| Originally Posted by amygirl1169 |
Jenne - which carrier are you booked with? My TA is telling me its just Sunwing that doesn't have any space left and they should be able to get some from the other carriers... ?
Dreams La Romana
Posted 09 April 2010 - 09:47 PM
Posted 10 April 2010 - 10:38 AM
Posted 11 April 2010 - 08:43 AM
First, thank you ALL for your well wishes and compliments on the pics. We’re still floating on air!
So I’m back to give some more info on my wedding. SO sorry for the long delay…
I’ll try to fill you in on all the things that were awesome and the things that weren’t so great (but hopefully will be better for you with a little heads-up beforehand.)
Obviously every wedding (and couple) is different so I think it’ll be helpful for y’all to know more about what we wanted out of our wedding so you know how much it might compare to yours. This is long so please don't feel like you have to read it all.
The Stats: Jeremy (now my husband) and I wanted our destination wedding to be the main event. So – we had 42 guests, no reception back in the States, a full wedding party (7 BMs, 5 GM, a flower girl and ring bearer), a ceremony/cocktail hour/reception, a professional DJ, wedding photographers from Charlotte, and a cake from NC. I know this is different from how a lot of other DW couples are doing it, so I just wanted to give people a heads up.
Other Quick Stats: Symbolic Ceremony at the Gazebo, Cocktail Hour ($10/person+tax/tip) on the pier, Reception on the SSG Deck. We rented out the SSG and paid for the Gold Menu. Dancing on the upper landing of the SSG (still outside), officiant was a family friend.
Posted 11 April 2010 - 08:44 AM
•Gazebo as the Ceremony Site – Loved it!! It was serene and peaceful. It was pretty secluded although we still had some on-lookers. 5:30pm was a good start time b/c the temp was comfortable, and the stone walkway was doable w/ my 3inch heels. It was also perfectly located just a short 2 minute walk to the SSG and the pier.
•Hair / Makeup: Awesome. I was very impressed and so were the 6 ladies that got salon services. I know I already touched on this in my previous post, but it really was great. I do think that y’all have nothing to worry about. I did not do a trial run. I did have a picture and asked for a few alterations as she was doing my hair. The ladies came to my Suite instead of us going to the Salon. I thought this was more personal and allowed us to be more comfortable. NOTE: we had 2 hair people and 1 makeup person working on the bridal party. Then – there was a 4th woman that was the translator. That threw us off and made us nervous at first…but the woman that speaks English did a good job and the language barrier wasn’t an issue. We used the make-up artist’s makeup and they provided supplies for doing hair. They had some shiny beads or material to put in my hair (if I wanted it) and it turned out great! Second thing: If you want fake eyelashes you have to bring your own. The makeup woman will put them on and make them look great but you have to bring them…AND you need to bring good glue as well. I’d recommend MAC lashes and glue. It’s the best. They charged us $54 for hair and $36 for makeup. That was with the Weddings In Paradise Discount. Well worth it. Logistics: I would really press Tiara to nail down a time to start services BEFORE you get to the DR. You’ll have to know when everyone needs to be ready for hair/makeup before you get with Tiara on what time hair/makeup needs to start, but this is a good thing to have set up ahead of time. (See The Bad for Timeline Challenges) For us, they wanted to start at NOON to finish 6 hair/makeups by 3:30. They actually started at 1:15 or 1:30 (b/c we were running late & then they came late) and didn’t finish until 4:15 or 4:30.
•Food/Bar Service: It was a little slow at first for dinner, but then we were very pleased! We had a good amount of servers at dinner to serve us food and drinks and everything flowed well. For the cocktail hour, a separate bar was set up on the pier and that was included in the price of the cocktail hour.
