Hi everyone! It’s been a while.
It’s me, Uniglobe Carefree’s Marketing Coordinator and I’m so happy to share with you the remainder of our destination wedding planning process and how the big day went!
Let’s start where we left off, if you think that Karen was done solving problems and talking me off of a ledge you are so very wrong. I swear, if you’re thinking of planning a destination wedding you NEED an expert travel agent. This woman saved my sanity repeatedly during the final months approaching our wedding. Between the Saskatoon airport receiving international status back just days before our final payment date, our flight mysteriously vanishing from the booking system, nearly half of our guests cancelling, the flight finally re-appearing but with the addition of a stop in Regina which extended our travel day by what felt like a lifetime, Canada changing travel restrictions moments after we left and more she just stayed strong and calm and kept most of my tears and fears at bay. I’m not saying this because she is my friend or because I work for Uniglobe. I’m saying this because she literally saved our wedding again and again. A professional travel agent is priceless!
Alright, now that that is out of the way lets move on to the trip! On December 15, 2021 we finally arrived at the airport. Our wedding package with the Majestic Colonial Punta Cana included a welcome dinner in the main buffet. (Essentially a reserved area at the buffet for the group) Initially I had made arrangements with our wedding coordinator, Andreina, for our welcome dinner to be at 6:00pm. After we received the schedule change, we needed to push it to 8:00pm. Unfortunately, because our flight was delayed in Regina, we didn’t make it to the welcome dinner until 9:00pm. I have to say that the staff at the main buffet were super accommodating despite us being late. Unfortunately, because it was so late and we were all so tired my plans of having the members of the group who mostly did not know each other get to know each other went out the window. I do believe this impacted the feeling of “togetherness” that we had hoped for when planning the wedding vacation.
The next morning Kyle and I met with Andreina in person. It was so nice to finally meet this person I had been communicating with for almost 2 years. We went over last minute wedding details and discussed how the day would go. She was super thorough and answered any questions that we had. There were a few things that we hadn’t quite decided yet and she was super easy going about it. She made us feel relaxed about the entire process. I cannot say enough good things about Andreina. She was easy to communicate with throughout the wedding day and week via WhatsApp as well.
Our wedding was the following day. We had a 5pm ceremony so it was a nice slow start to the day with a relaxed breakfast. I also appreciated that I had time to shower multiple times before putting on my dress because it was humid and I was sweaty! Hair and make-up at the salon was great – they did a wonderful job. When we arrived back to the room there were appetizers and treats along with a few bottles of sparkling wine. The perfect way to ensure that we actually did eat something on the wedding day – what a great inclusion from the hotel. I actually ate more before our wedding than I have before many other weddings I’ve been a part of. Junior was there and it was time for our getting ready photos. Then the first look and then off to the ceremony in a whirlwind afternoon.
Every moment of our wedding day was perfect. Majestic’s wedding coordination team is so amazing and it seemed that everything came together without any hiccups at all. From our ceremony to our reception everything flowed, our guests were well taken care of and we all had an amazing time.
A silver lining of most of my family dropping out of the trip was that our group was now small enough for us to justify the “classy buffet” meal upgrade for our day. This was by far the best meal our group had during our vacation and it was just an immense amount of delicious, well prepared food.
A few hours of drinks and dancing and our wedding was over. However, we kept the party going by moving on to the courtyard of the resort for more drinks and dancing and finally to McJestic for some late night snacks.
The remainder of our week was spent hanging by the pool and on the beach with our friends and family – creating memories together just like we had wanted.
Majestic’s wedding package also includes a romantic dinner on the beach, breakfast in bed the day after the wedding and a spa relaxation massage for the bride & groom. These were nice moments for us to spend time together just the two of us while still on vacation with our friends and family. A very nice touch that wasn’t included in a lot of wedding packages we looked at for sure!
