Hi ladies! Almost 3 weeks later I am finally ready to post my review! If you have any specific questions or would like to see FB pics email me at nataliejp519 at yahoo dot com – apologies in advance if this gets a little lengthy
We got married on Thursday, July 11, 2009 at 4pm. We arrived at the Melia on Monday, June 8 and left on Thursday, July 18. Including us and our photographer we had 27 guests all staying on-site. We choose the Tides package.
Arriving at PUJ:
Everything went fine. No problems with our luggage or finding our transportation to the resort. Once you enter the airport from the runway (no gates) you will enter into a large room. Before you go through immigration and customs they will ask you for $10 U.S. dollars per person for a tourist tax. They only take cash.
Arriving at Melia:
It was about a 15-20 minute ride from the airport. Upon arrival we were escorted to the Royal Service check-in lounge. Everything went smoothly and did not have to wait for an agent to help us. Most of our guests arrived the day after we did, they set-up a special check-in in the main lobby that said “welcome guests of Natalie & Jordan wedding.” They also had champagne for them too. This was really nice, no one had to wait in the long lines at the front desk.
We had originally booked a Royal Service Deluxe Master Suite, but upon arrival we were upgraded to a Royal Service One-bedroom Master Suite! It was beautiful! They had a bottle of champagne and a fruit basket waiting for us, as well as heart shaped towels and flowers throughout the bedroom and bathroom. Royal Service is the way to go! Most of our guests stayed in regular rooms and all though they were nice, nothing nearly as nice as ours. We met our 2 butlers who were so very nice and polite. And if we needed anything, which we really didn’t, they were there quickly. Our first night we came back from dinner and one had run us a bubble bath in the Jacuzzi with a little note saying “thought you’d want to relax” how cute!
Meeting with WC:
Ok, brides-to-be this is where we all start to freak out about before we arrive, right?! Oh my gosh, no worries. It went so well. I originally had been working with Emy Rose, but since she quit about 2 weeks before we got there I was reassigned to Heinicy. They have everything ready for you. They have your emails, your pictures you’ve sent them. She ran through everything for the ceremony and dinner and even had questions for us that I hadn’t thought of beforehand. We weren’t planning on doing a sand ceremony because it was my understanding that they charge you extra for the set-up and the use of their vases, etc. Well they didn’t. Heinicy asked if we wanted to and I said no thanks for that extra charge. And she said no we don’t charge to do it or for our items for it. Sweet! We gave her all the things we had brought down for the wedding: cd with first dance, customized cocktail napkins for the cocktail hour, our guestbook, ring bearer pillow. She took care of all of it and had them exactly where they needed to be for the day.
I only used the spa services for a simple mani / pedi. It wasn’t anything special, especially for $70, but it did look nice in pictures for the wedding. As for my hair and make-up, I was lucky enough to have one of my bridesmaids do my hair and another friend/best man’s girlfriend do my make-up.
We had a Welcome Dinner for our guests the evening before our wedding. Heinicy made reservations for our group at the American Grill. You have to pick a set menu so we choose the chicken dish for the entrée which was super yummy and for the appetizer they had a buffet set-up. They also had some amazing dessert options – try the apple pie!! They were also super accommodating for our 2 special meal requests for both the welcome dinner and reception dinner. We had a 4 year old and a vegetarian with us. We choose separate plates for them, and we weren’t charged extra!
Our ceremony was to begin at 4:00pm. I woke up around 7:30am, took a shower, then me and hubby went for breakfast at the Gabi (Royal Service only restaurant.) My bridesmaids and photographer came to our room around 10 and we slowly got ready. It was the perfect amount of time and we didn’t feel rushed. Around 130 we ordered lunch and champagne from room service. At about 230 me and Jordan had our first reveal to each other before the ceremony. We did this so we could take pictures together and have our special moment before the craziness of the ceremony and following events began. We went around the resort and the beach to do our shots. Came back around 330, hubby went off to one of his groomsmen room to get picked up and taken to the beach. They came to pick up us girls around 350.
