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#741 LoriOlivia

LoriOlivia
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    Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:48 AM

    Hey Ladies

     

    Can anyone who has gotten the bridal suite suggest which of the "canap©s " are best?

    Seems like an odd selection to me.

     

    Thanks!



    #742 maridr2012

    maridr2012
    • Jr. Member
    • 251 posts

      Posted 19 November 2012 - 06:50 AM

      Hey ladies.  I'm back from my wedding at PPC and can finally give you all a review of my experience.  Hmm....where to start?  There are so many details so I'll try my best to cover all, but if you have any questions feel free to ask as I may not have touched on it.  I know we've all read it so many times on here, but truly and honestly, the Romance Teams know exactly what they're doing.  They are wonderful, they will walk you thru everything once you get there, review things again, are willing to make changes as needed, will calm all your nerves, etc.  I booked everything thru the Miami office (ASK ME) but upon arrival I worked with Jennifer Alvarez the onsite Wedding Manager, and Miguelina, the WC.  Both are absolute dolls, especially Miguelina.  I really took a liking to her and Im going to send a letter to the Melia HQ office letting them know how much of a gem she truly is.  Ok...here's the run down...it's going to be lengthy!

       

      Arrival/Check In:  I arrived on Tuesday Nov 6th, and upon check in I was greeted by Jennifer, the Wedding Mgr.  She welcomed me with a big hug, told me leave all my worries behind and she and her team would make sure our big day would be perfect.  She gave me a quick tour of where the reception would be because although I had selected the space we had to make a last minute change.  So we selected the Convention Terrace - perfect for what I wanted.  She told me I would have a meeting with Miguelina on Thursday to review last minute things/changes, and then departed so I can move on and settle in.  Upon check in my husband and I were upgraded to the Reserve section which I had requested a few weeks prior.  We had booked a Standard room because we pretty much knew we would be upgraded as the bridal couple so why pay the extra fee?  And since I had already done a site visit almost a year prior, I knew that is where I wanted to be, I didn't want the Royal rooms - my personal opinon was that it just wasnt worth it, they are basically the Standard rooms (which are lovely by the way) but with a decor I really didn't care for as I found it tacky, but the Royal Rooms are closest to the beach.  It didn't matter to me, because we had no issue with hopping on a trolley or walking - the weather is gorgeous there, may as well soak it all in!  The Reserve section really is so beautiful, its all pretty new, the rooms are gorgeous, an awesome private pool, just fabulous.  Since we had a group booking of 50+  I knew we'd probably get some extra perks and a bit more special treatment, so I had also requested upgrades for both sets of parents.  Unfortunately they said none were available which kinda sucked...but it all worked out...keep on reading.  His parents arrived at same time we did, and they were assigned a Standard Room as they had booked.  They got to their room and loved it.  The next day, my parents arrived and so did some more of our guests. This is where we hit a small bump.  My mom is a diabetic, she needs insulin everyday, and carries her insulin with  her whenever she travels.  Don't ask me why, but when she arrived at the resort she left her bags/luggage with the bellboy which is standard practice but for whatever reason she took out her insulin which was in a clear ziplock bag and put it on top of her luggage.  I think she thought she would need to show it to them on check in with her prescription note just as you have to do at the airport.  So my parents check in, they're assigned a Standard Room no prob, and are told the bellboy will deliver their luggage. No issue, right?  My folks decide to go eat lunch as their room isnt quite ready yet, and about an hr later go to their room where their bags are.  Problem....the insulin is missing.  I go to the Front Desk to report it, perhaps it was misplaced by bellboy, and am told not to worry they will look for it and will deliver it upon finding it.  The entire night goes by..no word.  Now, Mom is supposed to have insulin in the evening but obviously missed her dose b/c of it missing, but she's feeling pretty good.  The next morning I go back to Front Desk for an update and a sense of urgency, and am told by the Front Desk Supervisor that anything left outside of their immediate lobby isnt their responsibility, and no insulin was found, the bellboys said they never saw any insulin, so when I asked to check the cameras because SOMEBODY took it they said they dont have cameras in that area.  Funny how its the hotel's policy to leave your bags with the bellboys while you check in but now its not their responsibility because its not in the immediate lobby checkin in desk?  WTF?!  Ummm...I took a deep breath, and before I knew it, my then fiancee pretty much lost it and blew up.  Let me backtrack a bit...in addition to now her 3 vials of insulin missing which she needs to live..literally...the rooms are folks had been assigned was in an area that turns out had a septic issue so it stunk to high heaven.  So...he's pissed.  Long story short, after almost 3 hours of back and forth discussions--err---arguing with hotel management and my husband threatening to expose the situation on his tv network (he's in tv production for major news networks), AND threatening legal action if something should happen to my mom - diabetic coma - remember she already missed a dose, they got their ish together and purchased 3 new vials of insulin for her, had it delivered to her room within 1 hour of him threatening them, all at their expense.  Thank God I had called my mom's dr and asked them to give her a full list of all her meds with dosages and a doctor's note confirming this is what she takes, otherwise it wouldve been more of an issue.  So...that part of the issue was resolved...but what about the septic issue you may ask?  Well, the resort got on the ball after he made a big stink, and they upgraded pretty much our ENTIRE party over to the Reserve...not just our parents.  Turns out some of our other guests that had checked in were near the septic issue area...so they were all moved that morning.  Only a few remained in the Standard Rooms, but that was their choice b/c they didnt want to have to packup  and move, and they werent close to the septic issue area...but if they wanted to they also wouldve been upgraded for free.   So...the resort cleaned up their act and rectified what they had screwed up on.



