Wedding Review Dec. 7/09 - Majestic Elegance/Jellyfish Restaurant
Posted 13 March 2010 - 12:37 AM
First of all, the resort is beautiful. I am not sure if I will ever be able to stay anywhere else in Punta Cana ever again because NONE of the other hotels compared to the Majestic. Our beach was immaculate, and when weâ€™d walk up the beach at other neighbouring resorts, they were not even close to being as clean and spacious. Our room was amazing and we just had a regular room, no upgrades- it wasnâ€™t needed! Bubble baths were drawn and towel animals were made for us, and we had a honeymooners banner across our door. Staff were outgoing and friendly, and absolutely went out of their way for us. The food at the resort was great, and they didnâ€™t limit the a la cartes â€“ although it wouldnâ€™t have mattered much if they did, the buffet was amazing! Our guests were totally blown away with the resort, and with the exception of my crabby sister-in-law, everyone had a great time and many are planning to return. Iâ€™m ready to return tomorrow and will highly recommend this resort to everyone.
Ok wedding stuffâ€¦.. Our original plan for a little less than one year beforehand was to be married at the resort. I emailed back and forth with the resort for months. I waited a long time quite often for responses from the coordinators, but I was expecting to wait so it wasnâ€™t a big deal to me. What was frustrating was that it was like pulling teeth to get information from the coordinators. If I didnâ€™t ask the right question, I would not get a full answer. I donâ€™t know why they could not send a package through email when I first made contact with them to show me what my options were. It was very frustrating throughout our correspondence, however 3 weeks before we were to be married, it was the last straw. All along, my husband and I planned to have the reception on the beach, and then after months of thinking we could, the coordinators told us that since we werenâ€™t 20 people, we couldnâ€™t do that. Later they sent an email and said that we could, but they wanted to charge us like 3 times the original price. With the whole not letting us write our ceremony script, non-existent open bar and the extra charges for what seemed like every little thing, I gave up. I started to look around this site and discovered the Jellyfish Restaurant, which Iâ€™ll speak more to later on, and with 2 weeks until my wedding, I threw all of my plans out the window and cancelled my wedding at the resort. BEST DECISION WE MADE throughout the entire year of planning!!!
I went to the resort spa to have my makeup, hair, and mani-pedi done on the day of my wedding. When you walk in, it is gorgeous!! In fact, we spent time at the spa later in our vacation and it was one of my favourite things that we did. For my wedding day though, I was disappointed. The women were Spanish, which of course I was expecting, but good to know â€“ make sure you bring photos of what you want! I assumed theyâ€™d have gel/press on nails, and they didnâ€™t, so I just had them do a French manicure on my real nails (thank God I stopped chewing them a month earlier!!). The woman filed my nails crooked, but you canâ€™t tell in the photos and they look really good. My â€œpedicureâ€ was interesting. My MOH got a â€œConairâ€ footbath, like the $30 ones they sell at Wal-Mart. I got wet towels on my feet instead as they only had one â€œConairâ€ machine. It was not like a relaxing pedicure youâ€™d get in Ontario, but the results were okay, and my toes looked good! The same lady did my makeup and hair. My makeup was okay. I wasnâ€™t in love with it, but didnâ€™t hate it. My hair looked alright, but she put it together very quickly without much attention to detail. In some of the photos taken directly after our ceremony, you can see stray strands that had fallen out as they werenâ€™t secured well. Nothing got a WOW response from me, but it could have been worse, so I canâ€™t complain.
The discoâ€¦ following the ceremony and reception at the Jellyfish, we went to the disco. It was a BLAST and I had a great timeâ€¦. However my dress was filthy at the end of the night and the lace actually tore at some point. The $500 dry cleaning bill that I had when I got home was worth it and it got all of the black off of my dress. Despite this, Iâ€™d do it all over again because we had so much fun. Not that Iâ€™m an attention whore or anything, but it was nice that several people approached me and said sweet things. I felt like a princess all night.
PASTOR RICK YORK:
When I learned that the resort would not let us write our own ceremony script (they told me that they used to, but not anymore), and I was going to be stuck with the 5 minute generic ceremony, I was VERY upset. I once again turned to this site and found Pastor York. He was quick with his email responses, sometimes in only minutes!!! He sent us samples of his ceremony, and when my grandmother died unexpectedly right before our wedding, Pastor York had no problem adding in a section about her. When we changed our location altogether, he had no problem accommodating our request. I didnâ€™t meet Pastor York until I walked down the aisle, but he was very professional and his ceremony was heartfelt. Hiring Pastor York was the second best decision we made.
