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jessicap

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  1. Here's a more lengthy review... Travel agent: Teresa Stauring, Vacations for Less Teresa was very good, and the problems we had were not because of her. A lot of people have asked whether to use a travel agent or not, and I think it's a great idea for a DW. First of all, you don't have to answer anyone's questions because there's always someone else you can point them to. Also, Teresa was able to get us discounts (like free nights for booking a certain number of rooms) that I don't think we would've gotten otherwise.The only complaint I had was that we didn't receive our travel vouchers until about 4 days before we left. According to Teresa (and I believe her), high wedding season means that the hotels were much slower to respond, and they were the ones holding up the vouchers. In the end, it obviously was just fine. The other good part was that Teresa also arranged our transportation to the hotel. I have nothing but good things to say about the transportation service. One advantage of them over, say, Apple vacations, was that it was a private shuttle that went straight to our hotel. There was no stopping at other resorts along the way to drop people off. Also--they consistently told us (the transportation people, the TA, the hotel) that it was 2 hours between the airport and DPA, but it was 45 minutes for us each way. Wedding planning at the resort: We checked in Tuesday evening, so we met with Sandra Wednesday morning. We used all the resort services (had no outside vendors). We met the photographer first. We knew about the packages in advance (via email, from the photographer), so we had an idea of what we wanted already. 15 minutes later, we had everything confirmed for photography. We met with Sandra right afterwards, and she was AMAZING. We just went with the complimentary package. We confirmed our dinner reservation for 14 at Portofino, went over flowers, confirmed time, ceremony location, etc. This was all done in about 20 minutes. She followed us up to our room to grab our dress and suit to steam. This whole part was just amazing. Sandra was completely on top of things. I didn't need to reference old emails (which I brought) or argue about anything. It was just done. Spa: The spa/salon gets mixed reviews from me. I used them twice: Wednesday afternoon for hubby and I to get mani/pedis, and then on Friday (wedding day) for hair and makeup for me, plus other services for some other girls in our group. First the mani/pedis. I'm not sure why, but we did not have them done in the salon. Instead, they led us to a converted hotel room they were using instead. This just made it a little awkward because there was hotel furniture, not salon furniture in the room, e.g. my manicure was done sitting on a sofa with a coffee table in front of me. I will say, the mani/pedis themselves were great (though the selection of colors were lacking--definitely bring something with you if you have a strong preference), but it was the ambiance that killed it for me. On the other hand, on the wedding day, they had us set up in the actual salon (just outside the spa), and it was great. I was VERY happy with my services (hair and makeup) that day, as were the other ladies (2 pedicures and a hair styling). My hair and makeup held up through the ceremony and into the evening, despite wind, (happy) tears, and lots of hugs! Ceremony: It was everything I had dreamed of. My flowers were perfect! It was the one thing that I had discussed at length with Sandra via email, and they turned out exactly like I wanted. We had the violinist play for the ceremony, and she also played a bit before and after as well. We used the gazebo, and it was perfect. Please note that if you're wearing heels, there is sand between the sidewalk through the resort, and the concrete walkway to the gazebo. Not a huge amount, but it's right when people start watching you walk down the aisle. I'm glad I didn't end up wearing heels because of that. The ceremony itself was beautiful (and short and sweet). We did a sand ceremony, and since we both grew up near the ocean (NJ and FL), we combined sand from both places, which was really neat. Photography: We went with the 36 picture package, and I'm glad we did. The pictures that we chose I loved, but I'm not sure I could've chosen many more than that from the over 300 that were shot. I'm sure that's a combination of photography style, our own personal self consciousness, and personal preference. However, it was really perfect for what we wanted, and we knew we had a handful of skilled photographers as guests, so we still ended up with a ton of great shots in the end. Dinner: Since we only had a party of 14, we just made a reservation at Portofino, which was our first choice. Everyone got to order off the menu, which was nice for our picky eaters. Our expense was ordering a bunch of wine for the table, and that would be my only complaint about the evening. A couple of our guests wanted to split the wine bill, and due to miscommunications with the staff (and not using the vouchers we provided), both guests were overcharged about $50 each. It took a little more arguing than I would've liked with the front desk the next day, but it was eventually settled. Given the amount of business we felt we generated for the resort that week, we were a little disappointed at how much of a fight they put up when it came to crediting the money back (basically saying that we had already signed for it, so we couldn't argue the charge). In the end, though, it resolved itself. Back to dinner... the food was AMAZING. We had many people comment that it was the best food they'd ever had at a wedding before. Our table was outside on the patio, and it was beautiful and breezy. The good, long Italian meal was the perfect setting for the many (MANY) toasts that everyone wanted to give throughout the evening. Our cake was brought the restaurant. It was the tres leches cake, and was so good that after dinner our guests divided up the rest to take back to their rooms. I highly recommend it! Some more pictures: I'll try to write some more later, but am happy to answer any questions!
