We had a wonderful flight flying to Punta Cana we had upgraded our flight to club class on AirTransat which was so worth it coming from Alberta it made the flight go by much faster with all you could drink, pillows, blankets and lots of food and snackies! Priority luggage coming off first and first off the plane bonus! Since we were with a group that didn't upgrade we did have to wait of course for all of them to get their luggage so after we did that we had a bus outside waiting for us from AirTransat! It was mass confusion.... Just a warning for those that have not travelled or have friends or family coming for first time travels tell them, not to let anyone grab their bags! We had two different couples that allowed this to happen. "Where are you going.?" They replied "he is helping us with our bags" no no stay with us as they nearly got dragged to the timeshare stands!! So after everyone was collected, loaded and off we went in the bus for a 20 min drive to the Barcelo Bavaro Palace yay!! It is the largest property which is amazing too if you arrive at night the lane is filled with lights around palm trees making a magical exciting feeling as we approach. We dropped off everyone at the "beach adults" side as we then continued on over to Palace since we were upgraded along with my sister at the junior suites! Time for check in as we go up the desk it was a bonus to have along our papers with our reservation the process to check in just the two couples was about 15 mins confusion added to it by my reservation being with my sisters boyfriend and my FiancÃ© Kyle with my sister! This isn't a wife swap this is a wedding! Also I was told at check-in we would have a free room upgrade the clerk was clueless about this, which led to frustrations on my end. Being tired from our travels of 12 hrs we continued on and left it at that. It was a journey with the bellhop to the Junior suites finally we got there and they had me and my sisters rooms side by side on the fourth floor. We opened our door and our room looked fabulous! My sister opened her room and it was two double beds when her reservation was for one king! She immediately called to the front desk spoke to the same agent that checked us in and he said that tomorrow they would move her no problem (Unknown to us at this time that this would be the same story for them 3 days in a row and never receiving the King size bed) . So with that we moved our bags in and headed to the Buffett for some eats before it would close. With my group reservation we had all our guests on the adults only beach side but they had full access to the palace do to renovations. I decided that I wanted to stop in the guest services to check on my dinner reservation for the next day to make sure they had been arranged. That was pointless as the girl just stared blank at me and looked at her computer and stared again. I was like I will just ask Lianny tomorrow at our meeting. The first night there was amazement the ground looked so beautiful. The furniture, lights, fountains with silhouettes of palms everywhere! It was quite exciting. We took the train to the adults lobby and met up with our family there and chatted and enjoyed "Miami vice" drinks ( Pina colada/strawberry)which we started to call our wedding afterwordâ€™s. The adults lobby has a relaxing ambience to it along with live shows to enjoy it is quite relaxing compared to the palace side, where you find many families. After we took the train back to the casino bar and checked out the disco that opens at 11. The disco is a great time if you like to dance! The huge screen and dance floor makes for some great times, sometimes the Latin music can be tiresome! After a few days we learned that paying the Dj cash works for requests! Back to our suite was always a journey the property here is so big it's mind blowing! You may eat and drink lots but you walk just as much too!! Our room was beautiful the only disappointment was the non upgrade and also there was no welcome gift or welcome champagne either like promised. The bed was so comfy and soft, lots of extra pillows of different sizes made it enjoyable too! The alarm clock had an iPod dock so u could plug your phone or iPod into! Around 3am we were awoken by a phone call we couldn't understand it but finally understand that one of our groomsmen was found drunk in the bushes and it appeared he fell off the 3rd story and broke his shoulder on the fall. We had