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AnyaM

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  1. Here my my November 2013 Jellyfish wedding review: Pre-wedding meeting with Mayte My fiancé and I got to Punta Cana on a Wednesday, and we had a meeting with Mayte scheduled on Thursday afternoon. We took a taxi there, and it took about 25 minutes ($30 each way). What can I say about Mayte? She is an absolute sweetheart! Everything that you have probably already read about her from other Jellyfish brides is true. She is an angel, and she works extremely hard to make your every dream come true! I just love her! Seriously, you don’t meet people like this often. She is truly one of a kind. I will be forever grateful to her for arranging our dream wedding! At the meeting we went through all the details of the wedding, including the décor, music, food, drinks, flowers, entertainment…etc. We tried all the food and drinks and they were delicious! Definitely come hungry to this meeting! Our food choices were a bit customized, as by Russian tradition, most food at weddings is served “family style”. We wanted to keep that tradition, and had 2 appetizers and 2 salads served family style on tables, which worked out very well. For main course the guests had a choice of menu 1 (sea bass or chicken) with rice and grilled veggies as sides. And we also had a bowl of chef’s pasta served family style for each table. The cake was exactly like the picture that I showed Mayte at our meeting (it was a Tiffany box and mini tiffany box cup cakes – super cute!). Since our wedding colors were white and tiffany blue, for our cocktails we picked Cocoloco (which is a beautiful turquoise color and is DELICIOUS) and pina colata. For dinner we did wine, beer, and soft drinks. And then we had a 2 hour Gold open bar. That amount of time wasn’t enough for us, as we had a very party loving crowd. After the 2 hours of open bar we just started running a tab, which came out to about $750 I think. I was worried about alcohol prior to the wedding, because our guests are big drinkers. But everything worked out very smoothly and in retrospect I should have nor worried about it at all (as with most things!). The Wedding Day Hair and Make-Up: Krystie Ann My wedding day started with an alarm clock waking me up at 6am. Krystie Ann was scheduled to meet me in the lobby at 6:30am. Prior to her coming, I had to arrange a day pass (which was a bit of a hassle with the hotel, but ended up working out fine. Just make sure that you inquire about the day pass and the procedure of obtaining it literally right after you unpack your suit cases when you arrive. I did not realize that they needed at 48 hour notice and a lot of details about the guest…etc. All resorts are different, and policies vary. So make sure you find out about these things well before your wedding day). I got to the hotel lobby right at 6:30am and sweet Krystie Ann was already waiting for me, with her suitcase in one hand and a large coffee mug in another. When I saw her, I literally wanted to cry. Because prior to that moment, I still wasn’t sure if the resort was going to let her in and if the day pass request went through. I had 5 girls get their hair and makeup done, plus myself, and my mom. We were supposed to start at 7am, but my girls were running late, so we didn’t actually get going until 7:45 am. Later on, Krystie Ann said that she was a bit panicking when girls were running late, but she surely kept her cool and I would have never guessed that she’s even worried about anything. THAT’s what I call true professionalism! Needless to say, everything was done on time, even with our morning delay. Besides her amazing hair and make-up skills, she is a super sweet person. It was such joy to be around a person who is kind, friendly, calm, and has a very positive energy. And even though most of my girls and I spoke Russian for the majority of the day, she didn’t seem to mind. She laughed with us at our silliness, and it was so great to spend the day in her company. Now let me tell you about the hair that Krystie Ann did for us. It was amazing! Everyone literally had different hair styles and make-up styles in mind, and she was able to recreate our visions perfectly. Every girl showed her a picture of what they wanted, and the next thing you know – it’s happening right in front of our eyes like magic. It was awesome! My hair is thin and straight. I was afraid that it wasn’t going to hold the curt, but boy was I wrong. Not only did my hair stay intact all night, it also looked gorgeous for the day after trash the dress shoot. Amazing! I’ve never had better hair in my life! Our makeup was also great! I was going for a more dramatic look with a smoky eye and long lashes. I was afraid that it was going to run from crying (yes, I’m a big crier) or melt in the heat. But again, I had nothing to worry about. Whatever makeup Krystie Ann used, remained perfect throughout the night even with the heat and all the tears. It was literally unbelievable! And again, every girl wanted different style of make-up and Krystie Ann delivered. My mom pretty much never wears makeup, and she did such a nice natural look for her. Everyone looked so beautiful! We were taking pictures at 2am, after all the dancing, crying, and sweating, and all the hair and makeup still looked good! Krystie Ann is amazing, hands down! Jellyfish Décor The girls and I arrived at the Jellyfish with our hair and makeup done, but we weren’t dressed yet. We had about an hour before all the guests and the groom were getting there. Mayte met us, and walked me around to see all the décor. And it literally just took my breath away. I sent Mayte pictures throughout the year of planning, and she totally nailed my ideas. It was everything I wanted and more. The only things we brought with us in terms of décor were the turquoise fans and the bubbles for the chairs, and the photos of numbers in the sand for the tables. We made those ourselves last year when we were in DR, so we thought it would be cute to incorporate those. I left them for Mayte, so if you like them, feel free