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Ottawa Bride

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  1. Quote: Originally Posted by Nonnie If you don't mind my asking, How much did you tip? I really have no idea what would be appropriate I believe we left $100 at the restaurant (there were probably around 10 waiters for the size of our party). We gave each of the servers/bartender at the beach party $20. I think we gave the band $40 (there were 4 or 5 of them) I probably would have left $100 for Carolina (maybe 80/20 or 75/25 between her and her assistant)... I'm not sure what their salaries are, but I'm willing to bet it's not NEARLY enough for the amount of work they do to make sure things ran the way they did. Keeping in mind we were certainly not crazy tippers the rest of the week... usually $1 every 2-3 rounds and $1-$2 at meals. Not really wedding related, but one thing our rep told us was that when it comes to tipping, anything you leave on the bar/on the table gets shared between everyone. If you happen to come across a server/bartender who you really like and want that person to have the tip, you then have to give the secret money in the hand handshake and slip it to them that way.
  2. Quote: Originally Posted by shankd ottawa bride, What were the color options that Carolina offered to you, and my other question was does the gazebo have adequate lighting at night? One more if you don't mind....did you leave Carolina a tip? Hey Shankd, She showed me the same colours as mentioned in an earlier post: Orange Gold Emerald Green Lime Green Fuscia Blue We ended up going with Gold (which looked an awful lot like the orange we had used on our invites and other accents). Normally, she would have used the same chair sashes tied around the pillars (which looks awesome) but I had left her with spools of leftover ribbon and told her use it however she wanted in ours or other weddings... In photos you can barely see the ribbon tied around the posts but I knew it was there. I don't know about lighting at the gazebo because we didn't see it at night... I would think it would be okay though... when I look through my pictures, there are sconces on all of the pillars (both the top level of the gazebo and the bottom all seem to have lights on them) and there's another hanging fixture from the middle of the gazebo where we stood... even the pathway/'aisle' looks to have light fixtures mounted on stone things. Good question for Carolina but I would think that it would be okay. Last question... we didn't leave a tip for Carolina and that was a HUGE oversight on our part. We left tips for the wait staff at the restaurant (Carolina told us who to give it to and that they would split it evenly... there were so many of them, we didn't know who to give it to)... we tipped each of the servers individually at the beach party because there were only 4 of them. We also left a tip for the band to split. Carolina left the party shortly after the band started and we completely forgot to leave someone in charge of tipping her... I'm going to contact our travel agent though (she says she goes to the Palladium often) and see if she would bring it to her on her next trip... we really feel terrible about it because she really did a fabulous job.
  3. Quote: Originally Posted by caribbeanLover Thanks so much for your review, I am so happy for you guys, Congrates!!!!! Your pictures are stunning you looked sooo beautiful. The Gazebo does look beautiful, hard to make up my mind now, beach/Gazebo.. Congrates again, and thanks for so much detailed information!!!! I am biased but am so happy we chose the gazebo... it's right by the ocean so you still have the view and the breeze without the random onlookers... they really were great about keeping people away from the gazebo. The other thing that was nice about the gazebo was that the fresh palms they placed over it provided some shade for our guests (and looked really great!)... though the breeze from the ocean was awesome the day we got married, it was still really hot for those who didn't get a shaded spot and got stuck sitting in the sun... again, I'm completely biased! Quote: Originally Posted by beachbum Thank you for this! I'm going to see if Men's Wearhouse will order them in that color, we don't want our groomsmen to have to buy suits if they don't want to. That's how we felt too... and the option of everyone wearing the same pants without having to buy a full suit really allowed the guys to look like they still matched - and now they have dress pants they can wear again! Quote: Originally Posted by Nonnie Tanya I'm so excited now about my December 8th wedding! I've been worried that things won't go well, but your review has given me so much reassurance! I wonder if I'll be lucky enough to have our group upgraded too? I have some questions: Was your cake the one that comes with the package, or did you pay extra? Did you have to pay anything for waiters before the ceremony? Apart from the band and the bar, did the post-reception beach party cost you anything? It seems like a big thing for them to do for no extra cash. Don't worry about a single thing! It'll be fabulous!!! We really lucked out with the upgrade! I don't know what things are like at the resort in December, but the first week of November was very quiet - which is a big reason why they were able to upgrade us (someone told us that at that time of the year, they're checking in 3-5 busses/flights/arrival groups per day.... by the third week of November, they're usually checking in 35!!!) I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you though - the upgrade really was an incredible treat! As for your questions: The cake was the one that comes with the package...Carolina didn't give us a choice - she just said 'here's the cake'! Our options were flowers or no flowers and ribbon or no ribbon! We were told that the icing would be white but we had a choice of different cakes (we chose chocolate with strawberries and it was amazing! YUMM-O!!! I believe the other choices were white, chocolate and carrot? Don't quote me on that though.) As far as I know, the waiters before the ceremony came with the wedding package.... we weren't asked to pay extra for them but we were paying extra for the beach party so I don't know? I think the beach party comes as a package - it was $9/person to have the tables and chairs set up, to have the beach lit up and decorated with surf boards and to have the bar open (all you can drink, of course) and the servers available to us. (They set up the beach party right next to a bar/hut that's usually open and used as a bar during the day... they just re-opened it for us at night)... the cost of the beach party was totally worth it!
