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About LoriOlivia

  1. Give US Airway a call and see if your flight has business or first class. If they do, they usually have a closet you can hang the dress it. Maybe they can make a notation on your reservation. Or when you check in you can remind them at the gate. I flew Jet Blue which has no first class. I bought a soft garment bag http://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/13dbc2a03d4a0b54 and when I got the gate I asked if I could priority board with it. I got on first and just took up the whole overhead and made sure no one put stuff on it! My dress was chiffon but I still had it steamed at the hotel... I dont remember the exact cost but I think it was the 15$ range... so worth it.
  2. I agree. Reserve the bridal suite. You can call the hotel directly and ask them to connect you to the spa for a quicker response. Ask for the mgr. The apparently are nice but depending on your group size you will want to order room service ($5 if you are not in royal)
  3. Hi Kristyny2 Are you having the welcome cocktail party at the Gabi Restaurant or the Gabi at the Reserve. They are two different things (no idea why they couldn't get more creative with the names) The Gabi Restaurant is new, right on the beach and open to everyone. It's where we ended up most nights to party (after the wedding too). It's also one of the spots for the Buffett Lunch & Breakfast during the day. If you are having it here are they closing part of it off for you? The Gabi at the Reserve is where we had our welcome cocktail party. It's on the reserve part of the property which is further from the beach, but closed off to guests not in Royal or Reserve service. We had the lounge to ourselves which was outside in a sandy area with funky lights http://www.paradisus-puntacana.com/the-reserve.php We had so many people we cut a deal with them because I believe they charge to privatize this. Either way you will have a walk through with the romance people on site to confirm all your locations (or change your mind if places are available). Let me know if you have questions.
  4. Hi Everyone, So I wanted to give you the lowdown on our wedding Friday January 25th, 2013. Overall we couldn't have been happier, as I mentioned in a previous post, most of the issues stemmed from the Miami office which I now realize is a 3rd party contracted by Melia to work with brides in the US. I am writing this so you can be aware of how unorganized they are. It all started several weeks before the wedding from the Miami office. We got an email saying we must submit payment for our final bill the next day (FYI if you pay by credit card there's a surcharge, and clearly I can't transport a check that quickly). However, according to the contract we had 2 weeks before the final bill was due, oh and the bill they sent us in that email was completely wrong. Ladies, go over your final bill with a fine tooth comb!!!! We were due credits for all the rooms we had booked (83 people) and for our site visit and none of those were on there and it took tons of phone calls and emails to rectify. In the end we got the correct final bill well after it was actually due. In the meantime our guests were getting charged the final payment on their hotels (this happens automatically on the card you give the without notice, be aware). However my husband and I realized our card was not charged and we got no invoice for the zero balance on the room (The wedding and the extras are separate from room bill). Again tons of emails and phone calls were exchanged until we got an invoice and confirmation for our Royal Service Room. We paid for Royal Service and were hoping to be upgraded to Ocean front. We were told that everyone in our party should get a "voucher" from the Miami office that they "must bring" in order to check in. However I spoke to my family and a few friends and no one had this voucher. The Miami office told me it was a new system they were sending them with and it may be in everybody's spam box. They wanted me to contact all of my 83 guests to have them scour their inboxes for it. And even though I did that most people did not have this voucher.. Again tons of emails and phone calls to rectify. Ten of us arrived several days before the wedding. My husband and I were the only people in Royal Service and were taken there alone to check in. Turns out even with voucher in hand, they had us arriving the day after and had no room for us that night. The hotel blamed the Miami office and the Miami office blamed the hotel. We were offered a Royal service with two beds (how romantic) or a Reserve room which again, was a downgrade because we PAID for Royal. Finally after almost 4 hours!!! we were given a Royal service room with a king bed and a view of the back of the next hotel. When we finally met up with my family we found out it took them three hours to check in as well. The hotel had never seen this new voucher and didnt know what to do with it. I went ballistic and got on a conference call with the wonderful girls in the Romance Office at the resort and the Miami office. It was resolved that my guest arriving each of the next 3 days would be greeted by Jennifer or Miguelena and none of this would happen again. As for the rest of my guests: check in was slow (it takes an hour on average, and apparently this is normal) but they had none of the issues. However the excel sheet the Miami office gives you to fill out to request where in the hotel you want your guests to stay and near whom, was useless and people were everywhere. Dont even bother filling it out. The manager of the resort, a wonderful man who is fluent in english, came to us the first night to personally apologize for all the issues. He did a wonderful job the whole week making it up to us and our families. We are very thankful he was around. We had our welcome reception at the Gabi Club in the reserve which was fun because it was the only time anyone went up to that area since most of my guests were in garden with a few in royal with us. We were there for 6p which was perfect for sunset. As for the wedding itself, everything came into place perfect. I booked the bridal suite which was the right move, even though it wasnt a big bridal party. My mother , cousin and aunt joined my two sisters and I and we drank champagne, snacked and had lots of fun getting ready with the extra space. My husband and his guys got ready in our room. The weather was amazing. The set up was on the beach by the gazebo was EXACTLY how I envisioned it. I brought my own sashes and flower petals and the ladies set them up perfect. We had Pastor York (who we contacted personally and only had to pay $350 + $30 outside guest fee) and he did an amazing job. The cocktail hour was supposed to happen 30 minutes after the ceremony to give time for pictures but it happened immediately after so we missed all of it. We hired a specific Dominican trio (there are two of them and we were extremely clear about which we wanted) but the other showed up. Still our friends laughed and sang along not knowing any different-- so oh well! The reception was also on the beach blocked off from gawkers by a wall of palm leaves. We had a full moon and the sky was all pink and perfect for our first dance. The buffet process was slow (we were a large group and they were calling people up by table) and it definitely cut into our dancing time, but they let the party run a half our over the 3 we paid for. Our flowers were awesome. The DJ played all the songs we asked for. We brought cigars that one of the bar tenders passed out at the end...Everyone had a blast, dancing up a storm on the sand, drinking and partying... and when it was over we all went to the Gabi Beach bar which is just200 feet away to drink and dance some more. We really were extremely happy in the end. All our friends want to go back next year for an anniversary party, so if that tells you anything.... I would tell any future bride you may the right choice getting married here. The setting and the staff on site can't be beat! If anyone has any questions about any specifics I would be happy to answer. I know so many helped me and I really appreciate it.
