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2016/2017 Paradisus Palma Real Brides!

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Hi Ladies!!  


I am getting married at the Paradisus Palma Real in February 2017.  I've been scouring this website but a lot of the posts seem to be a little outdated (going back to 2010), so I thought it would be a good idea to start a more recent thread for all of the 2016/2017 brides out there.  Please share all of your experience/thoughts/comments/questions on this thread and hopefully we can all learn a little bit from each other!!!


I decided on PPR mostly due to the wedding coordinator that I was e-mailing back and forth with. I'm obsessed with her.  And I ask her questions daily and she always gets back to me within a few hours!  Which is is a big deal when dealing with people in another country.  The pictures look amazing and the reviews are all excellent.  It was a no brainer for us.


We decided to go with the Tailor Made package.  It is definitely on the expensive side, but we really wanted to do a Welcome Reception the night before our wedding to welcome our guests, and a Welcome BBQ is included in this package, so it just made the most sense.


We are doing everything on the beach - beach ceremony, beach cocktail hour, and beach reception (hoping for no wind or rain!!).


We already booked our DJ.  The music is important to us as I want to make sure it's a great party and everyone has fun.  The in house vendor is Abentos.  I tried googling them and couldn't find ANYTHING on them.  Nothing good or bad.  I've read reviews about DJ MANNIA and how amazing they are, so we went ahead and booked them.  Splurge #1.  The $1,000 outside vendor fee is killing me slowly...


We are looking at Photographers/Videographers now.  The in house vendor is Tropic One Studio.  They seem to have mixed reviews.  Has anyone used them?  How did your photos and video turn out?  I'm debating between using them, as they are the cheapest option, or splurging again for another outside vendor.  Splurge #2.   If anyone has used Tropic One at the Paradisus Palma Real - I would love to know your thoughts on your experience!!!


The other big decision for me will be hair and makeup.  The in house vendor is YHI Spa, but I can't seem to find any photos of their hair/makeup online.  I just e-mailed the lady at the Spa and asked her for some samples, so hopefully she gets back to me.  Have any brides out there used YHI for their hair and make up on their wedding day?  Ideally I'd like to have my bridesmaids get their hair and makeup done as well.  Did they do a good job?  Or, if you used an outside vendor - any suggestions?  Was it worth paying the outside vendor fee?


Happy Planning!!!!




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Welcome and congrats!

I think the reason you may not be finding reviews of the in house DJ and spa is that they are in house and not a company per say. You may have luck finding reviews on them if you hit up the resort reviews section of this website and see if any brides commented on the services within their reviews. Or thru the numerous threads on here of your resort (which sounds like you've done). Good luck!



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Welcome to our forum community jsantoro84 and Congrats on your Paradisus wedding next Feb!!! You're sure to find lots of resources here to help answer your planning questions, so happy research and enjoy your journey :)


For some added inspiration, we'll leave you with some magical wedding moments that matter we captured at a recent Paradisus Playa del Carmen Wedding - enjoy!






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Hello! I'm getting married at Paradisus Palma Real this September! I have been hearing nothing but good things. I also chose the tailormaid package! We decided to bring our own photographer/videographer and we got the $1k vender fee waived since they will be staying at least 3 nights at the resort. We decided to go with the in house DJ. Not sure what to expect and if I need to come up with my own music. I have read reviews on the spa lady's for hair and makeup. Everyone said good things about them except they are a little slow so they said expect an hour for an up do. Luckily I'm a hairdresser and several guest coming will be too. I do plan to use their spa for my up do but I have ppl to tweak it if needed. I'm still unsure on makeup yet! I'm getting so excited and I have found my most useful information off this site!! Right now I'm settling with an etsy seller on real touch flowers. I found it to be a much better deal then real flowers.. And with have 8 bridesmaids it just made sense. I'm a little concerned on how I'm getting everything to the Dominican but I will have like 12 family members on the same flight there so I may just try to split it up!! Goodluck planning! I have enjoyed it so far!! Can't wait to be there!!