      #743 maridr2012

      maridr2012
      • Jr. Member
      • 251 posts

        Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:34 AM

        Ok...so moving on...after that chaos things were pretty much smooth sailing.    

         

        Welcome Cocktail Party:  On Wednesday 11/7 we had a Welcome Cocktail Party for all of our guests that had checked in already.  We were advised to do NOT do this the same day as rehearsal dinner because that evening you'll already be busy.  The cocktail party was at no cost to us as we had a group contract/booking, so that was one of the comp kickbacks we got.  So glad we got this and did it.. By then there were about 30 people from our party, it was a great opportunity for guests who didnt know each other to become acquainted.  We had the Welcome Cocktail party at the Romance Garden - an outdoor space just past the lobby on the right and across from the gym, we had it at 6 pm.  It was perfect, they provided a private bartender, hot and cold h'ors doeuvres - all chef's choice but they were all yummy - the only thing I asked for was no pork of any kind due to my parent's religious dietary restrictions and that wish was respected.  The Cocktail Party was supposed to be 1.5 hr  but it went about 2 hrs because everyone was having so much fun.  And...although I had already paid for the OOT bags to be delivered to the rooms the night of each party's check in, with the room changes that occured that wasnt possible so they sent a bellboy to my room to pickup bags and deliver them to the Cocktail Party, and I handed out each bag to the guests there..it turned out better this way, it was more personal.  The remaining bags for those that were checking in Thursday forward were delivered to those guests by the hotel (the WC took charge of those) and they credited me back for the ones I handed out myself.  The cost was $3 per bag.  I will suggest however if you have any outdoor events planned, especially at night...bring mosquito repellent!!!!  And save yourself from having to hear people complain about the mosquito bites because they forgot to spray themselves...bring a few large cans of the repellent spray to your outdoor event and have it handy so folks can spray themselves.  It was a lifesaver for us and was very much appreciated by our guests!

