Cuba Resorts Getting married in the Caribbean Reviews – Getting married in the Caribbean – Cuba Reviews

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Blau Costa Verde Beach Resort
Linda Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada
December 2007
We picked the Blau for our daughter’s wedding because we had been there twice before and didn’t want any surprises. We were not disappointed. There were 31 in our party and all were very impressed. Any minor complaints with the rooms were dealt with in a very timely manner such as A/C or fridges not working. I won’t go into the particulars of the hotel since many have covered them before. The beach remains wonderful, staff friendly and the food very good. The mattresses remain hard but didn’t ruin anyones vacation. I will try and give as many wedding details as possible because we would have liked to read a review with wedding details before we left. The wedding itself was stress free and handled very professionally. Barbara from the hotel who made all the arrangements is just the best. She has such a warm smile and personality and nothing was too much for her to do. She also made some great suggestions when we weren’t sure what to do. On our first day we met with her and made plans for anything above the basic wedding package. We got pictures, a DVD, carriage ride to the beach, bouquet, 2 tier cake and dinner for all after the ceremony. All the extras are very reasonable in price. All this took about 30 minutes and the planning was done. All we had to do now was enjoy our vacation. The couple must be in Cuba for 3 days before the ceremony can take place. We arrived Friday and they were married on Tuesday. They do not perform ceremonies on the weekend. I also don’t think they count the weekend days as part of the 3 days. We also had trouble finding exactly what documents are needed for a wedding in Cuba as some of the websites are a little confusing and the Cuban consulate is a little slow in answering emails. Barbara at the resort again was wonderful in getting us the information. If both the bride and groom are single it is very simple. One month before the wedding fax or scan and email copies of their birth certificate and passport. If you are using your own witnesses you will need their passport number. The resort sends you an email document to fill out. It is very easy. I am unsure about divorced people and what is needed. Sorry. Remember the witnesses cannot be family members. The weather the day of the wedding was perfect and we were lucky. It poured rain the next day….all day but we did have a plan B in case of rain. The girls in the wedding party had their hair done at the resort hairdressers and she did a very good job. She can do just about anything. You may want to take her some extra hair pins, spray or any other hair products as her supply is a little limited. Someone had told us this so we were prepared. The ceremony was held on the beach at 3 PM with a decorated arch, chairs set up with an aisle and a great Cuban band playing. My daughter, my husband and her attendants arrived by horse and carriage and the ceremony started. The bride and groom stood in a heart made of flowers in the sand and Barbara translated the magistrates words. It was all very romantic. We toasted the bride and groom with sparkling wine for all after the ceremony and there was canapes available for all. Nothing was rushed and there was plenty of time for pictures. The bride and groom went back to the resort by horse and carriage and the rest of us walked back to the resort. We were then given the piano/lobby bar for a private cocktail hour (or two) . The piano player was there but they allowed my husband to play instead. For anyone who has been at the Blau before Andre is not playing the piano at present. He has had a heart attack and no one seems to know when he will be back. There are 2 younger girls taking his place for now. During the cocktail hour there was plenty of time for picture taking with the bride and groom around the resort. We had the reception dinner in the Italian a la carte which we chose because we felt it is a bit more romantic than the Cuban restaurant. We had a wonderful 7 course meal that we got to choose from a menu with a very large variety of items. There was plenty of red and white wine to go around. We had appetizers, pasta, soup, cheese platter and steak and all very tasty. We had the beautiful wedding cake with ice cream for dessert that was also very good. After dinner, the bride and her attendants changed clothes and we attended the evening show. Then we all went down to the disco to party. We had recorded some of our own music (MP3 format) and th DJ did a great job. A great time was had by all. The morning after the wedding the bridal couple had breakfast in bed and then the whole group went into Guardalavaca to the market to do a little shopping. We weren’t sure what exactly to expect for the wedding but it couldn’t have been better. I would highly recommend this to anyone. There were only a few in our party who had been to Cuba before and the rest now love Cuba too and I am sure they will return. The DVD is pretty good although if you get one I would suggest you tell the DVD guy to leave the Cuban music and not dub over with his "romantic" music. When you get married in the Caribbean I would have liked to hear that music and not the theme from the Godfather. The photographers pictures were alright but actually my son’s pictures were better. We kind of had to tell him what we wanted. You know the typical wedding shots….bridal couple with parents of the bride then bridal couple with parents of the groom etc. He was content just to take pictures of the couple alone. For sure have the photographer take a picture of your whole group standing in the surf. It really made for a great picture. I am going to have a copy made for our whole group. Also ask for a copy of the pictures on CD so you can make copies at home.

The Blau does a great job of a wedding so if you are trying to make a decision I would recommend the Blau to you. If anyone has any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me. I would be happy to answer any questions.

Superclubs Breezes Varadero
Our Wedding day was amazing. The wedding was set for 4:00pm. There are several beautiful places to choose from to have the ceremony. We choose outside the piano bar, where is it very ‘Greek’ looking. There are stone walls with an archway and vines hanging down. It was also a good place for a back-up plan, just incase it rained we could easily move the ceremony into the piano bar. We had 32 people including us for the wedding. The package includes one bottle of champaine and one set of flowers. They gave us the extra flowers and a box of champaine to accomodate for the group at no extra charge. There is also a flower archway that they put up, behind where the ceremony takes place. The flowers that I choose were Red Roses, and for my Maid of Honour, Red Roses and Lillies mixed. They were beautiful. Lizbeth sent me to a hairdresser that they normally send the ladies to, at Melia Varadero (there is no hairdresser at Breezes). My hair turned out better than I could have ever asked for. I was so happy with it. I brought in a couple pictures that I found on the internet, and we went with what the hairdresser thought was the best. I definatley suggest having some pictures with you, because my maid of honour was not happy with her hair and we ended up fussing with it a lot before the ceremony. I brought in a few items of my own to make the wedding special for us, such as a Sand Ceremony. The staff were accomodating to make sure we got what we needed to make it happen. A small note for any bride who does the sand ceremony–make sure that afterwards you have the vase filled, capped and in a safe place. Ours was just sitting our on a desk in our room, two days after the ceremony I returned to our room to see the sand shaken up. I think maybe the maid picked it up to look at and then dropped it or something. I was pretty upset about it, as I was planning on putting it in a special place at home. When walking down the isle the trio played "Here comes the Bride", which I wasn’t expecting, but liked very much. The ceremony itself is very legal sounding, that is why we added the sand ceremony. Once the ceremony is over the Trio sticks around to play some music while you open the champaigne and cut the cake. They will also play a song for your first dance if you like. We then started to do the formal pictures. The photographer is great. The only thing is to look out for shadows. We have a few pics that would be much better if we were out of the shaddows. Dinner for all 32 people was at 7:00pm in the Italian restaurant. It is very romantic in there. And again the food and service was fantastic. We had the restaurant to ourselves until 7:30, then other guests from the resort were also there. I didn’t mind this, I just felt sorry for them having to deal with our roudy group. At 8:30ish we headed back to the piano bar for toasts. I also brought a few CD’s with music for a reception. It was a very intimate place for our First Dance and the Father & Daughter dance. We stayed there until after 10:30 and then proceeded to the disco to continue the party. We also opted for a Wedding Video. I believe the cost was $200CUC. We did not discuss one thing with the videographer, and I wish I did. He added songs that I really dislike and think are cheesy. When the video comes to our first kiss, he put it into slow motion and then added the cheesy music. There is a really nice video clip that he put together as well. Again it was music that I would have never chosen. It actually made me laugh the first time I watched it. If you have ever watched a Wedding on Days of Our Lives and the montages that they do…it’s exactly like that. :o) For what can often be a stressful day, I have to say that the staff did not allow me to stress. They made me feel confident that everything was well taken care of, and it was. I was able to enjoy the day to the fullest, because of the fabulous job that they did.

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to send me a personal message in the Forums section of Debbies Reviews. My username is jennb.

Melia Cayo Guillermo
Nick & Nicola Ontario
June 2006
Wonderful wedding May 25th, 2006 We just got back from a wonderful wedding in Melia Cayo Guillermo in Cuba. We had started planning our wedding with itravel2000 about 1 ½ prior to our departure, and the wedding ended up being all we dreamed. The rep at itravel (kay) was amazing, and she dealt with all the needs of our party. We were 58 strong, 16 from England, 42 from Canada. For those who are control freaks, I will admit….this may not be your best wedding choice, as much of it is left up in the air until very close to the actual wedding date. Prior to arriving in Cuba, Brenda from Sol Melia and Mary from the resort, answered all my various questions, and advised us how we would proceed once we arrived in Cuba. Our flight out with Sky service was great, and it was early there and back. Once we endured the dodgy bus ride to Cayo Guillermo, we arrived to be greeted by Yaliedy who was the sweetest wedding planner we had ever met. She gave us private check in, and took us to a beautiful suite, with a Jacuzzi and everything. The suite was awesome, however we noticed right away it was very damp, and also not air conditioned. We spent the next day trying to figure out the issue, and then the entire resort’s air conditioning went out. We asked to be moved to another room, but they did not have another suite. They moved us into a normal room, but it was less damp than the original room because it was on the 3rd floor. It was however, very very humid & hot. The wedding planning started out first day, where we picked out flowers, our cake, hired a band for the day, picked our menu (we had three choices), hired a videographer..and all extras we required. We also picked our site (we also had three choices) and picked our dinner location. The language barrier wasn’t really an issue, although get used to everything taking a long time as they really don’t like to rush. Yaleidy was so sweet, and kind, and kissed and hugged us every time she saw us. We were busy the first couple of days, and needed to meet with the band, and the restaurant manager. I also recommend you take a copy of all the documents for legalization of the marriage, as they asked us for a copy when we arrived. We had taken little personal gifts so everyone knew where to sit, and they accommodated us at the restaurant no problem. The day of the wedding was beautiful, and everything went perfectly. We had taken our own hairdresser and photographer, but the on site hairdresser was great. They did all of my families hair and a trial for only $30 pesos, which is really cheap. They looked great. The photographer is a must though, because the quality of Cuban photos is not great. The gazebo was decorated beautifully, and other than a short delay waiting for the notary, everything went off without a hitch just after 3:30 as planned. The ceremony was in Spanish, translated into English by the wedding planner. We have champagne and fruit in the gazebo, and danced to the band, and had a great time. We then went off to have our pictures done, and met everyone at 6:30 for dinner. They allowed us to have the whole restaurant to ourselves for the night. The dinner was great, and they supplied the 3 tier cake, all the wine, the dinner, and even set up a microphone & table for the speeches. Once the dinner was done, we went to the disco were the DJ agreed to play our wedding songs, and we danced the night away. The air conditioning was broke in the hall, and it was a tad unbearable, but we danced anyway J The next morning, they served us breakfast in our room and had a great time. To be honest, I will be writing a complaint about the air conditioning, as Cuba in May/June really isn’t fun when there is no where to cool down. But we did have a great time, and they relocated us to Melia Cayo Coco for the last 4 days to cool down and enjoy our holiday properly. We got our preliminary wedding certificate while we were there, and we met up with the videographer for our wedding video. It was really cheesy, but really cute.

