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First of all, let me say that Ari and the rest of the team (Rocio and Erika) are absolutely fantastic!! Ari really helped make my day great.
Arrived on Sunday, wedding meeting on Monday. I had made up a little sheet of my requests and instructions (sounds anal, I know) as to playlists, place cards, seating, sand ceremony, guest book, etc. She told me that that was helpful - mind you, I'm sure she wouldn't tell me if I was being a pain in the behind...I had brought in a small suitcase of wedding stuff for her to set up on our day (chair bows, centerpiece pieces, guest book).
Wedding day (Thurs) woke up and it was overcast (YAY!). Still nice and sunny, just not beating down in an I'm-very-uncomfortable kind of way. Hit the spa with a few of my friends for a Renova Combination massage (highly recommended) after hitting up the breakfast buffet. Lunch buffet then off to the room to get ready. We used Claudia Rodriguez for our photos. She showed up at my room for 1pm and started taking the "getting ready" shots. Kinda bizarre having someone shoot photos while you're applying mascara but fun all the same!
Golf cart came to pick us up around 1:50 to take us to the beach gazebo (cart was suppose to pick up guys at 1:40 but never made it so they walked..). Processional starts and we're off to the races! Ceremony was beautifu. I didn't even catch the name of the officiant, but he was wonderful. He even knew some background info about my groom and I and incorporated it into the ceremony.
We did a sand ceremony also, and to anyone that is also considering doing one here is some unsolicited advice - do your good one when you get home. Bring some sand and supplies with you, but do almost like a fake one. They DON'T travel well. Ours is just literally a mix of 2 colours of sand now, not at all like it looked when we did it. We tried to package it up as best we could but that really didn't work. Oh well.
The officiant does ask you to say something to eachother, even if you haven't prepared vows, so be prepared for this!! My groom went with the standard "I love you" while I went with something more original. I said a phrase in Spanish then translated into English. I'm sure I butchered the language, but It was the thought that counted and it made my groom get a little glossy-eyed!
Champagne was right after the ceremony, then group photo, then first dance in the gazebo. That was really nice.
Now for photos. Lot's of them. That's what it felt like anyway. I am so excited to get the pics back. Lots from our guests (22) which was nice also.
Reception was at La Laguna. I had originally chosen a buffet menu but after learning that there was a miscommunication I had to choose a set menu for us. After we ate I was very glad that I had to because the meal was exceptional. Garlic tiger shrimp with lettuce to start, followed by cream of asparagus (super yummy) soup followed by a nice sorbet then an entree of a giant steak, steame veggies and baked potato with cheese. Dessert was an apple turnover type thing in what looked like a bag. Meal was EXCELLENT! Wedding cake was good also - we went with the tres leche.
Party time! By the time we finished eating, it was about 9pm so we only really had the equipment and space for another couple of hours. Music and dancing ensued. Great time. After that we hit up the Riviera lobby untill the boning in my dress wanted me to chainsaw it off.
Take home note - if you are considering a destination wedding but are on the fence - DO IT!!! I have absolutely NO regrets about doing it that way and I really woudln't change a thing about how the day was. It truly was a dream come true. I hope to post pics soon!