  4. Quote: Originally Posted by isy_beau WOW thank You Tanya for sharing your storie, your pictures are beautiful I like your cake, very nice. What is the color of your dress You look stunning in it!!!!! can't wait to see more pictures, it makes me day dream LOL Thank you! I'm still thrilled with how everything turned out! My dress is a Mikaella gown (purchased at Baroness Bridal in Ottawa)... I believe Mikaella calls it 'Pearl'. I loved the colour too. Quote: Originally Posted by beachbum Tanya, thank you so much for this wonderful review!!! I love your husband's and grooms suits, where are they from? We dressed the guys at Tip Top Tailor. They carry Calvin Klein separates so my husband was able to buy the pants and jacket and the other guys could buy just the pants.
  5. Hola Ladies! Well, we've just returned from the trip of a lifetime!!!! We were there from November 1st to the 8th (married on the 4th). The weather was absolutely beautiful all week... it rained the night before we left but we were okay with that... it made it a little easier to leave! We could not have had a more perfect experience with our wedding week! The flight down was great and we arrived at the airport early enough that everyone was able to sit with someone they knew (some of us flew out of Toronto, others were flying out of Montreal). We arrived in Punta Cana and made it to the resort without a problem. The Punta Cana airport is so easy and quick to get through (it looks like it has a straw roof - my 3 year old nephew thought we were visiting one of the three little pigs!) We had 70 guests staying at the Palladium (we had a large group of Canadians, but also a group of friends coming from Central America and another couple from Chile... their teenaged children were meeting us there for the first weekend but had to get back to school before our wedding on Wednesday so we ended up being around 55 for the wedding part). Originally, most of our party was booked into the Palace (a few others had booked through a different agent or had booked on points and were staying either at the Bavaro or at the Punta Cana)... Upon arrival, we were shocked and thrilled to find out that they upgraded ALL of those who booked through our agent (and through Transat holidays - so about 40 of us) to the Royal Suites Turquesa section!!!! It was AWESOME!!!! My fiance and I, along with about a dozen others had swim-up rooms. All of the suites are STUNNING!! Marble everything, showers with rain heads and jets, king-size poster beds with draped fabric, flat screen t.v.'s... 24-hour room service, butler at your door (you want a reservation? ask the butler! You want champagne? Ask the butler! You want flowers for your hair? Ask the butler!) There was even a pillow menu - in case you're not comfortable with the one you're sleeping on - just order up a different style of pillow!!! With the Turquesa, you also had access to a private beach with chair-side service (though you could just sit in the pool outside your room and the servers would come to you there as well). The 'silver bracelet' also got you free internet and computer access in the Turquesa lobby (free WIFI throughout the resort if you bring your laptop), upgraded wine at the a-la-cartes and access to at least one a-la-carte reserved solely for Turquesa guests... seriously the ROYAL treatment!!! My sister and her family were the only ones not upgraded because they had the 3-year old and the Turquesa section is adults only, however, they were given a floor-level ocean view room in the Palace section and said that their room was still very nice. They were a little disappointed to have been left in the Palace section initially, mostly because they had hoped my parents could take my nephew a few nights so they could enjoy the nightlife. It ended up not being that big of a deal. The day of the wedding, my mom spoke with the butler who agreed to let my nephew in the Turquesa suites to get ready with the boys... a few other nights he came home with my parents and spent the night in their suite - he was really just there to sleep and they took him back to the Palace section first thing in the morning... nobody put up a fuss about it (I know it was breaking the rules, so we were pretty happy to have gotten away with it). I had emailed all of our guests ahead of time and asked that we all meet in the Palace lobby the first night there (just so we could see each other once, introduce the group, etc). This lobby ended up being our meeting place for most of the week! It’s fairly large, has a bar and usually had live music at night. My fiance’s aunt had flown up the day before and was sweet enough to bring all of our travel mugs with her and her group of friends. So, after checking in, everyone went back to their rooms to freshen up, then met in the Palace lobby where Aunt Joanne had set up all of the mugs (with thank you tags) on a table at the entrance… My fiancé and I were quick to arrive and we were able to stand by the table (fighting off random people who kept trying to take them!) and hand them out to our guests as they got there. The mugs ended up being our main favour. We had such a big guest list that the idea of OOT bags (the cost and also trying to get them down there!) was too much for us. We got our mugs through 4imprint.ca and they were a HUGE hit! People recognized the mugs before they recognized each other! They worked great for both hot and