All in all, it was a great day. Exactly how I pictured it.

Sol Elite Palmeras
Heather and Jason Orangeville, ON Canada
February 2006
A great place to get married and to bring a group! We got married on Feb 15th, and everything was taken care of! We had over 25 people with us which rewarded us with a free wedding! We communicated with the wedding Coordinator at the resort via email (Valentine) for approx 2 months prior to arrival. We let her know what we wanted, and everything was taken care of for us, as well as our group! We were married at 3:00pm in the gazebo by the pool. The resort made this spot very special. There were Roses leading down the isle, and the gazebo was dressed up with flowers, and everything in white to make it special. The ceremony was approx 30 mins long. It was in both in Spanish and English. If you’re planning on doing this, you can prepare your own vows as there is the opportunity to share them. Other than that, you will exchange rings, and say "I Do". We then walked around the resort for fabulous pictures. Anywhere from the beach, to the Pool area, to the gardens around the Bungalows. We have some fabulous pictures, as we found some very nice spots around the resort. After the ceremony, we had the Italian restaurant booked for the reception at 7:00pm. They gave our group ½ of the restaurant on the upper level to keep it intimate. We were also provided with a CD player to play our own music. We had dinner, a few dances, and speeches at the reception dinner. From dinner, we headed to the private Disco for the remainder of the reception from 9:00 – 11:00pm that night. The Disco was closed off during this time for our group! They provided bartenders, as well as a DJ. We brought CD’s of music we wanted to be played for our 1st dance, etc….and the DJ and bar staff totally took care of us! This was a wonderful, stress free and beautiful way to share our commitment to each other. Absolutely everything went smoothly, and we wouldn’t have done it any other way! All of the staff at the resort treated us like the two most important guests at the resort that week! We had free rounds of golf for the group, room upgrades, dinner reservations when requested, Champaign in the room, turn down service every night, and an unforgettable week of fun and relaxation! I would definitely recommend this resort if you’re planning on being married in Beautiful Cuba! Take a look at the wedding packages posted on the resort website, as we’ve only shared a few in this review. Here is a link to see some our photos from the wedding. www.spaces.msn.com/baileypictures/
Brisas Trinidad del Mar
Penny & Reg Pembroke, Ontario
January 2006
I have written a separate review of the trip in general and the hotel facilities. This review will focus on the specifics of our experience of getting married at this resort. We were tired from the long journey and therefore decided not to track down Enis Donis wedding coordinator/public relations personnel right away. The next morning we bumped into him and sat down to discuss the time and place of the ceremony. They were completely open to holding the ceremony anywhere we wanted and also very flexible on the day and time. He kept saying "it’s your wedding, you decide". He asked for the paperwork which we had done months prior through the Cuban consulate. As we were both divorced before, the paperwork had to be certified, translated and then the translated copies recertified…bottom line $732.00 CAD in papers. We had researched all of our options in Cuba and elsewhere and decided on Brisas del mar because of its size, proximity to Trinidad and the low low cost (paperwork aside) of the actual ceremony…advertised in the Signature website (Dec, 2005) as $100.00CUC for the notary costs. The exact add is right now on their site and reads as follows

"Wedding!

Nov 01, 2005 – Oct 31, 2006 FREE Wedding package includes: upgrade to an Seaview Room (if available at check-in), bride’s boutique, groom’s boutonniere, mini-reception, wedding cake, sparkling wine, dinner in à la carte restaurant, translator and witnesses (if required), choice of decorated ceremony area, live music, 12 photographs (5×7), wedding certificate, Continental breakfast in room morning after ceremony, turn down service, Honeymoon Package inclusions. Notarised services CUC$100. Inclusions subject to change. Arrangements to be made directly with hotel. More services available for additional charge." We chose the "birdcage" area for the ceremony. It is, in essence, a representation of Trinidad’s plaza mayor. It is surrounded with beautiful flowers and white fences and in the centre is this gazebo-like structure which in fact houses paraqueets and the like. So Enis told us that the flowers were not included in the price but not to worry that they aren’t expensive like they are in Canada. So the bouquet was $15.00CUC, I gave him $20 and asked for an extra one for my hair. When it arrived, well, it was OK. My friend and I rearranged it a tad and made due. They said that because of hurricane Denis (summer 2005) that flowers were sparse. No boutonniere. We did receive an ocean view room on check in and were upgraded to a suite the day of the wedding which was absolutely gorgeous. No breakfast the morning after ever showed up. We paid the photographer $50.00CUC for 30 some 5 X 7 pictures and 2 8X10s. The poses were OK but the quality of the developing was a little off. I made sure that I received the negatives and we have since reprinted some of them and the color is way better on the reprints. We had family members take shots as well and we ended up with a great selection between all of them. No turndown service. The quartet that played for us was awesome and I dare say MADE the mini-reception. They were really good. The cake and champagne were fabulous and the accessories (champagne glasses, cake tray, etc) were beautiful. The "mini-reception" was held at the a la carte restaurant right after the ceremony. They had a mini-buffet with cold meats, bread, olives, cheeses, etc…I hadn’t expected that and it was great. There was also a bar. We paid the quartet extra to come up and keep playing rather than listening to a cd. In case you are thinking that a marriage ceremony in Cuba is a tear-jerking romantic sermon, be warned (and I had been) that the notary (lawyer) "performs" the ceremony by reading sections of a legal document. We thought it was funny and now when we have a tiff I’ll yell out "DOESN’T SUBSECTION 3 PARAGRAPH 4 MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU???" You really have to just go with the flow getting married here…I was not disappointed, but I didn’t expect much either. We were focused on each other and had agreed to refuse to get caught up in trivial details that would only stress us out. That said… If there was any nasty part it was this: 18 hours before the wedding was to take place (and on our Signature Tours Representative’s day off) Enis approached us with the final details and in passing mentioned that we should now pay the $400.00CUC for the cost of the ceremony!!! To this day I’m not sure if it was a shakedown or an honest mistake but we wouldn’t fold and told him that if that was the case then we would be forced to postpone the ceremony until we had more time to call home, the Signature rep, our travel agency, the manager, and if need be the ministry of tourism to investigate why the price had QUADRUPLED in one month’s time. A little more than an hour later we were told that we, in fact, were right and it was indeed $100CUC. He apologized several times and we smiled and said mistakes happen but no explanation of where the $400 figure came from was ever offered.

That said, the ceremony was quick (just as we had requested), the people were great (minus that episode) and we were made feel really special on that day. I lost count of how many gardeners approached us over the next few days (they had been watching the ceremony) and offered my husband a firm handshake and me a bouquet of hand-picked flowers and many years of joy and happiness.

Sol Club Cayo Largo
Happily Married Tamara and Mark 
January 2006
My MOH stayed with me in our room, we went for breakfast around 8:30am and then left b/c we knew the guys were coming for 9am. We went back to her room to grab what she needed, dress and makeup and stuff and the other 2 girls grabbed their stuff and came back to my room as well. I had a shower and then I headed to the salon for my appt at 11am. Wasn’t sure how long it would take, considering we’re in Cuba after all, to do my hair so I wasn’t taking any chances. I brought a picture album with me of how I wanted my hair done and he did a good job, considering it was a lot looser than I originally had it in the pics but that was how I really wanted it. He didn’t even use a curling iron either, although being under the dryer for a half hour was brutal thank god the place was air conditioned. Every so often someone would come to visit me with drinks or food. I think I was finally out of there around 1pm. By that time it was hot and humid. It was forecast to rain that day so of course I was paranoid. It sprinkled a bit but that was about it. Hung out in the room till it was time to leave. My MOH’s sister came with the flowers, we had picked pink lillies for them to put in their hair but it came as a few buds on one big stem that they ended up holding them. And if you decide to get flowers for the guys make sure you have pins, all they have are safety pins, which really didn’t work too well. We also had to get the guys roses cut b/c they came with a full stem as well. The bus was leaving at 2:30pm for everyone else to go to the ceremony our time to start was 3pm, it was 20mins away, on the virgin beaches. Since there was only room for 3 people, my father and my MOH came with me afterwards in the jeep. They came and picked us up at my room at 2:40pm in a golf cart to bring us to the lobby where the jeep was to take us over. I was fine until I got there and saw the whole set up and my husband standing there waiting for me, it looked incredible, and so I lost it and started to cry. When we got there though, the girls started to walk down the aisle and here I am being handed a drink and someone trying to get my shoes from me, lol. My Mom later told me how she agonized over what shoes to wear with her dress for the wedding, only to find out that they took them away from her and everyone was barefoot. The ceremony was short and sweet, listening to one version in Spanish and then in English. We had decided to do this ceremony at that beach b/c we didn’t really want alot of onlookers that tend to lurk at the hotels so it was quite amusing when the train shuttles that are used to trek the hotel guests from the hotels to those virgin beaches goes by as we’re right in the middle of our ceremony, totally ironic!! Of course it stops and if you’ve seen the pics, all you can see is everyone taking pictures, they were also all yelling and hollering. Ah well. After the ceremony we did tons of pics and had a dance with the band, it was very nice and very romantic. They even had a table set up as well so people could grab some water and refresh themselves. We then travelled back to the hotel and got in this decorated golf cart with a sign Just Married on the back and a bunch of cans. So they proceeded to take us around the resort blowing a whistle and honking the horn letting everyone know we just got married, it was funny and embarrassing at the same time. Lizbet told us before we left the beach that they were taking us back to the resort and were going to plant our own palm tree! We had no idea, what a nice surprise! So after our golf cart jaunt we ended up at the place where they do this for all the couples who get married there, we had a little post as well with our initials on it which was beside our tree. My husband filled in the sand around the tree and I poured the water, it was very touching and can’t wait to visit it once again. We were transported once again via golf cart to the pool restaurant where we relaxed and hung out. The bartender, Michel, who we got friendly with at the swim-up bar had put aside 3 bottles of champagne for us to celebrate with before dinner. Took some more pics around the resort and then we headed back to our room to grab a couple things before heading to the beach restaurant for dinner. When we got there it was entirely decorated. Ribbons everywhere, towel art, petals in the sink and tub, a fruit basket…etc. It was beautiful. After taking some pics, lol, we headed to dinner. They had separated us from the rest of the restaurant so it was like we had our own private room. And again the table looked amazing, wonderfully decorated and we were all around one big table. The food was delicious everyone kept commenting on the meat, sooo good. Had some speeches, we really didn’t have an agenda and just left the floor open to anyone who wanted to talk. Had some kisses, then came the cake, again beautifully decorated with pink roses and petals, not sure what kind of cake it was but it was good. Went to the disco afterwards for some dancing and relaxing from a tough day, lol. Gave the DJ our CD with our song and then the rest were just dance songs. My Mom came up and asked me to ask my Dad to dance, he was tired and wanted to have the father daughter dance so he could go to bed. Thing was we didn’t put anymore slow songs on the CD b/c we weren’t going to do all the dances just our first one and that’s it. So my Dad and I ended up boogying to Hung Up by Madonna, it was humourous. Danced all night, we left not too long after that, it had been a long emotional day and we wanted some time alone. We found out the next day too that the DJ never came back so the bartender kept replaying our CD, people got a little tired of hearing the same songs, ha ha.

