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#1571 CFK2013

CFK2013
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    Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:38 AM

    Thanks Mimi! That's helpful to hear! I will probably just wear mine all the time too. Some older family members were more concerned so I just wanted to see if it was a legit concern or not. I have been to Punta Cana twice before and always felt save...but I didn't have jewelry like this with me then :)



    #1572 LindsayOO

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      Posted 04 December 2012 - 12:09 PM

      For you girls staying at the Majestic Elegance..DO NOT WORRY!! My fiances sister got married there 3 years ago and we loved the resort...the grounds are beautiful, the rooms are awesome and the food is decent (it's never really that good in the Dominican lol...hit or miss but nothing to complain about..you will not go hungry)..I've stayed at 4 resorts in the Dominican and did a trip with some travel agents in June and got to see 10 other resorts..the Majestics are still my favourite...we didn't book there because of the price coming from Canada and also they only had 11 am time slots left to get married at...umm no lol...you guys will have a great time!

       

      That being said..the resort is VERY safe however, while we were there 2 peoples safes were broken into and 1 girls engagement ring was stolen...she never got it back....I wouldn't leave your rings in the safe...wear them the ENTIRE time you are there..I know the chances that this happens is probably very rare but you never know...we did leave money in our safe and it was fine but we only left a couple hundred..kept a couple hundred on us and hid a couple hundred in our suitcases..not to scare you but better safe than sorry



      #1573 CFK2013

      CFK2013
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        Posted 05 December 2012 - 08:54 AM

        Thank you for the insight! I think I'll be keeping my rings on JUST IN CASE! :)



        #1574 LindsayOO

        LindsayOO
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          Posted 05 December 2012 - 10:35 AM

          Originally Posted by CFK2013 

          Thank you for the insight! I think I'll be keeping my rings on JUST IN CASE! :)


          Oh and I forgot to mention I wore my engagement ring out everywhere when I was there in June...we even went to an offsite club that was pretty sketchy and noone batted an eye...it's totally safe to wear your ring



          #1575 mimiq

          mimiq
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            Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:37 PM

            Ok ladies, I have finished my review... and it's pretty ridiculously long!  I will attach it here and copy it below for those who can't get attachments yet.  I'm a bit embarrassed to though be it is so long!  Hopefully there will be some useful information for some of you though and it won't just be the ramblings of an excited newlywed :)

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

            Jellyfish Wedding/Reception Review – Nov. 21, 2012

            Hi All!

             

            Well, my now husband, Matt, and I got married at the Jellyfish a few weeks ago and I wanted to write a review because the experience was so amazing!  The wedding day was perfect  and I wanted to share J.  I tend to be a details person, so this review might be crazy long, but hopefully you’ll find some tidbits of useful information too!  I know I loved reading everyone’s reviews and craved to hear all the info I could!

             

            To start off, we had about 62 adults and 8 kids, ranging in age from 8 months to 7 years old, attend the wedding.  We stayed at the Majestic Elegance for our first week and then moved over to Sanctuary Cap Cana for our honeymoon week.  The Majestic was great!  If anyone is interested in a review of that (especially when you’re not doing the wedding there!) check out the Colonial/Elegance facebook groups because I plan to post a review there as well.  We did both our ceremony and reception at the JF and, as everyone says, it was the best decision we ever made!  I didn’t actually see that many weddings at the ME (probably because we were soooo busy trying to spend quality time with all of our guests), but nothing could have wowed me like what Mayte was able to put together.  It was the quality and presentation of a wedding at home, but it was in the tropics.  Amazing.

             

            Planning

            One thing I wanted to note about the planning stage was that we never got around to getting a deposit to Mayte.  She didn’t insist on it (in fact, she never even brought it up!).  We felt comfortable that our date was reserved because she had confirmed it with us and a few months later when another bride enquired about the same date, she double checked with me to be sure we still wanted it (only because I hadn’t really been planning much and hadn’t really been in contact for a few months so I think she just wanted to be sure) and it was no problem.  The wire transfer seemed to be a bit of a hassle and it wouldn’t really mean that we’d take less cash down with us, so we decided to skip it. 

