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About sunny55143

  1. aquatracie & cocoHolly - congrats!! Your pics are gorgeous and I'm happy you had amazing weddings! Curls - I agree with aquatracie, the trio was great and well worth it. It was one of the details that we didn't really even think about and were pleasantly surprised with how they turned out. Our guests loved them. My only regret was that I was anti-"walk down the aisle to Canon in D" and didn't tell them so that was their default. Obviously not a huge deal! natalie - here is a thread to our welcome bags http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com/t/79630/our-oot-bags Our guests really enjoyed them and I think the biggest hit was our wedding "facebook". It seems like a really daunting task but if you start early enough when you get confirmation from guests who are coming, it was really fun to do.
  2. Hi ladies, We didn't have anyone stay at the Adults Only section but I'm pretty sure that if you do have guests there, they still have access to the rest of the BBPD. Pretty sure it's just a separate area for people who want to vacation without a bunch of screaming kids running around their pool. The only thing is that the Adults Only section is kind of a hike from the main area, closer to Bar Higuey though. Natalie, we did La Barcaza as an excursion for our guests. You can do either a lunchtime or sunset cruise. It was really fun, I would recommend that if you can swing it. I think I've mentioned it before on this forum, but they can pick you up directly from the Barcelo's pier on the beach, which is really nice that you don't have to pay extra for the transportation. Hope that helps!
  3. Congrats to the new BBPD brides! We should start a club Elycoco, Here is the thread I started on our welcome bags. They were a huge hit and I think it was totally worth it. http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com/t/79630/our-oot-bags
  4. mtrevena, We were not planning on having menu cards made up for the reception. Marlene actually provided them for us, which was unexpected - we hadn't even discussed that with her. So that was a pleasant surprise when we sat down to dinner. We were also not planning on doing ceremony programs either since it was going to be short and sweet. We said if we had time the week or two before we left, we would attempt to design some. Well, I ended up feeling creative at the last minute, we made these fan programs: We did have an itinerary for our guests. It was included in our welcome bags. The itinerary was also up on our website in case we were unable to catch guests as they arrived. We also struggled with wanting to give our guests free time to enjoy their vacay, as well as have some planned events for them so that they knew we were really excited to have them there. As I have mentioned in this thread, I felt we had the perfect mix of free time and planned stuff. You must be so excited to leave soon! Those last few weeks were both so stressful but so filled with anticipation. Everything will work out and once you are down there, you'll be so enamored by everything that all of those little worries will melt away.
  5. Parrish, It definitely got breezy at night but still very comfortable. I think between 6-10pm it will still be very pleasant, even off shore. ncordero, We used these for our invites (hopefully the link shows up - if not, we used weddingpaperdivas.com and the name of the invites were sea stars): http://www.weddingpaperdivas.com/product/1485/signature_white_wedding_invitations_sea_stars.html. And we used the picture in my avatar as our save the date! disazaja, We bought our tickets about 5 months in advance, in early November. I think most of our guests started booking after the new year, so within 4 months. We kept an eye on air fares throughout - they did not seem to go down as it got closer. In fact, when we first started planning after we got engaged, around September, airfare was even cheaper then. I would recommend guests booking as soon as they know they want to go. newbride, Here are some pics that show Bar Higuey from different angles: View from the walkway View from Bar Higuey looking back at the walkway and the main hallway View looking toward the bar View from bar looking back toward walkway (and us dancing with our moms!) View looking down walkway into Bar Higuey Hope those help!
  6. Parrish, Flori is the wedding coordinator for La Barcaza, and we communicated with her just through the email on their website. She was usually pretty quick to get back to us, usually within a day or two. La Barcaza was so much fun! We were really happy we had it as an extra "excursion" for our guests. The nice thing about the Barcelo is that the boat can pick you up directly from that pier on the beach and you don't have to pay for transportation to their official dock (which is actually off of the Jellyfish beach). Flori was so easy to work with (I realize I am sorta throwing Marlene under the bus in these last 2 posts!) and the entire staff was so fun and friendly. You will meet with them on the boat before the excursion and finalize your package and payment. They picked us up from the pier around 11am and took our guests out to the boat with a few trips in their tender/dinghy. We sailed to the "natural pool" where people could swim around for an hour while they grilled and prepared our lunch. We then sailed around the coast and had lunch and were back at the hotel around 2:30pm. I'm sure it would be so fun for your wedding reception.