about a dozen more calls, the hotel was up in arms trying to figure out if he had insurance and we did not know. Mat was too drunk to respond to let anyone know! The first morning the housecleaning staff woke us up which was okay as we hadn't seen this place in the daylight yet nor did we put up a â€˜â€™Do not Disturbâ€™â€™ but I couldnâ€™t find one either! It was hot out and we headed for breakfast on the palace side! Breakfast extravaganza! Very good! Everything from cereals, omelettes, to French toast to who knows what there was anything and everything! At 11 am we had to meet Lianny at the concierge! We were over ambitious by a half hour but they called and she came! Lianny was super sweet and spoke perfect English! She took us to the wedding "Bodas" office and started talking about the details she had the form that I had sent back to her and went over her list of questions making it so simple! I requested the palm arches and she said that she would look into pricing for me! She then brought in Malena from Tropical Pictures, the most adorable pixie photographer who also spoke perfect English she had some quick questions and a checklist of what we wanted that we reviewed together! We had previously decided on the silver package as we were receiving the pictures as a gift from Kyles parents. Malena then left and Lianny asked if we could bring our emcee by on Monday morning at 11 for her itinerary and my decorations as well! We also booked my hair appointment and makeup at 1 on Tuesday and my massage and nails at 2 on Monday that were a part of the Strawberry package! Lianny also had my reservation for 24 people that night at the Japanese restaurant for our welcome dinner! Lianny also assured us not to fret about our groomsmen incident and worse has happened on a Wedding day a couple weeks ago one of her Brides guests had a heart attack and another guest broke its arm. So it wasn't unusual for incidents to occur. We then went over and met with our friends I was a little annoyed that now our groomsmen was in hospital with only 3 days before our wedding with possible deportation! I was thinking emergency groomsmen? Hello? Someone? Finally when Mat was sober enough we found out that he did have insurance and that he would be staying in hospital for two days which was a scary thing in a country you don't know!
The Japanese restaurant is a lot of fun for a large group 24 fit perfectly around the two grills back to back it makes for conversation. And excitement you are able to talk and laugh as they perform for you! Everyone gets to choose what they want too! The cherry blossom lighting outside also for some special pictures twice for us! Sunday I awoke with a sore tummy! Good thing to make an emergency kit, Imodium, tums, Advil, and of course pepto were my friends. Sunday the guys went golfing, the course was beautiful but also exhausting going for 18holes didn't happen and we had a credit for the remaining 9. Unfortunately there is no service or refreshments while you play which is a disappointment for the guys who like to drink while they play which most do! The nice thing is the restaurant at the golf course does seat you with no reservations so at least they had that after the game. Monday morning we met with Lianny again, I brought her my suitcase of things, along with my mother and law to beâ€™s old veil and lace from my finances granny's dress that the florist would use on my bouquet. My Emcee discussed her itinerary with Lianny to go with Dj. We then paid for our pictures and our remaining costs at that point. Lianny then provided me with our itinerary as well and clarified what time the train would pick up my guests where at and my schedule as well. Later that afternoon I had my massage which was very relaxing, I even fell asleep a few times on and off. I spent time in the relaxation room and also had my pedicure and gave my manicure to my sister since I had gel nails on. Monday night we had a girls night aka my stagette it was a lot of fun my MOH surprised me with an outfit to wear for the evening which I adored! We had reservations at the steakhouse and then the staff of the steakhouse marched out singing happy birthday to me as the banged on a drum and sang to me! I blew out my "birthday cake" candles 3 times and they kept relighting the, it was so funny and made for good laughs!! We then went down to the casino lobby after dinner to find the Boys and then went to bed!!!
