I got back from our wedding like 2 weeks ago now but I'm moving at the same time so I haven't had time to write a review until now. We got to the resort on July 25th and we were upgraded from the Junior Suite Deluxe to the Ocean Front Junior Suite Deluxe which was beautiful! I could just stare at the view all day. As soon as we got there we made reservations for the first couple of days but they informed me that the reservations are by room so we couldn't make reservations with the guests that hadn't arrived at the resort. I had two guests that couldn't book rooms because the resort was overbooked and they decided to attend the wedding last minute so I greeted them at the lobby to see what could be done for them, which I was so worried for nothing because I just added them to another family members room with an extra pass which was only $77 per night/per person. I would have to say that the only thing that really ticked me off about the resort is the fact that even though we were spending thousands of dollars at this resort, guests who are staying at the Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe cannot order food or drinks in the Adults only side, this simply did not make sense to me as I had guests staying in both sides and even though the Adults only side is cheaper to stay in, they were able to eat in our side and order drinks without any problems. I met with Susana the day before the wedding and she went over all the details of our wedding with us, she really simplified the process for us at this point. She had 3 weddings on the same day as ours so she only popped in and out on our wedding day and had Hildebranda coordinate the day for us. Since I did the legal ceremony I did not have the actual time of the wedding until the week before which ended up being at 5pm, I booked the spa for the bridesmaids the day we got there and they ended up calling a hairdresser in on her day off to accommodate my wedding party which I really appreciated. We had our rehearsal dinner for 19 people at the Kyoto and the food and show was great! My spa appointment was booked for 1pm and I was still in the Spa at 4:30pm, I was freaking out the entire time as Susana warned me if I was not there by 5pm the judge would have to leave as there is only one judge in the entire Punta Cana area legalizing weddings. I ended up arriving to the room right on time to meet up with the bridesmaids who were waiting on me. The wedding location we chose was right in front of our Ocean Front Suite (Bldg 1) which was so convenient as I was able to catch a glimpse of the beautiful wedding location and all the guests gathering and also this is the area of the hotel on the beach where there are the least amount of guests . Hildebranda had me walk out of La Brisa restaurant which ended up working out very convenient. I really wanted to have the tiffany chairs but didn't want to spend the $12 a chair, honestly all the decorations were so beautiful that the tiffany chairs were the last thing I thought about. I had a seashell curtain attached to the huppa for $175 and it gave the ceremony a really nice touch. I walked down the aisle and there was not a dry eye on my 48 person guests. The trio played as I walked down the aisle. The ceremony lasted for about 20 minutes, we also included our own vows that we each wrote during our trip. We had a one hour photography session with our photographers that we brought with us as guests from Miami and we paid for their flights and hotel accommodations as we loved their work on our engagement shoot. Our reception was from 7-10pm, we had the Full MC with DJ and honestly this was worth the $1300 we paid as they were amazing and kept the flow of the night very organized and we didnt have to worry about a thing. The cold fires also gave the first dance an unforgettable touch. The centerpieces that we chose were the large vases with the orchids inside for $50 and they were simple and elegant, gave the room a very elegant feel. The cake was amazing (vanilla with pineapple filling) and so was the food (curry marinated chicken breast and tomato salad, pesto marinated broiled chicken, and chocolate fondant) everybody loved the food ! We kept the party going at Disco Bavaro but went to our room first to change to find Champagne and fruit and rose petals in the jacuzzi. We had room service bring us breakfast in the morning and had our couples massage a couple of days later (this was one of the highlights to our trip). We had dinner at the French Restaurant one night which ended up being $20 a person but the food was simply amazing! All in all the trip was unforgettable, to have so many people you love so close for a couple of days in paradise is worth every penny. We got everything we wanted and more!!
For the bride who was asking about the paperwork needed for the legal wedding (Lalala i think)...it's a little complicated but I just wanted to walk down the aisle and have everything not just feel real, but actually get married for real in front of everyone we love. Anyway, the first thing you need to do is check the process for an apostille for the state you were born ( I was born in PR and my husband was born in NY, my process was easier than his) and send the fee for the apostille along with your original birth certificate (NY requires a letter of exemplification to be ordered with a long form birth certificate which then needs to be sent to the county clerk for certification before they will apostille the birth certificate). Then they require a single status affidavit (WeDo Dominican Republic has a format that can be copied/pasted) to be notarized and apostilled by the department of state that you reside in. This paperwork along with copies of your passports and checks for the fees are then sent to WeDo Dominican Republic (they are located in Texas) and they legalize and translate all the documents for you. You then take the originals with you and the wedding coordinator will give them to the judge there.
My photographer added me to his blog, the link is below so you can view the photos of this very special day thank you all for being so helpful throughout this journey, I hope this review helps you as much as you all helped me. Feel free to ask me any questions you may have.