I'm so excited! I can't wait to read your review! Congratulations! Has anyone heard from the bride that had a horrible experience? I'm a little nervous about that. I'm getting married May 1, 2011. I can't wait! I hope everything is perfect as I imagine.
Excellence Punta Cana Brides Thread
Posted 17 August 2010 - 02:10 PM
Congrats Mrs. Beatty! I'm new to the site but have read some of your older posts in the forum and it's SO GREAT to hear that you're wedding was success.
Another newbie just wanting to say hello =)
The FI and I are getting married at the Excellence in Punta Cana on Feb 20th 2011. Reading through the posts has been very helpful, however I do have some questions about various things (flowers, slide show, iPod/speakers etc). If I post them, will any (or all!) of you be willing to try and answer them?
Thanks! Really looking forward to working with you girls!
Posted 19 August 2010 - 06:19 AM
I'm back and everything was PERFECT. I'll be sure to post a full review in just a few days. : ) : )
Posted 20 August 2010 - 05:15 AM
So, apparently taking two weeks off puts you WAY behind. I haven't forgotten about the review - I am about halfway done, hopefully today or tomorrow
Posted 20 August 2010 - 02:25 PM
Looking foward to the review too! I don't really like the look of the plastic chairs.. anybody use something different? Are the any vendors out there who will rent chairs?
Posted 20 August 2010 - 08:18 PM
I decided not to go with the plastic chairs either. I asked about chair rentals and the WC told me the only company rented chiavari chairs for 10/each. We decided to get them and she said she will move them from the ceremony to the reception for us during cocktail hour. The came in gold, white and I believe red.
Posted 22 August 2010 - 05:20 AM
Originally Posted by Diva
Hey there, is Nikki's thread/review up yet? I have been traveling and didn't want to miss it
Originally Posted by atrott
Diva, I've been checking myself & haven't seen it yet. I'm DYING to hear all about her experience with Excellence. FI found out today that a co-worker is honeymooning @ Excellence in October. I can't wait to hear his review of the place either!
Hey ladies, I haven't forgotten!
Right after we came back from the honeymoon, I started my residency, and I work 12-13 hours a day on average. By the time I commute home, i generally only have enough time for a small snack, a shower, and sleep. The rotation I'm on changes soon so I'm hoping to get the time to sit down and type everything out.
Also, so much went wrong for me that I really didn't want to post it until a few more brides had had their day because I didn't want them worried. I'm sure that my day was a fluke, but let's just say disappointment don't cover it and we're in the process of going through AmEx to get our charges back from the stay.
For those ladies who just became a MRS CONGRATULATIONS!
More later, with pictures....
Posted 22 August 2010 - 12:25 PM
Thanks, when are you getting married? I'd love to see pics on how they set up the ceremony and reception. Where are you having your reception? I want to do it on a patio or something.....
Posted 22 August 2010 - 06:19 PM
Here we go!! I am posting this under the review session as well. I hope this helps and please continue to ask questions, I am happy to help as much as I can! Mrs. Beatty
Excellence Punta Cana Wedding Review â€“ Aug. 6, 2010 â€“ Lisa and Todd Beatty (plus 25)
Ok â€“ I am going to follow Boston Brideâ€™s format and possibly add a couple extras â€“ Thanks Boston
Destination Wedding â€“ A
It will have itâ€™s pluses and minuses, but it was perfect for us. I am not great at planning big events and I get overwhelmed with too many people. I love to travel. It was my husbands second wedding and he had NO desire for a big wedding. There will be a couple people that are hurt that they canâ€™t come, but you have to weigh your options. My husbands brother couldnâ€™t come, so we had him witness our legal marriage in the states, so we still felt that we all got to celebrate and that was perfect!
Ground Transportation â€“ D
VIP Travel Services
Ok â€“ this is by far my number one complaint, but from what I have heard itâ€™s not just this company itâ€™s all of them. First of all COPY your vouchers for ground transportation and keep a copy. They take all of your copies as soon as you arrive. For 90% of the people this goes just fine, for those that donâ€™t â€“ they lose your name, etc. Itâ€™s just a pain in the bootie. It all works out, but it is the last thing you want to deal with on vaca. If you have an awesome travel agent, see above, she takes care of it all for you. Second, they make you sit through a thirty minutes sales pitch to buy their trips before you can get your return voucher. Half the guests didnâ€™t care, but most of it thought it was an inconvenience and felt that the last thing we wanted was to be sold anything. The drivers and the ground transportation itself were great, no complaints there!
