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#611 cdc150

cdc150
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    Posted 22 August 2012 - 09:19 AM

    Hey Ladies,

     

    I wanted to put my two cents in since I have seen all 3 types of weddings at my stay at the PPC. 

     

    GAZEBO:

    It's small.  For a small wedding they squeeze chairs inside and it looks cramped.  For a larger wedding they have them on the grass leading to the gazebo which is tiny as well.  As far as crowds go, this is a quieter area of the resort, as most of the activities are on the middle or other end of the beach.  Building 30 is right there, which is where I stayed, and there is very little foot traffic as the restaurants, activities, and Royal Service are on the other end.  You also get the breeze from the ocean.  

     

    BEACH:

    I would recommend getting married on the beach in a heartbeat.  I walked through the gazebo down the beach to the ceremony. There are 2 other locations to get married on the beach, but they are closer to all the action, push for a wedding by the gazebo.   I had a big puffy dress and just got sand in my train when walking, which shook off easily. My dress got the dirtiest walking around on the concrete.  And it was gross by the end.  Make sure when you get dress altered that you tell her that you will be barefoot and you won't get sand caught in it.    I was also so sweaty by the end (gross I know) that my dress kept slipping down which caused it to drag.  

     

    Because there is very little foot traffic in the area, you will only get people walking along the beach that may cut in front of your wedding.  Getting married in the middle of the day it is HOT, like super gross hot.  I didn't see that many people walking along the beach then.  I got married at 6:30 when there were a lot of people walking.  90% of people were respectful and moved on.  I did get some tourists taking pictures and the staff and photographer asked them to keep it moving.   Also on the beach at noon you'll at least get a breeze which you will want because it is HOT.  I would have stayed on the beach for the reception, but sand fleas come out at night

     

    GARDEN: 

    Very pretty, I think the least private. The garden is close to the main lobby, anyone there can see what's going on you probably won't have them walking by but there will be gawkers. You have noisy, smelly golf carts driving by.  There is no breeze up this way, and did I mention it is HOT?  Your dress will turn black at the bottom from dragging it along the concrete and grass.  My reception was a the pool and my dress was an awful mess by the end.   Also there is no breeze away from the beach and everyone was a disgusting sweaty mess at my reception which was at 8p, cause it's HOT.  

     

    Also, if you are going to have your ceremony there, I would just have your cocktail hour there.  The trek back to the gazebo is 10-15 minutes, and with everyone dressed up, it's going to be a sweaty walk.  The will provide transportation, but with a lot of guests, not everyone will fit.  I had 56 guests and I wound up walking to the reception so people could get a ride who needed it.  

     

    Here is a pic from the Gazebo looking onto the beach, where we had our wedding.  

     

     



    Thank you for the info! Very helpful... you have a point that it's nice to keep everyone together. I'm having right around 50 people so I know that will be a concern for me as well. I didn't realize that the resort was 96 acres?! I just read that. Holy cow. With doing the ceremony in the garden, it seems like the biggest thing is getting people to/from the cocktail hour. The good thing is all my wedding colors will "go" no matter what location I choose- I'm just doing sage green, light brown/goldish color, ivory and a light coral/peach.

     

    Haha too funny about your dress! What kind of material is your gown? I can definitely see how you wouldn't want to get sand on something so nice. Mine is lace (with just a silk layer underneath) so sand would be pretty easy to shake out (heard it's hard to get it out of the organza and other "fluffy" layers). Have you decided on everything (bouquet, cake, etc etc)? I had my power planning meeting but I still wasn't sure about a lot of the items. I can say that I've narrowed things down usually between 2 items (for instance, I was chooseing between white rose bouquet for simplicity and colored lilies for tropical). Also, are you bringing/shipping boxes of items with you? I have been checking with my airline (American) and it looks like I can bring boxes or totes along with items. Most of my stuff I am taking is lightweight- but it's bulky and/or has more volume than weight. I'm just curious how others are bringing items (if at all!)

