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081114OVCUBA

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About 081114OVCUBA

  • Birthday July 4

Profile Information

  • Location
    Grande Prairie, AB

Wedding Information

  • Wedding Date
    August 10, 2014
  • Wedding Location
    Varadero, Cuba
  1. 081114OVCUBA

    Ocean Varadero El Patriarca

    @@krystalxoxo No problem at all, I'm so happy to help! Our reception was at the Beach Restaurant, it was completely private with dedicated staff. I think it depends on how many people you have attending, where they put you. For smaller groups I think they use one of the a-la-carte restaurants, or a section there of. The down side of the beach restaurant is that it is all open, no walls; therefore, no air-conditioning and lots of mosquitoes and other bugs. It was really nice having all of the extra space (huge dance floor) and lots of privacy but air conditioning would have been a definite plus!
  2. 081114OVCUBA

    Ocean Varadero El Patriarca

    @@krystalxoxo Hey there, thanks! You'll see lots of posts in the forum here at BDW about hidden costs, but don't worry so much in Cuba and especially at the OVEP. There are some extras but nothing came as a SURPRIZE per say. Depending on the wedding package you choose, you may have to pay for the Notary Public/translation services/legal paperwork etc and for extra people over the amount included in the packages. If you pick the free package you will find your self with a few other extra charges i.e. microphone and sound system. We picked the Pure Elegance package and it included almost everything. Did you receive a copy of the wedding package options and price lists for extras? PM me if you don't have these and I can send them to you. These are a MUST have to know exactly what you will be paying for your big day. Also, know that there is a day pass fee for anyone coming from off-resort to your wedding (staying at another resort). This means if you are over your package's maximum number of guests, there will be a change for the day pass AND the extra person fee. We didn't run into this issue (everyone was staying at the resort and we only had 28 people and the package covered up to 30) but it seems like a common issue, one that people seem to be surprised with. I brought a lot of my own decorations... they only have table cloths, chair covers and sashes, and other very basics - you can purchase extra flowers if you like or pick some from the gardens (that's what we did). I brought centerpieces, a cake topper, table decorations, and guest favors (in our wedding colours) which were plenty to decorate the tables. The wedding coordinator met with me in the morning of the wedding and I gave her everything and explained where I wanted it/how I wanted it placed and she took care of everything. It looked exactly as I wanted it, they did a great job! They do not sell any sort of favors or have any other decoration rentals.. if you want something there - its best to bring it with you. That being said, if you wanted to travel a bit lighter they do have little souvenir kiosks at the resort and you can get lots of little things for 1-2 CUC each They had key chains, pens, small toys etc. Hope this helps, if you have any other questions please let me know.
  3. Thank you I was soo happy with how they turned out, especially since I had no idea how they would turn out as they ran out of flowers. The florist took all of my supplies and did everything for me, the loops of blue ribbon stuffed into the bouquet as well as all of the wire wrapping. Thankfully everything was ready for me when they were delivered since they came less than an hour before the ceremony and in hindsight there was no way I would have had time to do it myself (maybe a family member could have though).
  4. Awe I love this thread, what a great idea!!! Thank you all for sharing <3 Here are my top 2:
  5. 081114OVCUBA