to ask her to use them! Entertainment Music – we hired the Jellyfish DJ and MC and they were great. We had a pretty complicated (and lengthy) list of events for the nights with lots of speeches, guest surprise performances, songs, slideshows…etc. I gave them a list of who and what goes when, and asked one of my friends to monitor. A lot of our guests didn’t speak English, so it was important that someone Russian speaking was coordinating people as well. That worked out perfectly! The MC was on point with all the announcements, and he even managed to pronounce all the Russian/Lithuanian names correctly! My friend also did some running around to make sure that everyone is aware of when they are going up to speak…etc, but everything was literally going so smoothly I couldn’t even believe my eyes! As for the music – I gave the DJ a list of American/European songs that I’d like to hear as well as Russian music on a CD, and Lithuanian music on a flash drive. He played EVERYTHING! And actually mixed all the songs, so one song flowed into another, so it was perfect! All the guests were complimenting us on the music choices, and were wondering how the DJ was able to play all the different types of music. The dance party was crazy and lasted for good 4 hours. We didn’t have a dance floor, but danced on the sand and it was the best decision EVER! It felt so good and freeing to take off our shoes after dinner and just run around barefoot. So wonderful! The Crazy Hour Show – WORTH EVERT PENNY! If you are hesitating, don’t! Get it! It was ridiculous and so much fun! Our guests didn’t know about this, so it was a total surprise. People are still talking about it and how much fun it was. Also, it served as a perfect transition between the dinner portion and the party portion of the night. The action first started inside the restaurant with salsa/merenge dancers, cappuera dancers, and the masquerade show. And then they took us all and moved us outside for the fire show. Unbelievably fun! Literally everything about the day was perfect! The only thing that I was a little surprised about was how loud the music was at the store next door to the Jellyfish. They had music blasting throughout our ceremony, and granted we were so in the moment that we didn’t really care to pay attention, but it was just so loud that at some points it was really catching me off guard. The music didn’t really stop when we sat down for dinner, either. I remember that when we got up to do our first dance, the music next door was so loud that the DJ kept having to turn up the volume at the Jellyfish up and up and up… The music and the noise stopped probably around 7 o’clock when the store closed (I am assuming). We also paid the $750 fee for exclusive use for the first floor and the beach and were assured that there would be no randoms standing around. But, as I saw later in pictures, it was definitely not the case. Granted, I didn’t see them during the ceremony because I was too busy crying and trying to catch my breath, but they definitely made it into our pictures. Hahaha. This is not a HUGE deal, and you’ll definitely get more people standing/laying around if you’re getting married on the beach at the resort. However, it’s important to set your expectations correctly because it’s not going to be as “private” as you would expect (or hope to have). The beach around the Jellyfish is public, and from what I understand it’s getting more and more popular with the locals, so just keep that in mind. I don’t think Mayte or the staff can do anything about this, but I just wish I had known this ahead of time. Again, not a big deal and definitely didn’t play any role in our wedding night. This is just an FYI. Videographer – Video Punta Cana (VPC), Florian Koetter http://www.videopuntacana.com/home/home.ph My (now) husband didn’t want a videographer because he thought it was going to be a waste of money. “We’ll watch this video one time, and it’s going to lay there in our drawer. We are not spending money on this”, he said. So I agreed. And then, as time was getting closer to the wedding day, I kept watching these short little 5-7 minute highlight videos on Youtube and thought, “Wow, I want one of these.” Something to just capture the special moments, something short and sweet that we could send to our friends and family. I wanted something that we wouldn’t get tired of watching. So I started looking and found Video Punta Cana, and their beautiful videos. I emailed Florian and he was SO nice and he was willing to come in and just do the short 7 minute highlight reel. I didn’t tell my husband about this until pretty much the wedding day. J It was a “surprise” and he just shook his head and laughed. But now, let me tell you – he is SO happy that we had this video done. Florian was superb! He came to the Jellyfish right in time for me to put on my dress, and stayed through the whole (VERY LONG) dinner portion and even caught some of the dancing. I didn’t even know that he was around – he was THAT discreet about his filming. I kind of assumed that he’d leave after the ceremony, so when he came up to us while we were already dancing and said that he’s done filming for day, we were shocked! We couldn’t believe he stayed that long, it was great!! And when we met up with him just 6 days after the wedding to see the final product, we were both blown away! It was perfect – captured every important moment, and it was put together beautifully. It also didn’t hurt that Florian was a sweetie, and we were so happy to see him again! My husband was ecstatic that I decided to hire him and do the video. We literally have watched it dozens of times already! If you’re curious, here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QUIdF4BZCo Photography - Brent Foster Photography and Cinema, Brent and Tammy Foster http://brentfoster.com Brent and Tammy Foster… it’s so difficult to find the right words for people who you truly admire. Everything about them – from the way the talk to you and to each other, to the way they photograph, and everything in between, makes you feel special, warm and fuzzy on the inside. They