cold drinks and they’ve since been through the dishwasher several times (probably not recommended by the company, but whatever) and the logo/design on them still looks great! Upon arrival, there was also a letter waiting for us with instructions to meet with Carolina the next morning (Monday)... we also had a fruit basket and a bottle of rum waiting for us in our room. We met with Carolina for 20-30 minutes that morning… she asked if we had seen pictures of the new gazebo (we had and it was absolutely where we wanted to be married). Check. She showed us our choice of flowers (daisies, carnations or red roses)… not what I had in mind for a tropical wedding – flip the page to your $25 upgrades! I asked for part of one mixed with part of another… done! Flowers for bridesmaids, corsages, boutonnieres… how many? Check, check, check! Here’s your cake, would you like flowers on it? Yes? Done! (She asked if we wanted ribbon on it as well… I happened to have brought some leftover ribbon from favours so she had that put on the cake). She gave us a menu and asked us to choose an appetizer, main course and desert and we could either meet with her again that evening or give it to our butler (we chose to meet because we also had to give her copies of our witnesses’ passports). Because we were such a big group, she didn’t give an option of restaurant and just said we were going to the Arecife (which ended up being perfectly fine… they had us in our own section and we couldn’t even see any other guests from where we were sitting). .. honestly, for weddings the menu is the same from one restaurant to the next and we were there for such a short period of time that I really wish I hadn’t stressed about which restaurant we would eat at during the planning process – am also VERY glad we didn’t pay the extra $1000 for exclusivity of the restaurant (we decided to spend $600 on the live band and $9/person on the private beach party instead and were THRILLED we made that choice). We also managed to see almost all of the restaurants while we were there and there isn’t a single one that I would have NOT wanted to have our wedding dinner in. Music: we had brought a CD with our ceremony music on it (one song as a prep song, then the song for the girls walking down the aisle, my song and one more song for exiting). We also confirmed that we wanted the live band at the beach party (which we had our travel agent/wedding coordinator here pre-arrange with her)… also gave her another CD with first songs on it. We had also brought all of our ‘extras’ with us (frame, vases and sand for sand ceremony, sandalwood fans from Michael’s that I had tied ribbon to, tears of joy packets – again from materials bought at Michael’s and my mom’s friends had brought maracas from Nicaragua – all carved with our names and the date… they were beautiful!!!) Anything we asked, Carolina said “no problem, don’t worry about it, you’re on holidaysâ€! We also had (again from the Nicaraguans) little bottles of rum with stickers with our names and the date on them – again, just left them with Carolina and she took care of getting them to the restaurant and having them on ice so we could greet our guests and give them a bottle. Anyway, we met with her again for 10 minutes the Monday evening and confirmed the menu (we had two vegetarians and she gave us choices from a different menu for them when we asked). We gave her the rest of our documentation and she confirmed that she had arranged for day/guest passes to be left at the reception for our photographer, pastor and a couple of guests who were coming from a different resort… she even offered to call Photosouvenir and Pastor York to confirm things with them – she had their numbers on file. The day of the wedding was perfect. The girls and I got ready in our room and Joe and the boys got ready in my brother's room directly above us. The girls had their hair done at the spa (note to other brides, EVERYTHING is negotiable down there! The hairdresser originally wanted $150 US for an updo... eventually, they agreed to between 70-80US depending on the length of hair - updo only, no wash/dry –it’s important to tell them you don’t want wash/dry as they try to build it into the price). The hair turned out really well for 2 out of the 3 girls… the other one ended up coming back to the room and having to re-do it (even though they had all brought pictures… be prepared). I was fortunate enough that a friend of the family’s, who’s a hairdresser, was staying at a different resort that same week… she had offered to come and do my hair (and was also able to tweat my MOH’s after the not so great job at the spa). Severine from Photo Souvenir arrived around 1:30 (Carolina had arranged for day passes for her and other guests coming from off resort to be waiting at the front desk). She took photos of us getting ready, then followed us to the ceremony site. There was a slight hitch with transportation... the guy dropped my parents, my bridesmaids and I off at the wrong gazebo. When we tried to tell him it was the wrong spot, he backed up about 50 feet and told us to walk around the restaurant to the back then wheeled off, leaving us there. We did as he told us and didn't see our wedding site. Two of the girls ran up the beach in either direction and couldn't find the gazebo. My mom (whose first language is Spanish) was able to find someone with a radio and they called Carolina. I