Sorry but this is going to be a long one!
On Thursday March 25th my fiancÃ© and I arrived in Punta Cana. We actually stayed at the NH for a few days since most of our friends stayed there due to cost reasons and we wanted to be with them for a few days. The NH is right next to the PPR and 5 minutes away if you walk on the beach.
The NH is a nice hotel but the food is just ok and the rooms could use upgrades. The wedding coordinator at the NH, Claribel, is great to work with though. She was very helpful and very accommodating. We had arranged to have bottles of wine with personal labels on them for all of our guests and we also had events sheets we had designed as well as facebooks that we had put together. Prior to our trip we had asked our guests for pictures and we put together a book of everyone that was at the wedding along with a paragraph about who they are and what they mean to us and every guest was given one so they could see who was going to be at the wedding and use it as a conversation starter, they came out great. Claribel met each guest at the desk when they checked in to give them these items. We also had a welcome dinner at the NH for 25 people and she helped to arrange this for us.
Friday was a busy day for us. We met our photographer, Michael Steingard, on the beach at 6am for our TTD. Michael was a wonderful photographer and I would recommend him to anyone for their wedding. He really knows what he is doing and knows how to make the bride and groom as well as all the guests feel very comfortable and therefore be able to take great pictures. He spent a lot of time with us and took a lot of pictures and was just great!
After our TTD we met DJ Mannia at the PPR. We originally were going to just use and IPOD for the reception but we are so glad that we hired DJ Mannia, he really made the wedding special and was able to get all of our guests up and dancing the entire time! They were also great at mcing and controlling the flow of the wedding. I would also recommend them to anyone who is considering a DJ as they really know what they are doing.
After our DJ Mannia meeting we met Noelia and some other members of the romance team to go over all the details for the wedding. We had brought with us programs, escort cards, place cards, some stuff for the tables, etc..We had some issues at the PPR with delivery of the wine bottles and other items to the rooms and if we did it again we would meet the PPR guests at the front like we did at the NH however they did compensate us in other ways for these issues that we had. At the romance meeting we went over the planner which we had worked on with Teresa and made sure all the details were set.
On Saturday my fiancÃ© and I checked into the PPR. We actually took a room at the NH and the PPR on Saturday night so that we could sleep in separate rooms the night before the wedding. We were upgraded to VIP which I think all brides and grooms are now and we were given a 1 bedroom suite which was really nice! On Saturday night we had a welcome cocktail at the lobby bar and then we had a sit down dinner arranged at Gabi Terrace for all the PPR guests. We had a salad and a beef and fish medley as well as cheesecake. The event turned out really nice. We had a small issue Saturday night because when my fiancÃ© got back to the NH he noticed that housekeeping had taken his clothes for the wedding the next day!! He was not able to get them till 7am the next morning since housekeeping at left by the time he noticed they were gone but thank gosh they were found!!
My bridesmaids and I woke up at 7:30 and ordered room service. We then headed over to the spa at 9am for our hair appointments. I was very nervous about my hair and had gotten it done at home prior to our trip where I took pictures and notes as to what I wanted. I even brought my own hair spray down with me. I did not like my hair at all at first and even had them redo it but I was very happy in the end with how it turned out!! I had a very soft and wavy down look that was perfect for the beach. My bridesmaids loved their hair styles. I also had a polish change which went fine. The hair took a little longer than expect and we didnâ€™t meet Michael until 11:15 for pictures, he had been taking pictures of the guys getting ready prior to that. As soon as met him he told us to order room service and the girls did their makeup while he took pictures of us as well as of the dresses, shoes and rings!!
After our makeup was done and we had eaten a bit and had some mimosas we began to get dressed. When we were almost ready Michael went to meet Seth the groom to find a hiding spot for him so we could see each other for the first time. When all the girls were ready we went to find Michael and Seth I saw each other for the first time for a very emotional moment! Michael took pictures of Seth and I for about an hour and at 2, the rest of the bridal party came together. The romance team met the guys on the beach to bring them in and get them guest bracelets and this went down fine. We then took bridal party pictures from 2-3. At 3 we took family pictures until 4 and then we had a rehearsal for the ceremony. At 4 the romance team met the rest of the guests on the beach that were from the NH and get them bracelets. They were allowed to stay at the PPR until half an hour after the reception ended which worked out fine since we just wanted to go back to the room after the reception.
At 4:15 we headed over to the ceremony site on the beach which was just beautiful. We had the Aqua set up and we at the last minute decided to use the new wind chimes on the aisles which worked our perfectly blowing in the wind during the ceremony. At 4:30 we began the processional to Somewhere Over the Rainbow. The ceremony was perfect and I was so happy standing there in the sand beside the ocean as our rabbi from home performed the ceremony. It was a very emotional and special moment. At the end of the ceremony we exited to Stevie Wonderâ€™s for once in my life!
Immediately following the ceremony we had a champagne toast on the beach and we had our cocktail right on the beach from 5:30-6:30. We hired the Dominican Trio which was a huge hit and for the food we had fried yuka bites, fruit cocktail, crab pancakes and this salmon sandwich which were all really good. We also got upgraded to a full open bar for the cocktail and reception due to a lot of issues that we had the beginning of the weekend. At 6:30 the guests headed over to the reception site at the Olympic Terrace and Michael took some sunset shots of the bridal party on the beach.
At 7 the reception started and DJ Mannia announced us to Black Eyed Peas Iâ€™ve got a feeling, it was so so fun!!
For the reception we had all white linens with aqua napkins and white sashes on the chairs. We actually were upgraded to a really pretty table cloth since some of the things we had asked for were not used like the rose petals on the tables as well as these shells we had purchased to hold up all the place cards. For the centerpieces we had small square vases with orange roses. We also had the oriental lanterns. For our favors we had chrome starfish wine stoppers which matched our theme since we had starfish place cards (with actual seeds to grow star fish) as well as starfish escort cards with the guests names and table numbers. We had the designed buffet 3 which others said was excellent, I did not really eat! We had a two tiered round cake with chocolate and vanilla and orange roses cascading down. It tasted just great when it was being shoved in my face! We also made his/her drinks that were displayed on the bar (Lindsayâ€™s Loverâ€™s Lemonade and Sethâ€™s Stud Shot). And as for the rest of the night, everyone danced the night away as DJ Mannia played great songs!!!! We definitely left the crowd wanting more.
All the NH guests had to leave at 10:30 ish and then my husband and I went back to our room where we found a bath tub filled with bubbles and rose petals and a trail of petals leading to the bed that had a heart made of petals as well
The next morning we had our honeymoon breakfast at 11 and they even gave us scrambled eggs in the shape of a heart!!
Our wedding was just amazing and I wish it was not over! I do not know how to put pictures on here so if anyone is interested I have some on facebook or can email them. I donâ€™t have my professional ones yet though, only ones from guests.
Also let me know if you have any questions, I would be happy to help!
Also if anyone wants more information on Michael Steingard or DJ Mannia let me know.
As I said Michael was amazing and I would recommend him to anyone and even urge anyone to hire him as he was just amazing!!