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KitCat77

Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe

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Thanks trivera!

 

- So, Club Premium is the perfect example of how much they like following rules.  There are certain rooms that are CP and apparently they didn't have any of those left (there were 2 big conventions there the week of the wedding - not on Saturday though, thankfully).  We already had a Jr Suite and they told us the best they could do was upgrade us to an Oceanfront Jr Suite (rm 1415).  When Jeff's parents got in, they had reserved a CP Jr Suite (rm 1103) so they offered to switch with us.  The front desk could not understand that concept, so we just switched rooms without telling them.  ANYWAY, his mom finally convinced the front desk on Wednesday to just give us the CP bracelets so we could at least have the non-room perks but it was like pulling teeth from them because CP normally had to be associated with a room.  It was silly.

 

It was also pretty funny when his parents got back to 1415 after the wedding and they had champagne and rose petals on the bed waiting for them!  We weren't even staying in 1103 that night, we had gotten a Master Suite (rm 5207) for the girls to get ready and for the wedding night, so his parents called the front desk and they went and did wedding decorations for us there instead.

 

- Weather was perfect!  When Jeff & I first got there the week before, it was SUPER windy - to the point where sand from the beach was blowing all the way to the pool.  But it calmed way down by the end of the week thankfully.  Each day there was a 30% chance of rain in the forecast but it only rained Sunday overnight.  So don't be alarmed when the forecast calls for rain, we think it really only means overnight or early morning.

- We didn't see any beach ceremonies.  I would think it's a little less of a spectacle since the beach gazebo is literally right in the middle of the resort, but the beach is generally a little less populated.  I'm not sure exactly where on the beach they do the ceremony either - maybe it's a little farther down on either end.

 

- Yeah, $50 was a lot but at that point we needed something to get done.  Plus, we had 3 guests cancel on us that week so we had a "credit" with the wedding dept since we paid the day before.  I didn't really consider bringing decorations down since Marlene was adamant about using theirs and I figured it would be fine.  I never really asked if they were against you bringing your own or using an outside vendor down there.  Like I said, I just needed a centerpiece that wasn't completely crappy - it wasn't too important to me.

 

- We paid for an extra hour of reception (ended at 10:30pm) and then went to the Sports Bar after.  We had been out until 3am the night before the wedding (I know) so we made it a pretty early night - maybe 1ish?  It's nice that the 24 hour Sports Bar and Casino/casino bar are right across from each other - makes for easy late nights.

 

- We used Trop Pics for video (Star Package) and brought a girl down from Chicago with us for pictures.  We paid less than $2000 for her travel and a minimal fee for her to be there from welcome cocktails to the wedding, which was less than what Trop Pics charge for photos on just the wedding day.  We're looking forward to her pictures from our boat excursion on La Barcaza on Thursday and the rehearsal dinner at Jellyfish, in addition to the wedding.  She did an awesome job scouting out some places for pictures during the week so we did our first look and then 2 hours of photos with the wedding party before the ceremony.   No TTD.

 

- Things I could do again?  Hmm...get the table decorations straightened out with Marlene earlier so I wasn't worrying the week before the wedding when she sent me those pinecone candleholder pics, started the dancing a little earlier in the evening, maybe had welcome cocktails when it was still light out on the roof terrace.  Not worried as much - it all worked out.  There really wasn't a whole lot I would have changed!

 

I'll work on getting some pics together...

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Pic of my bouquet:

461444_3938882950015_1218144537_33944141_1319227565_o.jpg

 

You can sorta see bmaid bouquets & boutonnieres here:

578168_10151583026515615_501835614_23764040_47945971_n.jpg

 

The pinecone!

Center Private party.JPG

 

What we ended up going with:

274914840508.jpg

 

Fruit sculpture at cocktail hour app table:

576730_3900477637231_1437895680_3558390_1180055788_n.jpg

 

Cocktails offered at cocktail hour - these were awesome!

258975250508.jpg

 

Cake pic I gave Marlene:

cake1.jpg

 

Finished product:

654914840508.jpg

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Congratulations Sunny! Welcome back must feel great now that everything is done and over with and you are officially married! Your review was great super helpful. I'm happy to hear everything went well. I did have a couple questions if you dont mind.

 

- Do you know the Djs name the resort uses? Were you able to talk to him beforehand via email other then meeting him when you arrived?

- Did the Dj come with lighting?

