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About mellibelli

  1. They had big spot lights around the area so I wouldn't say it was dark at all. Our video and pictures turned out great! I didn't bring my own centerpieces. There was a flower arrangement at the head table plus our bouquets but the guest tables didn't have anything. Looking at the pictures from the dinner I think the tables would be over crowded with centerpieces but that's just me. Everything looked nice without the extras. I did bring purple napkins because I wasn't sure if they would have any purple ones and Carolina tied them in nicely.
  2. Hi, We were married April 11, 2011 at the Grand Palladium Palace in Punta Cana and we had HDC do our photos. Arnaud was our photographer and the pictures were absolutely amazing. I highly recommend them and if you've already booked them you will not be disappointed. The price was great for what you get and he made the photo sessions fun and comfortable. My husband doesn't like getting his picture taken and it's hard to get him to smile in pics but Arnaud made him laugh and captured amazing shots. If you have pictures on the beach there will be people trying to get in them or walking behind and infront of you but he did so well avoiding that. He was very patient with family members who had to get pictures to. I recommended when you do the pics of just bride and groom go somewhere away from family and friends, Arnaud recommended that and I'm so glad he did. Anyway, enjoy your day and if HDC is your photographers you will not be disappointed!! Melissa
  3. Here's our review. We were married April 11, 2011 in the gazebo just off the beach. I have absolutely no complaints when it comes to the wedding planning and wedding day. When we checked in we were giving a folder and inside was a letter from Carolina welcoming us and telling us what time and where we would be meeting the next day. So no stress there. Next morning we went to the bavaro side, the wedding section is right by the sports bar. We met with Carolina and in less then an hour everything was planned and organized. Our ceremony was set for 330 which was a perfect time, pictures were beautiful and weather was gorgeous! Carolina basically said the spanish restaurant is open for your dinner, we had 19 people so no private reception which was fine because we choose to have a beach dance party. For food we had one of the pasta's so an appetizer which was really good, beef medallion which was amazing! They were cooked between medium to medium well a few were rare but no one complained. For dessert we did the chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream....this was amazing! By far the best dessert we had in the two weeks we were there. If you like chocolate I highly recommend this it was moist and mouth watering. A side note the chocolate lasagna is nasty! You can get it at the italian restaurant as dessert and some people in our group took one bite pushed it away and a couple we sat next to another time didn't eat it either the layers between the chocolate you couldn't even cut. We then had the wedding cake which most people were way to stuffed to eat. We did half chocolate half vanilla. It's a nice light cake and very tasty, the left overs we had the waiters hand out to the other guests in the restaurant so it wouldn't be wasted. We had given Carolina our cake topper, favors, knife and napkins the day before the wedding when they came to pick up my dress to steam. She had everything set out and organized for us when we got to the reception. It looked beautiful. When we met with Carolina we also got offered chicken nuggest and fries for the kid and we had a vegetarian so there was a vegetarian menu to pick an entree off of. My color was purple and she does have purple decorations for the gazebo and chairs, looked amazing! Next my flowers, they were absolutely beautiful! My bouquet and john's bountineer were included but I got 2 bridesmaid bouquets, 3 boutineers(groomsmen and my dad) and 2 wrist corsages for the mom's. For the extra flowers you have to pay cash so Carolina pays the florist. It was $135 for all the extras but sooo worth it, they were truly beautiful. My flowers also lasted all night and dried beautifully. They were brought to my room the morning of our wedding with my wedding dress after being steamed. I had my hair done at the spa it was $120 but looked amazing and with the wind and humidity it held up great. I didn't have to worry about my hair all day/night, they use a lot of product but it is needed especially for pics on the beach and the wind. It looked perfect in every photo. One of my bridesmaids got her hair done there too and put flowers in her hair for free then gave us extra flowers for the other bridesmaid and flower girl. You have to put your deposit down a head of time but Carolina discusses that with you at your first meeting and books your hair appointment too. My friend did my make up but it's a full spa, they do everything. So after the dinner(your at the restaurant 2 hrs) the train picked up all up and took us to our beach party. This was so worth the money, I highly recommend this. We used their dj and he had a huge assortment of new and old music that everyone could dance too. We only brought the cd for the first