WEDO Dominican Weddings Taking care of your legal documentation for your wedding in the dominican republic

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Getting Married in the DR - Legal Requirements

The information published below is provided by WEDO, for couples wishing to get married in the Dominican Republic and is current as of July, 2004. While legal requirements regarding marriage in the Dominican Republic are the same for travelers from all countries wishing to get married in the DR, the information below refers specifically to Canadian citizens, Europeans and citizens from the United States of America. You are urged to contact the WEDO.COM.DO regarding any clarification or additional questions you may have. Please also confirm with the hotel you have chosen for your wedding your wedding date and details.

YOUR WEDDING IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

The Dominican Republic is the ideal place to celebrate your wedding. Surrounded by palm trees, tropical flowers, live music, you will find the perfect balance between privacy and a friendly atmosphere.

You will need two witnesses holding valid passports who can be traveling with you or you can ask local hotel staff to witness your wedding.

REQUIREMENTS FOR GETTING MARRIED IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

  • Valid passport*
  • Original Birth Certificate (legalized/sealed photocopies to be sent to
    our office)
  • Notarized Single Status Affidavit for each one (To be sent to our
    office)
  • If divorced, copy of your legalized/sealed Divorce Act (to be sent to
    our office)

Legal translations of your documents are prepared at our office. DO NOT HAVE YOUR DOCUMENTS PREVIOUSLY TRANSLATED.

Original birth certificates. Send two photocopies

Valid and signed passports. Send two photocopies of the main page

Notarized Statutory Declarations of Single Status done according to the sample. Send one original and one photocopy. Please see attached sample of a Statutory Declaration of Single Status.

Divorce certificate or death certificate (if applicable). Send original or notarized photocopy and two simple photocopies.


The required documentation is translated and legalized by the Dominican Republic Consulate.

Please courier to us all above-mentioned documents and their copies. DO NOT SEND original birth certificates or passports to us, only their photocopies. Please include a prepaid courier envelope to return documents to you with your daytime phone number and mailing address. Legalization of documents takes 3 to 5 working days.

Please note that your first, middle and last name must be the SAME in your passport and statutory declaration. If name is different on your birth certificate, please indicate that in point 1 of your declaration.

Fees: Please contact our office for fees. Your fee will include translation and Consular legalization.

WEDO can also take care of the translation and legalization of your Wedding Certificate.


A sample copy of the Statutory Declaration of Single Status is below

STATUTORY DECLARATION OF SINGLE STATUS

“I, (your name here) declare that I am single, never been married and never applied for a Marriage License in the state of (state where you reside) or any other state in the United States of America***.

My fiancee and I will be married in the Dominican Republic on (date or approximated date of the wedding)”. SIGNED AND NOTARIZED

If you have been married before, it must read “… SINGLE, DIVORCED, MY DIVORCE WAS FINAL ON (DATE OF YOUR DIVORCE) AND I HAVE NOT APPLIED FOR A MARRIAGE LICENSE IN THE …, MY COURT CASE No. WAS ( ), PERFORMED BY JUDGE (JUDGE'S NAME), IN THE COURT OF (COUNTY & STATE)***.


* If you are a US citizens and are not required to have a passport
to travel to the Dominican Republic, please confirm with your
Wedding Coordinator if the wedding can be performed with you
Birth Certificates (originals) only.

** Canadian and European citizens must indicate city and country of
residency for the Single Status Affidavit. Also, for previously
married couples/individuals, country and city where the divorce
was performed

Couples below have decided to share their wedding with you.

SuperClubs Breezes Puerto Plata - Craig & Sabrina from Ontario Canada Dominican weddings
May 2004

 

We were married on April 22 and it was a dream come true. Everything was perfect from the Spa (hair, facial, etc.) to the pictures (excellent). We received champagne in our room, breakfast in bed, and an upgrade to a better room.

We were married in the gazebo by the Ocean and then had our pictures (and video) taken on the beach. The photographers were great, they had many different poses for us.

We had our reception in the French restaurant which was great because it was air conditioned. We got to choose our menu beforehand. The ceremony is in Spanish, however, Maribel translates it for you.

We were a party of 22 and everyone agreed that it was absolutely everything we had hoped for.

Thank you so much Maribel!

We have pictures available at http://community.webshots.com/user/brinigirl
However, keep in mind they are from our camera, not the professional pics. (We haven’t scanned them yet).

Please feel free to email me with any questions to [email protected]
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SuperClubs Breezes Puerto Plata - Debra Dominican weddings
March 2004

We travelled from Ontario, Canada with 25 friends and family members to Breezes Peurto Plata, February 21-28, 2004 for our daughters wedding. It was a vacation we will never forget. Maribel did an excellent job cooridinating the wedding of my daughter's and fiance's dreams. The flowers were gorgeous. They were married on the lookout beside the beach bar overlooking the ocean. She used the hotel photographer and video photographer and they did a great job, haven't seen the video yet the newlyweds stayed on an extra week. But, just a suggestion, if you use their photographer try to meet with them ahead of time to discuss whom you want in your pictures as her grandparents were not in any of the pictures, an obvious oversight. They even had a visit from a group of whales who performed a lovely dance on the ocean at the end of the ceremony. How perfect.

Check in was a little slow but in all fairness I had emailed Maribel ahead of time and requested an ocean view room which we did receive and it was perfect. There was a fruit basket, bottle of rum and a fresh bouquet of flowers when we arrived and again the next day. Our room was always clean with fresh towels and restocked fridge daily. We stayed in 1074 and it had a beautiful secluded beach right in front, an awesome place to drink your coffee in the morning. The room was a bit of a walk though as it was at the end of the resort grounds.

The resort was beautiful and the staff were always friendly. We ate at the Mexican, Japanese and the French restaurant (for the wedding meal) and they were all excellent. Jimmy Buffet always had a large selection and never had any trouble finding something to eat. The pool is great. The beach was very nice and lucky for us there were at least 3 green flag days that week. We also enjoyed the more secluded beach on the other side of the breakwall. I could go on and on but to sum it all up, If you are planning a wedding Breezes did a great job and I would recommend it.
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SuperClubs Breezes Puerto Plata - Tina & Kevin Dominican weddings
February 2004

Wow, we just got back a week ago, and are so sorry that we didn't stay at this absolutely phenomenal resort for 2 weeks as opposed to 1! We are already planning a 2 week trip next year, and just can't wait!

We arrived at Breezes on Saturday, February 14th, along with 14 of our guests. When we walked onto the resort premises we were awestruck. The grounds were amazing. You'll see. Our wedding was scheduled for Tuesday February 17th at 2:00pm.

We enjoyed the resort with our guests all weekend, and without any wedding woes or worries. On Monday we met with Maribel, the wonderful wedding coordinator. She was absolutely terrific right from the get go. Although we only spoke for about 10 minutes or so on Monday, we had been corresponding by email prior. She was always quite quick to respond via email, and always answered any of my questions.

Because we had a group coming with us, most of my correspondance prior to our arrival was with guest services. Tanja, and Annett with room bookings were wonderful. She helped us to decide where we wanted to have our rooms (the Villas in the 1,000's - great spot, right on the beach) and all our guests were very pleased with the rooms and location.

Okay, onto the wedding. So, on Monday my now husband and I met with Maribel. We gave her our documents that were required in order to get married in the DR, as well as our witnesses info and documents. She showed us some photos of the different wedding locations - we selected the gazebo, even though we had initially thought we wanted the beach. Note that there is no privacy on the beach for a wedding, so if you want people in speedos hovering around you gawking at you then it's a great spot, otherwise you might want to select the gazebo - which we loved. It provided the privacy that we wanted and was pretty much on the beach as well.

So, the gazebo it was. Then she flipped through some photos, and I picked my bouquet. There was a lot of different styles to choose from, but I asked for a red and white/ivory bouquet, the longer style, and that was that. White flower boutineire's for my soon to be hubby, and for the witnesses. Oh, and we decided to pay an extra 50 bucks US for more flowers for the gazebo. Definitely a plus. They ended up taking them afterwards and decorating our table at dinner with them. Worth the money for sure.

She asked if we wanted a vanilla cake or a fruit cake, and obviously we picked vanilla - fruit cake, yuck. I asked if she could put some red and white flowers on top instead of a cake topper or the stuff that comes on them. (I had seen a wedding the day prior and wasn't too fond of the cake) So, just so you know - it comes with these pastel coloured flowers all around it, kinda makes it look more like a party/birthday cake as opposed to a wedding cake - still very nice mind you, but not what I would pick. So she said of course, and that was that. They just pulled the flower things off (they are on little wires that they stick all around the cake, and they put the flowers on, and it looked gorgeous!)....

The only other decision to make was the menu for the dinner... we had previously arranged to have our dinner at the French restaurant, called the Paris. So Maribel showed us 10 different full menus, including appetizers, soup/salad and entree..... this was the hardest decision out of everything, only because there was so much to choose from. We mixed and matched which she suggested we do (so nice of her), so we had Tropical Salad with Chicken, Tomato Soup with Basil, and Beef Medallions with Red Wine Sauce. So delicious.

Okay, so the wedding day. Kevin and I enjoy a beautiful breakfast together at Jimmy's Buffet. Then we had back to the room. Kevin goes to his Best Man's room to get ready. I go to the spa with on of my bridesmaids, to get our hair done. The spa can only accomodate 2 people at a time for hair updo's, so we went first, then my other bridesmaid, and Kev's sister who was also standing up with him. (She wasn't the witness mind you - family can't sign the marriage certificate - FYI). We sipped on champagne, did some photos, and then the other girls got their hair done. Back to the room for me. Finish getting ready, and then the time has come.

Kevin had to be at the gazebo 15 minutes prior. Maribel and the photographer (Wuan), the videographer (Hoolio) as well as the Dominican Trio pick us up at 1:55pm. We take some photos and then are on our way. This was fun. So my 2 bridesmaids walk in front side by side. Then a small gap. Then my dad and I. Then the trio. They serenade us all the way to the gazebo. So, we walk the long walk (not really that long, but fun anyway), and walk past the beach bar where people clap and say congrats and even had a couple people I don't know take photos of us. Funny. We enter the gazebo!

It was beautiful. The extra flowers were definitely a good idea. There are seats for our guests. There's a little table covered in a white tablecloth. Four seats behind it, with the white covers. Maribel directed us the whole time, so that was good, otherwise we wouldn't have had any idea what to do, or where to go. So, behind the table we go. Maribel says some stuff in english, then the judge speaks in spanish. All we had to do was say YES at the appropriate time. That's all we had to say. So we liked that. After the ceremony, which is pretty quick, but nice, obviously, the big ol' kiss. Then they do the ring exchange. So they do it differently then we do here, but it was nice. They take lots of pictures throughout the ceremony..... if of course you got one of the photography packages, which I would most definitely recommend. We got the King package which ended up being 500US with the edited video, and 71 photos in an album and 4 8X10's. Definitely worth it.

Then we had a little receiving line, where all our guests could come up and give us a little hug and say a few words. Very nice touch.

So, then then Maribel went around to all our guests and gave them a handful of rice (unbeknowst to us) and they threw rice on us! That was a nice touch. They popped the champagne, we did some toasts, some photos, and then the trio played for our first dance. It was so beautiful to dance in the gazebo with the trio playing, and all our friends and family watching. So romantic, yet so laid back and fun!

They brought out hor d'ouerves, which we didn't know we would get, but was a nice surprise, and more champagne, and even provided beer for those who wanted. We stayed in the gazebo and enjoyed the mini reception. Then we did some photos by our wedding cake. Made a fake cut (saved the cake for dinner), scooped some icing off, fed it to one another.... oh they also had us do that with the hor d'ouerves too. That was fun too.

Then the photographer and videographer took us around to the beach and we took a lot of photos! And they turned out beautifully I might add!! I was very worried about the photos - but it really was silly of me to worry, because they were incredible. We got them the next day, yes the next day, as well as the edited video, and the unedited video. Oh, and the timing was perfect. Just as we took our last photo by the pool, it started to rain. It had been sunny and clear until then.

After all the photos, we went to the Beach Bar because no one had really had lunch. We sat and enjoyed lunch and eachothers company. Then everyone went back to the room to freshen up for dinner. Because it was still raining, my dad asked the bartender (which I didn't know) for a towel or umbrella for me so I wouldn't get wet - which I didn't need, but oh well. The next thing I know, within like a minute, there was a guy there at the beach bar to pick me up in a little truck!!!!!!!! How nice is that! It was so funny, and so thoughtful of the resort staff!

So, then we all head to the Paris restaurant - where I must say - you really should book your dinner if you're having a wedding. We saw a wedding at the Italian place and it was nothing like what we got at the Paris, so really - the Paris was amazing.

When I walked in the room it was breathtaking. They had the table (for 18) completely decorated with flowers and candles and beautifully cut fruit. Gorgeous. We had a lovely meal. OH! We hired the trio for an hour from 7-8 for 50US and it was sooooooooo worth it! I didn't even know this was an option, but they asked us after the wedding, and we jumped on it because they were so good. This was one of the best decisions we made because it just made the ambience all the better! Our dinner was scheduled at 630, so we thought 7-8 would be good, and it was. The waitstaff waited on us, with non stop wine/champagne or any drink for that matter........ we stayed until about 10pm, then headed to the lobby bar.

We had a couple drinks, then we all did some bartering. They had some vendors there that night, and so we all bought something. Had more drinks, and then headed to the disco! Had a great time dancing! And that was that!

Our dream wedding at Superclubs Breezes Puerto Plata! I can't tell you how incredibly amazing it was. I wouldn't have changed a thing. Not a thing. They are all so wonderful there. Very accomodating, and very helpful.

