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taratoons

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About taratoons

  1. taratoons

    Dreams Punta Cana Brides

    Hi Marian! Wow, what a group you will have, that's a great turn out! We had 41 people in our group, including my husband and I. Overall, I would definitely say that I liked DPB better, even before staying at DPC. I liked the beach better at DPB, the rooms, the landscaping/rocks everywhere, and the fact that it was smaller/more luxuriously laid out. However, even knowing all these things, it was not a hard decision. With that many people in our group, and many "partiers", we wanted a bigger resort, with lots to do, and a louder more exciting atmosphere. My neice and nephew came too, and I thought it was more suited to kids at DPC. I LOVE the pool at DPC too, and also, I liked the gazebo/reception options better at DPC. To me, DPB is beautiful, but I see it as more suited to a honeymoon or something due to it's smaller/more intimate size. In addition, we stayed at DPB in June, and only visited DPC for 3 hours, so although we loved DPB, we wanted the excitement of staying somewhere new! They are both great resorts, it just depends on your priorities and what you see as the most important (to us, it was the size of the resort, the pool, and the ceremony/reception options that really cemented the decision... We didn't care so much about the beach). Hope that helps, and happy planning! :0)
  2. taratoons

    Dreams Punta Cana Brides

    Hello, BeachBrideSoon! Thank you, I adore our photos, I'm just so happy with our decision for our photographer, she is AMAZING!!!! This was actually her first destination wedding, so she really wanted to do it to have something to show in her portfolio to branch into the destination wedding world. Therefore, she agreed to do our wedding for JUST the cost of travel, plus $250 for child care while she was gone. It worked out to about $1700 for her travel package (a lot, because she was a single room rate instead of double occupancy). We thought this was more than fair, considering her packages start around $2500 or so to do a wedding here! She took a few shots of the guests arriving, she covered the rehearsal and the rehearsal cocktail hour, getting ready the day of, the ceremony, and the reception, as well as the disco after. In addition, she did a trash the dress session for us (the TTD photos are under the same link, but they are a separate album, they should be there!), and a boudoir session for me that the husband doesn't yet know about (I'm so nervous to see them!). While we were away, she also did some sessions with a few of the couples who were down there with us. On top of all the amazing shots, she was also a BLAST to hang out with for a week, all of our guests loved her! We were at Dreams Punta Cana, we visited both last June, staying at DPB and visiting DPC for a few hours. Although I personally liked DPB better after that trip, we thought DPC was better suited our plans (I liked the gazebo and reception sites better, it was bigger and since we had a big group, that was important, etc). Regarding the reception, there are 3 outdoor terraces where you can have your reception, and also a banquet room. 2 of the terraces are pretty private, the other one (which is where we had ours) is the biggest, and it's fairly private except for guests at the hotel who are heading into the restaurant Himitsu. We had no problems with unwanted wedding crashers at the reception though! :0) We used an I-Pod and rented the speakers for the dance, and there was no problem whatsoever with this. I'm super picky about music, and music can totally make or break my mood, so I didn't want to leave anything up to chance or a DJ to make decisions! I spent a looonnnnggg time coming up with my music lists (I did lists for the rehearsal cocktail hour, the ceremony processional, recessional, license signing, etc, and the reception). We had our reception until 11 pm (that's the latest you can go) then headed to the disco to keep on dancin'! Any more questions, let me know!!!! Tara .It looks as though you were able to have a dinner with dance after and it looked fairly private? Was it? How did you have music for the dance? Thanks again!!!!!!! -E
  3. taratoons

    Dreams Punta Cana Brides

    My TTD and wedding photos are up! Ottawa Wedding Photographers | Barb Cameron Wedding Photos Ottawa under "Online Galleries" then "Tara and Bill". I'm so happy, our photographer was AMAZING! Welcome back, Cath! It was so great meeting you in paradise, I'm sorry about the rain on your wedding day, but the result was still the same, and it's supposed to be good luck! :0) I didn't get a chance to see your wedding, since we did an excursion that day, so hopefully we can see your phootos soon! I was thinking about you when I heard about the flight delays back into the UK, I REALLY wish I had been stuck there too! :0)
  4. taratoons

    Dreams Punta Cana Brides

    Eliana, Autumn, and Ashley, I just sent some photos along! :0) Toya, your first dress is beautiful, but I agree, the second one seems to suit you SO much better! I think you may have died of heat in the first one! :0S What are you going to do with it? Also, my photographer's name is Barb Cameron, her website is Ottawa Wedding Photographers | Barb Cameron Wedding Photos Ottawa She was incredible to work with, made this shy girl feel like a model!!! :0D I adore her!!!!
  5. taratoons

