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#411 alittlerandr

alittlerandr
  • Jr. Member
  • 189 posts

    Posted 08 March 2012 - 09:03 PM

    Hey ladies!

     

    Well, I've been back for a few days now from what was literally THE BEST WEEK OF MY LIFE :) (You guys are going to love it!) I'm going to post some unsolicited tips/thoughts/etc below...but please feel free to ask me any specific questions!!

     

    Life at the resort:

    Beautiful! We were in Villa 7, just steps away from the main buffet and we were thrilled about it. (Others in our party were in 6, 9, and 10, which is much closer to the beach.) Be sure to ask for a view of the grounds. (The back side of 7 faced the service road and a chain link fence.)

    We never had a problem finding chairs at the pool or beach. We even slept on the beach one night on the 'Privilege' area beds...so wonderful and relaxing, I totally recommend it.

    Food: Buffet was great, although we didn't realize until the last day that it was open for lunch, too. (Beach restaurant is also open for lunch, but selection is more limited.) Italian restaurant was so-so, though the wine was good. Steakhouse was definitely worth the reservation. And, we ate at Overtime just about every night after we closed down the lobby bar or disco :)

    Shopping area is right next to the resort...probably 15-20 shops with typical touristy items (jewelry, paintings, clothing, cigars, mamajuana, etc)

     

    OOT bags:

    Biggest hits: 22 oz insulated mugs. People RAVED about these; I'm so glad that we splurged on larger, insulated mugs. Another big hit was lanyards with keycard holders. Lastly, our 'in sickness and health' kits were well used.

    Here is everything from my bags: http://www.bestdesti...ags-on-a-budget

     

    Rehearsal:

    We staged our own rehearsal on the beach the night before. We then had a rehearsal dinner at the main buffet. (Yinette was able to make reservations for us.)

     

    Wedding:

    Beautiful. Yinette worked really hard to make everything a reality for us, and she totally pulled through. We did the Sand Extravaganza package, with the ceremony on the beach, cocktail hour at the dive center, and the dinner at La Brasa. Instead of a dj, we rented the sound equipment, and my cousin appointed himself as dj for the day/night (he really got into it...I think he had as much fun as we did!)

    Food at La Brasa was amazing (we did the beef dinner and got tons of compliments on it.)

    Ceremony will not be private, but, honestly, you won't even notice. (I am starting to see some of our guests' pictures and people literally were standing feet away from the minister, drug beach chairs up, etc.) It's kind of neat how many people you don't even know are excited to see your ceremony.

    We had my aunt do a reading, the minister read the vows we'd provided, and we did a sand ceremony.

     

    Wedding details:

    Flowers: I found a wholesale florist who delivered fresh but flowers so my mom, who is a florist, could make the bouquets. (Because of this, I cancelled the bouquet that came with the package and was able to save some money off the sound system rental.)

    Decor: I went with the basic package, so the gazebo was decorated and chairs were covered. We also got a few floral items which were moved to the reception area post-ceremony.

    Reception decor: My mom bought large starfish from the shopping area. She used these as a container for some of the extra roses. She also brought vases for BM bouquets.

    Videographer: I purchased the gold package through the resort, and am so glad I did. He was there until the reception ended, and it's been so fun watching the videos of the day, and seeing the things we missed.

    Photographer: I went with HDC's largest package, with prints. We had everything in hand 3 days after the ceremony, but I really appreciated the quick turn around....one less thing to do once we got home. And it was a great value! My husband's photographer cousin (who was also a guest) said the package we got would've been at least 3x as expensive back in Minnesota.

     

    Oops:

    Snafus were so minor, but that's what makes some of the best memories!

    Reading: Minister forgot we were having a reading, so my aunt had to interrupt him (husband and I simultaneously made the 'time out' sign to the audience and that made for some pretty cute pictures.)

    Flower girl: (She just turned 3.) Her dress was a bit long, so she had to pick it up to walk through the sand. Well..she picked it up so high she flashed the entire crowd her undies. It was just precious :)

    Sand ceremony: Sand ceremony went fine, and I carefully packed it in our checked luggage...not thinking that my suitcase would be turned upside down several times...so the sand got all mixed up and much of it spilled since the lid wasn't totally airtight. Oops!

    Sky lanterns: It was pretty breezy the night of our reception, and guests didn't let the lanterns fully inflate before letting them go...one landed on the roof of the bar, another on the grounds, etc...only one actually took off before we decided we'd better play it safe and put a stop to it. (If anyone else is planning to try this, find a calm area - probably closer to the lobby than the beach. I purchased these online and packed them in my checked luggage with no issues.)

