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Kate's Colossal and Massive Paradisus Planning Thread- PIC HEAVY!!!!


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#1 kate&devon

kate&devon
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    Posted 22 June 2010 - 06:39 PM

    Paradisus Punta Cana Wedding Review 6-12-10


    22 People

    Ceremony- Beach Gazebo
    Cocktail Hour- Nova Terrace
    Reception- Gabi Beach

    Travel Agent- Burger Travel A
    All in all she did a god job coordinating and getting everyone on the same flights and gave us an incentive so that was great too

    Airline- Delta A
    No upgrades were available because it was a full flight. But the agent at the desk was extremely nice and helpful for 5 in the morning! Luggage- Delta lets you take checked bags per person on international flight. We had weighed our bags on Wii Fit (lol) at home before we left so we knew we would not go over. We also gave a suitcase to his mom and probably another half a suitcase to my mom. Everything arrived safe and sound too. We hung my dress in the first class closet on both planes. The plane down to Punta Cana was showing Valentine’s Day which I had wanted to see anyway so that was nice.

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    Punta Cana Airport- A+
    Very cute and authentic. No walls, thatched roof open air building. Upon entering the building it started to pour. We were herded towards to ladies with fruit baskets on their heads to take pictures, which you can buy on the way back to the States (they lost ours though cause we were there 2 weeks). We then went on to pay the travel card 10.00 USD per person and then had our passports stamped. Their Customs is not as intense as the States. We then went to luggage carousel and collected our things. There were many men around to help us for a small tip I think we had two guys and tipped them $3 each. We told them our Transfer name and they took us to a representative who told them what bus we were on and they took our bags to the bus.
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    Click the image to open in full size.


    Transfer and Arrival to Paradisus Punta Cana- VIP Travel B
    When they say air-conditioned bus be forewarned it is not the same as in the states. Very hot. It took us maybe 45 minutes to get the PPC because we stopped and dropped off people staying at other resorts. It was very cool to see the other resorts because I had been researching hem for a year and nine months. And every time we stopped I was growing more and more confident of choosing the PPC.
    The Arrival to the PPC was great the anticipation had been met with lush greenery and a spectacular appointed grand lobby with ponds, greenery and ornate statues. When we got off the bus, friendly staff greeted us and I told them our names and that we had been upgraded to Royal Service even tough I saw our names were not on the RS sign. I explained the situation and they called Royal Service and put us in a cart and whisked us away to an air- conditioned smaller lobby and greeted with Champagne. Enrique confirmed with the WC that we were upgraded and explained everything about the resort and what Royal Service consists of.
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    Click the image to open in full size.

    Rooms B
    The rooms were well appointed and clean but could have been cooler. The only reason I am giving them a B is because they had decided to renovate the buildings that I had requested so no ocean view but the rooms they gave us turned out to be in the center of all the action so that was fine. After all, we had an ocean view all day!

    Housekeeping A+
    The housekeeping staff was friendly and awesome! They always had our room clean and more than enough fresh towels. They even set up fresh flowers and rose petals on our bed and in our bathroom on more than one occasion.
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    Click the image to open in full size.

    [IMG]http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs014.ash2/34045_1507391727839_1325681535_1627159_1121245_n.j pg[/IMG

    http://img.weddingco...cker/nlp8wi.png
    For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart.It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.-Judy GarlandBride and...

    #2 AishaB

    AishaB
    • Sr. Member
    • 2,350 posts

      Posted 22 June 2010 - 06:44 PM

      Wow, thanks for the review. Great pics. Congratulations
      BDW the best place for my TYPE A personality!

      #3 kate&devon

      kate&devon
      • Newbie
      • 150 posts

        Posted 22 June 2010 - 07:03 PM

        Restaurants- A

        Overall we were pleasantly surprised by the food and service at the resort. I had not had high hopes after reading a lot of reviews on BDW and Trip Advisor. But, was pleasantly surprised upon eating at many of the restaurants. I have reviewed each Restaurant in order of our favorites:

        Rodizzio A+++

        The best food and service. I think our waiter was named Johnston, he was awesome. I had never been to a Brazilian restaurant before. They bring huge skewers of beef to your table! Turkey, chicken, pork, steak and lamb and cut it right off the skewer. The meat was so awesome and tender.Click the image to open in full size.
        Click the image to open in full size.

        Sakura A+

        Either get there early at 6:30 or make a reservation 2 days in advance (reservations are only available for Royal Service and I think the Reserve guests). This place has a cool sake bar and awesome ambience. It is a traditional style Japanese Steak House. Although it does not have a huge selection the miso soup is probably better than any I have ever had in the states. The sushi and tempura is also great.
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        Click the image to open in full size.

        Gabi Club A++

        The only reason it is ranked after Sakura is because we had our rehearsal dinner there and had a set menu so they were prepared for us! We had 22 people and our menu was calamari, lobster, stuffed chicken with a smoked Gouda sauce, and for dessert and apple pie tart with coconut ice cream. All I can say was WOW; I was blown away by the service. We were triple fisted (LOL!). We were drinking champagne, wine and drinks from the bar and never once were anybody’s glasses empty. The food cam out promptly in courses and there was no lapsed time between the courses. A beautiful display of time management. Very cool vibe as well, reminded me of South Beach.
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        Click the image to open in full size.
        Click the image to open in full size.