are not just a joy to be around, but if you see their pictures, you will also understand how unbelievable talented they are! Don’t believe me? Just check out their blog with pictures from our wedding: http://brentfosterphotography.com/2013/11/anya-modis-jellyfish-restaurant-wedding-punta-cana-dominican-republic/ Honestly, my husband and I can't stop looking at the photos. AND their turnaround time was unreal - less than 2 weeks, and that’s including the fact that they went back to Punta Cana to shoot another wedding at the Jellyfish a week after our wedding! Trust me, I did A LOT of research on photographers prior to booking Brent. However, once I saw his photojournalistic style, and spoke to him on Skype, I was hooked. Really, all other considerations fell off very quickly. Brent took his wife Tammy with him to Punta Cana, and she ended up shooting with him the whole day of the wedding and helping out on the Trash the Dress photo session (which was in Altos de Chavon in La Romana – a gorgeous spot!!!). On the day of the wedding they started shooting around 8:30am and they were on one of the last buses to leave the Jellyfish around 2am. Seriously, who works such long hours? They do! Unbelievable! And the way they shot the wedding? They were everywhere, and nowhere at the same time. I have no idea how they got so many amazing shots, and what angles they used to shoot, because I really didn’t even see them all night. That’s what I call a true, unobtrusive photojournalistic photography. Of course, we had some posed portraits at cocktail hour with family and close friends. But everything that happened after – Brent and Tammy captured flawlessly, truly documenting our wedding night as it unfolded. We ended with an unbelievable collection of almost 700 amazing images from the wedding day and the trash the dress session. Brent and Tammy Foster are phenomenal - so professional and on point, yet so laid back, and funny. Working with them truly felt like hanging out with friends and having a good time but with an added bonus of having absolutely gorgeous photos afterwards. Can't say enough of great things about these two. And I think the photos really do speak for themselves… They are gorgeous, and I know that we were lucky to have them as our photographers! Catamaran Excursion http://www.mydominicanadventure.com/about.html 2 days after the wedding, as a token of our appreciation for the guests, we decided to take everyone on a catamaran excursion. I worked with George from Aventuras Dominican Vacations, and he was great! He’s super helpful, and professional. It also helped that he works out of Miami, so it was easy to get in touch with him. He was super responsive and literally catered to our every wish for this trip. We got picked up in a nice, large, air conditioned bus. They brought us to a beach where we lounged on huge white beds, sipped on some drinks, and listened to music. Then a catamaran picked us up and we sailed off. We snorkeled, we drank, we danced on the boat, and we partied on a sand bank in the ocean. The day ended with a sun set sailing along the Punta Cana coast. It was glorious and everyone had an amazing time! Dominican Vacations definitely exceeded all expectations, and all thanks to George! Oh, and George also helped us out with the Trash the Dress shoot at Altos de Chavon. He found the place, organized transportation, and even went with us to make sure that everything will go smoothly! He flew down from Miami to meet us and to guide our excursion! So this concludes my review. Please feel free to contact me with questions, I will be happy to help!
  2. Not sure if you picked the resort already, but here is my review from our November Jellyfish wedding: After visiting Punta Cana last year, and doing a thorough scouting of resorts, we decided on Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro. We originally picked it based on price, and after visiting we found that it had the best (and cleanest) beach. Other resorts that we considered were: Melia (very dirty beach, but very convenient as close to the Jellyfish), Dreams Punta Cana (way too far), Paradisus (very nice, but too pricey for our guests), Dreams Palm Beach (very nice but we felt that it was a bit too small). Having a great beach was very important to us, as a lot of our friends and family were traveling very long distances (from Europe, Russia, and Lithuania), and we wanted to make sure that they are not disappointed. The resort seemed overwhelming at first, as it is HUGE. We had 60 guests, and we did a room block through a travel agent. We weren’t placed exactly in the same building, but we were all relatively close together. We were staying at the furthest part from the beach, but close to the restaurants. At first I was a bit concerned that it’s so massive and that we’re so far away, but we quickly realized that everyone hung out at the same places – same place on the beach every day, same place by the pool. So after a couple of days after everyone arrived and got settled, it was actually not that difficult to find one another. And once everyone was at the beach, there was really no reason to go back to the hotel. There were restaurants out there also, so we only went back to the rooms to rest, shower, and get ready for the evening. Plus, the little trolleys go back and forth throughout the resort every couple of minutes. We never had to wait for a ride, it always seemed like there was one already waiting to pick us up. The rooms at the resort are standard, nothing special. The food is very average, but I have found that in every AI resort that I have been to in Punta Cana, the food is definitely not the strongest point. The pools were excellent and clean, the territory and the grounds are immaculately kept. The service was good – sometimes on “island time”, but who wants to rush when you’re on vacation? And the beach – amazing! So many waves, and no seaweed at all. The water was perfect and turquoise color, just what we wanted. So overall, I would definitely recommend this resort, especially to couples who are looking to make the trip affordable for their guests.
