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maridr2012

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About maridr2012

  1. I was married there in Nov 2012, had my hair and makeup done as well as the moms' and 4 bridesmaids hair and makeup. Everyone looked great. I have long thick coarse hair and had my hair blown out the evening before the wedding which worked out great - they wouldn't have been able to blow out my hair and style it AND do makeup with everyone else they had that morning. However, the moms and bridesmaids just showed up with their hair already washed and dried and the stylists were able to easily style it. My mother in law wasn't crazy about the updo they did for her, but as soon as she voiced it they quickly re-designed it with no prob and a smile on their faces. We booked the Bridal Suite for the mornign of the wedding and had 3 stylists for a total of 8 girls getting ready (including myself). I had been to the PPC the year prior when I was doing site visits and trying to pick a resort for our wedding so I had the advantage of knowing what to watch out for. When I was there in Dec 2011 during my site visit I visited the spa and knew right away that I would not want to use their makeup b/c of the colors and quality. BUT...I also knew that b/c I have darker skin and wanted to use high quality products that would match my skin tone. So, a few days before we left to DR for the wedding, I went to a MAC makeup store (I only use MAC or NARS product anyway), and had them do a bridal makeup look for me, I purchased all the products, and they gave me diagrams showing exactly what they did. This way, when the actual wedding day came, I pulled out all my makeup and diagrams and they were able to mirror almost exactly what the trial run looked like back home. I also brought additional things like primer, setting spray, etc. to make the products last longer through the hot humid weather which is not something the resort stylists had on hand. My mother in law and some of the bridesmaids have fair skin and they used the products that the resort stylists had onhand and just supplmented it with my primers and setting spray. The resort stylists did tell me that it was a good idea that I brought my own makeup b/c it was a higher quality product and already matched my skin tone perfectly. Their products are good too, don't get me wrong. Hope this helps.
  2. maridr2012

    My mom is driving me crazy!

    Carlotta, I confided in a very good and older friend of mine of all the stressful things that I was dealing with as I was planning my wedding. Most of the stressful issues were family-related, trying to make everyone happy or getting negative comments from family members and some close friends. She said to me something that rings very true, "There are 2 major life events that will bring out the very best but also the very worst in your loved ones: funerals and weddings". And indeed, it is very true. Your mom wants the best for you, and although she is being selfish right now and can't seem to be reasoned with she does not wish negative things for you. Just try to remember that. Also, another older and wiser friend told me that many times Moms will try to re-live their own wedding through their daughters. Moms aren't every consciously doing this, it's just the way their psyche works. I was fortunate that my own mother wasn't very negative about my wedding she was very hands off about the whole thing, but other family members treated my wedding plans as if it were a death sentence for them. It was horrible. At the end of the day, your wedding is about YOU and YOUR FUTURE HUSBAND. That is it. Nobody is being forced to go, you are a big girl - an adult. If the situation becomes unbearable even if you try not to bring up the subject with your mom, you may need to tell her just that - YOU ARE AN ADULT. period. If she has nothing nice to say she should keep her mouth quiet and practice good manners just like she surely taught you. One last bit of advice. Your wedding day is only one day of other situations that will arise where your mom feels the need and the right to voice her opinion on every. little. detail. I am now experiencing this because I am pregnant, and although my mom wasn't very involved in my wedding, she feels the need to be very involved in my pregnancy and telling me what I have to do and what I can't do. Very frustrating. My point is, this is your wedding day. Moms are tough. But they love us. And they only want the best for us. I try to remember that as I know one day my own kids will say be very annoyed with me too, just as your mom and my mom were also annoyed with their mothers many years ago. Good luck to you!
  3. My advice is don't skimp on the video; it's nice to go back to it from time to time and play it, and also a nice way to share your big day with those who weren't able to attend your destination wedding. My husband and I decided to do photography, videography, a 5 min wedding highlights video - that's what we shared with several friends and family versus playing them a 2 hr wedding video lol, AND a TTD shoot. The TTD shoot was a last minute decision a few days before we flew out. I figured hey, I'm getting married on a beautiful beach why the heck not! But...I really didn't want to ruin my dress (although many girls say it's fine if u just rinse it in water...but I couldnt fathom taking a chance to ruin my gorgeous dress). So I went to a Davids Bridal store and found a very pretty dress that was more "beachy" than my actual wedding gown. It was only $99, it was too long on me but I didnt care b/c it was only for beach pics anyway. The best part about it was I got 2 very different looks for the wedding pics - the more "formal" pics from the wedding day with him in his suit and me in my gown and our friends, family, and wedding party, and then we had our own TTD shoot which was much more laid back and casual - him in just linen pants and a white shirt, barefoot on the beach, and me in the Davids Bridal beachy dress. An added bonus was that we had way more fun during the TTD shoot. The wedding day pics were like, "stand here, look there, kiss this way, while everyone looks on". LOL. The TTD pics were just us having FUN at a secluded beach and they're so romantic and more intimate. Save the extra $ if you can...it'll be worth it!
