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Paradisus Punta Cana (PPC) Brides POST HERE!!

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How did everything go with your wedding?! For the spa, I'm planning on tipping 20% if all goes well.


Can any of you give advice on booking group excursions? I am planning to do an atv excursion with about 25 guests and would like to book it in advance, but I'm having a hard time finding places online. I asked, Bianca, my WC, but she said that the hotel does not book excursions and referred me to Connect Travel Services, but they look real expensive for customized/privatized tours and they don't even have atvs on their list of tours. I'm arriving to PPC 5 days before the intended excursion date but am worried that the tour companies may be booked and/or can not accommodate 25 of my guests at the same time. I've been to Punta Cana many times and have been on these excursions, but I can not find any of them online!

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GraceL,

 

I did lots of research on various tours.  Look on Tripadvisor as that is always my savior for travels.  Here are a few top rated that we came across below.  We head down on Dec 3rd so will see you down there! Can't wait.

 

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g3176298-d3803334-Reviews-Catamaran_Teresa_Private_Tours-Bavaro_Punta_Cana_La_Altagracia_Province_Dominica.html

 
 
 
 
 
 

How did everything go with your wedding?! For the spa, I'm planning on tipping 20% if all goes well.


Can any of you give advice on booking group excursions? I am planning to do an atv excursion with about 25 guests and would like to book it in advance, but I'm having a hard time finding places online. I asked, Bianca, my WC, but she said that the hotel does not book excursions and referred me to Connect Travel Services, but they look real expensive for customized/privatized tours and they don't even have atvs on their list of tours. I'm arriving to PPC 5 days before the intended excursion date but am worried that the tour companies may be booked and/or can not accommodate 25 of my guests at the same time. I've been to Punta Cana many times and have been on these excursions, but I can not find any of them online!

 

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Hi Ladies,

 

I just got back from my wedding on December 5th, and I have to say that it was everything I dreamt of and then some more.  We had 59 guests join us for the celebration.  I debated between resorts and after working with Nanda from Beach Bum Vacation, she pointed me in the right direction by recommending this resort.  Nanda was great in organizing the travel for our guests and everyone made it there without any issues if you are looking for a travel guide.  

 
When we first walked up, I was blown away with the lobby because it is just gorgeous.  There are live flamingos, a huge Christmas tree for the holidays and they welcome you with a cocktail in hand.  I read previously that check-in takes a long time so I was mentally prepped for it.  My fiancé and I arrived were upgraded to the Royal Service (ask your coordinator about this before arrival) so we ended up going to a completely different area to check-in.  Royal Service was very nice. We received an upgraded room with beautiful decor, our own butler and several other perks including access to a private pool and restaurants for these members only.  Make sure to book any activities or restaurants you would like to eat at upon arrival or in advance because they tend to book up.  Bana got great reviews which is the Japanese Steakhouse and so did the Venta.  If you want to pay for a great meal then Passions is supposed to be excellent.  The private Royal Service restaurant on the beach was complemented by one of my guests as well. I was so busy entertaining that I did not have the chance to try these but from what I heard...these are good ones.  Gabi Beach has a great beach view for breakfast as they serve a buffet.  The bartenders are very attentive at the resort, and they don't stiff you with the drinks...that is for sure. 
 
The resort is itself is very large and you will be lost for the first few days but it is just stunning and not a bad place to be lost. The landscaping is unreal and everyone just LOVED it (and I have some picky reviewers but it was all positive feedback from my guests).  They really keep this place flawless. There is a great beach with volleyball courts, blue water, tiki lounge chairs and white sand. The main pool has a swim-up bar and the pool is very large.    
 
One of the best things about Paradisus Punta Cana besides the landscape is the entertainment.  They offer yoga on the beach, spin class with bikes in the pool, all types of other classes and activities.  The shows at night were a highlight.  One night they had a great Michael Jackson show and another night they had full moon beach party with a giant light-up robot and dancers.  My guests loved it.   I have nothing but great things to say about this resort for couples and friends looking for an excellent vacation spot.
 
Onto the wedding...If you are a planner like I am then it can be a bit of a challenge with the communication due to "island time" but even then your day will still turn out amazing. Just try to remain organized yet don't stress. I made an itinerary which I put in bean bags I handed out for my guests which was a good thing since it is tough to communicate via phone because the wifi is spotty.  I also emailed this out before I left for the trip to all my guests so they knew where to be for the first night's dinner, welcome cocktail hour and wedding.  
 
I made dinner reservation for 20 guests for the first night we arrived.  Make sure to double check on this with the front bc it was not in the system but they still organized it for us and it worked out great.  We had our own little area at Naos, and they had live music entertainment that night so it was a wonderful welcome dinner.  The second night I hosted a welcome cocktail at Gabi Beach since the majority of guests were arriving.  Gabi Beach at night is just beautiful with their glowing modern chairs on the beach.  
 
