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This Destination Wedding is the Best Thing You’ll See All Day

Not every happily ever after begins with fireworks. Sometimes it starts as a casual meeting between waitress and customer, develops into a years-long friendship and turns into something more when you least expect it.  Such is the case with these sweeties, who celebrated their true life fairytale with a wedding in paradise at Dreams La Romana. Think seaside nuptials meets a non-stop celebration under the stars. See it all captured by The Veil Wedding Photography in THE VAULT.

Al Fresco

From the Groom… Did you ever hear the story of the good friends that eventually fell in love and got married? It’s a story we’ve all seen and heard. A story we’ve all wished we were a part of. Not all of us are lucky enough to have their wish come true. How I got so lucky I will never know. She was a waitress at a little hole in the wall, I was a frequent customer.

I won’t pretend there was an instant attraction, maybe not for her anyway, I can’t even say we became instant friends. I would say it was my humor, or at least what I perceived to be humor, and her unwillingness to be anybody but herself pulled us together. Our relationship over the next couple of years which started off as server and customer began to expand beyond the walls of our little hole in the wall. Then… at some point we became single at the same time and boom! Magic. That’s how I’m going to tell the story anyway. We both have our versions of who was the one who caused the other to fall in love. I can tell you though, I was the first one to say it.

We didn’t have the normal getting to know each other honeymoon period of a relationship. We had known each other for years. It made things simple in a way that I find it hard to put into words. We had gotten past each other’s annoying quirks and didn’t spend so much energy trying to be the person we thought the other wanted. We could just be.

It was during this time when most people are discovering that the person they chose has some rather disturbing habits that we discovered in each other a wanderlust. A need to get out in the world and experience new places and new things. Travel, even small road trips to nowhere towns to see nowhere things, became the thing we looked forward to. It was in this spirit that even our first discussions about marriage we locked onto the idea of a destination wedding. But where to?

I will spare you the details of the months and months of searching and skip right to what I thought was that magical moment when we found our spot. She had always talked about wanting a beach wedding, but not on the beach. She wanted a platform or a dock made of dark wood stretching out over clear turquoise waters. There it was, a picture of the place we would start the next chapter of our lives together. A long pier jutting out into the ocean at Dreams La Romana Resort.

The save the dates went out right away, a website for our wedding went up and the next year flew by. At least that is the story I’m telling. We don’t need to scare any more perspective brides and grooms with the stress of wedding planning. I will tell you that luck struck once again when we found our wedding photographers, or should I say they found us. That is a story for another time though.

Dreams la Romana Resort. What can I say? A beautiful sprawling resort set against the white sand beaches and turquoise waters on the Southern side of the Dominican Republic. You really couldn’t ask for more beautiful scenery for any event.

After spending some time exploring the resort we met with our onsite wedding coordinator. We went through everything rather quickly and I can’t say we felt completely comfortable with handing off our year of planning to someone we just met. Yanna, our coordinator proved our insecurities wrong on several occasions though.

Our wedding weekend started off with a meet and great for our guests in the gardens. It was an event we set up with the resort ahead of time and turned out to be the perfect. Small white tables set in the grass near one of the many gazebos with a backdrop of palm trees and flowers. After the planning phase the resort took care of everything making it not only a beautiful gathering, but stress free. It was really our first chance to take a breath and enjoy our guests and each other inside the beauty of the Dominican.

Then comes the wedding day. The day started early at one of the breakfast buffets on site then Heather and I separated to get moving on the schedule our wonderful photographers set up for us. It never hit me what was actually happening while I was sitting in the coffee shop with my dad waiting for our first look photos. Then I saw her in her dress for the first time. I don’t consider myself much of an emotional person but the rest of the day almost seemed a dream as I was looking at the world through tearful eyes. I know a lot of people say this, but I truly was the luckiest person alive.

I would love to comment on the beauty of the wedding. The care and time that Yanna put into setting up the pier, but all I remember for the rest of the day was her. When we were separated right before the wedding my thoughts were consumed with when I would see her again. Then there she was, walking down the pier to cheers coming from onlookers on the beach. The family, the friends, and her. It was a perfect day.

Once the ceremony was over we took part in a cocktail hour at the end of the pier where hugs, smiles, laughter and tears of joy were on the menu along with the amazing appetizers. The bar tenders at the private bar took time to learn all of our names and by the end of the hour it was as if they were just friends celebrating with us.

Moving down the beach we found ourselves in our own private paradise where a long family style table was set up for all the guests as we shared a meal cooked fresh there on the beach with us. The decorations, the lights, the overall set up was perfect against the setting sun at the edge of the sea. The music started as we ended our meal and we danced well into the night just enjoying the majesty and joy of the day. My mom even managed to pull in several other guests from the resort to join us in our celebration and dancing.

From The Bride…If someone were to ask me my favorite part of the wedding day I don’t think I could pick, I have so many favorites. Getting ready in my gorgeous suite (whose couch was perfect for bridal portrait photos) with the sisters of my heart was beautiful, it truly made me understand how much they loved me and supported my marriage. Trying to take a girls photo while jumping on the bed, an idea that was most definitely a Pinterest fail, but that was hilarious for us. Looking back at the photos of getting ready where all the girls are bunched together I just remember the love and joy that emanated from everyone, that’s one of my favorite memories.

