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Everything posted by Evgal

  1. Aphrodite - I should have done what you did. They were suppose to photocopy them and hand them back... I should have watched them do this myself instead of trusting another. And to clarify - I worked with the DR consulate in NY AND the US Consulate in DR - both stated that copies are sufficient and there is NO reason for them to hold onto birth certificates. Make no mistake. I did my research and what they were pulling was a scam.
  2. And about the stealing... Yes they tried to steal our documents. We brought our originals to show them so they can compare it to the copies. They took them and refused to return them and said they will mail it back in a month. I told them that I want my documents back and will not leave the hotel until I had them. Our shuttle rolled up and i turned around and said we are staying. Just that minute the WC walked up to us, haned over our birth certificates and walked away without a word. We poured over our docs to make sure. There were all these little pinpricks throughout the papers, almost like it went through a printing press roller.... Hmmm...
  3. I gave them copies of all Originals and all consulate certified documents. Everything!! 6 months later, they are still trying to extort us, they won't give us our marriage license until we send them our original birth certificates (they have copies plus certified translations - everything stamped by the consulate). They make me so mad!
  4. Yes I got "married" there. It would have been perfect if the WC didn't try to scam us. Read my past posts. I still don't have my marriage license. They keep emailing me asking for more legal documents. They said the judge will make an exception for me (6months after the ceremony). I hope they rot because they ruined it for us... I spent our wedding night crying in the lobby because of their shenanigans. Now I am spending all this money to prevent identity theft. My advice... Get married at a hotel with US headquarters (where consumers have rights) or simply do the symbolic ceremony on your own or go to Mexico... I wish I did.
  5. I started my journal thread here: http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com/t/75628/evgals-wedding-planning-thread I know I'm a little slow but I thought I should share some templates that I created based on ones that I found on this website. I am especially proud of our welcome letter/brochure. The hubby and I worked really hard at it (we're both not creative types). We simply stapled it in the corner and put it in a clear, waterproof folder so that it stays clean and people can quickly glance at the itinerary on the back. It was a hit and some asked for an extra copy. If I had to do it over again (and had more time), I would have done less hotel stuff, put in some emergency information, and added more family/personal pages. Here's the letter/brochure (to keep our privacy, I blocked faces and changed names): Notes: Make note of any effects you place in the background. We had it open book-style and had to change up the background effect so that it made sense. Also I struggled with keeping the header the same on each page, it was easier to duplicate one template and start from there. It printed really pretty but I couldn't get rid of the white border, which doesn't show up on the computer and does when you print. If you can figure it out, please let me know. We gave everyone DR lanyards with waterproof card holders. In the card holder we slipped this little card, here's the template: Here's the First-Aid box template (I found the heart pic on this website so I was unable to change the color):
  6. UPDATE: Go for the symbolic ceremony and not the civil Before arriving at the resort, they confirmed that they received all the proper paperwork. After the ceremony, they tried to steal our original documents which we finally got back the next day. When we returned home, we decided to make a trip to the courthouse and get legally married. I'm glad we did. We received our marriage certificate immediately and I was able to use it to make all my legal changes (social security, passports, etc.) right away. Its been over 2 months and I have not received my marriage certificate from DR and I doubt I ever will. The WC actually emailed me last week and asked me to mail my husband's original birth certificate to them so that they complete the process. WTH?!? Seriously... I was so uptight with getting technically and spiritually married at the same-time but if I had to do it all over again I would have kept the same except make the DR ceremony into a symbolic one. I would have saved myself (and my family) a lot of stress, grief, and money. Don't be stubborn and stuck on the concept like I did.
  7. My hubby wore a suit from Island Importers. They were very good in following up with me (I measured wrong and they could tell I guess). The jacket is a little bit long but everything fit well and looked nice. And of course, he forgot his sandals so we paid dearly for a pair at the gift shop. We absolutely loved loved our photos. We used HDC Photography. We are not good at posing and Charlie was super patient, helpful, and fun to work with. And lastly we created a wedding newsletter, which took so much work. I would like to keep my stuff private so I'm working on taking out my information so that I can post it.
