Resort: Dreams Punta Cana
Travel Consultant: Hannah
What made you decide on having a destination wedding?
I've always wanted to have an intimate destination wedding. With our family and friends residing in different locations, this was the perfect opportunity to bring everyone together. Cost also played an important factor. Economically, there wasn't a venue in the states that provided a comparable package for the value that we received at Dreams Resort.
What made you decide on the destination/resort/venue?
I viewed many resorts online and fell in love with Dreams Punta Cana. It was breath-takenly beautiful. Dreams provided an option of having our wedding on the beach or under their gazebo. The resort also provided multiple terraces with different views for us to choose from to host our reception party. Not only are the wedding packages a steal, but Dreams also provide free anniversary nights, which we will be taking advantage of.
What was the biggest difficulty in planning your destination wedding?
The biggest difficulty was not being able to physically interact with the wedding coordinator and/or venue prior to arriving at the resort. Unlike hosting a local wedding, we didn't have the opportunity to tour the venue and sample a tasting menu (including the wedding cake). We were left blindly trusting the wedding coordinator and the resort and they did not disappoint. I highly recommend Carolina Guzman as wedding coordinator for any bride getting married at Dreams Punta Cana.
The other difficult part to planning the destination wedding was actually traveling with my wedding attire, decorations, and party favors. The resort allows you to bring your own decorations (that they gladly set-up for us). This was a huge cost savings. Unfortunately, the cost to ship large packages to the Dominican Republic is astronomical so we shipped everything aboard the airline carrier with us. As unbelievable as it may sound, it actually cost less to ship our decoration with the rest of our luggage, rather than shipping via USPS, FedEx, or UPS.
What was the highlight of the experience and what was the biggest surprise?
The highlight of the experience for me was marveling in the spirit of love that filled the air. Our wedding provided an opportunity for other couples to rekindle their love affair with each other. A few of our guest actually thanked us for allowing them to share in our special occasion because our wedding provided a second honeymoon for them.
Seeing how the wedding came together was a big surprise. The ceremony and reception looked absolutely beautiful, so much so that guests of the resort, who were not apart of our wedding party, asked if they could attend our wedding. To my surprise, my family had planned a "New Orleans Second Line" so we were able to incorporate a lot of our customs/traditions at the wedding.
And finally, I will never forget the joy and excitement on my husband's face as he reveled in our special day. I surprised him by planning an incredible fire show. The amazement on his face was priceless.
How well was the resort and your On site Wedding Coordinator to work with?
Both the resort and the wedding coordinator were easy to work with. They allowed is to make our wedding as personal as we liked. They were quick to respond to our needs and extremely accommodating. Carolina Guzman is an excellent coordinator with a great amount of patience. Also, the resort's salon was phenomenal. The ladies at the salon styled my hair and applied make-up applications for all of the ladies in my wedding party. Stylist Vanessa was extraordinary to work with.
If your best friend were planning a destination wedding what would your advice be to her?
My advice is to plan early and consult directly with the wedding coordinator. Plan the wedding of your dreams because you deserve it.
Was there anything that you would change looking back?
I think that the resort should provide a ground level changing/waiting room for the bridal party. Our suite was near the back of the resort on the third floor. I had to rush down three flights of stairs in high heel shoes, carrying the bottom portion of my wedding dress, then walk to the front of the resort to its gazebo. It would have been nice to have been on the first level near the gazebo preparing for the wedding, especially considering that there is a small building with bridal displays in the windows near the salon.
I also had to go back to our room to change into my 2nd dress during the reception. Again, a changing room near the wedding would have been helpful and more convenient.
Thank you for letting me help you with everything! It was a true pleasure :) -- Hannah