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Kristina Simms

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About Kristina Simms

  1. @@MrandMrsBonitto2016 I'm not sure how you can view the pics except by downloading them (with the 150 post status). When I previewed the post the pics showed up. Does anyone know how to add the pics so that they are visible without each person needing to DL them?
  2. Hello ladies, I thought I would share a few photos of my wedding in January so you can see the Bridal Suite and fountain location. I do not have all of my professional photos back yet (only up to processional during ceremony), so if I get back more that show the ceremony, reception, and party better I will upload more! Hope these help. Kristina
  3. @@PuntaCanaBride14 Thank-you! We truly had a great day 1. The spa has four stations for hair/makeup. They started with the moms and my sister in law at 1000. Then did my two bridesmaids and flower girl. My hair started at 1200. Five of us had our makeup done and we were all finished by 1:45. They do speak spanish, but are pretty good with English. A couple of us showed them pictures for hair and they were pretty good with doing what we asked for. I had read somewhere that they used MAC makeup, but this is not the case. I did like my hair and makeup, but I wasn't "in love" with it. But really, I was pampered and didn't have to do it myself! The big thing with my hair (which wasn't the spas fault) was that the flower I had ordered for my hair was a white lily that was as big as my hand. I had envisioned a colourful tropical flower so my advice would be to specify what flower you want when ordering!! I ended up getting my wedding coordinator to get a new one (which I had to pay for) that was just ok, nothing great. The ladies in the spa were great with doing touchups on hair and they were amazing with my flowergirl. They definitely made her feel like a princess. 2. The bridal suite is well worth the money in my opinion. Its a room just off of the salon. You get bottles of champagne and plates of fruit. For us it provided us with somewhere to hang out in between hair & makeup sessions and then after we were ready but before the ceremony. It has A/C so that was perfect for before the ceremony we didn't have to stand around and melt! There is a bathroom in there and a pedestal with floor length mirrors for you put your dress on. Great place for pictures! I will alert you that there is a Scentsy on the floor in the bathroom so be careful if you go in there in your dress. I didn't see it and got wax all over the train of my dress before the ceremony. Luckily it wiped right off of the tulle! 3. We had a very small and informal rehearsal. It was not booked through our wedding coordinator. We just met at the fountain area and practiced the order of the processional. I think the one you book with the wedding coordinator includes cocktails and light snacks for the same price as the cocktail hour. 4. It depends on the time of your ceremony and the number of bridesmaids. We started at 10am and my ceremony was at 3pm. We were all ready around 1:45 and that was for 7 hair and 5 makeup. I was actually a little concerned that 10am was too early for us to get ready because I didn't want hair/makeup to be flat/ruined by 3pm. For us I think it worked out pretty well. We had enough time to hang out, exchange gifts and get some group pictures and we didn't feel rushed at all. My husband and I did the "first look" photos at 2pm so everything worked out well for us. Good luck!! I hope you have a fantastic day
  4. @@bonafidelatina We chose the NOW just by looking at pictures online. Our wedding week was the first time there. I really liked the wedding packages offered by the NOW/Dreams/Secrets resorts the best. The fountain is so beautiful for the ceremony!! Congrats and good luck planning
  5. Hello ladies, Sorry for the long post! This is a summary of my recent wedding! I just got home from my wedding at the NOW, on January 28. We stayed a week there and then a week next door at Secrets for our honeymoon. Our wedding coordinator was Francina and she was amazing. I truly think all of the ladies are great at their job. My biggest piece of advice is to relax and let them do their job! They perform about 3 weddings a day there so they definitely know what they are doing. Most of the planning gets done so close to the wedding, even when you are there so don't get too worried when all the final details aren't worked out with the wedding being 6 months away. Which I know can be nerve wracking for us women lol. We had at least 3 other wedding coordinators assigned to us throughout the whole process, but we were booked almost a year in advance. The real work matters when you get there and actually meet with them. They all seemed so hardworking; we would see them first thing in the morning and then they would still be in the office working late at night. Francina started at 0930 With us on our wedding day, she stayed until the end 10:45, and was back in her office the