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Beach Wedding at EdenH in Punta Cana DR


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#1 marisacastro

marisacastro
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    Posted 19 March 2009 - 03:24 PM

    Resort: EdenH Real Arena (NH)
    Wedding Date/Time: March 10, 2009 at 11:00am
    Wedding Location: Civil Ceremony on the Beach
    Wedding Coordinators: Mariana Vilchez & Ana De Los Santos
    Photographer: Photosouvenir – Reno (Renaud)
    No. of Guests: 11

    Check-in:
    For some reason, all of my wedding guests that had booked through Orbitz were notified the day before departure that the hotel had moved them to a different resort. It sounded like they were overbooked but we were never told exactly why this happened. We had to call the resort directly to notify them that they had to stay at the EdenH since they were part of my wedding party. We were told they would go ahead and accommodate them since they were part of my wedding party. When we arrived at check-in, they were directed to the VIP check-in area where all of them were upgraded to the Paradise Club rooms which gave them ‘VIP’ status (the pink bracelets). VIP status gives you access to the VIP pools, VIP bars (with premium liquor) and VIP lounge (check-in area, two computers with free internet, snacks and drinks). In the end, they actually got a better deal through this mess up.

    Accommodations:
    We had the standard deluxe room which I really enjoyed. These rooms have an indoor hot tub between the restroom area and the bed/living area, giving the room an open feeling. If you have guests sharing rooms, you should let them know this in advance since the toilet and shower have frosted glass doors that can be seen from the bed. The Paradise Club rooms have a short wall instead of the hot tub inside and a hot tub in the balcony. I wanted the indoor hot tub myself so I had no problem staying in the deluxe room. With the deluxe wedding package, we got the pink ‘VIP’ bracelets to use throughout the resort.

    There are two main buildings of rooms. In building 1 (room starts with a 1), you'll want an even numbered room for a decent view. In building 2, you'll want an odd numbered room for a good view. The even numbered rooms in building 2 are facing construction. We were in building 2, room 2315 and we had a view of the fountains and pools which I enjoyed every morning. It seems to me that the only rooms that have a true ocean view are the Paradise Club rooms.

    Wedding Package Selected:
    I selected the Deluxe Wedding Package ($1449 USD) which included the following:
    •Wedding coordinator
    •Choice of wedding locations
    •Welcome fruit platter – we didn’t get one but we did get a small bottle of local rum
    •Civil judge service fees
    •Translation of ceremony – performed by Mike Bryant, hotel manager
    •Marriage certificate delivered by UPS – will take up to 3 months
    •One floral centerpiece for ceremonial table – tropical flowers
    •Wedding music during ceremony – I took my own CD for the ceremony and a second for the cocktail hour and I didn’t get charged for using their sound system for the cocktail hour
    •Deluxe chairs for bride and groom – I never saw anything that looked like exclusive chairs for us…but I never had the need to sit down
    •Elegantly covered chairs for all guests – I selected a color (yellow/orange) to coordinate with the tropical flowers. The chairs had a sash in my color tied around them. I was not charged extra for the sash. I think they only charge more if flowers are used to decorate the chairs.
    •Bouquet for Bride and Boutonniere for Groom using tropical flowers – I did not want to pay extra to have flowers imported so I chose tropical flowers. I emailed the WC photos of a bouquet that I liked and was not charged extra. My actual bouquet was almost an exact match. When you meet the WC, they have photos you can look through to select from.
    •Wedding cake for 15 guests – I brought my own candy shells/starfish I decorated myself. I went with vanilla icing/cake. They have multiple flavors to select from for no extra charge.
    •One glass of sparkling wine for up to 15 guests - I requested they also have cold bottled water and orange juice and was not charged extra.
    •One hour of hors d'oeuvres – It consisted of mostly smoked salmon and shrimp on bread, which everyone enjoyed.
    •15 min massage for Bride and Groom – You’ll get a certificate that you can use to schedule a massage through the Spa. I had mine on the beach; quite nice.
    •Certificate for 4 day/3 nights stay on anniversary – You’ll get a certificate that you can use later.
    •VIP status – These are the pink bracelets I already mentioned.

