after the wedding as well. We found that we had all received upgrades to Junior Suites! This put us closer to the beach (yay!) since we were all in buildings 50 and 51. Our guests began to arrive on Saturday. Colleen and Matt arrived on Sunday, just in time for their Monday morning appointment with Erika.
Meeting: All the wedding details were finalized at the meeting on Monday. All 4 witnesses provided documents and filled out their paperwork. They were free to go and enjoy paradise at that point. Erika went over the details of timing and who will be picked up where for the ceremony. We also discussed the music for the reception. During the week, all the young folks decided on a playlist for the reception. They used there own IPODS and connected it to the sound system provided for the wedding by the resort. We finalized the meal to make sure we had everything that we had communicated as our choice.
Then we chose flowers, ribbon colors for the chairs and the wedding cake. The flowers were chosen from a book of arrangements that they use. However, the arrangements “ebb and flow,” depending on several factors... Time of year and availability of certain types of flowers is the major factor to consider. Erika is very good at steering you in the right direction, in terms of what will stay fresh looking in those weather conditions as well. The first thing you decide on is the arrangement style. The basic styles were nosegay, cascade and a crescent. There were others and variations of the basics as well. Then we picked the specific types and colors of flowers that you want in the bouquet. Colleen chose a modified nosegay arrangement of cream, peach and coral roses with trails of small cream orchids. The bridesmaids wore coral dresses, so they carried small nosegays of cream colored roses. Boutonnieres were cream orchids and wrist corsages for moms and grandmother were cream roses and orchids. We also put a few small cream flowers in our hair.
The last thing to do at this meeting was to have the bride and groom take their blood tests. Matt and colleen went into the back room of the wedding coordinators office to do this. Lauren (Maid of honor) and I went to the spa to make arrangements for wedding day appointments.
That was it! What a wonderful way to plan a wedding! It takes a lot of the stresses out of the whole process, as it should be.
Getting ready: The wedding was at 4:00 p.m., so Colleen, Lauren and I booked manicure, pedicure and hairstyling to begin at noon. We started with a very relaxing mani/pedi procedure and then moved on to having our hair done. The stylists were very detail oriented and particular about making it perfect. We were impressed! We all had updos so the styles were involved. Yes, they used heavy duty hairspray to help cement it in place, but it would be futile to do anything different. The winds in the RM are always a concern when it comes to hairstyling. This day was particularly windy so I was thankful to have the added protection of hairspray with a good STRONG hold. We were all happy for that and very happy with our hairstyles.
I left the spa before the girls, because I felt it was getting late. Note to self/others: Call a bellhop to come get you! I walked, and by the time I got back to my room I was perspiring. It made it difficult to put makeup on.- so it wasn’t my best day in terms of a fresh face!
I arranged to have Omar pick us (parents, etc) up by our villa. Many people showed up
For the ride so we had to have several carts transport us.to the wedding site. I returned to my room to call and let them know. While walking to the room a green snake crossed my path. –A little hyperventilation/heart racing, but in the end we all arrived at the wedding gazebo and waited for Colleen to arrive. We hired the trio of musicians to play at the wedding. It added a very nice touch to the wedding and was well worth the extra money. I gave them a tip and they came to the reception to play a few more selections.
Colleen got locked out of her room, so that made things run a little behind schedule. Finally, the time had come. We all took our seats and waited for the processional to begin. Bridesmaids first, and then Colleen and her dad .proceeded to walk down the aisle. I was doing pretty well, until Dan gave Colleen a kiss on the cheek. It brought tears to my eyes. All in all I did pretty well and that was it for tears. They just welled up in my eyes for a short while.
The ceremony was wonderful. The officiant personalized it to Colleen and Matt which I didn’t expect. His words were quite touching. Witnesses signed the documents as a part of the ceremony. Colleen and Matt placed their fingerprints on the documents and then Colleen gave the “thumbs up” sign with her ink covered thumb. The setting was beautiful-breathtaking. We are “people of the sea.” You know, there is a spiritual bond there between my family and the ocean. It beckons us. This just seemed to be the perfect place for Colleen to get married. I am sure now that it was the perfect place.
Following the ceremony we had the champagne toast. We had a special honor of having Felipe come by on the Segway and join us for the toast . Artie Plank also attended and he got a chance to check out the Segway with Felipe.
Next came pictures on the beach. Our photographer was Erick from Claudia Photos. He was wonderful. He was truly professional even though we had so many “shutterbugs” snapping pictures at the same time. It must have been difficult for him to get some of the shots – such patience! I have to add that he stayed with us even though we had a late start. He was very accommodating, even went to the trouble of looking for batteries to fit my son’s camera when his battery charge ran out of energy. Thank you, Erick.
Reception Dinner The rest of the wedding party was transported to the Kantenah Lobby for drinks, until it was time for the wedding dinner. Then we were directed to El Gran Azul for our reception dinner. I have to say everything was wonderful. We had salad, onion soup, rolls, Filet Mignon and asparagus. The flavor of the beef was excellent and the presentation for all courses outstanding. The wedding cake was our dessert. The three milks cake was an excellent choice. It was very tasty and moist. I highly recommend this cake.
The best man, Jason, served as our emcee, introducing Matt and Colleen as Mr. and Mrs…., first dance for Matt and Colleen and Colleen and dad and the wedding toast. Lauren, the maid of honor, also toasted the wedding couple, calling them soulmates, which I know tugged at the heartstrings of several guests (Solmates), prompting me to give a wink their way.
We did the traditional things we would have done at home: autograph picture, guestbook signing (even Artie Plank signed!), cake cutting, garter and bouquet toss. Our guests danced to the varied music that held meaning to the guests as well as Matt and Colleen. I think the 2 ½ hours for the dinner was perfect, because guests could then continue the party (unofficially) at the Gran Azul bar. It also provided the opportunity for any guests that needed to turn in for the evening an opportunity to do so without feeling they were leaving too early.
Finally, we want to extend our sincere thanks to Erika and Rocio, Erick Rodriguez, Omar, the staff at the Renova Spa, Eduardo and Felipe Martinez for doing such an outstanding job of coordinating the wedding. Additionally, we want to thank all our guests for joining us on this very special day. All of you helped make this the wedding of Matt and Colleen’s dreams!
I have photos that I need to post and we are waiting for the professional phots to arrive- so, more to come!