Wedding Date: March 17, 2023 ~ Resort: Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta ~ Photographer: Del Mar Photography ~ Bridal Salon: Blush Bridal Boutique ~ Tux Salon: Men's Warehouse
Why did you choose Romance Travel Group?
We knew we wanted to do a destination wedding and as I was searching on the internet, I kept seeing Romance Travel Group pop up! I got advice from friends who did a destination wedding to go with a travel agent. But when I kept finding this company I did a little more digging and what sold it for me was seeing it featured on The Knot! I knew, Yup I am using these people!
What led you to choose a destination wedding?
More bang for your buck! My husband and I were adamant about not going into debt to our wedding and choosing things that were important to us and not everyone else. I had been given suggestions from a few friends that your money goes a little further doing a destination wedding. We also loved, loved the idea of going on a big vacation with our friends and family. The other bonus was that we got to put our money more towards food, drinks and entertainment so our guests had a great time. Being that we were in a beautiful place we paid little money or worry on the decor.
How did you come to decide on your wedding date? Is there meaning behind it?
Our engagement date was 12.11.21, which if you write it backwards is still 12.11.21 (it's called palindromic I think). Well I wanted to do the same for our wedding or find something unique for our wedding date. I originally wanted 11.11.22 but my military brother was deployed during that time and we wanted to make sure he could attend so we were shooting for March 2023. I chose 3.2.23 and 3.22.23 but my now husband said picking a date during the week made it harder for people to take time off and travel, he suggested picking a date for a Friday. The two dates available were 3.17.23 and 3.30.23, I let him choose between the two and he picked 3.17.23. Only months later did I realize that 17 was a significant number because 2017 was the year we started dating. So without even trying our date became extra special! It is also St. Patrick’s Day so we'll never forget it!
Describe what it was like working with the wedding coordinator at the resort? What went well? Any challenges?Working with the wedding coordinator overall was great! There was some language barrier but we were able to get the details figured out. I emailed her a lot and I thought she handled all the changes really well. Unfortunately though there were a list of things missed. My suggestion is try to email intentionally! Of course feel free to change your mind as often as you want (I did) but be mindful what and when to send these updates/changes to the coordinator. The lady really had great customer service and was as sweetheart, also at the most difficult times she became my therapist. She also made up for the things that were missed which we were really appreciative of. We absolutely loved our resort and would give it a 5 out of 5 but for weddings specifically we give it a 3 out of 5. She was handling out entire wedding alone. They have more staff in the bridal part of the resort but she was the only one handling ours, she should have been given help so that things weren't missed. Just be clear on what you want and what you send/request!
Tell us about your wedding dress – How did you find it? Who went shopping with you? How do you feel wearing your dress?
I originally only had one appointment set for the day but last minute I got a call from a second boutique that a friend recommended and it wasn't far from the first so I booked there as well. I only took my mom because I didn't want to many opinions, more so just help deciding. The first place I found "THE DRESS", I didn't even want to go to the next appointment. My mom suggested just to go since it was nearby anyway. So I went but all I wanted to do was to go back to the first dress. We're speaking with the consultant who was very sweet and she brought in four dresses each a different style of what I was interested in. I saw one that was a corset top and ALL glitter. I immediately said "that one, let's try on that one!" I put that beauty on and I freaking knew! I cried, I felt amazing, it felt like me, it was perfect! I tried on the other three and there was one other that I really loved! The consultant then advised for me to put the first one back on and she so geniusly asked me several questions to help me decide between the two. 1.) It's the day of your wedding, both dresses are there and you let your BFF choose your wedding dress. Which one will you be disappointed about if she doesn't choose it? 2.) You're at the end of the isle, your dad is standing next to you, you're ready to walk down to the love of your life, you look down and what dress are you wearing? There were two other questions that I can't remember but I was in tears standing in my dress beyond reassured about my decision!
What were some of your biggest fears or things you worried about as your wedding date drew near? How did you get through this?
