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#451 maridr2012

maridr2012
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  • 251 posts

    Posted 19 January 2012 - 07:13 PM

    PPC brides:  I need to know if any of you have had your reception at El Romantico or any of the terraces (not including the pool)?  We are still considering the possibility of privatizing El Romantico restaurant for our reception, but the few pics I've seen do not impress me!  Looks like they have yellow curtains, which is soooo not in my color theme.  Is there enough space for dancing?  The entrance to this restaurant is beautiful, but my guests wont be outside the entire time!  LOL.  If you've had your reception at one of the terraces,  how did that turn out?  Did you have to get ambience lighting or chinese lanterns?  Did they include the white veil sheets hanging from the ceiling I see in so many pics?  

     

    Also, have any of you used RSE dj services?  I was actually told by the Romance Department that DJ Mania has been getting unfavorable reviews from many couples because they show up late, don't know what playlists to use even though they were already provided by the couples, etc.  So, RSE is another preferred vendor company for PPC and they will not charge an extra fee since they are preferred, AND they're a bit cheaper.  Can any of you share any feedback if you've use RSE?

     

     



    #452 trivera5521

    trivera5521
    • Jr. Member
    • 470 posts

      Posted 20 January 2012 - 06:29 AM

      Mari, we are doing site visits next month. Did they charge you an extra fee for the taste testing? Also, any chance you have a list of questions that you may have taken with you from venue to venue that are imperative to ask? Oh and what other resorts did you see during your site visit? I have 5 on my list and need to cut one out b/c of time. I have PPC, Melia Caribe, Ocean Blue, Barcelo Punta Cana, Barcelo Bavaro Palace. Suggestions?

       

      Originally Posted by maridr2012 

      @trivera5521:  Thanks for the info on Theresa's service fees!  Her rate doesn't sound too bad actually, I thought it'd be more.  However; I think I'm going to pass on getting an additional planner.  Right now I'm in "lock down saving mode", so EVERY penny counts.  

       

       

      PPC brides:  I did speak with the Romance department in Miami, specifically with Marilyn who is the manager, regarding the new external vendor fee they added.  She confirmed this is true; however the fee would only apply to external vendors if you booked your wedding @ PPC in 2012.  Luckily, I booked my wedding in Dec 2011 (for 2012) so I am excluded from this.

       

      Also, my FI and I decided that we are having a maximum of 70 people, thats it (I still think too much but I'm letting it go).  Anyway, I've been so stressed out trying to figure out where to have our reception because according to all the documents I've received the maximum capacity in most of their spaces is only 60 people, and I thought we'd have to go with the ballroom which I really disliked or worse yet, have to privatize a restaurant which would be a minimum of an additional $5,000 (for El Romantico) and as high as $9,000 (for the Gabi restaurant).  These options were EXTREMELY worrisome to me because once you privatize a restaurant, you are not able to apply a wedding package to it, you have to itemize absolutely everything (except the food and drinks).  Needless to say...I wanted to cry everytime I thought about it.  

       

      Anyway, I had a call with Veronica from the Miami office to go over these issues because I didnt want to have to privatize a restaurant but wasnt quite sure how to calculate everything correctly using their budget calculator file.  After my call today I feel much better; we will continue our conversation tomorrow because she had to leave the office.  She did explain several things to me and told me the pool terrace AND foyer/terraces which say "maximum capacity 60 people" can actually fit about 72 people.  Granted, it'll be a little tight, but its do-able.  

       

      Here is my suggestion to all PPC brides that are doing a site inspection..I'm offering this up because it's a lesson learned for me:  Try to get your hands on the most recent budget calculator from PPC BEFORE you go for your site inspection (get it from the Romance Dept in Miami which is their headquarters).  Also, when you are at the property doing your inspection, do a tasting from the plated menu AND the buffet menu.  We only tasted the plated menu, but really like the pool terrace for our reception and plated menu is NOT an option there because there are no restaurants near the pool terrace.  So, if we do it there we are forced to have a buffet style meal and we didnt get to taste the wedding menu for buffet style!  Also, during your site inspection, ask, ask, ask, and ask some more!  Ask anything and everything!  Now looking back, I wish I would've asked about space constraints with dance floor added, extra lighting fixture costs, seeing examples of their centerpieces (if you choose to get if from them), see the space for a semi-private rehearsal dinner, etc.  Just keep asking questions and dont be afraid to speak up!