  4. I got married at PPC in Nov 2012. I would agree with Mariel12. Hard Rock is def more of an "American" feel to it; def more luxe and can be a bit pricier. I would also say it may cater more to adults. PPC has more of an island feel to it, and its more picturesque with lush trees, gardens, greenery etc. if you're looking to do outdoor pics versus Hard Rock will be more picturesque for indoor pics. They're both excellent quality resorts. You have to figure out what type of "feel" you want for your big day and the entirety of your and your guests stay.
  5. maridr2012

    Reception Disagreement!

    See if your resort/venue offers a covered terrace or something that will provide a bit of a feel of both. This very topic was a huge point of discussion for me and my now husband. I didn't want outdoors because I was too nervous if there would be inclement weather that would force us to move the reception indoors and my oh so very carefully planned details for the vision of our wedding would all be for nothing, lol. Keep in mind most venues will have a back-up plan anyway which they'll go thru with you so you don't have to worry about it but I just wanted to know there was one plan that I knew all the details behind and that was it. We ended up having our ceremony outside at the beach gazebo which we both had agreed upon anyway, and our reception was in a covered terrace with 2 open walls so we still had somewhat of an outdoor feeling. The "lounge area" for the guests was right by one of the open walls so there was a nice breeze with beautiful palm trees etc just a few feet away and folks could wander out there if they wanted to. Good luck!
  6. I did my reservation via email. This is the email address I corresponded with: agentespa@paradisuspc.com and I was communicating with someone by the name of Gelen. I've attached the form they sent to me; not sure if its the same one they sent to you but I filled it out very early on and there were no issues when I arrived to the resort. The Miami folks did re-confirm all the appts for me several weeks before the date, and when I arrived to the resort I did walk over to the spa and confirm my appts as well as with Jennifer and Miguelina - the onsite WC's. Hope this helps! Spa Hair Makeup Appt Confirmation.xlsx
  7. I meant that if you have the bridal suite reserved, and then decide you want to cancel it you have to do your cancellation 24 hours before the reserved date so you don't get hit with the fee. Kinda like a hotel room reservation, that's all. They charge it b/c they could've made the $ with someone else had their been another party interested in the room. The Spa and the Bridal Suite are separate from one another. The Spa is over by the Standard rooms, and the Bridal Suite is actually a room in the Royal area. The Bridal Suite is just a short walk away from the beach, so if you're having a beach or a gazebo wedding ceremony its very conveniently close - they'll send a trolley to pick you up along with your bridal party and you'll trolley it over to your ceremony site where all your guests and groom will be waiting for you already. It's really nice : ) My husband and his guys got ready in the best man's room. It worked out well because the bestman had a suite in the Reserve section which was big and roomy so they had ample space. The photographer got some great pics of all the guys getting ready together in the best man's room, just like he did of all the girls getting ready together in the Bridal Suite. This leaves your own room nice and tidy so when you get back at the end of the night you're bed will be all done up with decorative roses, you don't have to worry about clothes and items being all over the place. The only thing is I suggest when you book the Bridal Suite book it for the whole day - they say they allow up to a 4 hour rental but that's pretty much the entire day anyway depending at what time your ceremony is - just tell them how many girls will need to get done and what time your ceremony is so they can space everyone out for hair/makeup with ample time. Also, they won't allow you to leave all your things in the Bridal Suite once you're done until the next day - they have to clean up the room that same day. So...have one of your girls carry anything you have left over - your clothes, your dress bag, any hair stuff/makeup etc you may have walked in there with and take it to their or your room when everyone has finished getting ready. They can get a trolley to take them to the room and leave your things and then bring them back to the bridal suite.