Finally the wedding day!! I woke up around 9am rather excited and anxious!! Me and my fiancÃ© went for breakfast and back to our room to get ready to separate! He then gave me a Pandora charm for my bracelet â€œ My unforgettable momentâ€™â€™ charm and off he went! My hair was at 1pm and that time came so fast I was 10 minutes late and I was scheduled to be back at my room for 3! I brought along my iPad and showed my hairdo to my hairdresser she did a beautiful job and exactly what I wanted! My sister on the other hand did not bring a picture and only described her hair to the hairdresser and ended up hating her hair and going to her room in a panic to fix it!! They don't speak English so bring pictures!!!!! Also I asked for soft makeup and she did a gorgeous light smoky eye and made my face flawless but not cakey! I had eyelash extensions put on before coming so she did not do mascara for me. Last but not least she put on my veil for me after all the makeup was done! During the whole process her and the other hairdressers sang beautifully together to calm any nerves, served me fruit, lemon water, chocolate strawberries and champagne! They treated me so well and it was a beautiful experience. now running late I ran to my room and Lianny already had been by with my bouquets and Malena was waiting to take my getting ready pictures, she assured me though not to panic !!!! Yikes I was anyways, off with my dress and into my sexy undies and bustier right in front of Malena and into my dress!!! Put on earrings, fluff the dress, laugh and pretend to do up buttons for pictures â€˜Omgâ€™,this is all happening so fast!!! My sister then said "Kyle wanted you to open this now" it was a box that I did not expect as I opened it in delight to find the most amazing diamond and sapphire necklace.. Malena does not miss a beat capturing all of this without me knowing or slowing down! My mom then gave as well a Pandora blue Murano to go with my bracelet, we then put on my garter and capturing the calamities of the rush and my wonder if I am doing this right? Next Malena took us outside to be greeted by the most terrible wind, to our advantage in the pictures instead of wind it turned into magic making my dress flow and picking up my veil in the most amazing way! I hardly remember the pictures being snapped and then we were done and sent back to my room to wait for Lianny! 5 mins later Lianny arrived and took us down to a golf cart and a short drive. Lianny then took the girls and I waited with my mom. This was it, it was so fast but here we were here and doing this. Lianny came and said it was go time. I felt the magic and overwhelmed but didn't cry feeling the sand squishing between my toes as I walked like I always dreamed of doing for the past year, I felt so happy it was what I had imagined, it didn't seem real until I saw Kyle and then I never looked away. I reached for his hand and moved closer. Trying to slowly say the words back and to be as close as possible. I don't remember anyone else being there! Lianny conducted the sand ceremony herself and said the words to us we then poured our sand together. We kissed and that was it turning back to our group we were married! It was as a surprise to see our friends there we had been lost in the moment! They had refreshments of water and pop for everyone! Then we all went for pictures of the whole group, wedding party and then shipped everyone off with Lianny again and we stayed with Malena to take our pictures! It was an adventure just the three of us and so much fun! We did the beach, garden and back in the hotel in random spots. It was exciting to walk along the beach amongst so many people as they cheer for you, the best most powerful thing you ever done! Such a reward!! I actually never put on my special wedding shoes I had bought, I was so happy in my barefeet I stayed that way all night!! We headed upstairs to the reception hall and everyone was waiting there for us! We went with the sweetheart table and it was such a good choice it felt so special to sit with your sweetheart and have that intimate time together even though your with everyone! The reception time moved so fast that the 3 hours were not enough time. We had just finished dinner and cutting the cake (which was with the fondant and Strawberry and Vanilla a safe bet for most guests I thought, they added fresh flowers as well to compliment my special cake topper of my Chihuahuas back at home) when Lianny said it was time to wrap it up! We asked her about extending the time and she said it would be $250 extra as it was $10 a person a hour! We agreed and had an awesome last hour! And 4 hours was a much better time without being rushed! Lianny then again told us time was up and asked me if there was one last song I wanted to play and I choose a 10minute song to make it worth it! We headed from the reception to outside and we took some personal pictures in front of the glowing fountains and other cool things, then headed to the casino lobby I sat on the piano bench and chatted for a bit then we headed into the much loved disco! It was dance time and we boogied down, shortly after another bride appeared and her party the dance floor was full! Then BOOM went the bass and across the screen was the words BRIDEOFF! We all screamed and the floor cleared it was me and the other bride ! We went crazy and it was so much fun, she was so sweet and so happy too! After that the bridesmaids had a bridesmaid off too! It was so much fun! Im sure my girls got the DJ to play ``Ginuwine -pony`` like they had all week and Kyle started to strip on the dance floor, even in front of his parents! He didnâ€™t care! He was that happy and into the night!! He was quite the crowd pleaser the security came and he begged with my MOH to keep going ``Its for the Bride``, he cried!!
