By KathyW, · 1,003 Views · 19 Comments
We arrived at the Royal on April 2nd 9am. We met with Flora our WC immediately upon arrival and did the blood work so we could have a legal ceremony. We had 34 of us total in our group and we all stayed at the Royal the whole 5 nights we were there. My hubby and I stayed in the Presidential suite and it was beyond amazing. When we arrived our bed was decorated with rose petals which we moved to the Jacuzzi and had a rose petal bath. Super romantic. We were also greeted with a honeymoon cake within an hour of our arrival, even though it wasn’t our honeymoon yet, we just went with it and enjoyed the little cake. We had an amazing view of the pool and ocean and a perfect view of the Gran Caribe Gazebo and terrace which is where we had our wedding/reception. I was really glad we had the view of this because on the day of the wedding I was able to keep an eye on how they were setting up tables and décor and let our WC know what changes I wanted ahead of time.
As far as the Royal goes, they were super accommodating to our large group. We were able to eat together a few times during our trip. Pelicanos was the most accommodating to our group and whenever I wanted something I just used the bride card and they usually went out of their way to do what I asked, whether they wanted to initially or not.. There was one night where I had made reservations for the Asiana restaurant and then the day of, when I went to double check that we still had our reservation, they informed me all the restaurants were closed on that night due to their Mexican show/dinner. That was a little annoying since we had already told everyone to meet outside Asian and then I had to find everyone to change the plans. We all went to the Mexican dinner and were not impressed with the food, as it was not anything close to Mexican food like we were told. We ended up just going to Spice and eating later. Spice is a good buffet place where you can have large groups together very easily. We ate there and Pelicanos all but one night. Overall the food was good!
Now on to the wedding details… We had our ceremony at 5pm at the Gran Caribe Gazebo, which was perfect. The ceremony lasted about 25 minutes with our sand ceremony and then we had our guests do a group picture on the beach and come back for the reception on the terrace/gazebo at 6:30-9:30pm. Since we had the presidential suite for 5 nights we got the free wedding package and just added a few things. We brought our own cd for the ceremony music which they played without any major issues. We brought our own decorations including chair bows and some fake yellow stands of flowers which they draped around the white tulle in front of the gazebo which looked super cute. We also brought our own isle runner that we had made with our names and wedding date on it. I am really glad we did this as the red would not have gone with our colors and it looked much better than having nothing down. Also, we did not use their florist and went through wedideas.com for real touch flowers (see pics). We also booked our own photographer, Cecilia Dumas who was excellent. We booked her for 3 hours and she ended up giving us an extra hour for free.
There were only 2 glitches during our wedding experience. The first one was I was told initially by my WC Elsa that if we booked our photographer a room at the Gran Caribe we could get out of paying the outside vendor fee and then our photographer could come to our room on the wedding day without any issue. Then 15 minutes before 4pm Flora WC came to my room and said that our photographer was in the lobby of the Royal and that she could not come up to our room without paying the outside vendor fee. I explained to Flora that Elsa had told me in email which I could provide later, that if she was a guest at the Gran Caribe she could come to the room as I did not have any other outside resort guests, Flora informs me that she can come up but could not take any pictures on the Royal property and that we would have to go over to the Gran Caribe resort to do our pics. So that was annoying and required us to go next door and risk the guys seeing us but after it was all done we were fine. The only other glitch was they started the first song during the ceremony before the best man was there and then had to stop the music and restart it again. These glitches were by no means anything that ruined our wedding but figured I would share.
For the reception, we had 4 tables set up on the terrace outside the gazebo and then a bride/groom table facing the gazebo. The tables were just the standard white linens and we brought our own centerpieces and décor. I am so happy we did this because it made the overall appearance beautiful. They also put tulle draped over our heads which added to the look. Everything looked perfect! Whoever did the decorating gets an A+++!!!! For dinner we chose the basic salad, chicken florentine, beef fillet, mash potatoes and cheesecake. Everyone said the food was excellent however I was so caught up I only had one bite of the chicken and the cheesecake. Our cake was beautiful and everyone said was also super yummy. We brought monogrammed cake boxes for everyone to take a piece back to the room since they had desert already provided. We chose one layer with chocolate and coconut and the 2nd tier was strawberry. I had a bite of each and was impressed.
For the dancing we hired DJ Doremixx who completely exceeded my expectations. Ivan is super wonderful and accommodating. He even cut my ceremony music for me. The best part was he surprised us with cold fireworks during our first dance and made that moment even more amazing. We did not pay extra for this so we super happy! He played great songs that kept our party dancing the entire time. I would not have changed one thing about this and am so happy we paid the extra money for a DJ. I felt the location of having the tables on the terrace and the gazebo set up with the DJ and dancing was perfect. I would not have changed a thing about our wedding or our location/decorations. I was initially nervous about having our location on the terrace and gazebo for the reception because most girls chose the villas terrace or beach and so I thought they knew something I didn’t and we would end up wanting to change our location once we arrived but I am very happy with our choice. I really wanted to feel close to the beach but wanted more privacy than the beach locations offered. Our location made us feel like we were on the beach but just not on the sand. It was perfect perfect perfect. I highly recommend this spot if you have 40 or less people in your group!
Our wedding was a dream come true…..
If anyone has any questions feel free to ask. I planned for 10 months and would not have been able to do all of it without the help of past brides from the Royal/Gran Caribe… Good luck ladies and happy planning! It will all be over before you know it… Enjoy every second!