     

    I feel confident in having the cocktail at the gazebo- that's a beautiful spot. I feel like the only way I'm going to feel comfortable that it will be private is to have it in the garden area. You are right- there's too many people on the beach just hanging around and it seems like a big risk to run- especially with my ceremony at noon.



    #612 maridr2012

    maridr2012
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      Posted 22 August 2012 - 02:36 PM

      Hi SimplenSweet.  My dress is made of silk taffeta.  It's really light weight, and the train wont be very long so I'm hoping it'll be ok. It's not terribly fluffy - it does have some ruffles but no crenoline or anything underneath it.  I think I would die if it did, I can barely wear pantyhose because I find them so uncomfortable, much less a big poofy dress, lol!   I did decide on a cake - I liked #9 of their Wedding Cake album.  I'm going with the white rose bouquet for my flowers since I felt colorful flowers would be overkill with my dress and plus its one of their basic bouquets which is included in my package - why spend the extra $ if I already like it, you know?  My bridesmaids will get a bouquet with some color.  My colors are lime green and watermelon pink, a few touches of orange and tans as a neutral.  I'm undecided still if I'm shipping boxes or I'm giving my bridesmaids each a box to bring down with them.  I don't know how many boxes exactly I'd be bringing - I've been super behind on putting together all my items.  It'll mostly be stuff like the OOT bag stuffers, tealight candles, candleholders, my raffia fan programs, and a few other decorative items.  I know it saves $$ to bring as much as possible but with you but honestly I don't want to deal with lugging around a bunch of extra luggage, having to pay for that extra baggage on the flight (we're not flying first class),  etc.  We also are honeymooning in the DR for a full week after our wedding about 2 hrs away from Punta Cana and I didn't want to drag all that stuff with me.  So...hopefully there won't be too much too ship back after the wedding.  I'd rather have the peace of mind that it ships to & from and not have to carry it all with me.  I was told though by the WC that I should use a company called CPS they refer clients to.  When I contacted their Miami office they said I'd have to work with their DR office but they would be the liasion and facilitate it esp since I don't want to call DR and pay long distance fees.  CPS Miami told me if I am going to ship things, I need to ship it at least a full month before the wedding as things get stuck in customs.  Everyone I've talked to has told me NOT to use Fedex, DHL etc as there isnt anyone to claim your boxes in DR should it get stuck in customs which apparently happens frequently.  But, with CPS apparently its safer since they have a DR person there to claim it?  Also, the CPS Miami lady told me to make sure I take price tix off everything I'm shipping b/c DR will try tax you if they see alot of $$ on your items.  And, she also said to try to spread out what i have amongst several boxes, mixing it up in each.  All little tips so I won't get taxed.

      Originally Posted by SimplenSweet 

      Thank you for the info! Very helpful... you have a point that it's nice to keep everyone together. I'm having right around 50 people so I know that will be a concern for me as well. I didn't realize that the resort was 96 acres?! I just read that. Holy cow. With doing the ceremony in the garden, it seems like the biggest thing is getting people to/from the cocktail hour. The good thing is all my wedding colors will "go" no matter what location I choose- I'm just doing sage green, light brown/goldish color, ivory and a light coral/peach.

       

      Haha too funny about your dress! What kind of material is your gown? I can definitely see how you wouldn't want to get sand on something so nice. Mine is lace (with just a silk layer underneath) so sand would be pretty easy to shake out (heard it's hard to get it out of the organza and other "fluffy" layers). Have you decided on everything (bouquet, cake, etc etc)? I had my power planning meeting but I still wasn't sure about a lot of the items. I can say that I've narrowed things down usually between 2 items (for instance, I was chooseing between white rose bouquet for simplicity and colored lilies for tropical). Also, are you bringing/shipping boxes of items with you? I have been checking with my airline (American) and it looks like I can bring boxes or totes along with items. Most of my stuff I am taking is lightweight- but it's bulky and/or has more volume than weight. I'm just curious how others are bringing items (if at all!)

