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Married or going to be married at Grand Palladium Punta Cana?


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#2081 msredbird51

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    Posted 14 October 2010 - 08:34 AM

    Yay! I'm so glad to see to this thread active again.

     

    We leave in only 27 days! And it's just 32 days until we're married! I'm so excited to finally become his Mrs.!

     

    I can't believe it's finally here! When we planned this whole destination wedding thing it was the perfect solution to our low key, laid back, don't like "fuss" personalities. The fact that there were no worries, no stress, and we just show up while they do everything could not have been better for us. We would never have been happy with a traditional wedding. So this was just awesome. .... Except for one thing. I never thought about how having nothing to do would make the seven months between engagement and marriage creep by! lol.

     

    We're now in the home stretch and doing all of the things that couldn't be done until last minute though. I just sent our paperwork off to be translated and legalized. Waiting on it to come back. I have a second dress fitting next week. Carolina emailed and asked for our all of our wedding guests booking numbers. We've booked a "rehearsal dinner" snorkeling and catamaran cruise for us and our 21 guests for the night before the wedding. Now we're just planning a few other excursions for us, working on our final honeymoon details (we're leaving and going somewhere else entirely), putting together a little welcome packet for our guests, and securing gifts for our parents, MOH and BM. All the fun stuff.

     

    Bring on the next 27 days! Make them fly by!

     

     

    roxy--I used a travel agent. I NEVER use travel agents when booking my own trips, but since this was such a big deal, and many of our guests don't travel and/or have never left the country, we thought it would be more comforting to provide people with a travel agent to use. A little over half of our guests used the agent and the others booked on their own. I looked around a bit in the beginning for group rates, but didn't find any for the GP. That, combined with the fact that most times hotels make you put down a deposit and guarantee so many rooms made me stop trying to find a group rate altogether. I really wasn't sure how many people would go, and didn't want to get stuck with rooms for people who backed out, etc. So I didn't even try to find one. I'm not sure if the GP offers them, or if that's their policy or not though. And, in the end, we did have a couple of people who committed and then backed out last minute, so I'm even happier that we took the approach of, "Here's someone to call if you want to go, but other than that, you're on your own for booking if you want to go."

     

    Glad to hear you got your save the dates out! That was so exciting when we got those done! Passing out the gift bags was a lot of fun, too. To save on us packing them and taking them with us, we passed most of them out at our engagement party last month. We filled ours with towels, personalized cups, a beach mat, puzzle books, playing card, chapstick, an "oh $^!+ kit", underwater cameras, etc. None of our guests had any clue they were getting something like that. It was great to see their smiles and got everyone excited and ready to go. Good luck dress shopping! :)



    #2082 sheila2011

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      Posted 14 October 2010 - 09:49 AM

      roxy--I also used a local Travel Agent, one who specializes in destination weddings. I have NO regrets about my choice, in fact it's been so much easier when people ask me travel questions to tell them to talk to her! Out of my 31 people, only 8 booked on their own, and they booked through their own travel agents! Good luck with the dress shopping and the AHR planning! I haven't even thought of that!!! I think we may just do a BBQ at the FI's parents place. But not until the summer cause a BBQ in Canada in the winter would not be fun!

       

      msredbird--wow, you're SO CLOSE!!! That's great, I would be so excited too!! HOw did you book the rehearsal dinner catamaran and snorkelling expedition? That sounds like fun! Was it expensive? It's a really good idea!  Are you getting married in the gazebo? Using your own music? I'm sorry, so many questions! Please come back here when you're back to let us know how everything goes!

       

      I can't wait to get down to GP and do lots of  !   Oh and the whole wedding thing too! 


      Counting down to January 17th in Punta Cana!

      #2083 msredbird51

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        Posted 14 October 2010 - 10:46 AM



        Originally Posted by sheila2011 
        msredbird--wow, you're SO CLOSE!!! That's great, I would be so excited too!! HOw did you book the rehearsal dinner catamaran and snorkelling expedition? That sounds like fun! Was it expensive? It's a really good idea!  Are you getting married in the gazebo? Using your own music? I'm sorry, so many questions! Please come back here when you're back to let us know how everything goes!


