Andrea is the definition of "above and beyond." I cannot imagine anyone better suited for the job.
First off - I want to emphasize how crucial having a planner is to the overall success of your big day. You are making an investment in your own sanity and happiness during your wedding - you are paying so that you (and your families & friends) do not have to lift a finger when you arrive. You are paying so that you can spend the morning swimming and sunbathing and drinking mimosas (or margaritas!) rather than setting up chairs, stressing about whether you have enough extension cords, and where the pen is for the guest book (and how to even find a pen, because you're in Mexico and can't even find your way to the venue). There are SO many teeny tiny details that can uproot your entire day, especially for a destination wedding, and by investing in someone as talented as Andrea, you will never have to worry about anything -- and your mom and sister will be able to go home when the party ends, rather than staying all night to clean up. The peace of mind alone is worth 3x what Andrea charges.
Secondly - I should note that choosing a planner was the most difficult part for us. Every couple writes raving reviews of their planner because, duh, who wouldn't - they helped with the best day of your lives! But at the same time, it makes it difficult for couples to decipher who's the best. And on top of that, you can't really judge a planner by the photos of previous weddings (which is exactly what I was inclined to do) because those weddings are a reflection each bride's style, and it's not necessarily the planner's taste/style. They just have to ensure they can execute on what YOU want. All of this makes it truly one of the most difficult decisions to make, so let me give a few detailed reasons why Andrea IS the best of them all:
1. Not ONE thing went wrong on our wedding day (well, at least that I know of)
I'm not joking - I was actually concerned because I didn't have any concerns. Andrea only approached me once that day with a "change of plans" which was that the caterer didn't have tuna available for the tuna sashimi hors d'oeuvres (one of five hors d'oeuvres) and they needed to swap it out for a different item. All I could do was give her a blank stare and laugh as I saw the worry in her face. I know this is a lot of detail, but seriously, if that's the only thing that goes "wrong" on your wedding day, you've either got some crazy good juju, or a crazy good wedding planner.
2. She fills in all of the gaps - and made my Pinterest dreams come to life
We were so wrapped up in the planning of the wedding day that we pretty much neglected the Welcome Party (on the Thursday before our Saturday wedding). We knew where we were going, and that there would be a donkey and some food and tables and chairs there - but that's about it. We showed up after a day of lounging and swimming (doing absolutely NO work for this party) and were in absolute awe - she brought in full decor, lights, perfectly styled flowers (thanks to Mireya @ Flor Mimo) and once again went above and beyond. Every minor detail was thought out, even our drinks were festive with a colorful Mexico theme and flowers floating on top. I didn't think the wedding could top that party, but indeed - she outdid herself again!
Same goes for our Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner. I had 12 bridesmaids, my husband had 10 groomsmen; needless to say that coordinating that group (plus their dates) was not an easy task. It required scheduled pickups to and from our houses on the North side of town, planning yet another full-fledged event with beautiful decor and food (she had to do this 3 days in a row with the welcome party, rehearsal, and wedding), and even remembering to bring a megaphone to the rehearsal so that we could hear over crashing waves in the background. Andrea has literally thought of everything -- her experience is clear and her ability to create something beautiful from your vision is unmatched.
3. She's down to business and down to be honest
Andrea is a no-BS planner in the best kind of way. We toured multiple venues and she was incredibly clear with all of the pros, cons, and concerns: It's important to note that we chose an especially challenging venue: it's more or less in the jungle, set on uneven ground (which poses challenges for setup), no cell reception, limited power supply, etc. The tradeoff, of course, is that it's absolutely stunning. Andrea made us aware of everything that could go wrong, but always painted it in a positive light - for example: if it were to rain heavily in days prior to the wedding, it was highly likely we'd have a dirty beach for the ceremony and muddy grass for the reception. She'd say, "That's no big deal as long as we're prepared - we can hire a crew to cleanup and comb the beach, and we can put palm mats down on the grass where people are walking." She made us aware of what costs any of these potential hiccups would incur so that we could weigh whether or not they'd be deal breakers. The little details like these made us so much more comfortable in the weeks approaching the wedding, knowing that Andrea always had a backup plan.
4. She knows every single vendor, and only works with the best
The scary part about this novel of a review is that I could do the same with every vendor Andrea pointed us to (caterer, florist, photographer, makeup artist, and more). Andrea not only knows these vendors well, but she's great friends with them, too. I can't tell you how many times we heard, "Andrea is the best, she really knows what she's doing" during our wedding. Right out of the gates, she provided us a list of options for every single vendor we'd have to choose. She gave feedback on their styles, their communication methods, and how she felt they'd align with our vision. This was the most crucial part of the planning process - getting direction when there are so many options to choose from - and I can confidently say that we felt that we chose the right person for the job in every single scenario, thanks to Andrea's guidance.
5. She genuinely cares.
I know for a fact that Andrea has organized hundreds of events, probably on a grander scale and with larger budgets, and yet my husband and I still feel like we were her most important clients.
The perfect example of this: on the night before our welcome party, I came down with what seemed like a pretty serious bug. As anyone considering a Mexico wedding knows, you run the risk of someone getting sick (but let me reassure you that I would do it over and over again, and it is NOT a reason to shy away from the destination wedding!). I was worried that if I didn't nip it in the bud, I'd be sick for the event and potentially even the wedding in a few days. Out of desperation, I texted Andrea at 4 am, assuming she'd reply in the morning, but sure enough - she responded right away. Let me outline what she did for me: 1) She pointed me to an urgent care facility, but also said she didn't think I'd need it (which I'm thankful for, saving any additional costs). 2) She sent her family doctor to my house early in the morning - he drove up in a golf cart carrying all of the medical equipment, medications, etc. that I'd need. 3) She sent an accupressurist my way who also did red light therapy?! 4) She made homemade bone broth and brought it to our house. I mean seriously, come on, she made bone broth - if that's not above and beyond, I don't know what is.
End result: I was cured within 12 hours and drinking margaritas by the time of the party.
The moral of the story is that Andrea went out of her way to ensure that every single detail of not just our wedding, but our entire WEEK in Mexico was perfect, and that there was never a lapse in fun. I felt as if I was showing up to my own party day after day after day, and it was executed so much better than I ever could have dreamed of. I am confident there are many talented planners in Sayulita and beyond, but I want to reassure you that Andrea is simply the best. Do not think twice, and if you have any hesitations, I am a phone call away. Choose Andrea, she is truly a miracle worker!