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JJCB0418

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About JJCB0418

Profile Information

  • Location
    Maryland

Wedding Information

  • Wedding Date
    April 17, 2015
  • Wedding Location
    Punta Cana - Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe
  1. Hi Adriana, I had the Tangerine package and paid $60 for additional guests. I'm sure it's probably the same for the Mint package. I'm sure your coordinator will get back to you soon for confirmation! Best of luck - it'll be beautiful!
  2. Hi Ladies! I got married 2 months ago and am finally getting around to writing my review. Overall, it was an incredible time and you really shouldn't worry about a thing. I don't even know where to start, so sorry if this seems a bit unorganized and super lengthy, but I want to give as much detail as I can! Welcome Bags/Meeting Points: We had a large group of 85 family and friends all arriving and leaving on different days/times, so handing out our welcome bags (beach bags with flip flops, playing cards, and a ziplock bag with band aids, advil, sunblock, hand wipes and hand sanitizer) was not easy. We got there on Wednesday along with a handful of others and somehow just managed to bump into most people as we walked around so we tried to carry a few bags around with us during the day. We sent out a little memo 2 weeks prior and it said that we would be in the lobby at 5pm everyday to greet people - we did this the first 2 days and then my family kept telling me to leave it alone, that people would find us. Everyone pretty much met in the same area by the main pool during the day and then by the theater at night. We had an "agenda" that included ping pong, card, and pool tourneys, but ended up not even going by it so we stopped handing it out pretty much by the end of Thursday. Most people just wanted to lay out by the pool and several groups planned their own excursions. There were several people we only saw at night after dinner, so it was nice that they really got to enjoy their vacation. If you have a smaller group I'm sure it'll be easier to organize everyone. Dinner Reservations: I'd recommend making reservations for each night as soon as you get there, especially for large groups. With our large group we made a few reservations at a restaurant and just hoped we'd be seated near each other (for instance we'd reqeust reservations for 2, 4 and 6 a the steak house on one night) so we had 3 different reservations at the same time and they ended up seating us all together whenever we did this. A lot of the restaurants didn't have availability for larger groups so it was tough getting people together, but as long as everyone had a reservation it was fine. My favorite was the steak house and the Italian place. When we went for the site visit in September we also got to try the Japanese place which was okay. Accommodations: We stood on the family side since the rooms are a bit nicer and it's closer to all the restaurants, plus most of our group was on that side as well. We booked the Suite Ocean Front Club Premium room (previously called Club Premium Master Suite Ocean View). We booked this thinking we'd be upgraded to the Grand Suite when we checked in but that didn't happen. The room was amazing! We had 2 bathrooms, a large living room, a hot tub on the balcony and in the master bathroom. We certainly didn't spend enough time in the room to enjoy it all, but it was very nice and perfect for the girls to get ready in! Wedding Meeting: Elizabeth was our planner and we couldn't be happier with her! Earlier on in the planning she didn't respond to emails as quickly as I'd like, but read other people's postings and felt better about it. About a month before the wedding she was in constant communication with me regarding details. My meeting with her was Thursday morning and she saw how anxious I was and calmed me down and told me that I have nothing to worry about. Her calmness just really put me at ease. We went over all the details (flowers, cake, decor, order of the bridal party, etc) and decided at that time to add the crazy hour dancers - which was definitely a great decision. Photo/Video: During our meeting with Elizabeth, Micaela from Tropical Pictures came to go over our photo/video package and what pics we wanted taken. We got a smaller package - the bronze package (bride getting ready pics, ceremony and group shots) because my cousin and his girlfirend were our photographers but we didn't want to pay an extra $1,000 for the "outside vendor fee." We got the Star Video package and requested that instead of video of group shots that they use that time as additional reception coverage instead. They agreed, but we still have video coverage of us taking group shots and he left the reception during dinner - I'm not sure what time it was though. Anyway, Micaela gave a list of different group photos (group shot of bride's side of family, group shot of groom's side of family, full group, friends shot, and then different parent/bridal party pics). I would suggest thinking about photos you want taken prior to the meeting. I didn't know she'd be there with a list and once I saw it I was like "great, they have everything covered" but there were some photos I would have liked that I didn't think of until after the day. Like I don't have a photo with the two of us and both sets of parents (strange it wasn't even on their list) or a pic with the groom and ringbearer. Takaway: So, if I were able to do it again I would have made a list in advance and given it to them. I also would have asked the videographer to stay longer when he told me he was leaving - he didn't get the cutting of the cake (which was hysterical), the crazy hour dancers or any of us dancing. It all went so quickly that I don't even remember what songs were played so it would have been nice to have