             

            OOT bags

            As we had about 60 adults and the whole reason we had a destination wedding was to reduce stress, we decided to be careful about what we put together for our OOT bags.  Most of our guests are well travelled and I couldn’t imagine anyone not bringing pepto, immodium, sunscreen, lipbalm and the like so we decided to skip those type of things.  We had heard that travel mugs would be really useful at the resort so we simply made those and put them in a canvas beach bag for all of our guests.  Both of these seemed to be quite useful throughout the week and everyone appreciate them.  We got our mugs from Dollarama ($2 each) and they were clear, double-walled cups with a lid and a straw.  We then designed a logo and name tag and printed these up on large window decals from Vistaprint.  They worked perfectly and are totally waterproof, removable, and inexpensive.

             

            Our meeting

            We met with Mayte a couple of days before the wedding and she had all of the decor pics, etc that I had sent her during the planning stages.  Oh, and we just took a cab from the ME (ordered it at the front desk) and it took about 25 minutes and cost $22US.  We went through the menu we had chosen and tasted everything (it was so much food!), tried 6 different cocktails that matched our colour theme and picked three of them to be served on the day (1 welcome drink and 2 for the cocktail hour after the ceremony).  All were great!!  We then went through all of the smaller details with Mayte (what the setup would look like, name tags, etc, etc) and she had everything just as we had asked.  We settled on cake flavours then and gave her the things we had brought down for the wedding (candy for the buffet, cake topper, guestbook, a here comes the bride/happily ever after sign and thank you parasol – both of which I left for her if you want to use them!).  We went over the invoice and everything looked great and we paid cash for the cash portion of the bill.  Everything was exactly as we expected and there were no surprises.

             

            Hair – Krystie Ann

            Up until the evening before the wedding I had planned to get our hair done at the resort spa, but then my photographer emailed about a hair stylist/makeup artist that I had heard of and I decided that if is she was available, I’d switch to her, even though it was very last minute!  I’m sure the ladies at the spa would have done a great job, but I was worried about communication because my Spanish isn’t great.  Krystie Ann did a great job and she was so sweet.  As she was finishing up, she wanted me to check out the bangs to see if I was happy.  Before I looked, I let her know that I’m not great about saying what I really think and she encouraged me to be honest and said that the most important thing was for me to be happy and I really believed her.  I had wanted the hair to be a bit looser, more tousled looking and she immediately said how she could do that and set about to doing it.  Ten minutes later, it was perfect.  She was wonderful, put me at ease, and really cared that I was honestly happy with it.  She is also very reasonably priced and my only regret is possibly that I didn’t get her to do my makeup too!  I did it myself and haven’t seen my pics yet, but am slightly wondering if I shouldn’t have just gotten her to do that too! 

             

            Videographer:  Florian Koetter of Video Punta Cana

            Florian was awesome!  He’s a German videographer who now lives in Punta Cana.  We found his work and reviews online and were super happy with all of our communication.  At first we only wanted a video of the ceremony because we felt that that was the most important part and wanted that documented.  However, when I found videos that only covered the ceremony, start to finish basically, we actually found them kinda boring.  I liked the idea of some of the words being overlaid with images throughout the day –  like the trailers that a lot of people get as part of their packages.  We asked Florian for a custom package that would essentially be an extended version of a trailer (about 10 minutes in length) and he did it for a very reasonable price.  He was set up to only be there for 3 hours, but must have stayed for about 5 or 6 and even filmed our fire dancers.  Matt told him that he was free to go whenever he wanted, but he said not to worry.  He doesn’t follow the clock as closely as they do in North America J.  He cut us a video within 3 days and met with us at our honeymoon resort to show it to us and be sure that we liked it.  He seemed to genuinely care that we were happy with the end result.

             

            Our package also included all the raw footage he shot, which is amazing because we now have everything and can edit some more footage if we want.  Florian really listened to what we wanted and when Matt realized that he didn’t want the letters that we had written each other to be read out in their entirety, Florian cut it down so that the more personal stuff was left out.  Matt didn’t want everyone who saw the video (family, friends, strangers on facebook J) to hear the whole thing and that was a something I hadn’t considered!  We also didn’t have to do anything super cheesy for Florian to get the shots he needed.  No blowing kisses to the camera (that’s not my style) and I was happy for that!  We were thrilled and it was money well spent!   

