Wedding Review: Majestic Elegance 06.09.09
We got married in on June 9th, 2009 at the Majestic Elegance. Sorry about the delay in posting my review as I have had a very busy summer and I wanted to put some thought into it. The whole week was amazing. The resort is as great as the name suggests. Of course the beach was beautiful, there were tons of activities to do, the service was superb, and the food for the most part was delicious!
One thing to note is that we planned our wedding very last minute. We were suppose to get married in the Mayan Riviera, Mexico but our trip was cancelled (by Signature Vacations) due to the Swine Flu (or H1N1). As a result things were not completely thought through and we had to â€œroll with the punchesâ€ at various points in time.
I dealt with Maritee through email while planning my wedding. She was very helpful, got back to me very promptly, and answered all of my questions to the best of her knowledge. When we arrived at the Majestic, we dealt with Massiel. Both of their English was quite good. One thing for new brides to keep in mind is that things are never written in stone, even if confirmed with the WC by email. All of the details are finalized during your meeting with the WC a few days before the big day. As Massiel was not even the WC we were dealing with over email, she did not know of anything that we had previously requested. For example I wanted bright pink and white lilies for my bouquet and centerpiece. These flowers were not available for my wedding day. Massiel said the shipment comes in on Saturday, and we got married on Tuesday, therefore the flowers would likely be wilty and smelly. This was a disappointment at the time but I got over it quickly and actually was quite happy with my flowers. They were able to use my colors just with different flowers (roses, white lilies) and it looked beautiful. Also I had asked over email if I could have a videographer for our wedding reception. When we got there, there wasnâ€™t one available. A definite disappointment for us but we got over it. The ceremony was so short and our photographer was so great that our special moments were captured in the photos I wish one of our guests would have taken a video of it on their camera and that would have been enough.
The WC is supposed to leave a note under your door to let you know when you will be meeting with her. We did not receive our letter for some reason. We missed our meeting because we didnâ€™t know about it! Fortunately were able to rebook our appointment. Our breakfast in bed was also delivered to my parentâ€™s room. We got it another morning instead Of course these were things that went wrong but it was no big deal for us. There was no way anything was going to ruin our special day in the Dominican Republic.
Overall everything else of the wedding went smoothly. The WC lets you know exactly what will happen for the actual day. I was told to be waiting in my room at 4:30pm with my bridesmaids and my parents (both were walking me down the isle). All of the guest, my fiancÃ© at the time, and the groomsmen were told to wait out front by the Sea and Sea (located right by the beach). Maritee picked them up from the Sea and Sea and led them to the beach location (we had a beach ceremony). She then came and picked us up from my room. One thing to keep in mind is donâ€™t be worried if she is late picking you up. It was well past 5pm (this is when our ceremony was scheduled for) when she arrived at the room. As I have been to a destination wedding before, I think being late is quite common. The music was perfect (we only had one song so it was kind of hard to mess up), and the whole ceremony went perfect. We were lucky that it didnâ€™t rain and we were able to take group pictures on the beach. It was absolutely AMAZING!! I am soo jealous of all you brides still planning your weddings.
For dinner we went to the Steakhouse restaurant. The food was FANTASTIC!! The steak was so soft and tender it melted in our mouths. The setup in the steakhouse is in the same area as the rest of the tables in the restaurant but it is off in a private area. Therefore we were able to do speeches and toasts and the cutting of the cake here. The set up at the table was great. They had the bouquet from the table at the ceremony in the middle and candles and decorations all along the table (you can check out the set up in the photos attached below). Afterwards I read somewhere that you can actually rent this area out for the reception too for $300- at least at the Colonial you can. We were not aware of this at the time, but this is one thing to keep in mind if you are planning your dinner here.
As we also had a full out reception in our home town recently, with 100 people at a hotel with dinner, dancing, ect., ect., we did not have room in our budget to rent out an area to have a reception in the Dominican (e.g., Parrot Bar, Wet Bar, Presidential Suite, ect.). We defiantly would have if we had the money though. We ended up going to the Jazz bar (I put pictures up of this area), a bar that plays only latin music. My father in law just went up to the band and asked them to play a slow song for our first dance. They played â€œHopelessly Devoted to youâ€ by Olivia Newton John. The singer did half in Spanish and half in English. It was perfect! And then everyone got in and danced for a while.
After this we did a group photo on the bridge which crosses over the pool and also took a few more bride and groom photos. Then we decided last minute to do the bouquet toss over the bridge. This turned out great! By this time the disco was open and off we went to dance our hearts out. Overall it was an amazing trip and a fabulous wedding. I donâ€™t think we could have asked for anything more. All you couples should be soo excited, you have a trip of a lifetime ahead of you!!
A few notes about the Majestic Elegance Resort:
- The rooms are absolutely beautiful!! Everything is brand new and very modern. Make sure you ask for your upgraded room when you check in- as it comes with your wedding package (if available). We only got this because we asked for it. Our room was just like everyone elseâ€™s but it had 2 Jacuzziâ€™s! One inside and one outside on a deck (there was 2 decks as well).