    Dreams Punta Cana Brides

    Thanks for the congrats, everyone! Briefly, here were the not so smooth aspects of our experience: 1. Check in - Disorganized. The first 10 guests who were staying for 10 nights (31 more guests arrived for 7 nights) were all supposed to be in the same building, which didn't happen, but no biggie. We had booked the honeymoon suite, which was unavailable when we got there, we were told we could return the next day and switch, decided it was too much work and just kept our room. No biggie. The biggest problem was that we have a guest who required the bottom floor as he has terrible legs and can't deal with stairs. We had repeatedly been in touch with the resort prior to departure to ensure he was given a room on the bottom floor. Upon check in, he was given one on the 3rd floor, and the buildings don't have elevators. They finally got him into a first floor room, but it had 2 separate beds, and he and his wife wanted one bed. They were told repeatedly to return "in a couple hours" to get switched. I believe he went up to the counter 6 times in 3 days, and it never worked out. When our guests arrived for the 7 nights, we just switched amongst our group, since they screwed up AGAIN and put 2 guys who did NOT want one bed in a bottom floor room with only one bed. 2. Rehearsal cocktail hour - We weren't sure if we wanted it to be at Bordeaux or El Patio, and Sharron, our WC, actually recommended El Patio because of our handicapped guest (Bordeaux is up a bunch of stairs and there is no elevator), and because it was more sheltered from the wind. We agreed to have it there and watched her write it down, but then after the physical rehearsal, she said "see you at Bordeaux!" and we exchanged a look, and told her that was wrong. She got everything moved and worked out, but it delayed our cocktail hour for about a half hour. No big deal, as we still got a full hour there, our guests just had nothing to do during the wait, so we had some drinks in the lobby 3. Wedding - At our meeting with Sharron, directly after shaking her hand, 2 days before our ceremony, she said "I must tell you, I've made a HUGE mistake." GREAT. Turns out she had double booked TWO weddings at the gazebo at 5 pm, and had already met with the other bride, who REFUSED to change times, so she was "kindly asking us" if we could move to 4 pm. Nuh uh. That leaves us NO time for photos, when our reception starts at 7 pm. So we were in a tough spot until I asked if anyone was at 4pm. That spot turned out to be free, so we took it, which actually turned out to benefit us, since we got an extra hour for photos. So overall, turned out to be a GOOD mistake, but a mistake nonetheless, and NOT something you want to stress over 2 days before your wedding, then worry about telling all your 39 guests. So overall, my advice would be this: Go into this expecting SOMETHING to go wrong, and be laid back enough to deal with it. This is a destination wedding, you can't be on top of EVERYTHING, and it's much harder to plan/communicate from afar. If you go in with the attitude that something will not be exactly as you asked for it, you will be prepared to deal when you find out what that thing is, and then if nothing does go wrong, it will just be a bonus. Our group was a blast, the pool is awesome, we had no problems with the food or drink, and the entertainment staff were AMAZING. To be honest, despite the hiccups along the way, I wouldn't change a thing!!!! Anymore questions, just e-mail me. I definitely have some AMAZING teaser photos, if anyone would like to see them, but yet again, I'm technologically challenged, and can't figure out how to post them on here, so if you would like to see, just e-mail me at taratoons@hotmail.com. Happy planning!
  6. taratoons

    Dreams Punta Cana Brides

    Hello everyone!!!! We are home sweet home!!!! We had a great time, though everything didn't go all that smoothly all the time, we made it work!!!! If anyone has specific questions, just drop me an e-mail at taratoons@hotmail.com
  7. taratoons

    Dreams Punta Cana Brides

    Hey ladies! Sorry, I've been such an absent BDW bride! We have been SO BUSY lately, with pre-wedding events, planning, packing, etc. Tomorrow is our legal ceremony, and we leave next Wednesday for DPC! Sounds like everyone is doing well with the planning, I've been following the board, just haven't had time to post! If anyone would like pictures of anything specific, just let me know, and I will make a list and do my best to take them and get them to you. You can e-mail me at taratoons@hotmail.com. BEST WISHES TO ALL!!!! :0D
  8. taratoons

    April 2010 Brides

    Hello ladies! Packing eh, AHHGGG!!!! Actually though, I've found that suitcases are holding WAY more than I expected them to, so so far, so good! Luckily, we are flying Westjet down and back, and their luggage allowance is amazing. 22 lb carry on, 100 lbs in checkable luggage in 2 separate bags, PER PERSON. It's great! I am super organized and anal about packing, so I have a hardcore packing list through Excel, but I am unable to upload here (not because of technical problems, more because of my lack of technical abiltiy). I am more than willing to send it along if you ladies would like to see!
  9. taratoons