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Hi Brittney,


I've also heard nothing but great things.  It can't get here fast enough!


A good friend of mine got married in Jamaica last year and she also bought SO MUCH stuff with her down there - all of the welcome bags, center pieces, decorations, etc.  She actually went to Walmart and bought 5 of the cheapest suitcases that she could find.  She checked the bags flying down there and then just left the suitcases there because she didn't need them coming up.  Because they were so cheap, she didn't mind leaving them there.  Just something to think about!


Do you know how exactly the vendor fee or 3 night minimum works?  Obviously it's cheaper to have a vendor stay the 3 night minimum vs paying the $1,000 vendor fee.  Does the vendor actually have to stay 3 nights?  Or can they just come and leave that day or the next?  I'm thinking about the DJ and Hair/Makeup Artists.  We'll only need them there 1 day, but if they don't want to stay for 3 nights, I can't force them too - especially if they live only a few minutes from the resort.  I wonder if they check in and check out the same day, even though I'll pay for 3 nights, if the $1,000 fee will still be waived.  Thoughts?


That's a great idea about the flowers from Etsy!  I'll have to look into that.


Have a good day!



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Hi Ladies,


I'm SUPER slow at work today, so thought I would take some time to outline where I am in the planning process.  I've spent HOURS reading the posts on BDW so hopefully this post will help someone else down the road :)


About Us:

We are from New Jersey and went to a destination wedding in Jamaica last year.  It was amazing!!  When we got engaged, it was a no brainer - we didn't even have a conversation about it.  We kind of just looked at each other and said "beach wedding?" and that was it...


Deciding on Where to Get Married:

We actually looked into all islands - Mexico, Aruba, St. Lucia, Turks & Caicos, St. Marten - but when it came down to it we saw that Mexico and Punta Cana were the most cost effective for guests to get to.  Once we narrowed it down to those two islands, I basically did hundreds of Google searches on Best Places for Destination Weddings - and went from there.  It was important to us that the resort was on the beach (surprisingly some are not), kid friendly, swim up pool bar, and had good reviews.  A friend of mine told me about Oyster.Com which is basically photos taken by actual guests, not professionals - so that gave us a good sense of what the resort actually looked at.  We actually narrowed it down to the Dreams Punta Cana and the Paradisus Palma Real.  At the end of the day, I had a hard time figuring out the Dreams website (maybe that was me having a blonde moment) and the wedding coordinator there took a while to get back to me.  The Paradisus Palma Real website was easy to navigate at the wedding coordinator that I'm working with is AMAZING.  I'm slightly obsessed with her and she is probably the main reason why we chose PPR.



Once we booked our date, the wedding coordinator sent us the available packages to choose from.  There is a variety of packages depending on what is included.  We ended up going with the Tailor Made Package because it included a lot of what I wanted and would have had to end up paying for separately if we chose one of the other packages, so it just seemed the most cost effective even though it is the most expensive. 


Ceremony/Reception Locations:

We are doing a beach wedding, beach cocktail hour, and beach reception. 


Guest List:

We sent out 150 save the dates (to basically every single person I know).  We are expecting around 100 - 125 people to actually come. 



Music is very important to us.  We've been to some weddings where the band or DJ is terrible and it totally kills the vibe of the party.  Matt and I really want to throw a fun party and music is a big part of that.  The in house vendor at PPR is Abentos.  I looked into them, but couldn't find any reviews - good or bad.  It seems like a few brides in the past have used them, but some have not.  A lot of brides didn't mention their reception DJ at all - so I take that to mean it wasn't very memorable.  After hours of stalking this website, we decided on DJ Mannia.  His reviews are amazing and the brides that have used their services in the past have all said great things about them.  For me this decision was more for peace of mind - one less thing for me to worry about.



