i haven't posted here in a long time! most of the brides that were active her are not active on the FB page. But i wanted to share with you all my review of the resort & my wedding. I was recently married on June 28th. I had about 50 guests with me and my reception was at El Patio. Any questions you have - i will be more than happy to answer!!!!!
Ok Ladies! Here it goes: My overall experience I'd give a 4.2 out of 5 ... like I said before I had a few things go wrong and a few things I'd like you other brides to keep in mind when planning your wedding. I'll start talking about the resort. The resort is as expected and as pictured. The upgrade to my suite was amazing and it was beautiful! I especially loved getting ready in my room b/c I was able to accomodate my family. Can't say that everyone of my guests felt the same about their rooms - most complained that they were small - I thought they were a normal size. & actually the biggest complain was about the shower/tub in the bathroom lol. Another thing thats not so good, is that almost everyone that was there got sick. Even my husband was so sick that he couldnt finish our photoshoot we did in the AM as our trash the dress session. there is no way to pinpoint the cause, but it happens. So as a word of caution just be careful what you eat. I wouldnt say its the drinks/water etc like people would think- I'm from NY and I drink tap water! But I definitely would recommend staying away from stuff you don't eat on a regular basis. The staff was AMAZING! Every single on of them. From the preferred club, the those on the beach, to the staff at the restaurants and bars. So accommodating & willing to make your stay and experience there the best! My family and friends kept raving at how amazing they are. The wedding.
So I had originally planned a bonfire for the welcome reception - and it didn't happen. it was POURING! I actually saw two brides that day and felt so bad that it was such a crappy day. But we ended up having a welcome dinner at Oceana and it worked out wonderfully. The staff was amazing at accommodating such a big group. I had 50 guests with me that weekend. We did leave a nice tip for the manager and wait staff. The day of my wedding the weather was great! I went to the beach before my 11am appointment at the Spa just to relax and soak in some sun! hey a brides gotta have fun too!
The Spa staff was BRILLIANT! Again, Nothing to worry about there. I saw several bridesmaids getting their hair done before I went in and their makeup and hair looked amazing. As for me, I just did a "blow out" b/c I had a family friend actually style my hair. But I wouldnt doubt that they would have done a great job. The lady who did my hair and makeup was Dory & I love her for it! Not only was I in and out in about an hour or so. My makeup was FLAWLESS!!!! I had crazy problematic skin going into the wedding - probably from the stress of planning. all i wanted to do was hide my face -- but on my wedding day when you saw me in person, you would have never known! Not only did I look very natural but she was able to cover up all those crazy marks that I hated so much. I was SOOO impressed!!!& of course extremely happy! Needless to say all that worrying and stressing was for nothing! Also, as an FYI, they don't do eyelash extensions. My ceremony and reception went well. One thing to note about the ceremony: I would request is a second microphone for you and your groom. no one could hear our vows & I can't hear it on my video. besides that it was perfect!!! & of course I run on Dominican time and my family was running late. but for the first time ever I wasnt
lol I was done on time and relaxed while everyone was scrambling to get ready. My coordinator was extremely patient b/c I forgot to get my ipod w/ the music so our ceremony did start late (and we didnt start the reception on time but it all worked out b/c I was exhausted by the end) plus I really didnt have a sense of time to begin with! So much going on, so it might be good to have someone do times checks for you. Reception:
I did opt out of cocktail hour and since I didn't do programs my guests weren't too sure on what to do. So make sure that you give clear direction. (((please dont be as disorganized as me)) LOL. At the reception a few things didn't go as I planned or would have liked which I will be discussing shortly. But all in all, my guests had a great time. We hired the Perico band which everyone enjoyed. And the basic DJ was OK - word of advice -- give him some sort of playlist. I didn't and I wish I had. He had a good selection but for dinner and reception I would have liked for him to play certain songs. Oh! and they do let your guests request music. The bartenders kept he liquor flowing so no issues there either!!! The only thing that didn't happen and I dont know why is my toast. I purchased additional bottles of champagne and had to take them back to my room b/c they never opened them. Another thing that I was a bit upset about was that they didn't cut my cake for my guests. my aunt cut my cake and tried to hand out pieces. but also I was running over so that may have been it too. And please ladies, do yourself a favor and DO NOT GET MORE CAKE!!!!!! I got extra cake for nothing b/c it sat in room the entire time. I did bring a piece back with me so that I can cut on my first anniversary. I stored in a ziplock bag and had no issues going through security and customs when I got back to NY. As for the food it was really good! Though I can't remember eating the entree. I did the dominican appetizer, the sancocho and the chicken courdon bleu & desert was the fruit martini (only thing i would have changed). A lot of ppl raved about the food. Oh! I also used Caribbean Celebrations for chargers and some of my flowers (minus my bridal bouquet)- I brought my own decor (lanterns, candles and runner). So, about the things I did not like that I am making note to management at the resort. One, I was highly disappointed with the space provided for my wedding. It was a beautiful location but for another wedding party but not one my size. It was way too cramped. For one, the tables were so large that there wasn't enough space to walk from the sides around the table. My number one concern about that space was the actual amount of space. From pictures it looks OK - but once you place the tables and see how its actually going to be - its not what I expected or envisioned. Had I known that it would be like that I would have fought harder to keep my wedding in the venue I was offered from the beginning especially because my wedding party size was bigger than probably any of the other weddings that occurred that day. I know the venues were first come first serve & I understand it is a business and the resort has designated spaces for weddings but I had made my plans based on what I was given and to have it changed so last minute is unfair on my part- which I had to just take it in stride while I was there because I was reassured it will be OK. Two, the resort should not have two weddings running a El Patio and Himitsu terrace at the same time. I was so so so disappointed that if I walked from one end of El Patio to another end of El Patio that I could clearly hear the music being played on the Himitusu terrace - it was disturbing and so frustrating. I felt as if my guests were a part of two weddings and not mine and not fully enjoying my wedding. If there are going to be more than 2 weddings it shouldn't be around the same time. Three, the group on the Himitsu Patio decided to have the Fireworks show. As much as it was a surprise and our guests enjoyed - & don't get me wrong, as did I - but I had to hide indoors to enjoy it. The fireworks were WAY WAY WAY too close for comfort. We had embers falling from the sky directly on top of us - the embers got all over the table, food and people were getting burned - myself included. If fireworks are part of packages for a terrace, they should be fired away from that Patio especially if there is a wedding going on. I would not like to imagine what would have happened if a spark caught a piece a linen or worse, actually burned someone terribly bad. At the end of the day, it turned out not as I planned but still beautiful and I do have wonderful memories but I really hope that management and the resort make the appropriate changes so that another bride does not go through what I went through. As for my wedding coordinator, I have not one single complaint only wonderful praises. I would not change her for all the help she did - she was amazing and patient and extremely helpful. I am more disappointed with management not caring about a brides dream - her one special day. Not everything has to be perfect but it could have been.