  3. Hi ladies, you were so helpful in my wedding planning process, so now it's my time to pay you back! Attached is my full review with lots of pictures about my November 24, 2013 Jellyfish wedding. It was a dream come true! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions! Ahh, it's not letting me attach... I guess this is going to be without pictures Or if you want, I also posted this review in the Jellyfish Facebook groups (with pictures!) November 24, 2013 - Wedding Review Hello, ladies. As promised, here is my full review of the wedding, vendors, resort, and everything in between. A quick warning - this is going to be a long one. J Resort After visiting Punta Cana last year, and doing a thorough scouting of resorts, we decided on Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro. We originally picked it based on price, and after visiting we found that it had the best (and cleanest) beach. Other resorts that we considered were: Melia (very dirty beach, but very convenient as close to the Jellyfish), Dreams Punta Cana (way too far), Paradisus (very nice, but too pricey for our guests), Dreams Palm Beach (very nice but we felt that it was a bit too small). Having a great beach was very important to us, as a lot of our friends and family were traveling very long distances (from Europe, Russia, and Lithuania), and we wanted to make sure that they are not disappointed. The resort seemed overwhelming at first, as it is HUGE. We had 60 guests, and we did a room block through a travel agent. We weren’t placed exactly in the same building, but we were all relatively close together. We were staying at the furthest part from the beach, but close to the restaurants. At first I was a bit concerned that it’s so massive and that we’re so far away, but we quickly realized that everyone hung out at the same places – same place on the beach every day, same place by the pool. So after a couple of days after everyone arrived and got settled, it was actually not that difficult to find one another. And once everyone was at the beach, there was really no reason to go back to the hotel. There were restaurants out there also, so we only went back to the rooms to rest, shower, and get ready for the evening. Plus, the little trolleys go back and forth throughout the resort every couple of minutes. We never had to wait for a ride, it always seemed like there was one already waiting to pick us up. The rooms at the resort are standard, nothing special. The food is very average, but I have found that in every AI resort that I have been to in Punta Cana, the food is definitely not the strongest point. The pools were excellent and clean, the territory and the grounds are immaculately kept. The service was good – sometimes on “island time”, but who wants to rush when you’re on vacation? And the beach – amazing! So many waves, and no seaweed at all. The water was perfect and turquoise color, just what we wanted. So overall, I would definitely recommend this resort, especially to couples who are looking to make the trip affordable for their guests. Pre-wedding meeting with Mayte My fiancé and I got to Punta Cana on a Wednesday, and we had a meeting with Mayte scheduled on Thursday afternoon. We took a taxi there, and it took about 25 minutes ($30 each way). What can I say about Mayte? She is an absolute sweetheart! Everything that you have probably already read about her from other Jellyfish brides is true. She is an angel, and she works extremely hard to make your every dream come true! I just love her! Seriously, you don’t meet people like this often. She is truly one of a kind. I will be forever grateful to her for arranging our dream wedding! At the meeting we went through all the details of the wedding, including the décor, music, food, drinks, flowers, entertainment…etc. We tried all the food and drinks and they were delicious! Definitely come hungry to this meeting! Our food choices were a bit customized, as by Russian tradition, most food at weddings is served “family style”. We wanted to keep that tradition, and had 2 appetizers and 2 salads served family style on tables, which worked out very well. For main course the guests had a choice of menu 1 (sea bass or chicken) with rice and grilled veggies as sides. And we also had a bowl of chef’s pasta served family style for each table. The cake was exactly like the picture that I showed Mayte at our meeting (it was a Tiffany box and mini tiffany box cup cakes – super cute!). Here are some pictures from the actual wedding: Since our wedding colors were white and tiffany blue, for our cocktails we picked Cocoloco (which is a beautiful turquoise color and is DELICIOUS) and pina colata. For dinner we did wine, beer, and soft drinks. And then we had a 2 hour Gold open bar. That amount of time wasn’t enough for us, as we had a very party loving crowd. After the 2 hours of open bar we just started running a tab, which came out to about $750 I think. I was worried about alcohol prior to the wedding, because our guests are big drinkers. But everything worked out very smoothly and in retrospect I should have nor worried about it at all (as with most things!). Here is a picture of our welcome drinks: The Wedding Day Hair and Make-Up: Krystie Ann My wedding day started with an alarm clock waking me up at 6am. Krystie Ann was scheduled to meet me in the lobby at 6:30am. Prior to her coming, I had to arrange a day pass (which was a bit of a hassle with the hotel, but ended up working out fine. Just make sure that you inquire about the day pass and the procedure of obtaining it literally right after you unpack your suit cases when you arrive. I did not realize that they needed at 48 hour notice and a lot of details about the guest…etc. All resorts are different, and