We got married at Dreams last week and had an amazing experience. I will try to sum it up in a relatively short review:
- We flew with Sunwing. I had requested excess baggage allowance since I was bringing 8 suitcases to hold all of my welcome bag contents, pashminas, table decor, wedding favours and parasols. Everything ran very smooth and they were able to get our entire group 32 people on one flight checked in quickly. I had printed off any email correspondence that I had made with Sunwing prior to departure. I would highly recommend this because they tried to give us a tough time at first, but when they realized that we had confirmation emails from Sunwing, there was nothing that they could do.
- Most people that were coming with our party were on the same flight as us, but there were some (18 people) who came either a day before us, or a day after us and they all had wonderful experiences with their respective airlines.
- Everyone was exhausted by the time they got to the resort and it was nice to see them being treated with such hospitality.
- I have been to Dreams Punta Cana and was a little bit concerned that these accommodations would be similar to the ones in Dominican ... I was VERY pleased with the fact that they were not. This is a true 5 star facility. There is always somebody with a smile on their face who wants to get you drink or anything else you may need.
- I lost my voice the day before we left for the wedding and the staff was amazing at offering me all kinds of remedies to cure this. I had my voice (mostly) back by the day of the wedding ... I sounded like a pre-pubescent boy, but he married me anyway, so I guess its okay!!
- The resort was at full capacity when we were there, so some of our guests experienced delays in various services (room service, porter services, laundry etc.) but I think this was to be expected with such a large operation. In the end, they always got the job done and tried their best to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
- The Infinity pool is gorgeous and it is heated which is a bonus because it is not overly warm in Mexico in December (between 25-29 degrees celsius)
- The Explorers club was amazing for the kids that were in our group. It kept them occupied and they said that they had a lot of fun there.
- The food is spectacular. Everybody had their own favourite restaurant. I liked Portifino (Italian) the best. Everything was presented beautifully and tasted so good! Some people said that the portions in the French Restaurant were too small, but this was counteracted by ordering more food!
- Our families had never experienced an all inclusive before, let alone one with such amazing facilities, so they were amazed with everything that the resort provided for them and area already planning trips to go back in the future.
- I got a little bit carried away with the welcome bags and literally included everything that you could possibly imagine within them (beach towels, aloe gel, aloe lotion, all kinds of drugs, DVD's, pool toys, beach toys, puzzle books, books for kids, after bite, Bug repellant, first aid kids, KY Jelly (hehe), QTips, mouthwash, loofahs and I can't even think of all of the other stuff.)
- I prepackaged them before we left and wrote down the name of the person that they belonged to. I also wrote out individual cards for each person before we left and attached them to the bag once we got there.
- I really wish I would have taken a picture of the bag, but I didn't ... Hopefully somebody did and I can post a copy of the contents soon!
- I worked really hard on them but everybody really appreciated them a lot. Especially towards the end of the week when dehydration and the sun started to get the best of them! Thank goodness, nobody got sick (other than frequent trips to the bathroom, which were cured by a little immodium).
- Everyone was ranting and raving about how thoughtful each welcome bag was and how they loved that they were individualized for each family. I would really recommend doing these for your guests because they will appreciate them more than you think. They paid so much to come to our wedding that I think it was the least we could do to show them our gratitude.
- I would recommend using a cricut to make all kinds of cute shapes for your bags. I had a sandal card attached to the outside that everyone loved with a starfish.
- They provided a room for my husband the night before our wedding (which I was surprised about, given that they were at full capacity). We were very grateful. I didn't end up getting ready in my room anyway because one of my bridesmaids had a room that was closer to the gazebo, so it was easier for me to make an entrance that way!
- They were late picking up my dress and my husbands outfit the day before the wedding but I didn't really worry about it much. It was going to get done and I knew I would have my dress before the wedding. It was dropped off in my room along with all of our beautiful bouquets on time
- I would send pictures of what you would like your bouquet to look like ahead of time so that they know what you want. Ana was our wedding coordinator and I cannot speak highly enough of her. She was so organized and had everything layed out beautifully before we even got there. Like I had said earlier, I lost my voice before I came so I wasn't really able to tell her what I wanted ... it was good though, because I didn't need to talk since she had figured it all out perfectly. We gave her two suitcases with our table linens, wedding favours, wedding programs, parasols etc. and she organized it perfectly for the wedding day. I couldn't have done a better job myself!