Me and my husband stayed until 1 am as planned then headed back to our room! When we got to our room the lights were on dim and our room completely decorated! Towel swans, rose petals on the floor and bed, bouquets, flower arrangements, fruit platters, roses on stems, champagne and the big bottle of rum!!! The curtains were even folded into a fancy bow!! The fruit was so tasty and much appreciated after lugging around a heavy dress a refreshing treat!! We sat on our couch a discussed the day! Kyle was so happy and we had a good long hug! We decided to get into our Jacuzzi. Kyle got in and before I could get in he of course he was sound asleep with head nearly under the water......
In the morning we were awoken at 10 am by knock at our door! It was our room service! We had arranged for it at that time with Lianny on Saturday! The yummiest spread was brought in! French toast, Pancakes, yogurts, cinnamon buns, croissants, fruit, coffee and orange juice with all the fixings! Also he made our coffees for us offering cream and sugar!! He also offered to fill our ice bucket for us for our champagne that we didnâ€™t get to yet! We enjoyed our breakfast and relaxed for a bit when we remembered we were supposed to â€˜TRASH THE DRESSâ€™ at 11:30! I quickly got ready and back into my dress and Kyle back into his shirt and pants and headed to the Office of Tropical Pictures! Our Best man had bought us the package for our wedding gift! Kyles parents, granny & Uncle came with us and cheered us on. It was so fun and felt liberating as we marched through the sand and into the water, rolling, laying and getting hit with a wave! It was so exciting and seemed like magical way to continue the night from before; I did feel like a mermaid! My dress all of a sudden weighing 10 tons was not as easy to maneuver and I felt quite like a slug even with a slug trail being created as I struggled across the beach and resort.. I went from Mermaid to slug in minutes quite a transformation! Last but not least we hit the pool with a celebration jump! My dress so my surprise was like a parachute hitting the water and my little legs underneath like a ballerina in a tutu! I was again slow-mo for moving in the pool and Kyle towed me back to the stairs when my Mother in-law referred to me now as a Swan! It was quite a magical kick start to our new life as husband and wife as I had been so many creatures in a matter of minutes. I said that I would have done the Trash the Dress even if there were no pictures because it felt so awesome and just like the cherry on the cake! I had done it! I had partied to the max in my most important party dress ever! I was so happy! Malena finished up with us and told us we could come visit her on Thursday to review all our pictures. Kyle and I said goodbye to our entourage and headed on our private honeymoon day! First stop was our Spa Package that our MOH has arranged for us! It was a 3 hour package, it started with relaxing in the spa pool, steam rooms and sauna. Then they took us to our couples room and on the floor in rose petals were the words ``love`` and candles all lit on the floor. They took us side by side for a foot bath that put Kyle instantly to sleep. It was about 15 mins and then we moved into our relaxation massages. After we finished we rested in the relaxation room with tea and headed out for our day! We headed to the market and searched for trinkets and special things to bring home The first thing we got was a necklace in the shape of a turtle in the Larimar stone that only comes from the Dominican Republic, the shop keep lit it on fire with his lighter to show that it was real too which was so funny and threw in the chain for free this same shop was famous for the week we were there for giving away a ``free gift`` that was a carved wooden god on a rope us and many of our friends all received one. What we like to do on every trip is bring home a paintings for our home and at the market was many shops with beautiful paintings. I found one I loved too that Kyle began his bartering on that lasted two days! The thrill of it all is something that we live for on these trips! I also got myself a lovely little trinket holder that I collect from each trip I go on too! It started to rain so we left the market and headed back to the resort. We saw Kyles family waving at us but as it was our romantic day Kyle made us deek them!! We had made reservations at the Mexican Resturant! It was fun and good! We got the Corn Soup to start, Tuna Salad. Also they do just like in Mexico the tortilla chips, salsa, Guacamole that was super yummy and hot sauce. We both had chicken fajitas that come on the hot plates sizziling and you make them on your on soft shell! To finish with desert! After we finished we went back to our room to freshin up and the mashed flowers from the night before were cleaned up! I felt a little guilty for the mess! I then took one of my roses and carried it with me for the evening for our date! We went to the coffee and cigar bar and had the most delicious speciality coffees. Of course off to the Casino lobby bar again to finish the night. We relaxed and met some interesting folks aswell. Most of our group had gone in from being sick and tired from a stormy booze cruise!
