I haven't spend a lot of time posting on the message board, but I just had my wedding on September 27 and I thought I'd share my experience. We arrived on Wed and met Mariela who was our assigned wedding coordinator. We reviewed all of our details and I must say, they were on top of things. If you have a good MOH, bring her to this meeting. My sister was present to take notes and manage all of the final details, which I must say was priceless. Couple of notes:
We held a welcome cocktail event on Thursday for our guests in the Plaza Colonial. I had 52 guests and requested large group dinner reservations at three restaurants to accommodate everyone. My sister created a sign-up sheet that we passed around at the cocktail party so that guests could choose where to dine.
We did go ahead and get the Bridal Suite which turned out to be pretty nice since it allowed the groom to use our hotel room to get dressed and my girlfriends and I had our own little party in the Bridal Suite. I had a couple of guests that cancelled at the last minute which helped defer some of the $300 cost. I did not use the PPR team for hair and makeup, but only because I knew my girlfriends could get the job done and that was one less expense. :-)
Although our wedding was held in the Garden Gazebo area, we elected to have the ceremony on the lawn across from the gazebo since the gazebo itself is so small and guests have to sit far away. We provided our own wording for the entire ceremony (use the web for ideas- and it's a great assignment for the groom), and provided a transcript to Mariela about a week before the wedding. (We used my ipod on their sound system for the ceremony music.) Make a note to bring your own runner for the ceremony (I forgot). The only options are at PPR are a burlap runner (which is perfect for the beach or more rustic themes) or a white feathery thing that looks like a boa and is a nightmare to walk on. Overall it was very hot, but the wedding was beautiful.
My cocktail reception was at the Plaza Colonial. We used our own docking station and ipod for music since it was only an hour.
My reception was in the Apollo Ballroom. I was thankful my guests had some relief from the heat. The decor was beautiful (I used amber lighting and draping) and the DJ was great. I provided a complete list of music for dinner and the party and he improvised perfectly. I asked a really good friend to emcee the evening and she did and outstanding job and made it much more personal than the DJ could have done. Also I added an hour to my reception so that things would not feel rushed.
Since my wedding was on Friday, we had all day Saturday to relax at the pool and enjoy visiting with our guests.
On Sunday we had breakfast at Naos with all of our guests, which was the perfect way to say goodbye before we departed.
Sidebar: About 3 weeks before the wedding, I sent all of our guests a mailing that included tourism information about punta cana, a weekend intinerary, info about the PPR restaurants (including dress code and access).
I'll try to post some pictures.