video of it. At least we have lots of photos from our guests! The morning of our departure (Monday) we went to Tropical Pictures to review/choose our photos. We really didn’t have much time to think about it since our shuttle was picking us up to get to the airport, so there was a lot of pressure and I wasn’t able to see what pics my cousin took at that point. I think if we would have left Tuesday we wouldn’t have felt so stressed about it. With that said, we ended up purchasing all of the pics. The video was mailed to us about 2 weeks later. It wasn’t the best wedding video I’ve ever seen, but it was good and captured the ceremony which was the most important part for me. I really wish they didn’t leave before we were done with dinner so we could have captured some of the fun – I honestly can’t recall songs that were played because it all went so quickly, so to have video would have been nice….but I know everyone had a great time and just about everyone was on the dance floor the entire time. Friday - Rehearsal Dinner: They provided a rehearsal dinner for up to 20 people - we paid $25/person for adults and $12/child after the 20 people. Since we had so many people, we had a set menu (salmon - and we let them know of anyone who didn't eat fish and would have the beef) and were in a private banquet room. It was set up nicely and everything went smoothly and on time. After dinner we pre-planned a night out at Imagine - a club about 10 minutes from the resort. We had 55 people with us so had a private bus and they sectioned off a private room/bar for our group. Everyone had an amazing time - even the above 50 crowd! The Big Day - Getting Ready: I made appointments at the spa for my 4 bridesmaids and my mom. There were 4 other weddings that day so the salon was very busy and I was very nervous about everyone being done in time. They have books with pictures so if you aren't sure what you want you can use that for inspiration. One of my bridesmaids hair took about 25 minutes and looked great. Another bridesmaid's and my mom's hair took way too long, and left very little time for my sister and the last bridesmaid. They managed to get it done, but they didn't get the hairstyle they actually wanted. My make up came out great and my hair came out okay. I had a picture from pinterest, but it didn't really look anything like it and some pieces in the back kept falling out so the girls kept repinning it for me. Otherwise, the ladies in the spa are lovely. (oh and my husband and I received the couples massage with our package along with a facial for me and that was simply amazing…and much needed). Elizabeth said we could get ready in the bridal suite at the salon, but I passed on it. I actually preferred to get ready in my room so I wouldn't feel nervous about forgetting anything in the room and we just had more space in my room for everyone. Our appointments started at 1pm (with my manicure) and the photographer/videographer was scheduled to be in my room at 3:30. I got back to the room a little after 3:30 in a panic thinking I was going to be late, but the photographer assured me that we had plenty of time until Elizabeth would pick us up right before 5pm. Two of my bridesmaids got back to my room before I did so they let the photographer/videographer in so they could prop them for pics. Once I got back they took some additional photos…it was weird that they asked me to act like I was putting on lip gloss even though all my make up was already done – so the video looks kind of funny because I didn’t touch the gloss to my lips! Haha The getting ready pics came out great though! Ceremony: Elizabeth picked us up a little after 5. She told us the guys were late getting ready so they were the hold up. I’m glad it wasn’t me and my girls! She drove us over to the ceremony location (chill out rooftop above the spa) and I had to wait near the elevator. It was another few minutes of waiting, which confused me but later out that my husband and the best man forgot the rings in the room so one of the groomsmen had to run back to get them! Elizabeth did a good job of keeping this from me so I wouldn’t get upset. Once everyone had their seats and we were all ready she put everyone in order and told them when to walk….which helped since we didn’t have a rehearsal. We had music playing from our iPad instead of getting the trio to perform for the ceremony. She asked if we had anyone to play the music for us, but ended up having her colleague do it instead which was nice. We asked that the trio play during pics, but I never saw them, unless they came when we did couple shots on the beach, which I doubt – but it really wasn’t a big deal to me. My grandfather-in-law performed the ceremony and everything went smoothly and fairly quick. After the ceremony we walked back up the aisle and the photographer took a few shots and everyone received a glass of champagne. We didn’t actually do a toast because everyone was walking around and taking pics. The photographer and videographer did group shots on the rooftop and then took the two of us to the beach to do pics at the pier – which was getting cleaned up from another ceremony that just took place. The pictures came out great and we got just enough sunlight for them. She was in communication with Elizabeth while taking pictures so knew when we had to finish to go to the reception. Reception: We met Elizabeth at the main lobby with the rest of the group where the trolley was waiting. I thought it was weird that they didn’t take everyone over there first and then come back or have a separate trolley that left after for us and the bridal party. We were all taken to Bar Higuey together and we just stood right outside of the entrance as everyone got to their seats. The MC spoke to us as people were finding their seats to make sure he had the order of the bridal party and the first songs correct. After