A great big thanks to Maribel and all the staff at Breezes for making our day one that we will NEVER FORGET!

Definitely go to this resort if you are planning a destination wedding. I'd be more than happy to answer any of your questions... that is if you still have any after this really long review! Sorry!!!!!!!! But it was fun to relive it all over again! I can be reaced at [email protected]
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SuperClubs Breezes Puerto Plata - Barb Dominican weddings
December 2003

We feel that Maribel (wedding planner) was just excellent and took care of our every wish! The gazebo was beautifully decorated and the fresh flowers were absolutely gorgeous!!! Our mouths fell open when we entered the Reception. It was absolutely beautifully decorated and the food was GREAT! I was a bit dissapointed in teh photographer, I felt he rushed us a bit and that the quality isn't as good as a home! If I had to do it over again. I would pay 1/2 of the fiar for a persoanl photographer to go with us! If you are planning a wedding there please feel free to email and I would be glad to talk to you about it! ( [email protected] ) I feel that they were excellent! And would be glad to talk to you about it!
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SuperClubs Breezes Puerto Plata - Terry and Andrea - UK Dominican weddings
December 2003

We wanted a quiet simple beach wedding in this hotel. After booking the trip with the travel agent I asked them how much it would cost for them to arrange a wedding for us during the holiday we had booked. They quoted us £499 to arrange the judge, (the$100 charge to be extra) the flowers, cake ,champagne, a-la-carte dinner and room upgrade ( if available}. However, a short email to the hotel put us in contact with Maribel, their wedding co-ordinator, from there on it was all so simple, a date and time was agreed, the hotel offered all the above services free except for the judge who she booked and we paid for on arrival.

On arrival we were allocated a superior room with sea views and there was fruit and rum waiting for us. Maribel met up with us the next day to choose the location,flowers menu for dinner etc. She also showed us the different photo and video packages and we chose to have 72 photos (with negatives) , 4 enlargements and and the wedding video, uncut version and one fully edited. This package cost about £350.

Over the next few days we watched some other couples get married and had one small concern, the Three Amigos, who accompny each bride from her room to the wedding venue and then play throughout the service and on for the first dance etc, seemed to be playing'Yesterday' for the first dance and then jingle bells!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This was easily solved after a quick chat to them using Maribel as translator. They played us a lovely selection of Dominican music instead, even if they did sneak in a rendition of Felice Navidad (Happy Christmas!)

It was a lovely way to get married, there was so little stress - we were in the hot-tub drinking champagne for much of the day.

Dinner was reserved for us in the Paris restuarant, the table was beautiful, the food was good and the service was out of this world.

Photographs and edited vidoes were ready for us to see and take away the next morning.they are lovely and well worth the cost

One or two minor points which could have made the day even better were no-one went through the service with us beforehand so we didn't know what we were supposed to say and when. there were only six in our party, the bride and groom, two witnesses and brides parents, we did not realise that the witnesses would be seated by us leaving mum and dad standing alone behind the judge unable to hear anything, maribel could have expected the situation and arranged seating so that they were able to be closely involved

Having said all of that, the hotel is wonderful and the service throughout is excellent. This is a wonderful place to be married If you are thinking about a wedding at this hotel please contact us with any questions on [email protected]
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Iberostar Bavaro - Lindsey & Jim, Canada Dominican weddings
December 2003

We were married at the Iberostar Bavaro and we had a great experience. Thanks to this site for a lot of the helpful information we received. I started out corresponding with Veronica in guest services via email about 5 months in advance and she was great. We met with her the second day we were there and worked out all of the details in about half an hour - it was so easy. We chose the garden over the beach because it is much more private. On the day of the wedding my maid of honour and I had a 9am hair appointment. I brought in a picture of what I wanted and the women at the salon did a fabulous job. Just a quick tip - make sure you watch them write down your appointment under the correct week and day or you may be SOL like we almost were! We went to my room to get ready and Veronica came by with the flowers and to tell me that the judge was running late. My dad, maid of honour and I got to relax in my air conditioned suite while the other poor guests sweated it out in the lobby for about 45 minutes. Finally the judge arrived and our guests, groom and best man proceeded to the garden. We were picked up by a golf cart and driven to the site. We chose the guitar trio to play and they sounded great. The ceremony lasted about 15 minutes, then we signed the documents, everyone toasted with a glass of champagne (we ordered 3 bottles for the ceremony and 3 for the dinner and that served 22 people). Ricky the photographer was great - he took us all over the resort for pictures while our guests relaxed with some drinks and snacks from the beach grill in the shade by the ocean. Dinner was at 630 so at 5 we all went back to our rooms to freshen up, and then dined at La Balena. The meal was wonderful and the wedding cake was delicious too. Everyone said this was their favourite meal. After dinner we had our first dance and father / daughter dance in the restaurant (I gave my CD's to the restaurant and they played them no problem). After dinner we had some drinks in the lobby and proceeded to the disco for some dancing. All in all it was a great day and I thank Veronica for pulling it all together for us!
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Riu Palace - Pam & Chris Dominican weddings
June 2004

I thought I would send a review about our wedding since I found this webpage so helpful when planning for everything.

Chris and I were married on May 24, 2004 at the Riu Palace in Puna Cana. We came from Toronto with 32 guests. Before deciding to get married in the Dominican, be sure to research all of the legal documentation that is required in order for the marriage. Coming from Canada, the documentation is quite expensive. It ended up costing us just over $700.00 in translation and legalization fees. This has to been done before you leave (2 months about in advance!). Our wedding coordinator was Magnolia. She was excellent. When we arrived, she wasn’t there because she was on vacation – but Victor ended up being just as helpful. Before leaving Toronto for the wedding, there really isn’t very much to do. I kept emailing Magnolia to make sure I had everything ready, but VERY little neededo be done (which is great for people who hate planning – it bothered me a bit because I am an organized person and need to know what is going on!). We arrived on Saturday and us and all of our guests stayed at the Riu Taino. We had been to this resort 2 years ago and enjoyed it. It was exactly the same. Before arriving we had requested an ocean front room. They knew nothing of it when we arrived – but quickly made arrangements and we got the room we wanted. They had a bottle of champagne on ice for when we arrived to the room (we had to wait about half an hour for them to make up the room - no big deal!). The rooms were fine – I know quite a few of our guests had problems with air conditioners and most of our guests were in the rooms furthest away (from the beach, pool…). Some people requested a room change – which they allowed them to do with no hassle. Anyways, on Sunday we met with the wedding coordinator for about 10 minutes and went through a book to pick out the location in which we wanted the wedding (we had a choice between the beach and a garden). We picked the beach and had a back-up plan too just in case it rained (as it poured all day on Sunday). The planning was very quick and I was a bit concerned that it wasn’t organized - but it was. We also arranged with the hotel to have our guests go out on a boat cruise after the reception – this was great and ended up costing us 220 US for our 32 guests. The day of the wedding was perfect. It was hot, but not too bad. The wedding was scheduled for 3pm (I had a massage on the beach at noon – which is a great idea to make you relax). The wedding didn’t end up happening until close to 3:30, but we had been warned in advance that the judge would probably be late. The ceremony was VERY quick – about 5 minutes. We got married right on the beach and they did a great job in setting up an arch and flowers. It looked great. We had about 100 strangers from the beach at our wedding (many topless). Also, the wedding was in Spanish and we were provided with a translator – but almost pointless as the translator was very hard to understand. Needless to say, we weren’t quite sure what they were saying. We had a ring exchange and our witnesses had to sign for us ( you need 2 witnesses – and they must have valid passports and bring with them 2 photocopies – these photocopies HAVE to be given to the wedding coordinator at least one day before the wedding). The wedding finished about 3:45 and we all had a drink and then went out on the boat cruise. We were provided with about 12 bottles of FREE champagne (we went with the wedding package that didn’t include it, but they gave it to us anyways). The boat cruise ended about 5:45 and we all freshened up and then had dinner together at the steak house. They had a big table set up and didn’t rush us at all! I was a bit worried about this, but they let us sit there for about 3 hours. The food was really great. Then we had a wedding cake (this also wasn’t included in our package – but again they gave it to us as a wedding present). After dinner we headed out to the show – which was karaoke that night. Bad idea – it was horrible. So we decided to head down to the ocean for a breeze and we ended up all going swimming. It was great. The next day we paid for the wedding. It cost us 500 US for the wedding and 50 US for the flowers (which I picked from a book and were absolutely beautiful). The only thing that went wrong was they forgot our music when I was walking down the aisle – but my guests sang “Here comes the bride” – other than this though, the day was perfect.

The resort was great and everyone was very helpful. I think that all of our guests had a really great time! I would do it again the exact same way and would recommend this for anyone who isn’t into the big stress of planning a wedding
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Riu Palace (Riu Complex) - Katherine & Jim Dominican weddings
May 2004

Hello all!

My husband and I were married on March 3, 2004 @ the RIU Complex in Punta Cana, D.R. We were married in the company of 19 of our closest friends and family and we had a wonderful vacation to boot! We were sooo pleased with everything about the hotel and service that we would do it all again in a heartbeat!

WEDDING COORDINATION
Our wedding coordinator was Magnolia Christosomo at the Riu Palace Macao..she is such a wonderful woman! We had been to scout out the hotels in October/ 03 and when we returned it was like reuniting with an old friend! She had everything organized to our liking and her efficiency was awesome!

We decided to have our wedding in the white gazebo on the RIU Bambu property. We had seen a lot of weddings on the beach and did not like the onlooker-in-speedos-thing. We wanted a little more privacy and because the gazebo is set back from the beach it maintained a certain air of intimacy for our wedding!

We chose the high end package- 1000USD- as it suited our needs most (my flowers, his button hole, legal/translation fees, site decorated, organist, champagne for 10 people, flowers, wedding cake for ten people, a private dinner for the 2 of us that could be used during the week, and the photographer with 24 photos- Magnolia fixed it so that we didn't even have to pay for extra cake or champagne! ). We paid this by visa, although they prefer cash (who wants to carry that much $ around !?!). We also hired a Mariachi band for the reception dinner and extra flowers for our moms and my father in law. The planning of this event took about 25 minutes as Magnolia had everything ready and available for us to choose from! We were soo relaxed and glad that everything was on track!

WEDDING DAY
After eating breakfast on our wedding day, we returned to the room to find that it had been decorated with palms and flowers inside and out! It was so romantic and everyone in the hotel was a buzz about who was getting married that day! I kicked him out and enjoyed some brief solace before my sisters, cousin, and best friends arrived!

At 11am Magnolia brought the hairdresser to my room where my girls and I were hanging out. We totally negotiated for the price of our updos- I paid 25$- and hung out for the afternoon. My best friend did my makeup and it turned out sooo well..it looked professional which really impressed me. My uncle and cousin brought us drinks and my girls brought up lunch for us to munch on. I kept busy by steaming everyone's dresses! My flowers arrived on time and all was going well!

I heard through the grapevine that my hubby had been napping by the pool for a few hours- nice life!

At 2pm the photographer-Michael- arrived and began his job. He was such a nice guy and he made this process a lot less gruelling. I feel that I got all the pictures that were important i.e. me with all of my female relatives, sisters and 2 best friends. He took all of the pictures with a digital camera that was 6.2 mega pixels..I don't know much about cameras but a doctor that I work with told me that anything over 4.0 mega pixels is used by National Geographic...lol.

At 2:30 my friends got everyone out of the hotel lobby and told them to head on over to the gazebo- it was about a 5-10 minute relaxing stroll through the property from our hotel. My father in law came to the room and we hung out before jetting over to the site. This gave us some bonding time and time to practice our walking..lol.

We went to the hotel Bambu by cab (2 minute ride) so that I didn't get all sweaty or windblown- it was kinda fun! Magnolia met us at that time and we luckily waited only 2-3 minutes for the judge to arrive- we had been told that our wedding may be late as they are often delayed by the judge coming from another appointment. The judge looked over our documents and confirmed that we could not have our mothers sign as witnesses- family are not permitted- so two of our closest friends signed for us instead.

3pm! It was time! We had an L-shaped path to walk down to reach the gazebo and it was cool because people could see us coming, but could not get the whole effect until we got closer. The path had arches made of palms and decorated with tropical flowers which made it very beautiful! It was a bit windy, but nothing torrential- it actually cooled us down!

I was so impressed with how the site was decorated and set up- the chairs were covered in lovely white floor-length covers, a waiter was set up for afterwards and the organist was awesome! The gazebo looked stunning and we were so relieved that our choice had worked out so well!

No long ceremony for us- The whole thing took 7 minutes and that included the translation of the ceremony- the judge presides, but Magnolia translated for her. The judge was kind of quiet, so it was hard for people to hear, but no one complained as they only cared about hearing us say "I Do"

The photographer was so amazing that we forgot he was there. To my surprise a videographer taped our entire wedding even though we had turned down this service. We already had 3 people taping the damn thing! My husband told me later that he had been approached as they wanted to include clips of our wedding in a promotional DVD that they were developing!

After the ceremony we had a bit of champagne with everybody, took all of our family/group shots and then the two of us traipsed on down to the beach for more pictures! All of our guests went to the bar at the Bambu and started the party up! We were so relieved that everything had gone well and we arranged to pick out the pictures that we wanted at 10am the next day!

When we returned to our hotel we were congratulated by everyone in the place! The staff made a big deal of us and brought us in front of the merengue class to give us 2 bottles of rum! When we went back up to our room we had a huge flower arrangement and more booze from the hotel manager- it was soooo generous of them!

Dinner wasn't till 7pm, so we grabbed our suits and hung out at the pool to cool off for a bit! It was an amazing way to spend the evening! We all met up to walk over to the Mediterranean restaurant together. We had chosen this because it is very intimate and would be amazing for our group to feel like the place was just for us! The service was wonderful- it felt like we each had our own waiter!