       

      I feel confident in having the cocktail at the gazebo- that's a beautiful spot. I feel like the only way I'm going to feel comfortable that it will be private is to have it in the garden area. You are right- there's too many people on the beach just hanging around and it seems like a big risk to run- especially with my ceremony at noon.



      #613 maridr2012

      maridr2012
      • Jr. Member
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        Posted 22 August 2012 - 02:39 PM

        By the way, when I was there in early Dec last yr the weather wasn't too hot at all, I actually kinda wished it would've been a bit warmer.  The weather was about low 80's, it was never so hot that I was sweating or anything.  But, CDC got married in April so her experience was obviously different.  November is technically still hurricane season (which runs from June - Nov!), but my parents, who are from DR, have assured me the hurricanes and bad rainstorms typically are done and over with by early October.  So, I'm hoping there won't be any bad rainstorms, or the weather won't be too hot and humid for my Nov. 9th wedding!



        #614 SimplenSweet

        SimplenSweet
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          Posted 23 August 2012 - 08:30 AM

          Hey laides! thanks for all of the feedback! It's very helpful. My fiance and I can't help but be baffled that they don't have one single location that is outside that they can guarantee complete privacy.

           

          -the garden location is beside of a main road? why??? it is a beautiful location but why is it out in the middle of possibly the most busy part of the resort.

          -the beach does not have a special place that there is no one walking around (more acceptable and makes more sense that they cannot do this). also, my biggest pet peeve is being lied to- and they had told me from the main hotel (wherever the WC in miami converses with) that the beach location is "all the same" and "the photographer is the one who makes it appears different". lies! lol

          -the gazebo is nice, but like one of the women above posted, it is small and hard to accomodate a lot of guests- again why is this? I continue to be baffled at the random white fence around the gazebo which limits the amount of guests and sets a "barrier" if you cannot fit all your guests inside the fence. just so strange.

           

          -I am currently pushing for another garden location that is more private. It is a 96 acre resort- there has to be a more remote garden setting than beside of the main entrance to the place. I did find pics that show a very small ceremony beside of the mangrove pond, and it was very pretty (lots of tree overhang and looked private and romantic- in my own eyes of course) but I dont' know if all my guests will fit in that area- that's the only problem.

           

          sorry, this is my rant of the day. I really need to go blow off some steam about this.

          all I want is a pretty, PRIVATE , and outdoor setting. I don't think that is too much to ask for from a place that specializes in lush, beautiful gardens and has 96 acres to work with.

           

          thank you all for all of your help- it is very helpful!!!!



          #615 ElegantChic

          ElegantChic
          • Newbie
          • 4 posts

            Posted 23 August 2012 - 09:08 AM

            Too funny.  I am a December 1, 2012 bride and am just really starting to focus on the details of the wedding (I know, I know) but am extremely frustrated.  I thought the idea of a destination wedding would limit my stress but that doesn't seem to be the case.  I'm very visual and haven't visited the resort so I'm torn between the beach and the "Garden Gazebo" which is what I'm currently confirmed for.  I haven't had my planning call just yet but I have a million questions about what's actually included in the decor with the packages.  Are the flowers in the pictures along the aisle included or extra?  If you have reception on the beach did you need to rent a dance floor?  I saw someone posted sand fleas come out at night and that scares me.  My wedding is at 2:00 with the cocktail hour at 4 and reception from 5-8; should I be nervous about sand fleas?  SimplenSweet, I agree, I'm a little overwhelmed by all the decisions and mixed messages.  If anyone has additional insight please no I'm open to opinions and advise