    08-11-14 Ocean Varadero El Patriarca Pictures

    Pictures from our wedding at the Ocean Varadero El Patriarca - photos of my dress, bouquet, cake topper, some some neat pose ideas we stole from online :)
  6. Thank you Everyone The local florist did the flowers with some extra supplies I brought with me (Ribbon & Wire wrap). I just posed a new thread about my flowers here: http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com/topic/77882-diy-bouquet-ideas-–-ribbon-wire-wrap/ My dress was an online purchase from eBay, a factory direct 'knock off'/no name! I hit the jackpot! I sent in 2 pages full of measurements and selections/options and the dress was made specially for me. With some very minor alterations it fit perfectly! Funny story... This was the second dress I ordered, after ordering my first one (also online) I fell in love with this one (without trying either of them on). Luckily, it must have been fate, I found this dress as my first never showed up (seller went AWOL - no worries PayPal refunded me). I should add a thread about my dress fiasco, it all turned out for the better and I learned a lot about ordering dresses online and taking measurements etc.!
  7. Hey Everyone, I’ve have a couple of lovely compliments on my DW flowers so I decided to add a new thread to share the details with you. The resort had sent many, many, pictures of all sorts of flowers (from previous weddings) to give me ideas but none seemed to have the pizzazz that I was looking for. I found some great inspiration online when trying to decide on what kinds of flowers, colours, and shapes I wanted for my bouquet to match our style, attire, and décor. This is the picture that started it all: Once I saw the colourful wire-wrap on the stems I knew, I HAD TO HAVE IT! I figured this was pretty unique and of all places Cuba would probably not have anything like this so I searched eBay.ca and bough my own Aluminum Jewelry Wire, in our wedding colours, in 15 Gauge. Here is the link to the item I bought: http://www.ebay.ca/itm/New-1Roll-12-15-18Gauge-1-0-1-5-2-0mm-Aluminum-Jewelry-Wrap-Craft-Wire-12Color-/400568137637?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&var=&hash=item5d43b8b7a5 I also bought wide (6inch) black satin ribbon to wrap the stems with before, so the colour would pop. I was planning on adding the ribbons and wire wrap after delivery from the florist, as a DIY, but the wedding coordinator said that the florist would have no problem doing it all for me and I think they did a pretty great job.  As part of my wedding package with the resort, the following flowers were included: one bouquet, one boutonnière, and one centerpiece arrangement. Due to some issues with the Varadero florist (full details to come later in my resort review) none of our flowers of choice or colour were available (and we were not being that picky, honest). They had 4 types of flowers plus baby’s breath, all were white and pink. We used 3 of the types of flowers (the other were white chrysanthemums aka ‘funeral flowers’ as per the wedding coordinator). We didn’t particularly like any of the flowers as a centerpiece so instead i asked that they make a smaller bouquet to toss, they did this no problem. Since they had nothing available in blue and I desperately wanted to tie in our other wedding colour we added in loops of blue gauze ribbon to the bouquets and used it on the boutonnière as well. I’m so happy I brought what was left from our wedding favors with me ‘Just in case’, it turned out PERFECT! Here are some pictures of our flowers: Lessons learned: be flexible, be creative, and pack EVERYTHING you can think of that you might need! 
  8. Hey Everyone, We were so thrilled with how our custom cake topper turned out I had to post and share it with you! I’ve seen a couple of threads on here about custom toppers, from Etsy and Lillipop, but nothing quite like this... It is a miniature figurine set of us in our wedding attire based on photos we sent in to the seller. We sent in several pictures of our faces and then pictures of all of our attire and anything we wanted incorporated (hairdo, flowers, flip flops, etc) or embellished. Here is the finished product: This made quite the hit at our wedding; everyone was asking about it and taking pictures. The workmanship is outstanding; they really do look a lot like us. It will be a small keepsake from our special day that we will treasure for a long, long, time. If you are still looking for a custom cake topper and are interested, we bought through an eBay store http://www.ebay.ca/usr/petticoat_king but they also have a standalone website http://www.aprilbridal.com. I chose to buy through eBay because the listing included the shipping charge and for the added buyer protection with PayPal. Cheers!
  9. Sounds like a lot of extra charges these days, here's some other charges to look out for in case you have not seen this thread: http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com/topic/77644-whats-your-hidden-costs-so-far/ We didn't try to negotiate any of our resort's add on prices, we did go to the photographer to find out what she charged for a full day rather than just the ceremony (~1 hr for 120$)... it was insane so we ended up paying her 50$/extra hour x 3 hours.. This wasn't much of a negotiation though. Have you already signed a contract and committed to this one resort? If not, you could price it out elsewhere and have them compete against each other?
