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"New Resort Opening May 1 2011" NOW LARIMAR ~ PUNTA CANA

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Just in case these questions occurred to anyone else, here are a few things skygirl asked me:

 

 

To answer your questions, personally, I'd get there at least three to four days before the wedding. Even if you're doing a symbolic one like we did. To get legally married in DR you'd need to get documents translated and meet with a Dominican judge that will only speak spanish. Cristina or Mercy will act as translator for you. Pastor York doesn't do any legal religious weddings - as far as I know. He books up quickly, so you should send him your info and get your date and time sealed. 
 
Were your flowers reall?or reall touch?
My flowers and bridesmaids flowers were real. All of them because I hate fake flowers. But they are expensive. Actually, if you use flowers that grow in DR than it's fine but if they have to be exported than they're wicked expensive. My flowers were plain white and they spray painted (or something like that) the inside purple which looked AMAZING!!! 
 
Before i forget, could ur guests use Secrets resort property?
Nope. You cannot use Secrets. They have security all around and you cannot get on unless you're staying there. They do, however, supply a way to go to the Dreams resorts. You just have to request it at reception. We stayed at Secrets two nights and in all honesty, there's only one restaurant there. Everyone eats at Now. It would have been nice to check out Dreams though. But know that Secrets is beautiful. It's quiet and calm. We had a room with access to the swim up pool. Loved it and would recommend it! They are right next door to each other. Like cross a small walkway close. I didn't realize how close they'd be until I was staying there. 
 
How was the food in general in the resort?
The food was incredibly good! No complaints. Some of the restaurants service takes patience because english isn't there first language. But you're on vacation so relax and go with the flow. I watched a few people getting angry at the wait times which makes no sense. If the resort is full, it's going to take a while. And sometimes they have reservations that they have to wait for before they can release the seats. I'd say use the butler (when you're upgraded to preferred you get one) and have him make reservations for you. It's harder the larger the group you want. But can be done. Typically I'd have people eat where they wanted and meet up at the Moments lobby bar. Far easier than trying to eat dinner together every night. 
 
How was DjMannia english?did he do some talking, annoncing?
We didn't use DJ Mannia's MC service. I had friends work it and they were the ones who directed people. Cheaper and worked wonderfully. 
 
I didnt know u used pastor york..i thought u did symbolic ceremony.
Pastor Ricks english is perfect! In the ceremony there were 2 readings to be done and I had friends do that instead which was a nice change. Having been to Sarah's ceremony, Pastor Rick knows these cermonies like the back of his hand and sales through except when he has to say your names; then he pauses to read it off cards. He does a lot of these ceremony's and it is all the same words he uses. You'll have to find ways to make yours a bit different. I also had a bff sing three songs - one for the family to walk down the aisle, one for me & my dad and then the song when it was all done. Such a special touch.
 
Was the video on youtube the one done by a video guy from the resort from the package? since you had bluelagoon, do u think u could have asked WC that u dont want the resort photographer from the package doing ur pic, and instead have him maybe come to a reception and do some informal pic?
If you don't use something in the package - it cannot be swapped out for anything else. I didn't want a video but figured using the one in the package would be fine. And it was. But if you want to change when they take the pics I think that should be ok. That didn't occur to me. I don't see why they couldn't have her be there for the same amount of time allotted for the ceremony (45 minutes). I would have gone with that but then, like I said, I wouldn't have the range of pics that I have. Blue Lagoon took wide range shots where the Now photogs took more close-up portraits. And now I have loads of family members smiling faces. Friends & families pics are coming in (fb is crazy) and they have loads of shots of the reception. But remember, you're only going to get 24pictures from the Now photographers. It was hard for us to choose because she actually took 90. And with every extra picture costing $15 dollars, the price adds up quickly. 
 
Here are a few other things that have just reentered my mind:
 
They're removing Castaways as an option for receptions. So you brides should double check if it was suggested as an option in your paperwork. Why, Cristina explained to me that March the have a mere 15 weddings but in April they have 60+. They cannot keep closing Castaways and having one less restaurant option for guests. I could have used it because it was given to me as an option from long before but going forward it won't be. If you were offered it, find your paperwork.
 