dance, father/daughter, mother/son and parents dance. The rest he did and we danced the whole time, we also had the dj and waiter dancing with us they were such nice guys. It was a little chilly because its right on the beach and it was windy but anyone who was dancing was hot. I told people to go change if they wanted because the beach party is really close to the palace and was walking distant to the rooms. I was really hot but I'd walk towards the ocean and lift up my dress to get a nice breeze, there are some hilarious pictures of me getting caught doing this. Almost everyone said the dance party was the most fun and you get your own waiter and private bar. The bathroom is by La Uva restaurant. The dance party finished close to midnight then we headed to the palace lobby for drinks and some people went to bed others partied. My only complaint is that out of 19 of us, 5 weren't upgraded to the Royal Suites. They were at the palace, they had nice rooms and beach front but they were not allowed on the royal suites side. Everyone paid the same rate but the RST guests were treated better and I didn't agree with that. The reason there are so many upgrades is the palace is greatly over booked, they told us it was 120% booked. There was another wedding group which was all adults and some of their guests weren't upgraded to the RST. Both groups were talking(we had the same amount of guest) and it just didn't make sense why they wouldn't of upgraded their whole group being adults and not ours since we had a kid, that way everyone would of been together. Palace and RST are close to eachother but Palce guests couldn't go to the RST side. When we were checking in I was arguing that I didn't want us split up that I wanted everyone at the same resort, the staff at the reception wouldn't listen to me just blew me off. Telling me RST much better and nicer, but I didn't care. They had a bell boy come and shuffle us to the golf cart to go to our room. I was upset even though yes RST you have a butler in your building, free beach towles, free rides all over the resort, wifi in rooms except for building 5805-5812, free internet in lobby, your own pools and beach area. You dont have to fight for lounge chairs and your almost always the only people in the pool. I just felt bad that everyone paid the same rate but some got treated better. I guess some people wouldn't care about that but it bothered me. So John and I got upgraded to a honeymoon suite on the RST, it was beautiful. All white linen, two balconies, huge bathroom with jacuzzi tub and 18 nozzle shower which was also a steam room. When we got there the bell boy brought us a fruit tray and a bottle of rum. Now the wall in the bedroom had wires coming out and looked like a tv should of been there so we told the butler but no big deal I didn't plan on watching tv. Our jacuzzi tub also didn't work no button for the jets, took about 4 days to get that fixed. Our phone let us call out but no one could call our room, which was a huge hassel for making dinner plans and carolina was going to call the day of the wedding to tell us when the butler would be coming to pick us up. We complained for 4 days, finally on the wedding day I call the reception and I said "Our phone doesn't work, fix it now"!. The guy said okay I'll get it fixed. Within 30 minutes a guy showed up with a new phone and had someone call our room to make sure it worked, I gave him a big tip and thanked him. But I shouldn't of had to be rude to get it done but really with other issues we had with rooms we had to be rude to get stuff fixed. So everything in our room finally worked and it's time for our second week where we were booked at the RST for the honeymoon. A few days before I asked if we were going to be moved, they told us we would have to come that morning and find out. So we had to move, to stay in that room they wanted to charge us an extra $500 for the week and it wasn't worth it. So we had to pack up bring our bags to the lobby and wait for a room to be ready. We paid an extra $100 for a swim up room. Once we got to our new room first thing is it STUNK! The people before must of smoked like chimneys, I had a small bottle of frebreeze but it didn't improve the smell. But whatever. We went to dinner came back and there was a puddle of water on our bathroom counter and I asked John why he left such a mess but turned out there was water dripping from our ceiling onto the bathroom sink and into the jacuzzi. John lifted the ceiling tile to investigate thinking it was the air conditioner. Turns out there was an older leak they had fixed by wrapping electrical tape around it and it was leaking through the tape. The worst part was that it was toilet water leaking onto the bathroon counter where our tooth brushes would of been. John took pictures and went to the reception and showed him the pictures and said "We want a new room, this is unexceptable" So we were moved to another room which didn't smell like smoke but the jacuzzi didn't work and the mirror was smashed so we got that all addressed and the rest of the week was great. We did notice they put another couple in that room with the toilet water dripping but they also didn't stay in that room long. We spent tons of time in the swim up pool and suntanning. A waitress