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Everything posted by ska2m

  1. Thank you Melissa! I am really glad i was able to meet you and talk to you! Like i said that day, it wasn't worth the headache at all! =) I'm sure your friends had a great time no matter what! You also looked really great on your wedding day! I saw the torrential downpours on you wedding day, but in the end, it was just as beautiful! =) Thanks again for your kind words! I wish you and your hubby (who is really a great guy!) much wealth and happiness!!! =)
  2. Hello All!!! I'm back from my wedding and honeymoon! I wanted to give a full review of my experience here at DPC. All in all, i had a wonderful experience and so did all of my guests! We arrived to the resort on November 1st. I had emailed Deyanira (my WC) two days prior to my arrival asking for us to meet her on the day of my arrival. She ended up being able to meet that day and let me know via email. During our meeting we had confirmed everything i had spoken to her about for our wedding. (We had been planning for over 1 year). Everything we discussed via emails through out the year were all consistent with everything we discussed in the meeting. We went with the basic wedding package and added add ons as we decided to have them. When we arrived to DPC, everything went smoothly through the airport, there was no luggage check, so all of my items that i brought with me for the wedding were not a problem. =) At the counter, we checked in just fine and were given a honeymoon suite in building 8. The room did smell a little bit musty, but oh well, it's the Caribbean and typically the case. In the rooms they usually had incense candles to light, so that helped us not smell the musty smell. All in all, that didn't bother me since i was barely in the room anyway. I wanted to have a wedding in DR as if it were at home, so I went all out. I invited 165 guests and 55 guests came. Really big list! We did the welcome bags for all of our guests. The plan was to meet and greet our guests as they arrived in the lobby with their bags. We did this the first day (we had asked everyone to send us their itinerary in advance). After the first day, we decided that this was really a huge time commitment. For example, we had three guests on the same flight and one guest arrived one hour after landing and two others arrived 3 hours after landing. This all depended on who you used for your car service and also customs. So after having waited in the lobby for a few hours, we instead decided for the remaining guests, to leave notes at the front desk with the persons name and asked them to meet us in the lobby at 6pm. We did this everyday so that we were always greeting our guests on the day they arrive and all at one time. I tipped the concierge like $10 for the 50 notes i left with him. Each day we had meetings with our vendors, I hired Tronco Floristeria for my flowers and hey did an amazing job and very inexpensive! I took a cab to her store, which is one hour away and we talked and looked through all the flowers for the wedding. It was such a fun experience and i highly recommend doing this than through the resort since the resort charges an arm and a leg for flowers. After we planned out the bouquets, corsages, boutonniers, cake decorations and centerpieces, she was very nice and dropped us off back at the resort. I tipped her $20 since it costs $45 to just get to her store. So it was very nice of her. The total for our flowers and centerpieces came to $1128.00. For this price, we got the following: 7 center pieces (each table had 3 different size vases with submerged calalillies and floating candles on top of each vase). A round mirror that the center pieces stood on top of and little glass diamonds to sparkle on the table. 70 votives with candles that i had them spread across the reception and cocktail hour 8 bags of petals for the ceremony aisle and the flower girl baskets 4 corsages 8 orchid boutonniers 4 bouquets for the BMs 1 wreath to go around the wedding cake She also threw in some freebies, like decorated our sweetheart table very nicely with flowers and candles. I loved it. Ruben was the guy who came to the resort on the day of and decorated all the tables for the reception and the aisles for the ceremony. It came out so nice when i saw it for the first time on the wedding day. Next, we met with the DJ in the lobby, we used DJ Mannia and he was great too! I had sent him my song selection one month in advance so he could let me know if here were any songs he didn't have. In advance for our meeting, i also had typed out all the songs i would like for him to play as a must, the songs for each part of the reception (first dance, father/daughter, mother/son, etc) just to make his life easiest. I also created a timeline for the reception so he knew what we were doing and also when we thought things should happen, as a guide. I did this since we had the bouquet toss and garter removal, so wasn't sure if he had that commonly at weddings in DR. All went smoothly with this at the reception, had no complaints. As for the photographer, we hired Michel Weiler, we met with him very briefly in the lobby of the hotel. I also had a list of all the pictures i wanted to take just in case i didn't remember on