I finally found some time to write up my review
Quick Info -There were 40 of us in total. We had our wedding at the Gazebo; Cocktail hour on the Pier and the reception at the Sea Side Grill Deck. We stayed for 2 weeks and flew with Sunwing. Little tip about Sunwing- the plane does not have a closet so I had to put my dress in the overhead compartment. No worries though; the resort steams the dress as well as the suit for free and they do a really good job!
Dreams La Romana: A
Ill quickly provide you with a brief summary of the resort...Trip Advisor has enough reviews about DLR Both hubby and myself have been to several AI resort in the past, and I gotta say that you can def. feel the difference between a 4 star resort and a 5 star resort. Dreams La Romana was an amazing resort and all of our guests were extremely happy with it. The lobby was beautiful; the food was amazing; the rooms were beautiful and clean; the grounds were gorgeous; the service was top notch, etc. The only thing I could say was not that â€˜amazingâ€™ would be the beach....The water isnâ€™t the cleanest and bluest Ive ever seen and the sand was not the greatest but it was still beautiful and we spent every single day for 2 weeks at the beach.
All of my wedding planning/communication up until 2 weeks before the wedding had been with Tiara; however, Tiara was away on vacation on my wedding day so I was assigned to Yana. I met with Yana in the lobby on Wednesday morning (we arrived very late on Tuesday)...the meeting was quick; She had all of my info printed and we just reviewed the things I wanted for the wedding. I brought a lot of decorations down with me, and I dropped them off on Thursday in her office. I explained how I wanted everything to be set up and she did an amazing job at doing exactly what I had asked of her. What I loved about Yanna was the fact that I could reach her so easily....anytime I needed to get in touch with her, she was always available and ready to help out! She was also able to give us a big discount for our upgrade to a suite; usually it costs $100 extra per night and she was able to talk to reception to give us the suite for $300 for 5 nights; we did a lot of negotiating until we brought the price down and it worked out great!
Just to quickly mention to those who were wondering if my vases made it...Unfortunately...only one out of the 5 made it so I could not use my original centerpieces...the ones the resort gave me werenâ€™t that great and pretty pricey*sigh*....so for those who are thinking of taking their centerpieces in their luggage, I most def. would not recommend it!!! Ship them ahead of time....I wish I would have done that...they were absolutely gorgeous *tear*
None of us went to the spa except my mom; she got her hair done and it looked very nice; she was pretty happy with it but it didnt last the whole day! I got my hair done by one of my bridesmaids and I was extremely happy with it. I read a lot of bad reviews about them using too much hair product at the spa so I freaked out and I couldnâ€™t take that chance...The rest of my bridesmaids also did their own hair and they looked beautiful!
In regards to my nails, I got them done at a salon beside my house on Sunday and they stayed just as beautiful until my wedding day on Friday even though I was in the water constantly. For those of you wondering, I paid a little extra and got the gel nails. They last about 1.5 weeks beforfe they start growing out and eventually they start turning yellow and EWWWWWWWWWWWW I couldnâ€™t wait to get them off....I didnâ€™t have time to go to a salon to get them removed so I cut them off myself and then peeled them off.....that was painful and they ruined my real nails but I wanted them off ASAP! For a wedding they are well worth it, but never will I get them done again!!
I originally wanted Pastor Rick to perform my ceremony, but he was away on vacation on my wedding day. Tiara then agreed to perform my ceremony for me for free, however as I mentioned earlier, Tiara ended up having to go away on vacation on my wedding day as well. She recommended me Elke, who is the spa manager at DLR. She is actually from Austria, but moved to Dominican Republic and her English is great!!! The day before the wedding, I met with her at the spa because she wanted to make sure that she was correctly pronouncing some words in my script. Yanna mentioned that it would be great if I would tip Elke (did not matter how much) and my dad did on the wedding day after the ceremony was over. My dad also tipped Yanna and the servers who served us Champagne after the ceremony as well as the Trio Band who played at our cocktail hour. He also tipped the servers at my reception A LOT but I will talk about this once I tell you about my wedding reception. Anyway, Elke did an amazing job and I would totally recommend other brides to use her.
I booked HDC for both my photography and videography and I had them cover the wedding day from 3:00 p.m. until about 8:30 p.m. They were absolutely amazing to work with and my pictures came out beeaauuutiiiffulll!!! A few days later, Arnaud sent someone with a DVD of my pictures and I paid the amount I owed; That day, Arnaud e-mailed me, telling me how many pictures I had to choose...I did this within a few days and I e-mailed them back to him. In a couple of days, the same person met with me in the lobby where he gave me my printed pictures as well as my video. I would highly recommend hiring HDC!
We actually did not hire a DJ. We rented a huge speaker from back home which we carried in a luggage as it weighed 20 Kg. We connected this to our Logitech iPod dock and played our music off my iPhone. Before getting to the resort, I signed up with grooveshark.com where I got all my music and then made different folders on my phone with music. i.e. One folder named â€œMusic for guests waitingâ€, â€œMusic for Bridesmaids walking down the isleâ€, â€œMusic for Bride walking down the Isleâ€, etc I had one of my friends who is a DJ, just press play for each stage of the ceremony. For the reception, my DJ friend had brought some of his equipment from back home with him which he hooked up to our big speaker and iphone and he took care of introducing us; announcing and playing our first dance as well as the father and daughter dance. During dinner, we just had dinner music playing in the background which I downloaded off grooveshark as well (a lot of lounge/chillout Brazilian/French/Spanish music). The music for the rest of the night was again played off my iphone from my â€œParty Musicâ€ folder, and people went up to the phone and chose the different songs they liked. It didnâ€™t sound bad as we had purchased something called â€œa mixerâ€ which makes the songs flow nicely from one to another.