  8. I booked it and am so glad I did. Contact the resort spa department; they don't charge you to reserve it but you have to cancel the reservation 24 hours before you wedding day otherwise you will get charged for the room. I suggest booking it NOW, even if you're unsure b/c if for some reason they do have another wedding that day (they can do 2 weddings per day) or if there is another event you don't want to be left without the room if you decide you did want it after all. If I recall correctly the fee was $250 and that includes a bottle of champage and a selection of 4 or 5 cold canapes. You can always order room service to the room if you want something else to eat - I think the room service fee was only $5, and that's exactly what we did b/c we were hungry and wanted hot food. It's a nice space to have because your photographer can go and do pics of the bride with moms and bridesmaids etc getting ready in there, its a separate space for you to chill relax and hang out in before the actual wedding. The hair/makeup girls will go directly to the room and do everything in there, you can get dressed in there etc. It's a pretty room with a white couch, and mannequin for you to hang your dress on (photo op!) and a cabana just outside the room (again, photo op!). There's a big restroom, plenty of good lighting, etc. Its also nice to have b/c the resort staff will decorate your room for your wedding night with roses etc on your bed and will prepare a lovely bubble bath - you won't want them having to move all your stuff around in your room from you and your girls getting ready in there from earlier in the day...or worse yet...the guys getting ready in there!!
  9. PLENTY of threads like this out there on this site, oodles of them, lol. You're not the first sweetheart; pretty much all of us went thru the same thing. I found that alot of people asked questions like that just to ask, but didn't really expect to be invited (gosh, I sure hope not). Even with a destination wedding, some people still expect to be invited. I found that once I explained it was a small intimate destination wedding - and I made sure to say we'd only be having immediate family and very close friends they backed off and understood, and for others I just told them we'd probably be having a party shortly after we returned. That seemed to work. But ultimately you'll find that alot of people will weed themselves out; once they see the price and the committment to going away for your wedding they will back out. Still sucks that you have to dish out $ for the extra invitations printed lol (if you're sending formal invitations). People just want to feel included, that's all. Good luck
  10. I'm glad to help, I know it can be frustrating! What they want you to do is work with their 3rd party - a company called AskMe - they're the "wedding coordinators" in their "Romance Office" in Miami. They don't tell you upfront though that it's actually a 3rd party contracted by the resort. Working with them can actually be challenging too b/c they're not onsite and often when you ask them questions they will have to get back to you, as they need to get the answer from the onsite WC at the resort! Jennifer - the onsite WC you've been working with is actually really great. I'm sure she's bombarded with weddings going on right now. She's the Romance Mgr onsite, and the other onsite WC is Miguelina who is also just lovely and so wonderful to work with. But keep in mind, not that this is an excuse for them - they're truly working on "island time". LOL most islanders just don't have the sense of urgency that we do. But trust that they do value your business and will work very hard to make your big day special and just the way you want it. You may want to consider working with Theresa Calcos from Barefoot Bride. She actually used to be the "offsite" Wedding Coordinator for Paradisus, she basically handled everything from soup to nuts for weddings and knows that resort (as well as PPR) like the back of her hand - so much so that she planned her own son's wedding and her own vow renewals recently at their properties. She was laid off about a year ago by PPC/PPR because they wanted to outsource their planning services. But she started her own business and is now a "destination wedding planner". I started to work with her when I first started planning my own wedding over a year ago but then she was displaced and I had to start working with the Miami folks. It was only when I was at the tail end of my planning that I learned about her new business, at that point I was basically all done with planning and didn't feel the need to spend the extra money so late in the game. Had I known about her own business earlier on, I would've gladly hired her. I'm not sure what her fees are but I don't think they're terribly high so if you really want to just entrust a PPC subject matter expert and can afford a few extra dollars, you may want to consider working with her. Just google her or look her up on this forum. Even if its just to run a few ideas by her or find out what her fee is and then make your decision from there, it's worth it!