Everyone loved the food and were sooo surprised when the band showed up! They were terrific! We had a "first dance" and then everyone got up and danced with the waiters and each other! The cake was different than a North American wedding cake, but we loved it because it was as unique as the rest of our day had been! The only thing that kinda sucked was that the photographer was snot at the reception, so we had to take our own pictures- which turned out well anyways!

When we went back to our hotel bar, we were pulled up on stage and got free t shirts as well as a round of applause-it was soo fun- we felt like celebrities! We watched an awesome show and then off to the hotel suite!

The next day when we went to choose our 24 photos (from wedding pkg.) we haggled with the photographer and got the following: 34 4x6', 10 6x9', a wedding album and the cd with every single picture on it for 350 USD. The best thing about it is that my sister burned everyone a copy when we got home and we have all gone to Costco to print them off on their digital prints machine! It only costs 25 cents for a 4x6' or a 5x7'- It is so cheap and easy to do!

All in all we had the most memorable and perfect day that we could have ever imagined! We love the RIU chain and owe everything to Magnolia for making our day so excellent!

We would recommend the RIU if you are looking for a hotel that will take what you want and make your dreams come true!

Feel free to email me for more info-
[email protected]
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Riu Palace - Canada Dominican weddings
December 2003

Anyway, the wedding ended up going off without a hitch. I was nervous at first about when we would actually plan everything, because I didn't feel like anything had been taken care of when I left. I had been emailing the wedding coordinator Magnolia at the Palace to book the date and time. Other than that, we just took care of the details when we got there. We ended up dealing with the hotel manager Ramone as Magnolia was on holidays when we arrived...He was absolutely amazing! Extremely busy man....he basically said we could do whatever we want. The second package was $500 US (going up to $700 US in 2004) as I provided my own photographer. This package was not supposed to include cake and champagne, however, Ramone gave us both. And then we were offered Champagne again at the dinner that was arranged for us! Ramone was there to please and it was evident. (He found us during our last night at dinner to make sure everything went okay.)

We chose the Gazebo location which was actually at the Bambu Resort next door. Ramone decided we should get a taxi as it was pretty hot out. The cab ride lasted about 30 seconds! :) Ramone offered to pay for it as well, even though we ended up paying. It was a great idea. We were glad we took his advice! There was a pianist provided and it was just lovely. Translation at the ceremony was done by Magnolia as she was back from holidays. Everything was so beautiful you would have thought it had all been planned for months!
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Coral Costa Caribe - Louise - UK Dominican weddings
August 2003

The staff that arranged our wedding there couldn't of been any more helpful we had a wedding arranger called Herman who became a friend of ours whilst we were there. They arranged the flowers to hairdresser and what route we were going to take to the flower covered pagoda on the hotel premises. We paid a local photographer to take our wedding photo's which was about £140 pounds which may seem cheap but the quality of photo's arn't as good as here.
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Occidental Grand Flamenco - Diane & Rob Dominican weddings
August 2003

We were married on the beach in Punta Cana on July 31, 2003. From the moment we arrived at the Occidental Grand Flamenco we knew it was the place for us.

I told them at the reception desk we were their to get married so they upgraded us to a room with a king-sized bed, view of one of the pools and the ocean. It was beautiful.

We had 10 other family members traveling with us and they requested to be in the same building as us. At first I wasn't too happy about that idea but everyone respected our privacy so it wasn't a problem. We arrived on the Saturday and met the wedding coordinator on the Monday to sort out the details, from flowers & location to dinner & breakfast. It was very well organized.

The wedding took place on Thursday at 2:30pm in the afternoon on the beach under a white tent decorated with balloons. Under the tent, my husband (to be) stood waiting along with our family, the judge & translator. Also present was our very own waiter, duo band, the wedding coordinator, the photographer and a few onlookers in their Speedos.

It was a very casual wedding. I wore a white spaghetti strap dress (like a sun dress) and my husband wore linen beige pants with a linen blue short sleeved shirt. My dad and I were picked up by a chauffeured driven golf cart. When we arrived at the beach it was absolutely beautiful. We quickly took off our shoes before my dad proceeded to walk me down the rose petal path to my husband. The sand was like baby powder. My mom and husband's father were our witnesses and they stood beside us as we faced our families.

The judge didn't waste any time to get started. The ceremony was short but very nice. It was performed in Spanish (which was ok because my family is Spanish) and translated into English. Once the ceremony was done the band started to play music for us. It was very romantic. We also had champagne, hors d'ouevres and cake (which was awesome by the way).

We had many photos taken during the ceremony and lots taken at the beach We were also very fortunate that a couple we met a few days earlier during scuba diving showed up and video taped the entire ceremony and gave us the tape. Thank You! The day was amazing, we couldn't of asked for a nicer day. Not a cloud in the sky. And although 2pm is probably the hottest part of the day, there was such a nice breeze at the beach that we didn't even notice the heat. Well, after a few long hours of picture taking (with my dad as our personal photographer) we had a little break before heading out for dinner. Dinner was all 10 of us, which was really nice. When we went back to our room the hotel had decorated the door with a large white bow on it . Inside the room, the floor and bed were covered with red rose petals (courtesy of my husband and sister-in-law) and a large floral arrangement and 2 souvenir t-shirts. The next day breakfast was served in our room along with a bottle of champagne (enough to feed 4). I have to say for not knowing what to expect it was the most PERFECT wedding. More than anything I ever imagined. I hope we get the chance to go back to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary.
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El Portillo Beach Resort - Mrs P Dominican weddings
March 2003

We just got back from our weddingmoon at El Portillo Beach Resort. I can't recommend this enough. It is an incredibly stressfree way to get married in a memorable and beautiful way.

We took care of our paperwork through the consulate in Washington D.C. The service was slow and rude. I emailed and got no response. When I called, usually the phone went unanswered. When I did get someone, they could only speak Spanish. Finally, my fiance spoke to someone (he speaks Spanish) and got the instructions. He drove up there (4 hours away) and was turned away. We just needed to get our paperwork legalized and the we were told they would do it as you wait. The lady refused to do that. She said she'd send it to us when she got around to it. Fortunately it arrived the day before we were to leave.

We got our single declarations translated by US Translating. (http://www.ustranslating.com). It was done in less than 24 hours and at a very competitive price! Very happy!

We booked our stay at El Portillo Beach Resort through Prieto Tours. We did most of our communication via email. It was slow and frustrating, but the price was excellent. We originally booked transportation from the airport to the hotel at $65 per person each way, but then decided to rent a car for less. (We still haven't gotten the refund for the transportation cancellation). Prieto Tours didn't send the resort a voucher, so we thought we might be charged twice, but that got fixed at the last minute.

Gabby arranged the wedding. $500 got us the justice of the peace, in-country legal fees, bridal bouquet, the boutinniere, a decorated location, and a few extras like a honeymoon suite upgrade the night of the wedding, dinner on the beach, breakfast in bed, and 3 bottles of champagne. She was very attentive and thought of so many things to ask before I even had a chance to think of them.

There was just one tiny boo-boo. I wanted to get my hair done in an up-do. We did a trial run with the hairdresser, whom I highly recommend. There was a misunderstanding and Gabby got defensive and seemed to imply that the situation was my fault. I wasn't about to stress out about it though, and the hair was fine for the ceremony.

The highest raves go to the photographer, Eusebio. For $300 we got two disks (about 70 digital, high resolution photos) of pictures. He was so creative and fun. We have photos that everyone is raving about. They are NOT your typical wedding pictures. They are priceless memories.

The whole experience was well worth it. It was really beautiful, memorable, stress-free, and relatively cheap! The resort has a lovely location. Th gardens are colorful and well maintained. It's small enough to provide intimacy, but large enough to give you lots to do! The staff is efficient, though not as friendly as the other side of the island. There were members of the staff, like Andrea, and the breakfast singers that made it really nice. I would recommend it to anyone.
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from Matt - Canada - Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus Dominican weddings
February 2003

First of all the wedding was wonderful, the perfect setting. The gazebo was decorated very nicely and everything was on schedule. My wife had a wonderful scenic walk down the aisle. The ceremony was very simple and translated from Spanish. Julio assisted us from guest services, and was always very friendly and helpful. Other guests from the resort did watch the ceremony but were very respectful and stayed in the background. After the wedding we toured around the grounds and the beach for pictures with the photographer. We received the pictures the next day and they turned out very well. There were many to choose from and you had the option of paying for extras not included in the package. The night of the wedding we all had dinner and wedding cake at the gourmet restaurant and the service, food and atmosphere were perfect. At the end of the night the hotel provided us with champagne in the room, which was a nice touch. We received our marriage certificate before we left the resort. We were very happy with our wedding and would do it all over again.
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Mark & Wendy - Caribe Club Princess Dominican weddings
May 2003

We have recently returned from a week's vacation at the Caribe Club Princess where we were married on May 13th. Having never traveled down south before, we have nothing to compare this resort to, but even so we can call this place nothing less than paradise.

We had an early morning flight on Sunday and so arrived at the resort by 11 am. Since we were staying in a honeymoon suite, we had a quick private check-in where they had all our things waiting for us (key, wristbands, safe lock, maps, etc) and took us by golf cart right up to our room and gave us a tour of the room and how everything worked. From the time we arrived to getting down to the beach was less than an hour! Need I say that that was the first thing we had to check out? Having never been to the Caribbean before we were dying to test out the waters and we were not disappointed in the least. The sand was white and the waters bright blue. There were quite a few waves but Mark was happy about that because he was all into bodyboarding. There was never any problem getting a chaise in the shade because the resort was only at 60% capacity that week.

On Monday we met with Nicolas Rijo who is the wedding coordinator for the Caribe Club Princess. I had been in communication with him for several weeks prior to this via email and he's a great guy. He showed us pictures of flower arrangements to choose from for the bouquet, table arrangement and boutonnieres. We purchased extra boutonnieres for the other men in our party for $5US each. We chose the flavour of our wedding cake (vanilla, chocolate or strawberry – we chose strawberry), gave in copies of our witnesses' passports (note that witnesses CANNOT be family members), and then Nicolas drove us around the resort to look at possible ceremony locations. If you're having a religious ceremony, there is a very quaint little church not far from the front lobby, otherwise if you're going civil (as we did) you can choose from the beach, gazebo, 2nd lobby next to the gazebo (not the main lobby), or bridge over the lagoon. We chose the gazebo because it is simply beautiful and ended up being perfect for us. There are also some beautiful gardens right behind for pictures and the lobby is right next to it for a nice place to cool off.

The wedding was scheduled for 2pm on Tuesday, but was delayed to 3pm in typical Dominican fashion. We didn't mind – it gave us more time to get ready. Mark and the guys were picked up first and driven over to the gazebo (which was beautifully decorated) then Nicolas came back for my mother and I. As soon as I drove up, the show was on! I was walked up the "aisle" by my father with the musicians (two guys on acoustic guitar with a third on some kind of instrument that looked like a cheese grater) trailing behind playing the wedding march. Mark and I stood side by side holding hands with our witnesses on either side as the judge read our vows. The whole thing was over in about 5 minutes! As soon as we were declared married the champagne was popped and the musicians started playing again (they were fabulous!!). We signed the registries and then it was time for pictures.

My only complaint throughout all of this would have to be the photographer. Nicolas explained that they had recently changed photographers along with the change in management at the resort. The guy who did the photography that day was nice enough, albeit very quiet and not very clear in what he wanted us to do, but he took some really lame poses that we felt stupid doing (arms outstretched, kissing the hand, etc.). Those that were not so silly came out really nice though. We went down to the beach for more photos once the garden shots were done, and I realized how much better option the gazebo is for the ceremony. Once down on the beach the sand crept up the crinoline in my dress making it very uncomfortable, it was so sunny we were squinting in all the photos, there were tons of topless people crowding in on us, and the wind kept causing my veil to whip in my face. You couldn't hear hardly anything on the video of the beach either because of the wind muffling the audio. I strongly suggest you don't get married on the beach – just get photos taken there afterwards. The last complaint I had about the photography company was that they tried to fleece us on the price of the photos. If you want more info on that, email me. Everything worked out okay in the end.

That night we had dinner at the Italian restaurant, which was really fabulous. The food at this resort is really top notch. We tried every single one of the a la carte restaurants, including La Cava which is not included as part of the "inclusive" but where you can eat for $25US each. We got to eat free because we got married (it was part of the bonus). I HIGHLY recommend spending the $25US each for a meal at this restaurant! For the same meal in Canada you'd be looking at a minimum of $200. I had the filet mignon which was melt in your mouth and Mark had lamb chops. Everything on the plate was arranged with such sophistication (it looked like French dining). I cannot say enough about how delicious and beautiful our meal was there. The only restaurant we didn't really enjoy was the Mexican, but only because we found the choice there very limited and the salsa was too spicy.

Our honeymoon suite was beautiful, we were on the 3rd floor so the ceiling was very high, and our balcony was right next to the ocean. There was a jacuzzi in our room, which leaked all over the floor the first time we used it, but the maintenance guys came in and fixed it immediately after reporting the problem. Every night we had turn-down service with little mints on our pillows. Our fridge was always stocked with water, Pepsi, 7up and Presidente beer (all in bottles). Several times we had breakfast in bed with champagne and fruit baskets delivered. One day they even brought us a chocolate mousse cake for no reason! The only problem with all that food being brought to us was that tiny ants started to congregate. We just put our dishes out on the balcony when that happened. Overall we felt like we were treated like royalty.

