Thanks for the tips, I am also likely to be so worried about everyone else that I forget my purse!
Originally Posted by Camy47
Thank you to everyone for all the nice compliments on our pictures! We had such an amazing time and such a great experience!
Instead of posting a giant review....I'm just going to offer up a few hints & tips that might have helped us on our journey in Punta Cana.
1. Make sure you have your passport & purse! This was actually funny b/c right before our limo left with us and our guests, I had checked with everyone to make sure they had all their documents with them. Just as we pulled away I realized that I had left my purse at home!!! D'oh!
2. Group Check-in @ aiport: we were supposed to get group check-in at the airport but when we arrived we were told everyone had to check in normally. In retrospect we should have spoken with someone else to confirm as it took FOREVER for our guests to get their boarding passes.
3. Be the first on the plane! We had 6 brides on our flight and the storage locker you are supposed to be able to use for your dress....well there's no way it would fit a wedding dress. Make sure you use your advance boarding so you get an overhead bin to put it in. We were upgraded to first class so we didn't have a problem, but I felt bad for some of the brides that boarded after us.
4. Customs in Punta Cana: this was an interesting experience as they actually opened up all my boxes of decor. Everything ended up being fine...probably because they started to see Bridezilla! Seriously though, don't be surprised if this happens and maybe have a list of items that are in each box.
5. Welcome Dinner: this was an awesome idea! This event gave everyone the chance to meet each other and to receive their OOT bags. It also gave my husband and I the opportunity to express our gratitude for everyone making the long journey. It was a great way to start the week!
6. Group Excursion: we rented La Barcaza in Punta Cana and took our guests on a 3 hr boat excursion. We swam, had a grilled lunch on board, open bar, relaxed and danced! Everyone had a blast and are still raving about it! @ Holly....TOTALLY worth every penny! If you want more details just let me know.
7. Weather: we were SO lucky on our wedding day with the weather. The forecast had called for rain, there were a few drops during our ceremony, and a storm went literally right beside the resort. I think this was the most stressful part of the wedding! If you do happen to be a bride that gets rained out....don't sweat it. We saw several that week that were moved indoors, but they looked awesome. Some brides even made the most of it; one still continued with the ceremony and everyone got drenched but their spirits were high and they even did the photoshoot outside in the rain. I'm sure the pictures were awesome and definitely one of a kind!!!
8. Don't sweat the small stuff: regardless of where your wedding is things will go wrong. We had a few things but in retrospect they are kinda funny. For example...our cake melted! It was a buttercream cake and it just couldn't stand up to the heat so it actually started melting. By the time we cut the cake it was the leaning tower of PC!
9. Hair: this is a biggie and if I could have a do-over this would be it. I did as other brides recommended and brought lots of pictures with me to explain to the stylist. Unfortunately the 'natural look' I was going for was not in their repertoire. I think this is because of the heat & humidity....it seemed like all the up-dos were kinda promy and they used a LOT of product to keep it in place. The curls I had wanted in front just went flat after 10 minutes so I ended up pinning them up. Just keep the weather in mind when you are picking a style and be prepared to change. After a day or two in your location you'll know what your hair is going to be willing to do!
10. Using Outside Vendors: although I used the resort for all the basics, I hired outside vendors for flowers, decor, dj, photography & videography. This was probably the best decision I made. It took a little bit of extra leg work having to deal with multiple people up front, but in the end we had a gorgeous wedding and paid less than 1/2 of what it would have cost through the resort. @ MichCraw I don't know what your budget is, but I highly recommend Groupo Illusiones for flowers & decor in Punta Cana. If you want more details just PM me.
11. OOT Bags: I'll write more about this on the OOT thread....but here are a few highlights. All the Vistaprint stuff was a hit...especially the personalized stationary packs I gave to each of my bridesmaids. Everyone used their pink bags throughout the week which was great b/c you could spot ppl from across the resort and down on the beach. The key card holders, bubba kegs and playing cards were also used daily! The only thing I didn't see anyone use was the first aid kits.
12. Luggage Tags: we did pre-departure packs with luggage tags. These were awesome at the airport because the guys just started pulling any luggage off the conveyor with these tags so it made things quick!
13. Photography & Videography: the verdict is still out on this one as we had some issues with the company we used. In retrospect we probably should have just tried to find someone from home that was willing to shoot the wedding for the cost of the trip (this actually would have been less expensive too). Communication between you and your photographer is key so if you have the chance meet with them ahead of time do so. Also make sure someone in your group has a list of the family photos you want. We assumed the photographer organized this but it's not the case....and b/c we didn't have a list we forgot some ppl.
14. Bubbles (for Butterfly67): honestly this was a waste of money. I bought ours at Dollarama and they were useless. The wands inside the bottles are so small no one could blow any bubbles....they all tried so it was kinda funny but I wouldn't recommend.
15. Shoes (for MichCraw): surprisingly my heels were great! I think you get so caught up in everything that you don't even notice that you are wearing them! The flip flops for the beach were a must though!
16. Playing Hostess: one thing I found is that it was very easy to get wrapped up in playing hostess! I wanted to make sure that all of my guests were having a good time....but that meant a lot of running around. I'm glad we are doing a honeymoon in December because we really didn't get much down time or time for ourselves.
Most importantly....enjoy the experience! My husband and I decided that as soon as we left for the airport things were out of our control and we just had to enjoy it no matter what happened. As it turned out everything was awesome and we just didn't let the small things get to us! Our wedding day was perfect and everyone seemed to have a great time throughout the week! I just wish we were still there!
If anyone has any questions on Punta Cana or our experience, please just PM me...I'm happy to help! And thanks again to everyone on here for their help and support over the past 8 months....this site is truly a destination brides best friend!