would come and ask us if we wanted drinks or food then walk around to deliver it to us. The food was great, really no complaints there. The room service breakfast was good but I dont recommend ordering toast, a few times it was so hard you couldn't bite it. Some days it wasn't even toasted just bread. Orange juice is tang not actual orange juice. The staff were awesome, very friendly and fun. They work 24-25 days a month with 5-6 days off, you will see them at breakfast and again at supper. They get a 2 hrs break in the afternoon and only about 3-4hrs sleep at night. Yet they are still happy, friendly and smiling. We spent most of our money tipping, probably more on tips then the wedding package. The grounds are beautiful and very well taken care of. Mosquitos were bad in the evening and they are so tiny you don't even notice their biting you until they start itching. Damn ankle biters...lol I was so glad I brought a tube of afterbite b/c some nights the bites were so itchy we couldn't sleep. They are nothing like north american mosquito bites they blister and ooze for a few days. We've been home a few days and they still itch at times. They only got bad after the rain, if it's dry they aren't to bad. Bring tons of sunscreen because it's crazy expensive there if you run out, my aunt paid $35 for one bottle. We would of ran out but people leaving after the first week gave us theirs. We went through about 4 bottles. We did an ocean spa excursion, all the women went and it was amazing I highly recommend it. We went the afternoon on the day before the wedding and it was incredible. John and I parasailed, some went on a safari tour and loved it. Others did quading and dune buggies. 7 went deep sea fishing but 3 of them spent the whole time puking their guts out and they ended the trip early. If you have people wanting to deep sea fish or do excursions book with the people in the hotel lobby or at the dive center on the resort. Your likely not to get riped off and get what you paid for. For all the wedding stuff you can use credit cards except for any extras. The beach party, wedding package, photographer pass and dress steaming was all charge to our room and then we just paid it with visa before the wedding day. We hired HDC photography, Arnaud one of the owners did our pictures and they turned out so good. They are amazing, he did a fantastic job and his service was incredible not to mention he had the best price I could find. Carolina also called him the morning we met with her so I could talk to him and decide a time for him to come to my room when we were getting ready. The friday after the wedding we met with him in the lobby so he could show us the pics and then we choose which picked we wanted printed and by 4pm that day the dvd of pics, slide show and prints were at the reception for us to pick up. They are breath taking photos and continue to remind me of what a perfect beauitiful day it was. Now there were of course people on the beach trying to get in our pictures or standing and watching to close. Also the rude people who didn't care you were taking pictures and would walk in front or behind us. There was also lots of nice people who came up to congratulate us on the beach and at dinner. I think I covered everything but if you have any questions ask away. Just remember to relax and enjoy every minute of it. I wasn't stressed once I met with Carolina, she was amazing. I spent the days before the wedding on beach or at the pool with my friends and family. I hope you all have as wonderful of a time as we did. Oh I forgot the weather was perfect, we had a rain storm one night and other then that it was hot and sunny with a few scattered clouds. Dont trust the weather forecasts they were wrong everytime. It forecasted it would rain our whole second week and it didn't rain once. Melissa
  4. Being upgraded isnt the best thing unless EVERYONE is upgraded. If I could change things no one would of gotten upgraded. Only RST guests can swim in the pools eat at their restaurants and I found people secluded themselves and the non upgraded were left out. Also the palace guests who werent upgraded loved where they were and the service was better. We had numerous room issues at rst. We had a phone that didnèt work for 4 days including our wedding day so no one could get a hold of us. We bitched numerous times to get it fixed took 4 days to change the phone. Our jacuzzi jets also didnèt work and it took about the same amount of time to get that fixed. Coffee maker and tv also didnèt work. For our second week they made us move after we finally had a room that worked! To keep the room we were in the wanted another $500. SO moved to a swim up room and when we can back from dinner the first night our ceiling was leaking through the lights, my husband investigated and it was TOILET water leaking into our jacuzzi and bathroom counter. We demanded to be moved, so we went down the hall and in that room the mirror at the head of the bed was cracked and the jacuzzi once again was broken. Maintence came and John told him what needed to be done to fix the jacuzzi, so we talked to the front desk and they said it would be fixed in am.....shockingly it was. Anyway royal suites isn;t what I would call a 5 star hotel. I will give better review once home.