2nd, we had fire dancers at our reception. They were amazing. But two nights before, the resort had a massive show on the beach where fire dancers had performed. Luckily, a small number of guests were already there - some saw it others hadn't. But it kind of took the wind out of my sails. My dad was a bit annoyed at the idea of paying for something that the guests had already seen. Because you pay for your wedding when you first meet with the WC and go through it all. You're unaware of what events the resort has planned. Be aware of this. You may book the fire dancers and the night before your wedding they perform for the resort. 
 
The fountain is currently closed. They are repairing it. And though I don't think any one is having there wedding there in the next couple of weeks, you should definitely check with WCs and the resort when they plan on reopening. They went through the process of covering the whole thing while they work on something. 
 
Lastly, and this was a bit of annoyance for me. You may not be the only wedding that day at Now. Because my date seemed significant 02.20.2012, there were two other weddings at Now and once at Secrets making for four weddings. I kept crossing paths with other brides which bothered me a bit. Cristina was COMPLETELY focused on me and my FIs day but to keep crossing paths with other brides was still a bit annoying. Made me wish I had booked Jellyfish again. And hearing that they're going to have a stupid amount of weddings in April, it should be noted.
 
Ok, any more questions...ask away! 

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ok, i just headr from Christina. and this is what she said:

"We have the relaxation pool, beach and ballrooms available for  reception. The A la Carte Restaurants are not longer used for receptions as the Hotel is full occupancy and all restaurants are open every night for dinner. I am looking in Claribels emails to you to see if I find a confirmation of this restaurant for you as this coulb be the only way to do my best and see if we get a way to honor this. but if it inst in writing, we can look at another location"

Does it mean no more Capers, Castaway or Capers available for the wedding?If this is the case,im really really angry!!!

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This is what I was saying. The only way to secure the things you were once told and the prices you were once given is to find the emails from Claribel stating it. If you don't have the emails, then you aren't going to get it. You'll have to search all of your emails ladies. 

 

And I have to say, it does suck when you tell your guests to meet you at Castaways for dinner (during the day it's buffet but at night it's a lovely seafood restaurant) or Capers and find out that it's closed for a wedding/event. That happened to us while there. The resort cannot have one less restaurant when it's fully booked. I had the email where Claribel had made Castaways an offer but declined because I hadn't seen any other receptions by the quiet pool, which the FI and I favored. 

 

Oh, but know that Pastor Rick isn't $550 like listed on one of the price lists. He's actually $350. And you'll have to pay him in cash. I gave the cash to Cristina on the day she handled paying him for us. As well as, DJ Mannia; you'll have to pay them in cash too. As for Blue Lagoon, I transferred money using paypal once I picked out all my pictures. So I was able to transfer that the day after the wedding. There's one ATM on the property that only dispenses DR pesos. An American cash machine is harder to come by so either travel with cash or travellers checks. We had to scramble for money to pay the DJ because I forgot and they wouldn't let me transfer the money using paypal. 

Originally Posted by Skygirl View Post

ok, i just headr from Christina. and this is what she said:

"We have the relaxation pool, beach and ballrooms available for  reception. The A la Carte Restaurants are not longer used for receptions as the Hotel is full occupancy and all restaurants are open every night for dinner. I am looking in Claribels emails to you to see if I find a confirmation of this restaurant for you as this coulb be the only way to do my best and see if we get a way to honor this. but if it inst in writing, we can look at another location"

Does it mean no more Capers, Castaway or Capers available for the wedding?If this is the case,im really really angry!!!



 

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Im digging through all my emails now...I wish i used gmail for communication with Claribel, so they all would be in one area. I could have swore that she did offered me one of this restaurants...I will call Christina tomorrow, I cant wait to see your pictures from Blue Lagoon vav

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@ VAV 11238

First of all congratulations, you looked so pretty and thank you for your detailed description. It helps a lot hearing other brides experiences.

 

here are some question that i have.

 

1. I heard that there is a rooftop where you can have your ceremony, did they show it to you or did you see it?

 

2. At your reception at the pool, how loud was the DJ able to play music and till what time? I assume with rooms surrounding it, you cant blast it too loud.

 

3. Where you able to take a look at the ballroom? Is it too big for 30 people?

 

I'm freaking out a little that they cut out the restaurants for reception options. But I'm hoping we will be able to use it anyways in November when the main season is over. (fingers crossed)

 

Cant wait to see the pictures. Thank you so much again.

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Ask away! I've promised the hubby that I'd be on here one more week and then I'll have to resume my life. And plan my AHR. And change my name. And mail thank you cards. And plan our official honeymoon. So until Friday, I'm all yours - lol!

