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Melia Caribe wedding!


#3601

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 :slight_smile:

Background info:
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.

Our Room:
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.

Spa:
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.

Welcome Dinner:
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!

Getting Ready:
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.

Ceremony:
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.

Cocktail hour:
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.

Reception:
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 :slight_smile:

After Dinner:
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!

Flowers:
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!

Photographer:
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.

Random tidbits:
-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.

Overall:
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! :slight_smile:


#3602

Congrats Nat

Your pictures are beautiful…

I am next… Leaving on Monday 07/06/09 Wedding Day 07/10/09

:o


#3603

Good luck Pierrebride! You will have an amazing time!!!


#3604

Congrats Pierrebride! I can’t wait to hear all about it when you get back. Have a blast!


#3605

Hello Ladies,

I’ve been back since July 23rd and I cannot stop thinking about my entire wedding. It was super amazing, planning was flawless. I had the ceremony at the Melia Caribe Resort at the Gazebo and WOW what a beautiful gazebo. Emy was my original coordinator but then switched to Laura. I have to say Laura was superb with me. She accomodated all my request. Just do as I did I outlined everything I wanted and when we sat down to discuss it was a breeze. I customized my ceremony since I was having my reception party at the Jellyfish Restaurant. I did not choose one of the packages. I paid the 95.00 entry fee for Pastor York. I have to tell you all he was soooooooo great!!! great personality. He officiated our ceremony exactly how I wanted. His fee is 300.00. I paid for the set up at the gazebo for 42 guest, Musical Trio, Horse & Carriage, Location Fee, Sparkling Wine for the Toast. Next, The reception Party MY GOD it was OFF THE HOOK-AMAZING-FUN-FUN-FUN. Mayte the coordinator for the Jellyfish is the sweetest, down to earth person to work wiht. Her customer service is beyond wonderful. The restaurant is sooooooooo beautiful, and cozy for the no. of guest I had. SHE decorated the place so beautifully. The FOOD OMG!!! DELICIOUS, DELICIOUS. My guest said it was the best meal they had. I highly recommend the Jellyfish. Mayte arranged bus transportation for my guest. I thought it would be a tacky bus and to my surprise it was a huge coach bus. The laughter and jokes that when on the bus had the bus driver laughing all the way to the restaurant. Girls, I had a Salsa/Merengue band it was a must have since we are Puerto Rican. They played so fantastic. Mayte had cocktail drinks ready for the guest as they walked in. The band immediately started playing as the guest walked in with their cocktail drinks and they didn’t wait to sit down and started dancing as soon as they were walking in. The band was that good. The menu I customized. I wanted authentic Dominican Food. We had the 3 hour open bar. I also had a DJ. We included a Cigar Roller. What a hit! the guys loved it and the girls also started smoking cigars. The cake was beautiful and Delicioussssssssssssss!!! wow I would love to have a slice right about now. I would love to do it all again - yeah like next week and next week again and again. All my guest have not stopped talking about the wedding. LOVE LOVE That. I am posting some non-and some pro-pics. As soon as I get them all I will post.


#3606


#3607

still waiting for all my pro pics.


#3608

Congrats Moepeedy! Glad everything was wonderful…you look gorgeous!


#3609

oh my!! i havent been on this site in…gosh…a year’ish? i dont even know. when i first started reading this forum there were like 28 pages…and now theres 121!!! this website is sooo helpful though, i don’t know what I would have done without it!

moepeedy and nataliejp…so beautiful! makes me want to do it all over again! enjoy every second of this time…i have a collage frame of wedding pictures going up my stairs and every time i walk by it i remember what a picture perfect wedding we had.

A friend of mine just asked me about my slideshow that i created after our wedding festivities, which of course made me want to watch it again. I just finished watching it…and was reminded of what a FANTASTIC spot melia is for a wedding… i cried all over again. i thought i would post the link again. i remember how interested i was in any insight/pictures that could be offered up during the months leading to my trip.

if you like the photography or the slideshow let me know (karenzalusky@aol.com) …i can get you in touch with our photog and the guy who assembled my pictures, music, etc into a slideshow. (both cheap and easy…500 for the pictures plus airfare and two day stay, and 175 for slideshow)

the website version isnt as nice as the dvd version but it still makes me cry! hahah

i hope all the upcoming brides have a fantastic time…my hubby and i still say at least once a week, “I wanna go back to the dominican republic!”

