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About DestiBride

Profile Information

  • Location
    Los Angeles, CA

Wedding Information

  • Wedding Date
    May 16, 2014
  • Wedding Location
    Now Larimar, Punta Cana, DR
  1. I thought the resort DJ was great. We gave him a list of songs we and he played everything we asked for and improvised the rest based on our style/taste. No regrets at all. We had a friend act as MC and that worked out perfectly. If you designate one of your guests as MC, your wedding coordinator will just tell them what to say and when so it flows quite easily. Hi there - I got married at Now Larimar a couple of months ago and yes, you would have the benefit of a free lounge if you used the night club. You can also pay for a lounge area at the pool but it is quite expensive. Good news about the pool - you would not have people walking through. When there are weddings there, it is closed off to the rest of the resort. The nightclub does not have a view, though. It's located closer to the hotel lobby and is not directly on the beach. Hope that helps!
  2. I'm not a fan of including "gift or no gift" information on the invitations. We had a line about "your presence is the only gift we wish to receive" on our website because the website is more informal. For invitations, keep it classy and leave out anything to do with gifts. To me, it sounds presumptuous either way.
  3. Overjoyed by Steve Wonder. It has always been one of my favorites...
  4. I like the shorter one because it's young and contemporary which is what I usually gravitate towards, especially for a destination wedding. The long one is more mature and elegant. Just depends what look you're going for and what your BMs prefer Good luck!
  5. We extended the reception at Castaways till midnight and then around twelve of us hung out on the beach and swam in the ocean for another couple of hours. My husband and I ran into the ocean in our wedding clothes, others took their clothes off and went in in their underwear. It was soooo much fun. Just happened organically, though, wasn't planned. We went to the nghtclub on other nights and it was fun too. The DJ is good and it's not too packed so if you're with a group you'll be able to stay together and find your own area to hang out in. Food and service were great and I would recommend it as a vacation spot. We were there from May 14-22 and it wasn't too packed. There were enough people that it was a fun and energetic vibe but it never felt crowded and we never had to wait in line for anything. We paid for the upgrade to "preferred" rooms but I didn't think it was worth it in the end. They don't really keep tabs on who's preferred and who's not so you could get away with using the preferred amenities if you wanted to, without being a member.
  6. I'm having an "AHR" due to in-law expectations but if it was up to me, I would not. Like many people on this forum have said, I got married once, it was the best day of my life, and if others couldn't make it, it's not my problem. I got married on May 17 in Punta Cana, DR. It was perfect, it the wedding of my dreams and as far as I'm concerned, I'm DONE. BUT, my husband has a huge family in Ireland who weren't able to make it due to the distance so, at my MIL's insistence, we are having another reception in Ireland in September. Luckily, we can loop it in to our (somewhat delayed) honeymoon in France so we get to kill two birds with one stone. My MIL is throwing it for us but I'm a bit nervous because I have no idea what she has in mind...I'm hoping for something quite relaxed but I have a feeling she's thinking formal... ugh! All I want to do is show up. No planning, no decision making, no stress. I'm done with that! Crossing my fingers that it will all work out easily...
  7. I think it's very important to do something special for your guests. Many of us choose destination weddings so that we can save money but for our guests, it's the opposite. They really go out of their way to be there for us so showing them some appreciation is a MUST, in my opinion. We got married a couple of weeks ago in Punta Cana, DR and our 32 guests were the ones who turned it into the absolute time of our lives. We had a pre-wedding excursion, OOT bags and even paid for many of our guests' rooms. I'm not suggesting everyone do all of that but if you're looking to cut costs, showing gratitude and appreciation for others is not the place to do it.
  8. I had a civil ceremony in Punta Cana, DR a couple of weeks ago and I didn't think the paperwork was overly stressful. I'm not sure if the requirements are very different compared to Mexico and Jamaica, but we did all of our paperwork through a third party vendor called wedo.com and they will also translate the marriage certificate for us when it comes through. Yes, it was something extra to do (and I guess anything extra will result in certain amount of stress) but I enjoyed having a "real" and legal wedding on the day. For me, it was worth it. They say our wedding certificate should arrive in the mail in four weeks. I've heard that it may take longer but I'm not too worried about it. Waiting an extra month or two to change my name is no biggie...
  9. I don't know if this has already been said but get your flights free with an airline credit card! My FI (now husband) and I both got free round-trip flights to our wedding in Punta Cana using Southwest Airlines' credit card. Even if you're (smartly) using cash for your wedding expenses, just put all of your expenses on the card and pay it off right away. That way you won't pay interest on the card but you'll get the points and free flights anyway!
  10. I had my destination wedding a couple of weeks ago and I can assure you all that no matter how discouraging it might be to have people cancel, you won't be thinking about those people when you're at your wedding having the time of your life. Throughout the planning process we definitely had some disappointments over people who couldn't come or those who backed out at the last minute for reasons we didn't feel were legitimate. But out of the 80 people invited, 32 came and we have never had more fun in our entire lives. The group that came was the exact group that was meant to be there and if I could go back in time and add the people who cancelled, I would NOT do it. Things will turn out exactly as they should and you will have an incredible experience no matter what.