Photos

Sol Club Cayo Largo
14 of us visited this resort from Jan 7 to 14. for a wedding. It was our daughters wedding and I must say that all of our expectations were met and well exceeded. When I contacted the wedding personal "Tania" she assured me that everything would be taken care of. And that it was. They did and amazing job and we couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful time. Without going into great detail every little thing was taken care of. Our daughter and her new husband said that their wedding couldn’t have been any better. A tree planted on their behalf was a very nice touch, something they can see on one of their anniversarys when they return. Or we will let them know how it is doing because we will definatley be going back. The only downfall was the mosquitoes. They appeared around 7:30am and again at 7:30pm. The only thing that seem to keep them at bay was OFF deep woods with deet. Please dont hold this against the Cuban’s because they are very confused also as to why they are here now. The only thing we can think of is the hurricanes. This has never been a problem in January.

The beach, even though it was smaller than it was a year ago was still very amazing and very relaxing. If you a planning a wedding in the Carribean, please give this place a thought, I promise you won’t be dissapointed.

Gaviota Playa Costa Verde
We got married at this resort on February 24th of 2005 and it was perfect!!!!!

History

This was our second time to playa coste verde we chose this resort for our wedding because of the kind staff who specialize in weddings, the snorkeling which is to die for and the food is some of the best in Cuba.

Reasons I loved my Cuban Wedding

-The staff took care of everything -Flowers were really beautiful -My hair was as good as the picture I had from my in style wedding magazine -One of the gardeners decorated the beach area for the wedding and it was so thoughtful and beautiful -The restaurant was wonderful, the light shone through the arched windows while champagne was served and the string quartet played (Italian restaurant) -The Cuban trio on the beach were so talented and really set the mood for the wedding -The golf cart ride around the resort was loads of fun -My friends and family all had a great vacation -The staff were the best people in the world and made us feel really special, they were genuinely kind and thoughtful. -The wedding planners are the best around as they have one to six weddings a week, they definitely have a flare and know what they are doing.

Things I would recommend to a bride having her wedding at this resort -Don’t stress your on vacation

-If you have something specific in mind for flowers or hair bring pictures they’ll do their best to accommodate you and I’m sure if it’s not exact it will be better -Book you hair appointment for yourself and bridesmaids early -Get the largest photo package as it is well worth it -The Italian restaurant is the best for a romantic setting especially if your in a large group (we had 37) -Dance every night -Go to the beach at night, especially on your wedding night -Cohibas are great for bachelor and bachelorette parties -Sing, dance, smile and take the time to let your senses enjoy everything on your wedding day, the feeling of the Cuban breeze the aroma in the restaurant, enjoy it all!!! -Stay for two weeks you’ll need to so you can relax -Go on the Holguin tour it’s the best for your money, you’ll love it! -Be sure to get the Cuban trio to play, it’s well worth it their excellent -Be sure to say thank you to everyone who made your day wedding planners, gardeners, entertainment staff, servers, drivers, the florist, cooks etc….

The Most Important thing

Don’t forget it’s an island wedding so have fun don’t stress and enjoy! The staff are the best ever and they will take care of you.

Sol Cayo Guillermo
We booked our wedding at the SCG through Thomas Cook. We expected a stress free wedding and will state now that we did not get this. Booked over 14mths in advance and the only request we had was for a King Size bed. On checking in (no special priviledges for wedding parties here)we were last in queue and found that we were allocated a room with twin beds. They offered us an alternative which smelled of sewerage. Finally after 2 hours and a few tears of frustration, we were given an upstairs room with the paid for sea views but with twins on the promise that we would have a king size delivered the next day. We eventually got the King size bed 10 days after arrival and 6 days after our wedding after numerous broken promises. Part of the wedding package was a room upgrade(if available) this never materialised. Why were we upset? Some of the other people who checked in at the same time as us who had not requested King size beds or paid for sea views were allocated them and yet we who had requested one for obvious reasons(and paid over £569 for the wedding package on top of the holiday price)had to fight to get one! Thomas Cook rep was no use at all in attaining this request. We were asked to move rooms 2 hours before wedding and when we went to inspect it,the room was already occupied! Wine & fruit welcome basket delivered 2 days late. Breakfast in bed on day after wedding delivered to wrong room! Friends presents delivered to wrong room! We Chose Cuba as in brochure it said "Only 1 wedding per day" there were 2 on our wedding day! Previous wedding guests & glasses etc still in gazebo when the groom and party arrived at the allocated time! Wedding co-ordinator forgot to tell us to take our passports to the ceremony so this involved a mad dash in full regalia of 15mins back to room in temperature of over 85 degrees! Notary was 30 mins late! When we finally got the offical photo (1 day before our departure) it was not posed, out of focus and over exposed! Names on wedding certificate were spelt wrongly even though we had corrected them on arrival! Thomas Cook rep was no where to be seen! Apart from all this the actual ceremony was wonderful but certainly not the "Stress Free" wedding we had been dreaming of.

The resort it self was wonderful and the beach was fantastic…..don’t expect to get a sunbed and shade unless you are prepared to get up extreemly early and put your towels out! Not supposed to be done but it seems as if everyone else does it and the staff do not discourage this practice. Service in the main bar was very slow unless you were young, pretty and female or flashed a tip! Food was good and enough variety to see our party for 2 weeks….best tip the bananas cooked fresh every night were fantastic as was the young lady who cooked them.. Staff were generally very friendly through out our stay. Would return to this resort but only for a holiday and would not 100% recommend the wedding package through Thomas Cook. Any questions please contact us. email: fiona7355@yahoo.com

Iberostar Varadero
Jason and Brianne Toronto, ON
July 2008
Married on May 21 2008 We choose the Iberostar Varadero after travelling to Varadero for a holiday and falling in love with Varadero Beach. It is really a beautiful area. Our group of 25 people arrived on Sunday at approximately noon. Not all rooms were ready so we changed into our swimsuits and started our holiday. Our group was scattered throughout buildings #12, 13 and 14. We all quickly noted who was in which rooms and would call between rooms to find out what was going with everyone. The resort is truly gorgeous. All rooms are large, clean and fresh. Each room has the same bathroom and it is phenomenal. The bathrooms are all marble, with a large soaker tub and a glass stand up shower. The buffet is very nice and has a good selection of food. One night they had a gourmet cheese selection, another night was seafood night. We had dinner at two out of the three a la cartes, the Japanese restaurant and the Mediterranean. The Japanese restaurant was good for a show as they cook the food in front of you. The pool and ocean was great. Tons of lounge chairs and umbrellas for shade. We were supposed to meet with Belkis at 9:30 am the Monday morning which was the same time as the excursion meeting. I talked to Belkis and she agreed to do our meeting right then. I can not believe how simple it was to plan. You pick your location, you pick your flowers, the colour of the decorations at your location. You also can let her know if you want to use the resort’s photographer and videographer. I had actually found a photographer through a friend, who is not the resort’s photographer and I was allowed to use him. His work is amazing and after seeing some other pictures from the resort photographer, I am so glad we used him. The photographs are 3 CUC each, we ended up buying 145 of our pictures and so we spent 435 CUC on photos. The video is 200 CUC and worth every peso. We also choose to rent a "classic" car which cost 60 CUC for one hour. We used it for photos and went for a little drive in it. My guests loved it, they even had the driver pop the hood so they could check out the motor! Belkis asks what you want for music and tells you to go to the spa to confirm your hair appointment and your free massages. We then went down to the beach gazebo and did a quick walk through of what would happen. Very simple, groom and wedding party and guests meet at the beach at 3:45 pm. Bride and Father and Maid of Honour wait at room for Belkis to come and pick them up with decorated golf cart. They arrive at beach, do walk down the aisle, Father shakes hand with groom. Then on to the gazebo platform for ceremony. My wedding day was very relaxed. Sat by the pool until about 11 am, then went and had a bath in the huge tub and then off to get my hair done. The hair dressers do an amazing job to put it mildly. My maid of honour has really long hair and choose what looked like a simple style, a side pony tail with some curl. The hair dresser washed her hair and blow dried it, then pinned her hair in the side pony tail, then curled all if with a curling iron! To top it off, it cost only 25 CUC! My hair was a simple updo and it cost 30 CUC. By the time we got out of the salon, it was about 2:45 pm, so we rushed to the buffet for a quick bite to eat and then rushed to the room to do hair and make up. Belkis brought our bouquets and then it was time to wait for her to come back to get us. My fiance’s father had passed away about 8 weeks before the wedding so we wanted to do something to honour him. We bought a cylinder vase and had it engraved with his father’s name and Jason and his mother lit the candle before I arrived for the ceremony. The Cuban ceremony is very simple and would take only about 10 minutes They read the Cuban Family Act and you both say I do. At that point you are married but they wait until after you say your vows ( if you choose to say your own) and exchange your rings. Then you get to kiss!! and are married. We did our first dance on the gazebo and instead of individual parent dances, Jason danced with his mom while I danced with my dad. Then our group did the cha-cha and a congo line on the beach and then the pictures start. We did some group shots on the beach, then did some bride-groom shots on the beach and in the wooded area. Our guests went to the lobby bar and admired the classic car while we took pictures with it. We then went for a drive in the car and did more pictures. By the time we came back, it was time to go for dinner. We had dinner at the Mediterranean and said speeches while we had the restaurant to ourselves. The meal was great and the wedding cake was delicious. After dinner, we did change out of our wedding gear, except I wore my veil and my husband wore his shirt and tie to the disco where we partied with everyone until the early hours. It was an amazing day. The only thing I would change about my wedding is how much I stressed about it because there was really no need. The day was perfect, even when my maid of honour almost passed out while getting our hair done because she hadn’t eaten. The funniest thing I remember about that day was the hair dresser continued to curl my friend’s hair while the doctor took her blood pressure.