  2. We're back, and we're married!! I'll post something much longer when we get a little more free time, but here are the bullet points (again, more details later): It was AMAZING. Seriously, it was everything I'd hoped for. Our guests had a great time, and no one seemed unhappy at any point. The food was (mostly) great. Sandra was amazing. She has such a calmness about her that really helps when you're stressed. The resort was exactly what we wanted for this event. More on that later... The staff (bar staff and wait staff especially) were incredible! As everyone has said, everything works itself out. We had a couple of details that weren't perfect, but it was still great, and in the end I don't think I would change much. I will say (and will elaborate later), if you want spa treatments, I HIGHLY recommend booking at the Secrets Capri resort. A few of us went there the day before the wedding. Their spa is new, twice the size of DPA, and MUCH nicer (with what looked like the same rates). Here's one of our professional pictures (from the resort photographer): Again, we couldn't be happier. Since we've been back, we can't stop talking about how we can't wait to go to Mexico again!
  3. I've heard that the weather forecasting is highly unreliable, and not to be worried that they call for a chance of rain everyday. I'm hoping this is true, and that it will be just fine for our ceremony! I will be really upset if I've waited this long, and drug everyone to Mexico just to get married in the same ballroom area that I could've rented here. Trying to stay positive though... Can't believe we leave in 6 days! I have to add to the procrastination discussion too... My FI shirt should be arriving tomorrow or Friday. He's not freaking out about it, but I can't imagine not having a shirt 6 days before we leave. I guess that's why we're all different people, right?
  4. Hi all! Has anyone had the resort salon do their hair and makeup? Just curious how your experience was... Thanks!
  5. I'm right there with you, aeluzu. We leave a week from today, and I keep alternating from chill to anxious to excited--sometimes all within a matter of minutes. There are definitely days now where I feel overwhelmed, but I'm realizing more and more that it's all going to be just fine, and the details will all work themselves out. There are definitely things I wish I had more time to do, and things we've given up on that I wish we had time for, but it's going to be great no matter what. ...or at least that's the pep talk I keep giving myself. :-) skp1, hang in there. Good luck!
  6. We just received my fiance's suit from Studio Suits. I can't say it's the suit of his dreams, but it's going to work just fine for the wedding (and we don't really have time to start over with something else anyway). We ordered the $99 suit in natural beige. The color is fantastic! Like others have said, they emailed us to confirm a couple of the measurements. The length of the suit is great, but the fit is a little strange. The pants ended up a little like low-riders instead of traditional suit pants, and the jacket is a little shorter than we'd expected. However, both are still acceptable, and we're confident it will look great in pictures. My fiance is also not planning on tucking in his shirt, which will fix the low rider issue as well. Either way, this suit was was than half the price of anything else we would've purchased, and he's about 6'5", so he's not the easiest person to find suits for to begin with. He's said if he were to do it all over again, he probably wouldn't have used studio suits, but it's going to work out fine anyway. The only other thing worth mentioning regarding customer service was that we started to get nervous when it had been 3 weeks and we hadn't heard anything from SS (ordered the beginning of May). Perhaps it was coincidence, but as soon as we emailed to check the status of the suit, they replied back saying they were shipping it that day. Now, of course there's no way to know whether it was going to ship out anyway, or whether it was just sitting around, but I wouldn't hesitate to email about the status if you think it's taking a little too long. They were very quick to respond, and very nice as well. We'll post pictures after the wedding!
  7. Congrats!! Your pictures were gorgeous, and it looks like you guys had a great time. Thanks for the restaurant information. Sandra said we should go through her too. I just wish we could plan a little more than a week in advance. Oh well, at this point we are just trying to let go, and realize that it's all going to work out one way or another. It's also good to know about the 8 being the max for a group. I'm not sure if we'll try to get everyone together any other times, but at least we'll know what to expect.
  8. I'm getting excited too! It feels like everything is finally coming together. Like everyone else has said, the hotel gets much more responsive the closer you get to your wedding! I've managed to receive multiple emails in one day from Sandra. Now we know we're getting close! :-) Good luck transporting your dress. You're carrying it on the plane with you, right? I'm sure it will work out just fine. I can't wait to meet you!