  11. Now Larimar was wonderful! We loved it and all of our guests loved it. I really have no complaints at all. If you're doing La Barcaza and Now Larimar for your wedding, you'll have a great time, guaranteed. Feel free to let me know if you have any specific questions. Enjoy!!
  12. The temp in Castaways was perfect. It is on the beach so you do get the nice breeze and everyone was comfortable. Our reception was from 7pm - midnight and that amount of time felt perfect. We started with our entrance, followed by dinner. During dinner we had our first dance, speeches and a song performance by my singer/songwriter husband (ooh, still getting used to that word!). Dinner was shrimp cocktail, pumpkin soup, surf and turf and pear tartlet. I think it was pretty good although I was too excited to really taste it and we had so many things going on during dinner that the food really just passed me by in a blur... Then we started the party, had fire dancers around 10pm and then cut the cake some time after that. The resort created menus for us which I was pleasantly surprised by and not expecting. I had table numbers and escort cards made, which I gave to them in a disorganized heap and they put everything together very nicely. I didn't use the pro photographer for the reception because I thought it was too expensive and we had already splurged in other areas (Castaways, extended reception, premium bar, fire dancers...). We relied on friends and family to video / photograph the reception. I still haven't seen any of their photos since it was just last Saturday and it will take a while for everyone to get organized and send us their stuff. I opted for "bride getting ready" and "ceremony" pro photos. All photos and video were ready for us to pick up two days after the wedding, which was amazing. I will post pics as soon as I finish unpacking and get around to digging out the CD. Oh, and regarding the order of things, I didn't make those decisions. Our wedding coordinator was there to orchestrate all of that with our MC (my maid of honor) and the DJ. We just followed along with whatever they told us it was time for. So much less stress that way... Thank you! We got prints of all of our photos (bride getting ready and ceremony) so I have yet to dig out the CD and put pics online. Will do soon!
  13. Hi Ladies, I just got back from my wedding at Now Larimar and is was absolutely incredible, the wedding of a lifetime! My message to everyone: Don't stress! Just make your plans, be specific when telling them what you want, and trust that they will do their job. They are very experienced - whatever you're asking for, you're not the first and you can trust that they've done it before and know how to do it well. When we arrived, we saw so many other weddings happening before ours, I was worried that we would feel like "just a number". It is a bit of a wedding factory over there... but when it was our turn we enjoyed every moment and the fact that we were probably wedding #27 for that week didn't matter one bit. We had a civil ceremony on the beach - yes, there were onlookers and other events happening on the beach at the same time but it didn't matter, it was perfect. We had our reception at Castaways, which we paid extra for. It really is the best reception location, in my opinion, so I don't regret the expense at all. We used all of their services including DJ and photographer and I can't imagine why anyone would pay more for outside vendors (unless you're very particular and want something very specific). Their in-house team does a fantastic job. Past brides were a huge help to me when I was in the planning phase so I would be glad to help anyone out or answer any questions. Feel free to message me anytime!
  14. I just got back from my wedding in Punta Cana and we used La Barcaza for our pre-wedding celebration. We had an incredible time and I definitely recommend them. They were extremely flexible and accommodating. About an hour before we were due to depart, we had a mini personal emergency and had to postpone our departure time by one hour. They had no problem with this and were happy to wait for us which was amazing. Luckily, we were at Now Larimar where they pick us up directly from the resort beachfront, no transport involved (I'm not sure what their pickup is like for other resorts). My 90 year old grandmother was with us and she has a hard time walking, mostly uses a cane and/or wheelchair. For months, I stressed over how she would make it onto the boat (there is a mini boat that comes to get you from the shore and then brings you to the bigger boat). One of the men picked her up in his arms and delicately placed her in the boat and helped her out all night long, every step of the way. She was so happy and I could not be more grateful! Since ours was a casual pre-wedding party we didn't have any decorations or requests for special items so I can't vouch for how that would turn out but I can say that we had a phenomenal time and the staff were incredible. Note: Daniel will want you to pay 100% cash a couple of days prior to departure. We weren't comfortable with that since we couldn't guarantee that everyone would show up and he would not issue refunds. We were planning on 34 people total but only paid Daniel for 27, to be on the safe side. As luck would have it, several of our guests weren't able to make it due to flight delays so we made the right choice. Just remember, you can always pay him more if more people show up but you can't get refunds for less people.
  15. A friend of mine had a destination wedding a couple of years ago and she told me right away - attendance rate will be 30%. I thought it was hilarious that she was so specific but guess what? Six months later and she was right on the money. We invited around 90 people and 30 are coming. I noticed that our friends who are more "home bodies" and not particularly adventurous are the ones who are not coming while the friends who are easy going and up for a good time will be there. Taking a trip is a bigger deal for some people than others. We also decided to have a reception in Ireland (where my fiancé is from) after the wedding so of course, none of his Irish family are coming to our actual wedding. Is anyone else avoiding an "at home" reception for that reason? But overall I am so glad with our turnout. There were some disappointments along the way but it's a perfect group in the end and I wouldn't change it. When you're there and having the time of your life you won't even think about who's not there. Whoever IS there (most importantly you and your fiancé) will be all that matters.
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