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last minute switch from DR to Cuba = MELTDOWN!!

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#1 tamadana

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    Posted 28 July 2009 - 09:08 PM

    So I thought I was doing well....date set, resort booked...invites about to go and BAM along comes family and decides DR isn't going to work for them (long story...I won't make you all have a meltdown by giving you the details!!)

    So now here I go starting over...and I am having a fit!!!

    We originally chose the DR b/c we are in Alberta with guests coming from here and also from Nova Scotia and it was one of the cheaper options for our guests and with Cuba being one of the other cheaper options we've have now decided to go with this route.

    I need help and advice!!!

    Our date in the DR was Feb 20, 2010 - a Saturday - I am being told you can only be married Monday-Friday in Cuba??
    We wanted a sunset ceremony...weddings are only performed from 10AM-5PM in Cuba??

    There are sssoooo many resorts and locations in Cuba then in the DR....its overwhelming!!!! We would prefer an adults only or atleast a resort that doesn't cater to families..some of our guests are older and "adult time" is more their style. DR had alot of resorts that had 2 or three resorts at one location with different price ranges...we liked that idea b/c then our guests could decide what they wanted to pay for.


    #2 JulieG

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      Posted 28 July 2009 - 09:14 PM

      First off BREATHE!!! I suggest you look at Varadero because there will be more flight options from the East and West coast to Varadero than some of the smaller places.

      Second, we got married at 5 (was supposed to be 4 and they always run late) and it was perfect because it still gave us an hour or so to get pictures done before it got to dark, keep that in mind. Also, we had our reception at dusk (started at 7) on the beach and it was perfect. So what about having the reception at dusk instead.

      I got married on a Wednesday, I am pretty sure you are right about not doing weddings on Saturday in Cuba. Why do you need a Saturday? Everyday is the weekend in Cuba :) You can pick any day, what about Friday instead?

      Have you talked to a travel agent yet? They can tell you which resorts are adults only, they have a few of them for sure.

      #3 Tilly in the Sun

      Tilly in the Sun
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        Posted 28 July 2009 - 09:37 PM

        Oh I feel so bad for you! Don't worry though Cuba is amazing..you and your guests will love it.

        I agree with Julie...Varadero is probably your best options for flights and it is a more touristy part of Cuba so I think it would be better if you are traveling with a larger group.
        As for adults only, the Melia Las Americas has recently become an adults only resort...we were originally looking at that one because it is beautiful and the reviews are good, but there are friends and family that may want to bring their kids so it was a no-go for us.
        It is connected with two other resorts - the Melia Varadero (which is now in our final two choice) and another branch that I can't remember the name of. But if you book at one you 'play at three' so that's always a nice thing.

        I was at the Iberostar Varadero last November and it really is an amazing hotel - from the food to the staff, it's great...the wedding gazebo could have used an update, and it was sort of in an awkward location (around a lot of bushes and branches), but the pics still turned out beautifully. I noticed there were a lot of families there though so you may not prefer that.
        Good luck and keep us posted!

        #4 clairisse

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          Posted 28 July 2009 - 09:49 PM

          You can do this!

          Lots of great places in Cuba. I've heard nothing but rave reviews of the Paradisus Rio de Oro (outside of Holguin). It's adults only, has great snorkeling right off the beach and is probably where I'd get married if I didn't have friends' kids coming.
          If you like quiet places with nice gardens and don't mind not being very close to civilization, I've also enjoyed staying at the Royal Hideaway Ensenachos (it's a 13 plus though we only ever saw maybe a couple teenagers - very quiet - mostly sullen given they were the only teens there - and it was March break!)

          If the 9-5 weekday thing is a big issue, have you considered having a quickie city hall wedding in Canada and then doing a symbolic ceremony in Cuba? Then you could either get someone you know to officiate or try to convince the hotel to provide someone (off hours, on the weekend). You could always keep it more special by not exchange rings until Cuba and saving your vows for then, etc... It's just an idea - not saying it's perfect!

          If you tell us what your criteria is (party place/quiet place/lots of daytime pool activities/minimal activities/big town nearby.... etc...) I'm sure lots of us could give you some suggestions.

          Good luck to you - don't panic, it will all work out.