  10. When we were picking our resort I found a lot of places had extra charges listed in their fine print, their free packages looked they would cost a lot more than the pay packages which include some things, if you wanted anything added at all. Some seemed rather misleading for sure; some of those extra charges are REDICULOUS! They sure to try to get away with charging for as much as they can get out of us, knowing we will pay it. I found the resorts in Cuba generally had less extras (and selection) to offer but also didn’t change for as many of the extras compared to Mexico and Dominican. This is a bonus and a draw back all at the same time. Our package was 2300$ USD for the legal wedding (translation fees, notary public charge, document fees included) and included up to 30pax for Champaign toast, reception 3 course meal, open bar, bouquet and boutonniere, one floral arrangement (but got a second bouquet instead at no charge), cake, and chairs/table wear etc. For everyone after 30 it would have been an extra $38 each and if anyone was coming from off-resort they had to buy a day pass at 65$ ea. The package also included a microphone and sound system (this would have been an extra cost for lower packages). Our only real extra costs were: Hair/makeup/Manicure = 85$ (with a wedding discount inc in our package), Photographer 120$, Videographer 200$, 3 Extra hours for the photographer @50$/hr. We bought our own supplies for a sand ceremony and all of our own table decorations and wedding favors, they did not charge us anything to do the set ups. By the sounds of it we got off very lucky! We also added in our budget a tip for the Wedding Coordinator, SPA ladies, bellboys (driving us around in the carts for hair/make up and to the ceremony), photographer, videographer, and bartenders / wait staff.
  11. @@LauraM Hi there, Here is the link to our website: http://www.dominicandamanda.com We are now post-wedding and have most of our photos up, guests are beginning to upload their photos as well so there is lots of content. We used our website as one of our main contacts for our guests which worked out well. The website was made on and is hosted through www.momentville.com and I bought our domain name from http://ca.godaddy.com The website cost about 35$ initially to set up. I’ve bought extra hosting space for all of our and our guests’ photos so we can keep everything in the same place, costing an extra 20$ per 500MB (I’ve done this 3 times and will probably buy another 1-2 depending on how many photos everyone shares). If you don’t use your website for all of your guests photos, only yours, you probably won’t need to buy more than 1 x 500MB. Your website and extra space with momentville.com never expires which is one of the features I really liked about it. It was really easy to design pages and uploading photos is a breeze. Our domain name only cost 1$ since I was able to use a coupon code, it is only good for 1 year but is renewable indefinitely for about 10-20$/year. I hope this helps 
  12. @@acw271011 Thank you, I've sent an e-mail on with the resort details. I really appreciate your help with this
  13. Annoyed is a nice word for my initial reaction LOL... Irate... Peeved... Perplexed... Bridezilla... lol Thank goodness I have a Hubby, then FI, who is good with these things and great with calming me down. He made me realize what was important in the moment and not to worry or stress about things out of my control - If more family wanted to come last minuet just appreciate and welcome it. If they just as quickly decide you are not worth it, don't fret or let it be personal. He made sure I got level headed quickly and could resume my bridal bliss and just enjoy the feeling of getting so close to our special day. My Aunty, her husband, and 3 adult kids were all invited.. I didn't expect her to be a 'single' but for sure understood the single vs double pricing etc... the real kicker here... Her and her guest didn't even share a room - they both booked singles! I really would have liked the curtsey of being asked (not that it would have made a difference tho)... My cousin was apparently waiting for the price to drop, then when it did couldn't find a friend to go, then the price went up again so she decided to travel elsewhere with a youth group instead. I can only imagine the tension this could cause, it's so hard to be fair/polite/political and juggle a budget. Maybe you could wait until the last minute until you know exactly who is coming (not set a precedence with time for others to follow) and if it is only those extra couple just cover it last minute?
  14. Thanks @@calgarybride2015 I'm hoping there is a way to have a resort added, even if none of the vendors on here use it 'YET'. It is such a new resort there is not much info out there about it and I want all Bride2Bs to know about this option too. I'm so happy we chose this resort. I cant wait to spill all about EVERYHTING!!!!!
  15. @@calgarybride2015 What a tough situation, no matter how you choose I'm sure it will either feel like the wrong decision or be 'perceived' as the wrong decision. I think this is a darned if you do, darned if you don't situation... We had a bit of a similar situation happen right before our wedding last week... My one Aunty decided that since her husband was not going to go with her she could invite one of her friends and RSVP for both of them.. (wasn't thrilled I had never met this person, nor was I asked if it was ok; but, whatever it wasn't worth any fight or drama so just went with it)... THEN 2 weeks before the wedding say all of a sudden her daughter was coming too and wanted to make sure there was room for her at the reception and on our group outing (AFTER I had already booked the tour for exactly 28 people (2 x 14passanger vans) and bought and made the OOT bags etc). My FI was the one who helped me grow some kahunas and helped me stand my ground. I made a big fuss about how great it would be to see her and how happy I was she was able to come. I told her that there was for sure space at the reception (I still had 2 spots left which were included but not filled for the dinner) but that the group outing was full unless another guest was unable to go since it was already prebooked and only had enough spots for those I had already promised it too. I never changed my plans and didn't go buy another OOT bag and goodies or make the personalized tag etc. I figured she could have our bag (it was the same as the rest but just had our names on the tags which could easily be removed). 2 days before the wedding my Aunty said my cousin was not coming as she decided she was going out of the country on another trip instead. How happy was I that I didn't go out of my way to accommodate her last minute to have her not bother and rather be elsewhere. FAMILY eh? What to do with 'em
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