Well Iâ€™m back from my few days in Punta Cana at the Dreams for my friendâ€™s wedding. Iâ€™ll half review that trip as I write this email. It was a really great time even though it was only 3 full days that we were there for â€“ and a LOOONG travel time. Lol, Claire I thought we might as well have been coming from the UK as it took us a 5 hour flight from Punta Cana to Toronto and then a 2 hour wait in Toronto before a 4 hour flight back to Calgary. By the time we hit our beds we had been up for almost 24 hours! It was well worth it though as the wedding was so beautiful and fun and of course I got lots of tips and ideas â€“ and questions to ask â€“ during my time there. It sure got me so, so, so excited for our wedding in August! Everyone had an amazing time. I did manage to read all of your posts from last week and I feel like Iâ€™ve missed so much!
Mikeycelle I absolutely love your idea of putting all of your little wedding quotes on the items in your OOT bags! Super cute!! I also wanted to ask you about the postcard carousel. It sounds awesome. I get how youâ€™re making the pictures with Vistaprint (and I just bought a new $70 for $17 Groupon and Iâ€™ve been wondering how to display my engagement pictures) but Iâ€™m not quite sure how youâ€™re setting it up in a carousel format. What sort of structure thing did you have to buy? I keep picturing one of those Kuerig or Tassimo trees lol! And Iâ€™m certain thatâ€™s not what youâ€™re using! Also how were you able to book your reception for the extra hour until midnight? I think Iâ€™d like to do that too if the charge isnâ€™t too much. Weâ€™ll also be in La Laguna. Are you able to share what is Vanessa charging you for the sparklers? I seriously want them because I think it looks so beautiful for the entrance.
Now hereâ€™s one major thing I realized at the wedding this week. Iâ€™ve been adamant that I wanted to wear my hair half up and half down for my wedding. I have that crazy Monica hair weâ€™ve mentioned before. I was getting my hair dyed the day before I left for DR and my stylist was insistent that it was not going to work for me in August. She gave me this humidity blocker and wanted me to try it while I was there. Well I hate to ever be wrong, but my hair was insane. The humidity blocker didnâ€™t help at all. I have come to the realization that Iâ€™ll definitely have to have it up for my wedding. Itâ€™s just waaaay too thick. But the spa at the Dreams actually did an amazing job for the bride and all of her girls. I also saw a few other weddings during the time that I was there and they all had their hair done really nicely in those Pinterest kind of interesting and modern new styles. It gave me faith in the spa at Grand Palladium too. I did find a price list for the spa somewhere online I think it ranged from $80ish for short bride hair to $137 for long but Iâ€™m not sure how current the price list is. Iâ€™ll have to contact them directly. I think makeup was $61 with MAC makeup. I am also going to book a couples massage for some time during the week. You can do it during the day with mimosa or at sunset with champagne. I think weâ€™ll do the sunset one â€“ somewhere around $190 if I remember correctly.
For anyone looking for menus and all of the info you could ever need Iâ€™ve had a lot of luck with the Palladium Addict website. A former bride who also happens to be my admin at work let me know about it and itâ€™s been a wealth of info. I also wanted to tell you all that while I was in DR I had 3 other people (one a TA) tell me that our resort choice is a fantastic one and that we will not have a problem in the world. I know we all know this, but itâ€™s reassuring to hear again. J Becci welcome and I did want to tell you that Iâ€™m severely lactose intolerant and Vanessa has been wonderfully accommodating of my needs. I just told her I know everything has cheese, butter, etc. in it but I will just not eat it (like the cheesecake) because I donâ€™t want to deny my guests of it, but she has said theyâ€™ll get me fruit, theyâ€™ll put different salad dressing on things, basically just not to worry. Iâ€™m sure if your guests have special needs they can accommodate to them as well. Oh I also wholeheartedly agree with Chrestena to ask for the terrace at Portofino. Beautiful!
Claire Iâ€™m so excited to read that youâ€™ve bought your dress!!! What does it look like?? So happy for you. What a big deed to cross off of your list. J Also Iâ€™m starting to wonder if I might have a cocktail hour too. The cost of it does not seem too much. I think Iâ€™d have it before the dinner and Iâ€™m wondering if you know what options for cocktail hours are nearby the La Laguna where our reception will be? I like the idea of having everyone together that way the reception will start on time. What happened at the wedding I just went to was that the ceremony was at 4 (although it started around 4:30 and we were all just sweltering in the sun!!) and it ended at 5. Well they did not have a sit down dinner, just cocktails at the reception that was from 7-11 but the a la carte restaurants didnâ€™t open until 6 so quite a few people (including myself!) were late for the reception because dinner service was very slow and there was technically only an hour in between. It wall worked out because they had things timed out pretty nicely with speeches being a bit later so we didnâ€™t miss that â€“ but I do worry that my guests will get lost and not be there to start our dinner on time if we donâ€™t corral everyone up lol.