    I added the following items to my wedding package:
    •Huppa ($350 USD) – The huppa (gazebo) is covered in white fabric and then decorated with tropical flowers. I asked that all the flowers coordinate with my bouquet and my color (yellow/orange). I got three flower swags; one on the top and two on the front sides of the huppa, all tied in ribbon to match my color theme. I also asked that they use the starfish they already have which they added to the flower swags. In addition, I asked they mark the aisle with palm leaves, which they did plus they added red flower petals sprinkled on the sand down the aisle. I was charged exactly the $350 for all of the above.
    •Day pass for my photographer ($69 USD)
    •Maid of honor bouquet ($45 USD)
    •Best Man boutonniere ($20 USD)

    I brought the following items for the ceremony which I gave the WC when we met:
    •Flower petals/cones in my color theme to give to the guests for the walk back down the aisle after the ceremony.
    •Butterflies to add to the palm leaves along the aisle.
    •Parasols which I took in case it got too hot, but instead we used to decorate around the huppa and the aisle.
    •Sand ceremony set and reading
    •Wedding cake decorations
    •My DIY coconut ring holder
    •Toasting glasses

    Payment for your wedding is made when you meet with the WC, prior to your wedding. Payment can be a credit card or traveler’s checks.

    Flowers/Decorations:
    As I mentioned before, I was extremely pleased with the flowers included in the tropical selection. I was mostly focused on the bouquets and boutonnieres. I provided sample photos of what I wanted and I got almost exactly what I envisioned so I have to say that helped tremendously. I got a lot of complements on the setting and choice of colors. I couldn’t really take credit for anything other than provided the WC with as much detail as I could weeks prior to the ceremony. The WC actually sent me a questionnaire to complete one month before my wedding which I used to detail everything I could think of. I even added my own sections to the questionnaire.

    Renova Spa/Salon:
    I did the trial bridal hair the day before the wedding and was quite pleased. So I went ahead and booked the bridal hair for the next morning. My maid of honor also had her hair done the day of the wedding. I think they did a good job…my hair lasted all day without having to do any touchups. As you can see in the photos below, it can be quite windy but despite that it stayed out of my face. It was a little pricey but it was worth it for me. My hairdo was $90 USD and my maid of honor’s was $60 USD. You pay for any services you receive from the Spa when you are done.

    Giselle did my hair and finished off my MOH. We both had sample photos of what we wanted so that certainly made it easier. FYI…it took 2 hours to get my hair done and I did my own makeup…so plan for the time it takes.

    Beach Ceremony/Cocktail Hour:
    I opted to have both the ceremony and the cocktail hour back to back on the beach. I had a civil ceremony so I didn’t have a choice on the time for the ceremony…11:00am. I was worried it would be too hot but there was a constant breeze from the ocean that kept everyone comfortable. There were a few clouds here and there but it never looked like rain. I couldn’t have asked for better weather!

    The set for the ceremony ran a little late but I didn’t notice it. I actually held it up a few minutes taking some quick photos with the photographer.

    I provided the music that was played for both the ceremony and the cocktail hour. They have a good sound system so everyone could hear the music and ceremony. The ceremony itself was short and sweet. Mike Bryant, the hotel manager, translated what the judge recites. The judge was very nice and seemed happy to be there. After the civil ceremony finished, we signed all the documents and then performed the sand ceremony. I took a reading with me that my MOH read over the microphone for everyone to hear. Again, very simple and sweet.

    The beach is not private so you do get people close by watching and even recording your ceremony. Most people are cordial and stay out of the way. There was a construction crew behind us that came to a complete stop to watch the whole thing. I even had resort guests cheer me on as I walked over to the ceremony area. I was all quite cute and lovely.