Resort - Excellence Punta Canaâ€“ A+++
In a nutshell â€“ I loved Excellence. The Service and employees were top notch and genuinely friendly. The main pool and swim up bar were to die for. There was always something to do or some place to eat!
Rooms â€“ The rooms were nice, but the overall complaint was the AC. We live in a house with a window unit, so it was similar to that for us, but for some people, it was rough in August. The Jacuzzi tub was a favorite.
Service â€“ Excellente!! I cried when we left, because all the staff came to give us hugs or say goodbye. They really try to meet every request and as other people have said, if you arenâ€™t happy with something, just ask, they will go above and beyond to accommodate.
Food - I would say 90% of the food that I got was amazing. The other items were just ok, so I would either get something else or be content with all the other food I already had. Typically for dinner we would get an appetizer, soup or salad, entr©e and dessert. So if the appetizer wasnâ€™t my favorite, I was more than full on the rest of my stuff. As far as drinks go â€“ You have to order the Coco Loco!! That is the coconut drink from heaven J
Wedding Coordinator â€“ A++++++++++
Isuenuey â€“ I still canâ€™t spell her name, but she is AMAZING!!! She is great with organizing the details and putting her special touch on things, which makes for special little surprises along the way, so you donâ€™t feel like you (the bride) did every little thing. Ok â€“ I know a big concern is sometimes we didnâ€™t get emails back immediately. FYI â€“ They work 11 days, then get 3 days off. If you donâ€™t hear something and itâ€™s been 3 or 4 days, I think just re-emailing would be the best, the email might have gotten lost in the shuffle of those days off. Also, people asked what to tip. We tipped Isueney $100, I donâ€™t know if this is too high, to low, etc, but this what we did and we thought it felt right.
Ok this one I canâ€™t give a grade on yet, because itâ€™s still being resolved. At the last minute we decided to get the video, which I was glad we did, but it was $550, because we wanted the reception (dances and toasts) and they didnâ€™t record half of the toasts. Apparently the battery died, but no one told us, so we didnâ€™t have the option to hold the toasts, etc. I canâ€™t even express my disappointment on this. So I will make this short â€“ The footage is decent, the photographer and videographer get in each otherâ€™s shots a lot and the idea of a video to catch a lot of the moments is priceless, but I canâ€™t actually tell you my grade until we get a resolution (they did ask how they could compensate, but I am making my husband email back, because I am honestly so sad about it).
Photographer â€“ A+++
Photosouvenir â€“ Arturo
He is GREAT!!!! He takes millions of shots, so you are going to have lots of great ones. Here is a link to our pictures, judge for yourself. Our package was $1150 and got us everything we could have dreamed of. Also, if you are going to tip anyone well make it the photographer, tip right after the photo session, but before you pick photos, wink, wink.
DJ â€“ A+++
He was perfect and we got rave reviews from all our guests (all ages). He listened to what we like, donâ€™t like etc, but really kept an eye on what was going on on the dance floor and if things slowed down, he immediately amped it back up somehow. And he played every type of song you could imagine â€“ Lady Gaga and black eyed peas to Vanilla Ice and John Mellancamp. It was REALLY great! PS I caught a glimpse of a wedding with no DJ and no one was dancing, except one couple, so I think it really made a difference!
Flowers â€“ A
I have zero opinion on flowers, but I LOVED my bouquet and my bridesmaid bouquets. I had a white rose and iris mix and it was huge and full. My maids had a white rose and greens mix, which made it seem fuller than just doing roses. Also one of my maids brought pins and pinned in a rosary from my mom and a necklace from my uncle that had passed, so that made it extra special J
Cake â€“ B+
It was simple but perfect! We brought the topper and some blue paper flowers to put around it (Etsy.com) ad I think both added a lot. My only complaint is the cake never got served. When I realized that, after a few drinks, rather than just asking the servers to serve it, I decided to serve it myself. Which was hysterical, first because I wasnâ€™t really serving it, but shoveling and second, because then a line formed for the cake! Immediately when the servers saw this they came over, but I was having so much fun, I wouldnâ€™t let them take over, again probably a mistake, but I had fun J It did taste great as well! We did almond cake with vanilla icing.
