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Jessyg20's Edenh Real Arena Resort/ 10/25/08 Wedding-Long Review with pics


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#1 jessyg20

jessyg20
  • Jr. Member
  • 263 posts

    Posted 20 November 2008 - 05:26 AM

    Finally, my review and wedding pics….

    10-25-08 Jessica and Christian’s Wedding
    Edenh Real Arena Punta Cana, DR

    Packing and Luggage-When you arrive to Punta Cana, it pays to get a sky cap right away. They’ll stay with you and take your bags directly to shuttle. Otherwise, you can grab a cart but they won’t let you outside the airport with it. Then you have to drop everything and get a skycap anyway, unless you have 1 or 2 bags and you can drag them through rows of shuttles if you’re taking a shuttle yourself. I had 4 really big bags with me, so I had no choice.
    I’m just glad everything arrived and intact! My cheap bags ($10-12) stuffed with plastic bins worked out great. The luggage I brought over only had the OOT bag stuff, which I needed in order to set them up and distribute. My other pieces of luggage (9 assigned to my family) filled with the centerpieces, favors, etc., were arriving 1 or 2 days before the wedding. Once those arrived we took them directly to the WC’s office. I’m very happy nothing came broken or missing. So, bubble wrap and plastic bins worked out great.

    Click the image to open in full size.
    Click the image to open in full size.
    Click the image to open in full size.

    DR Customs-Never say you’re bringing favors or gifts, simply wedding d©cor!
    Makes things less complicated.

    Flight Information-I arrived a few days before the wedding, 4 days to be exact.
    I had everyone’s name, flight numbers, arrival/departure times, record locators, even seat assignments in a spreadsheet separated by day of arrival. It seemed all the flights arrived at 1:20p-ish which meant all guests taking transfers to the resort would arrival at 3p (I learned that after the first day of waiting for guests and found I had nothing to do in the lobby for 2 hrs!).
    Spreadsheet I created below:
    Click the image to open in full size.

    Click the image to open in full size.

    Click the image to open in full size.


    Meet & Greet- We were the first faces our guests saw when they pulled into the resort. We had the bags in the lobby, labeled and ready to be distributed. I put condoms in the single guy’s bags and didn’t want to offend people, so I made sure I labeled the bags with the guests’ name. We didn’t mind handing the out the bags, it was fun! Otherwise the resort wanted to charge $2-3 per bag to deliver them to the guests’ room.

    Story and Recommendation- On the first day guests began to arrive, we had family members (cousin, wife, and 2 small children) arrive to Newark airport, only to find out AA changed their itinerary. Their flights were now leaving from JFK. They ended up missing their connection and were diverted to Dominican Republics’ capital city, Santo Domingo. After a 4hr bus ride in uneven dirt roads, they arrived to the resort (around midnight). We don’t know who to blame, travel agency, airline, or them. They booked 6 months in advanced and a lot can change with the airlines schedule. I recommend either yourself or travel agent stay on top of this for you the sake of your guests! They’re trip was not ruined by this incident, thank god!

    Another Recommendation- A la carte restaurants
    Since I arrived on a Tuesday, I was able to book all the a la carte reservations for the entire week based on the number of guests I had each night. This worked out great. My guests did not have to worry about making the reservations or worrying about eating every night at the buffet. We were a big group, so sometimes we had to split up. For instance, the Sunday after the wedding, we had 48 guests remaining, so we booked the Japanese restaurant. We used 3 Hibachi tables (12 each) and the rest were sitting close by on regular tables. Not everyone showed up but the majority did and enjoyed it. All the restaurants we reserved gave us excellent service!
    Click the image to open in full size.


    The rehearsal dinner- The day before the wedding, we asked the manager in charge if he could accommodate 93 guests in the buffet, simply separate a section of the buffet area with tables of 12 for us, and he happily agreed. They did bend over backwards for us. Then again, we happily compensated them often. It’s amazing what tipping can do. Hint hint anything is possible (at least at this resort)!