  7. Bjeantil, We asked Marlene about a rehearsal beforehand but she said she would just make sure to talk to the wedding party right before the ceremony and direct them then. The civil ceremony, and I assume the symbolic ceremony, are very short and simple so there's not a whole lot to go over. Not sure about a Catholic ceremony. We still did a rehearsal dinner the night before. natalie, Mayte at Jellyfish is AWESOME! She is so easy to work with and will do whatever it takes to get you what you want. She was a dream to work with compared to Marlene, I'm sorry to say. We absolutely do not regret having our wedding at the Barcelo but we were really happy to be able to go to Jellyfish. There is a very lengthy Jellyfish thread on this site that has more info. The offer a handful of menus at different prices (I can send it to you if you don't have it but I think it's also on their website). You can choose from 3 different entrees per menu and they will take your order right at dinner. We even did this with our 70+ guests and it all worked out really well. I think the sides are served family style. They are super flexible with the menu choices so you can change out apps from different menus (if you choose one from a pricier menu option they just upcharge you slightly). You can also change which entree options you want. So even though they list menu options, you can basically just view that as a starting point and mix and match.
  8. ncordero, This is the wording we used for our single status affidavit. It's a little wordier than necessary, but the one that the DR consulate recommended was like 2 sentences long and I felt silly bringing such a short document for them to notarize. SINGLE STATUS AFFIDAVIT/SWORN DECLARATION I, <FULL NAME>, of the City of <YOUR CITY>, in the State of <YOUR STATE>, DO SOLEMNLY AND SINCERELY DECLARE THAT: -I am <FULL NAME>, born as <FULL NAME> on <BIRTHDATE> in <BIRTH CITY & STATE> -I am a US citizen with passport number: <PASSPORT NUMBER>, who resides at <CURRENT ADDRESS> -I intend to marry <FIANCE'S FULL NAME> in the Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic during the month of <MONTH & YEAR>. -I am single and have never been married before. To the best of my knowledge and belief there is no legal impediment or other lawful cause to prevent me from getting married. -The names of my parents are <MOTHER'S FULL NAME>, Mother and <FATHER'S FULL NAME>, Father. I make this Solemn Declaration firmly believing it to be true and knowing that it is of the same force and effect as if made under oath. DECLARED by me, this____of ______, 2012 Signed <FULL NAME> ____________________________ DECLARED in my presence, this (date)____of ______, 2012 _______________________________ Signed as a Public Notary (Commissioner of Oaths) disazaja, We extended the reception by an hour, I think it was the cost of the open bar you choose per person for another hour. So, ours was something like $14 x number of guests for the extra hour. Even with the extra hour, our reception ended at 10:30pm so a bunch of us headed over to the Sports Bar to hang out. (also fun to show up there as bride and groom - lots of other resort guests cheering for you MissJali, We packed a suitcase full of just "stuff" for the wedding - table cards, gift bag stuff, etc. and checked it. I have status with American Airlines so it didn't cost us anything extra, which was nice. I was a little hesitant to ship stuff. But maybe if you have family down there and are not shipping directly to the resort, it might be worth it. We had welcome cocktails on the rooftop terrace on Wednesday night, did a lunch cruise on La Barcaza on Thursday afternoon, and had our rehearsal dinner at Jellyfish Restaurant. It was a nice mix of stuff so that our guests felt like we were taking care of them once they were down there, but not bombarding them with wedding activities so that they couldn't enjoy their vacay. We did seating arrangements for the reception. My husband and I sat down before we left for the DR and figured out who we wanted to sit together at tables, but didn't assign numbers. During our meeting with Marlene, we went over where the specific tables would be located at Bar Higuey. I had bought these little paper punches in the shapes of numbers so that night, we took all of the escort cards we pre-printed at home and punched the corresponding number into them based on where we wanted certain tables. Hope that makes sense. newbride, Thank you for your sweet words! I believe that Bar Higuey officially holds 88 people, according to Marlene. I assume that is 11 tables of 8, leaving room for a dance floor. I'm sure 40 would not be too small of a party to have there - more room for shakin it!