policies vary. So make sure you find out about these things well before your wedding day). I got to the hotel lobby right at 6:30am and sweet Krystie Ann was already waiting for me, with her suitcase in one hand and a large coffee mug in another. When I saw her, I literally wanted to cry. Because prior to that moment, I still wasn’t sure if the resort was going to let her in and if the day pass request went through. I had 5 girls get their hair and makeup done, plus myself, and my mom. We were supposed to start at 7am, but my girls were running late, so we didn’t actually get going until 7:45 am. Later on, Krystie Ann said that she was a bit panicking when girls were running late, but she surely kept her cool and I would have never guessed that she’s even worried about anything. THAT’s what I call true professionalism! Needless to say, everything was done on time, even with our morning dalay. Besides her amazing hair and make-up skills, she is a super sweet person. It was such joy to be around a person who is kind, friendly, calm, and has a very positive energy. And even though most of my girls and I spoke Russian for the majority of the day, she didn’t seem to mind. She laughed with us at our silliness, and it was so great to spend the day in her company. Now let me tell you about the hair that Krystie Ann did for us. It was amazing! Everyone literally had different hair styles and make-up styles in mind, and she was able to recreate our visions perfectly. Every girl showed her a picture of what they wanted, and the next thing you know – it’s happening right in front of our eyes like magic. It was awesome! My hair is thin and straight. I was afraid that it wasn’t going to hold the curt, but boy was I wrong. Not only did my hair stay intact all night, it also looked gorgeous for the day after trash the dress shoot. Amazing! I’ve never had better hair in my life! Our makeup was also great! I was going for a more dramatic look with a smoky eye and long lashes. I was afraid that it was going to run from crying (yes, I’m a big crier) or melt in the heat. But again, I had nothing to worry about. Whatever makeup Krystie Ann used, remained perfect throughout the night even with the heat and all the tears. It was literally unbelievable! And again, every girl wanted different style of make-up and Krystie Ann delivered. My mom pretty much never wears makeup, and she did such a nice natural look for her. Everyone looked so beautiful! We were taking pictures at 2am, after all the dancing, crying, and sweating, and all the hair and makeup still looked good! Krystie Ann is amazing, hands down! I wholeheartedly recommend Krystie Ann to anyone who is getting married in Punta Cana. Not only is she a great hair and makeup artist, but she’s also an awesome person to be around, which in my book counts for A LOT! J Jellyfish Décor The girls and I arrived at the Jellyfish with our hair and makeup done, but we weren’t dressed yet. We had about an hour before all the guests and the groom were getting there. Mayte met us, and walked me around to see all the décor. And it literally just took my breath away. Here, see for yourself. I don’t think my words are necessary: I sent Mayte pictures throughout the year of planning, and she totally nailed my ideas. It was everything I wanted and more. The only things we brought with us in terms of décor were the turquoise fans and the bubbles for the chairs, and the photos of numbers in the sand for the tables. We made those ourselves last year when we were in DR, so we thought it would be cute to incorporate those. I left them for Mayte, so if you like them, feel free to ask her to use them! J Entertainment Music – we hired the Jellyfish DJ and MC and they were great. We had a pretty complicated (and lengthy) list of events for the nights with lots of speeches, guest surprise performances, songs, slideshows…etc. I gave them a list of who and what goes when, and asked one of my friends to monitor. A lot of our guests didn’t speak English, so it was important that someone Russian speaking was coordinating people as well. That worked out perfectly! The MC was on point with all the announcements, and he even managed to pronounce all the Russian/Lithuanian names correctly! My friend also did some running around to make sure that everyone is aware of when they are going up to speak…etc, but everything was literally going so smoothly I couldn’t even believe my eyes! As for the music – I gave the DJ a list of American/European songs that I’d like to hear as well as Russian music on a CD, and Lithuanian music on a flash drive. He played EVERYTHING! And actually mixed all the songs, so one song flowed into another, so it was perfect! All the guests were complimenting us on the music choices, and were wondering how the DJ was able to play all the different types of music. The dance party was crazy and lasted for good 4 hours. We didn’t have a dance floor, but danced on the sand and it was the best decision EVER! It felt so good and freeing to take off our shoes after dinner and just run around barefoot. So wonderful! The Crazy Hour Show – WORTH EVERT PENNY! If you are hesitating, don’t! Get it! It was ridiculous and so much fun! Our guests didn’t know about this, so it was a total surprise. People are still talking about it and how much fun it was. Also, it served as a perfect transition between the dinner portion and the party portion of the night. The action first started inside the restaurant with salsa/merenge dancers, cappuera dancers, and the masquerade show. And then they took us all and moved us outside for the fire show. Unbelievably fun! Literally everything about the day was perfect! The only thing that I was a little surprised about was how loud the music was at the store