On another note, the wedding package is supposed to cost 700 CUC. The exchange rate is $120.00 canadian for 100 CUC. So if you were to exchange all your cash to pay for this it would cost about $1140.00. We decided to save our cash for excursions and charged the wedding on my visa. It ended up costing us $804.44, which was originally 716 CUC ( we had asked for an extra bouquet which was 10CUC and 2 extra boutonnieres which were 3 CUC each). I paid for my maid of honour’s hair and mine, which was 55 CUC and we charged that to my visa and it cost $61.94.

Iberostar Varadero
The wedding was great if you like something quick and simple. I was smoking a cigar and in my swim trunks sunbathing 45 minutes before my wedding! The resort takes care of everything. We met once with the wedding co-coordinator who asked what color of flowers etc. We did use the photographer service and were really pleased with the beautiful photos. We paid 210 CUC for 36 5”x 7” photos and the negatives. My wife had her hair done for 25 CUC + 5 CUC tip. We were married on the beach and the vows were translated from Spanish to English by the wedding co-coordinator. The whole thing was done in 10 minutes and we toasted champagne and had our first dance there in front of the ocean. We then went off to take photos around the resort while the rest of our group went back to finish off the champagne! We were told we would receive all the paper work from the Government in about 3-4 weeks upon our return to Canada.
Iberostar Varadero
Melissa & Scott  Nova Scotia, Canada
March 2006
Well ladies, my "dream wedding" has come and gone and it was beyond my wildest expectations. February 16th was the best day of my life and the memories of this day I will cherish a life time. 23 of us arrived at 2am so check in was a complete breeze. When Hubby and I got to the front desk we were being checked in and low and behold we were in building 17, which is the junior suites building. I was thrilled about this. It was all decorated with balloons and 5 baskets of flowers and champagne on ice, very nice touch on the part of our travel agent. Most of our guests were in building 15 which was really close, no doing on my part, resort had it planned out this way. Belkis had a note left for me with a time to meet her the following morning which pleased me off course. So, at 10 the next morning off to meet Belkis. She is a sweetheart and very easy to work with. She had a sheet of questions to ask me and she said once those were out of the way I could ask her things I wanted to know. She showed me some pics of flowers and cakes to chose from and once this was done she took us down to see the location of the wedding. Explained to us how things would work and that was that. Done.

Wedding Day:

I was swimming in the ocean until 11:50. Ran back to our room and had a shower and then off to the hair salon for my appointment. I was ten minutes late but considering we were on Cuba time, I was probaly on time! LOL. I brought a picture of the hair style I wanted and some pins to put in my hair but the lady had all the pins there but used mine anyhow. The hairstlist was the best ever. She put the picture I brought to shame. It was windy on our wedding day and not one hair on my head moved. I was two and a half hours getting my hair done and then ran back to the room and got there at 2:40, wedding was at 3 but I was calm and got dressed and my MOH managed to get my nails on and we had some wine that was delivered and still waited for golf cart that was about 10 mins late. The cart arrived and took us to the beach and once we were there the band (sax and piano) started playing immediately. The ceramony was short and sweet which is exactly what we wanted. We said our own vows and exchanged our rings and this made our wedding very special to us. We then had our first dance which was I swear the longest song in history but good for pics. Then everyone came to hug and congradulate us and we were done. Drank some more champagne and then the pictures begun. The resort photographer was amazing and I would recommend him to anyone. He was the absolute best as was the Videotographer. So glad we did both. After pics were done we headed to the pool bar for some drinks. Then off to the Cuban restaurant for dinner. Dinner was good. We had everyone chose their own meal as this was the best choice for our group. Everyone seemed pleased with their meals. We didn’t want any speeches so Scott thanked everyone for coming and that was about it. Then came time for us to cut the cake. The cake turned out to be such a surprise……..best cake I ever ate. Every single person had seconds it was so good. After dinner we went to the night show and around 11 we headed back to our room and some of our guests headed to the disco. Our wedding day was magical and I wouldn’t change one thing about it. If anything, I would relive it over a thousand times if I could. I have watched the video quite often since returning home and I am so glad we purchased the dvd. For those brides getting married at the IV, if I could give you one word of advice, book the resort photographer and videotographer, it will be the best money you ever spent. The photograpger is Ebrium and the videotographer is Angelo. The resort has more then one of each so ask for them by name.

Our guests are all ready asking us where we are going for our one year anniversary…………..

Iberostar Varadero
Steve and Brooke AB, Canada
December 2005
We had a group of 30 for our wedding, a few which were a surprise. We did not do any planning from Edmonton, Canada. The only exception was our travel agent liasoned with hotel wedding coordinator months before our departure to book the wedding day and time. We had the option to have a catholic priest or justice of the peace marry us. We choose the JP. Please remember you must be in Cuba for a minimum of 72 hours before you can be married. Keep that in mind when booking your wedding day. We booked it the third day in country so ourselves and guests could relax for the rest of the trip.

We arrived late Monday November 14, 2005 and the following morning we met with the wedding coordinator to choose flowers, menu for reception, location for our ceremony, type of cake and some colours for decorations. This was very easy and took about 30 minutes! The wedding package (through the hotel) which includes legal fees, JP, flowers, reception, etc, costs 700 CUC (Cuban Convertible Peso). We hired a photographer and videographer for our wedding day. The photographer charges per picture and they cost 3 CUC per 5×7 or 10 CUC per 8×10, but we purchased 40 or so 5×7’s plus all of the negatives to take home and blow up pics as needed. The videographer costs 150 CUC for 2 professionally done DVD’s on the NTSC format so people from Europe remember that it will not work in your home country who use the PAL system for electronics. We highly recommend both as both the photos and video turned out absolutely beautiful! Very professionally done!! The wedding package is paid when you check and is added to any other expenses you charge to the hotel. The video and photos are through the individuals and you can only pay with CUC (cash). PLEASE PLEASE if you are going to use your non-american credit card the government slaps a 11.5% surcharge on every purchase. We did not know this as this is new as of April, 2005. We planned on using credit card for everything as a safeguard and brought minimum cash. We probably paid 400-500 USD extra just in surcharges!!!!!!!! If you can get your hands on CUC before entering Cuba please do, becuase there is no ATM’s and the Cuban banks/hotels give a rather poor exchange rate. The CUC is pegged at the USD.

The only somewhat disappointing aspect of the wedding was that our wedding coordinator/translator had a very thick accent which made communication as times difficult and translation of our nuptials very difficult to understand. Furthermore, our guests could not follow the ceremony for this reason. But again a very minor detail and we figure it was all part of the experience. If you expect to go to a foreign country who’s first language is not English and not have some minor glitches, DO NOT GO.

At the end of the day, the hotel and the staff were spot on and made our special day very near perfect! Our guests could not stop complimenting us on how great the wedding and hotel turned out to be. CHEERS to Iberostar Varadero and all the staff!!!!!

Melia Varadero
We got married at Melia Varadero, Varadero, Cuba Nov 26/04. Mariela was our wedding Coordinator. The year of prep and paper work was well worth it. There was a total of 30 of us that went down for our wedding. Mariela was a big help before and during the wedding. She answered all the questions we had about the needed documents, banks, ATM and everything else before we even got there, that 30 people could worry or wonder about. We did not know what to expect at all and even as the wedding unfolded we were not sure what to expect. It went just like clock work, from the walk down the path of petals of flowers till the end of the reception. From there the younger ones carried on in the kareoke Bar. The wedding was in the Gazebo and we were scheduled to have the reception out side but the wind picked up. The reception was held inside at the art gallery. I would recommend that anyway as we had all the seating we needed , head table etc and lots of room to dance and a PA system. for music and the MC. Bring your own CD’s.

I wish I could remember all the names of the staff but They ran a 1st class act for our wedding. The supper was excellent. and Fransico and the other waiters treated us like Royalty. Near the end some of the girls were trying to teach them some of our dancing as well. Everyone had a blast. As part of our package (free over 17 quests) we got upgraded to a suite which was as far as I could tell the best in the place. Top floor. We also had the option of a group dinner one other nite so some quests only stayed one week. We opted for the last nite before they left to have that one. Once again it was 1st class service. It was B B Q Sea food dinner. We had the small photo package as there was probably 15 cameras there, but we did hire the video people and the DVD they made was worth every penny. It will be with us forever. There was no scrimping at all for the whole wedding package, and I could not thank everyone there enough for showing us a good time. If you are thinking of a wedding in Cuba this was a great place.