 

1. I heard that there is a rooftop where you can have your ceremony, did they show it to you or did you see it?'s There is and it the club on the resort. It called Eclipse and it is very cute place. And where Cristina wanted my Plan B to be planned. It's part covered and part uncovered and could be very cute as an option. I celebrated my bachlorette night there and once people post up some pics, I'll forward them to you. 

 

2. At your reception at the pool, how loud was the DJ able to play music and till what time? I assume with rooms surrounding it, you cant blast it too loud.The DJ was loud. There was a party atomsphere but we couldn't go later than 10.30. Now, remember, the reception with any of the packages is only for 3 hours. If you want it longer its an additional $150 an hour plus some sort of price per person for drinks (I think, I may have it a bit wrong). But had we wanted it longer, it wouldn't have been at the Quiet Pool.

 

The one thing my folks are sad about is that the party felt short. Dinner, dessert, cake, speeches that all took nearly 2 hours which left an hour for dancing. Cristina let us go a bit longer but it not by much. We made the most of that hour but it really was far too short. And afterwards, all the young ones headed to Eclipse and danced some more (the FI and I were wiped out and went to soak in our super cute jacuzzi at Secrets instead).  

 

3. Where you able to take a look at the ballroom? Is it too big for 30 people? Yup, we saw the ballroom and it is big. If you're going to do 3 tables of ten, I personally think it's a bit too big. If you were to do one long table, plus a bar, buffet and dance floor - it could work. But once again, these are things that you can totally sort out once there. November is a long way to go and things are constantly changing there. Keep in mind that there still building near the Garden View and they'll be new spots created that may not exist right now but will work much better for your wedding when you're there. And if Claribel offered Castaways or Caspers then hold onto that email like it is gold and know that you have that as an option. My advice is focus on your hair, choose makeup, do a little DIY, put together your OOT bags (something I had to rush through because I left it to the last minute), shop on Etsy, keep working out, but leave all the questions about where you'll have it until you get there. Both Sarah and I changed where we thought we were going to have our receptions once there. And trust me, I was completely set on reception on the beach but once there, minds change (or weather isn't cooperating - lol). I know it is easier to say than to do but you'll worry yourself for no reason. 

 

 

 

Originally Posted by suzzMF View Post

@ VAV 11238

First of all congratulations, you looked so pretty and thank you for your detailed description. It helps a lot hearing other brides experiences.

 

here are some question that i have.

 

1. I heard that there is a rooftop where you can have your ceremony, did they show it to you or did you see it?

 

2. At your reception at the pool, how loud was the DJ able to play music and till what time? I assume with rooms surrounding it, you cant blast it too loud.

 

3. Where you able to take a look at the ballroom? Is it too big for 30 people?

 

I'm freaking out a little that they cut out the restaurants for reception options. But I'm hoping we will be able to use it anyways in November when the main season is over. (fingers crossed)

 

Cant wait to see the pictures. Thank you so much again.



 

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Hey ladies!!!!

 

Looks like Val has covered a lot of what I would have to say! Thanks for letting my fingers rest! Ha!

 

Here are a few things I will add.....

It rained the morning and afternoon of my wedding. I had to decide by noon where all of my events would take place. At noon it was down pouring. I freaked out a bit okay ALOT but like Val said Cristina helped me get through it. We decided to cross our fingers for the fountain ceremony and change our reception from the beach to castaways which I am so glad we did. The afternoon cleared up and the sun came out and it was gorgeous!!  At 1pm when I got out of the shower it was pouring rain and I started to reconsider the fountain for the ceremony but it was my cleaning lady that calmed me down and told me the sun would return in an hour and it was exactly that!!!! By 2pm the sun came out! The one thing I noticed in pictures about our castaways reception is that our sweetheart table backed up to the soft serve ice cream machine. So in all of our pics of us sitting at our little table I could see the ice cream machine. So if you do get Castaways make sure that your head table is somewhere besides the ice cream machine. Ha! Minor detail when I look back!