     

    Hope that helps with some questions and/or planning! As I mentioned earlier, I'm more than happy to answer any other questions or provide more details. Believe me, I could talk for days :)



    #412 jlb392

    jlb392
    • Jr. Member
    • 197 posts

      Posted 09 March 2012 - 09:33 AM

      Has anyone had difficulty getting ahold of someone at the resort?  I'm just trying to find out about availability and getting the process started, but I'm not getting any response.  I tried the email address Alicia gave me, but still no response.  Is it normal for them to take a few days to respond to an initial inquiry? 



      #413 Dominican Ally

      Dominican Ally
      • Jr. Member
      • 400 posts

        Posted 09 March 2012 - 04:19 PM

        Hey There!

         

        Congrats on being married! It sounds like you had an awesome time, which is great to hear! Thank you so, so, so much for posting a review of everything - it helps a lot!

         

        I have a few questions, if you don't mind :)

         

        1) You said the beef was good (which is good to hear - I think this is our choice for main), but what other food choices did you make for app/dessert, and cocktail hour?

         

        2) What time was your ceremony? What was your wedding day timeline like....as far as ceremony/cocktail hour/reception etc. Just trying to guage how we should space our day out.

         

        4) How far was the dive centre (for the cocktail hour) from ceremony location. Did they go over your options for this when you were down there?

         

        5) Did you use the hotel's hair/makeup? If so, what was it like, and what time did you have your appointments/how long did it take?

         

        6) How many guests did you have, and was there plenty of room at La Brasa for dancing as well? Were you on the terrace?

         

        Ok - sorry for all of the questions! Thanks in advance for the help!

         

        If you're up for posting some, I'm sure we would all LOVE to see some pictures!

         

        Thanks!

        Originally Posted by alittlerandr 

        Hey ladies!

         

        Well, I've been back for a few days now from what was literally THE BEST WEEK OF MY LIFE :) (You guys are going to love it!) I'm going to post some unsolicited tips/thoughts/etc below...but please feel free to ask me any specific questions!!

         

        Life at the resort:

        Beautiful! We were in Villa 7, just steps away from the main buffet and we were thrilled about it. (Others in our party were in 6, 9, and 10, which is much closer to the beach.) Be sure to ask for a view of the grounds. (The back side of 7 faced the service road and a chain link fence.)

        We never had a problem finding chairs at the pool or beach. We even slept on the beach one night on the 'Privilege' area beds...so wonderful and relaxing, I totally recommend it.

        Food: Buffet was great, although we didn't realize until the last day that it was open for lunch, too. (Beach restaurant is also open for lunch, but selection is more limited.) Italian restaurant was so-so, though the wine was good. Steakhouse was definitely worth the reservation. And, we ate at Overtime just about every night after we closed down the lobby bar or disco :)

        Shopping area is right next to the resort...probably 15-20 shops with typical touristy items (jewelry, paintings, clothing, cigars, mamajuana, etc)

         

        OOT bags:

        Biggest hits: 22 oz insulated mugs. People RAVED about these; I'm so glad that we splurged on larger, insulated mugs. Another big hit was lanyards with keycard holders. Lastly, our 'in sickness and health' kits were well used.

        Here is everything from my bags: http://www.bestdesti...ags-on-a-budget

         

        Rehearsal:

        We staged our own rehearsal on the beach the night before. We then had a rehearsal dinner at the main buffet. (Yinette was able to make reservations for us.)

         

        Wedding:

        Beautiful. Yinette worked really hard to make everything a reality for us, and she totally pulled through. We did the Sand Extravaganza package, with the ceremony on the beach, cocktail hour at the dive center, and the dinner at La Brasa. Instead of a dj, we rented the sound equipment, and my cousin appointed himself as dj for the day/night (he really got into it...I think he had as much fun as we did!)

        Food at La Brasa was amazing (we did the beef dinner and got tons of compliments on it.)

        Ceremony will not be private, but, honestly, you won't even notice. (I am starting to see some of our guests' pictures and people literally were standing feet away from the minister, drug beach chairs up, etc.) It's kind of neat how many people you don't even know are excited to see your ceremony.

        We had my aunt do a reading, the minister read the vows we'd provided, and we did a sand ceremony.

         

        Wedding details:

        Flowers: I found a wholesale florist who delivered fresh but flowers so my mom, who is a florist, could make the bouquets. (Because of this, I cancelled the bouquet that came with the package and was able to save some money off the sound system rental.)

        Decor: I went with the basic package, so the gazebo was decorated and chairs were covered. We also got a few floral items which were moved to the reception area post-ceremony.

        Reception decor: My mom bought large starfish from the shopping area. She used these as a container for some of the extra roses. She also brought vases for BM bouquets.