Other things we did that week were horseback riding (included, but a 10 minute truck ride away), boat trip out to see the Astron (a sunken ship just off the coast), daily darts tournaments (of which Mark won twice – 2 free bottles of rum!) and archery. We really ran out of time to do anything else!

In summary, I would highly recommend this resort to anyone looking to get married in paradise or just enjoy a nice relaxing week in the sun. [email protected]
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Carrie & Dan - Fiesta Palace Dominican weddings
February 2003

Departing on the January 16-31 from Vancouver. We had 19 people in our group flying in from different parts of North America.

Dan and I stayed at the Fiesta Palace but were married in the gazebo at the Fiesta Bavaro. We had contacted the Palace in August with questions regarding a wedding and the Assistant Manager, Daphne, responded immediately with answers to our questions. From our initial contact with her in August, until our day of departure to go back home, Daphne was absolutely wonderful to us, making sure we were happy and completely taking care of our needs. Once we arrived at the resort, we dealt with Simone in guest services to finalize any details, who was just as wonderful to us and has a great sense of humour!

We arrived a week earlier than most of our guests, to relax and finalize any details of the wedding - choice of flowers, I had the option of arriving at the gazebo in a horse and carriage, which I declined (I'm allergic to horses) and the wedding cake. There is a spa at the resort where you can have your hair, make-up, massage, etc. done. I did not use these facilities but they looked very nice and quite reasonably priced. We hired a musical trio to play at the ceremony as well. We also had the option of a photographer and a videographer which we chose not to use. Our guests all had cameras and 3 video camera's going of the ceremony. We have a ton of pictures of the vacation/ceremony and we brought the 3 video tapes home and had a professional video made out of them which turned out amazing! The gazebo at the Palace is right beside the pool, which isn't a great spot so they perform weddings at the gazebo at the Bavaro which is in a very beautiful garden setting with a red brick pathway to walk up to it. We had requested months prior to our vacation, a specific time and day to be married but because there is only one judge in the area he is booked VERY far in advance so do this a.s.a.p.

We asked Simone if we could go and do a bit of a rehearsal the day before the wedding which I am very glad we did because we moved some tables in the gazebo, and no one would have known were to stand or who was to walk down first etc. Simone had arranged for the trolley to pick us all up at the Palace and take us to the gazebo at the Bavaro, she came with us to help organize and it turned out to be a lot of fun.

We were married on January 28th at 1:00 pm. Dan and all of our guests were driven over to the gazebo in a trolley at 12:15. I stayed behind in the room with my father and my 2 attendants. Simone and Daphne were both at the gazebo with walkie talkies to contact the porter to pick us up and bring us to the gazebo as soon as the judge had arrived at the gazebo (he is always late).

The judge performed the ceremony in Spanish and Simone translated it in English for us. We exchanged rings, read our own vows and signed the marriage registry. The ceremony is about 15 minutes. After that we cut the cake, had our first dance (to the music of the trio who were fabulous), had some champagne and did some toasts.

Simone had brought a CD player so our guests celebrated in the gazebo with beer, wine and music, while we got pictures under way. We went for buffet lunch at the very nearby El Accerife at 3:30 went down to the beach at 5:00 for some pictures at sunset and then headed off to an amazing ala carte dinner at the El Accerife. They had brought our cake from the gazebo to the restaurant as soon as we had cut it and that was our dessert for dinner and everyone thought it was delicious.

After dinner we all headed back to the Palace and had a late night swim. What a wonderful way to get married. A lot of our guests said it was the most intimate and personal wedding they had been to. The best part is that we got to vacation with our closest friends and family for a week instead of our wedding being just one day. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.
[email protected]
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Ryan and Jo-Anne from Alberta Canada - Melia Tropical Caribe Dominican weddings
January 2004

We were married January 16, 2004 at the Melia Caribe Tropical. Where do I start...it was perfect and stress free. We went with another couple and it was our first trip to Dominican Republic. We stayed two amazing weeks in a beautiful room with the patio looking out onto the pool and the beach right out our door. The resort is huge and unbelievably beautiful. For a vacation I would recommend it to anyone. For a wedding, I would definitely recommend it!

We did very little preparation. We got our papers from the consulate as required, sent a couple of emails to the Melia's wedding coordinator, German Mejia (who is a God as far as we're concerned), showed up at the resort, met with German the 2nd or 3rd evening we were there for 1 hour and the whole wedding was planned. Nothing else to do but show up on the right day.

The morning of the wedding, the boys went to the pool and the girls went to the spa. We casually got ready and the horse and carriage came and picked up the best man and I (the groom...if you haven't yet figured that out). The carriage then picked up the bride and maid of honour. The wedding in the gazebo was perfect. The musical trio was very friendly and sounded great. The photographer was quite good, although we would recommend spending the extra money and getting all of the negatives, not just the included ones. If you don't get them all, they cut them up into small pieces and they're tougher to get reprinted when you get home. The wedding dinner was very nice and simple. We went to the French restaurant...I think. In hindsight, we'd choose a different restaurant...there are so many excellent restaurants to choose from. The French one was the only one we hadn't tried yet. We saw some beach weddings at other resorts and they didn't seem as nice as ours. Who wants some hairy guy in his Speedo thong walking by during your wedding?

Having never been to the Melia, we made our parents stay at a neighbouring resort so we weren't honeymooning with them with us the whole time. Had we known how big the resort was, we should have had them stay there. We probably would have rarely seen them. We were on the Caribe side, they could have stayed on the Tropical side. The staff is very friendly and lots of fun. We were treated wonderfully by the staff and especially German, who made our entire experience unbelievable. He was always doing little things to make our stay special. A piece of advice from German helped me to relax and set the tone for the trip. He said "You're not in Canada anymore...we don't die of heart attacks here. If you ask for something, you'll get it...in a minute".

It's hard to believe that people plan their wedding for months or even years, and stress themselves out. Then they don't even enjoy their wedding because its too stressful. There was not one bad memory or stressful moment for us. This was the perfect wedding.

Thanks to Debbie for all of the information on this website and to German at the Melia Caribe Tropical.
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Shawn & Ursula - Melia Tropical Caribe Dominican weddings
December 2003

from Shona
i have just read my sister, ursula montgomery's review of melia in punta cana and i just want to reiterate everything she has said.

the people that complained about their holidays on the review page, i have to ask, what the hell would it take to please them?.... i would think these are people that make a vocation out of complaining.

as i sit in the damp winter in ireland i fondly remember every aspect of my holiday. everything was absolutely fantastic, my sister's wedding in particular was amazing- both relaxed and well organized. if i was to do it over again, i would definitely copy my sister!

finally, i would just finish off by saying that the people are a credit to their country- helpful, polite and always smiling. i would go again in a heartbeat.

----------------------------------

My husband and I just returned from our trip to the Melia where we spent 2 amazing, sun-filled weeks. This was our first time in the Dominican and we picked the resort/destination for our wedding based on a recommendation from a friend of a friend. We invited many of our closests friends and family. In total, we had 34 people at our wedding.. Based on the fact we had all of these people joining us, people that had chosen to use their vacation time to spend with us, I was a little nervous about the resort, food, etc. I read and re-read many of the reviews online. I am still baffled at what I have read based on our own experience and I told my husband on our trip that, upon our return, I was going to write my impression/review of the resort.

In a word, it was wonderful. We had a huge variety of people at our wedding; three children aged from 4 months to 5 years, our grandma who is in her 70's, a nursing mother, my sister, aunt and cousin from Northern Ireland, a friend with a herniated disc and many other able bodied friends and family ranging from their 20's to their 60's. The resort catered to everyone. In my opinion, it is perfect- not just for young couples but for families.

Our wedding was on the Thursday of the week we arrived. I couldn't believe I was sitting in the pool with my dad and brother and a Miami Vice the morning before my wedding. It was completely stress-free. After our appointments at the spa, my sister/maid of honour ran to the gazebo in her stilletos and my mum and I were picked up by a horse and carriage and met our friends and family and my soon-to-be husband at the gazebo. It was like a dream, the sun was shining, there was a nice breeze and there were beautiful fresh red flowers everywhere we looked. German, our wedding co-ordinator, took care of EVERYTHING. For those of you who are lucky enough to be able to have a wedding in the Carribean and have your closest family and friends there, this is the way to do it. We had a beautiful service followed by champagne and photos while the 3-piece band played in the background. After Shawn and I had our video and photos done at the beach, we went for dinner and had our own little "reception" at Ma Maison (French restaurant). The meal and service was excellent. After dinner we headed to the Fun Pub on the Tropical side. We brought a couple of our cds and had the d.j. play 2 wedding songs for us. We stayed at the pub dancing, drinking, laughing, taking photos and playing pool til it closed. Everyone had a blast. If you have any questions about the resort or about having a wedding at the resort, please contact me at [email protected].
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Janette - Melia Tropical Caribe Dominican weddings
September 2003

If you want a worry free wedding, book it at Dominican Republic's Melia Caribe Tropical in the city of Punta Cana/Higuey. I was worried knowing that I was arriving, from New York to Punta Cana, for my wedding only a day in advance. In that (half) day, by the time I arrived from the airport, I had to pick flowers, get my dress steamed, make appts. for the hairdresser and make-up artiest and make sure my 30 guests arrived safely. Needless to say, I was a nervous wreck. But the wedding coordinator, German Mejia, was my angel in waiting. I knew he was pleasant from ONE phone call conversation and he was always so patient with my million of e-mails he received 4 months b4 my wedding. And when I met him he confirmed my suspicions, with his winning smile, the minute he laid eyes on me. His gracious and kind demeanor immediately calmed my nerves. He continued to be gracious and sweet even after I arrived 30 minutes late to the ceremony! I really felt bad, but he was so patient that I quickly recovered and began smiling for my pictures. I must admit that my first impression of the photographer was unprofessional, but when I saw his pictures, compared to that of friends, THEY WERE AWESOME! And the pictures were ready by the next day. The negatives, the following day. Prompt service! All 36 photos were 5x7 size. German scheduled my wedding for 2pm and dinner @ 6pm. I thought that was too much time in between for my guests to wait, but it was perfect. It actually gave all of us time to relax and unwind. And lets not forget shower after taking pictures in the sun and heat for what seemed hours. The hotel's attention and bridal goodies were pleasant surprises. Even though the champagne was very dry. Our dinner, could have been better, but that was my fault. The night b4 I arrived to the resort I changed the menu from a Seafood restaurant to the International restaurant due to the recent tragically loss of a friend's daughter during a wedding ceremony, after she had Salmon. She was allergic to seafood. Not knowing my guests allergies, I decided to change the menu. The service for the dinner was very classy!!! Better than I expected, but the food wasn't enough or tasty. Almost everyone ended up going to the Seafood restaurant afterwards. My guests and myself stayed @ Melia Caribe Tropical from Friday to Tuesday and our major complaint was the trolley. It was more than a 15 minute wait for it each time. The resort is splendidly gorgeous, but way too big. If you want to see pictures please e-mail me w/the subject "Melia wedding" or else I won't even open it. [email protected]
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Heather & Cam - Melia Tropical Caribe Dominican weddings
July 2003

My husband and I were married at the Melia Caribe in Dominican Republic on February 25, 2003 WOW!!! My dream wedding!! Stress free and absolutely beautiful!!

We are from Canada

Here is how to do it!
1. Pick your resort
2. Call wedding coordinator and book your day
3. Go to the Dominican Consulate in your country ( the number is in the blue pages under GOVERNMENT) and have birth certificates, passports, legal single status certificate ( if you call the embassy they will fax you the proper document and you just retype it EXACTLY as shown) this will cost you $240 U.S and if you have been previously married, your divorce cetificate will also have to be translated $175 U.S.
4. they will mail you all your paper work within 3 weeks.
5.Get on the plane, and DO NOT pick your location, flowers, or dinner til you get there
6. Book and massage, hair, makeup, nails ect ect
7. Get married
8. when you return home your marriage licence will be about 2 weeks, you must get this translated back to english at the Dominican Consulate $125 U.S.
9.Live a long and happy life together!!

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Carla - Punta Cana Beach Resort Dominican weddings
November 2003

We chose to travel to the Dominican Republic, specifically the Punta Cana Beach Resort to have our wedding. For us, it was absolutely perfect. We were lucky enough to have 28 of our friends and family join us for the wedding. After we confirmed the resort that we would be visiting, we began making arrangements with the individuals in guest relations. Our resort did not have a wedding coordinator, nor did Signature designate this resort as a place for weddings, however they were more than accommodating in helping us plan ours. At resorts that Signature advertises that they perform weddings, your travel agent will work directly with the resort to arrange all of the details. There were two individuals in Guest Relations, Ingrid and Valerie, that assisted us is making the advance arrangements. This included picking the date and time that we wanted the ceremony to happen. At first, I was a bit alarmed at the laisez-faire style of guest relations when I was asking questions. However, now having been to the DR, we totally understand that this is part of the culture. Live today and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow! While we get caught up in confirmation numbers and confirming things several times to ensure they meet our expectations, I was told that we would work out all details regarding the wedding when we got there!

Making the necessary legal arrangements was relatively simple. We followed the advice that we found on this site (THANK YOU!) and had our lawyer fill out and notarize our statutory declarations. We then sent the original and 2 copies of the statutory declarations, birth certificates and passport (main page) to the Honorary Consulate in Toronto. They do the legalization and translation and all documents were returned to us within 2 weeks. We took all of this documentation with us.