     

     

    Attached Files


    Jessy

    My Planning Thread-Updated Links
    http://bestdestinati....-thread-30226/
    Wedding Pictures Link Threadhttp://bestdestinati....perfect-31186/NH Arena Real Wedding Reviewhttp://bestdestinati....ew-pics-32477/

    #2 jessyg20

    jessyg20
    • Jr. Member
    • 263 posts

      Posted 20 November 2008 - 05:27 AM

      Day of the wedding-Saturday 10-25-08

      Setting up- I created an album with pictures of all my decorations and favors, in order to show Elizabeth (the WC) everything. We reviewed it together before everything arrived. I think she went home and studied my book! She knew exactly how I wanted my tables to be arranged, how each seat in the ceremony should be arranged, she knew how to put what favors where, etc….she actually didn’t need me! I insisted though, so the morning of the wedding, Elizabeth, myself and my wedding party helped decorate all of the tables. I was happy to be part of the production. It turned out exactly how I envisioned it.
      Click the image to open in full size.


      Click the image to open in full size.


      Click the image to open in full size.


      Click the image to open in full size.

      Ceremony set-up- Edenh Plaza
      The resort has a creative director for weddings. His name is Angelo. He’s fabulous!
      He said he had a vision for my ceremony and I let him use his creative license!! He was great. I loved his ideas and the final product was amazing. I have to say, Elizabeth and Angelo both surprised me. They even added a bubble making machine to the ceremony. It looked so adorable. I was surprised!
      Click the image to open in full size.
      Click the image to open in full size.
      Jessy

      My Planning Thread-Updated Links
      http://bestdestinati....-thread-30226/
      Wedding Pictures Link Threadhttp://bestdestinati....perfect-31186/NH Arena Real Wedding Reviewhttp://bestdestinati....ew-pics-32477/

      #3 jessyg20

      jessyg20
      • Jr. Member
      • 263 posts

        Posted 20 November 2008 - 05:27 AM

        Rain- It rained twice on my wedding day. It began raining in the morning around 8a, then in the middle of the day when they were setting up my chairs. They raced to get tons of chairs under some time of cover. We are talking about 90 chairs with seat covers and bows!! I heard it was hectic, especially since they were almost done with the set up. I was having my hair done around that time, and I saw the dark skies. Once it began raining, I started praying. Everyone said they prayed for us. At 2p we started taking pictures, there were no clouds in the sky. We had BLUE skies and sunshine throughout the whole ceremony. I was blessed!
        Click the image to open in full size.
        Click the image to open in full size.
        Click the image to open in full size.
        Click the image to open in full size.
        Click the image to open in full size.
        Jessy

        My Planning Thread-Updated Links
        http://bestdestinati....-thread-30226/
        Wedding Pictures Link Threadhttp://bestdestinati....perfect-31186/NH Arena Real Wedding Reviewhttp://bestdestinati....ew-pics-32477/

        #4 jessyg20

        jessyg20
        • Jr. Member
        • 263 posts

          Posted 20 November 2008 - 05:28 AM

          Hair Salon- If you decide to do your hair at the salon make sure you book Jacqueline. She was sooooo good. I loved the way she did my trial, so I immediately booked her for myself and my wedding party. Since we were 4, they had to add an additional stylist. I don’t remember her name but she SUCKED! Yes I said it. In the pictures below you’ll see my poor niece (Jr. Bridesmaid) with a miserable face and my Maid of Honor. Jacqueline had to finish both of them after doing my hair and my bridesmaid’s hair.
          Not only did she do our hair but our make-up too. She’s awesome!
          We went back 2 times for touch ups without a problem.
          My hair and makeup…
          Click the image to open in full size.
          Click the image to open in full size.
          Click the image to open in full size.

          My Bridesmaid done by Jacqueline…
          Click the image to open in full size.
          This is Jacqueline:
          Click the image to open in full size.

          My Jr. Bridesmaid suffering thanks to other stylist…
          Click the image to open in full size.
          Other stylist:
          Click the image to open in full size.

          My Maid Of Honor with a funky-do which later had to be finished by Jacqueline….
          Click the image to open in full size.
          Final Hair…
          Click the image to open in full size.
          Click the image to open in full size.
          Jessy

          My Planning Thread-Updated Links
          http://bestdestinati....-thread-30226/
          Wedding Pictures Link Threadhttp://bestdestinati....perfect-31186/NH Arena Real Wedding Reviewhttp://bestdestinati....ew-pics-32477/

          #5 jessyg20

          jessyg20
          • Jr. Member
          • 263 posts

            Posted 20 November 2008 - 05:28 AM

            Pastor York-He was great. If you are thinking of having a symbolic ceremony but would like a pastor, he’s great. His fee was only $250. He sends you exactly what he’s going to read and gives you the option to change or add anything. He includes a few readings and the sand ceremony reading. I had my other sister read “These are the Hands” poem.