  8. We had our reception in the Italian themed restaurant. We did not reserve the entire restaurant but it didn't bother us at all since we had it mostly to ourselves. I didn't do anything for the reception except make a few centerpieces. My goal was to have something romantic but that was travel-friendly and cheap. I had all these crazy ideas but went with the most simple one. I bought copper tins, floating candles, and fake little flowers. <-- kind of funny. They didn't fill it all the way with water at first because they thought the candles will go out. Our cake was lost in translation but ended up really good! We asked for red velvet with white frosting. After much discussion, they thought that white frosting was fondant (another bride apparently got upset in the past over this) but really wanted what they usually do for white frosting. The red velvet didn't look like it but it tasted something in between a red-velvet and carrot cake. I couldn't put my finger on it but everyone thought it was delicious. And we gave ceramic seahorse wine corks as party favors (its in a blue organza bag and a thank you note) - in this picture it is sitting on some petals that were on the table:
  9. I wore Tabernas from Watters in ivory. I absolutely loved my dress. It was totally me... fitted, flow-y and dreamy. On the model: vs. on me: I wore two faux roses in my hair. I got them on etsy and they looked so real! I asked for orange flowers and they made me the most beautiful bouquet! It is the perfect shade. I also wore copper colored wedges from Seychelles that gave me the 4.5 inches that I wanted and still kept me steady on the sand. The ceremony set-up was perfect. I chose to have the red carpet with petals (it was windy so most of it blew away) with white chairs and the white gazebo. The gazebo was an expensive extra cost but it was totally worth it. It just made it so much more romantic and intimate.
  10. I paid $1.19/ J&J kit at Bed Bath and Beyond... and then I saw them for $0.98 at CVS. I think you can get them even cheaper but I was short on time.
  11. I also created a First Aid kit. I bought those mini J&J first aid kits that already came with bandaids, gauze, and alcohol wipes. I added pepto-bismol, advil and tylenol. I took the template from one of these forums (sorry I didn't keep track) and added the wording. The template was great but I wasn't able to change the color. I've attached it in case anybody wanted it. I printed the template onto photo-paper and used rubber cement to glue it to the box. I also created this card to put into the keycard holder: We also gave special gifts in our pre-wedding day girls and guys outing. The girls went to the spa and I gave each one a blue coach card-wallet and the mom got the seahorse coach purse. The guys got travel wallets and dad got that and a tie-case: For the ceremony: I bought orange and sandalwood fans for the guests to use during the ceremony but it was so breezy we didn't need them. The flower girls had the orange fans and it added a really nice pop of color to the pictures. I had a simple flowergirl basket with one big orange ribbon and my sister made a blue beaded flower, which we attached the rings to the center with a bobby pin and tied an orange ribbon to the stem to tie it all in. The flower-girl dresses are from Jcrew and are super cute! Ok more to come tomorrow... FirstAidStickers.pptx Keycards.pptx
  12. This site has been a huge help! I was inspired by so many and felt supported by strangers that I probably will never meet - what a community! Things got a little crazy so I wasn't able to record all of my wedding work but here it is after the fact. I hope it helps someone else out there. I was married in Punta Cana, DR in August 2011. We spent 4 days at an all-inclusive with 12 of our closest friends and family. My theme was seahorses and our colors were sunset orange and dark blue. Where to start? My OOT bag -- by far my favorite project, which really challenged me to be creative (I'm a numbers-type of gal). I ordered canvas tote bags from Vistaprint and customized them with their generic palmtree logo and "Punta Cana 2011". I really did not like the quality of these bags and would not recommend them... having said that I do have 12 extras that are free to anybody who wants them (just pay for the shipping). I was able to stuff everything into the bag. Contents: Orange/Pink Seahorse Beach Towels from Kohl's (got them on sale too!) Orange Travel cups with our own logo (see details below) Orange Pashmina's for the women ($20 for 12 in wholesale district) Beach-cover notebooks from vistaprint White with blue trim handkerchiefs for the men Waterproof Keycard holder with "Dominican" straps Wedding Week Survival Kit (see details below) Wedding Week Welcome Newsletter/Brochure I loved putting together my wedding survival kit. Everyone said that they found everything very useful. Here are the contents: Kleenex Make-up wipes Hand sanitizer wipes Emergen-C packets Woolite packets Shout wipes Eyeglass wipes for cleaning your sunglasses (this was a great tip from BDW!) Tropical gum Clear & Orange nail polish for the ladies (I got 12 for $8)
  13. We just got married there. I hated it and loved it... It's such a long story. Pm me if you are interested. I will post pics and stuff soon.
