As promised, I am back with photos and information about our wedding down in Punta Cana. If you haven’t seen the recap of our trip, check it out here.
So for everyone who is new to my blog, I got married to my wonderful husband back in March. We both decided that we wanted a beach wedding somewhere tropical, as it has always been a dream of ours.
Going into this, there was very little stress and very little planning to do, which was great. The most stress that I had was back at home dealing with my wedding dress, which is a whole other story–let me know if you would like to hear about that one 😉
It was a year in the making and it was worth every second of the wait. Keep reading to find out more!
This was the venue for the wedding! How incredible does it look?!
If you are interested in planning a destination wedding, I will go through some of the things I dealt with and how easy it actually was. Like I said earlier, it was a year in the making. The hardest part about planning the wedding was finding the right resort for us. I did a lot of research and found that the Grand Bahia Principe resorts had the best wedding services. Once I found the resort we were going to stay at, I emailed every single travel company that I could think of to get the right price.
This part took awhile because if you have a big group coming, you want to do all that you can to save your guests money. I wanted everyone possible to come down with us, so finding a reasonable price was my top priority. I soon found out as well that booking through an airline company was, surprisingly, a lot cheaper than booking through a travel agent.
Booking through a travel agent means a higher price because they get a commission, but it’s easier for the bride, as the travel agent takes care of everything for you. They contact everyone for payment, they create a website that allows the guests to go online and make payments. The bride literally doesn’t have to do anything.
When booking through an airline, it is the complete opposite. Yes, there is no commission with an airline company, so that means a cheaper price, but you have to deal with it all. I went with Air Canada because of the low cost and the reasonable options when it came to payments. Once the wedding group was booked, all of our guests had 3 months to make a deposit and then about 6 months after that to make the remaining payment. The downside to this option was that I had to make sure all of the information was sent out to everyone and no errors were made on my end. It honestly wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be and since it was just family, they were more than understanding when I got stressed out about small things.
Planning with the Resort
The second part of the planning process was contacting the resort and getting the ball rolling with them. On their website, I was able to fill out a questionnaire letting them know what I wanted and what kind of wedding package we wanted to go with. They had everything from a free wedding to an over-the-top package of everything you could dream of. Once the initial information was sent back to them, they then provided me with a second questionnaire of everything that I wanted.
This included the wedding cake, location, the dinner, bouquets, extra decorations etc. It was everything that a bride needs to plan all done up in a simple questionnaire. I was so happy that it was done this way, as it was so simple and easy to fill it out. I was able to choose everything that I wanted and customize it to what was going to work for the wedding.
The only downfall with this part of it was that everything extra was an extra charge, of course. I expected it to be like that, but we did everything as minimal as possible. We wanted a simple wedding that wouldn’t cost thousands and thousands of dollars. I have never been that person that needed a big wedding and my husband is so thankful that I am like that haha. So everything that was included in the package was what we paid for and nothing else.
The Wedding Day
The day of the wedding was interesting. I wasn’t nervous in any way since we already got married months prior to being here. My husband had breakfast with his family and I watched Friends in the room as I waited for my sisters to get back from their breakfast so we could get ready.
My sister did everyone’s hair and makeup including mine and she did an amazing job with us all. I was suffering from pretty bad burns, so the fact that she made me look awesome was a feat in itself. I will do a whole other post on the makeup I brought down with me and what I makeup I used on my wedding day.
It started becoming very real for me when I put my wedding dress on. I started tearing up and I knew I had to get myself together or it would only be downhill from there. My sisters looked gorgeous in their dresses and I knew right then, that all the drama that I dealt with, was worth it in the end.
We got to the location on where we got married which was right on the beach. The wedding planner got us all set up and my sisters were ready to walk down the aisle. We didn’t have any groomsmen as it was only family that came down, so it ended up being just my 2 sisters and my sister-in-law. It started to get real again when my dad was up beside me walking me down the aisle. I told him I didn’t want to cry, so the whole way down, I kept laughing and trying to keep the mood light.
The ceremony was amazing! It was picture perfect and the minister who performed our ceremony was so great. We were going to write our own vows but decided last minute not to and I am glad we didn’t. The vows we said to each other were perfect and it said what we both wanted to say. The ocean in the background and the music playing on the side was so romantic and I knew right then and there, this is what I always wanted.
When the ceremony ended, we immediately had a champagne toast with the family. In our package, a tropical trio was included and they were so good. I am so glad that we got them as the music was wonderful and their presence just made everything better. We had a cocktail hour on the beach right after and it consisted of some food and drinks, of course. We got so many pictures within that hour as well.
We didn’t actually have a reception where there was dancing and all of that, which was fine by me. We did go to dinner at a steakhouse and the food was excellent. The table was displayed beautifully and it had the flowers all set up and menus with our names on it. It was amazing how much they personalized for us. The dinner lasted about 2 hours and that was all for our wedding day.
The resort did have the option of having more of a reception where the traditional first dance happened and the cutting of the cake, but we both talked about it and felt like we didn’t need it. Looking back now, my heart has no regrets, so I knew we both choose the right things for the wedding.
The way we did it was very different and not traditional whatsoever, but that is what I liked about it. We have been together for almost 7 years now and all we wanted was to get married. If I had it my way, I would have stopped at the city hall ceremony, but I knew both of our families wanted that memory of us getting married in a wedding setting. There isn’t anything I would change about it and as I said earlier, everything turned out the way it was supposed to.
I have always said, the marriage is more important than the wedding and I will completely follow that. The wedding could have been completely ruined, but I wouldn’t have cared because I was already married to the love of my life.
Thank you for reading!
If you have any questions about planning a destination beach wedding, let me know. If you are currently planning a wedding, good luck and don’t stress too much. It will all be worth it in the end!