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mtrevena

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About mtrevena

  1. Hi newbride, I haven't been on for awhile but I got married on 10/20/12. We opted for the caprese salad, the fish and risotto, and the creme brulee for dessert. We had the beef for the rehearsal dinner at the steakhouse, so we didn't want to go with that again the next day, and we wanted something other than chicken. The fish was pretty good, not great, and the risotto was really tasty. No one raved about the fish, but no one complained either. I would base the decision on how picky your guests are. One thing to note too is that they will make a plate of something else for any vegetarians or people who won't eat what your menu choices are. We had about 3 people who requested a different meal, and Susana had them brought something totally different. Hope this helps! Let me know if you have other questions. I wasn't able to post pictures back then, but will try to post some now. If anyone that can't view them here wants to see some pictures let me know and I can email them to your private email as well. Mandi
  2. No problem! No, they did not charge extra for the double sashes on the chairs, that is included. I did have both sash colors on the chairs for the ceremony, and then they moved the same chairs to our reception, which was nice to have them for both. I really liked how they turned out. Let me know if you think of anything else! Mandi
  3. Hi Curls2013! Thanks for your kind words. :} Below are answers to your questions, let me know if I can help with anything else. 1) How did you figure out what bar you wanted to go to for the Welcome Party and how did you communicate it to your guests? - My parents had done a site visit back in March and really liked the Carey Lobby Bar for the welcome cocktails. It's a really nice bar, close to everything, and could easily host our group size. We had itinerary's made up for our guests that were given to them at check in, and the welcome cocktail party was listed on there. For the guests that had already arrived, we hand delivered the itinerary's. 2) How did you actually ship/travel with the vases you used for the centerpieces? - We packed everything in suitcases. We traveled with lots of luggage! It worked out well, we had 2 free checked items per person on the airline we traveled on, and so did my parents, so it was the best/cheapest option. I did not want to ship anything there just in case. 3) We've got 40 in the wedding party and 60 total. Any suggestions for a Rehearsal Dinner? I've asked Marlene, but have yet to get a response. - We had our rehearsal dinner in the Santa Fe Steakhouse. I would recommend that option if it is available. They tell you initially that it is for only up to 40 people, but we had 43 and easily fit, I'm sure they could have fit in another couple of tables, the private room is pretty big. The service there was great also and the food was good. You do have to pick 1 prix fixed menu, but they make up other dishes for any vegetarians or non-steak eaters. 4) How did the dinner reservations work? Do you really have to make reservations for every night the first night you get there? I was considering putting nightly restaurant reservations on my itinerary and having everyone make them in advance. Too much? - If you're a Club Premium guest it seems you get better options for the dinner reservations, although they do fill up fast. Many of our guests made dinner reservations on the first day for the entire week. We made ours day by day and were able to pretty much get into anywhere we wanted, sometimes just an early or late dinner depending on what they had available. If there's specific restaurants you or your guests for sure want to try I would recommend making reservations in advance since they do fill up quickly. Putting nightly reservations on your itinerary might be a bit much though as with 60 people you may not all be able to get in the same restaurant every night. Bigger groups have less options as far as the time for dinner also, when we were in smaller groups options for the dinner times were better. Hope this helps! Mandi
  4. Hi trivera, thanks! I can't wait to see my pictures too! :] Here's answers to your questions, let me know if you think of anything else. What were your food options during your reception and were you pleased with the quality and portions? - We had the caprese salad, the fish medallions with risotto and asparagus, and the creme brule for dessert. The portions are a bit small, but I don't even think I finished my food as there was so much going on. The caprese salad was delicious, very good. The fish medallions were decent - not great, not bad, and the parmesan cheese risotto was actually quite good. Creme Brule was good too, but I think I only ate a bite, I was rarely at my table! Overall the food was pretty good, and they were nice enough to make up a couple chicken plates for guests of ours that didn't eat fish. What did you end up doing for your centerpieces? This is weighting heavily on me as it can potentially add another $400 to my budget at minimum. - We brought our own items and made up our own centerpieces. This is a much more affordable option, and Susana actually did everything for us, which was nice! My Mom just gave her instructions on what to do and she set it all up for us. We had vases and put in them submersible LED lights and those beads that expand in water, and then starfish and seashells placed around the center and table. They looked really cute, we got a lot of compliments on them. I would recommend bringing your own with you if you can - I think it's better then paying $60 minimum per table. Any feedback on the food during