            Click the image to open in full size.


            Photographer-Reno from Photo Souvenir was patient and amazing. He let us have fun.. Great pictures, I loved them all. We did 8hrs of photography but no video and we are happy we did so. Pictures say a lot and we actually enjoyed all the shots he took. Photo Souvenir is a great company to deal with. I only have good things to say about them.
            Click the image to open in full size.


            My Wedding Cake- Oh, my cake!! Wow did it taste good!!!!! I chose the Dominican cake with Rum filling. You could taste the rum!!! It was good. I took my teal and regular chocolate melts along with my seashell molds and made the seashells that lay on the cake as decorations. My sister gave me a chocolate fondue pot. It’s a mini crock pot looking thing that melts chocolate quickly without burning it. It’s usually used to melt chocolate and then dipping strawberries. Very small and practical! It got the job done. We had to do 1 tray at a time so it’d fit in the mini bar fridge. After 20 mins we do another tray. We also had some pre-made chocolate sea shells but I wanted to give the chef some extras just in case. I’m glad I did because my cake was huge.
            The only negative thing I have to say about the cake is that my cake topper sunk in a bit. Oh well! That wasn’t the worse part. The worst part was when someone knocked down my cake topper and decapitated the groom and left him handicap! Lol I laugh now, like I laughed when Elizabeth told me. She was able to glue the head, but he remained handicap, no hands. It was our day to shine so we didn’t make a big deal of it.


            Click the image to open in full size.

            Before-
            Click the image to open in full size.
            Click the image to open in full size.

            After-
            Click the image to open in full size.


            Open Bar-The boys’ hangout! Outside in the terrace is where all the boys drank and smoked cigars. We decided to do 4 hours of open bar, national drinks. We asked about buy just a few of their premium liquors (Stoli Vodka, Black Label, etc.) and the charge per bottle was too much. So we decided to outsource a few bottles. We picked a few bottles of Grey Goose Vodka, Black Label, Malibu Rum, etc outside of the resort. They had no problem serving it. They actually gave us a few extra bottles we had left over. Of course the Grey Goose vodka and Black Label were gone!
            I honestly couldn’t imagine making my 93 guests (actually only 80 were of drinking age)constantly run outside to the nearest bar (which is across the plaza by the lobby) to grab a drink during our*4 hour reception. We are party people, we drink and dance. We actually dance better after drinking! It was worth the money.
            *It was actually 6 hours at a charge of 4. Remember that same manager we tipped once? Well, we asked him if we could stay longer since the food took a while to come out and we didn’t want to party only for 1.5hrs, so he agreed and let us stay until midnight. We had Open Bar and DJ until midnight for no additional fee. Didn’t I mention anything is possible??!!!!!

            DJ-Well, he started good, but killed my party at the end. The majority of my guests were of Hispanic background, but even we get tired of just Latin music! We like variety. He just didn’t have it. We kept telling him (and in Spanish) and he’d agree to whatever we asked for, but never play it. I got upset at him and told him he basically was killing my party. He finally understood and got the crowd going again. I guess he didn’t care because he wasn’t getting paid for the extra 2 hours of music he was going to play. He told us he’s contracted for a flat fee by the resort. So he could be there for 8hrs and still get paid the same. Figures!
            My suggestion, take current and favorite songs on CD’s and an IPod. This DJ had all his music on his laptop and some CD’s. Not all DJ’s are high tech though. Oh, and a DJ in Dominican Republic is not also an MC like we’re use to. This guy did not speak English. So I recruited my sister’s boyfriend. My husband wrote everything he needed to say for everyone’s entrance, for the first dance, mother/son dance, bouquet toss, garter belt, etc.. And what songs to play for each event, and he did really good!! My sister’s boyfriend was a riot! So always have a back up!
            Jessy

            My Planning Thread-Updated Links
            http://bestdestinati....-thread-30226/
            Wedding Pictures Link Threadhttp://bestdestinati....perfect-31186/NH Arena Real Wedding Reviewhttp://bestdestinati....ew-pics-32477/