       

      Hope this helps you all in some way.  As I continue to get information, I will share!



       



      #453 maridr2012

      maridr2012
      • Jr. Member
      • 251 posts

        Posted 20 January 2012 - 07:41 AM

        Hi Tamara.  

         

        The "official" site inspection does have a fee; it's a package they call "Love at First Sight".  I booked mine thru my travel agent at DestinationWeddings.com, and if I recall correctly it was about $700 or so and if I recall correctly it requires a minimum 2 night stay..  You can contact the Romance Department in Miami and ask them about the "Love at First Site" package and see what the fee will be.  Its a non-refundable fee, but if you decide to book your wedding with PPC that amount will be applied towards the total cost of your wedding.  Anyway, this gets you a scheduled appointment to meet with Miguelina (or whoever the wedding coordinator is that day), go over prices, options, date & time availability, and check for availability of the ceremony & reception space, etc. You also go over menu options and select your tastings during this appointment as its included in this package.  This is where I would suggest asking to do a tasting of a few PLATED menu selections AND BUFFET menu selections.  I do know for a fact that the PLATED menu options are not on the regular menus for the restaurants...I think it's the same for the BUFFET, but I'm not sure.   I must admit I was NOT very well prepared for this because I wasn't sure of where I wanted the reception due to uncertainty of # of guests, which hindered me from making the decision to taste buffet vs plated...just ask to do both!  Having as clear a vision as possible of your day is something you should DEF know ahead of time.  Try to envision of what you want your wedding to be like (casual, formal), location, colors.  After your sit-down appointment with Miguelina, you go on a guided tour of the entire property with her or one of her assistants.  They take you to every space where they do ceremonies and receptions.  Take lots and lots of pics of these spaces.  The spaces are NOT set up for a wedding, but if you stay there for at least 1 night you definitely are able to get a peek at what a wedding looks like because surely there will be one during your stay.  They also will take you on a tour of the Royal rooms and the Reserve Rooms, and all the different restaurants.  With the "Love at First Sight" package, you're supposed to get a coupon for the spa for about 15% or 20%...use it!  You want to be sure of who will be doing your hair and makeup...I took advantage of that and booked a blow-out since I have curly typical Dominican hair which isnt very easy to deal with..I was fully satisfied and knew that if they could blow out my hair straight they would have no problem with doing that AND an up-do.  Also, in the package you're supposed to get a bottle of champagne and fruit platter delivered to your room on the first night.  Neither the spa coupon OR bottle of champagne was provided to me until I spoke up on my 2nd day.  They were apologetic and said there was some kind of miscommunication on their end.  If you do the Love at First Sight package, I would highly suggest calling the hotel directly yourself or go thru the Miami Romance department to confirm the hotel itself has all of the information on you so their wont be any miscommunications when you get there.  Lastly, Miguelina will schedule a wedding menu meal tasting (based on your selections from your meeting with her) during your stay for dinner.  It's ALOT of food, but its only the entrees, not the h'ors doeuvres.    Try to get a taste of as much as you can i.e. chicken, fish, steak, vegetarian option so you'll know exactly what your guests will be getting.  I don't have a documented list of questions I asked, but in my opinion, key things to ask about are:  extra fees for anything and everything (photographer, videographer, flowers, dj) space constraints, backup plans, upgrades to rooms, time limitations of events, rehearsal dinner spaces and reservations and fees for those, all those extra little things that add up like OOT bag delivery to rooms, any penalty fees for ANYTHING, OMG theres so much! 