    The cocktail hour was immediately after the ceremony. The champagne and hors d'oeuvres were very good. The cake looked beautiful with the candy decorations I brought. I was very pleased with how it turned out. I had them play a CD I had made that had exactly one hour’s worth of music to be played in sequence. The only complaint I had was they played the first song repeatedly waiting for us to do our first dance on the beach. I had no idea they were waiting on us. Because of that, we didn’t get to hear all of the songs on my CD. It would have been nice if they had asked me first if I wanted them to stay longer (for an extra charge) but instead they turned off the music and started packing up! I felt a little rushed to finish up…I didn’t want it to end.

    Wedding Lunch at the Jellyfish Restaurant:
    Since my wedding was scheduled at 11:00am, I opted for a wedding lunch outside the resort at 2:30pm. The Edenh does not have any of the a la carte restaurants open for lunch. I wanted something a little nicer than the buffet so I made a reservation at a nearby restaurant called the Jellyfish. I had Mayte from the Jellyfish restaurant include transportation for the entire group from EdenH and did not have a set menu since we were such a small group. However, almost everyone ordered the same thing….the House Lobster. It was absolutely wonderful! The best lobster I’ve ever had. I also had Mayte include decorations for our table ($200 USD) that coordinated with my color choices. She did a very nice job…I was quite pleased with how it turned out. The total for lunch, drinks, decorations, transportation and tip was $740 USD.

    Photosouvenir Photography:
    I cannot express to you how happy I am with my choice in photographer. Reno did our photographs and I am extremely happy with all the work he has done. I knew this was the one wedding expense I could not skimp out on. The photos are the only thing from my wedding that I could share with those that were not there. So I wanted to make sure my photos would make those who couldn’t be there, feel like they too have memories of my wedding.

    I selected the Gold package (no video) and received close to 500 photos to look through. Reno did an excellent job capturing everything and everyone without being noticed too much…and when I did, he looked like he was having fun too! He knew exactly where to go for the best shots and always asked if we had any other locations in mind. Neither my husband nor I are good at posing for photos but he made us feel comfortable with the whole process. We didn’t even notice the time go by because we were having so much fun doing it…and again, we never had cared for posing in a photo before!

    Our wedding was on a Tuesday and Reno had our proofs ready by Thursday morning. Thursday evening we called him and let him know which photo we wanted for our painted canvas. We met with him one last time on Saturday morning where we received our painted canvas, slide show, digital images, signed release statement and paid our remaining balance.

    The Gold package included a hand painted 12x18 canvas from of a photo of my choice. Everyone that has seen it is totally blown away. Even after seeing the samples on the artist’s website, I was still not prepared to see how beautiful it turned out. The images on the internet don’t do them justice. A painted canvas is included in all of Photosouvenir’s packages and you will be pleasantly surprised with what you get. I ended up ordering a second, larger one and others in my wedding wanted one made of their photo!! I will be receiving the second one along with my photo album in 1-2 weeks.

    Reno will have a folder for my wedding photos on Pictage soon and I will share that when it is ready. If you're on facebook and want a quick peek, I posted some already: Login | Facebook

    Wedding Dinner at Senses:
    We had a reservation at Senses for dinner the day of my wedding. I had the WC decorate our dinner table with the floral centerpiece from our ceremony and some of the flower petals I had provided. The table looked very pretty and the restaurant itself is decorated with white chiffon hanging throughout and red accessories. I had only 11 people total in my wedding party but they still required that I select a set menu. I thought that was odd but I did it anyway. We went with the green leaves and veg. salad, lobster bisque, beef tenderloin, and cr¨me brulee. Everything tasted good…but we did have to wait a long time between courses. We didn’t have a private dinner so there was no charge for this.

    Resort Restaurants:
    Reservations: You have to make your dinner reservations at least a day in advance if not sooner for the a la carte restaurants. I tried making them all through the WC prior to arrival but only one was actually on the books. I had to pretty much make them all on my first day there.