         

        Rehearsal & Rehearsal Dinner:  Thursday 11/8 -  On Wednesday night I learned that 6 of my guests would not be coming to the wedding.  This included my best friend/maid of honor who's father had suddenly passed away the night before she was supposed to fly out, and turns out the burial would be the day of my wedding.  So she, nor her sister and their spouses would be coming.  And, another couple decided last minute not to come because of an urgent issue that happened and prevented them from flying out.  I was upset, naturally b/c I really wanted these folks there, but also b/c I had already paid for their seats/meals, and that $ is non-refundable!  But when I explained it all to Miguelina that morning at our final meeting she said not to worry and we found ways to use that $ in form of a credit.  We made a few changes to the reception - we added some mood lighting, added sashes to the chairs, etc.  All of which I probably should've had from the beginning so it worked out fine.  She also helped me make changes to the seating arrangements.  Here's a tip, DO NOT write the table #s on our seating cards until the day before the wedding or you can just let Miguelina take care of writing them on the card...for this very same reason...you may have to make last minute changes.  Good thing I hadn't typed/written the table assigment on each couple's escort card!

         

        Our ceremony space was the beach gazebo, but it was not available for rehearsal as their was a wedding that day.  No prob, they had us do rehearsal in the Romance Foyer (which is also a space used for ceremony, reception, etc.) and is just around the corner from the main lobby near the Romance Office. Rehearsal was conducted by Miguelina, she was very patient with our group which were all chatterboxes and a bit unfocused, lol.  She got us together and made us pay attention, we went thru rehearsal 3 or 4 times.  She assured us she would be there the day of the ceremony guiding us thru everything just in case we forgot.  Immediately after rehearsal we had Rehearsal Dinner at Vento Restaurant which is in the Reserve area.  Originally we had asked for rehearsal dinner at the Romantico Restaurant - a pretty restaurant they also have with flamingos outside but that was closed for construction so thats why they offered Vento which I agreed to immediately since we had dined there the year prior on our site visit and loved the food.  This space was perfect for our rehearsal dinner.  They seated us in a private room they have in the back, I had already selected a fixed menu a few days before and this again was at no cost to us.  If you have a group over 20 its something like $15 per person extra over the 20, we had exactly 22 so it was only $30 for us, I didn't mind that at all especially given the level of service and attention we received and it was so well organized.  I disagree with some of the advice that other reviewers on this forum have offered - to not bother reserving a space for your rehearsal dinner.  In my opinion...if you have a somewhat large group for your rehearsal dinner like I did, this is a necessity.  You don't want your group wondering where they're supposed to go, or you having to give that any thought when you arrive or the day of...you want to enjoy your time!  It also helped that I had printed up an itinerary specifically for the wedding party with info on important events, including this the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.  It really was just so much more helpful, and plus the privacy you'll have is key especially when there are speeches being made, and your group might be loud chatter boxes and jokesters once that wine, champagne, and cocktails start rolling around.  We had rehearsal dinner only for our immediate family, the wedding party and their date/spouse.  All of the other guests (by now all 50 had checked in) were on their own for dinner that night...which was fine because we all met up after for drinks, casino, etc.  My husband made a touching speech at Rehearsal Dinner, my dad did a prayer over dinner, and we gave our wedding party gifts at rehearsal dinner.  



        #744 mariel12

        mariel12
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        • 18 posts

          Posted 19 November 2012 - 08:44 AM

          so glad that everything worked out for you and the entire party! and thank you for sharing and for all the detailed information! cant wait to see pictures!



          #745 mariel12

          mariel12
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            Posted 19 November 2012 - 08:49 AM

            hi ladies!

             

            I'm just about ready to send out invites for our wedding of june 14, 2013. i was wondering if there were any information, fun travel tips, etc that you guys included in your invites which the guests found particularly helpful or cool to have? the design i chose is a suite that includes the regular invite, rsvp card, travel tips card & accommodations or reception dinner menu options card. i just feel like there's so many additional cards! lol. so i wanted to gather your opinions. should i just stick with the regular invite & rsvp card this early on which will be send out to everyone and then wait for the replies and send add'l cards to those who have confirmed attendance. or should i just do everything at once and get it done with? i like having the add'l cards included i love that it gives the invites a bit more of a formal feel to it. it's just a bit more tricky knowing what to include or what not to include this early on since we havent finalized our itinerary for the wedding & the events yet. thank you for your help as always! xo



            #746 mariel12

            mariel12
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              Posted 19 November 2012 - 08:54 AM

              sorry i also forgot to ask too: how far in advance did you guys find it helpful to set the RSVP date for? thnx!