cocktail hour? - As far as the food during the cocktail hour you don't have a choice on what is served, it was appetizer type food and it all tasted good. I think it was chicken skewers, empanadas, cheese balls, and maybe 1 or 2 more items. I tried a couple things and was pleased with it. It's nothing fancy, basically just tray passed appetizers, but it was a nice touch. Did you guys to a TTD session with your photographer and if so what type of dress did you have? Was it super heavy after being all wet and such? - I am not sure what TTD is actually, so if I don't answer your question correctly let me know! We had a separate day with our photographer 2 days after the wedding where I wore a short white dress and we took pictures by and in the water. It was a pretty simple strapless dress, so it wasn't too heavy after I was thrown in the water. We had a 5pm reception, and it started raining around 5:40, so there wasn't a lot of time for beach shots directly after the ceremony. Since I did not want to see my fiance before getting married having the 2 separate sessions was nice so we could have actual location wedding photos, and beach photos during the day too. I think you mentioned your colors were aqua and coral. They have 2 aqua options on their color swatch, which did you choose? - I picked Aqua 1, it looked so nice with the coral. My bridesmaids wore coral dresses, and I had a coral sash, and the chair sashes actually matched our dresses pretty well. I was very pleased with the colors. I am attaching a picture of me sitting on a chair showing the chair sashes, if it doesn't come through let me know and I will email it to you so you can see. I will also post a link to pictures once I get them back from our photographer, hopefully they'll be ready soon! Mandi
  5. Hi Missjali! And thanks! Our welcome drinks/location worked out very well, let me know if you need me to clarify anything on that. As far as the rehearsal, no, we did not have one. Susana basically tells everyone what to do the day of the wedding. It seems a bit nerve wracking at first not knowing, but she does a great job and it's pretty self explanatory so we actually didn't feel like a rehearsal would have been needed. She gives you most details at your meeting when you arrive, and then guides everyone on what to do the day of. She is there through the entire wedding and reception, and tells everyone when to walk, and lets everyone know where to line up ahead of time. As for the Emcee, they charge extra if you want to use one of theirs for the reception. I had my step dad be the Emcee and that worked out well, he coordinated timing with the DJ on announcements and used their microphone. I think the DJ with the Emcee is around $700, and the basic DJ is only $488. Let me know if you have other questions! Mandi
  6. Hi Bjeantil, see below for answers to your questions... Let me know if you think of something else. Did they upgrade you to the Panoramic Suite (Club Premium) upon your arrival? - They did not upgrade us, we booked the Panoramic Suite ahead of time. For your welcome cocktails at the Carey Lobby Bar where is it located and how would you reserve? if you have pics can you please share? And did you add any extra services during this time? - The Carey Lobby Bar is in the main building close to all the restaurants and the check in area. It is an enclosed space which is nice for warm nights since it is air conditioned in there. You do not need to reserve it, we just showed up and took over a section and the waitress came by frequently. I am not sure if I have pictures of this, but once I get them back I will look and if so send you one. We did not have any extra services during this time. We just did cocktails there and chatted with everyone for about 2 hours and then headed over to the golf course restaurant Hoyo 19. We did have a cigar roller, but we had him during our wedding reception. How was your cake? Did they make it the way you wanted? - The cake was good! I was very pleased with it. I showed them a picture I had found online of one they had done before, and told them which colors I wanted instead, and they made it how I wanted. I got vanilla cake with strawberry filling and regular icing, and it was tasty. Did you use tropical pics or did you bring your own photographer? Same for the DJ? - We did not use Tropical Pictures, we brought a friend with us and paid for her trip in exchange for her being our photographer. That worked out well for us as she was with us for 3 days and took much more than just our wedding ceremony and reception photos. We did use their DJ, we got the basic DJ without using them as our MC. He did a good job, they have you fill out a "Play List" and a "Do Not Play List" for the DJ to go off of, and then he plays some of his own songs filled in. Let me know if you think of anything else! I will try to post pictures as soon as I get them back. - Mandi
