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KitCat77

Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe

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Our wedding date is January 10, 2014 at 4pm. We originally were given Jan. 11 as our date but the ceremony would have been at 11am, which just wouldn't have worked for us (not enough time to get ready & too much time to waste before dinner). We chose the Tangerine package, with our ceremony on the beach and dinner in Bar Higuey. We have 40 confirmed guests so far and expect about 10 more. I am waiting for an updated price list- it seems everything goes up each year! We booked using Ixtapa Travel agency and have been offered a few perks. Let me know if you have any questions about anything - we can help each other stay sane!

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Our wedding date is January 10, 2014 at 4pm. We originally were given Jan. 11 as our date but the ceremony would have been at 11am, which just wouldn't have worked for us (not enough time to get ready & too much time to waste before dinner). We chose the Tangerine package, with our ceremony on the beach and dinner in Bar Higuey. We have 40 confirmed guests so far and expect about 10 more. I am waiting for an updated price list- it seems everything goes up each year! We booked using Ixtapa Travel agency and have been offered a few perks. Let me know if you have any questions about anything - we can help each other stay sane!

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Hello! So, I just got married at the Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe! I have been reading this blog for many months and never posted anything until now. I feel like I need to give back since the blog helped me so much with the planning!

 

We got married in the garden gazebo, had a cocktail hour and then a reception in the Ibiza ballroom.

 

In a nutshell, I would highly recommend this resort for a wedding and for a vacation! It exceeded my expectations in every category! My wedding coordinator was Susana. She definitely did a solid job.

 

Here is my advice...

 

Don't underestimate the humidity (especially when it comes to your hair), the wind, and the crowds.

 

We watched many weddings during the week we were there. The weddings on the beach and at the beach gazebo were so windy (on some of the days) and so loud (wind, music around the resort, people). I highly doubt any of the guests were comfortable, let alone heard anything! We were standing pretty close to one and couldn't hear the musical trio at all.

 

Complete strangers will gather around the beach gazebo or your huppa on the beach. For the beach gazebo, brides have to walk down the main path from the hotel, with people literally at your feet (in the pool). In one instance, everyone started clapping as the bride walked passed them. It's not private at all. You're just a few steps from the nearest lawn chair.  I don't understand why they would put the gazebo right there!

 

If you definitely want to get married on the beach, I would get married in front of building 1 or 2 (near the adults only hotel). It's very quiet over there (for whatever reason). Another wedding we watched was in front of building 5 and 6, which are the largest of the buildings with the most rooms. It was a circus and the bride didn't look happy.

 

I was so bummed we couldn't book at Bar Higuey because it looks so beautiful in all the pics. I'm so happy we didn't. Trust me - climate control and no bugs are way more important to your guests. Some guests were worried about malaria. Our groomsman wore linen suits and they were sweating through them (and we were inside). They were dancing up a storm! Outside would have been too hot.

 

The garden gazebo is soooo pretty and private. It's also on the adults only side, near the convention center and bar higuey. You could hear everything (the pastor, the trio) and never once did I see someone who wasn't invited to our wedding. It felt very special.

 

Since it's on the adults only side, they took everyone there via the trolley and took everyone back to the BBPD where the Ibiza ballroom is located. I thought it would be a hassle for guests but it wasn't at all. It's a pretty, short ride and it looked fun! They decorated it with white balloons. It was so nice to go back to the other side because everyone stayed at the Palace. So, if anyone wasn't feeling well or wanted to change clothes (which some did), they could walk to their rooms. It was perfect! The ballroom was beautiful!

 

I was super stressed about Susana, the food and the DJ. Susana definitely isn't the best wedding planner around but she's solid. She can keep up with fast talking Americans (haha) and she gets what you want. She's organized and there were no unexpected or hidden costs with anything.

 

The DJ and MC were great too. The MC spoke great English. He was fun, very attentive to what we wanted, he played our requests and nailed the introductions. It would have been boring without the MC (I think).

 

The food was awesome except the cake (it was dry). We stressed about giving everyone the same dinner. I just didn't want anyone to think we were cheap. Ummm, no. The presentation of the meal was very upscale. Actually, the presentations at most of the a la carte restaurants were impressive and the wedding was no exception. Also, remember you're at an all inclusive! Guests can eat whatever they want, whenever they want. If people were flying in just for 2 days for your wedding in whatever state, and this was the only meal they were getting--that changes things. We had some foodies there too and they said this was the best wedding meal they've had! We got the caprese salad, chicken pesto, and creme brulee. My dad loved the creme brulee. I'm like a creme brulee connoisseur! ;) It didn't have the crusty top but it was decent.

 

The flowers were to die for! I had white roses and white lily's. The lily's wilted a little but they were still sooo pretty. Those flowers are included in your package too! The bridesmaids were $30 each.

 

If I could do it over, I wouldn't have paid to have the bridesmaid hair and makeup done. First of all the prices jumped from $60 and $70 (what Susana quoted me) to $75 and $85 (when we got there). None of the bridesmaids liked their hair, except one. I didn't love my hair either. I should have did a trial or just did it myself.

