Well we are back from the wedding! Everything turned out perfectly although I was stressed out the entire time and only realized (once I arrived) that I had nothing to worry about. Carolina and Kenia are the best at what they do and are super professional at making your wedding perfect! Hopefully I cover everything in the review and if I haven't - feel free to shoot me a message.
GPPC & Renovations: The biggest thing I 'noticed' were the renovations that were going on at the hotel. They are a bit behind with the building of the new villas but it doesn't really interfere with what you have to do. There were a few restaurants that were closed so we were limited with the choices for the reception but that didn't worry us because everyone enjoyed the dinner (as we saw the empty plates).
Crystal Wedding Package & Planning: First things first - do NOT stress out about the planning and coordination. Carolina is very busy and tries her best to respond to each and every response for folks that are interested in having their wedding at the Grand Palladium. Believe it or not, it seems like the word of mouth is spreading fast and she is becoming extremely busy. With that being said, I would utilize the "subject" line of your email to include the date of your wedding and your name(s) so it's easy for her to identify who is sending her messages and the priority of responses. If you're already scheduled to have your wedding there the response times in my experience were MUCH MUCH quicker. As others have stated Carolina knows what she's doing however I needed to re-visit this board to remind myself that everything is under control (and I needed to calm down). We had the Crystal Wedding package and as US Citizens we went ahead with the legal process to get married in the DR. We also decided to get married in the beach facing gazebo which was absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Now, when you arrive you will schedule a meeting with Carolina - when that takes place you will see how everything will come together and all of your worries will go away. I hope this post will help future brides to not do what I did and stress out all of the time.
Weather : This topic single handedly stressed me out for 72 hours prior to the wedding. The forecast said that there was a 30% chance of rain starting at 4PM (which was the time the wedding started). I was so scared that my big day would be ruined by the rain however, it was a nice cool day with the perfect overcast for photos and other things. There was a little sprinkle while we took photos on the beach but the photographers were able to catch the rainbow so we were really happy about that. For those getting married between Dec - Feb I don't see you having a problem with the rain. Main point is, it's the Caribbean and although the forecast had rain we didn't experience it and it held out.
Reception & Food: We had our reception at Arrecife and paid the extra 1K for the private dinner and it was the best decision we made although we had to put out extra money for this. We rented out the entire space although we only had 20 people at the wedding and it was the right idea because of a few things: First Dance Importance & Intimate feel with attentive service. I just couldn't imagine 'sharing' the space with others. The restaurant was set up very nicely and to our likings. We exceeded the 12 person threshold so we all had the same meal and everyone enjoyed it. We had the French & Onion Soup, the Beef Tenderloins, and fruit platter because of the cake Now, everyone enjoyed the food and we enjoyed the service that was provided to us. It was on point. We were having such a good time that there were some people on the resort starting to walk in because they saw what a good time we were having and wanted to join the party! The cake was delicious and MORE than enough for our group and we wanted to give the rest of the cake to the servers and their kids/families. They were great! Everything really went perfect and we couldn't be more happy.
DJ Mannia: First, we met with the Mannia group prior to the wedding so they could explain what they have seen, what works best, what doesn't etc. It was perfect because the music is a HUGE deal for just about everybody and certainly my family. DJ Mannia and Elam had the crowd going all night. Our crowd is a energetic crowd anyways and will get up to dance, and will take their shoes off when their feet hurt and are up late into the night dancing. DJ Mannia sent a wedding information in a word document prior to the wedding and we filled it out. Prior to the reception they pulled us aside to confirm the small details which made me feel even better because they were concerned with the little details. I wouldn't have a reception in the DR without DJ Mannia. They've got competitive prices and their reviews speak for themselves
HDC Photo: We used HDC Photo and WE LOVE THE WORK THAT THEY HAVE DONE!!! Arnaud and his company are simply the best and I am the type to pay for quality and won't bat an eye when I do. Your photos are your only tangibles from your wedding and you want to capture them as such. I know some people have others in the audience that take "good pictures" but taking "good pictures" and hiring "professionals" is a big difference.We could see that from the experience and the confidence that they had with some of the photos that we are in good hands. I remember doing a few photos and I was thinking "this is a strange position" and guess what?? That photo is my FAVORITE PHOTO. I cannot recommend them enough and I am going to put their services on blast to anyone and everyone that has a wedding or special event in DR. The photos are taken with such precision that it takes me back there once again. We worked with Arnaud (prior to the wedding), Milijan (wedding), & Charly (wedding) for our wedding and they were the best to work with. Those three know there stuff. I am truly amazed and thankful that I hired them to capture my big day. HDC are the best.
I'm hoping I'm covering as much as I can about our big day and I'm hoping this will help out a future bride just as this forum has been tremendously helpful to me.
*Oh, I just remembered - for Brides getting married at the Gazebo - those cobblestones are spaced far apart so if you're wearing heels and having the camera man there try to look up without falling. We noticed those that didn't have a groomsmen/usher to hold onto were looking down.*
Edited by Bride2B1130, 17 December 2013 - 09:11 PM.