I'm back from my wedding and honeymoon! I wanted to give a full review of my experience here at DPC. All in all, i had a wonderful experience and so did all of my guests!
We arrived to the resort on November 1st. I had emailed Deyanira (my WC) two days prior to my arrival asking for us to meet her on the day of my arrival. She ended up being able to meet that day and let me know via email. During our meeting we had confirmed everything i had spoken to her about for our wedding. (We had been planning for over 1 year). Everything we discussed via emails through out the year were all consistent with everything we discussed in the meeting. We went with the basic wedding package and added add ons as we decided to have them.
When we arrived to DPC, everything went smoothly through the airport, there was no luggage check, so all of my items that i brought with me for the wedding were not a problem. =)
At the counter, we checked in just fine and were given a honeymoon suite in building 8. The room did smell a little bit musty, but oh well, it's the Caribbean and typically the case. In the rooms they usually had incense candles to light, so that helped us not smell the musty smell. All in all, that didn't bother me since i was barely in the room anyway.
I wanted to have a wedding in DR as if it were at home, so I went all out. I invited 165 guests and 55 guests came. Really big list! We did the welcome bags for all of our guests. The plan was to meet and greet our guests as they arrived in the lobby with their bags. We did this the first day (we had asked everyone to send us their itinerary in advance). After the first day, we decided that this was really a huge time commitment. For example, we had three guests on the same flight and one guest arrived one hour after landing and two others arrived 3 hours after landing. This all depended on who you used for your car service and also customs. So after having waited in the lobby for a few hours, we instead decided for the remaining guests, to leave notes at the front desk with the persons name and asked them to meet us in the lobby at 6pm. We did this everyday so that we were always greeting our guests on the day they arrive and all at one time. I tipped the concierge like $10 for the 50 notes i left with him.
Each day we had meetings with our vendors, I hired Tronco Floristeria for my flowers and hey did an amazing job and very inexpensive! I took a cab to her store, which is one hour away and we talked and looked through all the flowers for the wedding. It was such a fun experience and i highly recommend doing this than through the resort since the resort charges an arm and a leg for flowers. After we planned out the bouquets, corsages, boutonniers, cake decorations and centerpieces, she was very nice and dropped us off back at the resort. I tipped her $20 since it costs $45 to just get to her store. So it was very nice of her.
The total for our flowers and centerpieces came to $1128.00. For this price, we got the following:
- 7 center pieces (each table had 3 different size vases with submerged calalillies and floating candles on top of each vase). A round mirror that the center pieces stood on top of and little glass diamonds to sparkle on the table.
- 70 votives with candles that i had them spread across the reception and cocktail hour
- 8 bags of petals for the ceremony aisle and the flower girl baskets
- 4 corsages
- 8 orchid boutonniers
- 4 bouquets for the BMs
- 1 wreath to go around the wedding cake
She also threw in some freebies, like decorated our sweetheart table very nicely with flowers and candles. I loved it. Ruben was the guy who came to the resort on the day of and decorated all the tables for the reception and the aisles for the ceremony. It came out so nice when i saw it for the first time on the wedding day.
Next, we met with the DJ in the lobby, we used DJ Mannia and he was great too! I had sent him my song selection one month in advance so he could let me know if here were any songs he didn't have. In advance for our meeting, i also had typed out all the songs i would like for him to play as a must, the songs for each part of the reception (first dance, father/daughter, mother/son, etc) just to make his life easiest. I also created a timeline for the reception so he knew what we were doing and also when we thought things should happen, as a guide. I did this since we had the bouquet toss and garter removal, so wasn't sure if he had that commonly at weddings in DR. All went smoothly with this at the reception, had no complaints.
As for the photographer, we hired Michel Weiler, we met with him very briefly in the lobby of the hotel. I also had a list of all the pictures i wanted to take just in case i didn't remember on the day of the wedding. Which I'm glad i did, because on wedding day, there was so much going on, i definitely would not have remembered. =) He did a great job and gave us the pictures and wedding book he next day at 9pm! It was beautiful and unbelievable. I love his work!
So onto wedding details!