  5. Im not sure what the resturant options are for a private dinner. It totally depends which wedding you are that day and whats open. When we met with carolina the day after we arrived she bascially told us this restaurant is open for us. Its a set menu so it didnèt really matter where our reception was. The beach party was a blast! They set it up for you 3 hrs of music, dj there and a waiter for drinks. We had the waiter and dj dancing with us. So fun, but keep in mind its raelly windy and people will be cold, I wasnt cuz of my dress...the wind was perfect! The none dancers will be cold, I just let people go change if they wanted.
  6. It depends which company you book with but our e tickets from air transat had a list of all the bonus stuff for the bride and groom. Like bottle of champagne on flight, priority boarding and check in. Then extra baggage weight. I forget what else but that was most of it. Wedding was absolutely incredible, I had my hair done at spa and looked awesome! Gazebo was beautiful, beach party was a blast. Full review to come when we get home.
  7. Im in my room at the royal suites(majority of out group was upgraded to rst) we get married tomorrow! The wedding planning was incredible, met with carolina the first morning we were here and everything was organized and done in less then an hour. She does 3 weddings per day I think 130, 330 and 530 if your at the gazebo. She's incredible so seriously don't stress about the details but she's a pro. I had made a list of questions and she answered them before I had a chance to ask them. She does them so often she's dealt with every issue imaginable. We were upgraded to the most gorgeous room, with 2 balconies, his/her sinks, bed has all white linen and jacuzzi tub with a high tech shower with 18 shower heads, steamer, music and the phone rings in there. Weather has been amazing, foods pretty good. We've had some issues with customer service but I'll get into details once I'm home. I would totally come to this resort again and I know our guests are really enjoying themselves. With luggage the bride and groom suitcases combined can't way more the 50 kgs. They are really strict about this and make sure to have your papers saying you get an extra 10 kgs because the people at the counter had no idea we had to show them our paper. We were at 42kgs and they were going to charge us. Worse when your leaving the Dominican. Well off to bed, getting my hair done in the morning. You will all be so happy you chose a wedding here, so stress free! Melissa I'll write a thorough review once we are home, here till the 21st!
  8. If you fly with air transit the bride and groom get an extra 10 lbs weight for luggage. My parents have some of our wedding stuff packed in their suitcases for us. I also gave my bridemaids and flower girl their travel bags ahead of tim to cut down on what we would be carrying. We leave tomorrow morning at 7 am!!!! Of course I'm now sick with a cold but the warmth and humidity should help that. Can't wait for 2 weeks in the sun!!
  9. We leave in 5 days, wedding in 9 days!!! I can't wait to get away from this crappy weather and lay on the beach with a drink in hand!!!!