the day of the wedding. Which I'm glad i did, because on wedding day, there was so much going on, i definitely would not have remembered. =) He did a great job and gave us the pictures and wedding book he next day at 9pm! It was beautiful and unbelievable. I love his work! So onto wedding details! We did schedule a rehearsal with the bridal party, i wanted to make sure everyone knew what they were doing and how. So Deyanira set it up for Thursday morning and also provided the speakers and microphone (i asked for this) for the rehearsal and i provided my i-pod for the songs. I made it really easy for her by uploading the songs titled 1) Parents Song, 2) Bridal Party 3) Bride 4) We are married. Then through the rehearsal we played the songs and had everyone walk in their position. Glad we did it, i think it made the ceremony day go smoothly. Well in advance, we had spoken to Deyanira about renting out a space for a Welcome dinner for our guests. We had opted to use the Barefoot grill on the beach from 6pm-7pm. This would include buffet of hotdogs and hamburgers and Gold Happy Hour for 55 guests. We wanted a very relaxed and casual atmosphere for this. She ended up having a lot more than just hamburgers and hotdogs, so there was a lot of food for our guests. We had also rented a projector and screen as a family member created a slide show for us to play during this hour. We also hired fire dancers and the resort monkey to come to the dinner and let our guests take pictures with the monkey. All in all, the welcome dinner was about $2500 for all the above. It was well worth the money, Deyanira was with us throughout the experience and even threw in a cake for free for my friends birthday and singers to sing as a surprise for her. All of our guests loved it. =) As for wedding day, my husband got a groom room for free the night before, so we didn't see each other after the welcome dinner until ceremony time. I had made appointments for all 4 bridesmaids and both mom's for hair and make-up 2 weeks in advance. They did a really great job with hair and make-up. The only thing i would suggest for make-up would be to bring your own brushes since they didn't have many. Also, the moms got free flowers in their hair too, so just ask for it if you want it. I was able to charge this to my room including the tip. (Michael our photographer came in and took pictures of me getting ready, i thought it would be a fun experience). For the ceremony decor, we didn't buy anything additional. We left it as is and the basic package comes with white chair covers. So we left it as that and it looked very clean. Didn't rent bows or any other decorations. Thought it was perfect! Deyanira met us in my honeymoon suite at 3:55pm (ceremony started at 4pm) and walked with us to the gazebo. We went the ack way so just in case my husband may see me from the gazebo. Once we got to the hallway, then Deyanira went to the speakers and started the songs (i had a friend officiate the wedding). Everything went smoothly, however, it WAS HOT!!! I was lucky as one of the columns had given me shade, but poor guys were so sweaty! =) Oh well. We only had like a 10 minute ceremony, definitely didn't want our guests to suffer too much in the heat! =) After words, we had our guests stay for a group shot! I don't know how Michael did it, but he was able to get a great shot of all 55 of us! =). The bridal party then went off and took photos. Cocktail Hour. We had our cocktail hour at 6pm - 7pm out on the Portofino Terrace (we had rented out the Portofino Terrace/Restaurant @ a price of $1500 for the night) We actually ended up getting it comped as a surprise, so I'm not sure if it's because we brought in 55 guests or what, but hey, i wasn't complaining! =). At the cocktail hour, we chose hot and cold apps. This was served buffet style. We went with 3 hot and 3 cold. The price in the menu came with like 3 and 1, so we paid for the additional 2. The food was really great, i don't have any complaints about the appetizer food. For cocktail hour, we went with the gold bar and also hired a cigar roller and the Caribbean Trio. Again, no complaints about any of this. At 7pm, our guests were moved into the restaurant for the reception. Then Carlos (DJ) announced the parents, then bridal party, then the bride and groom. Then we went straight into our first dance. Again, no complaints about this. The room was decorated so nicely, it was breath taking! For our reception, we went with the platinum dinner and gold bar from 7-11pm. The lobster and filet mignon was phenomenal! I really enjoyed it! The cake was very nice and simple, just a two tier and i had purchased the wreath from the florist and it looked great with the cake. Since we didn't rent any bows or layovers for the tables, our receptions was white on white (white chair covers and white linens). It looked so clean, but we offset this having our centerpieces and also we scattered brown and teal rose petals all over the table and also we made luminaries for our table numbers and those were a teal colored vellum paper. So we had those for our accents of color. It really did look beautiful! All in All, i think it couldn't have gone better! Once i have pics, i will share those as well, but if you brides have any questions, let me know!