The day before the wedding you will meet with your onsite coordinator and review all the details in the Romance Office.  
The day of the wedding I rented out the bridal suite for my bridesmaids, and it was well worth doing.  Once we all got ready at bridal suite after drinking our champagne and eating our hors d'oeuvres, we took pictures with the onsite photographer.  The ceremony was beautiful, and we lucked out on the weather because it was pouring the day before. The day was flawless, and we had the symbolic sand ceremony at the gazebo at 3:30 PM. We had a two hour break to take pictures while our guests relaxed at M Bar.  The after party was by the pool area which was stunning with the lighting as the sun went down.  The beach area does not offer as much privacy as the pool area for the reception because it is right by the walkway for those brides who are debating between locations but they are both beautiful.
 
The best decision I made for my group who likes to dance and party was to hire H.O.T.S. production and get the crazy hour guys on stilts.  My family didn't want me to do it and joked about it being a kids birthday party but afterwards they said they loved it.  The crazy hour got the crowd dancing and there was not a single person sitting at the table when they came (even though that is not too hard to do with my dancing group).  The crazy hour people handed out the glow-necklaces I brought down to Punta Cana and then they brought their own white balloons and masks for the guests.  The crazy hour was the topic of conversation and it put the celebration over the top.  The DJ did a great job with the playlist I provided him. The cake really popped with my rhinestone initial cake topper and the rhinestones around it.  We covered the tables with candles, and it was magical.  We did the Caribbean buffet which was ok but the desserts were yum.  I ended up extending my reception to four hours instead of the standard three hours because the time flies by so quickly (which you will have to arrange days prior with the coordinator).  The night was finished up at the disco.  The day could not have gone more perfectly. All I can say is that don't let the little things get to you (I could not find my garter so we just made one lat minute) because it is not worth the stress and enjoy every minute because the weekend will go by so fast.  I want to go back already.  :)
 
You can see preview pictures at the gallery link below. 

 

http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com/gallery/album/17919-paradisus-punta-cana-wedding/

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HI Ladies! Im 5 months away and I just had my planning call with Bianca. How as coordinating with Andrea the decor person. She doesn't return emails very well. Also did any brides get the tailor made package? Did you guys have any ppl book on their own. I havent notified anyone but I think I may be over my package amount. Do they really count how many people are there? How much was it to rent the bridal suite? What time did it get dark?

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AHHHH, I'm getting married in 24 days!!!

How excited are you? :) How has the planning process been thus far? any advise for us future brides?

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Ladies, I'm back from my wedding (13 days ago!!) and overall am very happy with my decision to do it at the Paradisus. It was the best day of my life so far!!

 

 

My on-site coordinator was Beatriz Rosa and she and Miguelina (who is very pregnant) both were there making sure things were going as planned. Beatriz is very organized and made me feel confident that she was going to execute everything as planned.

Miguelina is her boss and again, also very nice and you can tell that they take their jobs seriously.

 

It has been said before but the grounds of this hotel are incredible. I mean, I really felt like I was in the middle of a botanical garden. The place is picturesque and my now husband (haha) and I walked in both directions every morning on the beach, and rest assured that the paradisus punta cana is the best looking hotel from the beach.

 

On to the details:

 

Friday night - I reserved room for 20 of my family and bridal party at the GRILL restaurant for dinner. The food was good and the wine kept flowing. The salad and dessert portions will be buffet style but for your main course the servers come around to take your orders.

The only complaint that I have here - I was told that I would have 2 long tables for my 20 guests but when we arrived there were 3 round tables. The configuration was bad because my new in-laws had to sit at the table that wasn't near ours. Just weird but I didnt pay for this so I didnt feel like I was in a position to complain and also to have them arrange the square tables. I would make sure that you tripple check the seating arrangement for your rehearsal dinner if you do this.

 

Saturday Night - We did the tailor made package that includes the BBQ. We made sure that everyone of our guests dressed in white and made it an all white party on the Beach. This event was just so cool and we are both really glad we could do this. The food was pretty good too and the bar was great. They had servers coming around taking beverage orders for all of the tables which I didn't know they would do, so that was nice. We paid for the ipod hook up and I was glad we did because this way we were able to set the tone for the party. Everyone was so happy and taking photos. Again, Beatriz was there for most of the event.

We paid to have vases with seashells and candles on each of the tables, they were nice but could not stay light up because the beach is so windy.

 

Sunday - The big day had arrived!!

I arranged to have ANNA NUET (hairstylist and makeup artist) come and do my makeup as well as the bridal party. I did A lot of negotiating with the Miami coordinator to remove the $1000 outside vendor fee for Anna because 1. i didn't want some random person at the spa to do my hair and makeup 2. I read ALL of the contracts and no where did it specifically state that hair and makeup artists were considered outside vendors. Make sure you read all of your papers very carefully. I worked with Jessica from the Miami office and just pushed very hard on this point. I told them that this was not negotiable for me as hair and makeup is quite a personal choice that I should be allowed to make. Anyway, I paid the 120 fee for her day pass only.

Anna Nuet is AMAZING, I was soooo happy to have her there. She worked fast and remained calm despite us running about 1 hour late. It was my hair that delayed everything because I have a ton of hair. She's worth the money and the fight with the hotel. I felt the prettiest I've ever felt.