        Dolce Vita A
        We ate here a total of three times and ordered take out pizzas a lot. The pizza was awesome along with the Caprese Salad. They had very cool tables out in the middle of the ponds surrounded by flamingos that you had to walk to by way of bridges.

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        Click the image to open in full size.

        Terra A

        We ate here once and weren’t all that hungry. Great salad bar and the steaks although we didn’t eat much were very good

        Royal Service Lounge A

        We ate breakfast here almost every morning that our guests were not there. Fabulous selection, air conditioned and not as busy as the regular buffet due to the fact that it is only available to Royal Service guests. The also had a Tea Time from 4-6 and then drinks and appetizers from 6-8.

        Fuego C

        We had dinner here one night the food and service was ok. The other side doubles as the nightclub after hours.
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        Hibiscus B

        We ate breakfast there with our guests and then the occasional lunch. It was very
        big and a wide selection but some of the cold items (lettuce, cheese, etc) were at room temperature not what we are used to here in the states.

        Marino B

        This is the largest Restaurant and doubles as the lunch buffet during the day. The service was good and the food was just ok.

        Vento C
        Although the service was fantastic the food was very tasteless and they made my hubby go home and change his shoes because they were slides. Too bad his slides probably cost more than most of the men’s close-toed shoes in the restaurant! It seemed like the women were able to wear dirty white flip-flops and jeans while the men had to be dressed to the nines. This restaurant is only available to Royal Service and Reserve guests. If you are a regular guest, it is $30.00 extra per person.

        Qui C

        The service and the food at this restaurant were not very good. We had to ask for more wine and water. They were out of all but 2 appetizers (and it was early!) and my hubby’s meal had absolutely no taste.

        Finally we did not eat at El Romantico so I can’t give it a grade.

        [IMG]http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs014.ash2/34045_1507391727839_1325681535_1627159_1121245_n.j pg[/IMG

        http://img.weddingco...cker/nlp8wi.png
        For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart.It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.-Judy GarlandBride and...

        #4 Sax Lady

        Sax Lady
        • Jr. Member
        • 265 posts

          Posted 22 June 2010 - 07:09 PM

          congrats, great review, looks like you had a great time.

          #5 kate&devon

          kate&devon
          • Newbie
          • 150 posts

            Posted 22 June 2010 - 07:29 PM

            Wedding Manager C- / Wedding Assistant A
            First off let me start by saying that I went through at least 5 different managers in the year that I planned my wedding with the resort. The turnover for that job is very high. But, I did have the same assistant the whole time who, I absolutely loved. Her name was Miguellina. She is awesome and should be running the show but likes to be the assistant because she handles everything in the front of house while the manager is supposed to handle all of the back of house (scheduling and contacting all the brides). The resort really needs to work on planning communication and answering e-mails in a timely matter. I was so stressed out planning my wedding. Because I have past experience in the industry I know how things are handled here in the states and, that is not the way they do things at this resort. They had 42 weddings in June so you are like cattle they heard you in and herd you out. In the states we pamper our brides and make them feel like they are the only ones. I am thankful that I arrived 5 days early. I am also thankful that I have a type A personality and am a control freak and very organized because, I believe that is what saved my wedding. Once everything was in order and they had all my supplies I felt confident.
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            Rehearsal & Dinner B
            While the rehearsal was absolutely useless the dinner was absolutely fantastic. Please see my review of the Gabi Club under the restaurant review.

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            Click the image to open in full size.
            YHI Spa A+++
            Not only did my hubby and I have the best massage of our lives on the beach listening to the crashing waves but, they also did a phenomenal job on our hair and make up for the wedding! We had Maria and although she didn’t speak English she managed to nail what each of us wanted. We had three girls total getting both make up and hair done by just one stylist. They ordered champagne and room service for us while each girl was getting their hair done. I had brought in pictures on my laptop and I think she did better work than the pictures! I would definitely ask for Maria and give her a big tip because she is awesome.
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            My Sis' Hair
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            Candice's hair and makeup
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            My hair getting done (you can see my example picture on the computer in the mirror).

            Flowers A+
            All the girls’ flowers were beautiful. I had my bouquet and the maid of honor’s bouquet and they were exactly as I had described to Miguellina. When they brought them to the Spa they were not wrapped in my ribbon and did not have my diamond buckle but I explained that and they brought them back 15minutes later exactly as I had imagined them. I got single stargazer lilies for my mom, my husband’s mom and his step mom. The men’s leis could have been a lot better. I spent $70.00 each on them and they looked like $20.00 leis. Also the groom’s was supposed to be a lot fuller and different from the best man’s and they looked exactly the same.

            Click the image to open in full size.
            Click the image to open in full size.

            Ceremony A+
            The Ceremony was awesome but how could it not be with the beach and the sea as a backdrop. It was exactly what I had been imagining for 1 year and 9 months.
            Click the image to open in full size.