  7. Hi Cassey, thanks for the congrats! See below answers to your questions... Let me know if you have any others. :] Can you tell me more about your location? Was it totally out in the open or was there some coverage if it rained? Did you have a place to dance, did you need a dance floor? How were the decorations? Any info about the location and what you thought would be great! -- Our reception location was the Palapa on the beach, it is where the animation team is set up during the day. It was completely covered by the roof at the top, and then open around the sides. There is no need for a dance floor as it already has a concrete floor, and there is plenty of room to dance. We had 41 guests, so there was 1 table of 9, and 4 tables of 8 set up, with our ceremony table in between. They set up the tables around the outside and then the dance floor is in the middle. The bar is at one end, and the dj was set up to the side of the bar. There wasn't a lot for decorations, but they brought in our chairs with the colored sashes into the reception from the ceremony, and they did set up white tulle in the middle, it looked really nice. How did you feel about the length of the reception, was the extra hour needed? -- Yes, I did feel the extra hour was needed. We had everything from 7:00-11:00 and when it was done I couldn't believe it had already been 4 hours. The time went by really fast, and a lot of our dancing/dj time was taken up by toasts/speeches, the bouquet toss, garter toss, etc. I am very happy we had the extra hour, I think 3 hours might have been a bit too short in our case. Did you tell the resort you were doing the welcome cocktails at the bar or did you all just meet there? Did you do a welcome dinner, and if so what restaurant? -- We did not tell the resort we were doing a welcome cocktail party. We just had our group all meet there, and handed out the majority of our welcome bags then. We had the front desk give our guests the itinerary's that we had made up when they checked in so they knew where to meet that night. We basically took over a section of the bar, which worked out well as not a lot of people hang out in there. We didn't do a welcome dinner, after the cocktail party most of us headed over to the restaurant on the golf course, Hoyo 19, because they do not require reservations. We did have a "rehearsal" dinner the night before the wedding at the Santa Fe Steakhouse, which you have to reserve for your group ahead of time, but there is no charge. How did you keep your guest informed about where to be and when to be there for certain wedding events? -- We had an itinerary made up before we left with a few things, and the rest we just kind of winged and left up to our guests how they wanted to spend their time. You are right in that you won't figure out some things until you get there, so we just planned a few things before we left. Here's what we included on our itinerary's: Welcome Cocktail Party on Wednesday, Friday night rehearsal dinner, Wedding ceremony date/location/time, Reception information plus a note about heading to the Disco after, an optional champagne brunch Sunday morning after the wedding, and a planned group Snorkel tour Sunday afternoon. I will try to email you a sample of our itinerary. Hope this helps! I'll let you know once I get pictures back. - Mandi
  8. Hi ladies, I haven't posted in awhile but I just got back from my wedding/trip yesterday morning, so send me your questions and I will try to answer as best as possible! As Sunny and Julissa have said, everything really does work out. I was stressed planning and the lack of detail that happens through email, but once you get there and have your meeting, things get handled very well. Susana was my coordinator and she did a great job. The only problem we had was we were booked for a reception at Bar Higuey, and so was another wedding that night - they double booked the reception location! That was extremely extremely frustrating, but they offered us an upgraded reception location at no charge and also threw in an extra hour for our reception, so they did make it right. I would just say confirm and double check everything, because even though my invoice said Bar Higuey, they had us down for 2 halls in the Ballrooms - something I was not ok with. It all was great, so don't stress, just make sure you confirm everything. I'll write a small review below, let me know if you have questions or would like further details. Rooms - Beautiful! We had the Panoramic Suite (Club Premium) and I wouldn't have had it any other way. Beautiful rooms with great views and amenities. Restaurants/Food - Hit or miss. Some were good, and some the food was lacking a bit. I will say that Chez Gourmet at the adults only side (Barcelo Bavaro Beach) was awesome with amazing service. Definitely the best restaurant there in my opinion. It is a $20 upgrade if you are not a Club Premium guest. Everyone really liked the Hibachi side of the Japanese restaurant as well, but the sushi was not so great. Definitely go with an open mind about the food because it is not served or seasoned the way you are used to. Most food was a bit bland, but they seem to try to cater to the masses instead of serve local Dominican food. Welcome Bags - We had welcome bags for our guests we thought the front desk would hand out at check in, but we ended up hand delivering them ourselves. Susana said through email that the front desk could hand them out and accommodate this, but then we asked her about it when we got there and she thought it would be confusing with so many of our guests arriving on different days. Welcome Cocktails - We had a welcome cocktail reception in the Carey Lobby Bar, and that worked out great. It is nice and open with lots of tables and chairs, and there is no charge. The waitress comes frequently and there are great bartenders and service there, definitely happy with this. Hair/Make-Up - The same lady did my manicure, pedicure, hair, and make-up, and she was great! I wasn't even prepared with knowing what I wanted done, but they had a book and some pictures, and I based my hair on what they had there. I had no clue on my make-up, but she did such a great job with the small things I told her, and she just took my thoughts and did what she felt would look good. I can't say more about how pleased I was with this, my french manicure (non-gel) lasted for a week. Great service and super friendly ladies at the salon/spa. Ceremony - We had the wedding at the beach gazebo. It is definitely a public spot, but it was so beautifully decorated and we