The biggest fears was how I was going to get my wedding dress and some wedding accessories to Mexico! For my dress, I read from other brides they had no problem hanging their dress on the plane so they could see it. We were flying out the Tijuana airport and the airline (Volaris) was very strict on carry on sizes. I asked if I could hang mine in front of me and they said only if it was in the carry on size parameters (it wasn't, it’s a wedding dress). My next idea was to put it in a carry on suitcase and place in the storage above me, I didn't want that thing to leave my side. I then found out this airline sometimes puts those nags below if it gets too full on the plane. I was too nervous to have it put under the plane so I had my aunt/MOH who was flying from the Ontario CA airport take it with her because I knew she would be more likely to have it by her side the entire time. It made it Mexico in one piece and the resort steamed it for me. Wedding accessories- I wanted to mail some items to the resort (glow sticks, money guns, photo album for photo booth and my guest book), but it was going to cost a lot of money and the coordinator at the resort stated that brides have had issues of items not making it in time for the wedding. I had to include these items in my luggage and I was worried for space! I was also worried they would find my items and tax me (yes that happens as well). But I got it all there and all of it was a hit! Worth it!
Describe the meeting you had with the onsite wedding team when you arrived at the resort.
The meeting with the wedding team occurred the second day we were there and it was great. I brought over all my wedding goodies, wedding dress and my husband's tuxedo! We also met with the photographer/videographer to go over timeline, people to help assist, family photo list and first touch moment. It was thorough, quick and efficient. I took one of my bridesmaids with me and she was also the one that helped the photographer/videographer with the family photo list.
Were your guests wowed by the resort and the all-inclusive concept? What was their reaction upon arrival?
Yes! Several guests had never been to Mexico or an all-inclusive resort so this concept was new to a lot of them and they loved it. The convenience, the variety of options and quality of everything was so, so great! They first thought the resort was gorgeous and didn't know where to start! It has a huge open concept so you could easily see the ocean from almost anywhere! For the group that my husband and I arrived with we were starving when we got there so right after checking in we went to the buffet and got food as well as ordered tequila shots. The waiter was our kind of guy and brought us more shots before we even needed to ask. Again, the customer service here was unreal!
Tell us about your wedding – did you have a traditional wedding with a cocktail hour, dinner reception and dance? What was different about a destination wedding compared to a wedding at home?
Yes, our wedding would probably be considered traditional! We had the ceremony that was less than 30 minutes that lead straight to cocktail hour, three course dinner reception and dancing afterward. The naturally beautiful venue! When doing destination really be decisive on actually doing decor. We had everything on the beach so the natural setting was all we really needed! Also price! Again, what I appreciated was how much more we got for what we spent!
What was the best part of having a destination wedding?
The big vacation with all of our friends and family! Nothing really compares then to the week we had with everyone we loved! Weddings can go by very fast and you sometimes miss seeing everyone. We got to socialize, have dinner, mingle and hangout with all of guests more than just the day of!
What is your most favorite memory of your wedding experience?
Honestly, our first touch! My husband didn't want to see each other before the wedding so we did a "first touch" where we took a shot together and prayed together. It was really special to have that moment. I remember I could smell his cologne from where I was standing but I didn't see him, it was comforting, special and sweet. Everyone has their own taste and preference but I highly recommend doing this!
In what ways did Romance Travel Group make the planning less stressful for you?
Romance Travel Group did all the hard work! We knew we wanted a destination wedding before finding RTG, so once I connected with them they asked for all of our requests and sent us a list we got to pick from! It made it easy to compare each resort to one another and see what we liked best. Also the shuttle set up! People can feel uncomfortable traveling out of the country so the fact that our travel agent also set up the pickup and drop off with the airport was really nice! They were also very supportive! Answered any and all questions and made us feel confident and comfortable in everything we were doing! Would highly, highly recommend RTG! They're also very thoughtful!
Congratulations Christina and Evan!! Wishing you the best always!
Meet The Authors
We are passionate about destination weddings and love helping couples make their wedding dreams a reality. We are the destination wedding experts.