Before we left, we had set up a meeting to finalize some the details (cake, flowers, location, etc) with Ingrid that was to take place the day we arrived at 2:00pm. The most reassuring part was that Valerie (who was working for Ingrid that day) was waiting for us and asked the Signature rep which ones we were, so that we could confirm the meeting. It was at this preliminary meeting that we gave the copies of the documents to Valerie, who in turn ensured that the Judge received them prior to the ceremony. We were also required to photocopy the main pages of our attendants passports who would be our witnesses. In addition to all of the legal documentation, it was at this time that we were able to pick the location of our wedding (we chose the beach), bouquet color and design, cake design. After this meeting, which took about 20 minutes, Valerie drove us down to the Beach location where the ceremony would take place. We confirmed a few more details with regards to chairs for our guests, flowers for the archway, photo session and how my attendants and I were going to be transported to that location.

The next day we confirmed with Valerie that our selections were possible, which they were, and everything was set! The day of the wedding everything was set up, the photographer was on time - he was scheduled to come to our suite ½ hour before the ceremony to get pictures of me alone, with my attendants and with my family. We then proceeded down the beach to where the ceremony was to take place. We were waiting about 10 minutes when Valerie, came to tell us that the Judge wasn’t here yet. All I needed to know was if anyone had spoken to him that day, they said they had and he was just running late. She assured us that he was indeed still coming. As it turned out, the Judge did arrive, one hour late. The ceremony took place at 5:00pm which made pictures afterward rushed as we were losing daylight. The ceremony itself took approximately 15 minutes, the Judge spoke completely in Spanish and Ingrid, translated into English. We then signed the official documents and continued with the photo session. Our wedding package price included 36 5x7 pictures which were quite good, we had about 80 to choose from.

After the photo session, we cut the cake, had a informal gift opening and then we danced to a trio of local singers and guitar players. It was very authentic and quite beautiful. They had planned for our dinner to be ready at 8:00pm, so we improvised with the dancing before the dinner. Valerie had reserved the entire beach restaurant called La Choza for our wedding and we even had menus with our names on them with the dinner selections for our guests.

It was an excellent day with very little preparation! We loved having our wedding on the beach and would recommend it to anyone!
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Christine, Boston, MA - Secrets Excellence Dominican weddings
April 2004

We just returned on April 2, 2004 from the best trip of our lives. We got married and had our honeymoon all together. First of all I just want to tell anyone that reads my review that Secrets Excellence is the best resort we have ever stayed at and we travel allot. Since this was my wedding also I had done so much research and reading of reviews my head was spinning. I can honestly say that some of the negative reviews I read made me nervous, thanks to people posting their reviews and thank you to the ones that actually left their e-mail addresses I actually had conversations with some people which put my mind at ease. I truly believe that anyway who has a negative complaint is just a rude hard to please person, we witnesses some of these type of people and couldn't believe it, I said to my husband these must be the type to write a negative review. It is a third world country for god sakes your not at an upscale NYC hotel. Anyway I could go on forever about how wonderful this resort was, I can say that neither me or my husband can think of one negative thing to say, the only thing that wasn't completely fabulous was the weather a few days, but that is out of everyone's control. This resort absolutely catered to us from the minute we got there, were greeted with mimosa's and taken immediately to our room which had a huge Honeymooners banner on the door and flowers and champagne inside. I have never been treated so well in my life. Every night we returned to our room there was flowers, champagne, and different animal made out of the towels, little hint I know it is all inclusive but these people really work hard and tipping gets you much better service, we left our maid $3 per day and let me tell you she took real good care of us, and left the guy that comes around to stock the mini bar each day a couple of dollars and after our first day my husband was getting the mini bar stocked with Budweiser instead of the presidente beer. It works the same at the restaurants, the are so nice and I mean you take a sip of your wine and they are right there to fill up, leave a few dollars on the table, they are very grateful for it. We flew in on a Tuesday and Wednesday morning we met with the wedding coordinator who was wonderful, we decided on our wedding package, how many pictures, I told her what kind of flowers (color) I wanted and left her with my dress and all I had to do the next day ( my wedding day) was show up at the hair salon at 2pm, I got my hair done, which for any bride thinking of doing their own hair, DON'T I had every intention of doing my own hair for my wedding I even bought a hair extension thingy but it is so so humid there and I am so happy I changed my mind, I was bit nervous but the hairdresser did an amazing job, it was nice and air-conditioned and I drank some champagne while I had my hair done. The wedding coordinator was there every step of the way, she had my dress all pressed and helped me get dresses when I was ready. I am not going to go on and on about the wedding part, but it ended up being perfect, anyway who is considering getting married here can e-mail for details. As for as the resort the food was amazing, we ate at each of the restaurants and never had a bad meal or got sick, and let me say that I have major stomach problems anyway, and I was fine. We did buy all the things I had read about in other reviews, the benedryl, bug spray, pepto, but never used any of it, we seriously never saw one Mosquito. I really can't say enough good things about this resort, anyone considering going please feel free to ask me any questions. It was absolutely paradise.. [email protected]
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Jennifer - Secrets Excellence
Now for the WEDDING. I started my day around noon at the resort's salon. I had consulted with Heidi at the salon the previous day about what to do with my hair and all. They tried to get me to purchase a spa package for my husband and myself, which we weren't interested in. I suppose if you want to be pampered and have the money to do it it's a good idea. The spa is beautiful and I would have liked a massage. We're by no means rich though and had spent a lot on this vacation and wedding package already. And with the way the Canadian dollar is...So I was set up in a room and had my nails done first. I feel silly that I can't remember the lady's name who worked on me all afternoon...I think it was Elsa? She did a wonderful job and was sweet but quiet. She didn't give me fake nails but gave me a very pretty french manicure with my own nails. Didn't take long, maybe 20 minutes. She then started on my hair. The entire morning it had been pouring rain but we kept our hopes up that it would stop by 6:30 PM when the ceremony was. There's a gorgeous outdoor gazebo of sorts for wedding and I really wanted the ceremony there. Otherwise the wedding would be at the lobby gazebo. I didn't really want the entire resort at my wedding however! Anyways, the girls at the salon really know how to style hair for the humid, hot climate. They pull your hair up nice and tight (free facelift!) and use a ton of hairspray. That hair wasn't going to budge an inch! They put fresh daisies in my hair too and it looked great. By the time I was done the rain had stopped (thank goodness!) Karla arranged to have me picked up from the front of the salon by horse and carriage to meet the groom for pictures before the ceremony. That was a nice touch and Blondie the horse was pretty cute. Brides beware of the wheels on the carriage; I got grease on my dress while getting out the first time. Hold you dress clear of the wheels! I was brought to the lobby area to meet up the groom and we toured the property for a few hours for pictures. The rain held off and we got some great shots. Many guests and staff stopped to say congratulations and take pictures of us.

We had to kill another hour or so before the ceremony so retreated to our room to escape the outside humidity, which reeks havoc on hair and makeup. The groom then went to the gazebo with the other family members to meet up with the judge. I was picked up again by the horse and carriage in front of our building and brought to the gazebo. It was amazing! Karla and the staff had decorated the gazebo with fresh flowers and arrangements and had a table set up for the document signing/cake cutting etc. We opted for the Caribbean trio for our music rather than a pre-recorded song, which I'm glad we did. They just completed the whole thing. It was very romantic. Many people watched from their balconies or stood nearby. The ceremony was performed by the judge in Spanish and Karla translated. It was over quickly but it was lovely. We had champagne and canapés afterwards at the gazebo and had our first dance there as well. The trio played a number of songs for us so everyone could dance and it was so perfect. We then cut the cake and took some more pictures before heading off to the Mexican restaurant for the reception dinner. The dinner was lovely too. We were treated like royalty the entire evening and the cake was brought to the restaurant for us to eat after dinner. When we arrived back at our room later on that evening, all the arrangements from the gazebo were in our room. There were petals scattered everywhere and swan towels on the bed. The room looked amazing! The next morning the staff forgot to bring us our breakfast in bed, but we didn't care. We didn't even bother to complain about it because we just went for breakfast together in the morning and had a long leisurely meal.

There were a few extras included with the wedding package like champagne in your room and fruit plates, nightly turndown, spa discounts, etc. I am so glad we had our wedding at the resort. Karla and Biberly could not have done a better job at planning and preparing everything. We didn't have to worry about a single detail once we got there. It is the perfect location for a wedding or renewal of vows for anyone. The setting is unbelievable and the staff are so accommodating and willing to please. Everyone in our group agreed that this place is top-notch and worthy of a re-visit. I will absolutely be returning to Secrets for a visit in the not-too-distant future.

If anyone has questions about anything please drop me a line at [email protected]
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Jodie & Brad at the Iberostar Punta Cana
February 2004
We arrived at the Iberostar on Sunday May 2nd. We were told to meet with Alita the next day at 3:00 about our wedding. Alita showed us everything and we picked out all our stuff in about an hour. We chose the flowers, cake style and menu. She was very, very helpful. I had been emailing the resort and talking to Yngrid who is also a wonderful person. After that we were done and they told us they would then talk to us on Thursday May 6th which was our wedding day.

Our wedding was on the beach and was suppose to start at 5:00 p.m. Well anyway on Thursday at about twenty minutes to 5:00 Alita called and said the judge was running late and they would check back with us when she was there or close to arriving. They did warn us ahead of time that the judge is always late so that wasn't a big deal gave us some more time to relax. So around 6:00 we got a call that the judge was there and the wedding would soon be on its way. A few seconds after the call the bell boy was at the door to pick up me and my sisters and mom to head to the beach in the golf cart for our wedding. So we got down to the beach and everything was decorated so beautiful. They had flowers in the little hut where you end up after you walk down the isle which is a red carpet. Then they had some chairs decorated under the hut for after when you sign the license. The wedding was done by the judge in Spanish and then Yngrid translated it for us. It was a short and sweet wedding. Everything was wonderful a beautiful day it couldn't have been more perfect. The staff at the Iberostar were excellent I couldn't have asked for a more perfect wedding. After the wedding we had pictures on the beach by Ricky he is the best photographer very funny request him.

Then we went on to eat at the Marimba the tropical restaurant on the beach. It was a great supper we had a wonderful time. We had 17 people besides my husband and I and we all stayed at the Iberorstar Punta Cana. If anyone has any questions feel free to email me at [email protected]. It is a beautiful place to go and is very laid back and relaxed. You will definitely enjoy this place.
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Joanne & Jerry at the Iberostar Punta Cana
February 2004
We were married on January 9, 2004 on the beach at the Iberostar Punta Cana.

We had 42 friends and family join us for one week (we stayed for two). Thirty-one of our guests stayed at the Iberostar Bavaro and 13 stayed at the at the Iberostar Punta Cana. My husband and I stayed at the Iberostar Bavaro, but we chose to have our wedding at the Iberostar Punta Cana because we had read many wonderful reviews about the wedding coordinators at this particular hotel. It made for difficult planning but it was well worth it.

After arriving at our hotel, we wandered over to the guest services at the Iberostar Punta Cana. There we made an appointment for the following day to meet with a wedding coordinator to go over all the details for our wedding.

The next day we met with Alida. She was so nice and helpful. She went over all the details of the ceremony. We picked out our flowers, colors, music, etc. Thankfully, Ingrid (the coordinator I had been corresponding with via e-mail) reserved a restaurant for our wedding dinner in advance, otherwise we would have been SOL because of the size of our group.

The day of the wedding, my mom and my maid of honor walked over to my sister’s room at the Iberostar Punta Cana around 1:30 pm. We curled my hair and had a few cocktails. Around 3:00 pm someone phoned to let us know that it was time. We weren’t quite done with my hair, so they said they’d give me another 15 minutes. When I was ready we grabbed my dad and went downstairs where a golf cart was waiting to take us to the ceremony.

When we arrived at the beach, I was amazed at how beautifully decorated it was. There was a grass roofed gazebo decorated with flowers and beautiful cloths. They had set-up chairs on one side of the aisle (in the shade) for our 42 guests. At the altar there were two chairs with huge red bows tied around the backs.

My dad walked me down a red carpet that was edged with palms. We were followed by a guitar trio playing a beautiful version of the Wedding March. The ceremony was performed by a judge in Spanish and translated in English by Alida; it lasted about 15 minutes.

Immediately after the ceremony they brought out champagne for us and all our guests and they brought us our wedding cake. We took a few pictures then walked back down the red carpet as husband and wife while everyone threw rice at us. Next, we headed to the beach to take more pictures, and then to the garden to take some more.

Around 7:00 pm our group met at the Caribbean restaurant (La Marimba). We chose to have an open menu because we couldn’t decide on one dish for everyone. They closed the restaurant for our group until 8:15 pm. After dinner we moved to the beach bar patio just outside the restaurant. One of our guests asked if we were going to have a wedding dance. I told him we had brought a cd but that there wasn’t anywhere to play it. He took my cd and soon came back to tell us that the restaurant had agreed to turn off their Caribbean music and play our wedding song so we could have our first dance. We danced right outside the restaurant in front of the pool. (Thank you Al).

A Few Details About Our Wedding: We requested and luckily Ricky the photographer because I had read so many wonderful things about him. He did an absolute fabulous job on the day of our wedding. It was so hot outside that if it wasn’t for Ricky and his jokes we probably would have given up half way through the pictures and gone for a swim. Our wedding was on Friday and our pictures were ready on Sunday. The pictures he took turned out so well that we ended up buying all of them. We also received a cd (because the pictures were digital) and a photo album. We had also hired a videographer. He was so quiet we forgot he was there through the wedding. When we got back to Canada we watched our video and to our surprise it was fantastic. It cost us $200 USD. It’s not the same quality as if you had hired a professional in Canada, but for $200 we were more than pleased. And last but not least, about the girls at guest services at the Iberostar Punta Cana. These girls are phenomenal. Thank you Ingrid for assuring me (over and over again) that all would go well. Thank you Alida for everything!!! We are so grateful for the treatment that we received from "all the girls" at guest services at the IB Punta Cana. They made our wedding and our trip to Punta Cana a special one.

