I haven't been very active on the board lately (was too busy planning the wedding:), but I just got married at this resort on Oct. 1 and I know how important writing a review is as that is how I chose this resort from reading a happy bride's review. I would 100% recommend this place to anyone, even just for a vacation, the place was wonderful, staff was phenomenal and the wedding was amazing. I'm at work now so I don't have time to write a full review, but I will try and hit some highlights, then let me know if you have any specific questions.
I meet with Sandra the Tuesday before (we got married on a Friday--highly recommend this as well since most guest leave Sunday, so you have Sat to hang out with everyone), meeting was easy as we had most things worked out the couple weeks prior--we did the Divine package. Only thing I realized we didn't go over was the cake, and it wasn't exactly as I had pictured, but honestly didn't really care about the cake anyway. Thursday they took my dress and his suit to be pressed and returned it that day.
Rehearsal (Thursday night)--did a quick rehearsal at the site at 4:00, then had a section blocked off in the buffet for the rehearsal dinner at 6:00. Worked out perfect and was free, so I would definitely recommend doing this if you plan on doing a rehearsal dinner.
THE WEDDING DAY (Friday)
Timeline--We got married at 4:00 this went until like 4:30, then group/family pics 4:30-5:00, cocktail hour 5:00-6:00, then reception 6:00-10:30 (we paid for an extra 2 hours of reception as it would have otherwise ended at 8:30).
Salon--I had a friend do everyones hair and make up, so I can't say anything about those services at the salon, but I did get a mani pedi done the day of the wedding, and I wasn't too impressed. It was fine bc I got it for free as I swapped the hair and make-up, but I wouldnt have wanted to pay for it.
Ceremony--The ceremony was on the beach by the open terrace and was absolutely beautiful! We hired a violinest for the ceremony and she was great, even learned Bittersweet Symphony days before the wedding as we wanted that for our processional. The minister was good too, we did not do a legal ceremony, so I think that would be different, but I liked what he read. We did not provide as passages or readings.
Cocktail hour--We paid for the lounge set up, which is expensive, but everyone really enjoyed it and it looked really cool. We were not around for this as we were off taking pictures, but I heard the apps were good, I think we did a sushi roll, tempura veg., some ham thing, and I don't remember the other.
Reception--The ceremony was on the open terrace and was so beautiful! The food really was amazing, we got lots of compliments on how good the food was--added bonus bc most wedding food stinks. We had seared tuna, lobster bisque soup, surf and turf--steak and shrimp, then fruit something for dessert. I would recommend bringing a few things of bug spray to the reception or have someone do this, as it does get a little buggy at night and we had someone run to the gift shop to get some. We did not have the DJ just used our iPhones, since we picked every song already and the order, didn't feel it was worth the $, just put someone in charge of MC-ing everything and changing the songs for the events like first dance, garter toss, etc. They provided a sound system and it worked perfectly, I highly recommend this as another way to save $. The staff for the night was awesome, and we made sure to give them a nice tip at the end of the night.
Photogs--We hired Moments That Matter Photography--I believe they have a thread on here which I will be writing a review for as well. They are a Canadian couple who moved here in 2009, so they speak English perfectly, which was a nice perk. I researched a handful of photogs and found they were a great price as well. We hired them from 12:30-8:30, they were on time and even stayed late. They were so much fun, great to work with, def check them out.
Video--Originally I was not planning to buy or have a wedding videographer, but after the change from the Paradisus to NOW, a 30 min wedding video was included in our package and it was so nice! Definitely an added bonus for something I thought would be just ok. So glad we have that now!
Other than that the hotel itself was amazing. The pool is huge, this time of year they were only 30-40% full, which was awesome bc we had 55 people, so we had the run of the place. The staff is great, pool bartenders and entertainment staff especially.
I can't think of anything specific right now, but let me know if you have any questions.