        Videographer: I purchased the gold package through the resort, and am so glad I did. He was there until the reception ended, and it's been so fun watching the videos of the day, and seeing the things we missed.

        Photographer: I went with HDC's largest package, with prints. We had everything in hand 3 days after the ceremony, but I really appreciated the quick turn around....one less thing to do once we got home. And it was a great value! My husband's photographer cousin (who was also a guest) said the package we got would've been at least 3x as expensive back in Minnesota.

         

        Oops:

        Snafus were so minor, but that's what makes some of the best memories!

        Reading: Minister forgot we were having a reading, so my aunt had to interrupt him (husband and I simultaneously made the 'time out' sign to the audience and that made for some pretty cute pictures.)

        Flower girl: (She just turned 3.) Her dress was a bit long, so she had to pick it up to walk through the sand. Well..she picked it up so high she flashed the entire crowd her undies. It was just precious :)

        Sand ceremony: Sand ceremony went fine, and I carefully packed it in our checked luggage...not thinking that my suitcase would be turned upside down several times...so the sand got all mixed up and much of it spilled since the lid wasn't totally airtight. Oops!

        Sky lanterns: It was pretty breezy the night of our reception, and guests didn't let the lanterns fully inflate before letting them go...one landed on the roof of the bar, another on the grounds, etc...only one actually took off before we decided we'd better play it safe and put a stop to it. (If anyone else is planning to try this, find a calm area - probably closer to the lobby than the beach. I purchased these online and packed them in my checked luggage with no issues.)

         

        Hope that helps with some questions and/or planning! As I mentioned earlier, I'm more than happy to answer any other questions or provide more details. Believe me, I could talk for days :)



         


        Can't wait to marry my best friend on April 11, 2013!

        49 Guests booked, and counting...


        #414 missjade

        missjade
        • Newbie
        • 41 posts

          Posted 09 March 2012 - 04:21 PM

          Hi Dominican Ally,

           

          I'm considering Ocean Blue for my wedding in July 2013. I've been reading this thread and saw how helpful you been with forwarding information to the other future brides; would you mind forwarding me the same details?

           

          Thanks so much in advance, and congrats on your future wedding!

           

          Jade
           

          Originally Posted by Dominican Ally 

          Hello Ladies!

           

          So - we've had our date held with the hotel for the past few weeks, and we were waiting to put our deposit in until we had travel booked. I sent the deposit in yesterday, and received our official confirmation today! yay! I know Ada said that our date was held anyways, but something about having an actual document with everything written out, makes me breathe easier :)

           

          Anyhow - She also sent me the "additional services" (extra decor, flowers, sound system, etc.) for 2013. The prices for most things have went up a little from the 2012 pricing I received a few months ago, but Ada did tell me that the additional services were subject to change for 2013. One thing I do like though, is many of the extras now include taxes with the price listed, which makes it a little more clear when budgeting.

           

          I figured some of you may want this new pricing so if you PM me your email addresses I will forward it on to you.

           

          I'll attach it here as well, for those of you who can open attachments.

           

          Happy Planning!

           

          Alicia

           

           

           

           

           



           

          Attached Files



          #415 alittlerandr

          alittlerandr
          • Jr. Member
          • 189 posts

            Posted 09 March 2012 - 08:12 PM

            Hey Ally-

             

            1. Our app was the grouper ceviche, soup was cream of broccoli, dessert was duo of mousse. Seriously LOVED the food. You'll also choose your cake flavor/filling down there. We had vanilla with caramel cake but didn't wind up even having any of it b/c everyone was so full.

             

            For cocktail hour, we had the salmon crepes, tropical chicken skewers, mini quiche lorraine, seafood tempura sticks and shrimp and pineapple curry. We were still doing photos during the start of the cocktail hour so we missed a lot of them, but I hear they were good!

             

            2. Our ceremony was at 4, cocktail hour was 5 - 6, and reception was 6:30 - 10:30. We were given a few choices down there, and this was as close together as we could get everything. It flowed nicely.

             

            3. The dive center is on one side of the beach, La Brasa on the other. It's maybe a 3 or so minute walk. The other option for cocktail hour was the main buffet. (Your wedding coordinator will show you the options when you meet with her so you know where everything is.)

             

            4. A bridesmaid did my makeup, and my aunt (a stylist) did my hair. I did get a mani/pedi and massage at the salon, though. It was nice.