- I had my hair done in the spa and it was awesome. They have a lot of experience. I was worried with what they would be able to do because my hair does not style well, and they figured it out and made it look very similar to the pictures I provided them with. I had a hair trial done at home with my hair stylist ahead of time and had my sister take pictures of this so that they knew what they were looking to do. They did a fabulous job on my make-up ... I have never felt so special in my entire life. The spa is gorgeous and I would highly recommend putting aside time to spend a day getting a massage and visiting the hydro therapy pools. It was so relaxing! I am a relatively uptight person, and I was so overly relaxed the day before and the day of my wedding that even my husband was surprised!
- Ana and I started having more correspondence about 3 weeks prior to our arrival and if I could do it again, I would have left everything until we arrived at the resort. They really know what they are doing and did a better job than I could ever have imagined (I am a little OCD about things and they far exceeded my expectations). We left her a nice tip as a small thank you for all of the amazing work that she put together for our day.
- We had our ceremony at the Gazebo - it was beautiful, but picky brides should be forewarned that you will have people who gather around to watch during the ceremony. I kinda laughed when I watched video afterwards, because there were spectators who I didn't know who were crying during our vows! It was nice though, because it made us feel even more special.
- The cocktail hour was on the pool deck right beside the reception area which was also on the pool deck. We chose to have a Mexican buffet rather than a sit-down dinner because we had such a large group and we wanted to enjoy the evening with lots of dancing (Our families are big on dancing!).
- The music technician played the music that we had selected right on cue for all of the events during the ceremony. We were also able to set up one of our lap tops so that a few of our friends and family who couldn't make it were able to watch the ceremony as it took place. This was really important to me and I am glad that it worked out so well!
- The videographer that we got with the Ultimate package also did a good job of capturing the ceremony as it took place. The editing of the video is choppy, but we didn't mind because this was an extra for us.
- We hired our own photographer from home to travel with us from Newfoundland (Canada). He did an amazing job and I cannot wait to get his photos from this day. We didn't want the resort photographers to get in the way of his shots, so we asked that the resort send their photographer to the cocktails and reception only. Adventure photos does a really great job with the picture, but I don't think that they specialize in taking photos in dim lighting. The pictures that they took at our wedding were blurry for the most part, so I am glad that we had another photographer from home to capture the evening properly. I will post those pictures once I get them!
Here is the link to the photos from the resort photographer (you can see the blurriness in most of the shots): http://211210dwyer.d.../#/slideshow-1/
- We bought cigars to have at our wedding from a vendor on the beach. I am pretty sure that they aren't supposed to be selling them, but if you are quick, they can get you what you want for much cheaper than the resort would offer them ($20 for 5 Cuban cigars in a nice box). We got 4 boxes which was plenty for our group.
- I brought Pashminas from home which were probably the best thing we could have done for this time of the year. It got quite chilly at night time and everyone really appreciated the pashminas to keep them warm!
- The table linens worked out really well (Our colours were orange, pink and lime green) and it was wonderful being so bright. We also got the lights for underneath the tables which added some extra light that was needed on the pool deck.
- We didn't get the DJ because we had so much of our own music that we wanted to be played and I had doubts about a DJ being able to provide all kinds of Indian and Newfoundland music! The ipods worked out wonderfully because we got to here any music that we wanted. Our group was in such a rush to dance, that they ate super quickly and barely ate anything.
- The Mexican trio was late because they got into a car accident before they arrived. They were supposed to be at our cocktail hour, but they ended up showing up as we were eating dinner. This was the only major glitch, but I didn't really care that much. We ended up paying them to leave a bit early because we wanted to get our own music going! They were a wonderful bunch, but I wish they would have been there for cocktails instead so that we could have enjoyed them rather than wishing them away.
- The tables at the reception were set up even better than I could have imagined. It felt like a dream while we were there and I still really can't believe it is over!
- The reception was over at 9:00. Everyone went and cleaned themselves up and/or changed into more comfortable clothes and then they met up in Desires Night Lounge where we continued our party into the night. We had so much fun! I have never laughed so hard in my entire life! I loved every minute of it.
If you have any questions about the wedding feel free to PM me or post on this thread! I am going through wedding withdrawal and can't believe it is all over already!