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Everything posted by Glamourina

  1. Our reception was from 7-11... Dinner took about an hour and the cake cutting and bouquet throwing only took about 10-15 minutes each. You might be so exhausted (I know I was) that 3 hours may be the perfect amount for you. If not, as others have said, you can always head to a club after the reception if you want a bit more dancing time
  2. I believe at Paradisus Punta Cana there's the Wish Package which is free if you stay for a week at Paradisus. It includes ceremony setup and a dinner reception for up to 6 guests which sounds perfect for you!
  3. Just wanted to update everyone: I have sent Crystal the package at my expense and the package has been sitting there for almost a week. Crystal has not picked it up and has not refunded us any money at all. She is now not even replying to my emails requesting that she pick up the package and pay us what we are owed.
  4. Sounds like a perfect wedding plan! Congrats! I'm sure it will an amazing time!
  5. Congrats and thanks for your honest review! Photos are gorgeous!
  6. Thanks for all of your wonderful comments everyone April2010, I just did my own hair and makeup, but I saw some other weddings during my stay and their hair and makeup (done by salon) looked beautiful! Quote: Originally Posted by April2010DR Great Review! you looked beautiful! I'm also getting married at the paradisus punta cana and was wondering if you used their salon for hair and makeup??
  7. lol I was one of those brides who brought down a bunch of stuff like linens, centerpieces, candles, favours, place cards, you name it! While the extras are nice and I'm glad I brought them they definitely NOT NEEDED The beach and the grounds of the resort are so beautiful that people really don't notice centerpieces and linens etc. I used the flowers from the resort package and they were gorgeous so I didn't need anything else really.. I think as long as you book your date/location/time and a good photographer as early as possible you're good to go with planning everything else upon arrival..
  8. I would definitely go with Dreams.. I've heard that Melia charges $1000 USD if you bring in an outside photographer, which you will probably want to do as resort photographers aren't often the best for weddings...
  9. I don't think you'll need to worry about out of town guests choosing your sister's wedding over yours.. I think she may have to worry about guests choosing YOUR wedding over hers... It's a lot easier to convince guests to travel to the sunny beaches of Jamaica rather than some other city in Canada or the states
  10. If you like Paradisus Palma Real but find it too pricey, maybe you could look at Paradisus Punta Cana instead? It's a bit cheaper but just as nice. I got married there and I can definitely say that the beach is beautiful there! Turquoise water, white sand, great breeze, and very private! I did see a beach reception while I was there and it was gorgeous, and well lit in the evening. I had my reception on a terrace but it didn't have a breeze at all so I wouldn't reccomend it but the a reception on the beach would be a nice option....
  11. Quote: Originally Posted by KLC77 I agree with Amanda, no matter what location you choose you will NEVER make everyone invited to your dw happy. So, make sure you and FI are happy. I totally agree with this too! Even if you chose to get married at the cheapest resort in the DR there will still be people complaining about the cost, so you might as well choose the resort that makes you happiest
  12. I think it's perfectly okay to mention that you do not want gifts on your invitation.. You could write something like "Your presence at our wedding is the only gift we hope to receive from you.." etc If people still want to give you a gift then they'll ask and you can direct them to your fave charity
  13. I got married at Paradisus Punta Cana, and I had 11 guests who did not stay at my hotel. All I had to pay was $20 plus tax per guest, so hopefully you can get the same rate...
  14. I would book ASAP.. Especially if photography is important to you, you don't want to be disappointed
  15. I got married a couple of weeks ago, at PPC at 3pm and it was HOT, but still comfortable. When I was at the resort I saw a few weddings, and they tended to be around 5pm.. I remember the weather at 11am being around the same temperature as 3pm, but it did tend to rain sometimes in the morning around 10am but this was August so not sure if it is the same year round.. I think it would be fine to have a wedding at 11am as long as your guests are all staying at your hotel... That way they'll have some time to relax in their rooms in between the cocktail hr and dinner reception
  16. Congrats on picking your wedding location! I had to put a deposit for PPC too, but I found out afterwards that they never actually charged my credit card for the amount (but they still held the date for me)...
  17. I had every wedding item you could imagine in my suitcase, candles, silver candle holders, silk flowers, tiara, cake toppers, etc) and nothing got removed during customs checks.
  18. I saw a wedding on a sunday at Paradisus Punta Cana, so I know they do them, but not sure if it was symbolic or legal...