  3. they ask that you send it to them at least one week in advance. I sent them my playlist like 2 weeks and then they told me if they needed me to get them songs that they didn't had. They pretty much had everything, one of mine was a Polish song and they had it.
  4. Oh no Melissa, hope your mom does get better prior to leaving on Tuesday! Good luck on your travels and wedding day! Hope all goes well. We just finished packing and OH MY, will be paying the extra $35 to be able to bring an extra luggage (cheaper than paying the $50 for over weight luggage for only an additional 10lbs). Anyway, good luck to all the brides in the planning stages, if there is anything you need while i'm there, i can try to help, so just PM me or post here. =)
  5. Leave in 4 days and get married in 8 days! Can't wait, all is set on my end! Just now ready to enjoy the vacation with friends and family and then the wedding day! I'll post an update/review when i get back to the states the week of the 14th! Good luck to all the brides getting married next weekend, i will look out for you when I'm there!
  6. Love your post Ms Manners. You summed it up so nicely! I think this post makes me want to donate more! =) Thanks for the great words! You definitely put it in a way i would've never thought to!
  7. the whole bar thing can be confusing. If you are going with the Ultimate wedding package, on the bottom of the menu states that the gold bar is included for 1 hour in the cost of the reception. If you want more than an hour, then you pay the $8 per person per hour (or dependng on which package you choose Gold, Silve Platinum). so yes, $160 per hour for 20 people with Gold. If you want bubbly, i am buying like 12 bottles and i was quoted at $17 per bottle. Wine is $20 per bottle, which i thought was rare that it was more expensive than Champagne, but whatever.
  8. Hey Mel! I'll be seeing you around as i will be there too and getting married on the 5th!!! =) Tell your mom to stop being a worry wart. it is not worth it nor will it help any situation. Just go with the flow. Yes, things may go wrong, but in the end, mostly you and your groom will notice and no one else. either way, your guests will have a fabulous time. As for your concerns below. The spa is great, i have been there and also have spoken to many past brides who only have raved about it. Just bring pictures with you if you are concerned and also your products if you are concerned they won't have it. Other than that, they are professionals and have done hair/makeup for like 20 brides per week! so they are definitely experienced. I don't know abut getting exact dates/times, but i know they don't take reservations less than 2 weeks in advance. so i will know Saturday if my reservations were accepted for the dates/times i requested. I'm sure they will be able to accommodate. As for your WC, just come prepared, have everything written out of how you want things, especially if they happen to switch WC on you if Jennifer gets sick or something. Have a checklist to make sure you and your WC go over it and you know you haven't left anything out. I have read that you won't really have a problem with OOT bags, so we'll see. I'm not concerned at all, the airport is owned by the resorts, so they know most vacationers are brides coming in with items for their guests. It will most likely be strict when you leave DR and try to bring things back. I visited the resort earlier this year and i loved it. everything was what i wanted and the food was great. The main reason i chose to get married here. I wasn't going to pick a resort sight unseen. They do not take reservations, but you will be able to get seating, you may just have to wait for a while. But you will be fine. Especially since your group is small. Hope this helps! See you on DR in less than two weeks!! =)
  9. Wow, i know i posted on the DPC Brides page and no one had a response on tipping (except one was that their parents did the tipping, so i wonder how much that was), But this whole tipping situation quite frankly worries me that brides do not tip. I find that pretty ofensive and i also think it's so wrong that people recommend not tipping certain vendors. I feel that if a service was performed, then a tip should definitely be rewarded. I am going to go by what the standard tipping procedure is for a wedding in the USA. It should not matter if you are getting married in a different country to base your tip on this. So below i pasted what "The Knot" recommends as i believe they would be very