         

         

        Regarding which hotels I suggest to cut out, this of course is very subjective..but I would say don't bother with Ocean Blue.  Its just around the corner from PPC, only about 5 min away by car.  I really did not like this property.  It was very small, the ceremony spaces were very limited and very public - they didnt offer much privacy at all.  I was completely unimpressed with this property.  It just seemed VERY average and a little low-budget to be honest.  I was told by a few folks that the Melia Caribe/Tropical and PPC and Paradisus Palma Real are the 3 biggest resorts in Punta Cana.  This proved to be very true.  All of the other resorts were just too small for my taste, lol..I didnt want to run into the same people day after day around every corner!  Please know that Melia actually owns PPC and PPR...so you're going to get great quality for all 3.  Melia Caribe in my opinion is a resort you should DEF see.  I found their customer service to be wonderful...but the property didnt offer that fun tropical feel as much as PPC did, in my opinion.  I  did NOT visit any of the Bavaro properties so I can't advise you on those, sorry!  I based my site visits on what my travel agent recommended for my needs/wishes and the many many blogs, youtube videos, and pics on the internet.

         

        Its alot to take in when you go on your site inspections.  The PPC official site inspection does cost some $, but you get it back at the end if you do book with them.  The meal tasting is totally worth it.  The other resorts did not due wedding menu meal tastings, they will let you try their food but its just from their regular menus.



        #454 thePYT

        thePYT
        • Newbie
        • 40 posts

          Posted 20 January 2012 - 10:45 AM

          @maridr2012 VERY HELPFUL information! Thank you!

           

          We were initially expecting 100 people and privatized Luna which has capacity for up to 200 people. You can have a plated or buffet reception. White linens and premium open bar are also included. The major downside is the the chairs have to be upgraded (unless you are ok with the restaurant chairs) at a cost of $10 each. Centerpieces also add up quickly as they're not included. The restaurant has wood floors and overlooks the beach on some sides. 

           

          I'm curious to hear your thoughts on Luna based on your visit. From what I can tell based on the pictures, the outside entrance isn't the prettiest (bright yellow paint om steps and/or a ramp?) but it looked nice in the upgraded shots. The issue is the cost to upgrade. 

           

          I am planning to visit next month so your post couldn't have been more timely!

           

          Originally Posted by maridr2012 

          @trivera5521:  Thanks for the info on Theresa's service fees!  Her rate doesn't sound too bad actually, I thought it'd be more.  However; I think I'm going to pass on getting an additional planner.  Right now I'm in "lock down saving mode", so EVERY penny counts.  

           

           

          PPC brides:  I did speak with the Romance department in Miami, specifically with Marilyn who is the manager, regarding the new external vendor fee they added.  She confirmed this is true; however the fee would only apply to external vendors if you booked your wedding @ PPC in 2012.  Luckily, I booked my wedding in Dec 2011 (for 2012) so I am excluded from this.

           

          Also, my FI and I decided that we are having a maximum of 70 people, thats it (I still think too much but I'm letting it go).  Anyway, I've been so stressed out trying to figure out where to have our reception because according to all the documents I've received the maximum capacity in most of their spaces is only 60 people, and I thought we'd have to go with the ballroom which I really disliked or worse yet, have to privatize a restaurant which would be a minimum of an additional $5,000 (for El Romantico) and as high as $9,000 (for the Gabi restaurant).  These options were EXTREMELY worrisome to me because once you privatize a restaurant, you are not able to apply a wedding package to it, you have to itemize absolutely everything (except the food and drinks).  Needless to say...I wanted to cry everytime I thought about it.  

           

          Anyway, I had a call with Veronica from the Miami office to go over these issues because I didnt want to have to privatize a restaurant but wasnt quite sure how to calculate everything correctly using their budget calculator file.  After my call today I feel much better; we will continue our conversation tomorrow because she had to leave the office.  She did explain several things to me and told me the pool terrace AND foyer/terraces which say "maximum capacity 60 people" can actually fit about 72 people.  Granted, it'll be a little tight, but its do-able.  

