I would love to hear a little more about the "Welcome Party" - we're deciding between a Welcome Party or Rehearsal Dinner depending on the final confirms. I'm really torn as I would love to do a dinner but rationally doesn't make sense to pay more for that when all the guests are already all inclusive. How did you pick the location and time? When did you let the guests know of the event - was it ahead of time or while they were down there? Also, a few brides have said that if you go early enough, the restaurants can accommodate you - did you notice that as well or is it better to go with a Welcome Party instead? Anything else you can share would be great. Thanks a million!
Originally Posted by LindsayMichelle
Our wedding was July 23rd and I can honestly say we could not have asked for a more perfect wedding and a better resort to have it. I will try to touch on everything, so this will probably be pretty long. Feel free to skip over whatever youâ€™d like and ask any questions you have! This forum was so incredibly helpful while planning, so I hope I can do the same for you future brides!
DRC is absolutely gorgeous! It is just like it looks in the pictures. I have stayed at several all-inclusive resorts and this was by far the most beautiful resort Iâ€™ve experienced. Our guests raved about it as well. It is also not very big so we were able to run into our guests and find people easily. The service here is phenomenal. They really go above and beyond to make sure you are enjoying your stay. We were upgraded to a honeymoon suite (room 2501 â€“ absolutely amazing), but all of the rooms I saw were beautiful.
Like many of the other brides, I had several changes in coordinators while planning, and about a month before the wedding, was given another new one - Yamina. I was a little worried about this late change at first, but she instantly put me at ease. I canâ€™t speak to the other coordinators, but if you have Yamina, you are lucky! She was so wonderful to work with! She is so organized, personable and wants to do whatever she can to make you happy and make things easy for you. She was always prompt to return e-mails. We met with her Tuesday morning, went over the details (and she remembered all of it â€“ and had all of my e-mails printed out!), I gave her all of our decorations, and were able to just relax with our guests for the rest of the week! They really know what they are doing there. We were incredibly impressed.
We decided to just do a â€œWelcome Partyâ€ for our guests the Thursday before the wedding since everyone was there by then. We just had everyone meet at the Lobby bar at 8:30 and we gave them their welcome bags and gifts then. There was live music that night, which worked out perfect and our guests surprised Frank & I with a song request for a dance just for us J
I brought a lot of my own decorations. Our colors were fuchsia and orange, so I brought fabric in those colors for the chuppah on the beach, orange and pink chair bows, orange and pink paper lanterns. I decided to reuse the bridesmaids bouquets as centerpieces and that worked out perfectly. Everything looked even better than I could have expected. You donâ€™t need a lot with the beautiful natural scenery, but the few things I had complemented it well.
I had a bouquet of hot pink and orange roses and my bridesmaids (who wore fuchsia dresses) had all orange roses. These were not in the catalog and something I had sent pictures of. They were absolutely beautiful and perfect!
Yamina brought the flowers to my room around 1:30 pm and wanted to be very honest with me and let me know that there was a risk of rain. There was a wedding the night before and the weather looked beautiful and started to pour at their reception on the deck. She said it was completely up to me, but gave me the option of decorating the ballroom. She needed to know within 30 minutes and having always dreamed of a beach wedding, this was a hard decision for me, but I decided to risk it! I am SO glad I did because the weather was perfect. I also have to add that when it did start to pour the night before, the staff is so on top of things! They had the bride and bridesmaids surrounded with umbrellas and moved everything so quickly. For any brides that are getting married around this time of year, it is hot during the day, but comfortable on the beach at night with the breeze. I was very comfortable in my long dress and the guests all commented how nice the breeze was.
We did a run-through of the ceremony the morning before the wedding, which was quick and Iâ€™m really glad we did. Everyone then knew what order, where to stand, etc. and it made things really easy for the ceremony.
Hair & Make-up
I decided to have Fernando Fuentes (from the Makeup Pros) and his hair guy come to do my hair and make-up, as well as my mom and mother-in-law. They were a bit pricy, and we had to pay for day passes, but they definitely worth it. They were so much fun and we loved our hair & make-up. The bridesmaids all went to the salon and almost all of them were really happy with their hair & make-up. They recommended bringing a picture of what you want.
We had our ceremony on the beach at 6 pm near the kayaks. It was everything I dreamed of. They did a great job with the few decorations I brought. Our minister was Linda, who was great! We did a sand ceremony and after I put glue over it to seal it. Iâ€™m so glad to have this as a memory from the ceremony. We did a symbolic ceremony and they do have you sign a â€œmarriage certificateâ€. The ceremony lasts about 20 minutes. I had given the sound tech 3 CDs â€“ Before ceremony, ceremony music (song for bridesmaids, song for me, and then the recessional), and after the ceremony and he played it perfectly.
We chose not to have the cocktail hour and found we really didnâ€™t need it. After group pictures, the guests either ran up to their rooms or to the lobby bar for the 30 minutes or so Frank and I took pictures. The reception was at 7:30 pm on the deck, which was the perfect location. They had moved my chair bows from the ceremony while taking pictures and put up the decorations just as we had talked about. We had DJ Polo from AVI and he was great! He played the music we requested and was announced our entrance, toasts, cake cutting and bouquet/garter toss at all the right times. We chose the Mexican buffet and all of our guests said that was the best meal they had there (and the food at some of the restaurants is really good!). We chose the tres leches cake and had not upgraded and they actually gave us a two layer cake. I had brought fake flowers and a cake topper to put on and it turned out great. After the reception we all moved to Desires for more dancing.
I chose to use Juan Navarro for my photographer. He was approved by the resort, so I didnâ€™t have to pay a day pass for him. He was great, but I canâ€™t comment on the pictures yet since I have not seen them. I will get a link to those out when I get them. We had the â€œLoveâ€ package which included 36 pictures, so we used Adventure photos for our â€œgetting readyâ€ pictures, which worked out well, and then Juan showed up right at the ceremony. They gave us a CD, but I havenâ€™t received a link yet.
The spa is amazing and I definitely recommend using it if it is included it your package or if you have the chance! I was so good about sunscreen Mon-Thurs and I had a good base tan, but somehow Friday I got a pretty bad sunburn. My mom and I went to the spa the morning of the wedding and got sun relief body wraps! Amazing! And they let you use all their different pools, saunas, etc. with any package. So relaxing. And luckily my burn turned to a tan before the wedding J
I hope this helps and feel free to ask any questions. I will hopefully get my pictures up soon! I am so excited for all of you though! I was so happy with everything and it was truly our dream wedding!