  11. Well, are they guests to your wedding? If they're not, and they were just going because they wanted to vacation with your inlaws, then you absolutely shouldn't be paying for their passes. And even if they are invited to your wedding, you gave ample notice of booking the resort. It's not your responsibility to have to pay out of your pocket because they're last minute people - as your fiancee's sister in law pointed out. If anyone feels the need to pay for their day passes, than I would leave it to the inlaws. Don't feel bad about it, you've got plenty of other things going on and stuff to fret over. This is the last thing that you should be concerned with. You're a bride, not a mommy to them, lol. I know..I sound a bit mean. Just don't think you have to feel obligated to do any of it. They're grown-ups, I'm sure they'll understand, and if they don't - they'll get over it ; )
  12. Hello. Congrats on booking your wedding! Rest assured you've selected a gorgeous resort. And yes, although you want to make it as stress-fee as possible there will be a few blips along the way but they can be easily resolved once you make peace with the options you have, lol. I was married at PPC on November 9th 2012 - just a bit over a year from your date. It's a beautiful time of the year to be there - low occupancy/slow season which is great when you want the team's attention : ) Not sure who you worked with from the Miami WC team - I worked with Jessica and she was wonderful. You may need to switch or just bring it to the attention of the manager. You're paying for this service - so don't be shy or worry about coming across as a bridezilla! (1) is it safe to presume that your outside photographer passed on the $1000 fee to you? The fee is charged directly to you; that is bypassed from the photographer altogether. Apparently the workaround to this is if you book a room for 3 nights for your "photographer" than you don't have to pay the $,1000 fee. Ask your WC or travel coordinator if they have a perks program. Usually it consists of booking X # of rooms and/or guaranteeing X # of rooms, they will comp you up to 3 standard rooms for a max of 3 nights at the lowest rate less taxes. That alone may offset the cost of you having to book a room for 3 nights for your external photographer. I was able to bypass all of that b/c I booked by wedding in Dec 2011 (for Nov 2012 date) and I was grandfathered in to their old policy which stated nothing about external photographer fee. I got lucky. (2) are you charged full price for small children at your reception? I was charged 1/2 price for children - under the age of 12. I only had 1 child so it wasn't a huge savings. And, he selected an adult's meal anyway so it was fine - he didn't get jipped on a meal, lol. (3) re: changes in wedding/reception sites - did the resort drop notes or messages to your guests advising them of any changes from the original plan? I booked my wedding ceremony at the gazebo and reception in one of the terraces that was half open with covered ceiling - particularly b/c I was worried about inclement weather and having to come up with a backup plan (although the onsite WC's will do a walk-thru with you upon your arrival and they will go over a backup plan for your ceremony/reception site should their be inclement weather). We had gorgeous weather the day of our wedding so it was fine. HOWEVER - I had a Welcome Party Cocktail Party 2 days before the wedding for my guests. I had already selected the area where this party would be which was another smaller terrace - and turns out they double booked that space and didnt realize it until the day we checked in! I was pretty pissed about that, especially because I had printed up an activity booklet for my guests outlining all the events - locations, times, etc. and that had already been delivered to them in their OOT bags to their rooms. The WC's fixed this by printing up a small note and hand delivering it to EACH room the morning of the cocktail party day. So, guests knew where to go that late afternoon and there were no issues. Point is, yes they will communicate any changes to your guests. They're pro's at this. (4) is there anything else we should know? Ahh...there are so many questions that will come up along the way, it's almost impossible to answer them all here. Just ask away as they pop up in your head - someone here on the forum will surely know the answer. Good luck!
  13. We got married on a Friday. We arrived on Tuesday afternoon - perfect timing, especially if you have a morning flight. By the time your flight arrives, you get your bags, get to the resort, check in, unpack, get something to eat & enjoy the beach/pool or walk around a bit - your day is shot. We had our welcome cocktail party on Wednesday, the rehearsal & rehearsal dinner was on Thursday, and Friday was the big day. I had 50 guests, and yes I had to pay the $100 extra per person over my package. I chose the Aqua Package - but the extra $per person depends on which package you have - if you have one at all (some people choose to go a-la-carte). I also added on an extra hour to the reception which was another extra fee per person - it wasn't much something like $15 per person.
  14. Yup I used Cindy but I booked her thru DestinationWeddings.com. She does have her own company called Forever Honeymoon. I did a group contract when I had my wedding facilitated by DestinationWeddings.com. It was a bit of a pain in the ass because there is some financial liability to do it; but what I did was did the group contract for only 10 people which were myself & husband, our parents, and our wedding party. That locked us in at a pretty good rate, and then if anyone else wanted to get a locked in rate at our price they were added on but I had to approve or decline their request to be added into the group contract (that was key b/c there is still a bit of financial liability with the additions). But the reason I did it all was b/c we got comp'd things and kickbacks at the end b/c we had x# of rooms booked in our group contract (with the additional people who came in afterwards); that was pretty cool we got $ kicked back to us. Also, when I saw that some websites like expedia, orbitz, travelocity and even the resort itself had a better room rate, I contacted Cindy and her company matched the lower rate we would see online, so it all worked out. My sister in law actually got a credit back for over $500 because of that! So, there are pros and cons with doing the group rate contract; you just have to weigh all your options.
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