Melia Cayo Coco
We just returned from 2 weeks (November 12-26/04) at the Melia Cayo Coco and loved it! We had our wedding there the first week and it was amazing. I choose this resort for my wedding because of what I had read on this site and because they offered a free wedding it you bring 17 people. We had 17 people and it was a great time. The resort in my opinion is an excellent choice for a wedding, better than any other of the resorts on Cayo Coco because it is a really quiet resort and not a party place at all. The fact that it was adult only was nice too, my guests especially the ones that left kids at home loved the idea of 18plus. We choose to have our wedding in gazebos which are in a beautiful garden area that is perched up on a hill that overlooks the pool, the grounds and there is an ocean view. It was beautiful, this was a perfect spot as it was so private and allowed all of our guests to stand in the gazebo and hear the ceremony. It also allowed everyone to be out of the sun for a little while, it was a hot day. The wedding planner Niruka was incredible, she was in constant communication with me via e-mail in the weeks prior to our arrival answering all the questions that I continually thought of. Once there we had about a half hour meeting with her to arrange the wedding day and what we would like done. It was very easy and she looked after everything. On the wedding day she stayed with us the whole time as to help assist the photograher who didn’t speak english set up all the shots I wanted taken. We took pictures all over the resort and on the beach and they turned out really nice, she did a good job and was very patient as I wanted alot of photos. We also opted to have the videographer at and added cost and was so glad we did. He did an excellent job, it turned out great, we loved it. He also took pictures and put them on a CD rom that we can send to people. A cuban band was another service we added on and was a nice touch as they played after the ceremony while we were toasting and cutting the cake and then played while we did our first dance and then allowed us to play a song with them, it was well worth the money spent. We arranged for a horse drawn carriage to pick us up after the pictures and for $10 he took us on a half hour ride, it was so romantic and gave us a little time alone, we loved it! The dinner afterwards was in the international restaurtant and it was set up beautifully!! We had the restaurant for about an hour and a half before other people were allowed in which was great. The restaurant is on stilts in the lagoon and we felt it was so perfect for this occassion. There were musicians there as well that played on and off throughout the night. I would highly recommend this resort for a wedding, my friend got married at a Super Club 3 years ago and it didn’t compare to the Melia at all. I was a little worried as to the quality of pictures and video because hers were terrible but we lucked out and were so pleased with everything. They went above and beyond and made us feel like we were in a fairytale.
Tryp Peninsula
Renaye & Darren  Nfld
April 2005
The wedding was beautiful, when we got there someone was waiting for us to check us into the rooms early. I met with the wedding cordinator the next day to choose the flowers and the cake for the ceremony, and where on the resort we wanted to get married. Everything was beautiful, the flowers were white roses, the cake was a 3 tirer wedding cake with yellow roses on it, very pretty. The cost of the wedding itself was 350$us, but you pay with convertible pesos, which is equal to the us dollar, i also booked the photographer down there which costed 186.00, the pics were beautiful, he did a great job, the package was 30 5×7, 2 8×10 and anything over that you pay 3$ each. All your wedding papers gets done down there and they will send them to you in about 2months after you get married.The only thing was a little troublesome was that if either person was married before you have to get your divorce papers translated into spanish before you go , you have to send them to cuban consulate in toronto and its takes at least 3 months to get them back, and the costs to get this done is 608$can. Overall the wedding went very well , it was beautiful and i would reccommend that getting married down south is the way to go.
Tryp Peninsula
Claudia and Mark Canada
October 2004
The Wedding Having booked tickets for ourselves and our guests, we contacted the Sol Melia wedding representative in Toronto and arranged for the a la carte wedding package. The cost of a the package was 350 USD and we were informed the inclusions were fairly basic, with flowers and cake available at extra cost. As requested, we sent copies of our birth certificates and passports to the Sol Melia office in Toronto to be sent off to the resort in Varadero. Upon arrival at the resort we discovered some discrepancies between what we had been told by the Sol Melia wedding rep in Toronto and what we actually encountered while at the resort. We were pleasantly surprised to discover that our package turned out to include a lot more than we were told it would. Here is what you need to know about getting married at the Tryp Peninsula: The cost of the a la carte wedding package is 350 USD and is divided as follows: 150 USD cash only for government fees payable to the notary during initial visit (see below) and 100 USD cash or credit card payable to the resort day after ceremony. The package includes the following: · All legal fees. · Notary who performs the ceremony. · Services of a translator. Ceremony is in Spanish and the vows are taken from the Cuban Family law code. The vows are meaningful and modern. Once the wedding certificate is signed you will exchange rings and be pronounced husband and wife. The ceremony is about 15 minutes. · Witnesses if necessary. Note that family members cannot serve as witnesses. · Area for ceremony with very basic decorations. We choose to have our ceremony in the cobbled courtyard by the lagoon in a small gazebo. · Bride’s bouquet and groom’s boutonniere. · Room upgrade and bottle of cava and flowers in room upon arrival. (We e-mailed Angelo a list of our guests’ names prior to our arrival and our guests also received a room upgrade and a bottle of rum.) · Wedding cake. · Wedding reception in a la carte restaurant. · Romantic dinner for two in a la carte restaurant. · Breakfast in bed morning after wedding ceremony. · Two bottles of cava for toast after wedding ceremony. (Wanting something a little bit better, we brought two bottles of Veuve Clicquot from Toronto and had no problem having them chilled and served.) · Private greeting and check-in upon arrival.

Available at extra cost:

· Photographer. (My brother who dabbles in photography did our pictures so we did not purchase a photo package and do not know the cost.) · Cuban band for ceremony and toast for a total of 1 to 1.5 hours at a cost of 100 USD cash. This was so worth it and made the ceremony extra special. An absolute must! If you have never been married before all you need is your Canadian passport and a tourist card, which is provided by your travel agent. A birth certificate is not required. You must have the originals and a couple of days before the wedding ceremony you will be required to go to a notary in Varadero to apply for a marriage license. The resort event coordinator, Angelo, accompanied us and acted as translator. The notary fee was 150 USD plus 2 USD for a stamp (cash only). We made a quick stop at a flower shop and selected the flowers for the ceremony. The cost of the taxi was 40 USD cash. You must be in Cuba for three business days before you can get married. We arrived on Saturday early afternoon and were married on Wednesday at 4 pm. The marriage certificate is sent off to the Canadian Embassy in Havana to be certified and will be sent to your home address 8-12 weeks.

Our wedding reception was held in El Tocororo (the fancy restaurant) and it was spectacular. The food was excellent and the service was impeccable. We tend to be a bit snobby when it comes to food and wine and trust us the food was very good. I had duck breast for my main course and it was properly prepared (rare) and my husband had a yummy seafood skewer for an appetizer and the presentation was very impressive! We have travelled extensively throughout the Caribbean (usually twice a year) to destinations such as Cuba, Mexico, Jamaica, DR, and the Bahamas, staying at 3 to 5 star resorts and we must say that the food at El Tocororo was tops! Wine (this is Cuba after all) was not that great, but we brought some special bottles from home and had no problem having them served with the meal.

Playa Pesquero
I honestly couldn’t have imagined a more perfect wedding, it was so amazing! Yaly, the wedding coordinator will bend over backwayrds to satisfy everyone as best she can, she is an incredibly hard worker and always seems to be there. We had the ceremony on the beach on Tuesday January 9th at 4pm. The hairdresser came to my room at 1:30 and did my harid and nails and then did my sister’s and mom’s hair. The only complaint there is that we were rushed for my mom’s hair, if you have more than just you getting your hair done I would advise asking for her to come a bit earlier. Also, be sure to bring bobby pins, they don’t have a lot in Cuba (I left my three packagfes with her). Her curling iron quit also, so I would advise bringing one. luckily I had one, I was going to leave it with her, but it is butane and I figured she wouldn’t be able to get refills for it. The carriage picked us up after four and brought us to the beach where there was a beautiful aisle and seats laid out. There was a cuban band playing (we bought their cd for ten pesos) and a table with cake and hors d’eouvres and rose petals on the aisle. Definitely get the dvd, for 30 pesos it’s so worth it, make sure you bring the money to the ceremony though, because they will ask for it afterwards. We danced on the beach as the sun set and then the train came along, took us to the lobby bar for champagne (lobby is wonderful, especially with the piano player) then we took the train to the Gondola restaurant where we had a fabulous, huge, meal. The violin player was a nice touch, we even had a dance to the violin. Be prepared for the meal to last a long time, we were there form 6:30 to 10pm, it was nice though.
Playa Pesquero
Lovely, had a great day! I was so stressed out about the weather so Yaly the wedding coordinator very kindly changed the day from the first week to the second week which was a good move because the weather was perfect on the wedding day. The flowers were a bit late but very beautiful. A horse and cart took me to wedding gazebo by the beach, where a Cuban band played the wedding march. After the ceremony the band played (they were brilliant, we bought their CD) and we danced and had sparkling wine and canopies. We then were taken to beach for photos, then the lobby for more photos and sparkling wine. We all had our meal at the Italian restaurant on a long, nicely decorated table and we were serenaded by a violinist. We cut the cake after the meal which tasted great but very sweet. We ended the evening at the disco where we had our first dance. It was a great day, nice and relaxed, just as I imagined, loved every minute of it! The photos were ok but a little dark and disorganised and the DVD wasn’t bad either for 30 peso!
Las Brisas Guardalavaca
Kristen & Don 
January 2007
Well where do I begin…..My fiancé and I decided to get married somewhere south as it seemed to fit our personalities (laid back and relaxed) We choose Las Brisas Guardalavaca Holguin, Cuba. We both agreed on this resort as there were approximately 63 guests joining us for a week of fun in the sun!! This resort stuck out for us as it was affordable (1149.05 txs in) for a week pp. It seemed to cater to all age groups, and I have heard a lot of great things about Cuba but have never been. I had my travel agent confirm with the resort prior to arriving that there was no construction that it had been all completed……Upon arriving to the resort (after over an hour of dealing with the baggage people at the airport as I the Bride lost her luggage!!!!!) I am presently in a dispute with Air Transat right now and I am hoping they do the right thing) Anyways….

