When we last left off, it was time to leave for the DR.
I’m going to save the travel story for my recaps, but I will say that we didn’t have any issues with taking our wedding related stuff internationally. We ended up with two full Rubermaid tubs, and 1 giant 29″ suitcase with both of our clothing/toiletries, plus two carry on’s. My dress was rolled up, and placed into a carry on suitcase. The resort steamed our clothes the day of the wedding, so this worked out perfectly. Our airline tickets allowed for one free checked bag per person, so we only paid $30 for the 3rd piece of checked baggage. Nothing was close to being 50 lbs either, thank goodness. So we didn’t have any oversized bag fees. I think 30 lbs was the heaviest piece we had.
We had zero problems at customs and immigration upon arrival in the DR, although we got stopped for inspection. They asked us what was in the tubs, and we explained that we were getting married. The agent opened one tub, saw a bunch of wedding junk, and cleared us.
Cut to: when we checked into the Excellence I had a letter from the wedding coordinator instructing us to meet her the following morning at 9 AM. Thank god that wedding nightmare never came to pass. (See #4 on my Before the Wedding questionnaire.)
So, the next day, we called a bellhop to grab the tub of wedding crap and he delivered it to the coordinators office. We met Livia (wedding coordinator) on time, and my awesome MOH came to the meeting with us to help keep my bride brain in check. We reviewed the wedding questionnaire that I’d filled out two months prior. During this meeting I could make changes, so I used her guidance a lot on the wedding related details… we ended up changing some of the menu and flower choices. We were also able to change the reception start time (this was no problem what so ever. All that stress for nothing), and we decided to extend cocktail hour to minimize the gap in between cocktail hour and the reception. After reviewing the form and making all of the final decisions, she took us on a tour of the location options for the wedding events.
I knew I wanted to have the wedding on the beach, so we planned cocktail hour(s) at the Club House, which was adjacent to the ceremony site, and the reception at the Las Olas, which was also just down the beach from the Club House.
Since we were at the beach for the wedding day, we hosted the welcome reception at the cascade pool, which had a private bar. (And, was effing gorgeous.)
And, finally we selected Spice for the day after brunch. It is the Japanese themed restaurant and had ocean views. Although, we served regular brunch type food.
Side note: We decided to host the private events because our group was too large to be seated at the restaurants. We had a lot of meals together that first week, and we were always broken up into smaller groups. The welcome reception and day after brunch were awesome because it was just us.
Back to our story… okay, so we had locations for the wedding events, but it was three days before the wedding. Most of our guests were arriving the very next day. How would we let them know where to meet? Well, I’m glad you asked. What was kind of neat, is that rather than the guests individually going to any of the wedding related events, Livia had us all meet up at the Martini Bar, which was in the lobby. It made things a lot easier to have one central meeting location for everything. (And then I never had to worry about people going to wrong spot, or not knowing where we were meeting.) Genius idea.
So, on Saturday, as people checked in, the hotel staff let them know to meet at the Martini Bar at 6:30 for the welcome reception. Once we had all gathered, Livia walked us over to the cascade pool (or where ever the event was being held). At the end of one event, we would confirm the meeting time for the next day. Easy…
The Martini Bar. Not a bad place to meet up. | Image via Trip Advisor
After we selected the locations, we went back to Livia’s office and I went through our tub of stuff with her. I showed her what all we had brought, showed her my photoshop mock ups of the table set ups and cake table, and kind of reviewed my vision with her. That basically concluded the in person meeting.
Anyway, just to close the loop on this “how I planned an international wedding”, the day after the wedding (prior to the brunch) I met up with Livia again at her office to get everything back. We never got one of the tubs back, but we didn’t really need it anyway. We returned home with the giant suitcase, and 1 tub full of wedding leftovers and souvenirs. We had zero problems getting back into the US with all our stuff, and we didn’t even get searched.
And so, my friends, this concludes my wedding planning story. Destination Wedding: best decision ever. I realized after the fact that I don’t think I could have hacked planning a huge, hundred plus headcount, lots of vendors involved, type of wedding at home. I am so a destination bride. 😉