  9. Yeeeeah.....we got our about a month and a half ago right as I started traveling every week for work. Oops. Did they keep your birth certificates? We brought ours to our meeting and Marlene said she would give them to the judge to look at, etc. and we thought that meant we would get them back after the ceremony. Well, of course I forgot to delegate someone to follow up with this on the day of the wedding and when we brought it up to her at the end of the reception she realized she forgot to get them back from the judge and said she would contact him on Monday (the day we were leaving). Well, then we got emails from her saying that the judge keeps the birth certificates because they are not the "originals". So we went back and forth on this for a while because yes, they were the original legal documents. I realized later that when she said original, she meant that it wasn't the actual birth certificate that was given to our parents the day we were born (because we had to get that apostille attached to them, we got birth certificates that say they were issued March 2012 or whenever we got them). So she said the judge keeps them. We both thought that was kinda bogus - are people really expected to give up their birth certificates to get married in the DR? Those are still legal documents even if they aren't the original birth certificate. I called the Dominican consulate here and asked about it and the woman said that some judges do ask to keep them, but it is not required by law so if it really bothers us we should insist that they send them back. She didn't seem too worried or concerned about it and also mentioned that the US requires Dominicans to turn over their birth certificate too when they come here to get married. The whole thing is still sorta off putting but I haven't had time to follow up with them about it. Someone told me that no one can really steal your identity or do anything with just a birth certificate so I guess that shouldn't be an issue if that was the shady business that was going on with this whole thing. I also thought it was weird that Marlene was at first concerned that the judge didn't give them back while we were still down there, but then in emails changed her tune and said the judge keeps them. I know we aren't the first Americans she has done a wedding for that has gone through this. Anyway, sorry this was so long and sorry if I worried anyone about this. I would just make sure you and your WC's have an understanding regarding this beforehand if you are doing a civil ceremony. And if they say you are supposed to get them back, let me know because then I will be pissed!
  10. Bjeantil, I would highly doubt they would let you buy just a day pass for HDC - that is exactly what they are trying to deter you from doing when they say no outside photographers. Definitely check with them about buying them a room for the night. I think the whole point is that they are trying to keep all business within the hotel - either by making you use Tropical Pictures or by booking rooms. Pretty lame! ncordero, We live in Chicago and have a Dominican consulate out here so I just went to their office to have them notarize our docs. What was your question, I can try to help. I'm actually gonna head up there this week again to get our marriage license notarized...so that we are finally legally married in the States too
  11. Welcome, mtrevena! How exciting that your wedding is only 2 months away! I bet you are so pumped! - I don't remember having to pay anything extra for the judge. It's been a while since I looked at the price list but I think that the Additional Services list is just an a la carte list of prices for items if you were to pay for everything separately. The lower packages must not include the judge. So if your package lists that the judge is included, I wouldn't worry about that $550. - Steakhouse was yummy! We ate there twice during our stay and were surprised by the quality of steak there for an all-inclusive. - The civil ceremony does have to be performed in Spanish. What happens is that the judge will say everyting in Spanish and then your WC will translate in English for your guests. I didn't think it was that big of a deal, and it was probably a unique little detail of our wedding for our guests. Marlene never really told us what he would actually be saying so it was surprise up until the ceremony. There are some funny little idioms in the script, like, "you have come here to change your legal status from single to married", or "if anyone has any legal reason why these two should not be wed"...which led to smart-ass friends saying to us after, I had a reason, but it wasn't legal so I didn't say anything. We and our guests thought those little quirks were funny. - I agree with you that the beach gazebo is gorgeous. I'd say 5pm that it won't be AS crowded as during the day but there will definitely still be a lot of people around, unfortunately. It's really up to you how important the back drop is for your wedding vs. how private you want it to be. Hope that helps!
