Sorry it took so long to get this review done....but here it is!
We used Apple Vacations, they were great since our flight was cancelled one Wednesday (wedding on Saturday) and didn't get there until Thursday morning.....I emailed Carolina and let her know that we would not be able to keep our Thursday morning appointment and she said no problem.
We got to the hotel Thursday morning and set our appointment for later that afternoon. Our meeting went great, it was very quick, we picked out colors, cake, flowers, ceremony time, dinner location, etc. She has it all together and you will feel much more at ease after talking with her. She made our appointment with the photographer, confirmed appointment with the salon, and arranged to pick up dress to be steamed and picked up our welcome bags for the front desk to be given to our 14 guests as they arrived (all arrived on Friday). She also sent a copy of our vows and itinerary to our room. If your thinking of giving your guests timelines like I did, don't, I ended up taking it our of the welcome packets because she put one in there, times and locations will probably change.
In the welcome bags (which most were used conveniently as beachbags which I was happy about) I included:
favor bags: personalized cozies, flip flop bottle openers, and some magnets that I had made, I put them in clear bags with pink tissue paper and shells. put a logo sticker on the front and tied it with a pink and orange ribbon
post cards: we made our own using avery, I gave 2 each and included a little flipflop notepad and palm tree pen, tying each package style with a ribbon.
candy bags: some Ghirardelli chocolates, coconut kisses, flip flop gummies, and lollipops that I personalized with our logo and another one with a picture of our kids. on the top of the sandwich bag I had a "Love is Sweet..." stapled to the top in cardstock in bright pink and orange letters.
Mini-Mergency kit: In here I had tissues, hand sanitizer, shout wipes, advil packets, bandaids, crystal light packets, tic tacs, tropical flavored gum......and I think that was it, there may have been a couple more items in there. Most I got from the dollar store, great finds. On top of the sandwich bag I had "Wedding Weekend Mini-mergency Kit" using the same font and style as the candy bags.
Welcome letter: I cheated and used the text I found on this site, just personalized it. In the packet I had the welcome letter, itinerary (that I ended up ripping out later before Carolina picked them up), crossword the hubby made, mix up puzzle, wordfind, and a paper with instructions on how to get to the shutterfly site we made so everyone could post their pictures. We rolled up the papers like a scroll and tied it with ribbons and hotglued a shell to the top of it. Very beachy, I thank my 10 year old son for that idea, he loved doing the bags and was such a huge help. I wish I had pictures, but unfortunately they were all on my phone that decided to stay in the Dominican. oh well.
Family arrived on Friday....checkin was a bit hectic, but they did put up a sign that said our names and wedding group so they all would have the same person at the counter, it was helpful. I requested that they all be in our building (3000 is the best location) and they did put them all there.
Saturday morning I hung out at the beach with my family and drank banana mamas until 1pm and I went with my flowergirl/future stepdaughter to get our hair done. They did a great job, but I don't think I have ever had that much makeup on, in my life, ever. But it stayed good! Took about an hour, went back to the room, my flowers and dress were there. Hung out with the girls for a little bit and watched them set up the wedding as it was right outside of my balcony...really convenient. Got my dress on, and the kids and I got a call for a pick up, got picked up and was drove around to the sidewalk entrance where Carolina met us. She called over to the music guy and gave us directions on when to start. I had the perfect songs and really don't even remember hearing much of them after that point. Carolina did our vows and we read some that she had provided to eachother. We had a toast and then some pictures, our first dance, then more pictures.
Music: I walked to was IZ's Wonderful World, I highly recommend it, its a beautiful beachy song, we shortened it before we left. I was so worried about music, and had no clue who would be doing it! No worries, that's taken care of too. I highly recommend you put on paper what song to play for what, there will be someone managing it for you, when the groom goes out to the gazebo he will give the ipod and the list of music to the music guy, and he handles everything perfectly from there. We used a lot of zac brown and Kenny Chesney since they are so beachy. I can recommend more songs if anyone wants.
After all the ceremony stuff we all went to the lobby bar for our scheduled cocktail hour, it was great, the group was then picked up for our semiformal dinner at the Brazilian restaurant. I highly recommend the Brazilian because you do not have to have a set menu for your guests, as it is served Brazilian style where they come around with meat on a stick and they have a great salad bar, I like that everyone can eat what they want. We did our cake cutting there. Its also nice to have yourself and the guests moved right to the front and the table was set up beautifully with rose petals, I cant imagine a private dinner being worth $1000, glad we didn't do it, it was great for our group of 16.
Then we went and had another drink (or 3) then went and changed and enjoyed the festivities of the evening. My sister made me a "bride" tank top so I just wore that and a skirt. It was getting late at that point and my dress was hot, but I still felt like a bride with my hair done and my cute little shirt lol.
Monday we finished our wedding pictures with the photographer and did a trash the dress session after that.....HIGHLY RECOMMEND! Your best pictures will come from this session. My dress is fine, I promise. Just rinsed off in the shower by the pool after and then took it off and rinsed it out in the shower. I hung it up on our balcony for a couple days and it was completely dry and it was perfect, like I never went into the ocean with it, my hubby's however, well his linen pants were ruined. We picked out our pictures later that day, then Tuesday picked up the pictures. They were beautiful, photoshop Caribe did a wonderful job.
Overall................best wedding ever, it was everything I dreamed of, and im not sure I would change anything about it.