the parents/bridal party entrances we did our first dance as soon as we got to the floor and then immediately did the mother/daughter and mother/son dances, which was nice to get them out of the way before dinner was served. We had the ceasar salad and for the main dish had the options of fish or beef tenderloin (we had to mark people’s seating cards with their selection in advance to avoid the additional fee for having more than one option). I had the beef and really enjoyed it and my husband had the fish….I ate off of his side of parmesan cheese risotto – so delicious! The crème brulee was also very good. I didn’t hear any complaints about the food, other than it took a while for it to come out but that’s because people were changing their meals (annoying!) and they can’t come out with the next dish until everyone is done with the prior dish. The MC told our best man and MOH when it was time for speeches. I wish they would have done it more during the main dish as opposed to the end of dinner to save time, but at the time I really wasn’t thinking about time or anything. Once the toasts were done, we were told it was time to cut the cake. My husband tried to get some in my face, but I managed to dodge it! I was so excited and celebrating my victory when all of a sudden I have cake all over my face. Everything happened so quickly, but I was told my little brother picked the piece of cake up that I dodged and put it in my face and then my hubby smeared it around. Then he gave me the chance to put some in his face, so of course I did! What I didn’t notice or hear about until after was that one of my sister’s went into big sis defense mode and took a piece of cake from the bottom tier and threw it in my brother’s face! It’s something I really wish was caught on video, because I didn’t see it! Haha Someone came up to me immediately after and asked if I was okay and not to be upset, that it was all in fun – I was honestly not upset at all…it was a fun time. After the cake my sister/MOH was about to take me to the bathroom to get cleaned up, but Elizabeth said that the Crazy Hour dancers were on their way in so I needed to stay put. My sisters helped clean me up with some napkins and I wasn’t even thinking much about it anyway. We selected the samba dancers and they came in with a man on stilts as well as some breakdancers. They really surprised everyone and was a great way to get the real party started and have everyone on the dance floors. They gave out masks, balloons and noise makers so the dancing part of the reception really didn’t feel like a wedding reception, it felt more like a night out at the club. I didn’t feel like the crazy hour dancers were there for a full hour, but everything moves so quickly that day I could never really know. The MC told me when there was 20 minutes left and asked if there were any particular songs I wanted to hear. I really was shocked when he told me 20 minutes….I almost wanted to cry because I didn’t want it to end! After the last song he told everyone to continue the party at Disco Bavaro. Me and my husband went back to our room to change our clothes….some others did the same and then we went to the disco. Some of our party was there but others either went back to their room, the casino or Strikers. But it was still nice to continue the party a little. Oh I almost forgot décor: we choose to keep the centerpiece that came with the package, but my mom wasn’t the biggest fan so I told her she can bring whatever she wanted to make it better. She had these gel things to put in the bowls instead of the rocks. Elizabeth also added tea light candles around it for no extra fee. I think Elizabeth put the gel things in too soon before the reception so it didn’t come out the way my mom expected, but I honestly didn’t even look at them until I saw pictures later. Monday: Elizabeth was off on Sunday so we met in her office to pick up our stuff the morning we left. We gave her all of the tips at this time – she had a wedding that day so was able to give the rest of the staff their envelopes (if the best man didn’t remember rings there was no way he’d remember to tip the staff, plus I felt more comfortable doing it myself). In hindsight, there are things I would have done differently (list of pictures, reserved seats at the ceremony for immediate family that should be in front, have speeches done during main course, etc) but it really was an incredible day and months later I still have weekly dreams about it. Elizabeth and the staff do a fantastic job and have everything covered. Let me know if you have any questions!
  3. I'm working on mine now as well! Here's a rough idea of what I'm putting for each category you have: 1. People who attended the wedding (either with a gift or not), - We are so grateful you traveled to be with us on our special day. We made memories that we'll cherish for the rest of our lives and we're honored that you are a part of those memories. We hope you had as much fun as we did! And if they gave us a gift I added the whole Thank you for the generous gift and for sharing in our special day....something like that. 2. People who were invited to the wedding and sent a card and/or gift, and - Thank you for thinking of us on our special day/we appreciate the generous gift.....and something along the lines of we're sorry you weren't able to attend but hope to see you soon so we can share pictures. 3. People who were not invited to the wedding (great aunts, older relatives etc) who send cards and/or gifts. - For me this was just a coworker that sent me something off the registry. I'll put something along the lines of: Thank you for the gift and for thinking of us on our special day. We'll are excited to use it in our new home! and I'll add something personal to our relationship (she also recently got married so we've been wedding planning buddies for a bit). Hope that helps!