THE RESORT:

It didn’t look to bad. I found the rooms to be clean. My "bridal" suite did not have hot water or pressure for that matter, but I looked at where I was and why I was there and decided great pressure wasn’t that important to me( I had other issue on my mind remember NO suitcase) The view from our room was amazing!!!. A lot of our guests moved/changed rooms as they were not happy with the hotel rooms so they moved to the Haciendas side and the resort did take care of them and did their best to make them happy!. There was still construction going on. The main grill/bar outside of the hotel was not open so you heard drilling all day and had to use the washroom in side the hotel which was an incontinence. The pool was nice and the pool bar was a lot of fun!!!! Jose is an awesome bartender who I will never forget!!!!!!! (he made us jell-o shooters daily so take that jell-o and cups everyone at the bar has a blast! The food was better then I anticipated!! I always found something to eat. The Italian a la carte was amazing that is where I had my wedding dinner. The staff did an amazing job feeding 63+ people we were all very happy with that!

THE BEACH:

The beach was ok and I found there to be a lot of weeds in the water. There was beautiful coral not to far out that you could snorkel to and see the different fish (remember to take a hard boiled egg with you)

THE WEDDING:

This day was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!! I made appointments with the hair dresser to get our hair done. For 3 of us it cost $60.00 CUC and the hair dresser did an awesome job. The wedding was at 3pm and the wedding coordinator was truly AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!! Lubia went above and beyond!! I choose red roses which were beautiful, I did pay $150.00 for the photographer which was well worth it (make sure you know what type of pictures you want as the photographer does not position you so be creative and have fun with it!) I also hired a horse and buggy for $10.00 which was also a nice touch and great in the pic’s. Lubia came to my room about 2:30 to give me my flowers and I went to the lobby for 3pm to be picked up by the buggy (there was my 2 brides maids, my mom, dad and the ring barer). The buggy took us the wedding site on the beach of course Lubia referred to the site as the coconuts it was awesome!!!!!!!!! the arch way was decorated with flowers there were 30 seats on either side of the aisle and at the end of the aisle there was a table and on the ground 2 hearts made of flower petals entwined which is where we stood!! The notary and Lubia were there and to the side was a table with staff ready to hand out sparkling wine to all the guests for the toast. We also brought jell-o and had the staff make jell-o shooters for this occasion which was fun and the staff loved them.!!!! After the wedding my husband and I took a buggy ride and then met up with our group in the piano bar for some drinks. Dinner was at 6pm ands then we had the disco privately from 9 to 11. We took our wedding song which they gladly played! All in all it was truly amazing!!! You have to relax when doing something like this and roll with the punches… we took 63 + people with us which made our trip that much more amazing and that much more of a party!! .I did get my luggage but not until 3 days later which is why it is VERY important to carry your dress on board!

I would go back to this resort as the staff are amazing and now that all the renovations are completed it is a great spot! Remember that when you go south to get married that the bride and groom take 2 weeks as the first week for some reason goes by way to quickly and you need the second week to relax after everything is done!!!!

Las Brisas Guardalavaca
My fiance and I had planned on a normal everyday wedding, I had everything planned and paid for, when he decides to tell me he would love to go away and get married on a beach. So that is exactly what we did. We packed up our family and 2 of our friends (16 people total) and we wen’t to Brisas Guardalavaca in Cuba. I talked to Yoania the wedding coordinator well in advance. She answered any of my thousands of wacky questions. The have salt and pepper and ketchup. We found out what day we were getting married through email. You can get married Monday-Friday – Anytime between 10 am – 4pm. We didn’t want to be hot, so we got married April 26th 2006 at 4pm. We arrived in Cuba after midnight and made our way to the hotel, it was gorgeous. I suggest putting you bags in your room and go sit on the beach, the waves are amazing.The next day book your specialty restaurants for the week – If you don’t you may not get to eat there. When you get married down there you get a villa room as a wedding/honeymoon upgrade. We met Yoania on Monday and decided if we brought our own music or wanted the trio. We had both I walked down to my own music, and had the trio for after. We chose the flowers and if we needed witnesses (please note: Witnesses cannot be family). We relaxed for the next few days. The day of our wedding we got our hair done. It was 10 convertible peso’s each. (Very cheap) Beautiful job. She is quick in there but book ahead of time – There is only one hair dresser and people love getting their hair braided. We ate lunch and wen’t back to our room to get ready. We waited in our room and I could see my fiance just barely through the trees (he couldn’t see me). At 4pm on the dot another wedding coorinator came and got us from my room. We walked towards the beach…… they had a beautiful aisle made of flowers, my music, my man and the waves rolling again’st the shore. I couldn’t have asked for more. We had sparkling wine on the beach but chose to eat our cake at the reception – We chose the Pasta restaurant – You have your choice of specialty restaurants – Seafood and Pasta. LOVED IT!!! When you return to your room at night – You will be in for a surprise, a wonderful one but that is all I am going to say. 🙂 If you want to ask me questions or see pictures email me.

Jackie iam_2sxy4u@hotmail.com

Have a great time – people are great, food is great, the experience PRICELESS!

Las Brisas Guardalavaca
My husband and I have just returned from 2 weeks at Las Brisas and we had a fantastic time.We actually got married there,and we couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful wedding.If anyone is thinking about doing the same then i certainly recomend it.We met with a wedding planner on our second day and went through what would happen on the day.She goes through everything from flowers to location,and once she has all the information you just sit back and enjoy your holiday while she gets everything sorted out.I had a horse and carriage take me to the gazebo that we had chosen as the location,you get a cuban musical trio,a 2 tier wedding cake,sparkling wine,beautiful flowers surrounding you aswell as a lovely bouquet and matching buttonhole.You also have the option of having 2 cuban bridesmaids,which I chose,and they were lovely girls.They came to my room a little before the wedding and helped me to relax and made sure all was ok.The hotel staff really make you feel special and you get little "extras" throughout your stay.
NH Krystal Resort and Villas – Cayo Coco
We traveled to Cayo Coco, Cuba from April 8th to April 15th, 2006. We flew with Sunwing airlines out of Toronto. We had no problems on departure or return. We were actually home 15 minutes early! We stayed at the beautiful resort of NH Krystal Resort & Villas (formerly El Senador). I would highly recommend this resort to anyone. The reason for our travels was to get married. We got married on April 12th and everything was absolutely perfect!! We traveled as a group of 13 adults and 2 children. Not one of us had any complaints about the whole trip. Not enough can be said about Yosvany (Falcon) the wedding coordinator. He is the most amazing person. He will accommodate your every need. The flower arrangements were beautiful. They decorated the wedding site with flowers and balloons…very nice. We got the photo package along with the videographer. I was totally amazed at how well the photos and video turned out. You don’t really know what to expect, especially in a different country, but they were done very professionally. I would definitely recommend getting this package; it is well worth the money. We had the reception dinner at the Cuban restaurant, which was also decorated really nice. They took the floral arrangements from the wedding site and had them in front of the tables. The food and service we received was excellent. There are plenty of places to eat at this resort. They have Cuban, Italian, Seafood, Steakhouse and V.I.P. restaurants (V.I.P. costs $25CUC/person unless you are staying in a villa). And they also have two buffets, one on the Laguna side and one on the Emperador side. I would recommend eating at the one on the Emperador side; they just seemed to have a better selection and more seating. We ate at the Cuban, Seafood and V.I.P. restaurants and both buffets. The food at all of them was good and the service is even better. The Cuban people are so nice. They also have many different excursions to go on and scooters you can rent. We went on the Jeep excursion and I would do it again in a heart beat. You HAVE to go on this excursion. It is an all day thing and they take you everywhere. You get to drive across the causeway onto the main land and they take you to a horse ranch and a crocodile farm. You get lunch and snacks along the way. You get to drive into the town of Moron and stop at a little shop. It is all very interesting and a must see. Just make sure you pack the sunscreen and passports!!

Pointers:

-bring lots of sunscreen -bring a travel mug to fill up with your favourite drink (there cups are small) -the Cubans love to receive baseball caps as tips (especially in they have a Canadian flag) -the Cuban dollar is 11% more than American money (American rate + 11%) -if you have small children, bring a stroller (the resort is huge!)   Overall, this was an awesome vacation. I would highly recommend visiting this beautiful resort. If you have any questions, or would like to see pictures, please e-mail me at

rahel_rutherford@yahoo.ca

Paradisus Rio De Oro – Holguin
Michelle & Anthony 
August 2005
Well what can I say every girl wants to feel like a princess on her wedding day and I was treated like royalty, Oldays the wedding co coordinator took care of everything for us we had a brief meeting with her on arrival to discuss the flowers etc and she came up trumps with everything. I would recommend that you pay a visit to the masseur before the ceremony as it was fantastic, also the hairdresser is wonderful she done all our bridal parties hair including mine which took her 1 hour and manicures for the two mums, my bridesmaid, my auntie and myself. What can I say she is a talented women she done the lot by herself and no one was disappointed. Should you go and see her though I would say that if you have any nail varnish that you don’t really use give it to her as she will always find a use for it.

Now moving onto the ceremony its self it is very short and takes about 10 mins from start to finish the notaire will speak in Spanish and you have a translator there as well they are lovely and put you at ease in fact all you have to say is I DO! After the ceremony we took the horse and cart around the resort then had some photos taken by their photographer who I would recommend he is very good at this job and we had the photos back with in two days.