          #5 Virg

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            Posted 28 July 2009 - 09:49 PM

            Everything will be ok
            We got married at the Melia Las Dunas, Cayo Santa Maria on a Wednesday, at 4:30. Most resorts willonly do the Monday to Friday because the notary (the one that makes the ceremony legal) only works during the week. Our resort accomodated weddings as late as 6pm while we were there. Hopefully you find something that suits you.
            Happily Ever After: June 1, 2006
            Made it legal : June 30, 2009


            #6 sarafish81

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            • 353 posts

              Posted 28 July 2009 - 10:42 PM

              We had our legal ceremony on a Friday at 10am (as Virg and Julie said, the notaries don't work weekends), however, the wedding coordinator conducted our "symbolic" ceremony the next day at 4pm. Good luck!!

              #7 krishna69z

              • Jr. Member
              • 209 posts

                Posted 28 July 2009 - 11:44 PM

                DWBride09 was recommending Paradisus princesa del mar for an adult only resort. They went there for their honeymoon and she had an amazing time.

                #8 ashey063009

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                  Posted 29 July 2009 - 02:10 AM

                  OH baby, do I ever know how you are feeling right now. First, Grab a glass of wine. Next, grab your laptop. Now... Hop onto the fabulous World Wide Web!

                  We had our plans cancelled VERY last minute and ended up switching over to Cuba (Melia Las Dunas, CAyo Santa Maria, Cuba) and it was THE BEST THING THAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED!

                  I highly recommened looking into the Melia Santa Maria (adult only, beautiful, AMAZING WEDDINGS, and excellent property!)

                  Another great resource is tripadvisor.com. You can punch in your preferred areas of Cuba (Cayo Coco, Holguien, Santa Maria, Varadero, etc.) and it will list the resorts in order from most preferred to least.

                  If you need ANYTHING at all, I am right in Calgary and can give you as much advice or help as you possibly need. Let me know if you need anything at all. There is nothing more stressful that having to re-plan...

                  #9 ashey063009

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                    Posted 29 July 2009 - 02:13 AM

                    oh and pssst... they let us get married at 6pm because all of the other time slots were taken for our preferred day. (Thanks a lot Virg! lol, jk)

                    It is later than they prefer to do, however if a notary is available and they can make it work, they will. Don't be afraid to ask. :)

                    #10 BlissfulMsMiranda

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                      Posted 29 July 2009 - 01:47 PM

                      Just as all the other girls said: First off, deep breathe!! It'll all work out ... and we are all here for you sweetie!! :)

                      Cuba is an amazing option (and, of course, I'm biased). I agree with the Veradero suggestion only because of the many flight options, however, if you're more interested int he setting/beaches etc. might I suggest the Cayo Coco area?

                      Melia Las Dunas is a very popular location, and as such might be difficultt o book as it is ALWAYS being used for weddings.

                      Melia Cayo Santa Maria is GORGEOUS - DH and I went there for our very first trip to Cuba as a vacation and it was STUNNING. We originally wanted to use that resort as our location, but it's pretty far from the airport (nearly a 2-hour bus ride ... and we didn't want to put our guests through that).

                      Melia Cayo Guillermo (where we were married!) was the perfect happy medium. It's an absolutely gorgeous resort and the grounds are stunning. The food is incredible ... and the wedding coordinator Mary is just such a sweetheart and did everything perfectly.

                      About the Mon-Fri weddings only ... I think it is because of the notary: They don't work on weekends. We had our ceremony at 5 p.m. on a Tuesday and then dinner on the beach at 7 p.m.

                      NOTE: The beach at Melia Cayo Guillermo is too narrow for an on-the-beach wedding. We had ours at the end of the pier. I had a bit of a nervous breakdown when I was suddenly told that we couldn't have a "beach" wedding a few days before we were scheduled to leave ... BUT it still turned out perfectly and I wouldn't have done it any other way. For pics, check out my pic thread in my siggy.

                      Cuba is a gorgeous option and you won't regret the change ... there are SO many options but I highly recommend sticking with the Melia chain. They are a bit more expensive (not as expensive as the Blau chain) but they are worth the extra. Management is great, staff is great, grounds are great ... overall ... PERFECT!!!

                      Good luck with everything and know that you have plenty of Cuban brides on here who are willing to help out and offer advice, all you have to do is ask!!!

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