  10. Planning for me is going great! Our wedding is April 11, 2011. Everyone keeps asking me if I'm getting stressed with it coming so close but honestly I'm just sooo excited. Life for us has been crazy busy so we are just looking forward to spending time with family and relaxing. The only thing left to do is our music, groomsmen gifts and a cake topper. Oh and my mom doesn't like my wedding flip flops so she is making me go shopping with her to get new sandals and she's paying so no complaint there. My final dress fitting is Friday...I'm wearing Maggie Sotterro Dayle, John picked up his linen suit last week and the flower girl got her dress from winners and she feels like a princess....so cute. I'm not bringing any decorations or center pieces, with the weight restriction on luggage I don't want to pay a fortune to carry all that. Plus my friend was at a wedding there and she said they decorated beautifully without bringing stuff. I just have some wedding favors and beach bags for my bridesmaids and flower girl. I have everything in writing from Carolina which I have printed out and put in a folder and no where did she say we needed 40 guests so we will see. I figure the easier we are to work with the more willing she will be to accommodate. Either way we are both easy going and just want to enjoy every minute of it. I don't want to spend my wedding day stressed, the whole reason why I picked a destination wedding...didn't want to stress about detail. I booked HDC for photos back in August and he's been great. The rest I'm leaving till our meeting with Carolina when we get there. This past Saturday was my bridal shower which was beach themed with margaritas and pina coladas. My friends did such an amazing job and I was way to spoiled I didn't expect gifts but wow I got so many gift cards I plan on doing some shopping on days off. This Saturday coming up is my stagette, all I know is they rented a theme room at west Edmonton mall. The rest is a surprise! My mom and I have a spa day booked for pedicures. My best friend and I are having facials on the 31st with lunch and then shopping. Now all I have to do is get through work and figure out who I can get to bring our mail in when were gone since everyone I would normally ask is coming with us. Try not to stress out to much because it will end up ruining you wedding and vacation.
  11. Caribbeanlover: Our wedding day is April 11, 2011. We are keeping everything low key for the wedding, one of the reasons we decided on the destination wedding. I'm not doing dinner menus, seating cards or even arranging where people sit. I'm confident that Carolina and her crew will make it beautiful so I'm not planning anything ahead and will wait to talk to her when we get there. I do have wedding favors and we have an idea of what we want for a reception. I would stress myself out to much if I was to plan anything ahead of time. I'm just looking forward to have our family and some friends all together to share this time with us. What kind of reception did you do? I too thought the gazebo looked the nicest. how many guests did you have? Did you get your hair and makeup done there at the resort? Also was your wedding a legal one or renewal of vows? We got legally married Jan 15 but only 6 people know that. 3 of which will be in the dominican, we couldn't tell the my hubby's family b/c his mom would freak but saving $1000, which we can use towards other reception and such. Did you do any centerpieces or table decorations? I just dont think we will have room to bring all that with us and I don't want to stress about it. Both my hubby and I work full time 12hr shifts and wont have time to organize all that plus the hubby isn't much help. What day do you get to the dominican? We are there from April 7-14(palladium palace) and 14-21(RST). I really can't wait!! Would love to hear any recommendations or advice regarding the process. Melissa Yes we had our ceremony at the gazebo over looking the ocean. It was perfect with lots of privacy vs the beach ceremony. IMOP it's prettier too. Sorry when is your big day again!?!?!? What is left to do?!?! you may not need to do it, I realized a lot of the things I did was for nothing cause Carolina already does it!!! What room catagory did you guest book I can tell you if it's the new section or old 1. I think it's amazing all your guest booked the RST because mine did, so the whole first week we never used the RST which sucked... the royal gourtmet is so good I was sad we missed it the whole first week (our guest booked on the Punta Cana so that is where we would meet at the lobby bar, spend time on the beach, pool, ect..)
  12. Carribeanlover: our reception is suppose to be at 4pm and we are thinking the ceremony will be at the gazebo by the beach. Is that where you had you ceremony? I'm getting so excited but still so much to do!
  13. Does anyone have a copy of the renewal of vows ceremony? I would love a copy if someone does!
  14. One of my good friends was a bridesmaid at wedding november '09 at the grand palladium. she highly recommended the resort. This helped us make our decision as well as the other points already mentioned.
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