    Main Buffet: We usually had breakfast at the main buffet but I would suggest you order room service. There is a huge assortment of food there but it was pretty much the same everyday...we were there a week. There is no charge for it and there is no line to wait at. If you like your eggs made a certain way, then room service is the way to go. Otherwise, there are long lines to have your eggs made fresh. We also tried the buffet for dinner a couple of nights. We sometimes didn't want to wait for our meal after an excusion so the buffet was the quickest source to food in our bellies. Also, they have wait staff refilling your drinks and removing dirty dishes from your table. Great service for a buffet!

    Beach front Buffet: As I said before, only the buffets are open for lunch. This is where we ended up for lunch everyday since we enjoy being outdoors. There is always a breeze the temperature was quite comfortable. The occassional sprinkle had people running for cover at the buffet but it never lasted. The food was ok but we didn't care too much...we probably drank more than ate for lunch.

    A la Carte: I would have to say that Senses had the best food of all the a la carte restaurants. However, be prepared to wait a long time for your meal no matter which one you go to. I actually saw some people leave because they had been waiting for a long time without any service. If you are really hungry and on a tight schedule then you are better off going to the main buffet.

    #2 lrfriendly

    lrfriendly
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      Posted 19 March 2009 - 05:02 PM

      I have one word...... AMAZING!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing. Ev erything seemed to turn out so lovely. I sooo can not wait for our big day! Keep us posted when you have more photos!! Thanks again!!!
      33 Booked!!

      #3 DTHSLove

      DTHSLove
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        Posted 19 March 2009 - 05:31 PM

        I'm not on facebook pls post pic as soo as possible. Congrats

        #4 lmg970

        lmg970
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        • 316 posts

          Posted 19 March 2009 - 05:57 PM

          your pics are great. I have a question, the decorations on your cake, you brought thosse with you?
          Laura

          #5 marisacastro

          marisacastro
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          • 44 posts

            Posted 20 March 2009 - 12:12 PM

            Yes, I purchased them online...white fondant candies. I decorated them with colored pearl dust that I also purchased from the same company. They were packaged in a box padded with foam. I used them same box to take them with me. They did just fine. Here is a link to the website I purchased them from.

            Wedding Cakes, Cake Decorating Supplies at Cakes By Sam.com - GPSS - Edible Seashells White 30 cntGPSS - Edible Seashells Set 30 Count

            #6 fudgie

            fudgie
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              Posted 20 March 2009 - 12:32 PM

              Your pictures are beautiful and you look stunning, thanks for sharing!
              Photo by: Cineart Photographywww.cineartphotography.comOur Professional Slideshow

              #7 lmg970

              lmg970
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                Posted 21 March 2009 - 07:56 AM

                thanks for the information.
                Laura

                #8 Carolyn

                Carolyn
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                  Posted 21 March 2009 - 08:11 AM

                  Your pictures werebeautiful. Congrats. You looked amazing!

                  #9 DanielleNDerek

                  DanielleNDerek
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                    Posted 21 March 2009 - 08:40 AM

                    Of course i had to look at your pictures. You looked gorgeous. And you both look very comfortable in the pics. I'm so glad you booked photosouvenir, they were great for my wedding too. And the resort has so many great places to take pics. Glad you had a great time. Also glad they didnt move your guests to another resort and they got upgraded.

                    Congratulations on becoming a MRS!
                    ***Married November 6, 2008***Gavin Born February 28th, 2010***
                    Paradisus Palma Real Wedding Review
                    Our Professional Wedding Pictures on Snapfish

                    #10 SunnysideDerson

                    SunnysideDerson
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                      Posted 21 March 2009 - 05:30 PM

                      I love how your wedding turned out. Your pics are great! I am getting married at the same resort in two months. Your review was really helpful!! Did you ship anything ahead of time, or just bring everything with you?




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