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Aside from his crisp resort chic attire and charismatic smile, among the first things I notice about Colin Cowie are his friendliness and wit. With dozens of people clamoring around him, he takes time to greet each of us individually by asking our name and where we are from.
We have all gathered at Aventura Spa Palace and Aventura Cove Palace in the Riviera Maya for the unveiling of the Colin Cowie Wedding Collection. Cowie, considered to be the “party planner of the stars” and one of the world’s foremost authorities on nuptial planning, created the series of themed vow exchange settings to make elaborate ceremonies more accessible from a budget and time standpoint.
Cowie’s packages are offered at all Palace Resorts Mexico properties, the new all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and Palace properties in Puerto Vallarta, Cancun and the Riviera Maya that are in the Hard Rock rebranding process.
Eighteen over-the-top designs give couples a high dose of Cowie’s style with effortless planning. Among the most colorful is Cowie’s Sultry Sunset, inspired by the passionate colors of a sun slipping below the horizon off the Mexican coast. My personal favorite, this romantic design features chair backs decorated in deep orange and pink that line a copper aisle runner leading to a flower-adorned gazebo.
“The programs speak to a broad range of design sensibilities so that there’s something for everyone,” said Cowie. “The wedding designs allow brides to express themselves and their style without getting bogged down in the planning.”
He adds that couples still enjoy the flexibility of adding personal touches through rituals that can include lighting unity candles, ringing celebratory bells or hanging banners inscribed with well wishes from guests.
Available from $1,500, Cowie’s weddings cover the ceremony location, set-up, seating, floral decorations, an aisle runner, a bridal bouquet, a groom’s boutonniere, a wedding cake, champagne and dinner reservations at a hotel restaurant for up to 30 guests (if needed).
Couples can further elevate their experience by adding a cost-per-table, Cowie-designed reception, including food, beverages, centerpieces, runners, silverware, glasses and plates.
A complimentary honeymoon night package indulges newlyweds with a bottle of sparkling wine, honeymoon cake and breakfast in bed the following morning. Newlyweds are also treated to a private dinner for two, special turndown service, access to the exclusive honeymoon concierge desk and a 6 p.m. late check-out (upon request).
Palace Resorts and Hard Rock Hotels have extended the free, one-night offer to any couple presenting proof of marriage within the past year. Package upgrades with tours, massages and keepsakes are available from $250 nightly.
For bookings made by Dec. 15 for travel through Dec. 23, a resort credit promotion is available. Guests staying from three to 12 nights receive up to $2,500 in resort credit applicable toward Colin Cowie Wedding Collection packages (priced from $3,000) and more. Travel agents can earn 15 percent commission on Colin Cowie Wedding Collection packages and nightly all-inclusive rates. A bonus commission is extended on rooms booked for wedding groups.
Rocking ItEnhancing the Colin Cowie partnership is Palace Resorts’ announcement of the All-Inclusive Collection, which will act as the sales and marketing arm of the world’s first-ever all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotels.
Cancun Palace, Vallarta Palace and Aventura Spa Palace and Aventura Cove Palace are being upgraded and rolled out as all-inclusive Hard Rock hotels through 2013. These reflagged resorts will feature Rock Star Suites, showcase a collection of authentic music memorabilia, incorporate diverse music genres and host an ongoing schedule of concerts.
According to Rafael Chapur, Palace Resorts’ chief operating officer, the All-Inclusive Collection was developed out of the need to market these properties differently than those in the Palace Resorts collection.
“The opportunity to facilitate the entry of the iconic Hard Rock Hotel brand into Mexico and to offer the Palace Resorts promise of an unmatched, all-inclusive resort experience is very exciting,” said Chapur.
All-Inclusive Collection Hard Rock Hotelswww.hrhallinclusive.com