We did schedule a rehearsal with the bridal party, i wanted to make sure everyone knew what they were doing and how. So Deyanira set it up for Thursday morning and also provided the speakers and microphone (i asked for this) for the rehearsal and i provided my i-pod for the songs. I made it really easy for her by uploading the songs titled 1) Parents Song, 2) Bridal Party 3) Bride 4) We are married. Then through the rehearsal we played the songs and had everyone walk in their position. Glad we did it, i think it made the ceremony day go smoothly.
Well in advance, we had spoken to Deyanira about renting out a space for a Welcome dinner for our guests. We had opted to use the Barefoot grill on the beach from 6pm-7pm. This would include buffet of hotdogs and hamburgers and Gold Happy Hour for 55 guests. We wanted a very relaxed and casual atmosphere for this. She ended up having a lot more than just hamburgers and hotdogs, so there was a lot of food for our guests. We had also rented a projector and screen as a family member created a slide show for us to play during this hour. We also hired fire dancers and the resort monkey to come to the dinner and let our guests take pictures with the monkey. All in all, the welcome dinner was about $2500 for all the above. It was well worth the money, Deyanira was with us throughout the experience and even threw in a cake for free for my friends birthday and singers to sing as a surprise for her. All of our guests loved it. =)
As for wedding day, my husband got a groom room for free the night before, so we didn't see each other after the welcome dinner until ceremony time. I had made appointments for all 4 bridesmaids and both mom's for hair and make-up 2 weeks in advance. They did a really great job with hair and make-up. The only thing i would suggest for make-up would be to bring your own brushes since they didn't have many. Also, the moms got free flowers in their hair too, so just ask for it if you want it. I was able to charge this to my room including the tip. (Michael our photographer came in and took pictures of me getting ready, i thought it would be a fun experience).
For the ceremony decor, we didn't buy anything additional. We left it as is and the basic package comes with white chair covers. So we left it as that and it looked very clean. Didn't rent bows or any other decorations. Thought it was perfect! Deyanira met us in my honeymoon suite at 3:55pm (ceremony started at 4pm) and walked with us to the gazebo. We went the ack way so just in case my husband may see me from the gazebo. Once we got to the hallway, then Deyanira went to the speakers and started the songs (i had a friend officiate the wedding). Everything went smoothly, however, it WAS HOT!!! I was lucky as one of the columns had given me shade, but poor guys were so sweaty! =) Oh well. We only had like a 10 minute ceremony, definitely didn't want our guests to suffer too much in the heat! =) After words, we had our guests stay for a group shot! I don't know how Michael did it, but he was able to get a great shot of all 55 of us! =). The bridal party then went off and took photos.
Cocktail Hour. We had our cocktail hour at 6pm - 7pm out on the Portofino Terrace (we had rented out the Portofino Terrace/Restaurant @ a price of $1500 for the night) We actually ended up getting it comped as a surprise, so I'm not sure if it's because we brought in 55 guests or what, but hey, i wasn't complaining! =). At the cocktail hour, we chose hot and cold apps. This was served buffet style. We went with 3 hot and 3 cold. The price in the menu came with like 3 and 1, so we paid for the additional 2. The food was really great, i don't have any complaints about the appetizer food. For cocktail hour, we went with the gold bar and also hired a cigar roller and the Caribbean Trio. Again, no complaints about any of this.
At 7pm, our guests were moved into the restaurant for the reception. Then Carlos (DJ) announced the parents, then bridal party, then the bride and groom. Then we went straight into our first dance. Again, no complaints about this. The room was decorated so nicely, it was breath taking! For our reception, we went with the platinum dinner and gold bar from 7-11pm. The lobster and filet mignon was phenomenal! I really enjoyed it! The cake was very nice and simple, just a two tier and i had purchased the wreath from the florist and it looked great with the cake. Since we didn't rent any bows or layovers for the tables, our receptions was white on white (white chair covers and white linens). It looked so clean, but we offset this having our centerpieces and also we scattered brown and teal rose petals all over the table and also we made luminaries for our table numbers and those were a teal colored vellum paper. So we had those for our accents of color. It really did look beautiful!
All in All, i think it couldn't have gone better! Once i have pics, i will share those as well, but if you brides have any questions, let me know!