WEDDING REVIEW: 26TH MARCH 2010 .
ULTIMATE WEDDING PACKAGE = $2,760.00
SET UP CHARGE $3 PER PERSON (WE HAD 15 PEOPLE IN TOTAL) = $56.25 INC TAX
CAKE UPGRADE $50 + TAX = $55.50
TOTAL = $2,871.75
BLOOD WORK: $175 PER COUPLE
JUDGES TRANSPORT FEE: $60
MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE TRANSLATION: $120
26TH MARCH 2010
PRE-WEDDING EMAIL COMMUNICATION: 5/10
Due to distance and prices from the UK there was never an option of a site visit so we did the whole thing â€œblindâ€ which added to both the stress and the excitement.
We booked our wedding date with Dreams shortly after we were engaged, 20 months in advance because we really wanted our specific date. Natalia said we were lucky to get our specific date and when we told her how far ahead we booked she said this is the only way to be assured the date you want at this time of year.
With this in mind communication really was slow and stressful because it was so far ahead of time.
In those early days I got the majority of my info from this forum. The communication got much better closer to the date but often things were lost in translation or frustratingly vague. Several pieces of information we were given turned out to be incorrect when we arrived at Dreams. They do work very hard but this is an issue that needs to be addressed. All my communications from 9 months out were with Aurora but my actual WC in the resort was Natalia. I believe it would be a better system to have couples assigned to an individual WC that deals with you from start to finish.
PREPARATION OF WEDDING OUTFITS: 8/10
I requested the outfits be returned 2 days before the wedding in case of any issues. I just sent my dress as the train was detachable and pleated with a diamante floral detail which I didnâ€™t trust them with.
I had requested with Natalia and pinned instructions to my garment bag that the dress was to be delivered back to my sisters room due to reading on here a few brides who were gutted when there dress was hung in full view in there room for the groom to see. Natalia said it would be laid out on the bed with a sheet covering it. Im so glad I sent it to my sisters room and highly recommend this to all of you cos they just hung my dress from her bed canopy in plain site. I mentioned this to Natalia and she tried to say it was because it had gone to my sisters room and they didnâ€™t think it would matter but beware, I think this is standard practice.
Other than this both my dress and Davidâ€™s suit were returned in perfect condition.
PRE-WEDDING MEETING WITH WC: 9/10
Natalia had left a welcome letter and appointment at reception for us when we checked in. We met her at 10am the next day. You just need your passports, birth certificate and tourist visa, bring your witnesses with passports and tourist visas, they only need to be there for about 10 minutes. You will also be taken for your bloodwork if itâ€™s a legal ceremony so bring $175 cash which you pay direct to the Doctor.
It would also be useful to bring your wedding planning file with photos to this meeting.
Natalia walked us around the resort and talked through our choices, locations, preferred setup etc. At this point I would double check locations and timings for other weddings and entertainment scheduled for your day.
We then met Natalia the day before the wedding to review the contract, pay the balance, hand over all our decorations and do our informal rehearsal.
Bring copies of everything, double check your contracts, be prepared for elements of your plans to change slightly. Be prepared to go with the flow. Speak up about extra charges and donâ€™t be afraid to omit things if youâ€™re not happy. When we reviewed our contract we had chosen two floral arrangements which Aurora had told us were included but actually were $65 + tax extra, we decided not to have them and got the charges removed no problem.
We tried to request the Portofino wine cellar as our rain location but were told by Natalia the manager wouldnâ€™t allow it. It seems to us now that the only rain locations are to hire the seaside grill (conditions and extra charges apply) or use the convention centre.
Luckily for us our wedding day was the warmest, with the clearest skies all week so this issue never crossed my mind but a few days after our wedding we went to see the convention centre in an attempt to review it here. It is locked up unless they are hosting an event so we couldnâ€™t get in but I can honestly say that if you are having a small to medium sized wedding I would certainly consider the convention centre entrance as your covered location.
It is beautiful and very private surrounded by lovely gardens. It reminds me of a smaller version of the lobby with a semi circle arch balustrade with steps leading up to it and a floral display in the back. You approach it past the spa through a lovely tree lined pathway. I donâ€™t know if this is a possibility but I would certainly recommend considering it. As I understand it there is no extra charge for using the inside of the convention centre so provided there is not another wedding inside I cant imagine why they would charge to use the entrance. You would also be able to string lights up and I think it could really be made to look spectacular. Not sure if anyone has ever used this area before but if not I think Dreams are missing an opportunity.
TREE LINED PATHWAY TO CONVENTION CENTRE
CONVENTION CENTRE AND SURROUNDING GARDENS
SIDE VIEW OF TERRACE
MORE TO COME....
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