              #747 SexyCebuana

              SexyCebuana
              • Newbie
              • 58 posts
              • Wedding Date:November 19, 2013
              • Wedding Location:Paradisus Punta Cana

              Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:24 PM

              Originally Posted by LoriOlivia 

              Hi Sexy Cubana!

              We decided to get married at 4pm in January based on the photographers recommendations for the best lighting.  He explained to us that if the sun is too high overhead it creates a lot of shadows which isn't flattering for anyone.  Sunset in late January is about 620p.

               

              The other thing to consider is the later in the day the less people on the beach gawking!!

               

              Not sure what the weather is like in November but when we did our site visit in September it was brutally hot in the middle of the day.

               

              Have you decided to go with the resort photographer?  I was just ask them if pictures are your biggest concern.  They know best.

              Hey LoriOlivia!

              I also thought later in the day would be better so I confirmed my ceremony for 4 pm as well :) I'm thinking about going with the resort photographer (Arrecife) because they know where all the best spots are for pictures and also the best for sunset pictures. Have you confirmed with the resort photographer? I've been in contact with them and they have been great with responding quickly to my emails. 



              #748 SexyCebuana

              SexyCebuana
              • Newbie
              • 58 posts
              • Wedding Date:November 19, 2013
              • Wedding Location:Paradisus Punta Cana

              Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:29 PM

              Originally Posted by mariel12 

              hi ladies!

               

              I'm just about ready to send out invites for our wedding of june 14, 2013. i was wondering if there were any information, fun travel tips, etc that you guys included in your invites which the guests found particularly helpful or cool to have? the design i chose is a suite that includes the regular invite, rsvp card, travel tips card & accommodations or reception dinner menu options card. i just feel like there's so many additional cards! lol. so i wanted to gather your opinions. should i just stick with the regular invite & rsvp card this early on which will be send out to everyone and then wait for the replies and send add'l cards to those who have confirmed attendance. or should i just do everything at once and get it done with? i like having the add'l cards included i love that it gives the invites a bit more of a formal feel to it. it's just a bit more tricky knowing what to include or what not to include this early on since we havent finalized our itinerary for the wedding & the events yet. thank you for your help as always! xo

              Hi Mariel,

              My wedding is a year from today and I've already started looking at invitations! When I was getting quotes for pocket invitations with an rsvp/information card, it was getting a little pricey. So I decided I was gonna use the knot.com to make a wedding website with all the information related to the wedding, including the RSVP (an email notification is sent to me when anyone rsvps). It was more cost effective for me and will save some trees :)  So I went with a much simpler invite with was half the cost. If you wanna check out my wedding website go to www.joseenandluke.ourwedding.com 