  5. Hi Futurearlington, Your gift bag ideas sound like fun. I know our guests enjoyed ours (we got married 1/25/13). However if you read through these posts you will see many brides suggest you do not leave your gift bags at the font desk and having seen how things operate there I HIGHLY AGREE. Reception is slow, speak very little english, and are easily confused. I would NEVER trust them with my guest bags and on top of it all, they charge what I think is $3 a bag to hand them out. Miguelena in the Romance office on site delivered our itinerary (she typed it up herself) under our guest doors (Could probably do the same with your door hangers) and I'd say about 98% of people got them. I dont know how many people you have coming or across how many days. But we had 85 across 4 days and basically we'd bring a bag of the gift bags with us to the beach every day and hand them out... the very few we missed we gave out at our welcome cocktail reception. I know I owe a full write up of the wedding... and it really was terrific. Complaints mostly have to do with the office in Miami. Our wedding was amazing and our guests raved about it. --Loriolivia
  6. Hey Denise, I have always used the official cabs from the airport to get to hotel in Punta Cana. There is a set fee ($35 to Paradisus Punta Cana) and they hold 4-6 people with luggage. When you get to the airport and pass through customs and go to the right you see a large white sign with every hotel listed and a set feed. The cabs accept USD. Never had a problem. However, if you want to book in advance, try going thru the hotel directly (not the miami Office) Below is the contact and the fares I was quoted: Genue Jimenez " reservas1.melia.caribe@paradisuspalmareal.com PRIVATE ROUND TRIP RATES PUJ -HOTEL US$.45.00 EACH WAY, FROM 1 TO 6 PERSONS. PUJ -HOTEL US$.89.00 EACH WAY, FROM 7 TO 10 PERSONS. PUJ -HOTEL US$.133.00 EACH WAY, FROM 10 TO 22 PERSONS.
  7. Hey past Brides! Can someone tell me how many songs they used for the ceremony and when? I have no idea how many to pick and how it works HELP!!
  8. Hey there, I know some of you have asked before... but just wanted to get an idea from some recent bridea. What did you tip everyone and who did you tip. For example, I hired Pastor York Separately and am not sure if I need to tip him too? Help?!?! Thanks
  9. Hey Sexy Cubana! We are using the Hotel photographer. Email Tamir and ask her to send examples of her photographers work (there are 3 guys I believe). Obviuosly you need one who is available your date. We were able to go through their portfolios and chose which best fit our style!
  10. Hey Ladies Can anyone who has gotten the bridal suite suggest which of the "canapés " are best? Seems like an odd selection to me. Thanks!
  11. Hi Sexy Cubana! We decided to get married at 4pm in January based on the photographers recommendations for the best lighting. He explained to us that if the sun is too high overhead it creates a lot of shadows which isn't flattering for anyone. Sunset in late January is about 620p. The other thing to consider is the later in the day the less people on the beach gawking!! Not sure what the weather is like in November but when we did our site visit in September it was brutally hot in the middle of the day. Have you decided to go with the resort photographer? I was just ask them if pictures are your biggest concern. They know best.
  12. Hey Jenny Try Vista Print ... google 25%off for first customer coupon codes You can send as a post card and then the postage is 1/2 price
  13. Hey SimplenSweet You guys are less than a month away!!! Congrats! When you get back and settle can you please let me know the status of the new Gabi Club (the one on the beach, not the reserve). We may have our reception in front instead of the current location they use for the beach. When we went there in September it was no where near done but they said November... And if you or one of your guests has time to snap a photo all the better!! Good luck. Can't wait to see you pics! --LoriOlivia
  14. Has anyone who has used pastor York (or another outside pastor) invited him to the reception itself? Just trying to figure out what the right etiquette is here? Is it expected he has dinner? Does he just leave after?
  15. Has anyone who has used pastor York (or another pastor) invited him to the reception itself? Just trying to figure out what the right etiquette is here? Is it expected he has dinner? Does he just leave after? We booked him outside the Miami office for Paradisus Punta Cana
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