Thank GOD for Mayte! She SAVED me from going crazy. First of all, I have to say that she was nothing but a complete angel. I corresponded with Mayte through just a few emails and one telephone call before we left Canada as there was not much time to prepare. On the day before our wedding, my husband and I went to the restaurant (crossing our fingers and praying that we didnâ€™t make the stupidest decision ever) to meet with Mayte to finalize plans. When we finally met, I had to hold back the tears because she was just such a warm person who really seemed to understand how important this day was to me. I NEVER felt like a number on a list with her like I always did with the resort. Through a few sample photos of what I wanted for decorations and a cake, Mayte saw my vision and described to me what she had plannedâ€¦. It was perfect and far beyond what I had expected. On the day of my wedding, Mayte arranged for transportation of my guests, and arranged a separate vehicle to take me, my dad, and my MOH 20 minutes later. When I arrived, Mayte met me with our â€œsignatureâ€ drink (blue pina colada that matched our wedding colours). With a quick gulp of that, I began the walk down the aisle. I couldnâ€™t help but take a peek upstairs and I could see part of the beautiful decorationsâ€¦ As I walked outside and saw the ceremony set up, it took my breath away. What the BEST part was about the Jellyfish is that I did not need to bring down ANYTHING to decorate, like I was going to have to do at the resort. I told her the colours, and she has a supplier that brings it all to her. It saved me the headache of finding everything, and finding a way to get it all down there without going over luggage weight restrictions. I had already purchased some things, and brought select stuff down with us (sand ceremony stuff, guest book, and guest favours)and gave it to Mayte when we met her. Mayte set it all up and made it all work with what she had. After the ceremony, the staff served us with appetizers and more signature drinks, then we went to get photos done (more on that below). After the photos were done, we went upstairs in the restaurant, where I had requested we be set up. I was shocked when I got to the top of the stairs and saw the room. Beautiful does not begin to describe it! We had dinner, which was fabulous, and the wait staff were unbelievable in the attention they gave us. There were two waiters assigned specifically to us, and they were outstanding. Instead of paying for an open bar as there were only 11 of us, Mayte just let us start a tab, and at the end of the evening, she added the drinks to our bill. Our dinner was amazing. The portions were huge, and since it wasnâ€™t finicky wedding food and instead was delicious â€œnormalâ€ food as I call it, we were all stuffed once it came time for the cake. My cake looked EXACTLY like my inspiration photo- I still canâ€™t believe it turned out so nice. After cake, we played a game, did speeches. We brought an IPOD and dock and played our music on that (I also used that for music to walk down the aisle to). We did the first dance, father daughter, mother son dances. After that, we spent time talking, hanging out on the couches up there and at the table with the music playing. We went downstairs and we surprised our guests with fire dancers. They were sooo cool! We booked them through the Jellyfish and I will admit I was skeptical as to how it would be, but I was blown away! Well worth the money, and something that everyone was talking about when we returned home. We hung out upstairs until the transportation arrived to take us back to the resort (I think it was around 11, but since the waiters were so good at continually bringing drinks, I was a little intoxicated and canâ€™t remember what time it was exactly!). As our guests loaded into the van, we went to settle our billâ€¦. They only charged us for like half of the appetizers they served, and they didnâ€™t charge us for ANY of the signature drinks. I still canâ€™t believe what a steal it was. It was a MILLION times cheaper than the Majestic and a MILLION times better. We were on a tight budget and wouldnâ€™t have been able to get anything special if we wouldâ€™ve been married at the resort. At the Jellyfish, I had the wedding of my dreams â€“ beautiful decorations and setting, a great meal, and even fire dancers!
Once again, I donâ€™t mean to offend anyone, but I need to say this for the sake of all future brides. We arrived on the Saturday and got married on a Monday. We had still 5 more days at the resorts and witnessed many other weddings that took place. We couldnâ€™t help but compare and contrast the resort and Jellyfish. One night, we sat in front of a wedding party having the â€œfree receptionâ€ at the Steakhouse. The table setting looked the same as the other tables, but had pink glass beads on top of the table, nothing else. Now I loved the Steakhouse food, but I personally would have been disappointed if that would have been my reception. There was no place to dance or cut a cake, and no option to play your own music. This being said, the wedding party looked like they were having a good time (although Iâ€™m sure they didnâ€™t hang out there all night) On another day, my group and I were walking to the Lobby at the Colonial as we were looking to book an excursion. We saw a flower girl standing at the base of the stairs, but didnâ€™t think anything of it as throughout the week there were several wedding parties seen. Nobody blocked the lane or anything, and we walked right in front of the flower girl and up the staircase to the lobby. About halfway up the staircase, I realized that the flower girl was getting ready to walk down the aisle, and that a ceremony had started and we had cut her off! Why didnâ€™t they have staff to block the path for the two minutes it took for the wedding party to walk down the aisle?? I felt terrible once I realized what weâ€™d done! Anyways, so we get to our travel lady, but sheâ€™s busy wrapping up another coupleâ€™s plans. I promise you not one second more than 10 minutes went by and everyone was hugging and celebrating . The wedding we interrupted was already over. We were supposed to get married on the beach at the resort, so we checked out a wedding on the beach were we wouldâ€™ve been. I was afraid of having random people really close by, and I was right to be worried. Any professional photographer would be able to avoid the people in the shots â€“ they werenâ€™t that close, but still they were close enough that Iâ€™m sure they could hear the ceremony and would be in guestâ€™s photos. At the Jellyfish, it was quiet. Although there were people around, they were far away. We didnâ€™t have to worry about the people until we were taking photos at the shoreline with our photographer after the ceremony finished, and even then, there were few people and it wasnâ€™t an issue.