If you have any questions, please e-mail me at [email protected]

Feel free to take a peek at a few of our wedding photos posted at: http://photos.yahoo.com/freakincoldhere
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Lisa and Michel at the Iberostar Punta Cana
May 2003
May 2003

We were married on April 9th 2003 at the Iberostar Punta Cana. The day was so beautiful and the wedding was so well organized. For about 8 months before I kept in contact with Laikin Ng the wedding coordinator who was very good at returning e-mails with all my questions.

The day of our arrival I was given a letter from Laikin to meet with her the next day to go over the details of the wedding. We went for our appointment but Laikin wasn't available so we met with Ingrid Morales from guest services who helped us with picking out the flowers, cake and dinner reservations. We were there maybe an hour and then we were on our way to enjoy the rest of the day.

Finally the big day was here, I went and got my hair done at the Iberostar Bavaro which turned out pretty good, I brought a picture with me. Then I went back to me room and got ready and Michel went to my parents room and got ready with my dad. So I'm ready and waiting for my flowers to come and when they did they were just what I had asked for all white roses. So I went down stairs and met my dad where our limo(golfcart) was waiting to take us to the beach where the ceremony was. We walked down a red carpet followed by a musical trio which added a special touch. The ceremony was short. We cut the cake, drank some champagne and Rickey the photographer took some pictures. We were showered in rice as we walked on down by the water to take more pictures. Then walked by the pool for more pictures where everyone is applauding and congratulating us. Then off to the gardens for more pictures. Rickey took 100 pictures and they all turned out amazing so we bought all the pictures and were given a nice photo album.

Around 6:30 we went and had cocktails (where I finally got to meet Laikin) before the wedding dinner at the International Restaurant which was really good, lobster and beef. Then we were served the rest of the cake for our dessert. After we all went and had more drinks in the lobby bar. When we returned to our room our sheets were turned down and chocolates on our pillows and 2 t-shirts that said "Just married".

This resort is amazing and anyone planning on getting married in the Dominican, I recommend the Iberostar. If anyone has questions or would like see some pics feel free to e-mail me at [email protected] HOLA!!!!
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Les & Tracy at the Casa Marina Reef
My wife and I travelled down to the Reef in April by ourselves to get married, it was an experience neither of us will ever forget. The wedding went without a hitch, it is a very simple ceremony with the only words the bride and groom have to say is “I do”. We got our choice of fresh flowers for decoration, the cake was deliciuos and the preparation by the hotel staff was superb. That evening there were reservations made for us at the specialty restaurant of our choice (Italian) and the next morning we were served breakfast in bed and it was amazing, enough to feed an army. Since we travelled alone we had to get witnesses, the wedding coordinator, Mr. Hostar Gomez Hernandez and another member of the hotel staff, Mrs. Yolarys Noemi Rodriguez Veras were happy to do it for us. The Photographer, Julia, from Foto Memories did an awesome job, very professional and at the same time adding some fun into the whole thing. And oh yeah since we were getting married we were given one of the best rooms in the place, two balconies, pool view and ocean view.

The resort itself was fantastic, there was always something to do. The staff was very friendly and full of fun, always out to ensure that your stay is enjoyable. It was very clean, and in my opinion the food was very good, if you didn’t like one thing at the buffet there was a wide assortment to choose from. Every night there was live enterainment in the ampitheater and the shows were wonderful. If you like to snorkle this is the place to it, there are all different colors af fish and if you bring a bread roll or banana with you the fish will eat right out of your hands it is amazing (bring an underwater camera). The beach vendors are kinda pushy but once you learn how to play the bargaining game you can get some good deals. My wife got her hair done in them braids for 20 dollars Canadian.

Well I could go on and on but I would fill the server with everything so if you would like any additional information you can contact us at [email protected] and we would be happy to answer your questions if we can.
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Cynthia at Coral Hamaca
There is no other way to get married!!!!! For years I had always told my friends that when the time came this was how I was going to do it, and I did!!! My first advice to anyone planning on doing it this way is think about #1 you!!! I spent weeks researching resorts than running them by the different people that wanted to go and quickley came to the conclussion that you can't please everyone.Finally I gave up picked my resort and told everyone where we had chosen now it was up to them if they still wanted to go, they did.

First we had to do our paper work here in Ontario. Our lawyer did his part in just 2 days. That was our affidavidts, then we copied our birth certificates and passports and sent it all to the Dominican Consulate in Toronto via they County Courier. The consulate called the County Courier 2 days later to say it was ready for pick up. In 2 days they had translated it to spanish and had it stamped and ready. When we got it back I faxed it down to the Hamaca to Yvonne Pena the wedding coordinator and with in 3 hours she faxed back to say it was all in order.

I had spoke to Yvonne a few weeks prior to let her know when we were arriving and the date that we wished to be married on. There were 13 in our group so I requested that we could book the Italian restaurant for our reception dinner. All this was fine!

We arrived on January 20th. There was a letter from Yvonne waiting for us when we checked in, saying that she would meet us the next morning at 10am. We had met some very nice people on our flight that were staying at the Hamaca and they said they would love to join us for our dinner. When we met with Yvonne I requested 6 more for dinner and this was no problem. We picked out our flowers and she showed us where the gazebo was, explained where Ted would stand, the best man, and the guests there would be chairs set up if they wished to sit. Yvonne offered to book a appointment for me at the hairdressers on the resort if I wished, yet my maid of honour is great, a woman of many talents so I declined the appointment, the charge would of only been $35. The wedding package of pictures I found to be quite exspensive so I struck my own deal with the beach photographer.20 pictures and all the negatives for $100 he charged me an extra $25 for the negatives. So for $125 I ended up getting 20 5x7 pictures and 36 negatives and got the other prints done back home. We had other people with us taking pictures and 2 of our friends had video camers I did not feel I nedded to buy the big package( everything is in american dollars and the exchange rate sucks).

Our wedding day came. I laid out on the beach until 1pm. By 3pm Yvonne called the maid of honour and I in my room to say they were ready. I met yvonne in the lobby, she had my flowers there and they were gorgous!! She had the front dest take off our all inclusive wrist bands and on we went. No problem!! I guess they had some problems in the bestmans room, the groom had popped a button on his tux shirt and they were running frantically 15 min before the ceremony to get it fixed.

I had to walk down this S shaped staircase while they played the wedding march song. As I started down I see all these people in their swimsuits there to watch. The wedding had been posted on the board in the main lobby for all to see. At least I didn't trip and fall down the stairs!! My sister gave me away, she met me at the botom of the stairs and on we went to the gazebo. The ceremony was all in Spanish and Yvonne translated it into english. When all was done they had given all our friends rice to throw and boy they spare no expense on the rice. I had it everywhere, my hair, down my dress and in my sandels. The photographer had us pose for some pictures, they brought out the wedding cake and champange, the cake was gorgous, from there we went to the beach for more pictures, this photographer knew what he was doing. All was done and we were at the swim-up bar by 4:30.

The reception dinner was at 8:30. It was great. A normal dinner in a non-smoking resturant. Once everyone but the wedding group was gone they brought out ashtrays and passed out cigars. Than out came the wedding cake. They were singing and dancing as they brought out the cake. What a hoot!! The description of the cake said it would feed 10-12 people, well 19 of us had cake and there were leftovers.

It was a perfect day! I think everone should get married without stress. It was definatley a day to remember. Where else could you lay on the beach until 1pm, get married at 3pm and be at the swim-up bar by 4:30. If you have any questions please write me at [email protected]
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Brian and Esme at Catalonia Bavaro Resort
We had an amazing "wedding week" amongst 37 of our friends and family, and wouldn't have changed a thing. The entire week was special, however, nothing could top our wedding day itself. We had our wedding at 1:00pm on the beach. There was a slight breeze which made us forget the heat altogether. They set up a beautiful display of floating champagne glasses, elegant chairs, and flowers on the aisle and table. We opted to have our own music and are thankful that we did. The DJ played our cd for us before and after the wedding. Everytime we hear our wedding cd it brings back wonderful memories. We also opted out of the photo package, and instead had our friends send us cd's with their digital photos. We ended up with hundreds of beautiful and natural photos for free!

The wedding reception was remarkable as well. They surprised us with extra champagne, a semi-private section of the beach restaurant, and decorated the tables. We also had additional waitstaff to make the evening smooth. They opened up the disco early for us so that we could have our first dance together.

For those people who want an intimate and relaxing wedding without the fuss, this is an amazing option! We are now using the money we didn't spend on an expensive wedding to travel the world. Just be prepared to play it by year. Most of the planning happens last minute, and you never know what to expect....

Enjoy!
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Monika at Catalonia Bavaro Resort
Wedding: "A Dream Come True"

We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful wedding! Before I start about this topic I want to say that our Wedding Coordinator Diana did a wonderful job, she worked so hard to make everything perfect, and it was perfect! We had 33 people attending this wedding and normally it's a group of 10 or less, so this was probably not easy for her to organize. If you are reading this Diana...thank you, thank you, thank you again!

You need to get some paperwork done before you go to the DR. The Dominican Consulate (In your hometown) requires copies of your birth certificates (if it's in any other language then English or Spanish it MUST be translated into English and notorized), copies of our passports, $150 US fee (it has to be a money order or US cash) and the single declarations. The single declaration (Statutory Affidavit) in English (one for the bride and one for the groom) has to be notarized by a lawyer or Notary Public) and translated into Spanish (which the consulate does for $30US each. In total we paid $220US We emailed Diana from Toronto many many times with a million questions we had but most of the decisions regarding the wedding were made when we arrived at Catalonia. Since we got there on a Saturday and the wedding wasn't until Wednesday there was plenty of time to organize the wedding, very little to organize! Stress free.

We met with the coordinator several times before the wedding which helped a great deal. She was able to show us pictures of bouquets to pick from and she took us around the different wedding locations (at the pond, the beach or wedding pavilion). As well she asked what colours we would like the decorations and what type of wedding cake we wanted. We were able to chose the menu for our wedding reception dinner. There was a large selection of food to choose from, we had lobster and steak. You have a choice of any of the pre-existing menus from any of their gourmet restaurants.

The Wedding was arranged to be at 3pm, ( this allows for pictures to be taken after the ceremony before the sun goes down) at 12:00 the girls went to get their hair done at the salon, while my fiancée was enjoying himself at the beach with his buddies. Despite the fact that the hair dresser did not speak a word of English my hair turned out great, If you have a picture of the hair style you want done it makes it a lot easier. Diana had arranged for someone to come with me to my appointment who spoke English and Spanish.

At 2:45 the beautiful flower bouquets were delivered to my room for my maid of honour and I and the boutonnieres were delivered to the room my fiancée was staying in. They were beautiful and the flowers were fresh. I chose to have pink and white roses since I did not like the look of the typical tropical flowers that are deep red and orange colours. Included in the wedding package is the brides bouquet and grooms boutonniere as well as flower arrangements for the tables. The extra flowers we wanted for the wedding party cost very little ($10-$15 US for another bouquet & boutonniere).

A little before 3pm my fiancé's limousine arrived (a golf cart). The resort was very big and to walk all that way would probably be way too hot. The golf cart was a great idea. My limo arrived right at 3pm and picked up my parents and I. We chose to have the wedding in the wedding pavilion and not at the beach, we had 33 guests to think about and it would have been too hot right on the beach for some of the elderly people. Also, be prepared that most days were very windy on the beach.

The Pavilion was decorated beautifully with balloons, streamers, white table cloth's and large flower arrangements. They also had chairs set up for the people that wanted to sit. There was a band that played the wedding march and sang after the ceremony was done and lots of champagne was served. There were numerous hotel guests watching the wedding, it was fun to have an audience!
We requested the local photographer, who took the nicest wedding pictures we have ever seen, he arrived before me and started taking photo's as I walked down with my father. You can also request the videographer, which we did not, but know people who did (Hi Andre & Julie!) and said the video was worth every penny. We received all of the professional photo's the next day!

After the ceremony and photo's were taken, we relaxed a little before going to our reception. They did a wonderful job accommodating our large group. Normally the wedding dinner is in the Gourmet French Restaurant, but we had too many people. Instead Diana had reserved half of one of the bigger restaurants and made it very private by separating our 3 very large tables of 11 with numerous tropical plants and trees. It was very private, you couldn't see anyone else in the restaurant. We had a delicious dinner, champagne, wine and wedding cake (3 tier). The tables were decorated beautifully with lots of flowers and candles. The service at our dinner was impeccable. It was a perfect ceremony and a perfect reception. To top it all of we went to the disco afterwards for dancing. The disco opens at 11:00pm but again they were very accommodating and opened the disco an hour early for us so we could have our first dance, mother/son & father/daughter dance. We supplied the DJ with a CD of our wedding songs and he was more than accommodating. After 11pm the doors opened and we partied with the rest of the hotel guests.

Overall, a perfect wedding. I would recommend anyone who wants to get married to go to Catalonia. It's worth every penny, and it's very inexpensive compared to the fortune you would spend here in Canada! One suggestion, request to have a wedding rehearsal the night before, we did and it was helpful to know what was going on. They didn't ask us if we wanted one so make sure you do.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at [email protected] .
If you need more info about the resort, Catalonia has a very informative website www.catalonia.com.do
Thanks Debbie, for a wonderful website, It helped us decide were we wanted to get married and obviously this was the right choice!
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Puerto Plata Village - Selena
December 2003

My husband and I got married in the Dominican Republic in January 2003. After researching various hotels for our DR wedding, I finally settled upon the Puerto Plata Village Resort. Prior to the wedding I contacted the wedding co-ordinator Maria (Maggie) Veras, who always promptly responded to my emails, answering all of my questions. The wedding package I received contained a document stating requirements needed to get married in the DR, the wedding package information and a list of extras with prices in US & Pesos.