        I'm honestly not sure where we're getting married. We planned this, and are still planning this, as we want to be married with our toes in the sand. We have all of these people though (parents, friends, other guests, etc.) talking in our ears saying, "But the beach isn't private!!!!!". We could not care less if other people are there. I just know that people will try to steer us away from what we want. So we're going with the intentions of doing the beach, but I have a feeling we'll have people trying to talk us into the beach side gazebo. We're going with an open mind, and I guess we'll just see how we feel when we get there.

         

        I put my MOH in charge of getting music together, but I figure if she doesn't get it all done, forgets, etc. I'll just use what Carolina and the DJ (for the beach party) have. We're really not all that picky. I think you'll find that's the theme of our wedding--we don't care. lol. We just want to be married, and to do so in a pretty place surrounded by our family and friends.

         

        Don't worry though. I totally plan to come back and report on our experience. I know all the brides before me in this thread really helped put my mind at ease!

         

        I read this thread and all of the DR threads a lot in the early planning stages, and just sort of kept track of ideas that I thought were great. I remembered a couple of people posting about a snorkeling tour instead of a "rehearsal dinner". Fiance loved the idea too. So I searched and found the threads/posts again. Ended up contacting one of the girls here to see who she used since her review was most like what we were looking for. She and I exchanged messages on here back and forth where she gave me some more insight on what they did. She even friended me on Facebook, so I could see pictures of the tour. It was all very helpful. I contacted that company, and that's who we are booked with. I did Google around and find some companies who I did price check. A few were a little cheaper, but each one didn't quite have what we were looking for. In the end, we booked for $1,925, which is $77 per person, based on 25 people. It's a 4.5 hour private charter, with drinks, snacks, snorkeling, swimming and bar time, ending with a sail back at sunset. It's definitely a little pricey, but I think it will be worth it. A nice thank you to our guests. Like I said though, there were definitely companies that did private charters a little cheaper. If you want more names, etc., just let me know.

         

        Also, as you shop for OOT bag stuff I'd be happy to look back and see where we bought some items to make some recommendations. My fiance became awesome at Googling for wholesale items. We got our underwater cameras for $4.60 each!!!



        #2084 roxy1122

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          Posted 14 October 2010 - 03:22 PM

          MsRedBird, thanks for your feedback! I really agree with the whole trave booking approach you have, can I ask which travel agent you used? You can PM me if needed.

          When you say that Carolina asked for all your guests' booking numbers, do you mean she asked for their hotel reservation information?

           

          thanks again :)



          #2085 roxy1122

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            Posted 14 October 2010 - 03:24 PM


             

            Originally Posted by sheila2011 

            roxy--I also used a local Travel Agent, one who specializes in destination weddings. I have NO regrets about my choice, in fact it's been so much easier when people ask me travel questions to tell them to talk to her! Out of my 31 people, only 8 booked on their own, and they booked through their own travel agents! Good luck with the dress shopping and the AHR planning! I haven't even thought of that!!! I think we may just do a BBQ at the FI's parents place. But not until the summer cause a BBQ in Canada in the winter would not be fun!

             

            msredbird--wow, you're SO CLOSE!!! That's great, I would be so excited too!! HOw did you book the rehearsal dinner catamaran and snorkelling expedition? That sounds like fun! Was it expensive? It's a really good idea!  Are you getting married in the gazebo? Using your own music? I'm sorry, so many questions! Please come back here when you're back to let us know how everything goes!

             

            I can't wait to get down to GP and do lots of  !   Oh and the whole wedding thing too! 


            Thank you for your input! Can I ask which travel agent you used? Also, what are the price ranges for the quotes you received from the travel agent? just wondering to have rough idea since the agents I have been asking so far have sent very steep prices for the ROOM only, not even with flight included!