Paradisus Rio De Oro – Holguin
Penny & Janne UK
April 2005
Penny & Janne (British & Finnish – currently both living in the UK), ages 33 and 29 We stayed at the Paradisus Rio de Oro from 2-23 March 2005 and had the most wonderful wedding with 3 weeks in paradise. I would thoroughly recommend getting married abroad to anyone and definitely getting married here as you could not wish for anything more than all you have when you are married at the Paradisus! For those getting married at the Paradisus, you will meet with the wedding co-ordinator (Odalys) the day after you arrive to go over the order of the day and any extras that you might want for your wedding. Extras include flowers for bridesmaids @ 12CUC each (£6.38), photo options, including 10 free photos plus extra ones at 2CUC each (£1.06) and a video of the ceremony at 100CUC (£53.17). We had all three of these options and all were great! Please be specific if you want certain flowers and it always helps if you could provide Odalys with a picture of a certain flower type or colour. I chose pink roses and was delighted as that’s exactly what I received. We weren’t sure what to expect with how the video would turn out when we watched it back home, but it is so fantastic that I have watched it everyday since I got back (and cried!), much to my husband’s amusement! I also brought from the UK some pink tea lights, wedding favour bags (with a mini love-hearts tube, fortune cookie and mints inside each) and pink & silver table confetti to decorate the table and also a cake topper for the wedding cake. I gave these to Public Relations the day before and they were only too happy to accommodate our request. On the wedding day our guests came to our hotel from the Sol Rio de Luna y Mares via horse & cart and we had paid for their day passes which cost 80CUC (£42.54) if they wanted to arrive after 11am (to enjoy the hotel’s facilities), or 45CUC (£23.92) if they wanted to arrive after 3pm. We had these passes charged to the room and then settled up at the end of our stay. We were married on March 8th at 4pm and the day was wonderfully warm with clear skies and a gentle breeze. The ceremony, which is excerpts from the Cuban Code of Family Law, lasts 20 or so minutes and is conducted in Spanish with an English translation. After the ceremony had finished and we were married, we were congratulated by snorkelers in the sea clapping for us just below the wedding gazebo, which I thought was lovely! We then had a champagne toast after the ceremony and then Janne & I were whisked away in the horse & cart with the photographer to have photos taken in the grounds and then our guests were taken back by golf buggies to the Lobby Bar. After the photos were taken, we all relaxed together with drinks in the lovely Lobby area until 7pm when we were booked into El Patio for our wedding meal. As there were so many of us, they had screened half of the restaurant off and gave us one long table and a top table. We were able to have our speeches in there too, which was great! After the wedding meal and as it was around 10:30pm, we headed into the Congo Fun Pub which is open until 2am. We gave the DJ a CD to play our first dance which he was more than happy to play. Some of the music in there can be a bit cheesy (cheesy is great sometimes you know!) but if he has something you’d like to hear, you can request it and he’ll put it on for you straight away. To sum up, everything about the wedding was so perfect, the staff there made us feel so very special. I just wish we could do the whole day again as it went so fast! There were 6 weddings which took place that week but Odalys always gives 100% attention to each wedding she co-ordinates so your day is absolutely ‘perfect’ regardless.  

Photos: http://community.webshots.com/album/308790226Neqmkt

Paradisus Rio De Oro – Holguin
Jeannine Canada
April 2004
Last year from May 3-17, 2003 we vacationed in Cuba at the Paradisus Rio De Oro for the first time. We got engaged there and had such a great experience we decided to go back this year to get married. Nothing has changed, the service, people and food is still superior. Our package was for April 9-16 with our wedding on April 12, 2004 at 4:45 pm. We flew with Skyservice direct from Calgary to Holguin, via Varadero. We stopped in Varadero for about 45 mins to pick up other passengers heading back home and then on our way to Holguin. The flight was about 6 hours total but that didn’t matter once we stepped foot in Holguin. Check in at the hotel for us was swift, instead of lining up at the reception counter they set up a small check in area for all the guests and it seemed a bit chaotic at first because there were so many people everywhere, but wasn’t too bad cause the hotel had allot of people working to take care of everyone. So after you check in and get your room number, you should go and identify your baggage to the porters and have them tag and mark your room numbers on them. We were in our room within 15-20 mins, including the golf cart ride to the room. I don’t know about couples honeymooning at the resort, but for couples getting married there, the wedding co-ordinator Odalys will be there to greet you with a bouquet of roses. Your baggage will come to your room after they get all the guests to their room first. The wedding was truly magical for us and everything we wished for. The staff took such great care of us and we didn’t have to worry about anything. I will try to write everything I can remember but if there are any questions, feel free to email me and ask. Prior to arriving in Cuba, I emailed the wedding coordinator (in Toronto) information about what I want for flowers and my cake. Try to do this 3-4 weeks before leaving. They will try to accommodate you as best they can, but depending on the season, you may not get what you want. Trust me, by that time you won’t even care anymore, you just want to get married. 🙂 I requested orchids for my bouquet, maid of honour’s bouquet, and for the boutonnières and corsages. Because of the season, I didn’t get orchids but got pink daisies instead. They were okay but their floral arrangements aren’t spectacular so don’t expect out of this world arrangements. They will serve their purpose. If there’s a certain look you have to have etc., my suggestion is to bring your own floral tape, wire, and maybe some silk flowers. You should definitely email the hotel first. We weren’t notified about the lack of orchids until we got to the hotel. I didn’t care at that point. Additional bouquets are $15US, boutonnières $1US, and corsages, $3US. I really felt I didn’t get my money’s worth on the flowers but oh well. If you have 17+ people staying at the resort for the wedding, your wedding package is free. There’s a list of what’s included on the Sol Melia website, sorry I don’t have the link handy. We had 20 people so we got the following free of charge: bride’s bouquet, groom’s bout, cake, live band, horse drawn carriage, photographer, wedding ceremony with gazebo decorated. There’s also a list of extra services such as manicure, pedicure, hair and makeup, videographer, and massages as well and the prices vary. Charges will be billed to your room so you can pay upon checkout. The couples massage (1/2 hour each) is $20US compared to the standard $25US per hour, you get a $5 dollar discount. The day after arriving, the couple will meet with the wedding co-ordinator to go over a few details confirming time, location, floral arrangements, delivery of the flowers (when and where), pick up time for groom and bride, dinner, and any extra services you will require. At that point, she will request that you provide her with the names of 2 witnesses, keep in mind they cannot be members of your family. She will have an information sheet for you to ask them to fill out. If you don’t have witnesses, the hotel can provide you with them. She will also request the couple to go over the information about them, confirming the correct spelling of names, birthdates, and address at home. This info is for the marriage certificate so it must be correct. This info should also be faxed to the Sol Melia wedding co-ordinator in Toronto months before arriving in Cuba as well, it’s called the Sol Melia wedding form. It’s also the form where you request your wedding date. The wedding location: Our wedding was held at the beautiful gazebo on the cliff overlooking the ocean. The view and scenery is amazing and not much is needed for decorations. They will decorate the gazebo with these bright pink flowers in bunches. In the gazebo will be a small table used for the ceremony, also where they will have the cake and some champagne. Very, very nice and the bright blue-green water makes a stunning backdrop. A band will be in the courtyard playing music (if applicable) and the wedding co-ordinator along with other members of the hotel will be on hand to assist. Those people go out of their way to make your special day memorable and magical. Our cake was delicious and the best thing I tasted. We all wanted seconds and then some!! Before our ceremony, the horse drawn carriage arrived at my husband’s room to pick him and the best man up. They took them around the resort before dropping them off at the gazebo. The did the same for me, MOH, flower girl, and the ring boy. Maximum number of people on the carriage is 4. April 12 was the nicest day the entire week we were there. Bright, sunny, calm, not too hot, and just a slight, slight, breeze. The sun was still very bright and didn’t set until around 7 so if you’re having a late wedding, it should be okay. Definitely check the sunset times in other months cause from what I recall last year in May, the sun was setting around 6:30. We had dinner at the El Patio restaurant and they served us the best stuff available. We dined on butter oysters, lobster and shrimp cocktail to start, followed by French onion soup, then veal tenderloin. Chocolate mousse was for dessert. Dinner was fantastic and so easy on the palette. If you can’t have veal like my sis, you can request chicken instead when you get there. We were upgraded to the super junior suite. The set up is exactly like the standard junior suite but with an outdoor shower and some extra artwork at the vanity and in the bathroom. What’s also great is there’s only one room beside yours, (two suites side by side) making it more private. Outside of the room is a private patio with a hammock hanging from the trees, very, very nice to relax out there. You also get a side window. We used the outdoor shower the entire week cause it was even warmer than using the indoor one. To be one with nature is really relaxing! Don’t worry, the outdoor shower is walled off so no one can see or climb it. The wedding vows are simple and mostly about equality and sharing responsibilities in the home, they’re from the Cuban family law codes. The ceremony itself took maximum 30 mins so plenty of time afterwards for pictures. The notary will read them in Spanish and a translator will do them in English. The wedding co-ordinator can provide you with copies of both after the big day, just ask. To sum it up, the only thing that didn’t get 5/5 stars in my book were the flowers (3/5 stars) but that didn’t bother me one bit. Everything unfolded so smoothly and went by so fast. It was truly a magical day for a wedding and everyone came together to make it special for us. I love the people in the resort, the service, food, and place itself and have NO PROBLEMS recommending it to people for their vacation or wedding. Everyone in our group loved, loved it and couldn’t believe the quality of service and food. My only regret is that we didn’t stay there for 2 weeks (did that last year) and we may not come back to Cuba or the Paradisus Rio De Oro for a long time cause it’s time for us to move on and see another country. I’m going to miss everyone we made friends with there and hopefully if there’s a great deal, we’ll be back. We’re such creatures of habit.

P.S. The week we were there, there were three weddings, ours on Monday, one on Tuesday and one on Wednesday. Even though there were many, the quality of service was NEVER affected. The wedding co-ordinator told me the week of April 16-23, they have a wedding everyday.

Brisas Del Caribe – Varadero
Tammy and Conrad 
February 2006
We went to Brisas Del Caribe for the week of Jan. 22-29th 2006 and we got married at the hotel. My husband and both are very very happy with the way our wedding was planned (thank you Romilio!!!) Romilio is the backup wedding organizer until they find someone to replace the lady who was there previously. We arrived on Sunday and were given the upgrade to the Honeymoon Suite in the main building on the fourth floor, overlooking the pool area and looking way off to the ocean beyond. We adored our room, and the maid service was amazing. We got together with Romilio the following day and he went through all the details with us. On our wedding day, he had organized the trip to the hairdresser at a ! few hotels over. I was unhappy with the way my hair turned out and had to get my girlz to do a fix up job. Overall though, it all went so beautifully. The ceremony itself was smooth and we loved the quartet, and the cake, champagne and all that was provided for our wedding ceremony. And the photographer took wonderful pictures! We paid $200 pesos to get all the extra pictures and I feel like it was worth it. The beach pictures were amazing, as were the pictures with the tropical flowers. The hotel was amazing and the people who worked there were all so nice. We felt like it was worth every minute of our time there, and we’d recommend it to anyone who wants to get married that way!