Arrival:
After being greeted with a welcome cocktail, we checked in, after which Maggie introduced herself and we met to run through the wedding details. At this time she gets your documents (ie. Passports, birth certificates & declarations), runs through what will happen for the wedding and takes your order for any extras you would like to add onto the package. All we needed to add was an additional bouquet for my bridesmaid, 2 extra boutonnières and 2 corsages for our parents, extra hor’derves, champagne (package only includes enough for 8ppl) and arranged for our marriage certificate to be translated (resort charges $30US for this, the Consulate in Canada charges $40US). For the marriage to be legal in Canada the marriage certificate must be translated and sent to the DR Consulate in Canada for them to legalize it the cost is $75US for just the legalization fee. Because we had guests booked into 6 superior rooms the wedding package was free otherwise it would have been $450US. The extras worked out to be about $150US and we spent about $250US on the pictures (all proofs (aprox. 70 pictures), all negatives, 24 – 5 X 7 photos in an album & the wedding video edited). Actually it probably worked out to be less because instead of the hotel & the photographer (Photo Memories) instead of just charging us in US dollars (which for Canadians isn’t very favourable), they charged in Pesos & converted to CDN, which works out to be a much better deal for us Canadians.

The Wedding:
The wedding was wonderful, perfect, exactly what we wanted. It was so relaxing and stress-free. That morning the girls lazed in the sun and guys went to the beach. My husband remarked to me later that at one point on the beach that day he finally realized that he was getting married and was amazed at how relaxed he was. Just soak up the sun and let Maggie and the Puerto Plata Village staff take care of everything. I had a hair trail done in Canada prior to the trip and brought my pictures along with me to show the hairdressers exactly what I wanted. Both my hair and make-up were exactly what I wanted, they did a wonderful job. After arriving back at the room our flowers arrived and I have to say they were gorgeous! I had brought a picture just to give an idea of what I would like because a visual picture is so much easier than trying to describe what you want. The florist did such a wonderful job, everyone was amazed and really impressed with the flowers. After oohhing & aaahhhing over the flowers for a while the photographer & videographer arrived to take some before pictures and then my sister, Dad and I jumped on the shuttle provided for us and sped off to the wedding location.

We were able to have my sister (who I had chosen for my maid of honour) and my husband’s Dad (who he had chosen for his best man) be our witnesses, provided that Maggie (our wedding co-ordinator) signed as a witness also. The information that I had read said that you could not have relatives be your witnesses so this was a wonderful surprise, it meant more to have them be our witnesses instead of strangers. However, I talked to a lady that got married at a different resort and she was told differently and ended up having to switch their witnesses at the last minute. She had planned on having their 2 sons and was understandably upset when she found out differently. We were married by the same judge and it seems to me that this judge marries all the people in the Playa Dorada complex. Just make sure to double check and maybe have back-ups if your hotel won’t provide witnesses for you.

As I walked into the garden the guitarist sang Ave Maria and I must say, did an awesome job. The ceremony began and thankfully was short but sweet. The judge spoke in Spanish and Maggie translated for us, what would a DR wedding be without Spanish in the ceremony. All we had to say was yes and after more Spanish and translation, we kissed. After that we exchanged rings and kissed some more. The order of things is different than in Canada, (ie. rings before kiss) but that was part of what made our wedding unique and I couldn’t care less in what order everything was. The important thing was that we were married! After the ceremony there was more pictures and everything was a beautiful photo opportunity. I especially enjoyed the rice throw even though I got rice in my mouth and even down my dress! After the champagne toast and cutting the cake we had our first dance with the guitarist singing ‘Unchained Melody’. After more pictures we jumped in the waiting carriage and headed off to the beach for more pictures.

When we got back from the beach we headed to the area above the lobby and had drinks and hor’derves with soft music in the background. With light music playing in the background we danced, nibbled on hor’derves and had an opportunity to chat with our guests. Maggie had thoughtfully arranged for the CD player and it is just another example of the co-ordination and competence of this wonderful lady. None of us had to worry about a thing it was all taken care of by Maggie.

When we arrived at the restaurant for dinner we were ushered in and treated like royalty. The food was delicious and the service was wonderful. We ended our night partying at the disco where my husband and I even lead a chain through the dance floor.

We were able to pick up our pictures a few days later and boy was I impressed. The pictures are just gorgeous. We also purchased the edited wedding video and even though the quality wasn’t the best, it gave the whole picture of the wedding.
If you have any questions or would like to view our pictures, feel free to email me at: [email protected]
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Puerto Plata Village - Kari and Darren
We are coming up on our 1 year Wedding Anniversary so my review is a little late coming, but here it is. Our Wedding at Puerto Plata Village was better than I could have ever imagined. We chose Puerto Plata Village because the Wedding Package had great features and was a better price than the other resorts we had looked at (we did not qualify for the free wedding, as we only brought 2 other couples with us.). It turned out to be a great choice.

I started communications with our wedding co-ordinator long before our wedding, her name was Maria Veras (a.k.a. Maggie), and she was incredibly patient with my never ending questions, always replying quickly to all of my inquiries. We met with Maggie and Sandra the day after we arrived to decide on our Wedding location and flowers and any extra's we would like to purchase - with that out of the way we had the whole weekend to relax before our big day.

On our wedding day we got up and had breakfast together before my massage appointment, I then had time for a quick swim before my girlfriends and I had to go for our hair appointments, Unfortunately, I cannot remember the girls name that did our hair, but she was fantastic. We showed her pictures of what we wanted done, and we got exactly what we were after. The flowers for our hair were delivered to the salon while we were getting our hair done, there was a bit of a mix up initially with the flowers, but I was warned beforehand that this was to be expected, so I was not concerned. Everything worked out great, the rest of the girls flowers were delivered to my suite, and the boys flowers were delivered to the room they were getting ready in.

The girls and I got ready in my room which was great, it was very large with our own huge patio, and was a free upgrade with the Wedding Package. If I had to pick the one thing that best demonstrates the level of service and attention we received it would have to be when I had a problem with my dress and the PPV staff saved the day. I had brought my own steam iron to get the wrinkles out of my dress (though it was a very small wedding, we chose to wear traditional, formal wedding attire), but about 30mins before the ceremony was to begin we discovered that as hard as we tried my steamer was not getting the many, many wrinkles out of my fancy dress. So one of the girls called our wedding co-ordinator to see if she had any suggestions, and without delay one of the laundry staff came and picked up the dress and then much to our astonishment the dress was returned 15mins later - perfectly pressed!!

The ceremony was beautiful, Sandra even looked after my friends' baby, while the vows took place so there were no interruptions. Everything was perfect, from the guitar playing escort to the rice throwing surprise to the romantic first dance and the Horse and Carriage......The hors duerves were delicious and Dinner was lovely (being a very picky eater I ordered Mucho papas fritas (lots of French fries) and they happily obliged).

The photographer and videographer were great, they had obviously done this before. We had many fun, romantic and creative poses to choose from for the album that was included. Unfortunately, we were a little disappointed with the quality of some of the pictures and decided not to purchase the whole package, but the video turned out fabulous and we took it home with our 14 picture album. The video started with a video tour of the resort which is just lovely, we were given the choice of what kind of music we wanted on the video and we asked for some Spanish music, which turned out great. Once we got home we changed our minds about the rest of the photos and negatives and were able to send away to France (yes, France) for them, so we now have all of the pictures and the video.

We absolutely cherish the wonderful memories we have of our Wedding and wouldn't change a thing if we had it to do over.

Here's a couple of tips that may be helpful to Canadians: as Jennifer mentioned in her review I would not let the travel agent make your wedding arrangements either, even if they seem offended by you wanting to do it on your own, I think you will feel better to have first hand knowledge of what arrangements have been made. **Also important**.... try to have someone in the Dominican (e-mail the resort) or someone who has been there recently, tell you what the exchange rate is on the American and the Canadian Dollar (what the bank says here is not the same as the rates they use there). I took Canadian money with me which was a big mistake, as the American Dollar was worth double the Canadian Dollar. When I calculated how much my wedding package would cost I converted the US$ price to CAD$ and planned on it costing that much, but by the time they converted US$ to pesos and I converted my CAD$ to pesos it ended up costing me $200 more than it would have if I had just bought the US$ at home.

P.S
I would like to say a big thank you to Jennifer for being a big help while I was planning my wedding, and would be happy to answer any questions I can for anyone else planning theirs you can drop me a line at [email protected].
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Puerto Plata Village
well where do i start we had the best wedding ever. We arrived at the hotel at about 4pm and i thought it was a beautifaul choice for our wedding there were tropicaql flowers e everywhere and it was just so colourful. We were given our wedding package on the coach on the way to the hotel which informed us we were to get married on the folowing monday it was like wow its really happening. We had an appointment to meet our wedding coordinator which was hilary on monday(we only arrived on sunday) at 4pm she was great she talked to us about the wedding what guest were with us, there was 18 of us altogether. We had a look through some photos of previous weddings and they all looked nice. She showed us the locations where we could get married and we chose the garden which was very private and quite when we chose our location we went back to the reception area and discussed things like colours of flowers colours for the garden to be decorated in and all the little extras you want. We had all the stuff that came with the wedding package like flowers, heurs deurves photos cake all what it said in the brochure. Then we decided to have extra flowers for our bridesmaids all the buttton holes for the guests and a wrist band of flowers for my mum, flowers for the bridesmaids hair, extra sandwiches, bottle of champagne, we also opted for our wedding certificate to be translated into english. Also all our documents had to be translated into spanish. All these extras only worked out under £100. Whenall this was sorted we told Hilary our colour scheme which was cream and gold and she said that was all we needed to do and to relax until monday which was great, time to top up our tan.

Our boys were our best men and we wanted some ring cushions so we spoke to Maggie shes the hotel wedding coordinator she is great as well she made a phone call and said no problem it was sorted they only cost about £12 for the pair and theywre lovely. we wre married on the 25th August 2003 at 3pm it was supposed to be 2.30pm but you get married when the judge is ready but that isnt a problem.The ceremony was really relaxed although very emotional it was nice having family and freinds there. The decorations and the cake were amazing the colour scheme was just perfect. the ceremony only lasted about 5 minutes if that but it was enough.After that we had photos taken. Oh by the way i was serenaded walking down the garden by a guitarist he was great as well. We had loads of photos taken in the garden then in the surrounding area by the big palms lovely setting. We then went along the golf course in our horse and carriage and had photos taken by the lake and in the garden opposite. The flowers and all the areas are so pretty you wouldnt get it in this country. WE then went down to the beach when it started to rain, dont panick, it was a godsend we sat in the bar at the beach had a drink and relax for 10 minutes while the shower passed. We then had our photos done on the beach and under the palm trees we then went for a ride in the horse and carriage while the other guest went back to the hotel. when we arrived back we had some drinks and our nibles and chatted for a couple of hours. We had our meal at the a la carte restaraunt which was very nice we had a table for 18 it was no problem.

I would like to say I have been ,married before but nothing beats this one it was so romantic and relaxing . Without Hilary or Maggie it would not have been a dream come true they couldnt do enough for us and our day was perfect. Iwould recomend it to anyone first or second time round. If you would like to see some phots just Email me at [email protected]. Enjoy your special day
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Sally and Tony at the Iberostar Costa Dorada
May 2004

Our wedding day at Iberostar costa dorada was everything and more than we could of hoped for. We asked reception the night before for a room for the bridegroom which they supplied for us as none of our wedding party would accomadate him, nasty people. So we took breakfast in shifts, i then went down to the beach for a sunbath and then off to the Salon for a relaxing massage, with bridesmaid and friend. Massage was fantastic and managed not to but into Tony. I then went back to my room to find that our pation window that had been broken for 4 days had been taken out to be replaced but my room had been left open with everything on view, all wedding stuff and more. After being mad at reception as i had had a letter the previous day to say that the window was to fixed then but wasn't just very baddly handled. We then went to take showers and start on hair and make-up which my bridemaid was doing being in the trade. We had constant in teruptions and we were both getting stressed out. We had no air conditioning as this doesn't not work if the door is open, but room was by the sea so had a great breaze. Finally got ready i had time to chillout while bridesmaid got ready. Judge and Cosmos rep were late so all waiting in room. We finally got going 30mins late. Flowers were so lovely, you get to choose colours mainly roses used. And oder extra flowers if you like, we did and well worth every penny. We got taken by the buggy to reception where you make a big enterance and everyone can see but not verywell, pictures start to be taken. Then they play the wedding march which is fab, close to tears my dad gave me away and with my bridesmaid by my side, all my guests looked fab the venu is so well decorated. In the domincan you have a special lock that you have to preform with your hands and it's really inportant. The service is short but great. the guest services help out and they are fantastic, out cosmos rep translated for us but you can understand most it even though it's in spanish. Then after the cerimony you exchange rings as they don't do this in dr, then lot's of champaigne and lot's of photos, your firast dance together as man and wife. Then you get paraded around then hotel and photos are taken.

We then went for a helicoptor ride, which made our day unique. Then back for more champainge and dinner, our dinner venue was changed and there was a mess up but it was the reps fault but we coped. Dinner was lovely, not sure what everything we eat was but it was lovely and so was the service. We then went to sit out side to do cards and speaches. some of our group went to bed but the rest of us stayed up and ended up in route 66 where they played a special song for us, which ended the day perfectly. Iberostar is a hotel to die for and if you choose to get married there which you should it is simple the best!
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Rachel and John at the Iberostar Costa Dorada
June 2003

We have just returned from an amazing (2) weeks at the Iberostar Costa Dorada.