Okay, this one was interestingâ€¦.. keep reading because there is a happy ending. I started trying to contact Photosouvenir I think in July. I sent emails inquiring about their availability. Iâ€™d seen lots of photos on this site and on their site, and I thought there photos were leaps and bounds ahead of the resort photographer and I HAD to have them. After sending a couple of emails and waiting a couple of months (as we all know that Dominicans work on Dominican time), my husband called them. The lady, Severine, answered and said that she had not received our emails. After looking further, she said that she had received them but hadnâ€™t read them and that they were at the bottom of the list. She told my husband that she would email back but that she was with a client and could not help him right then. Several weeks went by, and there was no response. I sent another email. Once again, no response. With a week and a half left until we were scheduled to leave, I was STILL awaiting response from these people! I was terrified that I was not going to have a photographer for my wedding since it was so close to the wedding. Finally, I was fed up and sent an email titled â€œURGENTâ€. I was direct and explained that I had been more than patient, but that I needed to know if they were available to do our wedding. Honestly, I have NEVER had such a difficult time trying to give somebody business!!! This email got her attention and she responded. She said that the other emails had been going to her junk mail (fyi, I had a hotmail address, and some emails were sent from that, others directly from the companyâ€™s website where they have a fill in the blank section). Severine said that they were available and that she had booked us in, but sent us no details about costs and packages. When I sent an email back, I gave her an idea of what I was looking for, and she said she booked the photographer for 4 hours. When we got to the Dominican, I had brought the phone number for Photosouvenir and called Severine. She said that Fran was our photographer and he would be at the Jellyfish on the day of the wedding. This kinda stressed me out as I didnâ€™t have a chance to sit down and go over what photos to take, etc. When I got out of the car, Fran was right there, taking photos. He could tell I was frazzled as I asked him about the hours and what would happen (THIS is what I was thinking about right before I walked down the aisleâ€¦wth??). All of this nightmare came to an end then and there. Fran was great. He worked SUPER hard and was moving around, taking photos throughout the entire ceremony. Afterwards, he took photos of the whole group together, and then took individual shots of us with specific people. After that, our guests went back to the restaurant for drinks and appetizers while we worked with Fran for I think about an hour. We used him for 3 hours in total and that was plenty of time- we have hundreds of photos. He was very professional and friendly. My husband and I both felt that he did an outstanding job. He did not accept payment on the wedding day. Instead, he told us heâ€™d meet us at the hotel lobby on Thursday and weâ€™d pay him then. We got just the dvd with the photos all on it. Fran delivered it, and arrived early for our appointment. The dvd case was very nice and classy and showed a couple of the photos, which looked great. We didnâ€™t have a laptop, so we had to wait until we got back home to look at the photos. When we got home, it was the first thing I did. Let me tell youâ€¦.. my photos are breathtaking! I just loooove them so much and cannot believe that they turned out even better than I expected. I had high expectations after looking at their website, but the photos even outdid my high standards. My dad is a wedding photographer and I refused to let him photograph the wedding because I wanted him to be my dad, not my dad the photographer, on that day. My dad was scrutinizing the website, and before we came, he asked me a million questions about how the photos would be shot, what kind of camera, lens, etcâ€¦. stuff that I had no clue about. Fran was so nice that he even tolerated my dadâ€™s game of 50 questions about his camera! Needless to say, my dad hasnâ€™t shut up about how much he loves the wide angle lens that Fran used and itâ€™s all Iâ€™ve heard about since weâ€™ve been back. The camera that he was using was very high end , apparently. Clearly Fran passed my dadâ€™s test â€“ I think it was worse than my husband having to pass my dadâ€™s â€œare you good enough for my daughterâ€ test, lol!
Anyways, thatâ€™s my long review. If anyone has any questions, feel free to email me at email@example.com. I would highly recommend Majestic Elegance (for a place to stay, not to get married), Jellyfish, Pastor York, and Fran from PhotoSouvenir. It was definitely a pain when I was in Canada, but once we got to Punta Cana, everything worked out perfectly. I can honestly say that I had the wedding of my dreams.
Posted 13 March 2010 - 02:10 AM
http://www.michaelsteingard.comMichael and Phil Steingard are located in Ontario, but travel to Punta Cana quite often during the year. There is a good chance they will be down already during your wedding week, so this will cut travel costs
Posted 13 March 2010 - 03:07 AM
I hope you will share your pics. I booked PhotoSouvenir for my wedding as well.
All the best to you and yours.
Posted 13 March 2010 - 06:13 PM
Posted 13 March 2010 - 06:52 PM
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