We also were planning on only using our iPods for the ceremony as well as the reception but after seeing the DJ in action at this wedding my fianc© now wants one. He hasnâ€™t asked for anything and heâ€™s been really cost conscious so the fact that he definitely wants this means Iâ€™m sure weâ€™re going to get one now. Mikeycelle I know youâ€™re having one - is anyone else having one and how much is reasonable? The bride from this recent wedding was charged $875 and I think thatâ€™s standard. The lights really highlighted the dance floor. Although I do still want to be able to control what music is being played and Iâ€™m hoping I can give them a list to work with. Approximately how many songs will I need for a 4 hour reception with probably 2 hours being dinner and speeches? Oh by the way the speech that the bride made at this wedding was by far the most genuine and heartfelt speech I have ever heard at a wedding. Just perfect. J Any suggestions on who to go with for a DJ? I know there are a few threads on here Iâ€™ll have to look around a bit.
Karen â€“ best of luck to someone else from Calgary, AB! As for music to walk down the aisle to my friend decided last minute the day before the wedding. I am using the same song it was perfect length â€“ Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World â€“ it is the island mix by Israel Kamakawiwâ€™ole. Iâ€™m sure youâ€™ll come up with something perfect. There are a few threads on here about ceremony music too. Search it and youâ€™ll find a ton! Also I hope your dress fitting went well!! DanniiB welcome and congrats to you too! I canâ€™t believe only a month left until you go. Please do come back and share your experience with us. J
Tye and I are planning to book a trip down to Grand Palladium at the end of April just to check out some of the little things that we noticed being guests at this wedding and to familiarize ourselves with the resort. Although Iâ€™ve been there before itâ€™s been 6 years and although Iâ€™ve heard nothing but good things I just want to check it out and familiarize myself with the grounds a bit. Weâ€™re lucky enough to be able to go for just a night or two because of our work benefits.
From this wedding at the Dreams in DR there were some questions that I have come up with to ask Vanessa. For example, the aisle that they had to walk down was very, very narrow. They walked down with both parents (which we would like to do too) and there was no room for them! Weâ€™re getting married on the beach but Iâ€™m not the smallest person and Iâ€™d like to make sure I can comfortable walk down the aisle with both of my parents. Hopefully because itâ€™s on the beach the chairs can be moved to allow a wider aisle. Also the iPod docks that they had in the rooms at this resort fit only an iPod, not an iPhone like I have with all of my music on it. I will still be using my iPhone (or iPod if I have to buy one!) for music at the ceremony so I want to ensure that whatever I go with will fit. I also love the idea that the bride brought a bunch of floaties for the pool because I love to just relax in the water and read my book. I know most resorts donâ€™t allow floaties but I thought Iâ€™d ask Vanessa if they do just in case.
The more negative things that occured at the DR resort were that many of us thought we were getting king sized beds â€“ us included and we were given 2 doubles which were really, really small and hot and just not what we expected. We spent the first hour there (and we were only there for 3 days) trying to negotiate our way to what we were told weâ€™d have in the first place to no avail. At 6pm the next day we were finally given another room although we had been told SO many different stories by that point, and I hate dishonesty - then the toilet didnâ€™t work. And then someone was going to fix it but they didnâ€™t. Then it was 1:30am when they finally came. Then it plugged again in the morning â€“ just a lot of hassle that I donâ€™t want our guests to go through. Iâ€™m going to ask Vanessa how the Grand Palladium will avoid things like this.
Also be careful ladies, one of the guests at the wedding had a substantial amount of money taken from the safe in his room. And another had his laptop taken from his carryon bag sometime between leaving it at the checkout counter and having their suitcases loaded onto the bus to take them back to the airport. He realized when they got to the airport. L Just a headâ€™s up to be really careful with your valuables.
Iâ€™m also wanting to find some of those beach chair towel clips for cheap. Each morning the groomâ€™s father clipped towels to chairs for our party which was wonderful because we could eat our breakfast without worrying. Donâ€™t worry, we didnâ€™t take up too many but there were 74 people there and heâ€™d save about 20 chairs all around the swim up pool bar which was perfect! If not to save chairs but just to have towels that donâ€™t blow away Iâ€™d like to find some cheap ones either to put in OOT bags or to have for myself. If anyone knows of cheap bulk ones please let me know. J My girlfriend who lives in Michigan was able to bring me down a few of the things that Iâ€™ve ordered to her house to avoid shipping costs and I brought them home with me. I am in love with the OOT bags (which were 99 cents each on cheaptotes.com!) and the memorial candle I ordered for my daughter. She also brought me a fan and a few of the Japanese lanterns I ordered. When I got home to Calgary my TTD dress had come in which I ordered from lightinthebox.com. It looks exactly as pictured but I was not aware that Iâ€™d have to pay duty on it which cost me $67 L extra. I would have just shipped it to Christineâ€™s house had I known that to avoid such a hefty cost. Oh well, whatâ€™s done is done! It is beautiful!! But as Iâ€™m a very small bust and a bit of a large booty lol, Iâ€™ll be needing it altered to fit as well.
Ladies I am getting just SO excited now! So glad Iâ€™ve found you all to chat with!