Sorry for the delay. I had my wedding back in May at Dreams La Romana, and finally getting around to posting a review. We had our wedding on the pier, and it was awesome. Snags in the road of course, but it all turned out well. Iâ€™m breaking everything down based on when we encountered it. Hope this helps.
Check in B-
We had quite a miserable time with check in. We had 20 people come to the hotel together. We waited until 3 to get our rooms, and that was all fine. However, when they actually checked us into our rooms, we realized that the rooms werenâ€™t right. Out of our 20 guests checking in at the same time, about half of them wanted separate beds. Nobody got separate beds. That means that everyone had to be moved again. It was hot, we were tired from the plane ride, and lots of people had to move rooms, we werenâ€™t too pleased about that. Also, my husband and I were supposed to get an ocean view room as well, that didnâ€™t happen either in the beginning. So they moved us too. All in all, the front desk was at least helpful in moving us, they never refused to do it. Itâ€™s just a poor first impression. We were really lucky that one of our friends spoke Spanish to help sort everything out.
Most of us were put into building 2. As someone else has mentioned, building 2 is one of the older buildings. Everyone had some sort of problem with their rooms. Weâ€™re a pretty easy going bunch, so not much phases us. However, we had one person whoâ€™s air conditioning went on fire (Iâ€™m not kidding), 2 people with flooded bathrooms, and more. So a bunch of people moved rooms again. We had other friends who stayed in other buildings, like building 5 & 7, and they never had problems. Even building 3 was better. So when you check in, I would just recommend that you ask for one of the other buildings. Again, the hotel staff was good in taking care of the problems, and moving people around, itâ€™s just a hassle that we didnâ€™t want. After we got married the staff did a great job of decorating our room. All of our other guests had their rooms decorated with flowers at one time or another, and that was a nice touch.
The grounds were great. Kept really well. My guests really liked the different flowers and all around the place. The beach was kept really clean. The pools were always welcoming. All in all, this was excellent.
Wedding Coordinator B+
I think there are two parts in the wedding coordinator service. When I first started dealing with DLR, Tiara was our wedding coordinator, and then Yanna came on board and took over our wedding. Iâ€™m not very happy about the lack of response to emails, and the delay in all that. I understand that there are many brides, and theyâ€™re overloaded, but it took weeks for a response sometimes when a response was promised for the next day.
The other part, is when you actually get to the resort. Yanna did a great job in asking us what we wanted and clarifying details when we got there and had our meeting. There are some things we reminded her once or twice about before getting prices, but it was all taken care of for the ceremony. She was great for the run through, and was excellent on the day of the wedding in taking care of details. The colour I wanted for the wedding was not available at the DLR, but I gave her my decorations, including chair sashes, vases for sand ceremony, table decorations and she did an excellent job taking care of those details. Another thing is, we did have snags with the weather, and she took care of details in arranging around that (after some pushing from my husband), so Iâ€™m happy with that as well.
So all in all, although Iâ€™m not impressed at all with the prior communication, I would have to say that Yanna did a great job for the wedding itself.
Hair & Make Up, Hair A+, Make-Up D
Hair was awesome!! I think it really depends on what you want. Including myself, we had 9 people have their hair done. They had pictures for us to choose from, and what you get isnâ€™t an exact replica, but something of the same idea. All of us wanted something that would last the whole day, through rain or shine, wind or whatever (and trust me, we had all that). So our hair was hair sprayed down. I honestly did not mind this. Everyone one of us loved our hair. All my bridesmaids, and I did. Iâ€™ve included some pictures below. I had fresh flowers put into my hair. They didnâ€™t charge me for this. I brought the flower clips for my bridesmaids. Thatâ€™s what they used.
For the make-up, I would NOT recommend getting make up done at the spa. They had their own make-up kits, but I ended up asking them to use my make up to put on me. It was really not a flattering job. I ended up washing my face and redoing my own make up. Iâ€™m not great at it, but I was much happier with it in the end.
Oh, one thing, I did have a hair & make-up trial for free. I would really recommend doing this. For my make-up trial I was already not too pleased, but my bridesmaids convinced me I shouldnâ€™t waste time and do my own makeupâ€¦ haha my advice for this, listen to your own instinct! If you donâ€™t like it, just donâ€™t do it. However, once again, I really did love the hair.
Iâ€™m not a big flower person, so not too picky about the type of flowers we used, just as long as it fit into the colour scheme.
I had a flower arch added, and also I had a bouquet myself, and the groom had a boutinere included. I loved the flowers. I wanted yellow & white combos. So I had yellow lilies and white roses. I loved my bouquet, and loved the flower arch. My husbandâ€™s boutinere ended up having the green come off on his white jacket, that wasnâ€™t too great (he didnâ€™t wear the jacket for long after), but the flowers were great.