             

            Pastor Rick York

            We had Rick York perform a non-religious ceremony and he sent us a script beforehand.  To be honest, we were a little surprised by the number of times “God” was said in a non-religious ceremony (not a ton, but more than I would have thought) and so we edited some of the phrases out.  I wasn’t sure how he would take that, but he was just fine about our edits and said a lot of people do the same. His computer had crashed a few days before our wedding, so he had actually lost the changes we had made to the script, but luckily Matt looked it over before the ceremony and noticed and quickly made the updates.  We had him do a reading of “These Hands” which we both really loved and had a friend read “I will be here” by Stephen Curtis Chapman (it’s really beautiful and the one part of the ceremony when Matt almost lost it! http://www.gagirl.co...ry/poetry6.html).     He gave a really lovely ceremony and had everyone in tears, but laughing too.    Oh, one slight annoyance – he actually spelled Matt’s last name wrong on the certificate we signed (he put an e at the end of his last name).  A little annoying because it’s on the wedding video and probably our pictures too.   But overall, we were really happy to have Pastor York officiate for us.

             

            Symbolic Ceremony

            We had originally planned on doing a civil ceremony because we really only wanted to say our vows once, but a few things we discovered during the planning had caused us to waiver on that.  When we read the script that the judge would read it seemed a little impersonal.  Even if we added a sand ceremony or other things, we still didn’t really love it.  When we heard that the judge is not great about confirming timing, we realized that it was one stress we didn’t need.  When we really thought about it, it’s the words that are said during a wedding that are the important part and it didn’t sit right with us to have a cold ceremony just to ensure that it was legal.  When we learned we didn’t have to exchange ring or vows to make a ceremony legal in Canada, in fact you hardly have to say anything, we decided to go for the symbolic.  We did the paperwork a few weeks before we left, at our kitchen table while wearing jeans and t-shirts.  No family present, just a couple of friends to witness it.  It was actually really fun to be “secret married” for a few weeks before the wedding and definitely made things less stressful.  I was actually thrilled with our decision and it was totally right for us.  As for people who worry about their guests and having a ‘fake’ wedding, if we consider our wedding day to be our Punta Cana ceremony day, why would anyone else consider it to be a different day?  The day that we did the paperwork (as we call it), didn’t really feel like anything but a brief special moment.  The wedding day in the DR had all the butterflies and excitement of a true wedding day and it was perfect.

             

            Decor & Flowers

            Our wedding colours were turquoise and tangerine and I had sent Mayte a bunch of pictures (in a pdf file) over the months.   I didn’t think it was possible, but she exceeded all my expectations.  It looked perfect! 

             

            As for my bouquet, I had spent a bunch of time googling different things to try to find a picture of what I was looking for and the first time I saw it was when Mayte showed me my bouquet.  It couldn’t have been more perfect and the only thing I was disappointed about was that I wouldn’t be able to take them home!  I knew when I saw that bouquet that Mayte had nailed the whole thing and when I saw the restaurant and ceremony site a few minutes later, that was confirmed!

             

            When we had a bit of unexpected room in our budget I wanted to see what it would cost to have fresh flowers in our decor instead of fake ones (or at least a mixture of the two).  Mayte suggested that the ones we used at the ceremony site should be fake because otherwise they’d wilt in the hot sun, but the ones at the tables were all fresh and looked beautiful.  Even with this upgrade, we didn’t see a change in the reception decor quote!  It totally seems like the resort just nickel and dimes you and there is just no way that they would have done anything like that.  Just one small reason that we were reassured that we’d made the right choice.  She used gerbers, roses, and carnations I think and the effect was great.  Individually those might not be my favourite flowers, but the way she put them together, it looked awesome. 

             

            Entertainment – Fire Dancers & Cigar Roller

            At the last minute we realized that we had some extra room in our budget (a nice problem to have!) and decided to add the cigar roller and fire dancer show.  Both were awesome and our guests loved them.  Would highly recommend and the price was super reasonable (especially when we realized we got them both for about the same price that the chair sashes would have cost us at our resort – and who ever remembers chair sashes?! J)

             

            Babysitters

            I had never heard of anyone using Mayte’s babysitters before, so we didn’t really know what to expect, but we weren’t too worried considering Mayte is associated with it!  And they were awesome!  Three ladies came during the dinner portion and they were dressed up in fun costumes.  Mayte had reserved a small area of the restaurant for the kids table and had laid out some cushions and pillows for the kids to play on.  The babysitters made amazing balloon hats for the kiddies (my nephews/nieces were in heaven!) and played games, juggled, basically just kept them entertained.  It was perfect and meant that the parents actually had a chance to eat!  Our youngest baby was only 8 months and they even kept him enthralled.  Highly recommend this too!