             

            THANKS!



            #2086 msredbird51

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              Posted 14 October 2010 - 05:45 PM


               

              Originally Posted by roxy1122 View Post

              MsRedBird, thanks for your feedback! I really agree with the whole trave booking approach you have, can I ask which travel agent you used? You can PM me if needed.

              When you say that Carolina asked for all your guests' booking numbers, do you mean she asked for their hotel reservation information?

               

              thanks again :)


              We just used a local MO travel agent. Well, local to my parents. She's located where my parents live, not in St. Louis where we are. I've never actually met her. Just talked to her via email and 800 phone number. My parents are very graciously paying for them, us, my brother/ SIL and the ceremony costs. That, plus the fact that they have never traveled internationally and are nervous about the whole thing, made us decide that someone who they could physically go see would be best. Turned out to be true, too. They've been able to go out to the office and make payments in cash (online credit card things make them nervous), and while there they're able to ask the TA question after question. So, all in all, it's made them very comfortable with the whole process, which was one of my main goals. They are in MO, but the company does have a website, or toll free number if you'd like their info.

               

              I did price around with several agents though before I decided on using the local TA. There are agents here on BDW, too. Go to the home page and click Vendors. You'll find some there. I've seen many brides here rave about using a TA they found on BDW. If you haven't already, try Apple Vacations. Most TA's use them anyway. My TA used them for all of the bookings she did for us. A couple of my guests booked with Apple directly, and a few used Travelocity and Orbitz. You can also try Googling around for TAs.

               

              About a month before the wedding Carolina asks for your guests reservation numbers. I believe they mark all the reservations as being part of your wedding party. I would assume so they can better serve you??? I also asked her to put in a request for each those reservations for the rooms to be as close together is possible. She said she'd make the request, so hopefully.



              #2087 isa2214

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                Posted 15 October 2010 - 06:53 AM

                Does someone have the symbolic ceremony script.  I would like an idea of what will be said in what order.  My ceremony will hopefully be in french ( I requested Kenia who speaks french to do my symbolic ceremony) but the english script would defenetaly give me a good idea of what my ceremony will look like.



                #2088 sheila2011

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                  Posted 15 October 2010 - 07:45 AM

                  msredbird--thanks for the cruise info! I am going to have to talk to the FI and see what he thinks....but I bet he will lean towards no. I already went over budget on photography!! But if he changes his mind, I will come back here and let you know!

                   

                  roxy--My TA is a local one here in Edmonton, Alberta so probably wouldn't work too well if you live in the US! I found her before I found this board. But I have read about the BDW TAs and the girls here love them! Click on their banner and they may be able to help. My price was $1500 (room and airfare) but this is also in Canadian dollars and we have an 8 hour flight from here! I was actually happy with that price cause that's typical for a big, 5 star, all inclusive resort. Another local TA priced it out the exact same. I don't think it varies too much from here. Only one Canadian vacation package from here available to us.

                   

                  isa--I would also love a copy of the symbolic ceremony script! We're doing the symbolic ceremony too. 

                   

                  Side note...my TA told me she is working with a local bride here getting married at the GP at the beginning of November. If I hear any details back from here I will let you girls know right away!


                  Counting down to January 17th in Punta Cana!

                  #2089 roxy1122

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                    Posted 16 October 2010 - 10:50 AM

                    Msredbird and SHeila, which photographer are you using? I am in the midst of booking HDC :) Soooooo excited :)



                    #2090 sheila2011

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                      Posted 16 October 2010 - 01:19 PM


                      roxy, we actually splurged and hired a local photographer who will be coming down with us. I have to cut back on other things (like OOT bags) but I really like him. I recall that other GP brides used HDC and they LOVED them, so I think that they're a great choice too!! When is your wedding date again?? 

                       

                      Originally Posted by roxy1122 

                      Msredbird and SHeila, which photographer are you using? I am in the midst of booking HDC :) Soooooo excited :)




                      Counting down to January 17th in Punta Cana!




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