After reading your reviews, I choose this hotel and we went out there to get married, there was 19 of us all together.

Just before we went I e-mailed the hotel to see if they could tell me the date of my wedding, as the best man and bridesmaid were only coming out from Friday 6th June till Friday 13th June 2003. The hotel e-mailed me back on the Thursday before I was due to go on Monday saying my Wedding was Friday 13th June 2003, I then e-mailed back saying about bestman and bridesmaid and they changed it no problem to Wednesday 11th June 2003.

Hotel was amazing, anyone who complains must be real moaners.

Star friends are fab they are always full of life considering the hours they work, gives the men something to do, while the women sunbathe.

Food is great, had a bit of a tummy upset from Mexican and Brazilian restaurants.

Pool is lovely, but you do have to get up early to get a bed. Beach is lovely too, it is abet blowy in the afternoon but it's nice sometimes as it is very hot around the pool.

Evening entertainment looked great, we were never early enough to sit close enough to be able to see it properly.

Wedding
Make sure your documents are correct, as there were alot of weddings the weeks we were there, and we were the only ones in that two weeks with the right paper work. (Think they can sort it out over there).

One thing I will say to all brides is that I got conjunctivitis the day before my wedding and the groom did and 9 of the party got it at various times after me. It could of really spoilt the wedding, but I had an injection the night before my wedding and on the day. Eyes were abit red still but it didn't spoil the day. (So brides beware of the pool, don't get water in your eyes).

On a better note! What a day, you could not have a better wedding at home. You pick your flowers before the wedding, which are out of this world, you pick the flavour of the cake.

The day just went so well, they do everything so lovely, the trio band sing while you are getting married, then you have champagne, cake and then they play while you have your first dance.

After the ceremony you have photo's and then have photos on the beach, but to be honest I didn't like my beach photos as it was too windy. (photos are a rip off, video is expensive too but we had it to remember the day).

We all have drinks at the lobby bar (which is fantastic for drinks) and then went in for our (4) course meal, which was lobster, soup, beef in a sauce and a pudding. Meal was excellent, then we had speeches, it was just like a normally wedding but better.

We then went back to our room and there was a beautiful arrangement of flowers a plate of fruit and chocolates and a bottle of champagne in the fridge. A perfect touch to the day and night (unfortunately my husband opened it and I was fast asleep, must of been the injection kicking in), we had a glass in the morning though.

All in all this is a top hotel and I'm so glad I did read the reviews and picked it, I couldn't of asked for anything better. Not one of my party had any complaints.
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Lori & Steve at the Iberostar Costa Dorada
April 2003

Our April 2003 wedding at the Iberostar Costa Dorada was wonderful! I wouldn’t have done it any other way. All 28 of us had a fantastic time. The details are outlined below:

Paperwork
See Debbie’s website for the details and, if you are Canadian, you can send an e-mail to the Dominican embassy in Toronto at [email protected] for the current prices. Our papers were translated into Spanish, legalized, and sent back to us within a week. Cost for us: $230 US. When you receive your marriage certificate from the Dominican it will need to be again be translated into English and legalized. Cost: $115 US.

Hotel
I will not go into very many details but you can read the outstanding reviews this hotel has received on this website for yourself. It is one of the best hotels in the Puerto Plata area. The food is fantastic (which often makes or breaks an all-inclusive resort). Not one of our guests complained and some are already planning their return trip.

Basic Wedding Package
At the Iberostar Costa Dorada the basic package is $625 US and includes the ceremony, judge services and fees, legalization, gazebo decorations/set up, bridal bouquet, groom’s boutonniere, musical trio who play throughout ceremony (and at the dinner), photographer + 14 photos 4” x 6” only of the ceremony, champagne for 8 people, wedding cake for 8 people, and dinner for 8 people. All additional guests are $12 US extra per person.

Wedding Date
As the judge does not make up his schedule until the month before you will not know the exact day of your wedding until approximately 3-4 weeks before. Don’t worry they will accommodate you – I needed our wedding to be on either Mon., Tues, or Wed. as we had guests leaving on Thursday and I got the exact date I requested. Guest Services at the hotel arranges the wedding and they can be contacted at: [email protected] They replied to my e-mails within 24 hours and answered all of my questions.

Flowers
The flowers are beautiful. As part of the basic wedding package you receive two giant arrangement on either side of the table, 2 smaller arrangements for the table (which then go on your dinner table that evening), your bouquet (pick from 2 styles: long & flowing or small & round), and your fiancé’s boutonniere. You are asked for your choice of colors and you can tell them any flower preferences. My bouquet was pink & white and consisted of pink & white chrysanthemums, white daisies, pink Painter’s Palette, and Bird of Paradise. For extra flowers I ordered 2 more of the small bouquets, 4 corsages, & 2 boutonnieres for $60 US total.

Extra Speakers
There is no problem accommodating any extras you wish to add to the ceremony. The judge will do his part first and then you are welcome to have anyone else come up. We had a prayer said by my husband’s grandfather and a wedding blessing from a friend. If you are having other people attend, consider having them participate in the ceremony as it really adds to the specialness of the day.

Photos
We were married on Tuesday and had our photos available Thursday by 5 pm. There are many packages to choose from at the Iberostar. We choose the deluxe package which gave us all our 4x6 “proofs” (over 100 photos), all the negatives, 3 8”x12” enlargements, and 3 6” x 8” enlargements for approximately $400 US. The enlargements were ready the following day. Negatives by themselves are $10 US each. You do receive 14 photos of your ceremony as part of the package.

Video
I would highly recommend the video. We were not going to have one done but after reading the reviews posted by others from this hotel we decided to get it. The guy is from outside the hotel and does an excellent job. He edits it wonderfully and you receive 2 VHS copies and a CD for the computer. There is footage of the bride arriving to the ceremony, the ceremony itself, and then pictures from the hotel grounds. Also, he speaks fluent English and may be contacted at: [email protected] Cost: $220 US.

Hair/Spa
There is a spa right at the hotel. I went for a practice run for my hairstyle a few days ahead. Several of our guests also had their hair done the morning of the wedding (they closed the salon for us that morning). I would suggest bringing a picture of the hairstyle you want as the girls do not speak a lot of English. My hair with practice was $35 US. Everyone’s hairstyles turned out great. Just don’t be afraid to mention if they are doing something you don’t like (communicating through hand gestures works very well). Several of us also had manicures the day before. I had a French manicure which was well done for $18 US. The hotel can e-mail you a list of all the spa services and prices. You only need to book your appointments when you arrive.

Ceremony
The bride and her attendants stay in the room and the wedding coordinator will come up and get you. Do not panic if they are late (ours was 15 min late). At this time you will be brought your flowers and the coordinator will pin any corsages. You then get into a golf cart and travel to the front lobby of the hotel. You will stop for a few photos and then the musicians (three of them) will start to play the wedding march. You walk through the lobby to the gazebo (the gazebo is also decorated with tulle from the ceiling and down the front columns-very classy). There is a red carpet and chairs arranged for all your guests. Your groom will, of course, already be waiting by the table at the front. You then walk behind the table to face your guests. Per Dominican tradition, during the vows you hold right hands and your groom puts his left hand behind your back (you hold your bouquet in your left hand). The vows take only 10 minutes. You then exchange rings (they have a nice silver box on the table for this purpose) and you and your witnesses sign the register. Everyone will then be served champagne (your glasses will be decorated with ribbons and flowers), your speakers may then come up next, then you have a first dance (the musicians play throughout the ceremony – the live music is so much better), cut the cake (which is a nice sponge cake with fruit filling in between the layers, ours was three stacks high, beautifully iced white with bride and groom figurines on top). All your guests will then be served wedding cake by the hotel staff. You then take a few pictures at the front then everyone lines up to throw rice (and confetti if someone brings it) as you walk down the aisle together. We had requested earlier to have a group photo together which is a wonderful reminder of everyone who was there.

You will then go around the hotel grounds for pictures and you can take pictures with whomever you would like. For us, it did rain on and off the entire day of our wedding but you cannot even tell in the pictures or video (Do not be disappointed if it rains, everyone of us had a great time and what else would your guests be doing if it rained anyways. It’s was also cooler so everyone was comfortable in their formal clothes.). The walk outside to the gazebo is short and the hotel provided umbrellas for our guests. For us, this meant that we took pictures with our guests in the hotel lobby (which is beautiful, marble floors, large flower arrangements) then the next day only my husband and I dressed up and had pictures/video in the garden area and by the pool. We chose not to have any beach pictures as it was still windy the next day.

Dinner
You have a special dinner menu in the poolside Caribbean (seafood) restaurant (included in the basic wedding package price). If you have guests with special dietary requirements then they can order from the restaurant’s usual menu. The menu is a 4 course gourmet dinner: Temperate delight of cardinal lobster on puff-pastry milhojas; Fine cream of wild asparagus with crispy Parma Ham, Roasted a la Broch Tournedo (beef medallion cooked to order, this was the best course!) in a scab of herbs and Foie-gras; Parfait of blueberries, nougat and guava with culis of mint. If you don’t like any of the above the hotel will let you pick items from the regular menu but the above was fantastic – much better than we could afford for our guests back home.

Room Treats
In between the ceremony and dinner the hotel staff will put one of the giant flower arrangements in your room and leave you a bucket of champagne and a wonderful fruit plate. They also turn down your bed and give you Iberostar T-shirts with “Just Married” on the back. It’s a very nice touch.

Other
Be sure to mention to the wedding coordinator if any of your guests will be having birthdays or anniversaries. The hotel will call and sing Happy Birthday in the morning to them and then put a small decorated cake in their room (and sometimes flowers as well). For anniversaries, they send a bucket of champagne.

There are no irons in the rooms but an iron/ironing board is available from the front desk. We told our guests to bring their own. I brought a small steamer for my husband’s suit (my dress was fine). Also, you do need an electrical converter as the plugs are different than ours (not polarized). You can buy one from the hotel gift shop for 16 pesos (approx. $1.00) or bring your own.

I would be happy to answer any other questions, please feel free to contact me at [email protected].
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Jason & Myrna at the Iberostar Costa Dorada
April 2003

We just returned from the most fantastic week of our life! We decided to get married in the DR at the Iberostar Costa Dorada & it was the perfect decision. We stayed from March 30-April 5. First of all our travel agent from Maritime Marlin Travel was a great help to us in getting all the documents in order to get married. We arrived at the resort on Sunday. On Monday we made an appointment to meet with the wedding coordinator. We met with him - Deyan - on Tuesday. We got to pick out the colors for the bouquet, boutonnière and floral arrangements, also the flavor of our cake. He then explained how the ceremony would take place. He also brought us to the hair salon as I was going to have them do my hair. Our wedding was on Thursday afternoon. I had my hair done earlier in the day. It was absolutely beautiful,done exactly like I wanted it. Any reviews that say they weren't great with hair is wrong. Prudy done my hair to perfection. When we were ready my husband had to go down to the lobby half an hour before the wedding. I was later picked up in a golf cart and brought to the lobby. Pictures are taken by the hotel photographer during the ceremony- you get to pick 14 of these with your wedding package. Because we went alone we also got him to take other pictures around the resort and beach. The pictures were absolutely beautiful but my only complaint about our trip and wedding as a whole is that the pictures cost way too much money. If you have people going with you have them do pictures for you. The hotel had two witnesses for us from guest services and reception. Anita from guest services translated the ceremony into english for us. There is also a band trio that plays and sings during the ceremony. After the wedding and Pics were done we went back to our room where there was a bouquet of flowers and towels on our bed shaped like hearts and swans. Then we went to dinner at the Tropical Restaurant. They had a special menu made up just for us. When we went back to our room there were just married shirts on the bed, the bed was turned down with chocolates on it. We then went to the show when we went back to our room to call it a night they had a platter of fruit, wine on ice with wine glasses. We felt like royalty. All in all our wedding was so stress free form beginning to end that it didn't feel as if we were planning a wedding at all. You may pay a little more for this resort, but if you want quality and a personal touch to your special day this is the place to be. We would like to thank Debbie for providing such a wonderful site, it really helped us pick the Iberostar resort for our wedding.
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Bahia Principe - Jenn & Chris
July 2004

We just got back from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Plata on Sat. We stayed at the Bahia Principe and had our wedding there as well.

The resort was beautiful, there was 22 of us that went down, there was a little confusion with the rooms but was quickly fixed. The rooms are nice clean but beware after some of the cleaning ladies leave your room they might just happen to leave you back door!! we found out this the hard way when things were missing from the room. The food was fine, i like to be safe so i ate a lot of bread. But make sure you make reservations for the medatrian Restaurant it was great.

The wedding : As soon as we got checked in we went to public relations to speak with the wedding coordinator. MAKE YOU DINNER RESERVATIONS ASAP. Got all the papper work sorted out. You are able to pick out your own flowers and colors etc. I got to the resort on the Sat and my wedding was on the Tues it was really nice it gave me time to prepare and then relax. The day of the wedding i felt like i was in the dark because i really didn't know what was going on the wedding coordinator didn't get back to me. The cart with balloons came to pick me and my girls up at 4:00. The ceremony is in spanish and they will translate it into english for you . The actually ceremony was fast to the point i didn't even have time to cry. I would strongly request that you get a quick run down of what you do etc . (you say i do then your married and the rings come later???) We had our dinner at the Italian Restaurant and it was great they br! ought my wedding cake to the resturant and all the decorations there it was beautiful.

FYI : If you wait to get married closer to when you go home you run the risk of not getting you marriage cert before you leave. The photo's turned out really nice and were ready 2 days later. The video beware our video was only 13 min long and it was to be 30min ( we got money off the price)

I wouldn't change a thing it was everything i wanted and more!!  

 

Last updated: July 7 , 2004