             

            Food

            Our guests had the option of the seabass, chicken, or pasta of menu 1 with the rice and grilled veggies.  We also had the caprese salad and chorizo sausage as appis.  During our cocktail hour we had mozza sticks, hot pockets, ceviche, and bacon wrapped shrimp.  Everything was great!!  The portion sizes are quite large though so I don’t think that most people made it through their meals!  We also had a late night snack buffet of fajitas, chips and guacamole, and one other thing that I can’t quite remember!  It was all delicious and although I was worried that it wouldn’t get eaten (we served it at about 10:30 or 11:00), people definitely enjoyed having something to snack on.  It was a super reasonable price and we were really glad that we added it.

             

            DJ/MC

            We used the DJ and MC (who are two separate people) that Mayte works with and they were great.  We also had my brothers MC the speeches to add a personal touch, but the MC took care of the restaurant details (ie. calling everyone to dinner, announcing the cake cutting, cigar rollers, and fire dancers, etc, etc.).  The MC was great.  He spoke English very well and totally knew what he was doing.  Right after the post ceremony photos finished up, he grabbed Matt and I and asked us what our order of events was, the names of our wedding party, how we wanted to be introduced, etc.  and took all these notes on his ipad.  He already had our list of songs printed up and was totally on the ball.

             

            The DJ was also great!  There’s a Toronto band that was popular in the 90s that is pretty obscure (for most people at least), but they have a place in my sibling’s and my hearts and when I asked the DJ if he had them and (surprise surprise!) they didn’t, he immediately set about to finding one of their songs on the net and downloaded it!  Pretty sweet!  Now it might have been just because I was the bride (my brother in law tried that with a different song a few minutes later and didn’t get the same response), but I was thrilled.  We had meant to bring a flash drive with a handful of songs that we didn’t expect them to have, but wanted to hear, but we just didn’t get around to it.  Kinda wish we had, but that’s okay.  The music they played was really good.  Maybe a few tunes that didn’t have everyone dancing and I wished they’d have changed it up a little bit, but again, if we’d given them a list of a bunch of songs that we wanted played that would have solved that.  I don’t think it’s necessary to come up with a complete list and an order and everything, but maybe a handful of the songs you really want to hear.  We had everyone up dancing though and it was really really good, minus a few songs that kinda missed the mark.  I could have gone up and asked them to switch it up, but I’m not great at that kind of thing J  Oh, he was super accommodating to any requests though if he had the music (and he had tonnes!).

             

            Transportation

            I had been a little curious about what the road to the JF would actually be like and I actually didn’t find it to be too bad!  Not much worse than a cottage road with potholes in cottage country Ontario!  It’s not very long at least – maybe a km?  The restaurant is actually a little smaller than the pictures make it seem, but I loved the feel of the place and it was the perfect size for our group.  Mayte has a large, air conditioned office and that’s where I actually got ready on the big day.  She actually has plans to do some renos and create a bride’s room in there because she’s getting more and more requests from people wanting to get hair and makeup done at the JF to avoid the crazy fees of the resorts.  I think that would be awesome! 

             

            One slight mishap that did happen was that the driver for me and my sisters didn’t actually know where the JF was!  Luckily I had paid attention to the various resorts/buildings when our taxi took us to our pre-meeting with Mayte.  I speak a (very) little Spanish and had to break it out when I saw him trying to pull into the wrong resort.   He got on the phone a couple of times, but still didn’t seem to know where he was going and I had to tell him a couple of different times when he again pulled into wrong resorts!  I was actually pretty calm about the whole thing and knew that it would only make us maybe 15 minutes late, but I can see that it might have driven some people over the edge!  Luckily I knew the words for “next to/near the Melia Caribe”!  I don’t think any of the other shuttles had any issues though!

             

            The return shuttles were something we wished we had put a little more thought into and had discussed with Mayte a bit more.  We needed 2 shuttles because we couldn’t get all of our guests into one shuttle so we figured we’d have 2 main runs and just pay for taxis for anyone who wanted to go hope in between the main runs.  It didn’t run quite as smoothly as that on the actual night.  We had a number of guests with little ones and once the dancing began (about 9:30) there were about 10 adults who needed to head back.  It took a while for the shuttle to arrive (probably 25 to 30 minutes) and that was a bit of a long wait for those who needed to get back.  I wish that we had anticipated that some guest would need to head back early and had asked Mayte to either call a couple of cabs or arrange a shuttle run when she could see that the main events were finishing up.  If we had, we could have avoided some of the delays.  We had planned to have one shuttle at about 10pm, but that was basically just a few minutes after the first run so nobody wanted it, except for one couple and they wouldn’t make a run for just two people, so they ended up getting a cab.

