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First things first: If you're considering getting married at the Palladium, DO IT. It was an awesome experience and we made a TON of great, lasting memories. If you're like me, you've been to dozens of 'regular' weddings, and after a while they're all generally the same. This was not the same. This was different, and awesome, and fun! And everyone that came loved it!
Now to the review:
We actually got married in a civil ceremony here in the States, in order to avoid some of the hassle of the rules and to have a US marriage license. So the ceremony there was technically just a renewal of vows, but it was great! Carolina had apparently broken her leg (!), so her assistant Kenia helped us through the entire process. Outside of a few small issues, she was fantastic.
We met with her the day after we got there, and in only a half hour had our whole wedding planned. We picked out some flowers, color of chair bows, the cake, the meal, and a few other things. We had a beach wedding set for 5pm on Sunday. And when they warn you that people may watch, they are being honest! We had about 200 random people who had been lying on the beach or walking past that stopped to watch the wedding! It was interesting having that many people watching, but it didn’t bother us. It was kind of funny actually. Made our wedding seem much larger than it was!
We had brought a sand ceremony kit, and Kenia had a pre-printed sheet with words about that for someone to read at our wedding. We also had a photo and frame we wanted out at our dinner for people to sign, as well as a CD we wanted played at our wedding. Kenia took all of this at our meeting and set it all up. The only thing was that we did not get the CD back, nor did they get the second CD to the DJ for the private beach party we had. It was a small thing, but kind of annoying. The DJ ended up playing a lot of fast, salsa and meringue music at the beach party, while we wanted a more mellow vibe. But he didn’t get our CD, and had no way of getting new music. They did play our music exactly how we wanted it at the wedding though.
Kenia also didn’t return the leftover sand from the sand ceremony kit, or the plush stopper that was supposed to be plugged into the combined sand to keep it from shifting while flying back. Kenia was great, but I would be VERY specific about what exactly you want back from her. My wife had her dress steamed, but it came back even worse than how she had sent it. She called Kenia, and Kenia came right over, got the dress, took it back to the steamer, sat with them while they steamed it, and brought it right back to our room, and it was prefect that time. That was very nice.
The wedding itself was great. They had a very nice setup with an arch covered in flowers, and a walkway lined with palm leaves and coconuts. The seats were covered in white with a bow, which we got to pick the color of the bow. There was a small table under the arch that had some flowers and our sand ceremony kit. Kenia herself did the ceremony, and my mom spoke, and my wife’s sister did the sand ceremony for us. A train picked up everyone in the Bavaro lobby beforehand and took us down, where we waited for the bride and her bridesmaid’s to arrive.
The ceremony was short, about 10 minutes, but very nice. Once done, we got a bunch of pictures (By Michael of Carribbean Emotions, who was FANTASTIC. I cannot recommend him enough. He was great, the pictures were amazing, and he had everything to us in a day and a half). After the pictures, we went to El Arrecife for dinner. Kenia left after the wedding, but it would have been nice to have her around for the dinner. The staff seemed unsure of when to start, and we eventually had to tell them we were ready to eat. The food was very good though. We had lobster bisque as an appetizer, beef medallions cordon bleu, and fresh fruit as a dessert. The beef was really, really good. So was the cake, which was almost like a chocolate angel food cake. There was a layer of mousse in the middle, and the frosting was not sweet at all, which I love. I don’t normally like cake because it is too sweet, but this cake was excellent.
After dinner we had a private beach party right behind the restaurant. Outside of the music, this was great! It was night, we were on the beach, and everyone was just celebrating. It was a great way to end an amazing night.
So that was it. This review was kinda long, but I wanted to make sure I covered as much as I could. If anyone has any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. I would DEFINITELY recommend getting married there, it was an absolute dream week and we loved every minute of it. Can’t wait to go back!!
EDIT: Here's the pictures!! https://picasaweb.google.com/twsmith23/ ... otography#