              #749 maridr2012

              maridr2012
              • Jr. Member
              • 251 posts

                Posted 19 November 2012 - 09:21 PM

                Ladies: my computer froze up as I was typing up the most important review- the wedding day! So here goes. Getting Ready: Fri Nov 9th in the am - we all had breakfast at the Gabi Club, meaning pretty much all our guests. Everyone decided to lounge at the Reserve pool until it was time to get ready instead of the beach as this would be in close proximity to everyone's room and nobody would need to worry about sand on them etc. my bridesmaids and I as well as both moms left the pool at about 11 am to gather our things and head over to the Bridal Suite where I had booked appts for us in months prior. I booked the bridal suite from 12-4 pm, and we had 3 stylists dedicated to us for hair and makeup. Girls, if you have anything more than 3-4 girls getting ready I swear u really should bite the bullet and get the bridal suite. It really is so well worth it. The room is lovely- its actually a re- purposed Royal Suite room except without the bed and decorated a bit differently. You won't have to worry about people having their stuff all over, it'll actually help to keep things more calm and organized, you'll have the undivided attention of your stylists and won't have to worry about anyone seeing you before ur big reveal at the actual wedding! You basically stay there until its wedding time, get dressed there and everything. The price is only like $269 USD with tax so it's not terribly bad. They had arranged and waiting for us champagne, OJ, pineapple juice, water, fresh fruit, I selected the caviar canap©, cheese skewer, guacamole canap©, and a mushroom cheese tart or something which basically tasted like quiche. These were all lovely but after a while we needed something a bit more substantial so we ordered room service for hot food with a cost of $5 USD for delivery - same as the cost for actual rooms. The stylists were great. They had books where we could each select our hairstyle but we all pretty much knew what we wanted and I had my iPad with me with several pics of the style I wanted. My mother in law wasn't thrilled with her hairstyle after it'd been done so the stylist re-did it in a new style with a smile on her face the entire time,she was gracious and didn't mind re-doing it at all. They didn't speak much English but everyone managed to communicate well. The hairstyles were $100 pp which all the girls paid themselves. Makeup was $35 pp and that was part of my gift to them all. My hair and makeup was free as it was included in my pkg. One watch out I have is if you can help it, bring your own makeup ESPECIALLY if your a brown skinned girl like me. As mentioned I had already done a site vist almost a yr prior so I I knew what to expect and came prepared by bringing all my own makeup and tools, brushes. They use some sort of European brand makeup which the color tones worked great for my MIL and bridesmaids as they are very fair skinned but NOT for me and my mom. I had gone to the MAC makeup counter a few days prior to leaving for the DR and worked with a girl who always sells me my makeup. I explained to her I was getting married and needed to be prepared to bring my own makeup and know how to apply it using the right techniques, just in case. She worked with me to create a look, I took several pics as she did it and she also wrote on a diagram the colors she used on me. I purchased a lot of it (some basics I already had like foundation, powder etc). So, the day of the wedding when I saw the products they were working with I pulled out my stash and diagram, pics etc and it was easy from there. The stylist who was doing my makeup said it was a good idea I'd done that. We used my makeup for my look as well as my moms with some different color eyeshadow and lipsticks for each. Also, we all brought false eyelashes which they applied for us but they told us there was a $5 application fee and they waived it. The photography and videography company we hired was HDC, Milan was our photographer. He was absolutely great. He arrived to the bridal suite around 3:45 pm after shooting the guys getting ready. I barely noticed he was there, he was so non intrusive. He asked me to do some poses solo, some with the girls and my mom, he did shots of the gown, shoes, rings and flowers which Miguelina had delivered by then, and the rest were all candid shots. I've already received the DVDs and they all came out amazing. I highly recommend HDC, so glad I chose them. Miguelina sent a trolley for us at 4:20 (ceremony was at 4:30) so we were right on schedule. Ceremony: 4:30 pm. As promised, Miguelina was there at the beach gazebo and organized us all quickly and discreetly. The guys were all waiting at the alter already. I had provided her with a playlist on an iPod of songs to play during the ceremony as they only have very classic and traditional songs o select from. All of my songs were played on queue perfectly. The gazebo was decorated beautifully. I selected the Aqua pkg but switched the linen selection to the Fantasy- all white linens with green touches and white and green pomanders in the aisle. They did a great job with decor. There were some gawkers and onlookers naturally but they were respectful and stayed out of the way. We had gotten legally married in the states a few days prior to