             

            We had chosen to have 3 hours of open bar and liked the idea that we could stay late if we wanted to.  We figured that we would somehow be notified when our 3 hours was up and had planned to just switch to a la carte at that point, but I realize now that I never really communicated that to Mayte.  She had arranged for a shuttle to arrive at midnight, so we all cleared out at about 12:30.  I wished that we had left that last shuttle timing a little more up in the air.  We hadn’t discussed a time for it and I think she figured with the bar closing that the timing made sense.  Again, should have given this a little more thought and it would have been smoother, so hopefully someone can benefit from this piece of advice!  We probably wouldn’t have stayed that much longer (maybe an hour or so), so it was fine.  And the bus ride home was super fun and totally memorable as everyone was still up for partying.  Some of our guests continued the party back at the resort, but we headed off to bed J

             

            Okay, that is just about all that I can think of!  If any of you are still reading – nice work!  I hope it hasn’t been too boring and that you found at least a couple of things to be useful.  I know I can be longwinded, but the day was so great I just wanted to share it!

             

            If there is anything that I haven’t covered (if that’s possible!), please feel free to comment or PM me.  I’d love to help!

             

            Congratulations on your upcoming big day and relax – it’s going to be amazing!

             

            Marissa (aka Mimi – my fake facebook account name J)

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            #1576 LindsayOO

            LindsayOO
            • Newbie
            • 82 posts

              Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:15 AM

              Thank you so much MimiQ!! That was an awesome review!! I hired Krystie Ann as well so it's so good to hear that you were happy with her :) Two questions for you if you don't mind...

              1 - Did you pay extra to change the Caesar salad to the caprese salad and the fries to the vegetables?

              2 - We have the EXACT same amount of adults coming...did you keep your dance floor inside and did you find there was enough room? Did you have to move tables out of the way if you did?

               

              thanks so much!!



              #1577 sdj327

              sdj327
              • Jr. Member
              • 171 posts

                Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:48 PM

                thank you so much mimi! i'm so glad everything went well! would love to see pics as my colors are similar to yours! 



                #1578 mimiq

                mimiq
                • Jr. Member
                • 184 posts

                  Posted 06 December 2012 - 01:09 PM

                  Originally Posted by LindsayOO 

                  Thank you so much MimiQ!! That was an awesome review!! I hired Krystie Ann as well so it's so good to hear that you were happy with her :) Two questions for you if you don't mind...

                  1 - Did you pay extra to change the Caesar salad to the caprese salad and the fries to the vegetables?

                  2 - We have the EXACT same amount of adults coming...did you keep your dance floor inside and did you find there was enough room? Did you have to move tables out of the way if you did?

                   

                  thanks so much!!

                  Glad you found the review helpful!  Yes, we paid extra to change the salad and fries.  We paid $32/person for our menu.  Oh, and we also added a dessert of ice cream and fruit - forgot that in my review!

                  Originally Posted by sdj327 

                  thank you so much mimi! i'm so glad everything went well! would love to see pics as my colors are similar to yours! 

                  I'll post some pics as soon as I get them!  Might get my professional pics before Christmas, but that's not for sure!



                  #1579 sdj327

                  sdj327
                  • Jr. Member
                  • 171 posts

                    Posted 06 December 2012 - 01:14 PM

                    also how much was the extra food/apps at the end of the night? i def want to have something like that too. i know my guests will be staying late to party and we will prob get hungry!



                    #1580 Mady28

                    Mady28
                    • Jr. Member
                    • 164 posts
                    • Wedding Date:November 28, 2013
                    • Wedding Location:Huracan Cafe
                    • LocationPunta Cana, Dominican Republic

                    Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:42 PM

                    mimiq -

                     

                    Thank you so much for the review! I have been looking forward to reading it.

                     

                    -Just a quick question about ME, I have seen in a few reviews that people have complained about "musty" smells in the rooms. Did you experience that at all?

                     

                    -What was the price difference when you accommodated Menu I to your own liking?

                     

                    - Lastly, what order did you do the first dance, cutting of the cake, etc.? I have been trying to do my research on what is a good order to follow but its a little confusing.

                     

                    Any input would be greatly appreciated!

                     

                    Thanks






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