I'm from the US (but I've been to the UK 6x- my finance says i'm not allowed to move there! lol)
Many resort lines don't offer something like the dress rehearsal, which I think is crazy! It's such a smart idea!
Having been to Mexico so much, I find it so much more comfortable- Yes there are dangers but I don't find it any worse than Philly or NY. It is a country that gets SO MUCH money from the service industry- it literally benefits no one to mess with tourists. Your tip money at the bar is feeding someones family. Not that the DR is any different in that it relies on tourist $, but the vibe is just totally different.
In the DR, they were really very serious about us not leaving the resorts (we did- I don't believe in staying on resorts lol). Once off, we realized why. Now, full disclosure, we went right after the 2010 earthquake, so this was a) some time ago and b) right after a natural disaster. Once we left we just felt immediately uncomfortable. (We even saw a man approaching a goat with a large gun and the Taxi driver seemed nervous and sped away- poor goat!)
I find in Mexico everyone is SO respectful- in the DR I had guys make lewd comments (both from those off the resort, and more disturbingly from workers at the resort), grabbing at me, just generally super disrespectful and not at all comforting. My dad had to kick the room service guy out of our room bc he refused to leave when we asked!
This could have been completely isolated to the staff at our specific resort, but it definitely happened off resort as well. A la Anthony Bourdain, I have always considered myself a traveller, not a tourist, so I have zero interest in staying on a resort the entire time (really I'm not in love with resorts period lol), so for me, if I can't go off resort safely, what business do I have being there at all?
Also they made be throw out my coffee before I got on the plane- the coffee I got at the food court at the gate. I'm holding that grudge LOL.
A long story short- it's not on my list of returns. I can honestly say that I'm not sure I would accept an invitation to a wedding in the DR- I think I'd rather save that money and go to Mexico! (or the UK, or Iceland, or just Europe in general lol) I don't regret going, but I'd sooner go to Mexico if I'm looking for a beach!
That's just me- millions of people go there and have a great time! I guess it really comes down to what type of traveller you are (are you okay with being on a resort and just leaving for excursions)!
thank you so much for this it’s all very helpful.. are you from the UK OR US?
ive never been and I probably won’t visit the destination until I get married! Oh my gosh I have looked at your resort it is beautiful!!
my family have been to the Dominican.. can I ask why you didn’t find it as safe?
Well, I stumbled on this forum, and then when I realized it was run by a travel agency (while being really impartial- the fact that there are reviews for OTHER agencies was a good sign!) I didn't look any further!
Their website, where you can fill out a contact form:
Babs actually sent me an email on a Sunday (she had been out of the office on Friday) so that's how we started- I was so impressed right off the bat! You may not get Babs, but I can only imagine that the entire office is amazing!
We're getting married at Azul Riveria Cancun (formerly Sensatori). We chose it because we have kids coming. We actually just went down for the Brides Dress Rehearsal (A really cool program Karisma Resorts do, where they give you a special price/couple to go down and check out some resorts, meet wedding planners and vendors etcetc- it's great having never been there to leave knowing and seeing it all- http://www.memorablemomentsweddings.com/Memorable-Moments-Weddings-Dress_Rehearsal.cfm)
I'm pretty laid back- it's Mexico. Where ever you are, how ever it's decorated, whatever the weather is- it's going to be gorgeous. I wanted a destination wedding so that I could not worry about things! It will be what it will be- and regardless of what it is, MEXICO! lol
I did just see a post about travel guidelines for the DR (Below). Just something to consider, it seems really restrictive!
Have you been to the DR? I'm struggling at the moment with people who are afraid to travel to Mexico, which I've always found funny because I've been 6 times and I'm still alive! AND only 3 of those times were on resorts! I felt the least safe of all my travels in the DR, so it's just something that I like to mention!
I've had nothing but an amazing experience with my TA, Barbara (Babs) Vong- she actually works for Wright Travel Agency- the ones that run this forum! I'd suggest reaching out to them first- they're the experts!
My wedding is in February of 2020, and we started planning around August 2018, for what it's worth on a timeline.