            #616 cdc150

            cdc150
            • Jr. Member
            • 332 posts

              Posted 23 August 2012 - 12:13 PM

              Originally Posted by ElegantChic 

              Too funny.  I am a December 1, 2012 bride and am just really starting to focus on the details of the wedding (I know, I know) but am extremely frustrated.  I thought the idea of a destination wedding would limit my stress but that doesn't seem to be the case.  I'm very visual and haven't visited the resort so I'm torn between the beach and the "Garden Gazebo" which is what I'm currently confirmed for.  I haven't had my planning call just yet but I have a million questions about what's actually included in the decor with the packages.  Are the flowers in the pictures along the aisle included or extra?  If you have reception on the beach did you need to rent a dance floor?  I saw someone posted sand fleas come out at night and that scares me.  My wedding is at 2:00 with the cocktail hour at 4 and reception from 5-8; should I be nervous about sand fleas?  SimplenSweet, I agree, I'm a little overwhelmed by all the decisions and mixed messages.  If anyone has additional insight please no I'm open to opinions and advise

              Hi ElegantChic,

               

              The old wedding planner at PPC is the one who told me about sand fleas and they are brutal!  I am so glad I didn't have my reception there.  A couple nights after our wedding my husband and I had dinner on the beach at sunset.  It was beautiful but dinner finished after dark and we had hundreds of bites between the two of us.  My husbands went away in about a week but mine lasted 3 weeks!  Teresa advised us to have our cocktail hour/reception at the pool and although there were mosquitoes, I'm glad my guests were spared from the sand fleas.  You also don't need to rent a dance floor at the pool, which was a big cost saver.  

               

              Hope this helps!

               

              Cortney



              #617 ElegantChic

              ElegantChic
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              • 4 posts

                Posted 23 August 2012 - 12:34 PM

                Yes, VERY HELPFUL!!!!  Thank you.  That just helped me make one important decision.  I just happened to come across this website in an arbitrary search for ideas and it's been my favorite resource so far.  The information is helpful and the first hand stories and advise is priceless.  Thank you ladies for sharing your experiences!  I'm sure I'll have more questions soon.



                #618 SimplenSweet

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                • 56 posts

                  Posted 23 August 2012 - 12:57 PM

                  HEy ElegantChic! Good to meet you. I too, planned a DW for the "ease" of it all... and also to have it in a beautiful place where our friends and family could have a nice vacation if they wanted to come along. I can only really give feedback on my experience.... my WC got switched a month or two into the process (I only booked on June 1st after getting engaged in May) and thank goodness for that because my first WC in Miami was a nightmare, and now the one I have, Jessica Bianca, is AWESOME. I'm not sure who you have? 

                   

                  I am doing the Fantasy package, which includes the ceremony and cocktail hour for $10 people for a total of $1500. For each additional guest, it's a $40 charge. So, for my 50 guests I'm up to another $1600. Then, they charge you $500 to reserve the gazebo (even if nobody else's wedding is booked on your day- which is my case) and I tried fighting them about that for awhile... I ended up conceeding that battle. I also booked my own pastor (Pastor York) myself (just pay him $350 the day of the ceremony). The resort tried to charge me the fee for THEM booking him, which was false and I eventually got them to drop the $150 dollar charge. Anything that you want that isn't included in your package is a STEEP charge. For instance, to change out the canopy from the fantasy one to the chill out (not changing any other decorations) was $100 plus tax. little things like this really add up....

                   

                  I am definitely doing my cocktail hour at the gazebo, because it's really pretty set up for cocktail hour.. but I'm still trying to decide where to have the ceremony. My fiance just wants privacy.. and I want it outside and pretty. I can't believe there's not a mix of the three...it seems like you can get 2 out of the 3 but never 3 out of the 3. (aka, private and inside, or pretty and outside but not private...) *sigh!*

                   

                  Because of all of these random charges, I am bringing a lot of my own things. I've learned from these blogs other bride's experiences and I've been able to call out the wedding romance department several times on things that they eventually dropped the charges to... 