later spoke to my fiancé about it and he said he knew something was up when he saw Carolina on the phone... the look on her face said that she was not pleased! A new cart was there in seconds (we got the impression that when Carolina speaks, people listen!) and we got to the ceremony site only a few minutes after 3:00 (people didn't seem to care - they were serving drinks at the ceremony! Drinks!! Seriously, waiters with trays of drinks!! Alcohol makes everyone happy!!). I can honestly say that this was the ONLY hiccup of the whole week! Carolina later came to us completely embarrassed and apologetic and offered complimentary massages for Joe and I and free late check-out (but our flight ended up being early so we couldn't take advantage of it). It really wasn't that big of a deal to us but she was so apologetic... we tried to reassure her that it was okay but she was so embarrassed that it happened. She really is great.... everything else about the day was perfect because of her! As for the ceremony, the new gazebo is breathtaking! There was an incredible breeze which helped keep everyone cool (they also placed fresh palms over the trellis of the gazebo that morning, providing some shade for most of our guests). They had the gazebo decorated perfectly and Carolina had set up everything we brought with us as we had asked (a basket for sandalwood fans, kleenex packets, wooden maracas from the group of Nicaraguans were left on all of the chairs... perfect! The best part was that we didn't have to worry about doing any of it!). They even had security surrounding the gazebo (which I didn't even know about because they were so good about being subtle) and were asking people to back away from the ceremony site - which was so nice. It was fun to see onlookers from a distance but they weren't standing right next to us in their Speedos! We brought a CD for the ceremony music which Carolina played for us. The judge performed a quick ceremony making it legal, then Pastor York performed a symbolic ceremony which lasted maybe an additional 25-30 minutes. We were really happy with the ceremony he performed and are so glad we added him and made an actual ceremony out of it… I think I would have been really disappointed with a five minute ceremony. After the ceremony, we were all provided with champagne (a glass of juice in a champagne flute for my nephew), had a toast, cut the cake then we all met on the beach for photos. Did some group pics, then everyone disappeared for more drinks while Joe and I took more photos. Severine from Photo Souvenir was fantastic! She did an incredible job the day of the wedding. We met with her again early on Friday morning for the Trash the Dress shoot and she met us back at the resort Saturday afternoon and had copies of all of our proofs (about 600 4x6 from the wedding and almost 200 5x7 TTD pics) all retouched and beautiful! She also had all of our photos on a disk (provided us with written permission to print them off as we wished) and a separate disk with a slide show on it (she had emailed the day before for a list of songs). After photos, we met again to take the train to the Arecife restaurant for dinner. Dinner was excellent! When we got to the restaurant, Carolina had a big bowl of ice and limes waiting for us as we had asked for the Nicaraguan rum. Fiance and I waited by the bowl of Mombacho rum and handed one out to everyone as they arrived. She had our guestbook/photobook waiting with pens so people could sign. The meal was great and we had a whole section of the restaurant to ourselves...we woudln't have know that there were other people there! After dinner, some people went back to their rooms to change for the beach party, others went straight to the beach. I don't know how she did it, but the leftover bottles of rum were still at the restaurant when we left dinner and by the time we got to the beach, they were already waiting for us there! The beach was lit up with spot lights and set up with white tables and chairs and decorated with surf boards! The set-up, the band, the servers...all fantastic! We had brought a pile of glow necklaces and bracelets and handed them out as people got there (my new SIL laughed and called me the raver-bride!). Carolina had a sound system set up also so we were able to play a CD with our first songs and do our first dances before the band started up. Half-way through the night, they let us take over the microphone for speeches and we did the garter/bouquet toss. The music went on until about midnight but we headed back to our room around 11:45. The next morning, breakfast and the wedding cake was delivered to our room and Carolina had her assistant track us down later that afternoon to ask about our preference for massage appointments (the massages ended up being awesome, by the way!). There were several people who were interested in doing an excursion together so we spoke to the Transat Rep (Caroline) who organized a sunset cruise on the Tropical Storm for us. It was Thursday and I ended up missing her office hours that day, but spotted her at one of the restaurants. She was so great! I hated to bug her on her lunch but she was so nice and took the time right there to call the boat to try to organize it for us. When she wasn't able to reach them right away, she tracked us down by the pool later that day to let us know that they agreed to let us charter it as a private party as long as