            [IMG]http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs014.ash2/34045_1507391727839_1325681535_1627159_1121245_n.j pg[/IMG

            http://img.weddingco...cker/nlp8wi.png
            For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart.It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.-Judy GarlandBride and...

            #6 kate&devon

            kate&devon
            • Newbie
            • 150 posts

              Posted 22 June 2010 - 07:41 PM

              Pastor Rick YorkA++
              I am so glad that I decided not to go with the resorts retired judge who performed in Spanish. I had heard and found out about Pastor York through BDW and he was one of the best decisions I made! I worked with him to include poems and readings to make my ceremony unique and special.

              Cocktail Hour A ??

              I thought it was great but I was only there for about 10 minutes of it! We had it at Nova Terrace right next to Lobby Bar. Very cool lighting and loungy furniture. When we had booked in 2009 the Chill Out Chic package included a soft bar with 3 liquors sodas and juices. Sorry girl if you want booze now you will have to pay extra. We had 3 cold appetizers – smoked salmon, Roquefort cheese with nuts and celery and some kind of cheese tarts. I added 2 hot appetizers for $6.00 per person they were coconut breaded shrimp and quesadillas, all were yummy!

              Reception A+
              Everything was great! We had it on the Beach in from of Gabbi beach; our bar was set up in Gabbi Beach. The food was awesome although I barely touched my plate. I upgraded to the “Under the Sea” menu for $10.00 per person. There was so much food! I don’t think my guests even touched the desert table! I had bought cigars from the resort for the guys and had made my own personalized labels with our monograms, which the staff had applied. I also had personalized matches. For the ladies I had purchased pashminas in my wedding color and those were displayed as well. We did our first dance and then mother/son and mother/daughter dance (my dad passed away 5 years ago so I opted to dance with my mamma!). Then we did toasts, ate dinner and then cut the cake. We then moved into Gabi Beach bar to dance. I had brought my ipod and small stereo for music during the cocktail hour, dinner and reception we danced until it was time to leave then the younger crew headed to Red lounge for Reception part 2!!
              Click the image to open in full size.
              Click the image to open in full size.
              Click the image to open in full size.

              Cake A
              The cake was fine. It is what I had described to them. The ribbon looked out of place and over the design but at that point if that was the worst that could go wrong I was fine with that. I knew I wasn’t going to get a spectacular cake creation. It was delicious though!
              Click the image to open in full size.
              Click the image to open in full size.
              Click the image to open in full size.

              [IMG]http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs014.ash2/34045_1507391727839_1325681535_1627159_1121245_n.j pg[/IMG

              http://img.weddingco...cker/nlp8wi.png
              For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart.It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.-Judy GarlandBride and...

              #7 kate&devon

              kate&devon
              • Newbie
              • 150 posts

                Posted 22 June 2010 - 08:00 PM

                Photographer HDC A+++++++++++++++
                Words cannot express how grateful I am to Arnaud and Arturro for capturing the magic of my special day. This was perhaps the BEST decision I have made during the whole planning process. I had originally booked Photo Souvenir but backed out due to lack of communication and booked HDC only 2-3 months before my wedding. Everything happens for a reason and I believe this was they way it was meant to be. I have so many spectacular pictures that it is going to be a difficult task to narrow them down to make slideshows and an album. TRULY AMAZING!!! See for yourself…..

                Click the image to open in full size.
                Click the image to open in full size.
                Click the image to open in full size.
                Click the image to open in full size.
                Click the image to open in full size.
                Click the image to open in full size.
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                Click the image to open in full size.
                Click the image to open in full size.
                Overall Experience A+
                Overall it was the best experience of my life and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I got to spend a week with my closet friends and family members and share a very intimate part of my life with them. Every single person has remarked that is was the best wedding they had ever been to and, I think it will remain that way. It is pretty hard to top a destination wedding in PARADISE with your run of the mill weddings back in your hometown. If you are thinking about having a destination wedding, do yourself a favor and stop thinking about and just do it. You will not be disappointed. The memories and the pictures will be the envy of all your friends back home!!

                [IMG]http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs014.ash2/34045_1507391727839_1325681535_1627159_1121245_n.j pg[/IMG

                http://img.weddingco...cker/nlp8wi.png
                For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart.It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.-Judy GarlandBride and...

                #8 JanineA

                JanineA
                • Sr. Member
                • 2,482 posts

                  Posted 22 June 2010 - 08:05 PM

                  Kate you looked breath taking! Thanks for sharing. You were so beautiful on wedding day and I really liked all the pics of the actual venue, makes me feel like I was there. Very detailed and much appreciated! Thanks and congrats!

                  #9 lovelytlc

                  lovelytlc
                  • Jr. Member
                  • 192 posts

                    Posted 22 June 2010 - 08:16 PM

                    great review Kate.
                    Will you be posting more pictures soon? I would love to see them. I am booked with Photo Souvenir but im considering another photographer.

                    #10 KarenM

                    KarenM
                    • Sr. Member
                    • 1,920 posts

                      Posted 22 June 2010 - 09:26 PM

                      Congratulations Kate! You looked beautiful and it's so great you guys had such a perfect day!




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