next am. I cannot thank the entire NOW staff for giving us our dream wedding. I could never get such a beautiful backdrop for a wedding at home. I definitely recommend either the NOW or Secrets resorts to stay at. Also staying an extra week after the wedding (and everyone else leaves) was the best idea. There's not much time to relax and just enjoy time with your new hubby the week of the wedding. I will post some pictures when I receive some electronic versions. We had the divine wedding package. We got married at the fountain location and it was breath taking. We did the full fountain setup, it is more expensive but I am so glad I did. I would have regretted it for sure if we hadn't. I saw a few ceremonies on the beach and it was quite windy and not very private so the fountain was definitely the best choice for us as it was much more private. There are still a couple looky-loos and rude people that try to cross or watch, but the staff are pretty good at keeping them away from the fountain. We had hand fans for our guests which was one of the best ideas. Everyone loved them and used them the entire time. All the girls went to the spa the morning of and got hair and makeup done. I rented the bridal suite for the day so it gave us somewhere to hang out in between sessions and get dressed. We had our cocktail hour on the grass at the fountain (so basically on the other side of the trees instead of on either side of the actual fountain). We were married at 3pm so this gave us some shady spots from the afternoon sun). We had the guitarist for the ceremony and he was fantastic. Our reception was on the beach. It was at 6:30 so it was getting dark and no other people were around. There was a light shower that sent us running underneath the roof of the Castaways restaurant (luckily it was closed to the public that night). We rented the lighted dance floor (it's a must!) and the staff quickly dried it off and we went back to dancing. We rented the iPod/sound system. We didn't want to pay for a dj and are so glad we didn't. The sound system came with 3 guys to run it and they were fantastic. We just made a couple of playlists (reception/dance) which were more us and downloaded an app called Wedding DJ (for $2) which programmed specific songs into each category (first dance, cake cutting). We had a friend act as our emcee and she announced our entrance and the first dance/bouquet toss etc. Our wedding was small, only 24 people, so it was more informal, no big speeches or anything. We rented a few extra tiki torches for light and we probably could of had even more. Maybe even more lights on the dinner table. I would recommend even bringing tea lights from home. We had the one included centerpiece on the table and I rented 3 vases so myself and the bridesmaids just put our bouquets in there for extra decor instead of paying for more flowers. We had the fire dancers perform at the reception and they were phenomenal. It definitely added a little extra something special. My husband and I got to stand on the dance floor and they danced around us so I'm hoping for some amazing pictures! We extended our reception by an hour so it was 6:30-10:30 and it still felt like it wasn't long enough. If you have a large party or a lot of speeches I would definitely recommend extending it even further. Although we would have gotten rained out if we had extended out reception anything beyond the hour. Just as our last song of the night finished it started pouring. The timing was incredible. We were so lucky! We had Karina Jensen as our photographer and I highly recommend her. She is so sweet and got along with everyone so well. She worked amazingly with the kids. We did a trash the dress a couple days later with her on the beach. She was very organized, professional, and was always asking for our input. She showed us a couple sneak peeks as we went along and they look amazing. I'm so excited to get the rest from her. Her prices were very reasonable compared to all the research and comparisons I did of finding a photographer in Punta Cana and bringing someone there (from Canada). We received the 24 free photos from the resort photographer with our package and we were quite surprised at how good they were. We did see another couple getting their wedding pictures done on the beach when we were (they were with the resort photographer) and they didn't spend nearly as much time or have many different poses. But it could have been the package they chose. I don't think it's a bad idea to go with the resort photographer, but I am very very happy with our decision to hire Karina. We were willing to spend more money on the pictures because at the end of the day that's all you have! Just remember to relax and enjoy your day. Don't sweat the small stuff! Nobody knows exactly what you picked so if something small isn't right just let it go, it will all be beautiful anyway! Feel free to message me if you have any other questions, I'm happy to try to offer some insight if I can! Again sorry for the long post, happy planning ladies!!