  14. I bought the Victoria Secret White Hoodie for full price and brand new in size small. I don't know if its just me but I think it has a slight blue tint to the white but it didn't bother me. I wore it twice and washed it once (no shrinkage and came out like new). It is really comfy (lightweight cotton) and cute. http://www.victoriassecret.com/ss/Satellite?ProductID=1265563697358&c=Page&cid=1311128179674&pagename=vsdWrapper&redir=true20110810 Now that I'm married, I don't have a need for it. Selling it for $25. Please pm me with any questions or if interested. Happy bride shopping!
  15. I highly recommend HDC. We had Charlie as a photographer and he was absolutely wonderful to work with. If you would like sample pics, pm me.
  16. I advise everyone to check in with the local embassy and ensure that they know that you are there and the instructions you were given. If I would have called the US embassy in DR, I would have known that our wedding coordinator and judge were corrupt and we could have saved ourselves a lot of trouble.
  17. Also, I have learned that only thing any foreign country would ask from you is your passport. Your passport is proof of your identity, age, nationality, and immigration/visa status. There is nothing that a birth certificate proves that a passport does not. And you would never need to leave your originals in a foreign country. If you don't believe me, then call your local embassy within that country beforehand. I only wonder how many people have left behind their birth certificates...
  18. This is absolutely a scam! Who told you this? They do no need your original birth certificates! Do not hand them over. If the judge insists on seeing your originals, make sure YOU are holding them and do not let them go for a second. If they insist that they won't marry you without the birth certificates, then make sure to get the judge's name and report it here or to the consulate. After going through this, I would also advise that you get legally married at home instead. I realized that if I ever need to get a certificated copy of the marriage license, it would most likely be another nightmare. Also, I think I uncovered this scam because I have a birth certificate from another country and it is not replaceable so I made a big stink about it which I am sure they weren't expecting.
  19. Just as a warning... never let your passport or original documents (birth certificates and such) out of your sight. If someone needs to copy something, then go with them and watch them do it but never entrust it to a wedding coordinator or other "government official" unless they are your personal friend or family. I will be writing up my story under the "Dominican Republic" forum later this week.
  20. I just got back from the DR. I will be writing up a full review of the Iberostar Grand and my experiences later this week but I wanted to warn everyone who plan to marry or visit the DR... Do NOT let your birth certificate or passport out of your sight. Our WC and judge said that it is customary to leave your original birth certificates with them - that is NOT true. I insisted that we keep the originals and that they can look at them and make copies - they agreed. Long story short, the WC fessed up late on our wedding night that she forgot and that the judge took them home with him. After much calling, demanding (we never get nasty nor yell), crying in the lobby, we got nowhere. We called the American Embassy and they confirmed that the judge does not need the birth certificates and that he essentially stole them. They recommended that we hire a local attorney (you can't call the local cops on the judge, right?). The Embassy said that it is not an uncommon problem because the birth certificates are used to get DR people into the United States. We made it clear to our WC that we weren't going to leave the country without the documents. We packed up for our regular departure time but was ready to extend our stay. However, the documents magically appeared exactly the same minute as our shuttle. WOW. Now, a lot of other things made sense. I will be coming back with a lot more details and follow-up.
  21. Thanks for all the great suggestions. We decided to go with Cabs suggestion. Thanks Cabs! It was simple and to the point. We felt that the responses were positive and that we avoided a lot of confusion this way.
  22. We are having a semi-formal AHR (cocktail) and I want to do something akin to a program acknowledging people. Where do I start? Should I use a similar format as a regular wedding program? Or maybe make it one long thank-you note? And should everyone get one or just have a few on tables? Help!
  23. I love this template but I'm have a hard time changing the color. Any recommendations?
  24. Alright! These all great suggestions. I decided to buy the VS one and plan to resell it here for 50% off (given that I can keep it in good condition). Thanks everyone!
  25. We have the similar size party and no bridal party. We are doing OOT bags and gifts.
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