Ok here goes! (FYI this will be long!)
FIRST OFF…..CONGRATS!!! I forgot to say that before!
We also had considered doing Mexico, but some of guests were a little scared to go there due to the bad wrap Mexico has gotten because of the crime. However, I’ve been to Mexico A LOT and all those tourist places are safe, but it’s unfortunate some people will not step foot in there. That’s why we decided on Punta Cana, we noticed more people felt more comfortable flying there, especially our parents. I also did find that prices for wedding in Mexico are a lot cheaper than anywhere else, so I guess you just may want to keep all of this in mind.
When you book a wedding with Paradisus, you get assigned a wedding planner. I had gotten assigned to one I wasn’t too impressed with, so I switched to an AMAZING planner! Shortly after that, she left she & started her own planning company. We loved her so much, that we decided to hire her on our own. It was the BEST decision we ever made. She’s amazing and has all the 411 on how to keep the cost down. She then recommended a travel agent she works very closely with, and we are using her.
We had 2 choices, to block a certain number of rooms for a guaranteed rate (you have to give a deposit which is returned to you once all the rooms are booked) or, just have your guests book on their own. We have found great deals on travel sites that include room and flight. But with giving the deposit, your guests can give their deposit to hold their room, and pay the room off little by little. Obviously with travel sites, they would have to pay the entire trip up front. And also wit travel sites, there aren’t always deals. So you have to decide on whether you want to risk it and book on your own, or have a guaranteed room rate.
You can pick one of their wedding packages and def keep the cost as close to it as possible IF you keep to the 24 in house guest count (that’s what # of guests the packages cover). But I saw you plan on inviting 150 guests, so your cost will go up. We decided to go with the cheapest package and add to it. I wasn’t crazy about the decorations some of the packages offered, so at the end, it was better to add on to the package.
For the amount of guests you will have, you will have to use one of the larger areas. I also know you can privatize one of the restaurants that accommodates up to 200 people. But to be honest I’m not too sure how that works. We’re having the reception poolside because we didn’t want to be in the sand. But I know they also do really nice receptions on the sand, and they can set up a dance floor.
As for the photographer…… We also wanted to fly one in, but at the end we found the price too be too much. Between the photog fee, airline, and hotel, it was crazy. AND for brides that book this year, they will charge an outsider photographer fee of $1, 000!!!! INSANE! The loop hole in your case is that you can say they are one of your guests and they happen to also be your photographer ; ) The hotel has preferred vendors in which the outside vendor fee doesn’t apply. Since we booked in 2011, that 1k fee didn’t apply so we hired a non-preferred photographer from Punta Cana. We didn’t like the style of the preferred photographer the resort recommended.
I’ve heard amazing feedback from other brides, so we’re SUUUUUPER happy we went with Paradisus!
Any other questions ask away!!!!!
Here’s a link to our wedding website so you can get some additional info as well 🙂