            #6 jessyg20

            jessyg20
            • Jr. Member
            • 263 posts

              Posted 20 November 2008 - 05:29 AM

              Cigars-We had an option to give out cheap cigars to our guests. My husband didn’t like that idea so we decided to go with Lucas de Meester Premium Cigars. We ordered 200 robusto mild cigars and EVERYONE that had one loved them. We called him up and he delivered the cigars to us. He’s a nice man and he does have quality cigars. You can work out a deal with him if you order a nice amount as we did. We only displayed 50 at a time in the bar, the rest are in my husband’s Humidor (my wedding gift to him).
              Lucas De Meester Cel: 809-415-3952 or email: Click the image to open in full size.
              Click the image to open in full size.

              The days after- We decided we wanted to relax the day after the wedding and asked our guests if they wanted to join us for an afternoon of fun in the sun. Everyone came out to the pool with their mugs and enjoyed the day with us. Some guests ventured to town or on excursions. We met up again, as always, for dinner at a restaurant and the after party was always at the Alizios Bar. Alizios Bar always had a great DJ every night after 11p. Sunday nights at the Edenh is Karaoke night from 9-11p, so we had fun with it.

              My 13yr old Niece singing “Hopelessly Devoted” to you…
              Click the image to open in full size.

              My sisters and I singing ” We are family”….
              Click the image to open in full size.

              Excursion-In my opinion, as a bride, you really have no time to take an excursion before the big day. There’s always something to do and you don’t want to get a bad tan?! We decided to take an excursion, The Dune Buggy excursion, 2 days after the wedding. Our guest list by that time was 20, and only 12 of them decided to go. It’s hard to get such a big group to agree on doing something outside the resort, so I recommend you just let your guests do whatever they want during the day but arrange to meet up for dinner so they feel they are there for you and welcomed. If they want to take an excursion it’ll be up to them and at their time. By the way, if you do get a big group to go on an excursion, ask about you or/and your husband going for free. I did and it worked!

              Click the image to open in full size.



              Tipping-Tipping goes a long way in Dominican Republic. I recommend you take plenty of dollar bills and tip the staff from time to time. These people work hard! You’ll see that same server for breakfast and then for dinner.
              The staff knew my name and Chris’. We were celebrities but it’s only because we appreciated they’re service. They really work hard!! I have no problem compensating someone when they truly deserve it.

              Wedding Coordinator- Elizabeth is such a wonderful person. She’s great! Her patience and attention to detail really made my day extra special. She really worked hard for our wedding. We were really grateful to her. She knew what she was doing and that made my wedding day go by so easy. I really didn’t worry about anything. I knew it was going to be perfect, and it was thanks to her.

              To sum up, the resort was fantastic. We still have friends thanking us for inviting them. Everyone had a great experience there. Edenh Arena Real is a resort that will cater to you and your guests. Go with an open mind and you’ll have fun!

              Here's a link to my PRO pictures...
              http://www.pictage.c....folder=1524035
              Jessy

              My Planning Thread-Updated Links
              http://bestdestinati....-thread-30226/
              Wedding Pictures Link Threadhttp://bestdestinati....perfect-31186/NH Arena Real Wedding Reviewhttp://bestdestinati....ew-pics-32477/

              #7 ashjanbro

              ashjanbro
              • Newbie
              • 61 posts

                Posted 20 November 2008 - 11:47 PM

                Congratulations and great review!!

                Everything looked very pretty and well coordinated.

                #8 metravel

                metravel
                • Newbie
                • 35 posts

                  Posted 21 November 2008 - 12:17 PM

                  Wow...nice picture you are very beautiful and very good and detail on the review. I will not have a big wedding but sure I could use some of your tip.

                  Thank you and congratulation again.

                  Irma and Michel

                  #9 beachbride08

                  beachbride08
                  • VIP Member
                  • 2,372 posts

                    Posted 21 November 2008 - 12:53 PM

                    Congratulations! You were a beautiful bride and I love all the set up and colors you chose. It looks like everything turned out great!
                    Michelle

                    #10 gofeden

                    gofeden
                    • Newbie
                    • 80 posts

                      Posted 30 November 2008 - 01:56 PM

                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by jessyg20
                      Pastor York-He was great. If you are thinking of having a symbolic ceremony but would like a pastor, he’s great. His fee was only $250. He sends you exactly what he’s going to read and gives you the option to change or add anything. He includes a few readings and the sand ceremony reading. I had my other sister read “These are the Hands” poem.