•The Food: We let Tiara know our food choices about 1 or 2 weeks before the wedding. Besides being nervous about my hair/makeup, I was nervous about the quality of the food based on past reviews. BUT – Jeremy and I were extremely pleased with the Dinner Food. Honestly, I didn’t really get to try the Hors D’oeuvres during cocktail hour, but I didn’t hear any complaints. I can also say that I had the Sushi at the Asian Restaurant (which was the same Sushi at the cocktail hour) and I really liked it there. As I said, we rented out the SSG for exclusivity but then we Paid for the Gold Menu ($35/person + tax/tip) and took 1 or 2 items from the Silver Menu – Which is Allowed. While we were dancing, I do believe that there were still servers going around taking drink orders but we were so close to the SSG bar that a lot of people just ran over there and didn’t mind that at all. If we did it all over again, I think we’d do the same thing w/ the Gold Menu + Renting out the SSG. I do think paying the extra $ for the Gold Menu was WELL worth it. We weren’t that impressed with the Food choices at the SSG and never ate there for Dinner during the other nights of our trip. Here’s what we chose:
oHors D’oeuvres: Assorted Sushi; Crab Canape; Melon/cheese/grape skewers; Calamari; Beef skewers
oGold Menu: Caprese Salad; Cream of Pumpkin Soup; Grouper or Beef Medallions; Tiramisu
oFor the entrÃ©e: you get to pick 2 choices ahead of time and then your guests tell the server what they’d like when the server takes drinks orders
•Tiara’s Ability to Take all my DÃ©cor and Set it Up: I had a LOT of stuff including 65 paper lanterns, Starfish, Centerpieces, Place Card display, centerpieces, chargers, decor for the Bride/Groom’s chairs, Programs on the chairs, menu cards, candles, stones, and the Dreams staff set it up with very few glitches. The other awesome thing is that I had been telling Tiara that I wanted the Dancing Area that was separate from dinner to feel like a club (i.e. Some High Tables and then a bunch of low chairs and tables) to encourage people to dance. She set this up SO well and I loved it. I was not charged for the chairs/tables they brought in as I think they are part of the SSG anyway. I was impressed that they pulled everything together for the most part. To answer some questions about the lanterns: The hotel hung them up for us for FREE, we provided clear fishing line (or necklace line from Michael’s) for them to hang up the lanterns, and the majority of the lanterns were in the ceremony and SSG deck area. Many brides have asked about Lanterns on the BDW forum, so I can only guess that if more people want Lanterns hung, they’re going to start charging for that.
•Flowers: They were late & I didn’t like my bouquet, but I really liked my BMs bouquets (tight bunches of Roses in hues of Hot Pink or Orange) and I like what the florist did with the centerpieces. For the centerpieces on half of the tables, I asked for tight bunches of one single flower in silk-covered square boxes. She used roses, carnations, and Gerbera Daisies. I thought it turned out great! The small boxes were $46/arrangement and the large boxes were $56/arrangement. I actually had the large arrangements double as my BM bouquets. It worked out well since I wanted the BM bouquets to mirror the centerpieces anyway…and saved me over $200. Another note of flowers: Don’t be shy negotiating prices on this item. Tiara originally quoted me at $120/bouquet for my BM!! I kept asking about a price reduction but she said it wasn’t possible to reduce the price. BUT when I said I didn’t want any flowers then, she dropped the price to $82/bouquet. That was still too expensive so I came up w/ the idea to have the bouquets double as centerpieces.
•Our DJ: I hadn’t heard any good reviews of the Resort DJ and based on how terrible the music was at the Disco, I would definitely agree with the reviews. We hired Carlos from DJ Mania to be our DJ. He’s based out of Punta Cana. He was AWESOME!! Almost everyone at our wedding loves music and dancing and Carlos did a great job! I would def hire him again. He did our ceremony music, played during the dinner and then stepped it up for the dancing. His equipment fit perfectly up in the outdoor area where we did dancing and he brought lights which was a great extra touch. He also set up speakers so we could have music during dinner. I would highly recommend him. It was a great weight off our minds that our music was covered and it was very easy. Prior to the wedding he sent me a list of the songs he typically plays. We printed it off back in the States and then the morning of the wedding we met w/ him in the Lobby for about 15 minutes and gave him the list w/ our MUST plays and please DON’T plays. His email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org and I believe he charged about $200-$250 for the ceremony and about $850 for the reception. I know it’s pricey, but it saved us so much time since we didn’t have to make play lists and/or worry about messing w/ an iPod and the resort speakers. Definitely worth the money.
•Welcome Bags – my sister gave these all to Tiara and she distributed them. The only downer is that Tiara said she couldn’t find two of the names so she just didn’t deliver the bags. The frustrating thing is that the people had checked-in, Tiara just couldn’t find the names yet she charged me for the delivery anyway. I don’t think she would’ve alerted me to the issue if I didn’t ask all of my guests whether they had received their bags. Sketchy. Also, please keep in mind that the resort will NOT give you room numbers for people that have already checked in, so they make it difficult for you to efficiently deliver the bags yourself. Overall, I’d use this service again. Something I’d change: Make sure Tiara checks ahead of time to make sure she can find all the guests. If she can’t find a few, you can discuss it ahead of time so everyone gets their bag on time.