    Dreams Punta Cana Brides

    I just sent my questions and answers, thank you for doing this. With just a month out, I'm getting very frustrated with the way they are doing things. We confirmed prices with our WC (Sharron) about 2 months ago, prices for the dinner and speaker rental, etc, and since the prices went up, we just wanted to confirm with her that she would honour the 2009 prices that we agreed to when we booked with them, and she said we'd be charged the 2010 prices. I picked DPC because I thought it was cheaper than many other resorts, and now with the increase in prices on essentially EVERYTHING, it's not! If I had known this, I may have looked into other resorts! Also, if we were having an at home wedding, you sign a contract and are guaranteed those prices. It's ridiculous that you book a year out and prices are allowed to change at their discretion, and there's nothing you can do to contest it! Regarding the photographer question, we found a wonderful photographer who has never done a destination wedding, and kindly agreed to come photograph ours for ONLY the cost of her trip. So for a single room, we are paying about $1700, and that's it. She is going to capture everything, rehearsal, welcome cocktail hour, getting ready, ceremony, reception, TTD, excursion, etc. We really lucked out, especially looking at the prices DPC charges for so little photography!
  10. taratoons

    April 2010 Brides

    PLUS, when you register at most places, you have up to a year after your wedding date to purchase anything left on your registry at a 10% discount! ROCK ON!
  11. taratoons

    April 2010 Brides

    I definitely agree, I think registering is the way to go. It helps out guests too, since goign to a bridal or couples shower, no one really wants to give money, they want to give someTHING, and instead of ending up with a bunch of stuff that suits THEIR tastes, and having them hope it works for you too, at least you can get some stuff you want! We just moved into our house in October, so there is TONS of stuff we still need. We registered at Sears and Home Outfitters. You could always register for a bunch of stuff that you don't necessarily need, but would LIKE, and would never spend the money on yourself. Guests will be happy to have something to guide their gift-buying decisions! Speaking of showers, my bridal shower is this weekend and I'm SO NERVOUS!!!!! I hate being the center of attention, and the thought of having all eyes on me as I open gifts is stressing me out! I know it's supposed to be fun, and it'll be great to see everyone, but seriously, I'm so scared!!! :0S
  12. taratoons

    Dreams Punta Cana Brides

    Hey guys, I've been super absent lately, because the last week has been crazy hectic. Last Wednesday, we found out that the tour operator FI worked for was ceasing operations on the Friday. Worst of all, our wedding was booked through them too. So not only are we now planning a wedding on one income, but we also had to scramble to get all the guests rebooked. Luckily, we got enough seats on a plane, and the flights are booked, but the room rates are up in the air, whether DPC will keep the same ones or charge us more. So it's been quite stressful. Elena, we bought tulle to decorate the first 2 pillars of the gazebo, so I'm not sure how much you'll have left over, but you may consider using it for something like that? We are doing the free package, so I can't help you with what the Ultimate Package includes. Toya, how is the pre-wedding packet coming along?
  13. taratoons

    April 2010 Brides

    Hey ladies! Love the list idea, totally puts things in perspective! Thanks for adding me, but my wedding date is actually April 12th, not 10th, and since I'm technologically impaired, if someone could change that for me, I'd appreciate it greatly! :0) So all this talk of weight loss and working out, how is everyone feeling about their wedding bodies? Feeling ready? I've been trying to find the motivation/energy to get in better shape, but it's so HARD! I'm a total couch potato, and we have a nurse at work that makes a different type of cookie every week. So the temptation is just too great! Has anyone tried the Jillian Michaels DVDs? We have the Shred and No More Trouble Zones. INTENSE!!!!
  14. Wow, your planning thread blew my socks off (leaving me with "cold feet" HA!)! You are one DIY Diva, AMAZING! How did you cart all that stuff down to your destination
  15. taratoons

    "Go Travel South" - Out of Business

    Thanks Bachata Bride, I'm trying to stay positive (even though I'm a total pessimist by nature). For example, now our guests arrive at the resort around 11 am instead of midnight, and they leave later on the last day. It just sucks that it's not just the wedding, it's his job too. At this point though, it looks like everyone will be getting their money back, but it can take up to 3 months. We have re-booked everyone onto another flight successfully, and are just trying to get a room rate and organize a transfer. Thank God FI knows his way around the industry, he's done great! Thank you so much for the support. :0)
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