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Need a lot of help! Coordinators? DIY? Where to begin!?

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#1 Starfish

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    Posted 25 July 2007 - 02:35 PM

    Hi everyone,

    So my fianc© and I have our hearts set on the Dominican Republic for our wedding (which we would like to have happen April - May 2008 ).

    We really like the look of Excellence Resort Punta Cana but to be honest, we're not sure where to even begin! I emailed them and requested more information and all they've done is send me the exact information off their website in word format.

    We don't believe that we really need to hire a full out wedding coordinator because we're only planning on having approximately 10 guests.

    We have however been looking into destinationweddings.com does anybody have any knowledge on them? From what I gather they can help us with bookings and getting deals for our guests etc. But really, I have no idea how they work and am quickly getting overwhelmed (And we just started the planning!). They claim to need a $50 deposit prior to really doing any legwork. How much do their services cost after this initial $50? I'm sure once the ball gets rolling things will be better but for now we're a little confused.

    Any advice on where to being and if anybody has used that dw.com and can let me know if they do what we need it would be great to hear from everyone.

    Thank you kindly!

    Myles & Sarah

    #2 TammyB

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      Posted 25 July 2007 - 02:42 PM

      I can't remember, but I was thinking I heard some bad reviews of DW.com... But I could be thinking of something else. Have you tried doing a search for Dominican Republic on our search box, I know we have a few brides that are getting married there that might be able to help.. You can also PM "host" as she is a DW travel agent and might be able to help with some locations and such as well.

      #3 StephanieMN

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        Posted 25 July 2007 - 02:46 PM

        try looking here http://bestdestinati....post-here.html

        #4 TATrisha


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        Posted 25 July 2007 - 03:21 PM

        I have heard very bad things about destinationweddings.com. I believe Ann actually started using them and asked for her money back. Perhaps I'm just making up a name though.


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        #5 gkashmira

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          Posted 25 July 2007 - 03:28 PM

          My recommendation is actually to go through a travel agent (like Tammy our beloved Host if she's available) for the actual booking of the resort, etc.

          Then since you are having only 10 guests I think you could easily do whatever it is you need with the help of the other DR brides. What kind of things are you planning on? Photographer, video, flowers, decorations...
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          #6 CourtneyV

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            Posted 25 July 2007 - 03:45 PM

            Originally Posted by Tlseege
            I have heard very bad things about destinationweddings.com. I believe Ann actually started using them and asked for her money back. Perhaps I'm just making up a name though.
            Ya, I think you're right. I've heard nothing but bad things about destinationweddings.com. I don't have any personal experiences with them though.

            I would suggest finding a travel agent that you trust (and trust is a key word here, I've had unpleasant experiences in the past with bad TA's), and book your resort through them. Your TA should be able to get you a good rate.
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            #7 LCBride2007


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              Posted 25 July 2007 - 04:00 PM

              Originally Posted by Tlseege
              I have heard very bad things about destinationweddings.com. I believe Ann actually started using them and asked for her money back. Perhaps I'm just making up a name though.
              nope - you're not making it up! i had a bad experience. well, not like a terrible one - but not a good one. basically a waste of my time. i did get my $50 back (after a handful of emails).

              i tried to look for my earlier posts - i know i posted a few times about them. but basically they're just an overrated travel agent. the woman i worked with didn't know a thing about helping me w/my DW. IMO they sell themselves as a travel agent/wedding coordinator all-in-one - FAR from that! again, at least thsi was my experience. i kept explaining to her what i wanted - private, beach, etc. and all she did was send me package quotes for popular resorts. hello ... i can do that! anyway - i ended up getting out of that pretty quick.

              #8 rodent


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                Posted 25 July 2007 - 04:06 PM

                My first post on this forum was very similar to yours. I was considering DW.com, but unsure if I should do it. Everyone said no. They said they don't do anymore for you than a regular TA can do. They just send you stuff you can easily get yourself.

                I found this forum had most of the info I needed. No one on the forum had been to my hotel, so I went onto trip advisor & searched "wedding" and my hotel name. I found a lot of people happy to send me information.

                A WC is not necessary. You can do it all yourself.

                Don't worry. I felt so overwhelmed at first. After only 1 month of planning & using this great forum, I feel like it's almost all planned & it has been fun & easy. The only thing that stressed me out was getting my date reserved. In my opinion, these are the main things to take care of.

                1. Start with checking reviews on the hotel, especially from past brides if you can find some. If they say good things about the WC at the hotel, you don't have to worry about it. Just get your date reserved & they will take care of everything else. Unless you want to be more involved in the planning. Many of us find the hotel WC does not respond quickly to emails. I figure they are really busy with wedding happening now. From what I hear, they take care of you when the day comes, but may not be as responsive in advance.

                2. Decide if you want to do a room block or not. Find a travel agent.

                3. Look into the laws for making your wedding legal. You can always decide to get married legally in the states & have a symbolic ceremony there.

                4. Make a website to announce all your travel plans. I loved using weddingannouncer.com & it's free! Weddingwindow.com is also a great one, but it will cost about $75. It has a better RSVP feature, but if you just have 10 guests you don't have to worry.

                5. Keep using this forum. It's great & makes planning fun & easy.

                #9 boscobel

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                  Posted 25 July 2007 - 04:54 PM

                  I attempted to use destinationweddings.com also and i FINALLY received my refund check the day before yesterday. They gave me a hard time about sending it back to me, cuz I didn't want to be mean when I canceled so I told the woman that we weren't doing a DW anymore. Then she wrote me back that they did some research and found me talking about my DW on a forum (THIS FORUM!) and why was i asking for my money back if I was going forward with the DW. So then I decided to be straight and said I wasn't happy with the help and wanted my money back and emailed and emailed and emailed until I finally got it, like 6 months after I joined. I forget when I began the request to get it back.

                  My problem with dw.com was I didn't know where I wanted to go, we knew we wanted a beach, child-friendly, all-inclusive and within a certain price range. So I thought she should be able to help me find which locations fit into my criteria. The lady basically told me to do my own research and let her know what I found and then she could follow up with prices. I was like WTF Whatever.

                  Good luck with whatever you choose to do, but I would suggest using a TA to help you coordinate it, even if it is not a large group.

                  Sorry for such a long one, think that is my longest post yet!

                  Oh, re: websites, I used a free one - Online Wedding Planning Tools and Websites: OurWeddingDay.com. I think it is pretty good, have some problems with address upload, but I had 267 people, so I am sure with 10, you will be fine. You can check mine out if you want to view a sample. OurWeddingDay.Com

                  #10 christie272

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                    Posted 25 July 2007 - 10:00 PM


                    I'm getting married in punta cana next month, at the paradisus palma real. I used dw.com and I had a great experience with it. My travel agent was very helpful on finding me prices for the resorts for myself and my guests. The biggest reason I chose them is because they offer the payment plan. That way my guests didn't have to come up with the lump sum all at once. I didn't have to pay anything else after the initial $50.

                    And I didn't have to pay any extra for the wedding coordinator. Her name is Kelly Hunt, and she is also helpful and quick with returning e-mails.

                    Hopefully that helps a little. If you have any other questions let me know.


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