REVIEW ALERT :)
Wedding Date: January 22, 2018
Ceremony Location: Garden Gazebo, 3:30 p.m.
Reception: Taino Gardens 6:00 p.m.
Number of guests: 63
It's been 2 weeks since our dream wedding and I am honestly having a hard time putting into words just how amazing it really was.
I am not going to do a lengthy review of the hotel in general in this post, but if you have specific questions, please feel free to ask. We stayed in a second floor, ocean front suite for 14 nights - it was nothing short of brilliant. If you are travelling to Dreams La Romana for the first time, you have made an excellent choice. This resort will not disappoint.
We booked our wedding almost a full year in advance. Yessica was amazing to work with from start to finish. Ladies - I cannot stress this enough - these coordinators are professional and extremely talented. I know how anxious and stressed you might be planning from a distance, but try to trust in their abilities. They will not disappoint.
Welcome Dinner. I tried to book a complimentary welcome party for our group prior to arrival but was told we did not book our wedding during that promotion and that I would need to pay for a private event. After much consideration, we decided it was not worth the prices quoted. Instead, with our welcome gifts, we included a welcome letter and asked everyone to meet for "welcome drinks" in the lobby bar the evening after we arrived. It worked very well. There was plenty of seating to accommodate our group and everybody had an opportunity to meet one another and mingle.
Rehearsal. We arrived at the resort on Thursday and met with Yessica on Friday morning. This meeting was arranged a few days before we departed for the Dominican. As soon as we met with Yessica I was instantly at ease. Although her email responses had been timely and professional, there was a slight language barrier (my fault - I don't speak Spanish). Once we were able to speak in person I quickly realized that she would have absolutely no issues making our day come together. After we walked through our checklist in detail and finalized some pending items, we signed a copy of the checklist and agreed to the final price as quoted (to be paid any time before the wedding day). We then gathered our wedding party and had a short rehearsal at our ceremony venue.
During this initial meeting, Yessica explained everything... when she would collect my decorations and the music for our ceremony, when she would deliver our bouquets and what time she would collect us from the room, that she would check in on us at the Spa the morning of the wedding to discuss the weather for the day etc.
Hair and Make-up. Myself, my two bridesmaids and my mother had our hair and make-up done at the spa. The ladies did a fantastic job. I had a trial a couple of days earlier, but my bridesmaids did not and they were equally as pleased. I did bring some sample pictures along with me. Our hair and make-up stayed intact all day long, and still looked great well into the evening. Again, completely professional (salon quality) service.
Ceremony. Our ceremony started promptly at 3:30. I gave Yessica my tablet with a playlist for of our ceremony music and she took care of everything. As we were having a symbolic ceremony, we had one of our close friends officiate for us. We brought a photographer with us from Canada and opted out of the pictures included with the Ultimate Package. We did, however, still have the videographer that is included. We have not received that video yet, but I will post it when we do.
We chose to have the garden gazebo decorated with white linens and floral arrangements. I never requested any specific types of flowers from Yessica, I simply told her what colours I liked and sent a few example pictures. The arrangements were stunning! We also upgraded to the gold tiffany chairs, something that is entirely personal preference, but we thought they were worth every penny. I had an easel and welcome sign that Yessica also collected from my room earlier that morning and placed at the gazebo. We were given a table for the officiant, microphone and stand, as well as the champagne toast. Note, we opted for the premium DJ package and, as such, the microphone was included. I also asked for bottled water to be available at the ceremony as I knew it would be very warm. Of course, this was done without hesitation.
Cocktail Hour (6-7 p.m.). Tyler and I missed the first half of this as we didn't finish up our sunset pictures until 6:30 (this was planned). Our guests loved the musical trio and said the appetizers were to die for! The venue was beautiful. We had 4 cocktail tables dressed in white and no chairs. The bar was set up and everything looked great! I was surprised (foolishly) at how gorgeous everything was. In our meeting with Yessica a few days earlier she has asked some questions to try to get a better understanding of our vision. Did we prefer a more classic style, or a rustic look? Would we like a formal bar or more of a relaxed "beer tub" set up? Once I got to the cocktail hour I realized why. Every detail had been considered. The bar was dressed with beautiful table linens and our staff, of course, were all immaculately dressed in suits.
Reception: (7-11 p.m.). In our initial meeting with Yessica, I communicated that I wanted our dinner service to commence promptly at 7. Given our large number of guests and our choice of a plated meal (over buffet), I was conscious that we would perhaps be short on time. Despite having extended our reception by one hour, I wanted to ensure there would be plenty of time for dancing! There was. As soon as we took our seats at the head table, I was asked if we were ready for the meal to be served. I cannot say enough about the service... it was second to none. Franceso and his staff were outstanding. My drink was not empty once throughout the entire evening, and we were often asked if everything was ok or if there was anything we needed. We had our speeches in between courses and everything worked out perfectly. The food was amazing and some our guests even said it was the best meal they had all week!
I am really glad that we chose to extend the reception by one hour. Again, given our large group and the plated meal, we still had time to relax and the evening did not feel rushed at all.
DJ. We used the DJ provided by the resort. A couple of weeks prior to the wedding Yessica provided me with a form to complete for our DJ. We listed our specific songs (first dance, father/bride dance), and also provided examples of songs we'd like to be played during the meal, and at the dance. The guy (unfortunately, I did not get his name) was outstanding. Every. Single. Song. Start to finish he kept the party going. Our guests filled the dancefloor until the last song was played at 11 p.m. We were thrilled with how well he understood our taste in music, and executed the service! We even experienced a downpour of rain for the last hour of the dance, but we were having so much fun, 90% of our guests stayed and danced in the rain. It was amazing!
Décor. As noted, we chose the Ultimate Package. However, we also chose several upgrades. I added bouquets for my bridesmaids, extra boutonnieres and corsages for our parents, and as mentioned, we upgraded to the tiffany chairs. I brought several decorative items with me as I thought the prices quoted by the resort were outside of our budget. I brought table runners, centerpieces, garland, head table signs, an easel, seating chart, guest book, card box, pictures frames, cake topper, ivory pashminas for the chairs, and a few other small items. I was initially worried about whether or not Yessica would be able to take all of this, and my vision, and put it together for me. She did. She was absolutely outstanding. All I had to do was lay everything out in our room, she had it all collected on the morning of the wedding, and when we arrived at our reception it was stunning! Yes, we paid the fee for bringing our own décor, but in my opinion, it was worth every penny. We honestly did not have to do anything at all, everything was taken care of and put together beautifully. I packaged all of our decorations into extra suitcases and paid the extra baggage fees. Despite this, the cost of buying the decorations and the resort fee, it was still very economical. It is, my opinion, that if you have a specific vision for your day, and are willing to provide at least some of your own décor, you do not need to hire an outside vendor. backless wedding dress with long sleeves
I am sure I have missed some details. If you have questions or would like to chat about anything, please let me know. I'd be happy to help in any way I can :)