really enjoyed the location. We did have random people cheering for us and watching the wedding, but security did a great job keeping anyone out of our walkway and people were respectful. I loved how it looked set up with the colored sashes, our colors were Aqua and Coral. Cocktail hour - We had scheduled a cocktail hour for right next to the gazebo, but unfortunately about 10 minutes after the ceremony it started to rain. I was really bummed because I would have loved for our guests to hang out at the gazebo while we took pictures, but they moved our cocktail hour to our reception location due to the weather, which caused a little confusion. Reception - Our reception (due to their double booking) took place at the palapa on the beach, right by the beach gazebo. We were so happy with this! They do not offer this up as an option, but I bet if you ask and are willing to pay, they will allow it. Marlene told me the first time they used this location for a reception was about 20 days ago. It was great, right next to bathrooms, and right on the beach. We loved this location. I am not able to post pictures on here but as soon as I get them back from our photographer I will post a link to them or my facebook page. Everything really was beautiful and so many of our guests were saying it was the best wedding they had been to. We were very pleased with everything, and had just the 2 minor hiccups. Let me know if you have any questions or anything I can help clarify. Good luck in your planning and try not to stress! Mandi
  9. Good luck Julissa! I am headed there 3 weeks from today... So I can't wait to read your review and hear how things went when you get back! Especially how you felt the Beach Gazebo location was. Hope everything turns out amazing!
  10. Good luck Julissa! I am headed there 3 weeks from today... So I can't wait to read your review and hear how things went when you get back! Especially how you felt the Beach Gazebo location was. Hope everything turns out amazing!
  11. sunny55143, everything you have posted has been a big help! I am down to only 4 weeks until we leave and still so much to do, ugh. I just had a couple more questions for you if you don't mind... - Did you have programs made up for the reception with the menu you chose? Or ceremony programs also? - Did you also have an itinerary for your guests made up with different events you are doing throughout your stay? - If not, how did you let your guests know what you'd be doing each day or arrange group get-togethers? I am torn because I want to spend time with our guests throughout the week, but I also want to make our guests vacation their own, and don't want them to feel forced to do what we do. I am also hesitant to plan any excursions in advance in case it rains. Any input would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
  12. Hi Bjeantil, the Steakhouse restaurant is included, I believe it is just the French restaurant that is only for the Club Premium guests without an additional charge. But I believe anyone can eat at the French restaurant for $15 per person if you are not a Club Premium guest. The Steakhouse is available to reserve for a private party for up to 40 people. We are having our rehearsal dinner there the night before the wedding, and it is at no additional charge, which is nice. Just so you know though - it is a set menu, you have to decide on one of two menu's, with the exception of any vegetarians, they will make a vegetarian dish for those who require it. I don't think there's a time limit for the reservation, as long as they have it available on the day that you pick. We reserved it in April for our October wedding. Hope this helps! Let me know if you have further questions.
  13. Thank you sunny55143, yes, your responses definitely help! It's tough to know as far as location, thanks for your input. Now that I'm only 2 months out I am finally starting to make decisions... They finally sent me some options and pictures, yet I am still waiting for info, so I still have many decisions to make. Any input is greatly appreciated! :]
  14. Hi ladies, I have read through all these posts over the past few months, but have not yet posted myself. The majority of my questions I believe I have gotten answers to, except a few questions below. If any of your have answers to them can you please respond? I would greatly appreciate it! :] Also, please feel free to email me for any answers as my wedding is now only 2 months from today. - In the list of what's included with the packages (Strawberry & Tangerine) it says that "payment of tax for judge or minister" is included, but then on the list of extra's it is $550 for the Judge for a Civil Ceremony. Do any of you know if that $550 is an additional fee, or if that's the tax they're referring to that is included? - We're having a rehearsal dinner at the steakhouse the night before the wedding, for those that have been here or already got married here, how was the food? - We were told that the ceremony will be in Spanish, does anyone know if it's a Civil Ceremony if there are options to have it in English to be official? - We picked the Beach Gazebo for our ceremony location, and now I am a little leery about that after some reviews. The gazebo is beautiful, and is what drew me to this resort in the first place, but I have read how some people say due to the location they wouldn't pick to get married there. I just love how it looks with the water in the background, does anyone have any thoughts/opinions on this location? If there or at the beach itself, I assume there will be people nearby, I am just wondering if by 5pm if it will have calmed down, and not to worry about it. Thanks much! Mandi
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