 

Here are some more tips...(that could save your hours of time and heartache ;) )

 

1. Don't buy from Factory 21 for your OOT mugs. The ink on them all speared off. I was pretty embarrassed but the mugs were still a hit! Everyone used them at the pool and the beach

 

2. Don't buy the hibiscus flower tote bags from Oriental Trading! The ink dyes on your skin and clothes. I was 2 for 2! Ugggh.

 

3. If you need a veil, I bought mine on etsy and it was soooo beautiful and inexpensive!
megsveils

http://www.etsy.com/shop/megsveils

 

4. If you need a rhinestone belt, I also bought it on esty! It looked like a $400 belt, seriously. My seamstress couldn't believe how much I paid. Amaleeaccessories

http://www.etsy.com/transaction/123287836?utm_source=transaction&utm_medium=trans_email&utm_campaign=shipping_notification

 

5. I did starfish place cards. I bought the starfish from ebay...white finger starfish 2-3"

http://stores.ebay.com/wagnerssouthernstore

 

6. Organza bags (to put all the medicine in for OOT bags) from

http://www.yourorganzabag.com/

 

7. This might be the best resource yet!! One of my bridesmaids told me about this bridal shop in Minnesota that sells wedding dresses/bridesmaid dress/MOB dresses, etc. Their prices are almost always cheaper than anywhere else. We ordered all our bridesmaid dresses from them. They have the best customer service too! They always answer the phone quickly and they're super helpful! I wish I would have found them before I ordered my wedding dress because I could have saved money! 

www.weddingshoppeinc.com/

 

8. Oh and I saved $160 by getting all the guys to wear boutonnieres I found at Hobby Lobby. They are just plain white roses. $3! Hah! And they also go on sale for 50% off! They are "real touch" flowers and no one knew they were fake! Susana pinned them on everyone and they looked awesome!

 

9. Looking for linen suits?  I feel like I'm in sales ;) Perryellis.com has great sales and free shipping offers. That's where we got the linen suits and they look awesome! Dillards and Macy's had the same suits but not as cheap at the time.

 

10. Ties were hard to find. We ordered a few from thetiebar.com and www.cheap-neckties.com. They both had fast shipping and good quality ties but we ended up going with ties we found at Brooks Brothers outlet for $20 each!

 

11. We had a rehearsal dinner on the La Barcaza boat. Some other brides recommended it. If I could do it over, I wouldn't have spent the money. First of all, the boat only goes about 3 football fields away from the resort. You can see the resort the whole time. I thought we'd get to the see the island a little. Several other excursion boats parked right next to us, so not sure if they're even allowed to go anywhere else. It felt like it was a hassle for the guests. It was a hike down the beach (past our resort, the adults only and then a few hundred more feet), then into 3 different dingy boats (to get us over to the big boat). The La Barcaza boat looks kind of cheap. It needs a new paint job. It felt cheapy, even though we paid $65pp. The guys on the boat were fun and the food was decent but I don't think it was worth it.

 

12. Oh, and one more thing...the Hoyo 19 restaurant (which is at the golf course) is great! On their website it reads that the restaurant just serves snacks during the day and then you need reservations at night for dinner. They lie. ;) It's not snacks. It's a full restaurant and you never need reservations. So if you don't feel like eating breakfast and lunch at the buffets every day...head over there!! The turkey wrap and bacon cheeseburger are great!

 

13. Also, nearly everyone got diarrhea. Some got it worse than others. They say they filter the ice but I don't know if every single piece of ice is filtered. Also, do they wash the lettuce in tap water or filtered? Hmmm..I would stay away from anything that's not fully cooked. Get there when the buffets opens up (6:30am for breakfast and 12:30 for lunch), because everything is fresh. I didn't get it bad or anything but I felt badly that guest were sick :(

 

Good luck to you all! Our wedding was awesome and yours will be too! You picked an awesome resort for your wedding. You'll see!!!

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Thank you soo much for this review! I am now officially worried because i chose the oceanfront gazebo as our wedding location because i loved the look of it, i didn't even think about all the onlookers and crowds :S Im wondering if i could change it at this point!! I may have to look into it.  Your wedding party looked beautiful, i love the colours! thank you for your review and all your tips!

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Originally Posted by qschuler View Post

 

Thanks so much for your review qschuler! I will definitely look into some of these sites you've pointed out!!! Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!

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Thank you so much for your review!  Gets me so excited because I picked the garden gazebo too!!! Although we are for sure doing Bar Higuey I hope it wont be too hot, but I think everyone will be alright.

Your flowers were beautiful! That is one thing I am worried about but those looked so nice! I did however order my cups already from Factory 21 so I am not looking forward to that happening!!! Oh well atleast i know ahead of time if it does!

 

If you dont mind I just have a couple questions:

 

What did you do for reception centerpieces? If you purchased flowers for the centerpieces about how much per table did it cost?

 

Since you got married in the gazebo did you end up going to the beach during the photo session? If so did it take long to get over there? I am worried about the time only having one hour before the reception begins.

 

Did you think the cocktail hour was worth it? We are doing it and I thought since we are over kind of seculded at the gazebo it would be the best idea.

 

thanks again! great info. 

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