PS. the picture of the sassy shoes is awesome!!! :slight_smile:


#3610

I meant to say I’ve been back since June 23rd. flutterby I saw your slideshow very nice. Natalie thank you so much. Your pics were amazing. I can’t wait to get my pro-pics


#3611

Moepeedy: You are a beautiful bride!!! Congrats…I love your dress!!! Very unique…

Question to Past and Future Brides: I havent heard from my photographer…photoshopcaribe…i just sent emails to three other people that are posted on the site, but I am getting a bit concerned becuase I havent heard from them. I sent the deposit and the date is book…has ne one else had this problem. If so please let me know…

Thanks


#3612

Finally…sorry for the extensive delay in writing my review. It¡¦s a bit lengthy but worth reading :slight_smile: .

FYI: We got married appx. a month ago.

I must admit that days before I arrived at the Melia. I was very stressed and concerned about my wedding. Finding out that my wedding coordinator (Emy Rose) all of sudden quit, was not good news to me. I was assigned a new wedding coordinator about a week before I arrived at the Melia. If it were not through this forum, I would have never known she was gone. Obviously, this did not sit too well with me. So, you can all imagine how I felt when I arrived at the Melia. I was anxiously awaiting my meeting with my new wedding coordinator and ready to bite someone¡¦s head off. (lol).

Check-in - went very smoothly at Royal Service. We were attended by Laura who was very nice and made us feel very welcomed. They also welcomed us with drinks (ma-mosas). Our room was ready early (room 5033) how can I forget ƒº . We had Felix as our Butler. The butler was very pleasant and he serviced us for the remaining of our stay. In addition, we became friends with two (2) other butlers¡¦ name Benjamin & Pablo who are brothers. We also received the surprising news that we received a free upgrade to the one bedroom master suite (Royal Service). We originally had a Royal Service Master Suite.

Our Room ¡V was amazing and overlooked the Royal Service pool and part of the Gabi which is the restaurant for Royal Service guests. We were on the 3rd floor, which I actually did not mind, as I saw it as an opportunity to exercise, since I knew I would be eating a great deal during my stay (lol). The suite overall was absolutely amazing and we were very satisfied. The Jacuzzi was great !!! Make sure you have your butler fill it up for you whenever you want. They do a wonderful job decorating it with flowers.

Guests ¡V I had 40 guests and 3 kids. Majority of them stayed in Royal Service. The others stayed in the Caribe section which was not that far from the Royal Service section. They all enjoyed their stay and want to go back for a reunion (lol).

Butters ¡V The Butters¡¦ at the Melia treated us like Royal. My new husband was able to get a Dominican cell phone for $10 from one of the workers. It came with some minutes but of course we had to buy more minutes at the Plaza. We had cell phones numbers of the Butlers and we called them when needed. During the wedding we had four of them catering to us to transport my guests to/from the Beach Gazebo. They also catered to our group throughout their stay. They were wonderful!

Spa ¡V Unfortunately, I did not have time for a massage, however, I did get my nails done the day of the wedding. They did an okay job, nothing spectacular it worked for the day of the wedding for the pictures.

Flowers- Ladies I got exactly what I wanted. Beautiful open red roses. They looked amazing!!!

WC- My newly assigned wedding coordinator was Evelyn. I met her the day after I arrived. They left a note in my room stating the time and place of our meeting. Our meeting took about 2.5 hours. Yes, it was a long meeting however it was worth every minute of it . Evelyn knew exactly what I wanted for my wedding. She was so nice!!! She studied my file thoroughly. She had all my e-mails and photos printed out. I was impressed by her organization. We discussed my itinerary for the ceremony, reception, music, food, linens, table set-up and much more. She gave us a tour and discussed every thing pertaining to all my wedding details. Every thing I wanted I got. She never said no and was on point with all my specific details. Ladies, I¡¦m a very picky and meticulous person and she did every thing I requested. Evelyn superseded all my expectations ƒº !!!

Wedding Ceremony ¡V Felix the butler delivered my bouquet of red open roses to my room. Ladies when I saw this bouquet I want to cry they were absolutely beautiful!! They were exactly how I envisioned them.

The horse and carriage picked me and my dad up. I must say the horse looks a little mal-nourished (lol). But I would rather have had the horse and carriage then a golf cart (lol) take me to the beach Gaezbo.

My ceremony was scheduled for 3 pm at the Beach gazebo. My original plan was having it at the bigger gazebo which is located in the Caribe side. However, when Evelyn showed me the Beach Gazebo, I fell in love with it and changed my location. The only bad thing was that I had to pay an extra $450. This was definitely worth the money. If you are planning to do your ceremony there be advised that it¡¦s by the beach and not walking distance unless you are in the tropical section. If you are in Royal Service or in the Caribe section you will need transportation to get there and so will your guests. This was no problem for us because our butlers transported my guests.