next door to the Jellyfish. They had music blasting throughout our ceremony, and granted we were so in the moment that we didn’t really care to pay attention, but it was just so loud that at some points it was really catching me off guard. The music didn’t really stop when we sat down for dinner, either. I remember that when we got up to do our first dance, the music next door was so loud that the DJ kept having to turn up the volume at the Jellyfish up and up and up… The music and the noise stopped probably around 7 o’clock when the store closed (I am assuming). We also paid the $750 fee for exclusive use for the first floor and the beach and were assured that there would be no randoms standing around. But, as I saw later in pictures, it was definitely not the case. Granted, I didn’t see them during the ceremony because I was too busy crying and trying to catch my breath, but they definitely made it into our pictures. Hahaha. This is not a HUGE deal, and you’ll definitely get more people standing/laying around if you’re getting married on the beach at the resort. However, it’s important to set your expectations correctly because it’s not going to be as “private” as you would expect (or hope to have). The beach around the Jellyfish is public, and from what I understand it’s getting more and more popular with the locals, so just keep that in mind. I don’t think Mayte or the staff can do anything about this, but I just wish I had known this ahead of time. Again, not a big deal and definitely didn’t play any role in our wedding night. This is just an FYI. Videographer – Video Punta Cana (VPC), Florian Koetter http://www.videopuntacana.com/home/home.ph My (now) husband didn’t want a videographer because he thought it was going to be a waste of money. “We’ll watch this video one time, and it’s going to lay there in our drawer. We are not spending money on this”, he said. So I agreed. And then, as time was getting closer to the wedding day, I kept watching these short little 5-7 minute highlight videos on Youtube and thought, “Wow, I want one of these.” Something to just capture the special moments, something short and sweet that we could send to our friends and family. I wanted something that we wouldn’t get tired of watching. So I started looking and found Video Punta Cana, and their beautiful videos. I emailed Florian and he was SO nice and he was willing to come in and just do the short 7 minute highlight reel. I didn’t tell my husband about this until pretty much the wedding day. J It was a “surprise” and he just shook his head and laughed. But now, let me tell you – he is SO happy that we had this video done. Florian was superb! He came to the Jellyfish right in time for me to put on my dress, and stayed through the whole (VERY LONG) dinner portion and even caught some of the dancing. I didn’t even know that he was around – he was THAT discreet about his filming. I kind of assumed that he’d leave after the ceremony, so when he came up to us while we were already dancing and said that he’s done filming for day, we were shocked! We couldn’t believe he stayed that long, it was great!! And when we met up with him just 6 days after the wedding to see the final product, we were both blown away! It was perfect – captured every important moment, and it was put together beautifully. It also didn’t hurt that Florian was a sweetie, and we were so happy to see him again! My husband was ecstatic that I decided to hire him and do the video. We literally have watched it dozens of times already! If you’re curious, here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QUIdF4BZCo Photography - Brent Foster Photography and Cinema, Brent and Tammy Foster http://brentfoster.com Brent and Tammy Foster… it’s so difficult to find the right words for people who you truly admire. Everything about them – from the way the talk to you and to each other, to the way they photograph, and everything in between, makes you feel special, warm and fuzzy on the inside. They are not just a joy to be around, but if you see their pictures, you will also understand how unbelievable talented they are! Don’t believe me? Just check out their blog with pictures from our wedding: http://brentfosterphotography.com/2013/11/anya-modis-jellyfish-restaurant-wedding-punta-cana-dominican-republic/ Honestly, my husband and I can't stop looking at the photos. AND their turnaround time was unreal - less than 2 weeks, and that’s including the fact that they went back to Punta Cana to shoot another wedding at the Jellyfish a week after our wedding! Trust me, I did A LOT of research on photographers prior to booking Brent. However, once I saw his photojournalistic style, and spoke to him on Skype, I was hooked. Really, all other considerations fell off very quickly. Brent took his wife Tammy with him to Punta Cana, and she ended up shooting with him the whole day of the wedding and helping out on the Trash the Dress photo session (which was in Altos de Chavon in La Romana – a gorgeous spot!!!). On the day of the wedding they started shooting around 8:30am and they were on one of the last buses to leave the Jellyfish around 2am. Seriously, who works such long hours? They do! Unbelievable! And the way they shot the wedding? They were everywhere, and nowhere at the same time. I have no idea how they got so many amazing shots, and what angles they used to shoot, because I really didn’t even see them all night. That’s what I call a true, unobtrusive photojournalistic photography. Of course, we had some posed portraits at cocktail hour with family and close friends. But everything that happened after – Brent and Tammy captured flawlessly, truly documenting our wedding night as it unfolded. We ended with an unbelievable collection of almost 700 amazing