             

            5. We had 60 guests. Our head table sat 17 (haha, yes, I know!) and we had I believe 6 round tables that sat 6 or 7 each. The wedding coordinator went over that with us, too, to see how many we needed at the head table and how many round tables we needed. They were super flexible. We also had the choice to use the covered chairs from the ceremony or the ones at the restaurant; we chose the covered chairs. We were on the terrace and had plenty of room for everyone, dancing, etc. The space was great, and I loved being right on the beach.

             

            We set up a photoshare site for our guests, and people have really been using it. You can see photos at http://akburns.shutterfly.com/. There are lots of great shots of the ceremony site, reception, decor, etc.

             

            And, seriously, I'm more than happy to answer questions - if anything else comes up, ask away!


             

            Originally Posted by Dominican Ally 

            Hey There!

             

            Congrats on being married! It sounds like you had an awesome time, which is great to hear! Thank you so, so, so much for posting a review of everything - it helps a lot!

             

            I have a few questions, if you don't mind :)

             

            1) You said the beef was good (which is good to hear - I think this is our choice for main), but what other food choices did you make for app/dessert, and cocktail hour?

             

            2) What time was your ceremony? What was your wedding day timeline like....as far as ceremony/cocktail hour/reception etc. Just trying to guage how we should space our day out.

             

            4) How far was the dive centre (for the cocktail hour) from ceremony location. Did they go over your options for this when you were down there?

             

            5) Did you use the hotel's hair/makeup? If so, what was it like, and what time did you have your appointments/how long did it take?

             

            6) How many guests did you have, and was there plenty of room at La Brasa for dancing as well? Were you on the terrace?

             

            Ok - sorry for all of the questions! Thanks in advance for the help!

             

            If you're up for posting some, I'm sure we would all LOVE to see some pictures!

             

            Thanks!



             



             



            #416 Dominican Ally

            Dominican Ally
            • Jr. Member
            • 400 posts

              Posted 09 March 2012 - 09:46 PM


              I'd be happy to send you everything I have - could you PM me your email address?

              Thanks :)
               

              Originally Posted by missjade 

              Hi Dominican Ally,

               

              I'm considering Ocean Blue for my wedding in July 2013. I've been reading this thread and saw how helpful you been with forwarding information to the other future brides; would you mind forwarding me the same details?

               

              Thanks so much in advance, and congrats on your future wedding!

               

              Jade
               



               



               


              Can't wait to marry my best friend on April 11, 2013!

              49 Guests booked, and counting...


              #417 CherylW

              CherylW
              • Newbie
              • 3 posts

                Posted 09 March 2012 - 10:28 PM

                Hi there,

                I too am getting married next year but in March.  I was wondering about the pricing, packages also if you wouldn't mind sending them to me too that would be wonderful.  I was also wondering about all the legal fees and documents you need.  Whether they need to be translated to Spanish or not, if you have any insight I would be appreciative.  Some website say one thing and then another says something else. Any info would be great.

                Thanks Cheryl



                #418 Dominican Ally

                Dominican Ally
                • Jr. Member
                • 400 posts

                  Posted 09 March 2012 - 10:30 PM


                  Your photos are gorgeous! You were a stunning bride, and I LOVE your dress! Your decor was awesome, and I especially loved the centerpieces!

                   

                  Thank you so, so much for answering my questions and for sharing your pics! You have no idea how much it helps me out to visualize things.

                   

                  One more question....for now...I'm sure I'll have more...LOL!

                   

                  It looks like you did some photos prior to the ceremony, right? As of right now, our plan is to not see each other until the ceremony....so we'll only be able to do some getting ready pics before, and the girls/guys (seperate)......so, right now we have our timing set like this.....ceremony 4pm, reception 7-11. I was thinking we can do cocktail hour from 5-6....immediately after ceremony/toast we can start the full bridal party pics, some family pics, and then the guests can go off to cocktail hour and we'll join them once we get some solo pics done....thinking we'd make it there about half way through........do you think that would work?

                   

                  We have about 40 guests (I think) going...so I want to make sure everyone gets some pro pics of their individual families as well...which shouldn't take too long I don't imagine.

                   

                  Again - congrats on your day, and thanks for the help!

                   

                  Alicia

                   

                  Originally Posted by alittlerandr 

                  Hey Ally-

                   

                  1. Our app was the grouper ceviche, soup was cream of broccoli, dessert was duo of mousse. Seriously LOVED the food. You'll also choose your cake flavor/filling down there. We had vanilla with caramel cake but didn't wind up even having any of it b/c everyone was so full.

                   

                  For cocktail hour, we had the salmon crepes, tropical chicken skewers, mini quiche lorraine, seafood tempura sticks and shrimp and pineapple curry. We were still doing photos during the start of the cocktail hour so we missed a lot of them, but I hear they were good!

                   

                  2. Our ceremony was at 4, cocktail hour was 5 - 6, and reception was 6:30 - 10:30. We were given a few choices down there, and this was as close together as we could get everything. It flowed nicely.

                   

                  3. The dive center is on one side of the beach, La Brasa on the other. It's maybe a 3 or so minute walk. The other option for cocktail hour was the main buffet. (Your wedding coordinator will show you the options when you meet with her so you know where everything is.)

                   

                  4. A bridesmaid did my makeup, and my aunt (a stylist) did my hair. I did get a mani/pedi and massage at the salon, though. It was nice.

                   

                  5. We had 60 guests. Our head table sat 17 (haha, yes, I know!) and we had I believe 6 round tables that sat 6 or 7 each. The wedding coordinator went over that with us, too, to see how many we needed at the head table and how many round tables we needed. They were super flexible. We also had the choice to use the covered chairs from the ceremony or the ones at the restaurant; we chose the covered chairs. We were on the terrace and had plenty of room for everyone, dancing, etc. The space was great, and I loved being right on the beach.

                   

                  We set up a photoshare site for our guests, and people have really been using it. You can see photos at http://akburns.shutterfly.com/. There are lots of great shots of the ceremony site, reception, decor, etc.

                   

                  And, seriously, I'm more than happy to answer questions - if anything else comes up, ask away!


                   



                   



                   


                  Can't wait to marry my best friend on April 11, 2013!

                  49 Guests booked, and counting...


                  #419 Dominican Ally

                  Dominican Ally
                  • Jr. Member
                  • 400 posts

                    Posted 09 March 2012 - 10:31 PM

                    Or....maybe we could go to cocktail hour after the family pics just to grab a drink/bite to eat......and then go off to our solo pics and meet everyone at the reception if we don't end up making it back in time to cocktail hour....

                     

                    Oh the decisions...LOL


                    Can't wait to marry my best friend on April 11, 2013!

                    49 Guests booked, and counting...


                    #420 CherylW

                    CherylW
                    • Newbie
                    • 3 posts

                      Posted 09 March 2012 - 11:40 PM



                      Originally Posted by Amelie-Mellow 

                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by oceansand09
                      We had 23 guests total; 18 travelled with us from Montreal and the other 5 flew from Toronto. When we booked there were no guaranteed direct flights from Ottawa so we drove to Montreal, stayed overnight and flew from there. It ended up being about $400 cheaper per guest, so the drive was definitely worth it.

                      We chose the Free Wedding package that included the ceremony site (beach), a bottle of champagne, the wedding cake and a private reception dinner with at La Brasa restaurant. On top of that we paid for white chair covers for the ceremony site, flowers and photography. Julissa ended up adding blue chair sashes and decorating the altar as a special gift to us. The chair covers were dollars a piece (can’t remember the exact amount), my bouquet, the 3 bridesmaid’s bouquets and a bag of fresh rose petals for the flower girl came to about $250US. We ordered the Bronze Photography Package and including the extra 32 prints we paid $822US. My mom paid for my wedding day hair and I think it was $50US for me and $40US each for my MOH and sister.

                      We also booked the Honeymoon Suite and it was the best decision we could have made. Ours was room 6301 and it faced the pool and the ocean. The room is HUGE and simply beautiful. We love the 4 poster king size bed and the large balcony. But we loved the outdoor shower most of all! It’s stunning out there at night under the stars. Treat yourself, you won’t regret it!

                      Our wedding was very laid back. We arrived at the hotel Sunday afternoon. Monday morning we met with Julissa for 45 minutes to pick flowers, our dinner menu and organize the ceremony. And we were married on Tuesday at 3:00p.m.! We wanted to have the wedding right away so 1) I wouldn’t be thinking about it all week and 2) so our gusts could enjoy their vacation, plan excursions and chill out. We didn’t want to occupy too much of their time.

                      It was perfect!

                      Let me know if there is anyhting else I can help you with!

                      Congrats on your wedding! :) It sounds like it was perfect!
                      Quick question could you let me know what Julissa's email is?
                      Thanks!



                      Hi and Congratulations on you wedding. I am getting married March 2013. I was wondering if you had any problem with the documentation stuff, getting it sent, translating to Spanish and back to English etc. We are having 21 guest at our wedding and was planning on the free wedding also.  I heard that sometimes it is hard to communicate with them via email or phone.  Did you have any problem with this? Did you have a cocktail hour and was there a cost for this? How much more was the honeymoon suite it sounds lovely.  We want to get married as soon as possible to so we can enjoy the rest of our time.  Did you get a choice of .  times or was it busy and not alot of selection?  Any info would be great thank you. Cheryl

                       






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