                   

                  For my reception, we're doing La Barcaza, the wedding boat. THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER. It's like $60/head for dinner/drinks and you cruise for 3 hours. Not only that, but the woman, Flori is so nice and accomodating and I haven't worried about a single thing about the boat. Literally the best decision I've made about the wedding so far. 

                   

                  I wish you luck in your planning. I am NOT a planner at all but I've enjoyed it (besides dealing with the resort and it's ridiculousness) more than I thought I would. 



                  #619 LoriOlivia

                  LoriOlivia
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                  • 35 posts

                    Posted 24 August 2012 - 06:53 AM

                    Thanks everyone who answered my earlier questions about the pastor and the advice for our love at first site trip.

                    I have a few more if anyone knows:

                     

                     

                    I just had my "romance coordinator" changed a few days ago to Bianca Cincu... is this the same Jessica Bianca? 

                    Does anyone know if you get your hair and make up done in your room or at the spa and can anyone tell me if the bridal suite is worth it?

                    Do you have any flexibility scheduling how long after your ceremony the cocktail hour/reception starts?

                    If your buy and bring things down for the wedding (place cards, luminaries, silk petals for the aisle, did anyone have trouble having these things set up the actual day of?

                    What about gift bags for the guests, should we just pay them to deliver them ((85 guests/43 rooms booked).

                    Ok and now I am getting freaked out about these sand fleas, because BUGS LOVE ME.  Our wedding is in January which is the driest month and I was hoping that meant less mosquitos/bugs...  Does anyone know if this is seasonal?

                     

                    Thank you in advance you all have been great!!



                    #620 cdc150

                    cdc150
                    • Jr. Member
                    • 332 posts

                      Posted 24 August 2012 - 07:33 AM

                      Originally Posted by LoriOlivia 

                      Thanks everyone who answered my earlier questions about the pastor and the advice for our love at first site trip.

                      I have a few more if anyone knows:

                       

                       

                      I just had my "romance coordinator" changed a few days ago to Bianca Cincu... is this the same Jessica Bianca? 

                      Does anyone know if you get your hair and make up done in your room or at the spa and can anyone tell me if the bridal suite is worth it?

                      Do you have any flexibility scheduling how long after your ceremony the cocktail hour/reception starts?

                      If your buy and bring things down for the wedding (place cards, luminaries, silk petals for the aisle, did anyone have trouble having these things set up the actual day of?

                      What about gift bags for the guests, should we just pay them to deliver them ((85 guests/43 rooms booked).

                      Ok and now I am getting freaked out about these sand fleas, because BUGS LOVE ME.  Our wedding is in January which is the driest month and I was hoping that meant less mosquitos/bugs...  Does anyone know if this is seasonal?

                       

                      Thank you in advance you all have been great!!

                      Hi LoriOlivia,

                       

                       I will answer what I can. 

                       

                      I got the bridal suite and thought it was great.  We all got our hair and makeup done in the room, the food was good and it was a great room for pics.  I had 6 girls, including myself, so we needed the space.  If you have a smaller group, getting everything done in the spa shouldn't be a problem.  There are 3 girls who do hair and makeup at the spa who will come to the suite if book it.  

                       

                      As long as there aren't any other weddings at the same time, you should be able to decide when you want your cocktail hour and reception to start.  

                       

                      I brought a huge duffel bag of extras down and the wedding coordinator down there set everything up for me.  I just handed it to her and it was done perfectly when I walked into my reception.  The girls down there are great and will do everything they can to make your day lok perfect.

                       

                      I handed my welcome bags out myself.  It was a pain because my husband and I carried around bags every night trying to find everyone.  I didn't trust the front desk to do it, the people there spoke broken english and trying to get them to match the lists of guests I thought it was more likely that everyone got them from us.  If you have a welcome dinner/drinks I would just bring them there and hand them out.  

                       

                      Sand fleas are a year round problem.  If you stay off the beach at night you shouldn't have a problem.  






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