 

We ended up renting the chair sashes from the hotel. We were not going to use them at first but Cristina talked us into it and I am glad she did. With the fountain set up we were able to use the pomanders that were included in the fountain set up price as our centerpieces. All we had to do was rent fishbowl like containers that were $15 each. Not bad. I did not give Cristina much direction on table decor but I am glad about that. She did a great job of taking what I brought (seashells painted in my colors, loose pearls etc. and did more than I could have thought of with them. I loved the way the tables ended up looking. Included in the $15 for fishbowls she included cute candles and a glass mirror under the fishbowls. Someone asked about my favors and I ended up finding spanish conversation hearts. I figured it was the week of valentines day and those are my favorite candies so it worked out perfect. I live near a hispanic grocery store and it was just a random find but they were awesome. They had some weird sayings but a lot of them said "Hola, Amor, Bien, etc) My guests thought they were hilarious!

 

We also had fruity drinks in Pineapples. I didn't even know this was an option. We had our "signature cocktail" in them. They were $5 per person but they were such a hit!!  We had a non alcoholic version as well. I am so glad we added this.

 

As far as DJ Mannia goes. We did not pay him in cash. We used paypal the day before the wedding. We just told them we didn't have enough cash on us (which we did) but we figured it was worth a shot to ask. I loved them! They played everything we requested and we gave them a very detailed song list and they did exactly that. We did get the light up dance floor which was a hit as well. We rented it through them because they offered a better price. We didn't really need it because we ended up in Castaways and we were originally going to be on the beach but it did add a lot of color and pizazz. I also bought sparklers from them. They were more than I would pay for them here but obviously could not travel with them. I loved the pics with them. They are not perfect pictures but they are something different that I felt was worth it!

 

Everyone loved the saxophone player at the ceremony. I didn't hear him I guess I was in la la land! Ha! I haven't been able to watch our video yet (we sent it home with our parents) but saw some clips and loved it. At first we only had the ceremony part with a videographer but we ended up hiring him for the whole evening and I am so glad we did. There are so many moments that I would have missed and now I have all of the speeches and first dances forever. We payed him $500 for the reception. We may have been able to talk him down but we didn't really have the time to work out a deal so we just went with it. He was from the hotel.

 

I love love loved our photographer. Milan from HDC. He was awesome and honest. There were moments that my hair was blowing up in the wind and he made one of the girls fix it. He also told me halfway through the reception that I was starting to look shiny which at first threw me off a bit but thank god he was so honest. When we were about to cut the cake he didn't like the lighting near the cake so he had some of the wait staff move the cake table onto the dance floor so it was centered and made for better pics. There are a few pics that I still have to have touched up but for the majority of them I think they turned out awesome. (Val I have not seen yours yet so I can not compare but I am sure they are amazing too) :)

 

We decided on a sit down dinner. Traditional Caesar Salad some kind of chicken vegetable soup(so amazing) filet and lobster. Our food was amazing!!!! We did have a tasting a few nights before and got to choose from a few different menus. That was helpful because we originally had the lobster bisque soup picked out and that was way too salty and the Caesar Salad at the tasting was layered in tomatoes and salmon which made it very awkward looking and unappetizing. We had 46 people and chose the cake included for 25 people. Which we had way too much of in the end. They also served a dessert with the meal so the cake wasn't even necessary except for tradition. We chose a marble cake with chocolate frosting inside and it was very good. We just had a plain looking cake and they added a few real roses to it which made it very classic.

 

If you do get the option to have it at castaways I highly recommend it!

We ended up staying at Secrets and our guests at the Now which was nice because we were really close to them still but far enough away. I used my credit for hair and makeup as a trial and ended up doing my own hair and makeup the day of because I am way too picky(maybe it's because I am a hair stylist) Ha!

 

We went to the Paradisus Palma Real Royal Service for our honeymoon. It was very glamorous and the food was a bit better but I will say that the food at the NOW has improved 110% Yay!!!!!!!!! And we enjoyed the scene at the Now and Secrets better. We are glamorous people but enjoyed the activities at the Now and Secrets much more.

 

We had our rehearsal dinner on the terrace at Capers and the food was amazing. We chose the caprese salad, minestrone soup, penne pasta and tiramisu. We decided on Wednesday that we wanted to do a private dinner on Thursday and Cristina made it happen. They kept it private with just our party out there. It was very nice. Most of our guests arrived Wednesday and it was impossible to get into the restaurants together so I would recommend doing a rehearsal. We didn't have to pay anything for it. So that was a plus.

 

I am sure I am missing a million things so I will try to remember the rest of the important things and get back to you!! If you have any other questions please email me!! sarahgn4t@att.net

 

Like Val said.....Don't sweat the small stuff they do this everyday all day so they know best and they really do make you feel at ease once you get there!!

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