The in house vendor is Tropic One Studio.  I don't LOVE them.  Their work is good, but I don't like how their videos don't have words (like speeches overlaying the scene).  I feel like having words in your video adds a little something special to it - so that kind of made the decision for me.  Additionally, I wanted full day coverage for Photo and Video.  Tropic One Studio is $7,500 - which is A LOT more than I was planning on spending for Photo/Video.  If I have to spend that much money, I'd rather go with an outside vendor that I love for maybe a little bit more money.  That's where we are now.  Researching and gathering prices.



The in house vendor is YHI Spa.  I've heard mixed reviews on them - mostly that they run late and have too few artists for the number of bridesmaids getting their hair/makeup done.  Also, I can't find pictures of any hair or makeup that they've done, so it's hard for me to judge the quality of their work.  Their price is $175 per person for Hair and Makeup.  I'm currently researching outside Hair/Makeup Artists to see if I can get a better price elsewhere.


Vendor Fees:

Paradisus Palma Real charges a $1,000 outside vendor fee or a 3 night minimum stay if you don't use their in house vendor, which is absurd.  Obviously the 3 night minimum stay is cheaper than paying the $1,000 vendor fee.  Per my calculations, its a little over a $400 savings - which is a no brainer.  I've emailed my wedding coordinator asking exactly how the 3 night minimum stay works.  The DJ for example, I'm pretty sure he lives nearby.  Could I pay for him to stay for 3 nights but he just checks in and checks out the same day?  Obviously I will still pay the 3 night minimum, even if he isn't there, but I can't force him to stay if he doesn't want to.  I e-mailed the wedding coordinator asking for her thoughts, but would love to know if anyone else out there has had any experience with this.



We actually have not booked our airfare or hotel yet.  Prices are still a little high and we are still 10 months out, so I'm hoping prices go down a little bit.  I'm curious to know if anyone had any trouble booking rooms.  Does the resort sell out ever?  As of right now, it appears that booking directly through the Hotel with the Me by Melia points is the cheapest option.

Travel Agents:

We looked into blocking off a group of rooms for our guests but the price turned out to be more expensive than if they booked on their own.  From what I could tell, the only benefit to using a Travel Agent was that depending on the number of rooms/nights booked by our guests, Matt and I would get a credit toward our room.  I felt bad asking our guests to spend more money through a travel agent just so that Matt and I could possibly get our room for free.  I do know that people who have used Travel Agents for destination weddings in the past like that the Travel Agent can keep track of who booked, which may come in handy but that's not too important to me.  I feel like I can gather that information on my own - but every bride is different so it's certainly something to look into!


Summer Clothes:

This might seem totally random, but I am getting married in February and the summer clothes are out now (April, May, June).  As I see things, I've been buying them and just plan on not wearing them until February.  My friend who got married in Jamaica had a hard time finding new sun dresses and such in the months leading up to her wedding because it wasn't summer season yet.  Same with the groomsmen outfits.  Depending on the time of year, summer clothes/colors may not be available - so start looking now if you can!  I thought that was a helpful hint, so I thought I would pass it along.


Next Steps:

  • Finalize Photographer/Videographer
  • Finalize Hair/Makeup
  • Wedding Dress Shopping!!! AHHHH :)

Looking forward to hearing from any other PPR brides out there!!!! YAY!


Have a good day Ladies!!


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Hello Future Bride!


I JUST had my wedding at PPR in August 2016!  So I will give you a short recap of what they don't tell you.


Short about us...We are in our early 30's from New York City and always knew we wanted to have a destination wedding.  So Punta Cana was perfect.

We thought it would be a great time for our family and friends to get to know each other, and we wanted a weekend celebration.


We also booked the Tailor Made package, which is the highest priced option, however I did not want limitations as other packages don't offer as much, ie rehearsal dinner.


Our Ceremony was at the Gazebo and Cocktail hour on the Terrace.  The Reception was in the Apollo Ballroom.

Remember there are some venue options in the hotel that charge extra, so for this Apollo Ballroom I paid an additional $1000.00.