images from the wedding day and the trash the dress session. Brent and Tammy Foster are phenomenal - so professional and on point, yet so laid back, and funny. Working with them truly felt like hanging out with friends and having a good time but with an added bonus of having absolutely gorgeous photos afterwards. Can't say enough of great things about these two. And I think the photos really do speak for themselves… They are gorgeous, and I know that we were lucky to have them as our photographers! Catamaran Excursion http://www.mydominicanadventure.com/about.html 2 days after the wedding, as a token of our appreciation for the guests, we decided to take everyone on a catamaran excursion. I worked with George from Aventuras Dominican Vacations, and he was great! He’s super helpful, and professional. It also helped that he works out of Miami, so it was easy to get in touch with him. He was super responsive and literally catered to our every wish for this trip. We got picked up in a nice, large, air conditioned bus. They brought us to a beach where we lounged on huge white beds, sipped on some drinks, and listened to music. Then a catamaran picked us up and we sailed off. We snorkeled, we drank, we danced on the boat, and we partied on a sand bank in the ocean. The day ended with a sun set sailing along the Punta Cana coast. It was glorious and everyone had an amazing time! Dominican Vacations definitely exceeded all expectations, and all thanks to George! Oh, and George also helped us out with the Trash the Dress shoot at Altos de Chavon. He found the place, organized transportation, and even went with us to make sure that everything will go smoothly! He flew down from Miami to meet us and to guide our excursion! So this concludes my review. Please feel free to contact me with questions, I will be happy to help!
  4. I stayed at melia and did a review about it. it's somewhere on this board, if you want to look for it.
  5. Thank you, Katya! We got a room block at the hotel, but coudln't tie it in with the flights package because all of our guests are going at different times, so it was hard to coordinate. I think I'll just have to bite the bullett and get the flights now (they are hovering around $600).
  6. Dear Jellyfish brides, I have a dilemma and I hope you'll be able to help me out. Our wedding is in November 2013. We're flying from Boston and I'm finding that tickets are REDICULOUSLY high right now (and have been for the past month or so). If you already had a wedding in DR, how far in advance did you and your guests book your flights? I'm just so afraid to keep waiting because I'm scared that flights will go up and up and up... Any suggestions will be much appreciated!
  7. That's great! Glad you guys got a great deal. We got a very nice deal for Grand Bahia, so that's what we decided to go with. For colors, we are thinking of doing all white with a splash of tiffany blue here and there. What about you?
  8. We are staying at Grand Bahia Principe. Now Larimar is nice but it was out of our price range.
  9. I have sent her ideas a long time ago. This past November my fiance and I visited Jellyfish and met with Mayte and did a food tasting. She sat down with us for about 2 hours and went over the menu and logistics. It was amazing! Plus, she took out a folder with all my emails and print outs of the ideas that I have sent her. So she is definitely organized and keeps track even if she doesn't respond right away. I would suggest you get a bunch of ideas together and then email them to her all at once so to not overwhelm her inbox (I hear she gets close to 100 emails a day!). We are planning on getting to DR on November 20th and will probably meet with Mayte on the 21st or 22nd. We may see you there!!! Did you decide where you will be staying?
  10. Mine is November 24th, 2013! Yey for November brides! ))
  11. Hi ladies, this is my first post so I'm not sure how to use this. Hopefully I'll do this correctly... My fiancé and I got back from our site visit in Punta Cana, DR. And while everything is still fresh in my memory, I wanted to share my thoughts with you… Jellyfish Restaurant It’s a very cool looking space. You probably can’t tell from pictures, but it’s not as big as you may think. It’s quite intimate and the vibe there is awesome. The beach in front of the restaurant is a bit removed from the water, so the people that walk around on the beach are far away. While standing at the canopy, you don’t really feel like anyone is in your “spaceâ€. There are no lounge chairs with people gawking at you, there are no half-naked people playing volleyball or soccer right next to the place where you are exchanging wedding vows (we actually saw that while walking up and down Bavaro beach in front of one of the hotels. It was awful!) With that being said, the section right next to the restaurant is open for public and the locals have set up shops there where they sell various souvenirs. They are not a bother once you are actually on the premises of the restaurant because that is a private beach and they are not allowed to enter it. But we were walking to Jellyfish from Melia Caribe Tropical which is literally a 2 minute walk down the beach. And we had to walk though the little shopping area. Every time we walked by we were literally harassed and hollered at to come into the stores, to buy this or that. The ladies sitting in front of those stores kept asking me to get my hair braided which I had to decline time after time (we went to Jellyfish about 4 times - twice to meet with Mayte and twice to look at the wedding set-ups, which were all beautiful, by the way). The second floor of the restaurant is really cool. It’s small, but has a very lounge-y feel. There were couches up there, and it kind