  4. My father passed when I was 19 so my mom walked me down the aisle and I did a mother/daughter dance. I had a single white rose on the first chair at the ceremony, where he would have sat and my mom sat next to it. For my something new, my little sister gave me a bracelet with a locket engraved with "Always in My Heart" so I had his picture around my wrist the whole night. I mentioned him in my vows, but not at the reception since I didn't want everyone crying all over again - including myself. My sister got married a couple of years ago and had a picture of him with white matting so people could sign around it (I'm pretty sure she used that as her guestbook). It was on the table where people got their seating cards so everyone saw it right away. In lieu of favors she made a donation on everyone's behalf to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society so everyone got awareness wristbands. I thought that was also a great way to honor our dad. I think it's a matter of preference, but if you did something like a slide show or video or something I'd recommend informing your relatives so nobody is caught off guard. My cousin got married earlier this year and had a slide show and my dad and aunt were included. He told me and my siblings so that we'd be emotionally prepared and I think we all appreciated that.
  5. What you wrote is beautiful. I wouldn't worry so much about the format or length as long as you say what's on your heart. I wouldn't go on for too long since people will be sitting in the beautiful sun! Mine were a bit longer (probably a little over 2 minutes) and his were really short (less than a minute), but I said everything I wanted and didn't walk away feeling "I should have said..." I actually wrote mine the day before by the pool! haha Obviously, it's something I had been thinking about for a very long time so I had ideas of what I wanted to say, but just needed to put it on paper. I didn't do any research ahead of time about how to write them, for me it would have confused me and made me think about it in a more calculated way....but that's just me! Plus, I've been to a few weddings and have watched a million tv/movie weddings so maybe that was my research.
  6. @kvilagi We had a family member officiate and we weren't charged anything. My ceremony was symbolic, so not sure if that makes any difference. Ladies - I chose the centerpiece included in the package, but replaced the rocks in the fishbowl with these gel things my mom picked up. My WC (Elizabeth) had no issues with me bringing my own stuff. I honestly didn't even pay attention to the centerpieces....I only saw them in a pic my friend took! haha The outside vendor fee is really annoying and I was very hesitant about Tropical Pictures so we ordered a small package to just have them cover the ceremony/group shots and then my cousin (who is a photographer) also took photos during the ceremony and reception. I guess if you have someone in mind you can get around it that way. It's still $550 for the most basic package, but I didn't have to pay my cousin so it worked for us. We also did request their videographer. We haven't received the video yet, but I already feel like we should have paid the extra $400 to have him for 3 hours at the reception. He was only there for about an hour and that's just dinner for the most part. I'll be posting a full review with some pics after we receive the video!
  7. I still have some bags left: 5 with the aqua handle 35 with the black handle 12 with the white bottoms Message me if you're interested
  8. Can you have someone else escort them, like one of their siblings? My father passed away a few years ago so I'm going to have my uncle or my dad's best friend escort my mom. This way they can still have that moment and your bridal party can still have their fun!
  9. After reading these posts I feel like I overpaid. My dress already came with cups sewn in and the top fit like a glove, so I just needed a hem and bustle and I paid $225. I have no lace or beading, just tulle wouldn't that make it easier? Maybe it's because I have a couple of layers of tulle and then the netting and all that stuff. It'll just be nice when I see money in my bank account again!
  10. I think all brides experience this. I sent out my invitations in October with a December rsvp (Save the Dates were sent in May) and I started checking my mailbox everyday, like anxious to get home from work to check the mail! I didn't start making calls and sending text messages until 2 weeks before and I just let reminded them of the deposit deadline and informed them that after that date the rates wouldn't be the same. After that, it was up to them...most will wait until the final hour. Don't stress though! I assumed a couple of friends of mine wouldn't be coming since they are also getting married this year, and they just told me last week that they can come. They won't get the rate and we still had to pay the penalty for dropping rooms that weren't booked, but I'm so happy they are coming. People will surprise you, both happy and sad surprises.....it just comes with the DW territory.
  11. My problem solved itself, something happened with the girls and now they decided not to bring her along. One less random I'll know at the wedding
  12. VS Semi Annual sale ends tonight....I'm shopping for some suits now!
  13. This is amazing, they both look very cute! I love the flowers around her waist. I would probably go with the cap sleeves version, but it didn't win by much to me. Did she prefer one way over the other?
  14. That's ridiculous! They should do the hem and belt first and then everything else the 2nd time you go in. My lady pinned my dress for the hem and told me to let her know by the end of February if I change my mind on shoes. Do you need a bustle?
  15. @@kcole123 it looks amazing on you! Did they end up telling you whether or not you need to maintain your current weight?
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