Welcome Cocktail â€“ A-
Ok we planned four events outside of the wedding and by the time you get to the resort you donâ€™t want to plan, so while everything was great, here would be my suggestion. Before you leave print something out that says the event and then you can just fill in the time and location. Welcome cocktail worked out great, we did it at Kafe Kafe at 6pm, so people could do dinner on their own afterwards. They were having a staff celebration (Wednesday) and serving hors dâ€™ouvres so that was a huge plus! This is a great way for everyone to officially meet, so I would definitely suggest this!
Bachelor/Bachelorette Party â€“ C
Well the bachelor put himself to bed, because this started at ten. I would NOT plan this, it will happen naturally. At night you can eat, watch shows, go to the casino or go to the disco. Lots of options and we did something each night, but no need to plan it J
Rehearsal Dinner â€“ A+++
Ours was on the night of the pool soiree, where they had tons of food set out by the pool. The wedding coordinator with take care of all of this for you and suggest a spot. Itâ€™s buffet style (Thursday) and outside with a breeze, so I would suggest it, if the bugs arenâ€™t bad. They also have a beach dinner on Tuesday (same concept). Both are great for a rehearsal dinner and they will set up an area and tables for your guests.
Day after the wedding Brunch â€“ B
This was like the bach/bachelorette party. Breakfast happens naturally, so unless if everyone is leaving that day, I would not â€œplanâ€ this and just let it happen. The restaurant went into panic when I asked for a table of twenty and I forgot to call ahead (with everything else going on).
Officiant â€“ A
Excellence officiant â€“ Spanish speaking
It was exactly what we expected. A Spanish speaking officiant translated by our wedding coordinator. It was short and sweet. We incorporated three things and wrote them all out in our program so nothing was lost in strong accents. We did a memory candle for those that had passed, Our vows (beyond I do) and an Indian blessing. All went VERY well J
Ceremony â€“ A+++++
Beach â€“ it WAS BEAUTIFUL. I would suggest nothing else. I would bring chair sashes. They are $1 each and the color makes everything pop! I liked satin, as opposed to other materials.
Cocktail Hour â€“ A+
Beach â€“ Again I thought this was perfect and close to the ceremony and the reception. One thing I loved is the photographer gave us 15 minutes to enjoy cocktail hour, get a drink and some food and then start pictures. Do this if possible â€“ it will make you feel sane and means the world to your guests! And Everyone LOVED the cocktail food. The tempura shrimp and mozzarella and tomatoes were the most popular.
Reception â€“ A+
Beach by stage area â€“ By having the stage area, everyone can get their dance on, but you still get to be on the beach. On the beach you can go until 11pm and you get the ocean breezes. It is TOTALLY private and the bugs were not bad at all, but I have heard certain times of the year can be bad. We originally picked the Cascade pool, but changes our mind the day before and we loved our decision!
Spa â€“ B
One of my favorite parts of my wedding was getting ready. I had all me bridesmaids get ready together. One of their gifts was matching light blue bathrobes and I had white. I have pictures of us all in our bathrobes getting ready and it as a blast. So I wanted hair and makeup done in my room. The problem is the spa doesnâ€™t usually do this, which completely threw them off. In sum, they were 1.5 hours late!! It turned out fine, but hindsight if you want to get ready in your room, meet the hairdresser at the spa and bring them to your room. My makeup was perfect and hair looked great, but we did have to add some bobby pins to be safe!
Dress â€“ A
The groom loved it and I loved it, what else is there Maggie Sottero Destinations.
Helpful Hints â€“ (if I could do it over)
Bring Dollars â€“ you donâ€™t have to tip, but sometimes you will want to. I wish we had brought 50 or 100 dollar bills to tip at appropriate times
Donâ€™t join the excellence club â€“ if you want to save $1000 and have enough guests to get the free wedding package, this is really a luxury and an easy way to save money if you need to. Itâ€™s nice, but comes with a price and the rooms are the same size and layout.
Donâ€™t bring centerpieces â€“ They were heavy and I was stressed about them breaking. I would just do a table runner to match chair sashes, a table number and maybe bridesmaid bouquet in the center.
Greet everyone with a Coco Loco â€“ this we did and were so glad we did. We had everyoneâ€™s arrival time and in lieu of out of town bags, greeted everyone as they arrived at the resort with a tropical drink and an agenda. I thought this meant just as much, if not more and took up no luggage space. PS â€“ take arrival time and add an hour and a half approximately. We only missed two couples, the entire time!
Set up a website in advance, that everyone can post their pictures to â€“ still havenâ€™t done it and I wish this was set to go as soon as everyone got back.
RELAX â€“ really it will all come together and be perfect
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