close to accurate. They state that all vendors should get some sort of tip. I think that even though the wedding planners below are optional, i am tipping mine a minimum of $100. I have had nothing but amazing experiences thus far with my wedding planning. I have spoken to all of my vendors directly (DJ Mannia, Tronco Florist, Photographer Michael Weiler and Deyanira WC of DPC) all of them have always responded to me within 2-3 days of all of my emails. I have been planning my wedding since March 2010 and have always had back and forth communications. Within the past 5 months, i have had frequent communications with the vendors and WC to finalize all the details and am extremely happy with the outcome thus far. I already set up all my meetings with my vendors for when i arrive to DR in two weeks to review everything one final time. They are all meeting me at the hotel to go over details. To sum it all up, i have had a successful relationship with everyone who is taking part in my wedding and they will all get tipped. Even my florist as she has just been so sweet via emails and phone calls that i feel bad not giving her anything. I think unless the vendor doesn't show up or something, then maybe reconsider the tip, otherwise, they will definitely appreciate an extra thank you for their hard work and making your day great! And if apparently vendors aren't getting tipped, they will just love you more for it as it will be a complete shock to them! Anyway, just my two sense. I just couldn't stay quiet after seeing all the back and forth on tipping when all along i thought it was just common courtesy to tip everyone. FROM THE KNOT: When you're already dipping deep into your (or your parents') savings for so many wedding expenses, shelling out gratuities on top of that can be hard to handle. Well, rest easy: unless a service charge is spelled out in your contract, you're never obligated to tip anyone. However you can't ignore the fact that some vendors will expect a gratuity, which forces tipping to be considered on a case-by-case scenario. Some general rules: Don't tip business owners, only tip their employees (however, you can/should tip an owner when the service exceeds expectations); tip vendors who offer exceptional service; thank-you notes are always appreciated; and assign the responsibility to a trusted deputy such as your wedding planner, a parent, or the best man. For a breakdown of what's customary for each vendor, read on. Wedding Planner Wedding planners won't likely expect anything; however, if yours did a great job you can always offer a token of your appreciation. (Note: Non-monetary thank-yous like professional photos of the wedding for the planner's portfolio can go a long way too.) Approximately 50 percent of couples do tip their planners -- typically those with more opulent weddings. Protocol: Optional The $tandard: Up to $500, or a nice gift When to Tip: The bride should hand off the envelope at the end of the reception, or, she should send a thank-you note with photos or a check after the honeymoon. Wedding Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist This is one area where a gratuity is definitely expected. Tip between 15 - 20 percent just as you would in a hair salon, and consider giving a little extra if there's a crisis, like one of your bridesmaids has a meltdown over her updo and it requires a redo at the last minute. Protocol: Expected The $tandard: 15 - 25 percent, depending upon the quality of service When to Tip: At the end of your service Wedding Delivery and Set-up Staff Slip a few dollars to anyone delivering important items to the site (wedding cake, flowers, or sound system). And if a lot of gear needs to be brought in and set up (tents, chairs, or port-a-potties), the workers deserve a tip too. Protocol: Expected The $tandard: $5 - $10 per person When to Tip: Drop off cash envelopes the day before the wedding to the catering manager so the person accepting deliveries can turn the tip. Wedding Ceremony Officiant If your officiant is affiliated with a church or synagogue, you're often expected to make a donation to that institution. If you're a member you'll probably want to give a larger amount than if you're not. However, if you're getting married there and they're charging you to use the space, feel free to give a smaller amount. If you're using a nondenominational officiant, no tip is required because they will charge you for their time. Protocol: Expected (depending on officiant) The $tandard: Donate $500+ to the church or