We had a Rehearsal Dinner at the Beach which was beautiful!  All my guests were very happy.  However, please note I had to pay additional for any decoration for the rehearsal dinner, like flowers or any additional decoration. I believe they only give you the LED string of lights. Otherwise any centerpieces are additional through Caribbean Celebrations.


Cocktail Hour: The bride & Groom barely attend as that is the time you are taking photos. But the decoration company works with you on decoration, again any flowers are extra for the tables are extra.   The cheapest flowers are about $35.00/40.00, which is insane because its this little bitty flower! I do feel alittle taken advantage of with the decoration company's prices.


Reception: Again, beautiful!  But you have to PAY so much for decoration as they hotel doesn't really include anything except the actual place and the table clothes and chairs, napkins, plates. As you can imagine their selections are nice, but if you want anything 'fancy', it's going to costs 'extra'!  That's the word I started saying during my wedding, let me guess, 'that's extra'


EXTRA: is Table #'s, Table Place Cards, Guest Book, Favors, Flowers are VERY expensive, at $200.00 and that's only for roses as Center Pieces at reception.  Its OK in NY, but this is destination!  So imagine I had 100 guests, 10 tables x 200, $ 2000 just on flowers!


Oh don't forget if you choose the reception at a Hall, you have top pay extra for the Dance Floor, as the halls have carpet, so you have to pay extra for floor which depending on the floor size its from 1000-2000 dollars!  If you want LED about 1600.


Most important note that TAX in DR is I believe 28%, so imagine the cost of your wedding and then add an additional 28%.  Again I paid about $3000 in tax alone!


Tropic One Studio: To be honest, I just received my pictures, and I was NOT happy. Their pictures are OK, but with all this money you are spending, its your special day and you want them to capture EVERY moment.  They didn't capture every moment, and I had 2 photographers and 1 assistant and 1 videographer.  I feel like maybe they need more direction on what to do and what kind of poses to take. But you are so busy on your wedding day, you don't have time to guide them, that's their responsibility. I paid $5000 for my photo package.  And it was not worth the price. I should have just paid the vendor fee and hired someone else.


If you hire Tropic One, make sure you tell them exactly what kind of photos you want and what you want them to take pictures of. I didn't have time, nor did I think I needed to guide them.  I thought they would know what pictures to take etc.  I mean, they took a few good photos, they were not ALL bad, but as I said, they missed a few moments that were kind of important.


They are nice and professional, but maybe not as experienced I guess.


The PPR Wedding Planners are great!  They are helpful and always answered my emails quickly. I did try to bargain on some prices!  Just make sure you tell them you want all your guests together in one area of the hotel, its quite confusing for guests when their rooms are all over the place. The hotel is quite large.


Caribbean Celebrations: They are quite expensive is all I have to say, and don't bargain with you. I tried to bring some of my own decorations, however you cant bring everything! 


DJ: Note I brought my own DJ from NY, so they waived the vendor fee, but he had to stay in the hotel for 3 days.


At the end of the day, based on 100 Guests I end up spending at least 30,000 dollars, which is insane for a destination wedding.  Remember the tailor made alone is about 15,000 JUST for 42 people, and then for each additional guest is $190.00.  Decoration about $5000, and photographer about $5000, and any extras you want like a cigar roller, which we had.  


Just remember EVERY little Detail, adds up!  Overall the hotel is beautiful, the food is great and staff is great as well. 

Don't do destination JUST to save money, because depending on your guests count, you don't really save THAT much.  These hotels know you come from more modern countries and have increased their prices to match our dollar, so prices are almost the same at times.

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Hi @@jsantoro84!
Congratulation for your big decision, Paradisus Palma Real is a good one. No regrets.
I think you should invest in some good Photography job, it´s the only way you can treasure this special occasion, your Wedding Day.
You have so many options to choose from, take a look at my job... Even if you feel like "trashing the dress", you are going to love it. Check it out!


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