we had a minimum of 20 guests (which we did, easily) at the same price as an open/public boat. We did a sunset cruise on the Friday night and everyone had a fantastic time! David and his crew were awesome and did a great job of getting us all up dancing and having a great time. We went snorkeling, partied on the boat, anchored at this other spot where we hung out in the ocean with more drinks and watched the sun set in land, then returned to shore around 7pm. Everyone was pretty pumped when we first got back to the resort and all made plans to hit the disco later that night but once dinner happened and we had time to come down from our day everyone slowly snuck back to their rooms and were sleeping by 10:30! I also need to mention the food on the resort... our guests were incredibly pleased with the variety and quality of everything! Everyone tried hard, and did a good job, of attempting to eat at different restaurants and trying new things... the Brazilian, Italian and Japanese were big hits! A group of grown-ups tried the Royal Gourmet on our last night (the one you got with the silver bracelet upgrade) and wished they had tried it earlier as they said they probably would have eaten there every night, it was so good! We managed to find the Hemmingway bar on the second night and the boys organized a quiet poker game there on Thursday night (this is the bar that serves premium alcohol… champagne, bailey’s, the higher end vodka, rye, etc… there are also several board games on book shelves and it’s really very quiet). Everyone really made great use of their vacation and there wasn't a single complaint about anything from anyone! We were a huge group and this resort managed to make over 70 people incredibly happy with their stay. Everyone was thrilled with everything. A few people got sick but it was either head/chest cold that knocked them down for a day or two, or too much sun with a side order of too much rum!! Needless to say, we were all very sad to leave when Sunday came around. The fact that it was raining did make it a little easier. Transportation to the airport was fine and when we got on our flight back to Toronto we were very excited to look around and see that our group was 3/4 of the plane! Apparently there were only 58 people on the plane so once it took off, we were invited to sit wherever we wanted. There were enough spots that we all had our choice of 3-seat sections where we could lay down and have a nap! One of the attendants even happened to be from our home town! Turned out, her older sister was a bridesmaid in my parents' wedding and she and my mom had a chance to catch up on family and friends from the past. Honestly, our week could not have gone any better! I haven’t had the chance to upload pictures to photobucket yet to share on this forum and have not yet created an album with party pictures on facebook, but here are the links to my facebook albums of our pro photos… there isn’t a single thing we would have done differently! Enjoy the photos and I hope to get others up soon. Tanya Paquette's Photos - Our Wedding - Pro pics | Facebook Tanya Paquette's Photos - Our Wedding - Pro pics part 2 | Facebook
  6. Grand Palladium also has the option of dinner in one of the a la cartes (included in the wedding package or you can have exclusivity of the restaurant for $1000), followed by a private beach party... the cost to have a private bar/bartender on the beach is then $9/person.
  7. Quote: Originally Posted by Nonnie Ottawa bride Do you have to pay anything more then a $9 per person for the bar for the lighting for the beach party? I want to do dinner at la Uva (non private) and then party on the beach, or the new gazebo after, but $ is tight. From what I've been told, we have to pay for our wedding package through the resort for the obvious 'wedding' stuff - which includes non-private dinner at La Uva for all of our guests. As for the beach party, the band is an added cost (I believe $600 US) and then to have a private bar/bartender is an extra $9US/person... I've been told that they'll light up the beach for us but that was from our wedding planner here (I think based on past experiences), not confirmed with Carolina for our party specifically... I guess we'll find out in 22 days!
  8. Quote: Originally Posted by DawnBuckley Ottawa Bride, I am using Julie at Anne Travel as well. She is wonderful. I think I will just email her my thoughts and have her talk to Carolina directly. She did tell us she will translate our documents too. Someone mentioned to me that you need to get a marriage license here to bring with you. Is that only if being married in a church? I am getting married on the beach (or who knows now, with all the talk about the great new gazebo!) My sisters is in Barrhaven and I was THERE last week! Small world. She is off of Rideaucrest. Anyhow... everything done for the big day? You age getting married in just a few weeks!!! How exciting!!! Dawn Sounds like a good idea... any questions I ever had, I just e-mailed to Julie and she got back to me - often the same day! You DON'T need a marriage license - I specifically asked her when we met on Thursday as someone had told me the same thing... don't worry about anything as far as documentation goes... Julie will tell you exactly what to do and when to do it! Good luck! p.s... Your sister and I both live in the same 'hood! We moved here almost two years ago and love it!