We will be going back there on our 5th year anniversary!

Brisas Del Caribe – Varadero
Sherri and Solon Canada
July 2005
As for the wedding. It was perfect. I cannot say enough about Maida. She made me feel at ease the moment I met her. She had everything under control, I had to do nothing. We married on February 26, 2004 at 2PM and I can assure you that the moment she came to our room to brings us to the gazebo she was in full control. I am truly grateful for everything she did for us. With a group as large as ours it is very difficult to satisfy everyone. Well I can tell you that not one person complained about a single thing. Everyone enjoyed themselves tremendously. The champagne flowed continuously throughout the whole afternoon. Also Maida had arranged for a photographer to take our pictures. I must say that over 50 5X 7 prints that I received I can honestly say that there were almost all perfect. She also gave us 5 large prints that were outstanding. We were completely shocked to see the quality of prints that we received at a cost of only $150.00. The same would cost over $1000.00 home.
SuperClubs Breezes – Jibacoa
We had a meeting with Vivian, our wedding coordinator and witness, a few days after our arrival to discuss the details. We confirmed that we would have the ceremony in the Gazebo, the meal in Martinos and chose the flavour of our cake and chose the flowers. We also let her know at this point that we wanted to book the photographer and video offered in the package (at an extra cost). Vivian explained the timings for arrival etc and how it would work – and that was it, we just had to wait for the big day to arrive. The hotel does also have a hairdresser (who I think also does make up), and from what I have heard he is very good. I am lucky in the fact that my Sister in law is a hairdresser, so she did my hair for me on the day. My flowers were beautiful – the choices I was given were cream coloured roses, or tropical flowers. I opted for tropical flowers in bright colours – we were in Cuba after all!! The ceremony was performed by the notary in Spanish, and translated for us by Vivian, and lasted around 15 minutes. After the vows, we signed the register, then exchanged the rings and had our first dance – we planned ahead to ensure we could have the band Akarey playing at our wedding, and are glad that we did. After that, we had some toasts and then it was time for the photos, we had some taken around the gazebo and then the rest at the beach. Then we all headed back to our room to cool down in the air conditioning, before heading up to Martinos for the meal. We chose to cut the cake after the meal, and have some cake with our coffee. We chose chocolate cake and it was lovely. It was absolutely huge though, and as there were only 8 of us in total, we had a piece each with our coffee and asked German to share the rest of the layer with the other people in the restaurant at the time, and with the staff. We then spent the rest of the evening in the air conditioned comfort of the piano bar. Jibacoa is a beautiful place for a wedding, and the staff really do go that extra mile to make sure everything is perfect for your big day!! Look out for our plaque next to the steps at the bar side of the beach bar – you will easily spot it with the Cuban and Scottish flags on it!! I would definitely recommend both the photograph and video (DVD) packages, both turned out really well. We got 2 copies of the video on DVD, it was edited down and music added and the sound quality is excellent. We received our photographs and DVD’s within a week of the wedding, and the certificate follows via courier (ours came by DHL). The time this takes can vary, but ours arrived in just under 3 months. We have already booked our next trip back to Jibacoa in June 2007 for our first anniversary!!

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to drop me an e-mail at Mand2512@aol.com.

SuperClubs Breezes – Jibacoa
Because we arrived at Jibacoa 3 am we did not meet with our wedding co-coordinator until the following day. Sarah gave us a call at our room and asked us to meet with her in the afternoon. I must say, she is an absolutely wonderful person. We met and discussed the flowers, location, meal, cake etc. Everything went very smooth and was totally stress-free! Although I’ve always dreamed of being married on a beach, we choose the gazebo location for our wedding. We felt that being married in the gazebo would be more personal and intimate. I had my hair and make-up done by one of the staff at the resort. Although the pictures I showed him of up-do’s I loved were nothing like the end result that he provided, I was happy with what he did. It was very appropriate for the warm and windy weather. We were married at 4 pm and I was called by Sarah at that time and told to come to the gazebo. My Mom and I left my room (building 10) and walked to the gazebo. The walk up through the vine covered trellises was beautiful. I wasn’t nervous at all. The ceremony itself took only about 10 minutes. We wrote our own vows – I highly recommend this. It makes the whole ceremony so special, so intimate. We shared our vows with each other for the first time that afternoon – we both cried as did everyone that attended our wedding. The band played a Cuban love song for us as we danced our first dance as husband and wife. I fell in love with the song – Beesame (sp?) is the name of it. We hired a photographer and videographer through the resort. The DVD that we received was beautiful – very professional and worth every penny. The pictures were ok. We did get a few out of about 100 that are very nice. If I had my time back, I would have gone around the resort and choose different locations to have pictures taken and possibly would have had different poses, etc. I found the language barrier a little difficult with the photographer – she didn’t speak English at all.

We had a little time between pictures and dinner so our group went to the pool bar for drinks. By this time, everyone knew us and our group at the resort as ‘the wedding party’. The bartenders at the pool bar played a love song on the sound system and we got on the stage and danced again. It was very nice. Dinner was at 6 at Martino’s. The meal that evening and the service was unbelievable. The piano player insisted on playing a song for us and we danced again. The waiters brought our cake to the table after our meal. It was a 2-tier cake – too much for our group of 14 so we shared the cake with all those dining in the restaurant that night. It was very, very nice and the cake was delicious! Following dinner, we went to the piano bar where the pianist there played for us and our group all sat around the piano and listened while we waited for the nightly entertainment to start. At 9:30 we all went to the stage area where we watched the show, did the sun-dance and again was introduced to everyone. It was all I’ve ever dreamed of and much more.

Paradisus – Varadero
our wedding was a dream we met with laura our coordinater on our first day, and chose location (the beach),flowers, music , meal and she checke our origional documents although the paperwork had already been sent out and prepared it was so easy. the day went perfect the hairdresser is very good here i showed her the pic of how i wanted it and it was done. my flowers we beautiful too. the ceromony was peformed in spanish and translated by laura it is traditional cuba family law after signing the papers we exchanged rings for anyone doing the cuban wedding thing it might be nice if you wanted to prepare a little vow here as nothing formal is said . then we had champagne in beautiful glasses, and cut our cake and it was exactly like we had chosen and then it is cut and served, was a light sponge with lemon filling and white icing that sorta tasted like mirangue mix. then we had our first dance the cuban band they sang for us was excelent and we even had tradition wedding march at the begining. it was all so relaxed. we then enjoyed som drinks and canapees with our guests (our weddings teal had told us it was extra cost to have these so we didnt order them but they were given anyway). then off for the photos it was so hot though i staryed to get sun stroke after an hour and a half. advice take water with you . the photos were lovely tho so it was worth it all. we had our wedding meal in the tury and they had put floweres on the table and the menus were made in to scrols, laura had put out the favours i brough from home also. the orchestra played special music for us there too. it was truly a wonderful day. on return to our room there was a pathway of rose petals to our bed which had been turned down and there were chocs and rosed there alson with satin sheets and just married cuba tshirts and anothr flower arangement on the table. and also rose petals in the bath.

on our last night we returned to our room and there was a cd a good luck letter and a plate of cakes saying byon vaage with heats in red icing. a real =treat.

Brisas Santa Lucia
Kelly Toronto
February 2005
Brisas Santa Lucia pays for the wedding, you only have to pay for the notary and the papers (250US$). So, I really shouldn’t complain that the flowers for the wedding didn’t arrive (I’m not sure they were even ordered), the photographer arrived after the wedding, the videographer didn’t show at all, people who booked only two weeks in advance received a better room than us (we had an unrenovated room without a fridge) and there were no flowers or fruit waiting in our room. We did mention these things to the wedding coordinator and he apologized, I’m sure it wouldn’t happen again. The hotel was very full (mid Jan) and he was very busy with other things and I think we just fell through the cracks. They did decorate the gazebo and the wedding area looked lovely, the cava was delicious, the dinner that night was very nice and special. Here are some tips if you plan on going. 1. If you have any requests, write them down or get Roel to write them down so he will remember. 2. Have them open the disco at 8 for your first dance (if you want one) and bring your own cd. 3. When the photographer shows up, don’t be shy about saying anything – if you see shadows across everyone’s face-ask him if you can find a different spot (all our family shots spotted with shadows) also, he takes about 2 minutes to focus the shot before taking the picture, ask him to tell you when he is taking the shot. There was a lot of blinking and looking in the wrong direction in our shots because we were waiting so long. If you don’t mind the odd thing going wrong (it always does I guess) this is a nice resort. One last tip, don’t go if it is full. That is hard to find out because you have to book a month in advance. We didn’t think mid Jan would be full, but it was, and it was long lineups for everything and they always run out of the good stuff early.

Email me if you have any questions tokelly@rogers.com

Brisas Santa Lucia
Karen and Stéphane Ste-Julie Québec
March 2003
First of all we have to say that the personnel at this hotel is quite professional. From the moment we started to plan our wedding to the time we arrived in Cuba, the hotel staff was already planning our wedding! Everything was perfect! If you are planning a romantic wedding by the beach alone or with you family it’s the place to be. Our intimate ceremony was by the beach our family was present, flowers covered the tables champagne was on ice , live music and the sun was at rendez-vous. We had a very nice day after the ceremony the chef prepared us a sumptuous dinner at our convenience in the piano bar,the live music and service where just perfect everybody greats you with a friendly smile. The honeymoon service is good too, flowers and fresh fruits at your arrival at the hotel and after the wedding, we had the pleasure of receiving a nice gift from the hotel manager and staff the day after our wedding, it was the best vacation we ever had!

Thank you to Andrya and Lizbet for being part of that wonderfull day in our lives!

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