  19. We chose it because of the BEAUTIFUL beach in Punta Cana.. As well, wedding packages and vendors are much cheaper in the DR than in Mexico
  20. I got married recently at Paradisus Punta Cana which is a 4 or 5 star hotel but cheaper than its sister hotel Paradisus Palma Real. I posted a review of the place in the wedding review forum. Dreams resort is nice too, I've stayed at the Dreams resort in los cabos and it was wonderful. Whatever you do, DON'T get married at Occidental resort! I stayed there a few days and it is definitely not wedding material
  21. I can’t believe the day has finally come for me to write this review! Our wedding was on August 10th, 2009, and we stayed in Punta Cana from August 4th to August 18th. We stayed at the Occidental Grand from August 4th to August 8th (as some guests were staying there) and then went on to Paradisus from August 8th to August 18th. Most of our guests stayed about 10 days in total whereas the rest stayed for a week. The guests who stayed for a week felt that they needed a few days more! We had 19 guests altogether, half staying in Paradisus and about half in Occidental Grand. Flights: We flew both US Airways and American Airlines and both accommodated my wedding dress. I was able to have my dress, one carry on and my “purse†aka rather large beach bag on the plane with me at no extra charge. We had two suitcases which surprisingly weighed under 50 lbs so I wasn’t charged. On American Airlines I got to hang my dress in the closet, and on US Airways I placed it in the overhead compartment. My dress was so big that nothing else could fit in the overhead, so it wasn’t squished by other bags. Paradisus has no steaming service available but luckily I didn’t need it for my dress. I took it out of the bag the day before and hung it and all the wrinkles straightened out… Occidental Grande Resort: C+ To be honest, we weren’t planning to stay here, but decided to as half of our guests couldn’t afford Paradisus and we wanted to spend some time with them since we would have to pay for a $75 day pass to see them if we stayed at Paradisus the entire time. Occidental is definitely a party resort. Lots of rowdy teens and people in their early 20’s were staying here. It’s definitely fun as their night club is open til 6am but after a day or two of constant bass booming from the hotel at all hours of the DAY and night, it got tiring quickly. The guests that were staying here were my younger cousins and friends in their 20s so they really enjoyed the place as it’s really cheap to stay there and it’s still all inclusive. As well, there is free horseback riding at this resort, which we went on as a group and it was awesome. However, every single guest had something in their room that didn’t work (A/C, electricity, leaking ceiling, phone broken, no room cleaning for days, no bedsheets, no pillows, etc) so I definitely would warn people not to get married at Occidental based on my experience and my guests’ experience. It’s a great place if you’re looking to dance and drink all day everyday, but it’s totally not appropriate for a wedding.. Occidental Spa: B+ Since the wedding party was at this hotel I paid for their mani/pedi combos at this spa. It was a really good deal! It was normally $45 USD for a mani/pedi but since I was paying for 7 of them, I got the mani/pedi for $28 USD a person, which was awesome for me as that’s what I pay for just a mani at home. The reason why I didn’t give this place an A is because the Spa manager was a total b*tch to the people who came for their nails and the polish chipped off pretty quickly even though it was OPI. But at the same time, you get what you pay for so I’m not gonna complain. Occidental Parasailing: A+ Totally worth doing, but keep in mind you have to haggle for pretty much every excursion you do (actually you have to haggle for everything in the DR). They started off charging $90 per person, but after bargaining with them we paid $22 per person. Lots of fun, especially with a big group, but if you tend to get sea sick take some gravol before you go, as the boat that starts the parasailing is super choppy! Paradisus Punta Cana Resort: A+ The resort itself is absolutely beautiful and HUGE! We stayed there 10 days and I don’t think we managed to see all of it! Teresa (Paradisus Wedding coordinator): A+ Teresa is AMAZING. She is wonderful at wedding planning and gave me great advice the whole way through, as to what extras to pay for, what food to choose for the reception, etc. She really made sure that everything was how I wanted, and made sure to email Inoska immediately when there were wedding cost discrepancies between what I expected to pay and what I was charged (see below under Inoska). Inoska (Paradisus Wedding planner): A Inoska was very helpful during the wedding and took great care to make sure that everything was done how I wanted. She did all the ceremony and reception décor for me and even decorated the carriage as well. She helped to direct the wedding party where to stand and when to walk during the ceremony as well. She is a very sweet person. The only reason I didn’t give her an A+ is that she did try to overcharge me by about $350, and I needed Teresa to email her to request the charge to be dropped. As well, the staff who took care of the reception were pretty bad and I did not feel like Inoska advocated on our behalf during the reception to make sure the service was better (see below under reception staff). Rehearsal/Welcome Dinner: A We had the dinner at La Terra Steakhouse Restaurant, which is one of the reservation only ones. The food was great, and so was the service. The only reason why it didn’t get an A+ was that everyone ended up with someone else’s steak (the person who asked for their steak well done was given a medium rare, someone who asked for a sirloin was given a medallion cut, etc) but after some major switching around, everything was alright  Wedding (Chill and Chic package) Ceremony : A+ I really could not have asked for a better day. The sun was shining, the beach looked beautiful and it wasn’t crowded so it made for a perfect beach wedding ceremony. We had the ceremony at 3pm which is HOT but I don’t really feel the heat that much (even in a 10 lb wedding dress) and the heat doesn’t really bother my guests, so we kept it to that time, even though Inoska was very worried someone would get heatstroke! I chose 3pm because it had the least chance of rain at