  9. So I'll have two back-to-back posts... I have not been great at visiting as of lately... I totally suck! Anyway, saw that a lot of girls are torn with what to choose so thought I'd list what we've chosen. We are arriving on Sunday November 1st, getting married on the Wednesday. We met with our wedding coordinator here last night who has been calling/emailing Carolina for us and finalized a few things (which by the sounds of it, has been a Godsend!! Our travel agent/wedding coordinator is fluent in French, English and Spanish so she just picks up the phone and talks to Carolina... VERY convenient!). We will be getting married at the new gazebo by the judge at 3pm (BTW - can't remember if I said this last post, but apparently today is the very first ceremony in the new gazebo! As of last week they just had some landscaping stuff to do but it had to be done by today because there was a couple scheduled to use it!!! YAY!!!). We have booked pastor Rick York as well... so, from what I understand, civil ceremony goes first (performed in Spanish, Carolina translates... have to exchange rings and say 'I do' for it to be legal with the judge). Then, Pastor York will step in and perform a symbolic ceremony - also at the new gazebo (will redo exchange of rings, etc - also added a sand ceremony). Following ceremonies, there is a toast at the gazebo. Dinner is usually around 6pm - so guests can wander, sit in lobby, whatever until then while we take photos (also booked Photo Souvenir - I know a lot of people weren't hearing back from them, but Severine is now back from France and replied quickly... may be because our wedding is only a few weeks away though). For the reception, we have asked to have dinner at La Uva. Because there are going to be about 65 of us, we decided not to bother paying the $1000 for the exclusivity of the restaurant... we figure if there are 10 people there we don't know, we don't really care... personally, if I showed up at a restaurant where most of it were occupied by people all part of the same group/wedding, I don't know that I would stay If your group is over 14 people, you will need to choose your menu (needs to be a set menu) - if less than 14, I believe everyone can order off the regular menu. That gets decided when you meet with Carolina and she will provide a copy of the menu for the tables/guests. After dinner, we have requested a beach party... I believe we move the party outside for 3-4 hours. We've asked for the live band and will be paying $9us/person for the unlimited private bar. Apparently, they do set up lighting (real lighting as well as torches)... so we dance on the sand, under the stars until we're ready for bed. If the weather doesn't cooperate, there's a separate covered building between the palace and the bavaro - still close to the beach where they move you. Flowers - I'm not really crazy about the pictures I've seen but will have to deal with it when i get down there. Cake - apparently it's a three-tiered cake and you can speak to them about how you'd like it decorated (bring ribbon with you, provide your own cake topper, whether you want flowers or not, smooth icing or icing with details, etc) Hair and makeup - it is possible to book your appointment with the spa ahead of time. It was advised that I try to pop in the day before to make myself known to them and bring along any inspiration photos. Wedding package - there are two packages... we went with the less expensive one... didn't really see the point of the other one. Anyway, that's all I've got for now... will post pictures as soon as we get back! The countdown is certainly ON!!!!!
  10. Quote: Originally Posted by DawnBuckley Ottawa Bride, You will definately have to tell all of us how everything goes, what venue is best and post photos. Where are you in Ottawa? I am just outside of Rockland. You must be getting extremely excited!! I am sooooo sorry for this late reply! The last few weeks have been insane and I haven't had the chance to be on here AT ALL!!! We're at completely opposite ends of the city ... We live in Barrhaven - but were actually in Rockland just last night! We've been using Julie Thivierge from Anne Travel/Wedding in the Tropics for our wedding. She has been AWESOME!!! We met with her once in January, then drove out last night to finalize a few things - everything else we just did over e-mail. She was acting as our travel agent, but also as our wedding coordinator... she does a ton of weddings at the Palladium so she and Carolina chat all the time. Anything we needed/wanted, I just sent Julie an e-mail and she took care of getting in touch with Carolina for us and let me know when it was done. Julie even translated our documents for us and gave us step-by-step instructions on how to make our marriage legal!
  11. Thanks for posting that, Tracy! It looks beautiful!! I'm getting married there in a few short weeks... my travel agent spoke with Carolina a few months ago who said it would be ready before our November wedding... hopefully it's done by then so I can post some photos.