synagogue, or, for a nondenominational officiant, an optional tip of $50 - $100 When to Tip: Most ceremony fees are required prior to the wedding. Otherwise, have the best man pass the cash envelope at the rehearsal dinner if the officiant is in attendance. Wedding Ceremony Musicians If you worked with a mini orchestra to come up with the perfect score for your service (and they pulled it off flawlessly), consider showing some monetary thanks for their talent. However, you probably don't have to tip the solo church organist who was required to play. Protocol: Optional The $tandard: $15 - $20 per musician When to Tip: At the end of the ceremony. Wedding Photographer/Videographer You're not expected to give your shutterbugs any dough beyond their normal fees. Yet if the wedding photographer or videographer doesn't own the studio, consider tipping each person (or give a certain amount with a thank-you note to disperse to staff). Protocol: Unnecessary, unless the photographer is not the studio owner. The $tandard: $50 - $200 per vendor When to Tip: At the end of the reception. Wedding Reception Staff This type of staff includes the on-site coordinator, maitre d', and banquet manager. A service charge (typically 2 percent) is almost always built in to the food and drink fee, so check your contract. If the gratuity is not included, tip as follows. Protocol: Expected The $tandard: 15 - 20 percent of the food and drink fee (based on labor, not the cost), or $200 - $300 for the maitre d'. When to Tip: If it's covered in the contract, the final bill is typically due before the reception. Otherwise, have the father of the bride or best man hand the envelope to the maitre d' at the end of the reception since you will need to know the final tab to calculate the percentage. Wedding Reception Attendants When it comes to bartenders, waitstaff, parking, bathroom, and coat-room attendants the rules of tipping are dictated by your contract. If the service fee is included, consider doling out extra only if the service was exceptional. If it's not included, ask ahead of time how many attendants will be working your wedding and calculate on a per person basis. Protocol: Optional, based on contract The $tandard: $20 - $25 per bartender or waiter; $1 per guest for coat room and parking attendants; $1 per car When to Tip: Although tips are traditionally passed out at the end of the event, you could alternately distribute them at the beginning of the evening, to encourage all the workers to give you great service. Wedding Reception Band or DJ Whether you hire 12-piece swing band or grooving to a DJ, tipping musicians is completely optional. (Depending on the quality of the job and how willing they were to follow your ideal playlist!) And don't forget about any sound technicians they bring with them. Protocol: Optional, yet preferred The $tandard: $20 - $25 per musician; $50 - $150 for DJs When to Tip: At the end of the reception, by the best man.
  10. Hi Subbi or Mel, Did you guys tip your WC at the resort? If so, how much did you tip? Thanks!
  11. Last year I went and did site inspections before choosing Dreams Punta Cana. We rented a car from Budget and had no problems whatso ever. The roads were just fine. One time I did get lost and we stopped at a resort and they were so nice that a motortaxi had us follow him (a twenty minute ride) to the door of the resort we were looking for. I say go for it and rent a car, you have more freedom!
  12. Here is my timeline for the wedding. I have cocktail hour from 6-7 and then reception from 7-11. 6:00-6:55pm | The Cocktail Hour 6:55pm | People move inside for reception and take their seats 7:00pm | Intro of Parents, Bridal Party and Bride and Groom. 7:10pm | Bride and Groom First Dance 7:15pm | Bride & Groom Thank everyone for being here 7:20-8:45pm | Oldies are played – Mix in some 80s – 90s songs toward the latter half) 7:30pm | Appetizer Served 7:45pm | Salad Served 8:00pm | Sorbet Served 8:05pm | Speeches 8:30pm | Entrée Served (Slow down music for 15 minutes or so) 8:45pm | Father/Daughter Dance, Followed by Mother/Son dance 8:55pm | Start playing dance music 9:30pm | Cake Cutting 10:00pm | Bouquet Toss, followed by garter removal. Continue with dance 10:55pm I Last Dance
  13. Hey Brides! I did ask this question months ago, but never received a response. Does anyone know what the standard tip should be for everyone? (DJ, Photographre, Wediing Coordintor). Thanksw in advance for your help on this! Ska2m
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