So I have been very reluctant to have a planning thread for privacy purposes. I was afraid of someone simply googling my name and my resort and then finding my planning thread and having all the surprises ruined! I know this is probably stupid right? I should have made a different username!
However, over the last year i have probably gone on this site several times a week, and have found SO much helpful information and got so many ideas that I decided I needed to give back. (shout out to all the brides who have gotten married over the last year, and plan on getting married, because i have endlessly read all of your posts, and you have been incredibly helpful). I have "stalked" so many photographer blogs, googled "paradisus wedding, destination wedding, palma real wedding" in all variations on every social media site, just to see pictures and ideas. Unfortunately, there are not many Palma Real brides, and I figured if I made this post, another uncreative and paranoid bride like myself, will benefit at some point in the future.
I will make this purely about the wedding, as condensed as i can. and luckily I have most of my things already planned out so I will post all the final inspirations. And then report back after the wedding (which is in 28 days EEEEK) with an official review and actual pictures. So here it goes!
Why Paradisus Palma Real?
- The short answer is that its the most luxurious resort that allows kids. We have 2 baby newphews and I have a 14yr old sister.
- They are known for weddings and have a romance department that is based in Miami so the communication is very quick and easy
- My best friend's brother got married there in May 2009, and it so happened that my fiance and I were in Punta Cana on our first vacation that week (we stayed at a cheaper place next door). We got to spend the day there and were in such awe of its luxury and beauty, that it always had a special place in our hearts
- The bad: its expensive, definitely the most expensive all-inclusive that we looked at. They charge you for absolutely everything. If you are paying for your own wedding, like us, beware. It will make you upset, but just keep reminding yourself, it will be worth it at the end.
- Room tip: do NOT do a group contract. Cecilia who is in charge is awful, awful, awful. And the room rates are more expensive (for in-season) than rates online. Have all of your guests sign up for melia rewards and book through the melia website. We probably saved our guests on average $80/night/person by doing so. Yea it sucks we didnt get a free room for every 10 rooms booked, but we cared about our guests saving money more than getting a free room. (for any palma real brides PM me about this)
- Why Punta Cana? Direct flights form every city we have guests coming from (besides LA but quick stop in Miami/Ft Lauderdale), short flight from east coast (nyc, philly), and the first place we went on vacation together. (also my fiance cant go to mexico because he gets sick)
Wedding Date Choice
- February is arguably the coldest month in NYC so we figured everyone will want to get away at the end of the month
- the rates usually drop after president's day so we still get the high season, but not the super expensive holiday rates
- not a rainy month (we were in Punta Cana in May and it rained after afternoon - I am someone who worries WAY too much about everything, so I would literally not sleep for weeks if I thought there was a good chance of rain on my wedding)
Quick Us Background
- feel free to checkout our wedding website: www.mashandkev.com
- we met in college and have been dating for almost 8 years. we live in NYC and have lived together for 3 years. we have an amazing dog named Stella, she is a cavalier king charles, and we are obsessed with her. we are also incredibly sad she is not coming to our wedding.
- we have a place in Miami and go there all the time, so we are huge beach people, and will eventually live in Miami where we can go to the beach every day - so the beach wedding was a no brainer, decision made many years ago
Palma Real charges $1000 outside vendor fee (plus tax and service) unless they stay at the hotel for 3 nights.
Photographer - Tropic One - in house vendor. Not my number one choice but the pictures are good enough where we couldn't justify paying more. (My number 1 choice was Katya Nova.) I had them send me portfolio for each wedding photographer and we liked Rodrigo and requested him. We are also getting their photobooth for the reception.
Videographer - PJ from Life In Rewind (http://lifeinrewind.com/). We are flying him down and he is attending all of our events. He did 2 of our friends weddings last summer, and we just fell in love with his work and decided to fly him down.
Decor - Caribbean Celebrations - in house vendor, had no choice here.
DJ - Mannia. Paying the outside vendor fee. Music is very important to us and we read several reviews recommending Mannia over the in house DJ. He helped us with price given the outside vendor fee so it turned out to be a tiny bit more expensive, but not a lot. We are having him come for the welcome BBQ and the wedding. Resort wanted to charge us the outside vendor fee for EACH DAY. I pushed back HARD citing it never said that in the contract and eventually they agreed to only charge it once.
Hair/Make up - I rented the bridal suite and getting all of our hair and make up done by the in house stylists. I have 9 bridesmaids, myself and my mom. I am treating all of them to their hair and make up as part of their gift. There is a package that includes bridal suite, 4 hair/make ups and bridal hair and make up, which i purchased. Since i get my hair done free with my wedding package, i only needed to add 4 more hair and make ups (if anyone wants more info on this or pricing let me know).
Paper - my very good friend is starting her own etsy business with her mom after her wedding this summer became a huge hit. She did everything herself and really enjoyed it, and now her wedding is featured in brides! http://www.brides.co...hotography.html
So I was her first client! She did all of my menus, welcome letter, door tags, and ceremony fans! I will post pictures later when i get into details of each event.
Paradisus has a lot of wedding packages - i will keep this short but for anyone looking at the resort just reach out to me for more details. We chose the Tailor Made - which is the most expensive but it includes the welcome BBQ and many other things we knew we wanted. Unfortunately, it includes some things we didn't want decor wise, and we are still paying a lot of money for flower upgrades. I work in finance, so naturally I ran all the numbers and still decided for what we wanted, it made sense to do this package over others.
We are having 88 people total, including us and 2 kids (our nephews). Everyone is staying at the resort.
Schedule of Events
Thursday 6-9pm: Rehearsal dinner on La Baraza boat: http://weddingboatpuntacana.com/
this is for family and wedding party only.
Thursday 9pm: Welcome drinks at the resort bar for everyone
Friday 6pm: All White Beach BBQ
Saturday 5:00pm (official start time 5:30pm but want guests to get there early) - ceremony on the beach
6:30pm: cocktail hour at Fuego beach
7:30pm - 11:30pm: Reception at Fuego Restaurant. We had to pay extra to privatize this space. But it is incredible and exactly what we were looking for.
11:30pm: after party at Red Lounge (the resort bar/club)
this top floor will be just the dance floor and then theres a level that wraps around this where the tables will go.
I will go into detail for each event and post more pictures.
We are getting to the resort on Tuesday. Everyone else is getting there either Wed. or Thurs. with a few people getting there Friday.
Edited by maria1488, 29 January 2016 - 06:37 AM.