that time, and as we were getting married during the rainy season I didn’t want to take any chances. I didn’t want to come all the way to the DR just to get married in the lobby (as beautiful as the lobby location is)! Horse and Carriage: A+ I opted to have a horse and carriage pick me up and take me to the ceremony, and I’m so glad I did! It was a total fairytale experience, and it was a wonderful way to start the ceremony. The guests loved it too, as everyone had a mini photoshoot with sitting in the carriage after the ceremony! Dominican Trio: A+ Even in the crazy heat, this band was decked out in dress pants and ties. Their music was absolutely beautiful and they played well past the 1 hour I paid for. I think they played for 2.5 hours and I never got charged for overtime so that was great! I never heard any of their music before the ceremony so I was a bit nervous, but the music was lovely and all the guests thought they played amazingly well. Beach/Wedding Gazebo Cocktail Hour: A+ The cocktail furniture and food/bar setup was really nicely done. The tapas were soo tasty! I picked the mini tacos, quesadillas, and something else.. But I think whatever you choose will taste super yummy either way! We didn’t get to stick around for much of the cocktail as we had to take our photos on the beach, but all the guests were pleased with the choice of drinks and snacks, and all of them stayed until the end despite the intense heat. Wedding Reception at Convention Terrace: B The area was beautiful however there is absolutely NO breeze or A/C so even at 8pm the guests had a hard time eating in the heat. I wish Inoska would have warned me about this as I did ask her opinion on whether it would be too hot at night, because I would have moved my reception to either the beach (strong breeze) or a ballroom so my guests could have been more comfortable. Wedding Reception Staff: D This was really the only but major sour point of the evening. The staff that happened to work during our reception dinner were pretty awful. The waiters pour everyone one glass of wine and one glass of water and then disappeared into a back room for the majority of the night. For most of the dinner, my guests had to go searching for a waiter to have some more water to drink (as the reception area was so hot) and even when they asked for a glass it never came. As well, we were told that even though we were having a buffet dinner, we were still going to have staff cut up the meat and serve it on our plates as we walked down the buffet line. There were staff present, however none of the meat was cut (there was an entire cooked pig as one of the dishes and none of the guests knew how to cut it up) but when someone asked for help to cut up the meat, the staff refused! They said no and walked away! In the end, no one ate the pork (whole pig) meal since no one knew how to cut the meat up.. What a waste. As well, no one was there to serve the wedding cake. After we cut the cake, my husband and I had to serve the cake ourselves like staff members instead of enjoying the evening, until one guest complained and then finally a staff member stepped in. I also asked the staff if we could have the dancing portion of the evening in the air conditioned room that was next door to the terrace. The room’s door was open and no one was in it, so I didn’t see the big deal. However, when Inoska called her manager to make sure it was okay, it took them TWO HOURS to decide whether or not we could use the spare room. By the time they told Inoska we could use it, there was only 25 minutes of dancing left.. As well, I was told that we could have a dancing reception until 11:30 pm but the music had to be cut off around 10:30 (at first Inoska told me 10pm but finally let it go an extra half hour after a lot of back and forth between us). In the end, I was pretty upset because my husband and I spent the majority of our reception running around after staff members to get them to do their job that we paid them to do, or we were standing around waiting for managers to get back to us to see if we could dance in a tiny little spare room… Ipod Stereo rental: A+ I was worried that the stereo equipment may not have been loud enough for dancing, but it was just like the quality that you would have in a nightclub. It was also pretty easy to use, and there was a guy to help us in case we needed help with the equipment, which was a pleasant surprise! Photographer: Huellas Del Caribe (HDC) by Arnaud Brichet: A++++++++ Arnaud was an absolutely wonderful photographer! He showed up early and his friendly personality and professionalism really put me at ease. Not to mention, all the female guests at the wedding were totally swooning over him (tall, dark and handsome! ). I can be a bit camera shy but Arnaud really helped us with all the beach shots and I felt really comfortable. As for the photos, I am ABSOLUTELY THRILLED with the results! I couldn’t have dreamed of better pictures, especially at such a reasonable price. I TOTALLY RECOMMEND HIM!!! Some beach shots: Florist Bittersweet Wedding Designs (Crystal): Rating pending I haven’t yet completed my dealings with this florist, as you may know what had happened in my previous threads (see “very upset with Bittersweet wedding designs†thread for details), but I will post a review as soon as everything has been resolved. All in all, I had a wonderful wedding, despite the little problems along the way.. I’m very happy I chose Paradisus Punta Cana for my wedding, and all my guests had a total blast in the DR. Can’t really ask for more than that! P.S. Sorry if there are major spelling/grammar mistakes in this review! It was so long that I didn’t have time to proofread.. Hope the pics show up!
  22. Just wanted to verify what Crystal had posted. Like she said, she has agreed to respond favourably to my second request to ship the flowers COD. I think this is the best way to keep us both happy. We are now working things out and hopefully this will all be resolved soon.
  23. Quote: Originally Posted by Glamourina Hi everyone! I just posted an update on my dispute with Bittersweet.. It under the thread name "Very upset with bittersweet wedding designs right now.." in the flower subforum (I think it's on the 2nd or 3rd page) Unfortunately, my update has no good news with concern to my dispute oops sorry it's in the bride referral subforum not the flower one....
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