While we’re talking about the vacation I just want to mention that upgrading to the Club (adults only) section of the Majestic Colonial and having a butler is amazing. Our butler went above and beyond making restaurant reservations for our entire group to dine together, answered my random questions like “why aren’t there more beach chairs” and handled minor room maintenance issues efficiently. It was so nice to just be able to text someone and have something taken care of instead of standing in line and speaking to someone at the front desk or concierge. He even had a new room key made and delivered to me when I lost mine the day of the wedding.
Destination Wedding Tips, Tricks & Final Thoughts
- It’s important to let go of the details. You chose to get married on vacation and the perk of that is that you have an entire team there to prepare your wedding for you – let them do their job and accept that it will turn out beautiful. We provided minimal instructions and preferences to our wedding coordinator and everything turned out perfectly.
- Delegate! Give your mom, your aunt, your friend … whoever… some jobs. We had some guests in charge of tying chair sashes and others in charge of centre pieces (two things that we brought with us and didn’t want to pay the resort to handle because they were quite simple). They took care of everything perfectly.
- You will forget to delegate things – for us it was music (person to hit play) and a reception MC. Luckily it was easily taken care of easily by our guests. In the end, don’t stress about it and someone will help out and take care of things.
- GO WITH THE FLOW on the morning of our wedding we were greeted by rain. We had to decide if we would stick with our original outdoor plans or switch to plan B. In our case we trusted that the rain would clear but we knew that if it didn’t we would be moving or we would be celebrating in the rain.
- Be prepared to be disappointed. This is probably good advice for any wedding not just a destination wedding. No matter how much you tell yourself that it will be “ok” if someone cannot attend, you’re likely going to have someone who does not join you that makes you feel a deep sadness. Not everything will go as planned.
- Choose your destination and resort based on YOUR preferences as a couple. If you look back to my first wedding planning blog I talk about what our criteria was to choose our resort. We were considering our guests a LOT. In the end, many of the people we were trying to accommodate for did not attend. We still may have chosen the Majestic Colonial but we should have been looking at criteria that mattered to US as a couple instead of accommodating for our family and friends as much as we did.
- You WILL blow your budget. This one hurt a little but it’s not a surprise – it’s a wedding after all. In the end our day cost us more than we planned but it was worth it.
- A Destination Wedding costs less than a typical wedding at home. Although our wedding cost us more than we planned, we know that we still saved thousands by choosing to celebrate this way.
- Plan early! Not only should you choose your travel agent, destination and resort as early as possible but you should let your guests know as early as possible. You should work out the details of the actual wedding day early as well. Because our wedding felt like it was being pushed back again and again we procrastinated a lot of the plans that should have been handled much earlier – this added a lot of stress during the weeks leading up to our wedding that we didn’t really need if we had just worked it out earlier.
- Don’t be too formal. Destination weddings happen in hot places. Don’t expect your bridal party or guests to wear what they would at home. To my surprise when we looked back at our pictures some of our guests were super casual at our reception. Guess what? We had no idea. We danced and celebrated with them but never once noticed what they were wearing. I’m so glad they were comfortable.
- Take time for you. Time by yourself and time just the two of you. A destination wedding week goes by in the blink of an eye and it’s important to take a few moments and just relax, have a conversation with your partner about how their doing and decompress. FOMO will make you want to be everywhere with everyone all of the time but it’s not possible and you will burn out.
- HAVE FUN! Not only on your wedding day but throughout your wedding vacation make sure to have fun. No one will remember the decorations or the name of the signature drink but they will remember dancing with you, they will remember playing crazy games by the pool, they will remember the look on your face when your partner says their vows.
There were many bumps along the way but in the end our wedding day and week were wonderful. We’re forever grateful to everyone who made it possible and joined us there. Now to plan the honeymoon! 👀
If you are considering a destination wedding please feel free to reach out to our team of experienced travel agents at 1-800-565-6562 or by visiting https://www.uniglobecarefreetravel.com/contact. They can help you find the perfect destination and resort for you and your partner.