I just got back from my wedding on December 5th, and I have to say that it was everything I dreamt of and then some more. We had 59 guests join us for the celebration. I debated between resorts and after working with Nanda from Beach Bum Vacation, she pointed me in the right direction by recommending this resort. Nanda was great in organizing the travel for our guests and everyone made it there without any issues if you are looking for a travel guide.
When we first walked up, I was blown away with the lobby because it is just gorgeous. There are live flamingos, a huge Christmas tree for the holidays and they welcome you with a cocktail in hand. I read previously that check-in takes a long time so I was mentally prepped for it. My fiancé and I arrived were upgraded to the Royal Service (ask your coordinator about this before arrival) so we ended up going to a completely different area to check-in. Royal Service was very nice. We received an upgraded room with beautiful decor, our own butler and several other perks including access to a private pool and restaurants for these members only. Make sure to book any activities or restaurants you would like to eat at upon arrival or in advance because they tend to book up. Bana got great reviews which is the Japanese Steakhouse and so did the Venta. If you want to pay for a great meal then Passions is supposed to be excellent. The private Royal Service restaurant on the beach was complemented by one of my guests as well. I was so busy entertaining that I did not have the chance to try these but from what I heard...these are good ones. Gabi Beach has a great beach view for breakfast as they serve a buffet. The bartenders are very attentive at the resort, and they don't stiff you with the drinks...that is for sure.
The resort is itself is very large and you will be lost for the first few days but it is just stunning and not a bad place to be lost. The landscaping is unreal and everyone just LOVED it (and I have some picky reviewers but it was all positive feedback from my guests). They really keep this place flawless. There is a great beach with volleyball courts, blue water, tiki lounge chairs and white sand. The main pool has a swim-up bar and the pool is very large.
One of the best things about Paradisus Punta Cana besides the landscape is the entertainment. They offer yoga on the beach, spin class with bikes in the pool, all types of other classes and activities. The shows at night were a highlight. One night they had a great Michael Jackson show and another night they had full moon beach party with a giant light-up robot and dancers. My guests loved it. I have nothing but great things to say about this resort for couples and friends looking for an excellent vacation spot.
Onto the wedding...If you are a planner like I am then it can be a bit of a challenge with the communication due to "island time" but even then your day will still turn out amazing. Just try to remain organized yet don't stress. I made an itinerary which I put in bean bags I handed out for my guests which was a good thing since it is tough to communicate via phone because the wifi is spotty. I also emailed this out before I left for the trip to all my guests so they knew where to be for the first night's dinner, welcome cocktail hour and wedding.
I made dinner reservation for 20 guests for the first night we arrived. Make sure to double check on this with the front bc it was not in the system but they still organized it for us and it worked out great. We had our own little area at Naos, and they had live music entertainment that night so it was a wonderful welcome dinner. The second night I hosted a welcome cocktail at Gabi Beach since the majority of guests were arriving. Gabi Beach at night is just beautiful with their glowing modern chairs on the beach.
The day before the wedding you will meet with your onsite coordinator and review all the details in the Romance Office.
The day of the wedding I rented out the bridal suite for my bridesmaids, and it was well worth doing. Once we all got ready at bridal suite after drinking our champagne and eating our hors d'oeuvres, we took pictures with the onsite photographer. The ceremony was beautiful, and we lucked out on the weather because it was pouring the day before. The day was flawless, and we had the symbolic sand ceremony at the gazebo at 3:30 PM. We had a two hour break to take pictures while our guests relaxed at M Bar. The after party was by the pool area which was stunning with the lighting as the sun went down. The beach area does not offer as much privacy as the pool area for the reception because it is right by the walkway for those brides who are debating between locations but they are both beautiful.
The best decision I made for my group who likes to dance and party was to hire H.O.T.S. production and get the crazy hour guys on stilts. My family didn't want me to do it and joked about it being a kids birthday party but afterwards they said they loved it. The crazy hour got the crowd dancing and there was not a single person sitting at the table when they came (even though that is not too hard to do with my dancing group). The crazy hour people handed out the glow-necklaces I brought down to Punta Cana and then they brought their own white balloons and masks for the guests. The crazy hour was the topic of conversation and it put the celebration over the top. The DJ did a great job with the playlist I provided him. The cake really popped with my rhinestone initial cake topper and the rhinestones around it. We covered the tables with candles, and it was magical. We did the Caribbean buffet which was ok but the desserts were yum. I ended up extending my reception to four hours instead of the standard three hours because the time flies by so quickly (which you will have to arrange days prior with the coordinator). The night was finished up at the disco. The day could not have gone more perfectly. All I can say is that don't let the little things get to you (I could not find my garter so we just made one lat minute) because it is not worth the stress and enjoy every minute because the weekend will go by so fast. I want to go back already.
You can see preview pictures at the gallery link below.