of made up want to reserve the whole restaurant so that we could use the space upstairs. If our budget allows, we’ll be definitely doing that. The food – amazing! The best food we had all week! For appetizers we tried fried calamari (very fresh and soft), mozzarella sticks (very tasty), seafood hot pockets (I wasn’t a huge fan but my fiancé liked them), shrimp kebobs (yummy shrimps and veggies), tempura shrimp (the shrimp was very large!), and chorizo (cute presentation. I’m a vegetarian so I didn’t taste it, but DF said it was really yummy). Caprese salad – great presentation and tasted very good. Arugula salad with shrimp – they didn’t have arugula so they used regular lettuce – it was nice, nothing too special about it, but all ingredients were definitely super fresh. Then we tried the chef’s pasta and it’s awesome – it comes with chicken, so I just tried the pasta and the creamy mushroom sauce. YUM! My fiancé tried the steak – said it was great. I tried sea bass in passion fruit sauce – delicious! The sweet sauce definitely adds a very unique touch to the fish. For sides we tried grilled veggies, rice and potatoes – all very good. So yes, don’t even worry about the food, you will not be disappointed! Last but most certainly not least – Mayte. She is one of the biggest reasons why we finally decided to go with Jellyfish. She is so sweet and genuine. She’s not a sales person at all! She will work with you, and will make you feel special. Throughout our meeting she said a few times “Don’t worry, everything will be JUST the way you want itâ€. And that made me feel so at ease and so confident! Our wedding reception will be customized a lot in regards to food and decorations and she totally saw our vision. She said that she will make everything happen. I fell in love with her from the first moment that we started speaking. There is just something so comforting about her way of talking - she really knows what she’s doing. We ended up putting down our deposit and securing our date of November 24, 2013. So excited! Now, if you are interested, here is a quick review of the pros and cons of the resorts that we visited. Melia Caribe Tropical PROs – very large, expansive resort (this can also be a negative if you are afraid of “losing†your guests or if you are looking for a more intimate feel). The grounds are plush and very green. Landscaping is immaculate. The rooms are very large and nice, even the standard ones. Lots of bars, restaurants, definitely enough things to do on the premises. The proximity to the Jellyfish is definitely a plus, especially if you want to run over to see Mayte or finalize any details on short notice. CONs – the beach was dirty. And I don’t mean just sea weed – there was trash in the water, like paper and plastic cups. The resort staff said that they clean the beach twice a day, but it really didn’t seem like it. The pool area has a lot of palm trees, so it’s hard to see from one end of the pool to another. If you want to hang out with a large group of people by the pool, it may be hard. The food was OK – not good, not bad. From what we hear, it’s pretty standard for all-inclusives. So, I’m not really sure how to categorize that one. Paradisus Punta Cana PROs – the nicest looking resort of all the ones that we saw. Very modern, very sleek. Rooms were amazing, especially the upgraded and renovated ones (about 60% of rooms at the resort have been renovated in the past year). The grounds were very nicely kept, interior of restaurants was tastefully executed. The beach and the pools were beautiful. CONs – the resort offers rooms at 3 different price points (standard, the reserve, and royal service). Depending on which room you get, there are amenities you can and can’t use such as restaurants, bars, and pools. We really hated that segregation. We were afraid that our guests that didn’t pay top dollar for their rooms would feel left out or would feel bad because they would not be able to dine at the same restaurants or use the same pool areas. Similarly, people that will pay for more expensive rooms may have to “downgrade†in order to hang out with other guests at the areas where everyone can be together. Dreams Punta Cana PROs – very small, homey resort. Nice beach area, although the sand is not as white as in other hotels. They have only 1 pool but it is the largest one in Punta Cana that goes through the whole resort. Very nice views from restaurants and a lot of private patios. The view from the lobby onto a mountain range is breathtaking. CONs – the resort is small, especially comparing it to Melia or Paradisus. Some of our guests will be coming from Europe and maybe staying for 10 days or 2 weeks. We were afraid they will get bored at a small resort. Rooms were outdated, and overall décor of the buildings and inside the lobby was a bit outdated. Bahia Prinicipe PROs – great pool and beach areas. Very large resort, but trains go back and forth all the times, so we didn’t have to wait to get picked up at any of the stops. The cleaning staff makes cute arranges from towels on the beds and in the bathrooms every day – very nice attention to detail. The resort provides lots of entertainment options – they have a few stages where different shows happen, there is a cute shopping area…etc. CONs – rooms were standard, pretty outdated I would say. We spoke to some people that were staying there, and they said that the food is not good. But again, that’s just a matter of taste so I don’t know how much to believe that. Sorry this is so long. Please feel free to ask me any questions, I’ll be happy to answer! Happy planning!
  12. I would love to get the pricing brochure. If you don'd mind sending it to me? a.morozkina@gmail.com.
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