I used flowers I bought from Micheals for the bridesmaid bouquets, and for the center pieces, I used flowers I bought from Home sense. For the bridesmaid bouquets, I bought the flowers on sale, and that cost me about $30 for the 4 bouquets (flowers were half price when I bought it). For the center piece flowers from home sense, we bought each stem for 6.99 (which was cheaper than what we found at Michaelâ€™s at the time)
Weather (How can you grade weather?)
Oh weatherâ€¦ the first 2 days we were there it was sunny. Come the day of the rehearsal, which was the day before the wedding, it was pouring on and off. Everyone was trying to console me in some way. Some said, donâ€™t worry itâ€™ll rain today and tomorrow will be great. When I got up on the day of the wedding alas, it was grey skies. After a while it poured. I wonâ€™t lie, I was quite upset about this. However, after a while, and much consoling from other people, I got over it.
There is a rain plan. If it rains, you can choose to have your wedding inside in the banquet hall, or you can have it under the covers of the terrace area in the sea side grill. At first our wedding was set up near the sea side grill. Your other choice, is to wait out the rain, since it does come and go, and have your ceremony after it stops. Originally Yanna had us set up at the seaside grill, and it was nice. However, my husband, and I love him for this, insisted that we wait a while for the rain to stop. We ended up having the wedding on the pier like originally planned.
As for reception, it was raining too much for us to have the reception on the beach. Originally we had asked for tiki torches & we had the $3 bar service per person charged to us as well for the reception. However, because we ended up having the reception indoors in a restaurant, they cancelled these charges (make sure to ask for that since there is a bar in the restaurant!) The rain-plan for the reception is to have it at the restaurant that would normally be closed that evening. For us it was the Seaside grill.
In the Chinese culture, we play games on the groom before he actually comes to pick up the bride. The bridesmaids were in charge of this, and they started with games in the lobby. The hotel was great for this, if anyone is thinking of doing it, I would highly recommend it.
We also had a tea ceremony in our rooms, we asked especially for hot water (since the coffee pot was actually quite dirty and didnâ€™t produce clean hot water) The hotel staff was right on time in bringing us whatever we needed.
Actual Ceremony A+
Loved it!!! Rain or shine, loved it!!! We had our wedding on the pier, and probably because of the rain we didnâ€™t have as many onlookers. Like I said earlier, we waited until the rain stopped. So it was pouring before our ceremony. Once we had a break, Yanna and crew set everything up on the pier (they did a great job). We had our ceremony, which was a spiritual ceremony. We legally got married at home. We had a friend officiate, it was amazing. She made it very personal, and at the end we had a sand ceremony. Instead of just having our families involved, we got all our guests to join in as well. I thought that part was amazing (the advantage of having a smaller wedding, we had about 30 people). Once our ceremony was done, and we headed back under covers, it was pouring again
We did not have a DJ booked. For the ceremony, it was included in our package. So what I did was give Yanna one of our ipods with the wedding ceremony playlist, and told her what songs to play at what time. Everything was right. My brother and his fiancÃ©e sang for us during the ceremony, and Yanna & DJ got that right as well. Oh, the mic is included as well, so you donâ€™t have to worry about people not hearing you.
I love HDC!!!! Arnaud was our photographer, and he was great!!!! From the pre-ceremony, to the ceremony, to our pictures alone, he did an excellent job. I loved it all. Arnaud used the cloudy sky backdrop to give our pictures another ambiance. We also did a trash the dress session, and I would highly recommend this as well. Arnaud was not our photographer for this, (I actually donâ€™t remember the photographerâ€™s name) but he was also excellent. Two different styles, but it was honestly awesome!! I would highly recommend HDC.
Reception dinner A
I already mentioned some parts to the reception dinner. We had a special requirement in which the whole reception dinner was vegetarian. The food was pretty good, considering this. This was one aspect of the wedding we had to iron out before we got to the DLR though. Iâ€™m happy with how the food turned out. The cake was great! We chose vanilla, and we added extra cake, since Yanna said the cake really is only good for 10 people, but I donâ€™t think thatâ€™s really necessary. We had a lot of good cake left over.
Not a part of the wedding, but I just wanted to say, donâ€™t book through the hotel or whichever travel agency you go with (we booked through Sunwing) We went to Catalina, and it was a big disappointment. Because of the rain previously, there was actually a lot of garbage floating up on the beach. The beach at DLR was actually nicer. The price we paid also was not worth it. My suggestion, donâ€™t book through them! They are overpriced, and not worth the value.
Overall, we had a great time. Rain is honestly something no bride wants to think about, but it happens. However, I'm glad things ended up the way they did, pictures were great in the end, and everyone had fun.