 

A little about the spa - my mother in law and 2 of my nieces had their hair done at the spa and they actually did a great job! So don't be too worried about this.

I paid for the rental of the bridal suite to get ready form 9 am to 5pm and I'm glad I did. They had a really beautiful set up of food and champagne/water and OJ for us. Plus we ordered room service which is included inside the resort. Bridal suite rental was $300. I'm sure if you have a lot of people coming to the hotel, you could also negotiate to have this fee reduced and or removed. 

 

We took photos of the first look, family and bridal party before the ceremony. This was fine except that because everyone was delayed from my hair delay, then some of the women who were still getting their hair done during bridal party photos were a bit late. We ended up doing the photos in the Lobby because the sun is too harsh for photos in any of the open spaces of the resort before 5pm. We did some photos on the beach after the ceremony with the balance of the guests.

 

The ceremony set up on the beach was perfect. Gold tiffany chairs, the included brown lanterns (plus and extra $30 for the candles), ivory drapes.

I paid for an extra table to have brushes for my guests to de-sand. They added a bunch of staging decor items to that table and I was so happy they did this. Everyone was saying how nice it looked.

I also brought with me some Burlap fabric and a "shoe Valet" sign for guests to leave their shoes. Again, Beatriz set up all of this stuff and didnt charge me extra.

 

Our officiant was the woman you may have seen in the paradisus albums, she has short hair. She was incredible and I'm so sad I can't remember her name! She read the ceremony so beautifully and also read our letters to her speaking to "why I love my mr. fashionista and Why he loves me". We saw this in a wedding and loved this set up instead of us reading our own vows. At the end of reading our letters, she actually was crying! How amazing is that?! The ceremony was my most favorite part of our wedding and I will never forget it.

 

For the cocktail hour - we decided to do it right next to the ceremony location on the beach. We paid for some lounge furniture to provide some seating for the older family. It was great. In the tailor made package, there are also 4 high-boy tables for guests to rest their drinks.

We had some extra money (from some last minute cancellations) and decided to pay for a signature cocktail. We chose strawberry mojito and it was worth the money. All of the guests loved it and it was different enough from what they had all been drinking in the rest of the resort. We brought out own signage. We also paid for the Ipod hookup for the cocktail hour which is nice because the cocktail hour is longer than 1 full hour.

 

For the reception - we decided to do this next to the pool. We paid for the master of ceremony and DJ. They were Ok, in the beginning during the formalities of speeches, cake cutting and first dances the music and the pace is slower. But eventually after dinner the party got really good and then the crazy hour happened which was a lot of fun. It feels like Mardi-gras! lol

but it was good because it gave everyone a second wind and it just a fun time.

Our cake, which we paid for fondant and 3 tiers was beautiful but a lot smaller than I thought it was going to be. I barely ate cake but my brother said the cake flavors we picked were great!

 

They messed up our intro song but it's partly our fault because we didnt give the file to Beatriz until the day before the wedding. They played the wrong version of our song, not the cooler remix I wanted.

 

In Hindsight, I should have paid for the extra hour for the reception. People are not kidding when they tell you how fast time flies. That is my one regret and at this point you've already spent a small fortune so what's a little more? :-)

 

We brought our own menus for Beatriz to place at each place setting.

We brought bathroom kits but wished we hand't because there arent private bathroom for the pool area.

We brought stuff for out of town bags and had Beatriz get us water bottles to add to them. She charged us for each.

 

 

Overall, we loved the hotel and comparing it to the other hotels on the strip of beach near us, we were convinced that we picked one of the best ones. No one from our group was sick from food which I thought was pretty remarkable. The food we found to be the best we've had from other hotels we've visited. Our guests kept telling us how tasty the food was from our events and these are all foodie-type New Yorkers!

 

Advice:

When you get to the hotel, make sure that the people that you want near you in the hotel complex are moved to rooms close to you. I did this during my meeting with Beatriz and was glad I did. The hotel complex is HUGE, so big that they have trolleys and golf carts circling the grounds all day transporting people back and forth.

 

Bring a lot of singles with you! there is a lot of tipping you want to do when you are there. Don't forget this!

 

Remember that when in the DR, you are on island time. Things that take 5 mins in the states take longer to get done in the DR. Be calm and be patient otherwise you'll stress yourself out.

 

Feel confident that your wedding will be put together by people that do this very often. We saw multiple weddings happening and other events happening and the staff knows what they are doing.

 

 

Please write me with any questions you may have. I know how nerve wracking it is to plan a wedding via email but again, these people take their jobs seriously.

 

:P  :D  :)

 

 

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Edited by Nycfashionista
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Just found this blog and it has been a lot of help and has given me a lot of piece of mind about our November 2015 wedding! My own experience has been pretty good so far in dealing with Paradisus in the early stages of planning. I have even already had many conversations with Laura at Caribbean Celebrations on different ideas with the decor and she had been very helpful. My wedding coordinator is Bianca (she is a Miami person) and she has also been very helpful up to this point. It is still early so we have not had an official call yet, but I can post an update when that happens. Any questions or comments, feel free to message me! :D

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