I got my flowers from Angel Accents -my bouquet as well as the 6 peonies which were placed on my cake. She did an amazing job!!!! My flowers looked gorgeous. Only thing I did not like was my hubbyâ€™s boutonniere; it was HUGE! I will post a picture of it when I have time! But this didnâ€™t upset me at all; I just simply told Yanna I needed a pink orchid flower for him and she got him one If you want to book Angel Accents, you have to do it ahead of it as she only does about 5-6 orders per month and she gets booked up very fast! My flowers were ready in June 2010 and I had booked her in November of 2009.
My Bouquet from Angel's Accents
My Beautiful bouquet from Angels Accents
Just to quickly mention, a couple of months before my wedding, I told Arnaud (my photographer) that I want pictures of me getting ready in one room AS WELL as my hubby in another room and he said that this would not be a problem. The day before, I told Yanna that I wanted a suite for a couple of hours on my wedding day and she was able to do that for me for free. My hubby got ready in our room in building 7, while I got ready in building 8 in one of the suites.Thank you past brides who gave me this wonderful idea
So my ceremony was supposed to be at 4:00 p.m., but we ran about 20-30 minutes behind as HDC was a little late (no biggie) and they also had to take pictures of the ladies getting ready; then had to run off to take pictures of the guys getting ready and then back again to our room for more pictures. On my wedding day, there were clouds in the sky but it was super sunny This was a huge relief as the weather was one of the most stressful things for me. In fact, the previous day, it had poured all day long so I was extremely stressed and sad but it all worked out in the end.
Since I had gotten ready in building 8, it did not take me long to walk to the gazebo as buildings, 5, 6, 7 and 8 are very close to it. When I got to the ceremony site, Yanna instructed for my bridesmaids to start walking as soon as their song came on while I was hiding behind a few big tropical plants with my dad before it was my turn to walk down the isle. As soon as â€œAve Mariaâ€ came on, I started getting all teary eyed and my dad and I started to walk slowly towards the gazebo. For those who are concerned about the gravel, donâ€™t be; I found it very easy to walk on it.
As I was walking down the isle, I noticed how beautifully Yanna had set up my gazebo with my pink lanterns; she had also set up my sand ceremony nicely. The ceremony took about 15-20 minutes in total. A little problem I encountered was with my sand ceremony; I wanted to have my sand poured into a picture frame (like the Umbra Ether one) but I searched everywhere for one, and at the time they were completely sold out! So I decided to buy my own picture frame and to make a hole at the top where the sand would be poured. As we started pouring the sand, it was going sooooo slow so after a few minutes we decided to stop pouring so we could continue the rest of the ceremony. So I never got to finish pouring all of the sand...but weâ€™re going to do it again here at home LOL ahhh well.....its not a bigge at all!
After we were pronounced husband and wife, we toasted champagne with all of our guests and then we took some pictures. Everything went well except for the fact that my best friend (maid of honor) ended up fainting as it was hot and she had not eaten all day. Her sister (bridesmaid) and her boyfriend took her to the medical center and she was able to attend the reception. My biggest regret is that she did not get a chance to be in many pictures but Im just glad she got better later on in the evening. Which reminds me; its worth mentioning that the medical center at DLR is amazing! Ive been to other AI resorts and the medical centers were filthy; however, the one at DLR is clean and their staff is very knowledgeable.
Putting on my Jewelry
Hubby getting ready in building 7
Pictures in building 8 before the ceremony
Me and Daddy before the ceremony
My beautiful bridesmaids and I
Walking towards the ceremony...I was very very nervous
The guys before the Ceremony
Hubby waiting for me in the Gazebo
My Bridesmaids walking towards the Gazebo
My beautifully decorated Gazebo
My daddy walking me down the isle
Daddy all emotional
So much pink
Officially Hubby and Wifey
Champagne after the ceremony
The guys in the Gazebo
The guys and I
Cocktail Hour: A ---> from what I heard from the guest
After we took pictures as a group, my guests when on the Pier for cocktail hour, while I went off with my hubby to do our wedding photo shoot. Since I was busy taking pictures, I was not able to attend the cocktail hour. However, from what I heard, they had really delicious food (Sushi, veggie rolls, etc) and the drinks were also good. I also hired a Band to play live music which the guests enjoyed. I have some pictures from the cocktail hour off peopleâ€™s camera..I will try to find them and I will post them here! Im sorry I donâ€™t have more info on the cocktail hour; I wish I could have attended at least 5 minutes of it but the photo shoot took longer than I thought!
Non-pro picture from the cocktail hour: My parents
Non-pro pic from the cocktail hour: Daddy and the Trio Band
Photoshoot of hubby and I while our guests were at the cocktail hour: