Yes blue/turquoise is very popularâ€¦it just looks so beautiful in â€œparadiseâ€.
-I think the Ocean view Master suite will be just fine. The only next step up is a presidential suite and that supposed to have a kitchen which is totally unnecessary when its all inclusive food and drinks!
-I had Welcome Bags for all of our guests that had a â€œWedding Weekend Survival Kitâ€, DR Postcard and a welcome letter. Within the welcome letter it had some kind words and details about the upcoming events. This being: Welcome Gathering, The actual wedding and then after out meeting with Mercy, I handwrote a rehearsal time for our wedding party. I donâ€™t think everyone needs to do a rehearsal but I requested a quick one since we had 5 children in our wedding and we had the wooden platform that they were going to be aware of walking down on. It was quick and easy. From there, we had our Welcome Gathering at the Carnival Buffet for a set time and reserved section.
-As far as welcome bag distribution, since you are all flying down together, it may be easier to hand them off to them immediately. We had staggered arrivals so aside from our parents and the bridal party, we sucked it up and just paid the fee to have them delivered because it was crazy trying to find all 50 guests to give them bags when we had a ton of other things to focus on.
-As far as cocktail hour, we had some whole wedding group pics and then we took some pics with our bridal party on the beach and then we were solo. To be honest, I am a bit bummed we missed out on the cocktail hour since we planned it and we didnâ€™t have pictures of our guests there since our photographer was with us, but if thatâ€™s the least of my concerns oh well. We did not have the bridal party for long so they just went back to the fountain where the cocktail hour was happening after their pics.
-I will mention this, I originally thought that we would have the ceremony (which was at 4), cocktail hour from 4:30-5:30, then the reception at 6. Well, because it was at Castaways and the restaurant is open at a certain time, our reception was not until 7. Not a huge deal since everyone went back to their rooms to freshen up, change shoes or go to the bars, but it pushed back our photographer and DJ time which may bother some people.
-We tipped our servers at our welcome gathering/dinner $50 and I know some guests did as well. KEEP IN MIND: 1 US dollar I s equivalent to 39 Dominican pesos. These people are verrrry hard workers and extremely appreciative people. We tipped some servers at the wedding but I am not sure how much our hubby gave them. ***We also tipped Mercy. She was amazing. I cannot believe she had everything we wanted (minus the sparkler mishap) the way I had asked, based on an initial meeting we hadâ€¦which was about 4 hours, but we had a larger group and I had specific details for the reception. I say pending on your experience, I would suggest a $50-100 tip or whatever you like.
-My husband and I said from the get go we would do the buffet. Its easier, causal and we liked the options. We actually kept the Divine cocktail hour and paid the difference per head but liked the Gold Buffet Menu better than the Platinum menu and paid the difference. It was surprisingly good. We didnâ€™t have high expectations for a lot- just wanted it to be beautiful and funâ€¦.but the food was sooo good! Better than the usual buffet food (although that is good too, but they are not mass producing it all for these events).
****Oh and check to make sure the bar liquor is set before the day of your wedding. We assumed we had top shelf,but it was local liquor so an hour into the reception we asked Mercy for an upgrade and with a simple call and signing an agreement for the new charge, it was fixed just like that.
-Are there any specific wedding dÃ©cor you want to see pics of? My tables were simple, I had a special table set up for family history wedding dÃ©cor and a suitecase with postcards for people to fill out in lieu of a guestbook, disposable cameras and pictures of us (from our engagement photos from the year before when we were at the DR).
-The wedding service was excellent. Service at the resort was a bit slow, but we saw tremendous improvements throughout our stay. Please let me know if you have any other questions!
-We looked into other DJs, but the resort DJ seemed fair priced compared to others. Again, we were surprised with them. We never met with them- just filled out a paper with songs for specific dances (our dance, parent dance, cake cutting, and other songs we wanted play). It was a brief list and we just had to give it to Mercy who scanned it and emailed it to them. There were a few cheesy s ongs during dinner (like Lady in Red, but the older folks loved it) but after dinner, we didnâ€™t say anything and they played awesome dance music and we all had a blast! If you have specific songs, they are very receptive and seem to have a wide variety of songs to play. All in all, aside from about maybe 7-9 specific songs to play, they did the rest on their own and were awesome! To be honest, I do not remember the company. It is something you will have to ask your wedding coordinator, sorry!
-Let me tell you- it drove me nuts how long it took them to respond to emails when I was planning. If worse came to worse, I called and they were very receptive to that. As our wedding approached, I ensured that I had confirmation of the place we requested for both the ceremony and reception and sent an updated wedding planner to Mercy. We actually requested ours sooner than a month before to help us plan better. You can ask for this about 2 months beforehand. This breaks everything down for you on a spreadsheet and gives you an idea of how much extras/upgrades would be (and your overall budget/balance).
-Mercy is such a sweet, accommodating and efficient wedding coordinator. Our initial impression was not the best since she thought we were coming a day later and we did not receive a letter upon our arrival about our wedding meeting. A heads up, you should receive a letter at check-in our at your room your first day about your wedding meeting/interview. If you do not, go to the wedding office. This is located in the Preffered Club on the 2000 side buildings. After she realized we were already there, we received a letter within the hour for our meeting the next day.
-My husband was jokingly giving her a hard time because she did not respond to one of our emails. She was sincerely apologetic and literally showed us her inbox in the last 3 daysâ€¦â€¦OVER 481!!!! Ladies,I know it is extremely frustrating to communicate with them. But please, make sure you are persistent with emails if you really want to know something or call them. Once you get there, have everything organized and ready to go and she will work it all out the way you wantâ€¦.seriously, she will support you and make your day amazing and unforgettable!
-We had a welcome gathering- please seem post to skygirl above and on the last page for details.
-I think you will be happy with the Ocean front master suite. We initially were on the first floor which was convenient, but we did not get much sun or much privacy, so when a room on another floor opened up, we moved 2 days later. Iâ€™m so glad we did, but thatâ€™s a personal preference. The only next step up is the presidential suite with a kitchen- I do not think this is necessary. The upgrade they speak of is tricky. Its really just for location of your room for the view. And since you have ocean front master suite in the preferred club, thatâ€™s as the best view you can get. I think is applies more to people who have a standard room or just a regular room in the preferred club. Some regular rooms in the preferred club are on the side and you cannot see the pool or ocean so that may be where they upgrade you. You will love the view from the master suite.
-Our guests had a blast. Only a handful who had been to the DR, but other than some slow service in the a la carte restaurants, it was fantastic! We had guests from ages 2 to 83 years old. There are plenty of places for shade by the pool, lots of free activities to do and an entertainment team during the day to get you to participate in fun daily gatherings or workouts. There is a nightclub and casino by the plaza where they also have all of the restaurants and some shows at night. I think it is great for all ages.
-This was our 4th time to the DR, so my husband and some of our friends have gone on several excursions off the resort. We always book through Apple Vacations so there is a rep onsite to guide you through legit excursions and set everything up for you. We have traveled from 30 minutes to 2 hours off a resort and were just fine. We went snorkeling, 4-wheeling, on the outback safari, a party boat, and Saona Island. 30 of my family members went on the Saonoa island excursion and some to Catalina Island (both included snorkeling or scuba diving, party boats and speed boats). Some of my familiesâ€™ luggage did not arrive so they went shopping off the resort. I believe there are shuttles that come often to take guests throughout the week. But we passed it and it was not far from the resort either. Just venture off with a group and have a plan.
-I will tell you my husband and I underestimated how much time we would be running around to spend time with others. We barely had time to relax! Stay longer, much longer if you can. I think we came to early and should have stayed later. We arrived Monday, wedding meeting Tuesday, rest of guests arrived Weds, rehearsal & welcome dinner Thurs, wedding Fri, some guests left Sat, others left Sun, remained (about 35 ppl) left Mon, photography meeting for hooooours on Tues(But we got all of our picture before we left!), then we left Weds L It goes by sooooooooooo quickly ladies. I am truly sad its over.
Let me know if I can provide insight on anything else!