  12. Quote: Originally Posted by ajn714 Hi Ottawa Bride! Thanks for sharing your invitations! I love them! I thought all the information you provided was great! Quick question: When did you send out the invitations? How far in advance? I was thinking of skipping the save the date, and just sending out ALL the info including an invitation about 10 months in advance... then I would send a pre-travel letter to all the guests attending... Is that similar to what you did? THANKS! Sorry for the late reply... I just realized that you had asked a question ! We got engaged at the end of November and with the holiday season we actually didn't get STD's out until 10months ahead of time. Had I had time (and details) to just send the invites 10 months early, I definitely would have done that! The reason we had to send STD's was because people were getting antsy about having to book holidays and we didn't have all of the information yet (e.g. group pricing had not yet been released and I wanted to be able to give our guests a head's up on what it would cost before they had to RSVP yes/no) - otherwise, would not have bothered. I'm probably answering you too late (sorry) but best of luck with whatever route you go with (or have already gone with... oops!)! Tanya
  13. We've decided to do both. Originally, we were just going to do the civil ceremony - make it legal, get it done and over with in ten minutes then move on to the party! Luckily, our travel agent is a destination wedding specialist and is also fluent in French, English and Spanish... she will be taking care of the translation of the documents for us and giving us instructions on when to get the paperwork in order and where to go to get things done (also helps when you live in the capital and can just drive to the Dominican consulate!)... her fees for taking care of documentation as well as arranging everything with the coordinator at our resort is pretty minimal (I believe $250ish - keeping in mind that most of our guests are also booking through her).... all to say that the legalization part of the civil ceremony hasn't really been a worry for us. Now for the decision to also add a symbolic ceremony... though I thought it would be nice to get it over with quickly, the more I thought about it, the more I wanted an actual 'ceremony' (and I don't mean to offend anybody by saying this)... to me, I just felt that adding a symbolic ceremony would make it more personal and less 'legal'. I got to thinking that I didn't want it to be a matter of "Do you? yes. Do you? yes. sign here, sign here, you're married, yay!" I wanted meaningful readings and though we're not super religious, it meant something to me to have our marriage blessed. We too have contacted Pastor Rick York and he has agreed to come to the resort the day of our wedding... apparently, the judge does his thing first and then Pastor York follows with a Christian ceremony. When we first asked our wedding planner about adding a symbolic ceremony as well, we were told that we would have to buy both packages through the resort (the civil wedding package as well as the symbolic wedding package... which we didn't want to have to do)... I'm not sure whether his prices vary depending on location, but for our resort Pastor York's charge is $300 plus the cost of a day pass - a little easier on the wallet! Just another option
  14. To the brides debating between the gazebo and the beach I might have some inside info to make your decision even harder... my travel agent is also acting as our wedding coordinator at this end (is communicating with the coordinator at the resort for us, translating documents, etc)... anyway, she has been to the Palladium a few times in the last six months and was telling us that they're actually in the process of building a second gazebo AT the beach. Apparently, they aren't allowed to build ON the beach but they've decided to build it where the Palladium property meets the beach (this area may make more sense to those who have already been). Anyway, we've requested this area (yikes!!) for our ceremony in November... apparently, they expect it to be built by then. Also, anybody been there in November? We're going the first week of November and I'm a little worried about weather.