  12. I got to pick my own bouquet. Marlene sent me a bunch of different pictures they could do, and then I brought a bunch of pictures I liked to our meeting and we found one that I liked and they would do. I get the feeling that real flowers are surprisingly hard to come by in the DR...strange for a tropical location. That was what the wedding coordinator at the Jellyfish Restaurant told us. But you should definitely get to pick from some options. We ended up not doing floating candles in the pool. The pool actually covers a lot of square footage, so you would have to have a lot of candles. And if I remember, Marlene quoted me something ridiculous like $7 per puny little floating candle. (They were also a lot less lenient about us bringing decorations when I was planning - it sounds like you guys are allowed to bring more stuff now). Plus, it was super windy the whole week we were there (thankfully not by the end of the week/our wedding) and my mother-in-law thought the candles would get all clustered into the corners from the wind. I dunno if that would have really happened but we decided it wasn't worth it, but maybe it would have been if we were allowed to bring our own. We paid extra to have our guests have a choice for the main course. It was A LOT of back and forth to just get that, but I'm sure they would let you have a choice for apps and zerts to for a price, just like anything else. We didn't actually use the DJ as the DJ, we had him play our iPod. I'd assume they could quote you a price for just the mic and the sound system that is lower than the $488 for the DJ...but you know how they are big sticklers on rules and the way they always do things.
  13. I have also heard that there is no legal residency requirement in the DR. The WCs just tell you 3 days so that they can schedule a meeting with you and have time to hash out the details. If you feel like you're cutting it close with your arrival, I would just work it out with them to make sure you'll have enough time to meet and they'll have enough time for all of your inevitable last minute requests and changes We put my dress & my husband's suit in a garment bag and carried it on (I should clarify - my husband carried it most of the time On both of our flights down, the attendants acted like there was a possibility of not enough room in the closet to hang it, but that was never the case. We did have to "fight" another bride on our second leg from MIA to PUJ - we saw her carrying hers and were hoping that they wouldn't board before us and were disappointed to see them line up with first class. But I guess they jumped the gun and were told to stand aside and wait. We got in line with our Priority Access and they ended up boarding right after us but we were able to snag the last of the space in the closet. That was either a rare bridezilla moment for me or just my natural competitive side coming out. Anyway, the point is that most airlines have that flight attendants' closet that you should be able to put stuff in but it's probably only enough room for one dress. The Barcelo doesn't have any steaming services - Marlene actually said it was very rare for any Punta Cana resorts to have this, not sure if that's true. But my dress was fine and didn't need any additional steaming than what my seamstress had done in the final fitting. My husband wore a tan suit that we got for a really great price at Jos A Bank. Coty - La Barcaza was awesome! One of the highlights of our wedding week - we did a lunch cruise there the Thursday before the wedding and it was a blast. Good choice! natalie - I think some of the rooms have frosted glass doors. They are really big on the open concept bathroom down there. The toilet rooms are generally sorta tucked away from the bed area so it's not terrible but for people who are not couples it might be sorta awkward. None of our non-couple guests who shared rooms said anything about them. My mother-in-law got us one of the big pimpin suites for the bridesmaids to get ready in and for us to have on the wedding night and those bathrooms had actual doors so if you're spending the big bucks for a nicer room, you'll get the doors!
  14. Hi ladies, I believe Marlene sent us an email confirming they had received our wire deposit. I would definitely hound them for that if you are concerned. We also paid $488 for the DJ and Marlene told us that included all of his equipment and a mic, which we had. She said that doesn't include an "MC", basically meaning he is not going to do any announcements or "run the show" for you. We had one of the groomsmen do that for us and it worked out really well. I don't think we had any lights included which was also fine. I think that allowed our photographer to take these really cool pics: Yes, that's me wearing my husband's tie I would definitely see what they mean about fireworks because if you are having your reception at Bar Higuey, I don't think there is anywhere immediately adjacent to it that they could do fireworks - I assume they'd set them off at the beach and you might be able to see them from BH? They'd have to be pretty huge - there are a lot of trees and greenery around BH.
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