Our last full day Thursday we met with Malena and choose our pictures we had the choice of 100 out of 160 that she took! We loved them all of course but choose by deleting the ones we didnâ€™t like first! It was hard to believe it was us! She played the slideshow with romantic music giving us the privacy to relive the moment! It probably took 45 mins the whole process and she told us to come by again at 11am on Friday to pick up the CD and Prints. We then gave Malena a hug and thanked her she was such a sweetheart! We then headed to see Lianny to get my suitcase of things! She had it ready for us in the Bodas Office and asked us how our breakfast was which was GREAT! It was a drizzling day so we decided that doing the Dune Buggy excursion would be a good thing! So we headed on that together and a few other members of Kyles Family. We rode in the back of a truck for 20 mins and to the adventures company. We all then got in our Buggies together. We were so excited to do this as we love doing excursions. After taking off and everyone ripping away our buggy came to a put put put. Stop. They quickly changed us out into another and yet it did it again. Soon it happened again and we were in the BIG buggy! But we were far behind Kyle wasnâ€™t too happy! We got the the beach on the tour and had a quick break and took some pictures. We all then left again in the buggies and got out on a hike that took us too a natural pool along a cliff and vines that was very beautiful. Everyone dived in and had a quick swim! The whole excursion was 4 hours. We then got back to the resort to have dinner and get ready to go to the ``Imagine caves`` which was an excursion too. The Bus came and picked us up at 11:50 and took us to the most coolest looking bar! It was great for a photo op, there was even real bats in it!! Which left some freak and a little uncomfortableâ€¦ the disappointment was that only one of the rooms was open when adverstised at 3! One of the girls got sick and we decided to take a cab back to the resortâ€¦ fitting over the legal amount of seatbelt in the van cab was not an issue for $20 either. Even though we were there briefly it was fun to have just seen the caves! We then headed back to the Disco and had an awesome last night there! There was some old school rap played and some awesome EDM to finish the night! We had a great last night!
The last day we woke up in a rush! Saying goodbye to everyone that had come on different flights and going to see Malena one last time. She reviewed the pictures with us, signed the guest book and hugs again!! She was amazing! We rushed to the market one last time and got some steals! Our room was locked when we returned but reminding we were the honeymooners was immediately reopened to us and apologies! We then cleaned up our room to go check out! The checkout came with an extra bill. It took some investigation to figure what the charges were as it was all in Spanish! The most alarming extra charge was the extra reception charge. It wasnâ€™t $250 like Lianny said the night of the wedding which I wasnâ€™t mistaken because I was Sober! I had one Champagne that night then all water! It was $500! We called Lianny and she came to the front and she said NO it was $500 we said what about the $10 a head she said It was $250 for DJ & $250 for the banquet room. She said anything else. Kyle said NO we were not happy at this moment. But the night was great thinking back and the extra hour was neededâ€¦. We then paid our bill at checkout of a total of $1000 and got on our Bus back to the airport. When we got the Airport I had my dress bag with me. Even though we were not first class on the way back because it was overbooked we got recognized as newly married and got a priority sticker added to our tickets and priority luggage tags so that was a nice treat to experience. We also go a few perks on the plane home! Greeted by -20c back home in Edmonton we were brought back to reality. Our trip was amazing and like a fairy tale! I am so glad I went with the beach option it was what I wanted, imagined and received! I got to marry my best friend in paradise and share not only with my friends and family but the world my love and story!!!
Below are some candids from the trip