As most brides, I was running a half hour late but it did not matter because there were no other weddings after me. As a matter of fact there was only one (1) other scheduled wedding for that day which was taking place at 1 pm and she too was getting married at the Beach Gazebo. We never saw each other which was great.

Evelyn played our ceremony music, which I gave to her during our meeting. The ceremony lasted about an hour and I had Pastor York do the ceremony. It was beautiful!!! After the ceremony we had cocktail hour which extended longer. Since there were no other weddings after my ceremony our guests had the opportunity to hang out there and not be rushed out of the area. We took pictures with the whole group and family and then headed alone to the beach for more pictures.

Pastor York- was great and very nice. I would refer him to any one. He¡¦s very polite and did a wonderful job. We only paid a day pass for him.

Private Reception- My reception took place in the new modern banquet hall (6- 10:30pm) located near the club/disco. And because I ran behind schedule the reception did not start until 6:30pm. Plus I forgot to mention that it started pouring at around 6:20pm. Thank GOD I had already taken all of my pictures at the beach and garden. During my stay it rained every day between 6 or 7pm.

I rented the screen which came down from the ceiling (pretty cool). I brought my own laptop and I had slide show presentation. My friend took charge of this task. I also paid for an open bar for 3 hours. Yes, I paid the extra costs which sucked but my guests enjoyed the open bar and there was no way I would have limited them to drinking just soda and juice. The food was great as well as their food presentation ¡V very classy. We also hired the DJ for $700 and even though it was a lot of money, I don¡¦t regret it. It was the best thing I could have done. We were all there to have dance and have fun and indeed that is what we did. Evelyn told the DJ before hand what type of music we wanted. She also gave him our CD I had made for the reception ( entrance song, first dance, last dance¡Ketc.).

Just so you know at around 7:45 or so Evelyn disappeared. Personally this was not a big deal since every thing was running smoothly and we were dancing the night way.

After party (lol) ¡V at the end of my reception we made an announcement that we would continue the party at the club (Fun Pub) in the resort. And without a doubt we did¡K¡K¡K… we had a so much fun !!!

Photographer- Juan Guzman - Juan was also great!! He is very professional and takes his job very seriously. More importantly he makes you feel relaxed. He was there from 2- 10:30pm. He took wonderful pictures of the wedding day. He works with an assistant and I paid for two day and night passes for him and his assistant. I also made sure they both ate food. After so many hours of taking pictures and felt that they deserved it and I ask told the wedding coordinator and she said it was no problem. The best part was that they did not charge me extra for them ļ.

Overall: The resort is big and beautiful!!! The food is great (don¡¦t let no one tell you otherwise). The GABI is the best restaurant (only for royal service guests). But don¡¦t limit yourself -there are so many other good restaurants. The GABI was our favorite.

Our wedding was amazing and simply perfect!!! We were extremely happy and pleased with the end results. If I could do it all over again at the Melia I would do it in a heartbeat. For all you ladies that have upcoming weddings at the Melia ¡V don¡¦t stress, every thing will come out they way YOU want it to. I stressed for so many months for no reason at all.

Destination wedding is the way to go!!!

If you want to see pictures send me your e-mail.

Any questions feel free to ask.


#3613

I also forgot to mention I had the honor of meeting Nataliejp519 during my wedding week :slight_smile:


#3614

Opps… correction on my above review. WC left at about 8:30pm.


#3615

Congratulations on your wedding. I sent you a personal message.


#3616

soon2be
sent you a pm


#3617

Holllaaa Soon2Be!!!

I was very fortunate to also have the oppurtunity to meet the lovely LMRash! ::WAVES::


#3618

soon2be- thank you for the extensive review. Congratulations!!! Now I am soooo excited, our wedding is 3 months from today!! I can hardly wait :slight_smile: I would LOVE to see your pics if you would e-mail them to me. darcyjade@gmail.com


#3619

hey ladies-

well we are back from the melia…everything went fine. smooth sailing as far as the wedding was concerned…other things not so much :o. but all in all a good time. i will write a lengthy review of wedding and the resort but if anyone wants details before i am finished with it then please email me. my email is msward77@gmail.com. i go back to work tomorrow so it might take some time to write the review, but i will certainly answer any and all questions or send pics…whatever! ;D


#3620

Welcome back 20RN09!! Congratulations Mrs.! Can’t wait to hear your review :slight_smile: