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My ridiculously long review of Excellence Punta Cana w/ Pics

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#1 Boston Bride 2009

Boston Bride 2009
  • Jr. Member
  • 268 posts

    Posted 16 December 2009 - 12:47 PM

    Destination Wedding A+++++
    This was THE BEST decision we made. We had the time of our life and we and our guests will never forget the time we had there. Everyone had such a great time together and were so thankful that we had a DW. I can’t tell you how many people said thank you for getting married in DR this is awesome. It was the wedding of our dreams AND we paid for it in cash…no debt!!!

    Travel Agent D+-C-
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    This was what mine looked like (I asked for no ivy)
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    Ceremony Flowers
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    Bridal Party Flowers
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    •The cake was very pretty
    •Was a bit smaller than I thought
    •Happy we added flowers and another tier to make it more like a wedding cake
    •We cut the cake and totally forgot to eat it. After the reception ended we realized this and some folks did stay for cake.
    Click the image to open in full size.


    #2 Boston Bride 2009

    Boston Bride 2009
    • Jr. Member
    • 268 posts

      Posted 16 December 2009 - 12:49 PM

      Sorry double post


      #3 Boston Bride 2009

      Boston Bride 2009
      • Jr. Member
      • 268 posts

        Posted 16 December 2009 - 12:54 PM

        Welcome Cocktail-A
        •We had a private welcome party (the WC totally hooked us up) it was supposed to be at the lobby bar and she got us a private party by the pool. It was so much fun. This is where I surprised my husband with his favorite photographer. I had flown her in to surprise him. He started crying he was so surprised and happy.
        •Also there was a “Brown out” meaning they lost power. So we were in the dark but had music on our docking station. One of our friends had a flashlight so the bartender said you hold the light I’ll make the drinks. It was so funny. We had a blast…in the dark!

        Rehearsal Dinner-A

        •This was a lot of fun. We had it in the courtyard of Agave.
        •The tables were set up beautifully
        •The food was perfect.
        •My one complaint that it was loud and hard for people to here us when we were talking about our wedding party/family.

        Rick York-A
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        Click the image to open in full size.

        Cocktail Hour
        •I have no idea how this went we were taking pictures the whole time. It looked pretty though
        •We had it on the beach with our own beach bar.
        •I did hear that there were a ton of mosquitos
        •We used our IPod and their speaker. I’m glad we didn’t spend $ on music for this

        Click the image to open in full size.

        •Tables were stunning
        •Welcome drink-I had asked Mercy to have the bartender make a Blue drink. They made some sort of Margarita which was the perfect color blue, very good and exactly what I wanted.
        •Details-she did miss a thing. Even to the napkin holders I asked her to put together she took the time to fold over the edge of the ribbon to make sure there was no fraying on them. Everything was absolutely beautiful.
        •Feel-The Cascade Pool was the perfect location for our party. It is intimate and private. The glow of the lights is romantic and the pool illuminated gave us more blue to go with our theme. We had tons and tons of candles again romantic. The dance floor was the perfect size for our party. I liked having the DJ under the trellace and facing the bar (this was not the typical set up) but I think it worked really well.
        •Decorations-we brought all of the center pieces and candles with us because I wanted to make sure everything was just how I envisioned it. We kept the centerpieces very simple but we got a lot of compliments on them.
        •Bar Tender-we met Danielle at the swim up bar and everyone was having a blast with him. He was always dancing and singing so we asked Mercy to have him as our bartender at the wedding. He did such a great job. At one point I went to the bar and there was no one there and I turned around and he was out dancing with my mom. I thought that was hilarious.
        •Waiters-They gave us so much attention. They were so fun. We had them all out on the dance floor with us. It was great to see Benny dancing salsa with someone who really knew what they were doing (I try but I’m not latin). They were all wonderful and they seemed to have a great time.
        •FUN-I might be bias but this was the most fun and the most I’ve ever danced at a wedding. No one sat down for even one song. We literally danced for 2 hours straight. The music the dj played was perfect. We didn’t want it to be over at 10.
        •Food-was very good. I didn’t eat much but it was all very pretty/artistic. I liked that it was a plated dinner and not buffet. I did ask them to get through dinner quickly because we wanted to dance (and because another girl who got married there said dinner to a long time). They moved everything right along.

        BM’s and my mom jumping in the pool
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        Click the image to open in full size.

        Our table
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        #4 Boston Bride 2009

        Boston Bride 2009
        • Jr. Member
        • 268 posts

          Posted 16 December 2009 - 12:54 PM

          •Have Amarilys do your hair!!! She did such a great job on my mom’s hair and one of my bridesmaid’s hair.
          •My hair came out perfect. Exactly what I showed them…Olivia Polermo from the city.
          •I did not like the hairspray they used on my hair it made it hard. I even brought my own and they only used it at the end.
          •I liked that they left my hair pinned in curls until after I had my make up done. The curls would have fallen out by the time I made it to the alter. Mercy was a big help finishing my hair after my make up. We had to take out the pins and get all the curls to fall so I didn’t look like Shirley Temple.
          •We also had mani/spa pedi which was very relaxing. They have limited colors of nail polish. I guess I’m picky so we actually used the color I brought with me for the just in case.
          •I had my make-up done at the spa when I visited the year before. I didn’t find their techniques to be very sanitary and I didn’t like the make up application itself so I did not have my make up done there for the wedding.

          My hair
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          My mom’s hair-don’t mind the balloons on her head or Ben’s mom’s head
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          Click the image to open in full size.

          BM’s hair
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          Click the image to open in full size.

          Make-up-Valentina Maddaluno-A++++
          •Valentina is a good friend of ours. She is an aesthetician and a make-up artist. It was awesome to have my own make-up person. She came up to our suite and did my make-up and my moms make-up.
          •She does such a great job and really makes sure everything is just how you like it. For me I like more dramatic make-up but my mom likes very natural. I think we both looked fabulous.
          •She is very professional even though she is my friend. She takes her job seriously…even though she was still wet from the pool and in her bathing suit 
          •I bought my make-up at Mac/Nars because I didn’t have time to get to her spa. This make up stayed on the ENTIRE night. Even my eyeliner (the gel eyeliner).

          •They did such a wonderful job with my alterations. The bridal shop where I had purchased my dress convinced me to buy a size 8 when I normally where a dress size 2-4….awesome right. So I had SERIOUS alterations to my dress and she did a fantastic job. I also made some minor changes to the dress itself and it was perfect.
          •I had a birdcage veil that I ordered from Etsy. Loved the idea of it but the thing just wasn’t working. So I took the veil apart and Monica had to put it back together. The way they sewed it was perfect and she didn’t charge me for this.
          •I had my reception dress altered here as well. The reason I gave them an A and not an A+ is because this dress wasn’t taken in where it needed to be and I didn’t have time for them to fix it. It was a one strap dress so I was pulling it up constantly at the reception…even in our video you can see me being announced for the first time and pulling up my dress.

          Bridesmaid dresses

          •I have received more compliments on the girls dresses than I can count. The color, the style, and the fabric was perfect for the wedding.
          •They are dresses that can be worn again
          •I found this dress totally by chance at a sample sale at Priscilla of Boston. I just say the color sticking out on a rack and then I tried it on myself because I was shopping alone. It was only $50!!! I gave that one to my MOH and the other two did have to order theirs.

          Groomsmen’s attire
          •I loved that they were all in suits. I know it was hot as hell but we wanted to have a formal wedding and I think this was one of the things that really made it classy.
          •I like that Benny picked out a very simple black tie that had some blue undertones…again very classy and simple.
          •The black was a nice contrast the Tiffany Blue BM dresses, the sand and the water.

          Helpful Tips

          •Chair Sashes-they only have certain colors. We thought that something would work but none of the colors were even close. I wish had purchased these here and brought them down with me. They charged $2.50/sash and you can buy them for $1.00 (and sell them after for that matter). It was worth the $ to have them. They added a lot of color to the ceremony and the reception.
          •We opened a credit card specifically for the wedding. We put everything on it and paid it right away. We earned cash back on all of our purchases (and the card was 0% interest for the year). I also did this on one of my cards that has cash back…we were able to get $300 cash back for gifts.
          •Paid in Travelers checks-save 3% fee-I did this to save some money as well. Our cards all charge a 3% fee when you buy things outside the US and for what we spent on our wedding that would have been quite a bit of money. Before we left we confirmed the final price and just got Amex travelers checks (which were free for Amex cardholders).
          •Keep things simple and put your time in money into the little details
          •Don’t stress about the people who don’t go. You will have so much fun with those who are there that you won’t even think about those we are not.
          •I recommend putting all of your vendor meetings on the same day. We had meetings everyday up until our wedding. I would have rather had them on the day we got there and then be done with it.
          •We only sent our invitations (which were very pricey) to people who said they were going or that said they really wanted to go. We did not spend the $ to send them to everyone. We did send everyone really nice STD though.
          •Our guests really appreciated that we were there to greet them when they arrived. I do wish that I took photos of everyone arriving

          Ok I think that's it. Happy to answer any questions


          #5 *Linds*

          • Sr. Member
          • 5,776 posts

            Posted 16 December 2009 - 12:58 PM

            your pictures are stunning! I absolutely love your dress!!! Congrats on being a MRS!
            Loving married life! <3

            #6 Donie Jordan

            Donie Jordan
            • Jr. Member
            • 381 posts

              Posted 16 December 2009 - 01:38 PM

              It looks like you had the PERFECT day for a wedding! The sky and beach is just gorgeous! Congrats and thanks so much for the review!

              #7 renee1811

              • Member
              • 539 posts

                Posted 16 December 2009 - 01:48 PM

                wow, your wedding was stunning! congrats! :)

                #8 chevy14

                • Jr. Member
                • 183 posts

                  Posted 16 December 2009 - 01:52 PM

                  Gorgeous venue, it looks like you had an awesome day!

                  #9 snoopAsh

                  • Jr. Member
                  • 400 posts

                    Posted 16 December 2009 - 01:54 PM

                    Thank you for your review!

                    You look amazing! :)

                    May 29, 2010
                    Cancun, Mexico

                    #10 wiweathergirl

                    • Newbie
                    • 8 posts

                      Posted 16 December 2009 - 01:59 PM

                      Your wedding pictures are beautiful! Congrats!

                      Thank you so much for the review. I have officially booked my wedding for 2011 at Excellence, so it is so nice to read so much detail about your experience. My worries have been about the food and the coordination, so I was happy to hear you had a great time.

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