leaving to the DR so our ceremony would be symbolic. Pastor York was unavailable for our day but he recommended a Dominican Pastor - Pastor Torribio Francisco but he only speaks Spanish. This actually worked well for me as some of my relatives only speak Spanish. Jennifer, the onsite Wedding Mgr translated everything word for word in English during the ceremony. We also did a sand ceremony. All in all, the ceremony lasted about 30 minutes. The weather fully cooperated, it wasn't too hot and there was a nice breeze from the ocean. Immediately after the ceremony and the receiving line the photographer took a couple of shots of the entire group on the beach which I'll be using in my thank you cards. We hired the Domincan music trio to play during cocktail hour which was great, everyone loved it. While everyone enjoyed cocktail hour - in the area just next to the gazebo, we did wedding party pics, immediate family pics, and bride groom pics on the beach. There were some gawkers and clueless folks walking behind us as we were trying to take pics but the photographer politely asked them to please move it along or get outta the way. The sun started to set at about 620 pm, right in time for cocktail hour wrap up. 2 trolleys were sent for my guests to transport them to the Reception which was great so they wouldn't have to wait and ride with the other beach patrons. Reception: 6:30 pm - 10:30 pm in the Convention Terrace (basically behind the lobby but totally private and outta sight). The DJ company we hired was RSE a preferred vendor of PPC. The MC organized our group for the intros, by now all our guests were seated. After intros we immediately moved into 1st dance which the dj suprised us with a small fireworks display during our 1st dance, then father daughter, then mother son dances. It felt a bit rushed but the DJ suggested we do it that way so the photographer could get the pics before we started to get hot and sweaty from the partying. I surveyed the room and it really was decorated beautifully. The floral centerpieces were gorgeous. Miguelina arranged the escort cards beautifully and had even gone as far as making place cards so each guest knew exactly where to sit at the table according to the seating chart I put together. After the dances dinner started - we had a seated dinner menu of caprese salad as starter, a choice of grilled lobster, veal chop, or chicken cordon bleu, some dancing, then best man speech, more dancing, and dessert - chocolate pie and wedding cake. The wedding cake was pretty and tasted good. I chose a 3 layer vanilla cake (the 3rd layer was $50 extra but i wanted it for the pics) with a dulce de leche filling ($3 pp extra for this filling). The only drawback was i had selected a slighly different cake decor but at that point it was too late and frankly they had thrown in several unexpected freebies like extra seashells and candles on the cake table for decor, a free centerpiece for our sweetheart table and several other little things i really couldnt complain. RSE did a great job of sticking to my requested songs and added great songs of their own selection-they totally got the vibe we wanted and they also respected our Do Not Play list. Although the weather wasn't terribly hot or muggy that evening, it did get warm after a while with all the lights and dancing. I had arranged for extra fans to be placed around the too and am glad I did, it helped to cool things off. The Convention Terrace has 1 open wall so some humidity did get in, the fans were totally necessary. We had already extended our reception to 4 hrs with an end time of 10:30 (the pkgs are only for 3 hrs but knowing my group I knew we'd need that 4th hr). We were having such a great time that we ended up asking the photographer and videographer to stay another hr as well which was extra $ but we really wanted to capture these moments. I ended up leaving the reception around 9:30 to change out of my gown into my post party dress. I originally planned to wait until after the reception to change but I was so darn hot I had to do it sooner. 2 of my girlfriends came to my room with me to help me outta my dress, it peeled off that's how sweaty I was lol. I came back a short while later feeling much cooler and refreshed and got right back to dancing. The reception ended at 10:30 pm, we all moved over to the main lobby and later the disco. It was an amazing night. It was a pretty good feeling when I read some of the Facebook posts by some of our guests saying things like " Best wedding ever!!" and other great compliments. I will post pics of several parts of the day later tomorrow. I know this was long although I said I'd try to keep it short but I wanted to give a full comprehensive review of how it all went down. Hopefully this was helpful to some of you!

                #750 maridr2012

                maridr2012
                • Jr. Member
                • 251 posts

                  Posted 21 November 2012 - 06:04 AM

                  I had a few minutes to go thru some of the pro pics, below are some pics showing the gazebo setup for my 50 guests, and a few at the reception at the Convention Terrace.  There are soooo many pics to go thru that I hope these shed a bit of light on the setups.  I'll go thru some more later today and share them as well.

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   






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