Post # 1
Has anyone gotten married in Punta Cana or the Bahamas at an all-inclusive resort? What was your honest experience? How were all of the details– flowers, decor, meal, cake, photgrapher, music? How much did you end up spending per guest for the actual wedding (not including your travel costs)?
Or have you attended a destination wedding at one of these resorts? What was your experience as a guest?
I am looking for something reasonably priced, but luxurious. I want my guests to be impressed and feel like they got their money’s worth! Any suggestions as to which resorts to look at would be appreciated. I am very into the details, so I am a little worried about putting my faith in a planner that I will not meet until the last minute.
I keep looking at Trip Advisor, but it is making me more confused! There are so many good and bad reviews for each hotel.
Post # 3
I can’t help much, as I haven’t been to a wedding there but the Majestic resorts in Punta Cana are great. Majestic Colonial & Majestic Elegance.
They are both newer resorts (the older one- the Colonial- was built maybe 5 years ago?) and very pretty. I stayed at the Colonial and had a wonderful trip. My co-worker chose the Elegance for his honeymoon & they both loved it.
Post # 4
I got married at Majestic Colonial in Punta Cana. LOVED everything about it. The beaches in Punta Cana are truly the best in the caribbean. They are the postcard you always see of white sand and turquoise blue waters. The resort was great. It was very beautiful and definitely uxurious. All our guests commented they had never been to a resort like that before. We all felt very pampered.
As for some of your questions:
There is a DJ in Punta Cana called DJ Mannia that everyone raves about. He has a million good reviews. There is also a resort DJ. I’ve heard good things but not as good as DJ Mannia. We actually just did ipod DJ and it worked out great for us.
The flowers are done at the resort. Absoloutely beautiful. I gave them a few inspiration pictures and it was better than what I had hoped for.
For a meal there you have an option of having semi-private dinner, which is you have your dinner in one of the al a carte restaurants. That’s what we did. Worked out great. And the food was fantastic. You can also pay to have private dinner.
Cake-WOW. Everyone at our wedding would not stop talking about it. Seriously the best tasting cake i have ever had. And included in the wedding package.
Photographer- we brought our own so I can’t comment on the resort photograher. However, I have seen some of the resort photographers work and I would say not the best quality. There is a guy called Phil Steingard that photographs multiple weddings at the Majestic Resorts. Lots of people use him and his photos are fabulous.
Spa-We all got our hair done at the spa. I was worried having not had a trial done. The girls there are so great. They do multiple weddings a day so you show them a picture and they get your hair done in 20 minutes or less. Everyone loved their hair.
The wedding planners there are phenomenal. They do usually about 3 weddings per day at these resorts so they know what they’re doing and they take care of everything. They go through every single detail with you when you get there and they have multiple back up plans.
Overall I highly recommend the resort.
If you want great details on this resort check out the Facebook group, Majestic Colonial Brides. THere is lots of great info and multiple reviews, including mine.
Good luck and if you have more questions feel free to ask me!
Post # 5
i’ve been to the majestic in punta cana as well but not for a wedding. it is an amazing place and your guests will enjoy it. i’ve been to bahamas a couple of times too but i find it to be more expensive. best value for money for you and your guests would be punta cana.
Post # 6
wow, thank you so much for the info! it’s so good to hear that you had such a great experience. it’s definitely making me feel better about considering a Destination Wedding.
i have read a lot of reviews on trip advisor about people getting sick from the food. has anyone run into that problem?
the resorts in punta cana I was looking into are the majestic, dreams, melia caribe tropical, and bahia prinicipe. are there any others that people have experience with? there will be kids there, so I need a family friendly place….
Post # 7
@PuntaCanaBride: thanks so much for the information! i really appreciate it. When you say semi-private, do you mean other people were eating in the restaurant and you just had a section of it? was there dancing or did you go somewhere else after?
Post # 8
@Ms. Blue: Don’t get overwhelmed by Trip Advisor. It is a great tool, but what you need to look for are several matching complaints at different time periods, to actually find issues. For example, if you see 5 complaints about people getting sick from food, but they are only over a 1 week span, then maybe it was just a bad batch of something at 1 dinner that they all attended. However, if you see 30 complaints of bed bugs over a six month span, then it is pretty safe to bet that you will be coming home with new pets…
@PuntaCanaBride has a great review. And it looks like she did just about everything right.
I would get a DJ though, as your wedding can “stall” sometimes, and a good DJ can keep that from happening. I would also bring in your own photographer. While resort photographers are not always bad, A) They have several “canned images” that they take, and go about the shoot almost robotically; B) You do not get to choose the style of photography that you want – so what you get might not match your personal style; C) you don’t get to meet them until your wedding day – most people undervalue this – what if they are mean or grumpy, or you just plain don’t click. That can ruin your wedding images…
Hope that helps.
– Big Event Photography
Post # 9
Also, if any brides would not mind sharing their budget with me (either here or on a PM), I would greatly appreciate it! After a little research, I think we would like to do a private reception, and hire an outside photographer/DJ if we end up doing a Destination Wedding
Post # 10
@Ms. Blue: Yes our dinner was semi private, meaning we ate at the restaurant that everyone else was at. But they had our own big table set up for us. I honestly didn’t even notice other people though. We then rented one of the bars for our reception afterwards where we had speeches & our dance. That was all private.
You also mentioned sickness. That was my #1 concern going to the wedding as there are reviews about that on Tripadvisor for the Majestic. Our experience, 45 people went in our group and 4 people ended up getting some travellers diarrhea. No one was exceptionally ill or even missed a day of their vacation, just extra bathroom trips. I really don’t blame the resort for it though. I think that no matter what resort you go to, its inevitable that some people will get some stomach upset due to different foods, drinking all day, not drinking water, etc.
Post # 11
@Ms. Blue: Congrats on being engaged!
We’re getting married at Paradisus Punta Cana this October. We picked this resort because we fell in love with the gazebo they have over looking the ocean. We didn’t want to get married on the sand, so this was perfect!
I also have heard amazing things about DJ Mannia, and they used to be the preferred DJ for the resort, but apparently they had issues where he showed up late for several weddings = / So they have a new DJ that has been getting great reviews lately.
We wanted to bring our own photographer, but found it to be too pricey between airfare, hotel, and their fee. We hired a photographer from Punta Cana, HDC Photography. They had really good package deals, and have gotten great reviews from other couples.
The reception will by the pool, because again we didn’t want to be in the sand : )
I’m attaching a picture of the gazebo and reception area
Post # 12
@izzy2525: I have been looking at the Paradisus and Paradisus Palma Real, and I heard there is a $1000 outside vendor fee, to bring in your own photographer? Have you heard about this? It seems outrageous!
Post # 13
Our wedding is set for next April in Punta Cana at Barcelo. On Friday, about 1/2 of my booked guests (not including us) got notice that the rates were increased. I took it upon myself to check our ‘group rate’ against a travel site. Through our agency it is at least $200 MORE! I’m so upset right now I’m just hoping we can get this resolved.
We used Liberty Travel for our booking.