  9. I'm getting married at Dreams Puerto Aventuras in a few weeks. We were looking for a lot of the same things out of a resort, and finally settled on this one for a few reasons: -only 45 minute drive from the airport. We LOVED the way Dreams Tulum looked, but 2 hours was just too far for us to ask our guests to drive. -We have family who have vacationed at this resort. To support what wendvipo said, the food at dreams is supposed to be excellent. The family who went there are both world travelers, and swear that the sushi was amazing, seafood excellent, and one said she had the best steak she's ever had there. -Being 45 minutes south of Cancun meant we were far enough away from the "party" crowd. -While not kid-centric like some of the other resorts we saw, this one definitely had kids activities without being overtly all about kids. Basically, a resort for adults where kids would feel welcome too, but without being over the top. Does that make sense? Good luck with your search! If you haven't already, you should check out some of the other boards on here about the specific resorts. These girls have eat, slept, and breathed them for months now and should be able to answer any questions you have. Everyone here has been extremely helpful!
  10. Well, we're finally feeling the pressure! We leave for DPA 3 weeks from today, and it all kind of hit us yesterday. We've filled out our spreadsheet from Sandra, and are finally working out some of the details with her (like dinner plans, music, ceremony details, etc.). It seems so crazy to think that all of the planning we tried to do in advance has STILL led us to scrambling the last few weeks. We're getting married at home and having a symbolic ceremony in Mexico. We go to the courthouse this Thursday to file for our marriage license and will hopefully be married sometime next week or the week after. I go for my 3rd fitting this Saturday, and hopefully everything will be beautiful. I'll definitely post pictures when the dress is finished. I ordered my hair flowers from a GREAT shop on Etsy called Sand and Surf Creations. I wanted to have back-up synthetic flowers just in case it doesn't work out to use real flowers in my hair. I ordered 2 sets of 3 orchids: one set in white, and one in a great tropical orange. I plan on making my jewelry to match. At this point I'm thinking orange and turquoise, but I'll post pictures when it's all finished. Here's a question about dinner plans though... Sandra said that if we wanted a dinner reservation (there are 14 of us), it had to be either when the restaurant first opened or at 9pm, otherwise we wouldn't be seated together. Does anyone have experience with this? When do the restaurants open? And she said that we could make the reservation one week in advance, but how do we do that? Does she do it for us? Thank you!
  11. Well, here's an update on the dress... I went for my first fitting on Saturday, only to find that they had accidentally ordered the wrong dress. Seriously. It was all zipped up in the garment bag, and one of the assistants had left me alone with it while she finished up her other appointment. So I unzip the bag (cue the fanfare), and notice that the color was not quite right... then that the fabric felt a little scratchier than I remembered... then I flipped the dress around, and it was totally the wrong dress (cue the sad trombone). I have to commend the dress shop though. It was an honest error, and they handled it so incredibly well. To pat myself on the back a little, I also handled it well. As long as I had my dress, in the correct size, and had it altered in time for the wedding without having to pay anything extra, I wasn't going to worry. They were so embarrassed that something like this happened, and I really can't blame them. Fast forward to Monday morning. The owner of the shop called me at 9am. It turns out that the only dress they had left in the warehouse just happened to be in the color and size that I had wanted! So, at least the story has a happy ending (hopefully!). I have my new first fitting scheduled for April 16th, so I'll let you know how it goes! As for the invitations, this is what they look like! http://www.minted.com/customizer/sku/MIN-J91-INV They were absolutely perfect. I was able to find some great textured paper in complementary blue-greens to line our envelopes, and sprayed with a coconut-scented spray. I also ordered custom postage from Zazzle that looked like this: http://www.zazzle.com/beach_rsvp_wedding_small_postage-172451310809429944.
  12. I DID find a dress!! It just came in on friday, and I have my first fitting scheduled for April 2nd! I also found my shoes. Victoria's Secret had a great selection of white flip flops, in a variety of heel heights and styles, so I just ordered a few pairs to compare. I have two that I really like, so now I just have to decide. Our formal invites are going out this week too. I feel like all of a sudden there is just SO MUCH to do! I *think* we're still doing the roast pig, but that's not confirmed yet... You're absolutely right though. Now that I got the dress part out of the way, it feels REAL. :-)
  13. Wow! So exciting! I'm visiting my last dress place tomorrow, so hopefully will have a dress picked out soon. I feel like once that is done, everything else will fall into place. We're planning for an AHR pig roast too. We'll see how it goes! I'm curious to hear about what others have done about wedding vows--especially if you're planning on a symbolic ceremony. Any thoughts? This is the part that has me pretty confused at the moment... I've never gotten an email address specifically for Jacy. Every correspondence I have from her came from weddings.drepa@dreamsresorts.com.
  14. Welcome 604Bride! I'm getting married at DPA in June, so we only have a few months to go! The ladies here have been so incredibly helpful with last minute questions, so I'm sure you'll find what you need!
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