We just got back from our wedding vacation on Saturday, and I have to say, it was the best vacation ever!! The resort was gorgeous, always clean, and so fun for a large group. We spent most of our days at the pool, beach, or playing volleyball in the sand! We ate at the buffet for breakfast and lunch - I thought the buffet was good and had a great selection! Some guests thought that the buffet food was a little bland, but I thought that it tasted fine! We had a few dinner reservations throughout the week. We found that as our group made reservations, it was easiest to always book 10 people and then invite/shift dinners for whoever wanted to eat at that restaurant that night. We had a group of 35 people, so a lot of times family ate together, friends ate together and some nights we would all coordinate to eat as one big group. My favorite restaurant was the steakhouse - get the ribeye! It was so delicious! The seafood restaurant and hibachi restaurant are both recommended. I enjoyed both of these - the food and atmosphere were great! The italian restaurant was not my favorite - nor a favorite of any of my guests! We had a few friends eat at the mexican restaurant - some loved it, some hated it. On our last night we went to La Brisa on the adult side to eat - the restaurant itself is gorgeous and the food was delicious! We spend a lot of nights at Strikers (the sports bar) and the disco. Strikers is buffet style food and is available at all time of the day/night, which was convenient for late night snacks. Casinos really are not my thing - but all of the boys had a good time there! Tips go a long way - just a few dollars while getting a drink or left in your room will go a long way. Although communication was a barrier, everyone was friendly and eager to accommodate you!
On to the wedding events...
Night before - We had a cocktail party the evening before the wedding. We selected our appetizers for this event - and all of the guests LOVED them. I know the favorites were a shrimp avocado salad and crab claws! Everyone said that the appetizers at the cocktail party were delicious! It was decorated so well and coordinated with my wedding colors. They had rum punch with pineapple and umbrellas - so cute! They also brought a speaker and we hooked up a friends phone to play music during this event!
Wedding Day! - On the wedding day - I went to the buffet for breakfast with my parents and girlfriends - we then went to the spa for a pedicure and our hair! The pedicure was the best I ever had! She spent so much time with me and was super friendly. My hair turned out gorgeous - I know my bridesmaids were not thrilled with theirs, but unless you bring a picture, communication can be difficult when describing what you want. We then got ready in the bridal suite! It was nice to sit, eat lunch, get ready, and have some champagne with my girls! They do not bring you lunch to the bridal suite, just snacks, but my mom went to the buffet and brought pizza over for us! Matt spent the day playing volleyball and swimming before he got ready! The boys do not have a grooms suite, so they just got ready in our room together - which worked out well.
The photographer (we had Micaela) came at 4 to the bridal suite to take getting ready pictures - and at 5, Elizabeth picked myself, bridesmaids, and our moms up to go to the ceremony. FYI Elizabeth is AMAZING!!! She really listens to all our emails and makes this day so beautiful and special. I loved her! We chose mostly white as our ceremony colors - we had a pale coral in the glass water vases lining the aisle. We also brought sunglasses and had them sitting on all the guest chairs! It was the perfect touch - and guests loved it! We used Pastor York - who was also amazing! We had several guests tell us how wonderful Pastor York was! I would recommend him to anyone! He was sentimental and funny at the same time! We did not have to pay an outside vendor fee for Pastor York to come in. After the ceremony - we had a cocktail party with pre-selected appetizers. These were also good! They had rum punch and the guests enjoyed having a few drinks after sitting in the heat! Micaela took pictures of the group, family, and then Matt and I left to take our own pictures. Do not be afraid to ask for certain pictures, she is very willing to do whatever you like! With that being said, TRUST HER! She took the most incredible photos for us! Seriously, the best!!!!!!
After Matt and I were done with pictures, we all took the private train/trolley (decorated with balloons) to Bar Higuey for our reception. For those of you who chose this as your reception spot - prepare to be awed! Pictures do not do this location justice. It was breathtaking. The standard centerpiece that comes with Tangerine Package is gorgeous - and after seeing it in person, I am glad I did not upgrade. The white ceiling draping, table set-ups, and flower display is amazing! Bar Higuey surpassed what I was ever thinking and I am so grateful to have had our reception there! Right off the bat you do the first dance, father/daughter dance, and mother/son dance. Then my dad gave a pre-dinner toast! Food was awesome - best we had all week. We chose the ceased salad with chicken, steak parisian coffee, and luke warm chocolate fondant (chocolate lava cake). We also had one child and they gave her chicken fingers/french fries (which we requested). They print a menu for you - so you do not have to worry about that! We also brought thank you flat cards and koozies for each guest. We had vanilla with strawberry filling as our wedding cake - again, amazing! I was not disappointed by a single food item at our reception. We had the DJ and MC package - well worth it! He coordinates the first dances, speeches, and announces the last song. It was nice not having a guest be responsible for this! Music was great - we had an absolute blast dancing the night away! We did not extend our reception - however, if it wasn't so hot, we might have! Bar Higuey is not air conditioned and does not have fans. That was the only semi-downside of this location. However, I wouldn't change a thing about picking Bar Higuey, heat and all! After the reception was over - the train/trolley took us back to the lobby and guests met at Strikers to watch the end of the Cavs game!
Overall, amazing! The resort was wonderful - everyone loved it! Elizabeth is wonderful! Micaela is wonderful! Pastor York is wonderful! I know how hard it was planning a wedding and not seeing anything - but please do not stress. It all comes together so well and becomes the most beautiful wedding you've ever seen!
If I could offer any words of advice….I would not choose the gazebo as a ceremony location - it is right in between the two main pools and there are tons of guests that watch/are loud during your ceremony! I would pick a wedding time later in the afternoon - ours was at 5, and although hot, was much better than 12 or 1. Choose Bar Higuey! You will not be disappointed by the location at all! Relax and enjoy your wedding day! Do not worry over the details - they handle everything for you and it ends up being amazing! I did not look at or organize anything the day of the wedding - Elizabeth took care of everything for me! Also, don't be afraid to send pictures of what you like! I sent bouquet and cake pictures and they both turned out fabulous!
If/when I figure out how to add pictures, I will!
Feel free to ask any questions! I'm sure I missed details you would love to know about
Mrs. Reedy :)