                      Click the image to open in full size.


                      Photographer-Reno from Photo Souvenir was patient and amazing. He let us have fun.. Great pictures, I loved them all. We did 8hrs of photography but no video and we are happy we did so. Pictures say a lot and we actually enjoyed all the shots he took. Photo Souvenir is a great company to deal with. I only have good things to say about them.
                      Click the image to open in full size.


                      My Wedding Cake- Oh, my cake!! Wow did it taste good!!!!! I chose the Dominican cake with Rum filling. You could taste the rum!!! It was good. I took my teal and regular chocolate melts along with my seashell molds and made the seashells that lay on the cake as decorations. My sister gave me a chocolate fondue pot. It’s a mini crock pot looking thing that melts chocolate quickly without burning it. It’s usually used to melt chocolate and then dipping strawberries. Very small and practical! It got the job done. We had to do 1 tray at a time so it’d fit in the mini bar fridge. After 20 mins we do another tray. We also had some pre-made chocolate sea shells but I wanted to give the chef some extras just in case. I’m glad I did because my cake was huge.
                      The only negative thing I have to say about the cake is that my cake topper sunk in a bit. Oh well! That wasn’t the worse part. The worst part was when someone knocked down my cake topper and decapitated the groom and left him handicap! Lol I laugh now, like I laughed when Elizabeth told me. She was able to glue the head, but he remained handicap, no hands. It was our day to shine so we didn’t make a big deal of it.


                      Click the image to open in full size.

                      Before-
                      Click the image to open in full size.
                      Click the image to open in full size.

                      After-
                      Click the image to open in full size.


                      Open Bar-The boys’ hangout! Outside in the terrace is where all the boys drank and smoked cigars. We decided to do 4 hours of open bar, national drinks. We asked about buy just a few of their premium liquors (Stoli Vodka, Black Label, etc.) and the charge per bottle was too much. So we decided to outsource a few bottles. We picked a few bottles of Grey Goose Vodka, Black Label, Malibu Rum, etc outside of the resort. They had no problem serving it. They actually gave us a few extra bottles we had left over. Of course the Grey Goose vodka and Black Label were gone!
                      I honestly couldn’t imagine making my 93 guests (actually only 80 were of drinking age)constantly run outside to the nearest bar (which is across the plaza by the lobby) to grab a drink during our*4 hour reception. We are party people, we drink and dance. We actually dance better after drinking! It was worth the money.
                      *It was actually 6 hours at a charge of 4. Remember that same manager we tipped once? Well, we asked him if we could stay longer since the food took a while to come out and we didn’t want to party only for 1.5hrs, so he agreed and let us stay until midnight. We had Open Bar and DJ until midnight for no additional fee. Didn’t I mention anything is possible??!!!!!

                      DJ-Well, he started good, but killed my party at the end. The majority of my guests were of Hispanic background, but even we get tired of just Latin music! We like variety. He just didn’t have it. We kept telling him (and in Spanish) and he’d agree to whatever we asked for, but never play it. I got upset at him and told him he basically was killing my party. He finally understood and got the crowd going again. I guess he didn’t care because he wasn’t getting paid for the extra 2 hours of music he was going to play. He told us he’s contracted for a flat fee by the resort. So he could be there for 8hrs and still get paid the same. Figures!
                      My suggestion, take current and favorite songs on CD’s and an IPod. This DJ had all his music on his laptop and some CD’s. Not all DJ’s are high tech though. Oh, and a DJ in Dominican Republic is not also an MC like we’re use to. This guy did not speak English. So I recruited my sister’s boyfriend. My husband wrote everything he needed to say for everyone’s entrance, for the first dance, mother/son dance, bouquet toss, garter belt, etc.. And what songs to play for each event, and he did really good!! My sister’s boyfriend was a riot! So always have a back up!
                      Hey Jessy! I just wanted to ask you...where did you buy the bottles of liquor? Can you walk there? Do you need to cab it? This sounds like a perfect job for the best man!
                      Jelena and Bojan
                      January 3, 2009




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