- For the ceremony how did you get to your ceremony location? Do they have someone bring you so you dont have to walk throught the resort in your dress?

- I see that you got to choose 2 main courses, was that extra? Or were you able to take out something in place?

- How was La Barcaza boat excursion (boat layout,whats included)?

 

Thanks again. Cant wait to see pictures!!!

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Thank you so much for all the details! 

My wedding isn't until February 2013 but I'm finally able to start planning and deciding on what we want! I 100% agree that Marlene takes for ever to write back but you are definitely making me feel better!

Your cake looked amazing! Would you suggest I have pictures to send her of the cake, center pieces, colors, etc that we want? I honestly didn't even think I would have those options so this is very exciting! Although I am paying for the Tangerine Sunset package so why wouldn't we have choices!!! How many people ended up coming to your wedding and did you find you had a lot of added expenses to pay for at the end? 

Thank you so much for writing back!!! 

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I recently got with my travel agent (who's first language is Spanish, she is located in Florida) and told her about my frustrations with the lack of communication from Marlene. She was able to get through to Marlene and clear up a lot of things in a matter of an hour, imagine that. She said that the price for the beach reception is actually an additional $15. What Marlene apparently means when she says an additional $65 is that its $65 for each person not included in your package (guests 36 and up if you have the tangerine sunset package) and $15 extra for those included in your package. I guess each package is based on a built in price of $50 per person. This is much more reasonable, but still something Im not totally sold on. If I have 50 people that really adds up. I absolutely don't want to have it inside, but its a matter of talking my fiancé into the extra money. He says everyone is going to be on the beach plenty between the ceremony and the rest of the week, so why do we need to pay an extra $750 on top of what we are already paying. Also after reading Sunnys review about the sand blowing all over I am kind of concerned that this would not make for a pleasant dining experience, sand in food is not very tasty! The travel agent also told me Marlene said the extra money spent for the beach wedding will not be refunded if for some reason there is bad weather or they can't do it on the beach. The beach reception is looking less and less exciting the more I think about it. As a general matter I am really laid back when it comes to the details of my wedding, I guess I just get worked up when they start nickel and diming you to death. I feel like they should be bending over backwards to accommodate brides in their requests when we are bringing them so much business. 

 

My travel agent also sent me some photos of things, which I don't think I have previously seen on this blog. I don't think I can attach pictures to this site, at least I don't know how, but if anyone is interested I can email them to you. 

 

And she did mention the "pinecone centerpiece" that Sunny mentioned. I too will probably upgrade that. It certainly is not cute. 

 

Sunny, thanks for the great review. It makes me feel better about everything. However, my fiancé said when we signed up for the destination wedding that he was worried the $4000 we paid that was supposed to include everything was in fact not going to "include everything." I am not looking forward to telling him that he is right, because there are numerous things I want to add. 

 

I think I read it somewhere, but can someone refresh my memory as to how much it costs just to reserve the rooftop for a gathering (I think I will go off what Sunny said and just have my guests walk the 30 seconds to the bar that is really close rather than pay an extra 10 per hour for drinks that are already supposed to be all inclusive).

 

Sorry if my message is all over the place!

 

~busybride~

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ncordero:

- I can't remember the name of our DJ and I forgot to ask Marlene if we could meet with him beforehand, although she did mention we would be able to based on his availability.  Just forgot to follow up on that.  One of our groomsmen MC'ed the night so we went over the schedule of events related to the music with him before the reception and he made sure the DJ was in the loop.

- I don't think we had any lighting other than what is already at Bar Higuey.  I didn't really think it needed any additional strobes or colored lights.

- We had one of the resort trains (which were decorated with white balloons) pick all our guests up from the front lobby at 4:30pm, 30 minutes before the ceremony was to start, and bring them to the garden.  Jeff & I had gotten contact info for someone to bring us in a golf cart but the guy's "cinco minutos" turned into not showing up at all.  Luckily, another random golf cart came by where we were waiting and I think he took pity on us since we were all dressed up and clearly about to get married :)

- Ah, the 2 main courses.  Yes, we had to pay extra.  I think it was $16 per plate for beef or fish, $10 for chicken.  So, we had 40something beefs and 20something chickens so we "officially" had beef as our main course and paid $10 x 20something extra for the chickens.  They are NOT into credits or replacing things - it's all extras.  I'm sure we could have fought for something though.

- La Barcaza was awesome - we got picked up at the Barcelo pier which was sooo convenient.  They took us out to the natural pool, let people swim around and hang out for an hour while they grilled lunch, then we ate while we toured back around.  So much fun.  The boat is great, the staff is fun, the food was yummy.  I would highly recommend it.  There is a thread for it on this site somewhere - it'll have all that info.

Originally Posted by ncordero6504 View Post

 

- Do you know the Djs name the resort uses? Were you able to talk to him beforehand via email other then meeting him when you arrived?

- Did the Dj come with lighting?

- For the ceremony how did you get to your ceremony location? Do they have someone bring you so you dont have to walk throught the resort in your dress?

- I see that you got to choose 2 main courses, was that extra? Or were you able to take out something in place?

- How was La Barcaza boat excursion (boat layout,whats included)?

 

 

TDawn,

DEFINITELY send pictures of what you'd like.  I'm not really sure what their official protocol is on what they can and are allowed to offer you, but at our meeting I brought a bunch of pictures of things I liked and Marlene said they would try to replicate.  We had about 70 people total and yes, there are definitely some added expenses when you get down there but I think it was partially because we wanted some extra stuff that we had not originally discussed with them.  I kept a budget spreadsheet so it wasn't like there were "surprise" expenses since I was accounting for them, just more because of what we wanted.  

Originally Posted by TDawn View Post

Your cake looked amazing! Would you suggest I have pictures to send her of the cake, center pieces, colors, etc that we want? I honestly didn't even think I would have those options so this is very exciting! Although I am paying for the Tangerine Sunset package so why wouldn't we have choices!!! How many people ended up coming to your wedding and did you find you had a lot of added expenses to pay for at the end? 

Thank you so much for writing back!!! 

 

busybride,

I agree with you, I was pretty laid back with most of the details but then they definitely start trying to nickel and dime you - very off-putting.  You can definitely see a difference between the way they operate and the way the American service industry does.  I think they're just so used to the way they do things, since they are sort of a wedding factory, that they sort of get tunnel vision and don't realize there are other options and ways to accommodate you.  I think that's also why it's so hard to get info from them over email.  Something I thought to myself multiple times throughout the planning was that if I was working with an American WC, she would answer my question and then give me additional information because she could anticipate why I was asking and try to paint me a better picture.  You don't get that with them - answers are generally just yes/no or a brief answer with little description.  But when it's your day, they are all yours.

The fee to reserve the rooftop terrace was $500.

Originally Posted by busybride2012 View Post

 As a general matter I am really laid back when it comes to the details of my wedding, I guess I just get worked up when they start nickel and diming you to death. I feel like they should be bending over backwards to accommodate brides in their requests when we are bringing them so much business. 

 

My travel agent also sent me some photos of things, which I don't think I have previously seen on this blog. I don't think I can attach pictures to this site, at least I don't know how, but if anyone is interested I can email them to you. 

 

And she did mention the "pinecone centerpiece" that Sunny mentioned. I too will probably upgrade that. It certainly is not cute. 

 

Sunny, thanks for the great review. It makes me feel better about everything. However, my fiancé said when we signed up for the destination wedding that he was worried the $4000 we paid that was supposed to include everything was in fact not going to "include everything." I am not looking forward to telling him that he is right, because there are numerous things I want to add. 

 

I think I read it somewhere, but can someone refresh my memory as to how much it costs just to reserve the rooftop for a gathering (I think I will go off what Sunny said and just have my guests walk the 30 seconds to the bar that is really close rather than pay an extra 10 per hour for drinks that are already supposed to be all inclusive).

 

Sorry if my message is all over the place!

 

~busybride~

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2.jpg3.jpg4.jpg5-1.jpg7.jpg8.jpg9.jpg

These are the pics my travel agent sent me from the WC. They are a mix of pics from the way my table settings will look (I just can't have it at the bar Higuey since its already booked, I am still so mad about this) and centerpiece upgrades and options for bouquets. She said she is working on getting me pictures of cake options (although I plan on likely sending her a pic of what I want instead) and menus. Apparently if you have a bigger group they are more strict on what they will serve. She also mentioned that there are outside restaurants and that she is going to see if I could have my reception in one of those, since I so desperately don't want to have it in the banquet hall.  When I get more pictures I will post them for everyone. 

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For those who have made their deposits did you wire the money to that Florida account number? Or send a credit card number?

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