  6. @@deelirious Congrats on your upcoming wedding! It took a little bit for us to hear back in the very beginning as well. The 2014 price list is the same as the 2013 (for now!). We haven't received any price changes yet. @@lisamarco413 I have confirmation from my WC that if you have the platinum menu, you can interchange and choose items from the silver/gold menu. Hope that helps!
  7. @@jldinapoli Thanks for your help! I ended up getting in contact with Karina so all is well. I wasn't receiving her replies, but all is well now. I'm so excited for her to be our photographer, her work looks amazing! I love her photos of "the first look". I think I'll have to do it! 13 days away!!
  8. @@jldinapoli Thanks so much! I feel like i'm stalking her sending messages to every account I can! lol
  9. Hello ladies! Well my wedding is 18 days away, and yes I am starting to freak out a little. My biggest concern is I cannot get a hold of my photographer that I booked back in August. Has anyone else booked with Karina Jensen photography??? I've sent numerous emails and a message through FB. Help! I'm really starting to get worried. Thanks!!
  10. @lisamarco413 I got personalized silk fans online from beau-coup (they ship to Canada). I originally found some from The Knot.com but they don't ship outside of the US. I also got 20 oz Bubba Keg mugs from www.shopbubba.com. We were planning on getting the mugs engraved with our names and wedding date but once we received them and brought them to the engraving store the quote was $500+ for 25 mugs. So if you are looking to get them engraved I would recommend doing so from where you order. We ended up buying some personalized "recovery kit" bags from Etsy and filling those with goodies that we will attach to the mugs. @meganjune Your pictures are stunning, you looked amazing! Thanks for sharing I have the same groomsmen gifts as you, gotta love Etsy! Great idea to add a little bottle of whisky in there! Your shoes were beautiful, where did you get them? Kristina
  11. @EVKnowsitall Thanks for the info! @lisamarco413 They were accommodating with the change in ceremony time, they emailed me back right away with the availability. I was given five pm, I requested four but it was unavailable so I took three pm. We are now having a symbolic wedding. I requested to have a legal ceremony performed by a judge, however timing did not work out for us. There is only one judge available for the whole island and he is not available to come marry us until 5pm. So we would be having a symbolic wedding at 3pm then making it legal by signing papers with a judge at 5pm (which is when we would be getting pictures done). We just figured it wasn't worth the hassle for us. We may as well get married at home before we go and not pay the $540 judicial fee along with all of the paperwork/translations if we are going to end up having a symbolic wedding anyway. I hope yours works out better for you!!
  12. @lisamarco413 My ceremony is at 3pm, the cocktail hour at 3:30-4:30pm, and the reception starts at 6:30 and lasts 3 hours. I believe the 3 hour reception is standard, if you're wanting to extend the hours of the reception it is $12/pp/hour for international bar or $18/pp/hour for premium bar. My ceremony was originally at 5 pm with the cocktail hour at 5:30 and reception at 6:30, but I requested the ceremony to be moved earlier so I had more time to get photos in before it got too dark. I would guess that for a 6 pm ceremony the cocktail hour would immediately follow at 6:30 and last an hour. And then the reception lasts 3 hours, not sure if it would be scheduled right after at 7:30 or not. I thought I read somewhere that the reception on the beach has to be over at midnight, but I'd have to try to find that again. I am not sure about interchanging menu items from the gold/platinum menus. It is something that we are interested in also as we get the platinum menu but I like items from the gold menu better. I was considering just asking to have the gold menu instead of the platinum. I am going to send the WC an email with a few questions so I will ask that as well. Hope that helps! Is anyone ordering signature drinks for their cocktail hour/reception??
  13. @lisamarco413 We are having our reception on the beach. I asked the WC I had at the time if in her experience, most ppl had a dance floor and she said of course. I'm sure that you don't "need" it. I'm thinking we may just get the wooden one that is $350. When is your wedding?
  14. @Amanda15012014 I haven't been notified of a change in coordinators yet either. I'll be sending in the excel spreadsheet soon so I expect to hear something then.
  15. @DR2015 I have been assigned Yakayra. She is the 3rd wedding planner I've been assigned, so I guess I'll be getting another one. Oh my!
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