•The Cake: We have this place in NC that makes the BEST carrot cake. They also ship them all over the country. We had them pack 3 cakes and we checked them as checked boxes. When we got to the resort, we put them in the resort freezer and then they transferred them to the fridge. The cakes were good!!
•Other Great Stuff about the Resort: The Mexican Restaurant and the French Restaurant were our favorites. I actually think I could have eaten at the Mexican Restaurant every night. They have Corona! and really good guacamole. If I’d do it all over again, I’d rent out the Mexican Restaurant for our Rehearsal Dinner. Please keep in mind that some restaurants have dress codes and they really do stick to those.
Posted 11 April 2010 - 08:45 AM
•Disorganization When I Arrived – About 2 months before the wedding I asked Tiara if we could have a telephone conference to talk about all the wedding details. She said she’d set it up when the wedding got closer. The week before the wedding I urgently emailed her several times when she still hadn’t set anything up. She never returned my emails and she never called me. We arrived at the resort at 5:00pm on Saturday, Tiara doesn’t work on Sundays, and the wedding was on a Monday. I was supposed to meet with Tiara when I arrived on Saturday, but when I asked where she was, I was told she was unavailable because she had another wedding at the moment. I made plans with my family/friends to meet at the Mexican restaurant that night. As I was getting ready to hop in the shower, Tiara called my room and said we should meet right then!!! I was very upset. I wanted to address all the details before I arrived in the DR so I could spend as much time w/ my friends/family as possible. So, I missed dinner w/ everyone and instead was forced to meet with Tiara. I was very upset and it still upsets me as I think about it. On top of that, I had to meet with Tiara again on the morning of the wedding to explain all my dÃ©cor items. Let’s just say, the 48 hours before the wedding was stressful b/c Tiara did not make the effort to address some of the issues before I left the States. SO – my suggestion to all other brides – DEMAND A TELEPHONE MEETING WITH TIARA BEFORE YOU HEAD TO THE DR. It’s way better to discuss the details of the wedding over the phone and then do a quick meeting when you get down there.
•Tiara’s (In)Ability to Coordinate – This is my #1 gripe. It started even before I arrived as you can tell by my last paragraph. A wedding coordinator should coordinate the wedding. However, Tiara never created a timeline and I was left to determine when we had to be ready, when the photographers should start and how long each “event” should last. I also ran into this problem when we were trying to do our rehearsal. As I stated above, Tiara doesn’t work on Sundays. She didn’t tell me that when I booked a MONDAY wedding. That meant that we had to do a rehearsal on the morning of the wedding. That was not what I wanted. I also felt like I had to beg Tiara to even do a rehearsal (which is kind of necessary with a 17 person wedding party). When we were doing the rehearsal, Tiara was very soft spoken and didn’t lead well. I wasn’t impressed with her ability to communicate what everyone should be doing.
•Tiara’s (In)Ability to Coordinate Part II – Tiara did not keep my wedding on a time schedule. Yes, I understand that we are on DR time. BUT, when they kick you out at 11:00pm from dancing, that isn’t DR time. After the ceremony, Tiara was M.I.A. So people lingered at the Gazebo instead of making their way to the Pier for cocktails. Again, at the cocktail hour, Tiara was M.I.A. My sister had to run and find her after cocktail hour was still going after 90 minutes. Finally, I had to instruct people to go up for dinner. All of the delays meant that we only had 55 MINUTES to dance following dinner. We definitely made the most of the time that we had available and the 55 minutes we had was very fun, but still. Although Tiara was M.I.A. when it came to moving the event along, sure enough, she was right next to the DJ when the clock struck 11:00pm, telling him to shut things down. So much for Caribbean time. IF Tiara would have kept the event moving, we would have had way more time for dancing. So – My Suggestions to Other Brides – Even if you don’t think that you’ll have a time crunch (we didn’t), designate an aunt or friend to keep the party moving on time. The last thing you want to worry about is running out of time.
•Tiara’s (In)Ability to Coordinate Part III: So you know how I stated above that we made such a big effort to get our cake down from the States? Well, Tiara did not leave time in our night to cut the cake. Without talking to me first, she told the DJ to shut down and turn everything off. At that point, someone pointed out that we hadn’t cut the cake yet. My husband was off getting the money for the DJ so we didn’t cut the cake. I’m not all about tradition, but that was one symbolic part of our wedding that was important to us. On a positive note, we did eat the cake and it was delicious!!