           

          Here is my suggestion to all PPC brides that are doing a site inspection..I'm offering this up because it's a lesson learned for me:  Try to get your hands on the most recent budget calculator from PPC BEFORE you go for your site inspection (get it from the Romance Dept in Miami which is their headquarters).  Also, when you are at the property doing your inspection, do a tasting from the plated menu AND the buffet menu.  We only tasted the plated menu, but really like the pool terrace for our reception and plated menu is NOT an option there because there are no restaurants near the pool terrace.  So, if we do it there we are forced to have a buffet style meal and we didnt get to taste the wedding menu for buffet style!  Also, during your site inspection, ask, ask, ask, and ask some more!  Ask anything and everything!  Now looking back, I wish I would've asked about space constraints with dance floor added, extra lighting fixture costs, seeing examples of their centerpieces (if you choose to get if from them), see the space for a semi-private rehearsal dinner, etc.  Just keep asking questions and dont be afraid to speak up!

           

          Hope this helps you all in some way.  As I continue to get information, I will share!



           

           



          #455 thePYT

          thePYT
          • Newbie
          • 40 posts

            Posted 20 January 2012 - 10:51 AM

            Interested in the same answers as we have booked the new preferred DJ as well. He is supposed to be sending a sample mix to us via email. 
             

            Originally Posted by maridr2012 

            PPC brides:  I need to know if any of you have had your reception at El Romantico or any of the terraces (not including the pool)?  We are still considering the possibility of privatizing El Romantico restaurant for our reception, but the few pics I've seen do not impress me!  Looks like they have yellow curtains, which is soooo not in my color theme.  Is there enough space for dancing?  The entrance to this restaurant is beautiful, but my guests wont be outside the entire time!  LOL.  If you've had your reception at one of the terraces,  how did that turn out?  Did you have to get ambience lighting or chinese lanterns?  Did they include the white veil sheets hanging from the ceiling I see in so many pics?  

             

            Also, have any of you used RSE dj services?  I was actually told by the Romance Department that DJ Mania has been getting unfavorable reviews from many couples because they show up late, don't know what playlists to use even though they were already provided by the couples, etc.  So, RSE is another preferred vendor company for PPC and they will not charge an extra fee since they are preferred, AND they're a bit cheaper.  Can any of you share any feedback if you've use RSE?

             

             



             

             



            #456 maridr2012

            maridr2012
            • Jr. Member
            • 251 posts

              Posted 20 January 2012 - 01:08 PM

              @ thePYT:  How did you get in touch with him?  I cant seem to find RSE anywhere on the internet!  Do you have their website address or email address?  I'd love to hear the sample mix too!  



              #457 cdc150

              cdc150
              • Jr. Member
              • 332 posts

                Posted 20 January 2012 - 01:21 PM

                I am using him as well and Miguelina gave me a list to fill out of introductions and songs for the beginning of the night and we could attach a song list, ours was about 3 pages of songs.  You should ask her for it!
                 

                Originally Posted by maridr2012 

                @ thePYT:  How did you get in touch with him?  I cant seem to find RSE anywhere on the internet!  Do you have their website address or email address?  I'd love to hear the sample mix too!  



                 



                #458 maridr2012

                maridr2012
                • Jr. Member
                • 251 posts

                  Posted 20 January 2012 - 01:22 PM

                  @ CDC150:  Thanks for that tip!  I'm asking the Romance Department for that list right away!



                  #459 trivera5521

                  trivera5521
                  • Jr. Member
                  • 470 posts

                    Posted 20 January 2012 - 02:10 PM

                    Can you guys share what the rates are for RSE? How many hours?



                    #460 cdc150

                    cdc150
                    • Jr. Member
                    • 332 posts

                      Posted 20 January 2012 - 02:27 PM

                      $225 per hour  :)  plus tax  :(
                       

                      Originally Posted by trivera5521 

                      Can you guys share what the rates are for RSE? How many hours?



                       






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