  15. June 2009 melnb & FI: June 2009 - Paradisius FYB87 & FI: June 2009 - Resort undecided Rosanne & Alex: June 24, 2009- Dreams Punta Cana Sue & Steve: June 30th, 2009 - Riu Palace Punta Cana July 2009 Kylie & Chris: July 1, 2009 - Dreams Punta Cana Amber & Seth: July 2, 2009 - Excellence Punta Cana Nadia & Julian: July 3, 2009 - Excellence Punta Cana Lori & Justin: July 8, 2009 - Melia Caribe Tropical Nathan & Brianne July 15th- Dreams Punta Cana Jess & Dan: July 27, 2009 - Dreams Punta Cana Jenn & Chris: July 31, 2009 - Riu Palace, Punta Cana Cecile & Nord: July 24,2009-Moon Palace, Punta Cana August 2009 Shannon & Rich: August 5, 2009 - Dreams Punta Cana Hayley & Nick: August 10, 2009 - Paradisus Punta Cana Ana & Adam: August 15, 2009 - Iberostar Punta Cana September 2009 Clare & Ross: September 7, 2009 - Ocean Blue (date to be confirmed) Chris & Martin: September 9, 2009 - Ocean Blue (date to be confirmed) Lori & Keith: September 9, 2009 - Excellence, Punta Cana Kenya & Eddie Sept. 12, 2009 - Dreams Punta Cana Kim & Jason September 18, 2009 - Dreams Palm Beach Kristy & Vince: September 19, 2009 - Dreams Punta Cana October 2009 Carmen & Tiny: October 09, 2009 - Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Punta Cana Jeannie & Jorge: October 10, 2009 - Dreams Punta Cana Jen & Dave: October 10, 2009 - Majestic Colonial Punta Cana Darcy & Dave: October 11, 2009- Melia Caribe Tropical- Punta Cana Angela & Jason: October 20, 2009 - Majestic Colonial Punta Cana Kelly & Pablo: October 22, 2009 - Majestic Colonial, Punta Cana Jenny & Matthew: October 27, 2009 - Melia Caribe Tropical c & d: October 27, 2009 - Majestic Colonial, Punta Cana November 2009 Tanya & Joe: November 4, 2009 - Palladium Palace, Punta Cana Veronica & Paul: November 5, 2009 - Majestic Colonial Punta Cana Lisa & Jim: November 5, 2009 - EdenH Real Arena Punta Cana Sandra & Rob: Novemeber 7, 2009- Ocean Blue/ Sand Golf & Beach Resort Erin & Trent: November, 9, 2009 - Melia Caribe Tropical Rosa & Eddie: November 10, 2009 - Barcelo Bavaro Palace Leslie & Gerry: November 16, 2009- Majestic Colonial Andrea & Chris: November 24, 2009, Majestic Elegance Krista & Dave: November 25, 2009 - Sirenis Tropical Annida & Sante: November 27th, 2009 - Dreams Punta Cana December 2009 Julie and Rob: December 4, 2009 - Grand Palladium Punta Cana Amber and Dan: December 5, 2009 - Majestic Colonial Nonnie and Marj: December 10,2009-Grand Palladium Punta Cana Beth and Ian: December 12, 2009- Excellence Punta Cana Lindsay and Tracy: December 31, 2009 - Majestic Colonial August 2009 Tasha & Jamil: August 1, 2009 - Excellence Punta Cana January 2010 Jacqueline & Craig: January 5, 2010 - Sirenis Tropical Nicole & Michael: January 23, 2010 - Bavaro Princess Shelby & Michael: January 23, 2010 - Dreams Punta Cana Jocelyn & Michael: January 25, 2010 - Dreams Punta Cana Lisa & Adam: January 2010, Dreams Punta Cana Nicole & Chad: January 13, 2010 - Dreams Punta Cana February 2010 Anne & Tim: February 20, 2010 - Jellyfish Restaurant (Staying at Melia) Amber & John: February 27, 2010, Paradisus Palma Real March 2010 Jennifer & Cory March 13 2010- Palma Real Punta Cana Kim & Ron March 17, 2010 - Dreams Punta Cana Diane & Devin March 25 2010 - Paradisus Palma Real Anna & Lawrence March 26 - Majestic Colonial Lindsay & Seth March 28 2010 - Paradisus Palma Real April 2010 Vanessa & Eddie April 16, 2010 - Majestic Colonial Steph & Jason April 17, 2010 - Grand Palladium Palace Punta Cana Crystal & Tyler April 20, 2010-Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana Helen & Scott April 21, 2010- Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana Dianne & Adam April 21, 2010 - Grand Palladium Punta Cana Jess & Aaron April 22, 2010 - Majestic Colonial Punta Cana Stacey & Eric April 22, 2010 - Dreams La Romana Erin & Jeremy April 28, 2010 - Dreams Punta Cana Amanda & Craig April 28*, 2010 - Grand Palladium Punta Cana May 2010 Jennnifer & Trevor May 11th 2010 - Majestic Colonial Rosa & Larry May 15th, 2010 - Excellence Punta Cana Heather & George May 15th 2010 - Dreams La Romana mary & joey may 21st, 2010- dreams punta cana Lauren & Nate May 18, 2010- Majestic Colonial Sara & Adam May 22nd, 2010 - Indecided, Punta Cana (Palladium, Dreams, Iberostar or Excellence) Valerie & Jake May 29, 2010- Dreams La Romana June 2010 Bobbi And Tyler: June 4th 2010 Majestic Colonial July 2010 Lynette and Darnel July 13, 2010 - Dreams Punta Cana Liz & Miguel - July 26, 2010 - Undecided location {Santiago, Puerto Plata, or Punta Cana James and Jessica- July 17, 2010 -Paradisus Punta Cana August 2010 Jeanette & Julio - undecided Punta Cana, (PPC or PPR) Aug 2010 Linda & Robin: August 3, 2010 - Paradisus Punta Cana July 2011/ 2012 Yvonne and Andrew- last week of july 2011/ 2012 (money dependant), dreams la romana __________________
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