- We found all of the restaurants to be very good. One exception was on our first night we went to the Sea and Sea for dinner. We were in a large group, so I am not sure if we got a limited menu or what (we came to dinner late) but there was only an option of Prawns or Lobster. Neither was very good. It may just be how the seafood is in the Dominican, it was very different from what we are use to. We did have our romantic dinner for 2 here another night and it was quite good- not our favorite though. The Japanese restaurant was probably our favorite. They have a sushi bar to start with and then your dinner is cooked on a grill in front of you (chicken, steak, prawns, vegetables, ect.).
- You should check out the market that is nearby. Ask at the front desk. It is only a 5 minute walk.
- The weekends are the best nights at the disco. They have various contests (dance offs, a women and man switch clothes, dance lessons, ect.) and the staff are very energetic and fun. If you are hungry later on at night, as we often were, check out the after hours food shop located along the shopping walkway located between the Majestic and the Colonial. The food is greasy but it is yummy after a night of drinking and dancing. It serves fries, hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken wings, beer, ect.
Activities we did while in the Dominican
- Note: we stayed a week longer than our guests did, at another resort, so we did a lot of these activities in our second week.
- If you have a party type group you should check out the club â€œImagineâ€. It is a club located in an underground cave. We booked ours through a travel agent and it cost us $30. It included the entrance fee, a free drink, and transportation there and back. They picked us up at 11:00pm and dropped us back off at 4:00am. I know this sounds late but we had so much fun (just the 2 of us) that 4:00 was a perfect time to go home.
- We also went swimming with sharks and stingrays with Marinarium. There are 2 different types of trips you can take through this company. One is a relaxing trip, which we did, where you get dropped off on a dock in the middle of the ocean. You get to snorkel, swim with sharks and stingrays, kayak, and you get a relaxing massage. The other option is a party boat where I believe you just go swimming with the sharks and stingrays and alcohol is included. My father in law didnâ€™t know about the difference between the 2 and he got stuck on the party boat, so donâ€™t make this mistake if you arenâ€™t a big partier! Overall we thought the experience was ok. The food was low quality (white bread, with some meat, processed cheese, and a bit of fruit) and the whole trip was very rushed. It was described to us as a very relaxing trip and we liked the idea of a massage, but there was too much to do in 3 hours. As we were running out of time we had to choose between either doing the kayaking or the massage (which was very short). Not exactly what we were expecting. Swimming with sharks and stingrays was quite exciting though. You can tell that they are very sad as they are trapped in a big net but it was a cool experience. You can buy a picture of yourself holding stingray so donâ€™t forget to bring money if you want to do this (we did!).
- We went on the day Jungle Safari. Our guide was very knowledgeable and outgoing. He told us all about the Dominican and Hadi cultures and land. We were taken to a small Dominican home/farm where we got to see how coco, coffee and sugar are made. There is an opportunity to buy these items here as well. The family was quite large- with lots of children around. Some of the guests had brought school supplies for the children. You are NOT allowed to give them money. We also stopped at a farm where Mamajuana is made. There was a taste testing and an opportunity to buy a bottle. We did!
- One fun trip that we did with almost everyone from our wedding group was the â€œTropical Stormâ€ snorkeling trip. As we had over 20 people who signed up, we got a whole boat to ourselves! It was defiantly a party trip. Booze was supplied the whole time on the boat. We stopped at a natural spring where we swam and drank from a floating bar. We also went snorkeling and saw some beautiful fish and corrals. We also stopped at a HUGE air filled slide where we had quite a bit of time to slide down. A lot of fun. The crew on the boat gets everyone dancing and singing. It may have been because we were with our friends, but it was a great time!!
Well good luck to all those couples getting married in the years to come. My advise- donâ€™t worry about the small details, the people at the resort do 3-4 weddings a day so they know what they are doing. If you plan too much you may do a lot of unnecessary work and you may be disappointed if it doesnâ€™t turn our exactly how you expected. They do a great job of setting up and decorating, honestly you do not need to bring anything extra. The one thing you should bring though is decorations for your cake (ie, flowers, ribbon, ect.). They provide you with a plain cake and you need to bring stuff to decorate it yourself.
I posted the links to my pictures previously on the review of my photographer (Michael Steingard) but for anyone who has not seen them here they are:
Jodie Anne Stearns July 17 at 2:02pm
Hello everyone! I figured some of you would like to see the rest of our professional photos from wedding in the Dominican. I have uploaded them all to flickr for your viewing. Just to warn you there is A LOT!!
Boys getting ready: The Boys Getting ready
Girls getting ready: Girls Getting Ready
Photos before the wedding: Photos before the ceremony
The ceremony: The ceremony
Post-ceremony photos: Leaving Facebook... | Facebook
Reception/Dinner: Reception/ Dinner
First dance/Night photos: First dance/ Night photos
TRASH THE DRESS:
Sunset photos: Sunset pictures
Jungle photos: Jungle Pictures
Happy Planning to everyone!