We had our wedding ceremony on the beach at 4p. As my father walked me down the aisle we had the standard music selection that Heinicy said she would play for us. It was kind of cheesy, but many of our guests (even the younger ones our age) commented how nice they thought the music was. There were so many randoms watching from the sides, it was pretty hilarious. It didn’t bother me at all and it actually made me feel extra special in a way haha, but I want to let you other girls know that if you’re looking for something more intimate then the beach isn’t for you. The officiant read the ceremony in Spanish and then Heinicy translated to English. It sounded soo great! One piece of advice, ask your WC to go over the order of the ceremony with you. We didn’t and it was kind of confusing during and I felt like I didn’t know what was next. Afterwards I asked my mom if it seemed slightly disorganized to her and she said no, everything seemed fine.
We wanted to have our first dance at the cocktail reception, so we moved to the big gazebo. They set-out champagne, hor d’ourves, and my little cocktail napkins. They also put our guest book on a separate table for our guests to sign. We danced our first dance, mingled, and took pictures for the rest of the hour.
We had our reception dinner at El Gurapo, which is the Dominican restaurant. All of our guests went in first, then they introduced the new Mr. and Mrs. and we walked in. We had 1 huge long table for all of us. I had made place cards and gone over the seating with Heinicy at our meeting. The food was again sooo good! For our appetizer we had a simple salad with tomatos and avocado. Then for our entrée we choose the steak. Now I am not a huge fan of steak, but holy moly this was awesome…I ate the entire thing! We were in the restaurant for about 2 ½ hours. After we had finished our meal, they brought out our cake. Loved it! We choose to upgrade our cake to the Tropical one since we weren’t all about the Tides one that is more seashell / nautical themed. The cake was 3 tiered and had hot pink tropical flowers on it. Most of our guests like chocolate so we had the base/largest layer of chocolate, then the 2 top layers were vanilla. It was so delicious! We didn’t cut into the top layer of the cake so we were able to take it back with us to the room and freeze it. We ate the rest of it throughout the week we had left there
Since we didn’t have your traditional reception we decided to all meet up at the Fun Pub bar for some more drinking and dancing afterward. Once we got there, it was closed. We found out it had been moved to the beach for the night. Which turned out to be so much more fun then being indoors of course. The bridal party all went to jump in the pool with our wedding clothes on and take pics (oh yes we did!!) We changed into regular clothes and met the rest of our guests down at the beach to dance in the sand. So fun!
They came out gorgeous! Exactly what I had envisioned and so perfect to the pics I sent beforehand. I had my bridesmaids bouquets, boutonnières, and family wrist corsages made through a seller on Etsy (awesome, beautiful.) So we just had my bouquet and groom’s bout made of fresh flowers through the resort, they came out amazing!
We flew in the super talented Leah Stafford from Ohio down with us. We paid for her to stay at the resort for 3 days / 2 nights. The resort gave us absolutely no problems with having her there, whatsoever. They actually even upgraded her to a Royal Service room too! I cannot give enough positive comments about her and I would recommend Leah a million times over! I am so happy she was with us to capture our special day. She posted some of our pics on her blog http://blog.leahstaffordphotography.com/?p=879
and I am anxiously awaiting to see the rest of them which I will definitely post that link on here once it is up.
-The food in the entire resort is awesome! Everything is so fresh tasting and delicious. I was addicted to eating the grilled zucchini and eggplant! And soft serve ice cream!
-You must try the Japanese restaurant.
-If you’re looking to get a little crazy, ask the bartender for shots of Mamajuana!
-All the staff is so genuine, friendly, and polite.
AMAZING, AWESOME, PERFECT! I couldn’t have asked for a better wedding! It was so much more than I thought it would be and I would do it all over again at the Melia in a heartbeat. All of our guests had so much fun too. They are all still raving about it. It was a blast to be able to hang out on the most beautiful beach with so many close friends and family. I want to go back, now!