•Mistakes with Cocktail hour/DÃ©cor Setup – This is minor, but some things were not set up the way I wanted them to be set up, but hopefully it’d be an easy fix for future brides. I made a bunch of paper cones and bought biodegradable confetti to go inside the cones. I went over the placement of the cones over and over with Tiara. Instead of putting them on the chairs closest to the aisle, her staff hung them up on the very back of the very last rows, so no one saw them or used them. I spent a lot of time and money on that stuff for it to be ignored. There were a few other issues like that. I told Tiara I wanted the cocktail hour ON the pier. Instead, the bar was set up at the very beginning of the pier which meant it was hard to see the sunset through the trees. In addition, we were so close to the SSG deck that all my guests could see the staff rushing around to finish up the Dinner set-up. Not cool. Finally, they did a good job overall of making sure that our table numbers were set up correctly, but they placed us all the way at the end of the deck instead of in the middle. Everyone said that it seemed like we were really far away. I was so busy with getting ready that I didn’t think about this: I would designate one person that has an idea of what you want as far as set-up/dÃ©cor, to do a quick run through of the area about 30 minutes before the wedding is supposed to start. That would eliminate the small mistakes that happened at our wedding.
•Flowers were Late & So was my Dress - I told Tiara that I was supposed to start taking pictures at 3:30pm. My dress was missing until 3:00pm and the flowers didn’t come until after 3:30pm. With all the packages, the Resort will Steam your dress/his suit. Keep in mind that they take your dress to the Laundry area to do this. It isn’t done in your room. While my dress was pretty low maintenance, I was disheartened to see that they steamed my dress and then put it back in the dress bag. What to do?? I would specify that you want your dress steamed IN your room if possible. If they have to take it elsewhere, be specific about the time that you need it delivered back to your room and make sure they don’t put it back in the bag as that defeats the purpose of having it steamed. As for the flowers – ask that they be delivered in water for a time that is about 1 hour before you actually need them.
•Video – We weren’t impressed. We paid the $350.00 for the Resort Videographer. He got in our photographer’s way and he was really awkward. He also ruined the pictures of us walking back down the aisle after we were married. I would NOT hire him. The quality of the video was not worth $350 either. He cut out some of my BMs as they walked down the aisle and edited over some of our vows. He also edited out some other parts of the ceremony. Not acceptable. He didn’t speak English very well so I’m sure he couldn’t tell what was the most important. Although it was our ceremony, so I would say it was ALL important. What to do?? Find a different videographer and don’t use the resort’s.
•My Bouquet: I didn’t like it, at all. It was nothing like the picture I sent to Tiara on multiple occasions. We modified it somewhat before the pictures started and luckily it turned out fine in the pictures. I wasn’t going to go all bridezilla about it, but it was frustrating. It’s like they just threw something together for my bouquet since it was free and spent more time on my BMs bouquets. Obviously since my BMs bouquets were what I requested, they “got” my vision, the florist just put no effort into my bouquet. How to remedy that situation: If the Resort is making your bouquet, be very very specific about what you want but be prepared that you might get something different. Making sure your flowers arrive on time could also alleviate any issues with the flowers.
•I made a Seating Table display that the resort staff hung. I also made place cards that they attached to the display. Then, we made our own Table Identifiers instead of using numbers.
•My shoes: Nordstrom, I think they were about $60. Loved them!!!
- fireflyhigh likes this
Posted 11 April 2010 - 12:37 PM
Posted 11 April 2010 - 12:49 PM
1) Our wedding was 3/15/10.
2) Champagne!! That should have been in the Good category:
We brought 6 bottles down (packed them in a carryon-size suitcase and checked it w/ no problems) and then we had a few other people bring some down. I gave our 6 bottles of nice champagne to Tiara to be used by the Servers at the Reception Dinner. That went very well and the corking fee was minimal. We would definitely do that again!! I also know that you're allowed to bring your own champagne into the Salon if you and your girls want a little something when you're getting ready. They have champagne as a drink option through out the resort as well. When we got there, it was good but midway through the week they received a new shipment and I wasn't a fan.
3) Please feel free to send me any follow-up questions. I'd be happy to help...if I can!
Posted 11 April 2010 - 04:37 PM
| Originally Posted by dolfinluck |
I'm not surprised you guys have not been sent the form to fill out by Tiara, I think she might of sent it to me b/c i really have not finalized anything beside ceremony time and location.
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