We had the first look with Mike and my dad outside the spa. Somehow our photographers had found the most perfect locations on the large resort in the tiny amount of time they had the night before the wedding. The scenery was unbelievably beautiful, and walking from my room to the spa I was stopped by so many strangers to take a photo or receive well wishes. We did a first look with my dad first and seeing the look on his face was something I’ll never forget. My first look with Mike was so special, but at the time I thought it may make my walk down the aisle less significant since we’d already seen each and cried together, but it was actually just the opposite. The bridal party arrived (slightly late) at the pier and everything was more beautiful that I could’ve imagined. The DJ did an awesome job of queuing the music exactly where it was supposed to be, and when the first notes of “One and Only” by Adele started playing I began my walk to the rest of my life. Seeing my almost-husband at the end of the pier has been one of the most magical moments I’ve ever had, made even more special by the guests in the water cheering as I walked down the aisle. It was an unforgettable day filled with so many favorites and firsts that I’ll treasure forever.

Vault CTA

Vault CTA

Photography: The Veil Wedding Photography | DJ: Mannia | Venue: Dreams La Romana

Dominican Republic Destination Wedding Part II

Destination weddings are no easy feat, but with Stefanie Miles by their side, Michelle and Geoff manged to treat themselves (and all 35 guests!) to the day of a lifetime. From the oceanside ceremony to an al fresco reception, they made certain their intimate day was chock-full of beauty and Ryan Ray captured every last bit. See it all right here, and set aside three minutes for a look at the entire stunning event documented by Candlelight Films.

From The Bride… For the planning of our wedding, Geoff and I handed over most of the decision making power to Stefanie Miles. I spent a lot of time with her describing how my love with Geoff made me feel, and asked her to translate that into a vision for our celebration and creating an unforgettable experience for our 35 guests. By not getting too caught up in the details of planning a wedding, we were mentally and emotionally available to focus on creating memories with each other and with our guests. When the day finally arrived, Geoff and I were able to fully live and savor each moment and detail for the first time along with our friends and family. With each surprise, I was continuously overwhelmed with peace, elation, and gratitude. The best way I can describe the experience is that I was living in a dream. Everything was indescribably beautiful, yet also felt incredibly genuine. I knew that each detail had been inspired by our love for each other and our love for our guests.

Casa Kimball was an already stunning property with its impressive architecture and boundless views of the ocean, but our vendors added the perfect elements that elevated the magical atmosphere. There were really too many perfect moments for me to put into words and it brings tears to my eyes even thinking about them to this day. I have never been the type of person who expected my wedding day to be my “best day ever”. There were so many joyful moments with my husband where I had experienced more happiness than I thought was possible, and I did not think that a single day could take claim to being the happiest of them all. But sure enough, by the end of the experience I knew for certain that it had been the best day of my life.

One of the most unexpected joys of having a destination wedding was the love, support, and friendship that I experienced from our dream team of vendors. Our intimate wedding was all about love and people, and it was incredibly special for me to have our wedding vendors be a part of that. They were able to spend time with us and our guests and their presence was a wonderful addition. When you take the time to get to know and care about the people to whom you are entrusting many important aspects of your wedding, you gain the special experience of knowing that all of their hard work was inspired because they care about you in return. Each of our vendors served and supported us far beyond the scope of their services, and there will forever be a special place for them in my heart.

Photography: Ryan Ray Photography | Videography: Candlelight Films | Coordination: Felicita Garcia | Wedding Dress: Anna Maier/Ulla-Majia Couture, Laetitia from Marina Morrison | Cake: Reposteria Dilaflor | Catering: D’Arias Catering | Hair & Makeup: Amy Clarke | Groom’s Attire: J Crew | Chargers:Posh Couture Rentals | Event Planning & Design: Stefanie Miles | Florals: Bows and Arrows | Linens: La Tavola | Paper & Calligraphy: Ladyfinger Letterpress | Wedding Venue: Casa Kimball

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Dominican Republic Destination Wedding Part I

After poring through their gorgeous rehearsal, I was kind of convinced it couldn’t get much better. But sure enough, cross the talents of Ryan Ray, Candlelight FilmsStefanie MilesBows and Arrows and Felicita Garcia, and you get a destination wedding that’s one for the books. Dressed in a palette of ivories, golds and creams set against the blue ocean waves this gallery is pure nuptial paradise and wedding day part two is just minutes away.


From Stefanie Miles… Casa Kimball is beautifully unique in it’s location, privacy, and architecture and we sought to create a design that would complement the stunning local white coral stone, and the effortless and minimal design of the property. We chose a palette of whites, ivories, golds, and creams to carry throughout the design (even into the bridal party attire) with minimal accents of ocean blue. With a 270 degree view of the ocean for the ceremony backdrop, less was definitely more in this beautiful environment. The bride’s love for peonies was no small feat to have imported in to the country, but we were blessed with some of the most beautiful blooms for their special celebration. The celebration lasted for hours with fireworks to cap off the evening, and an after-party in the infinity pool for an experience this sweet couple and their guests will not soon forget.

Photography: Ryan Ray Photography | Videography: Candlelight Films | Event Design: Stefanie Miles Events | Event Planning: Stefanie Miles Events | Florals: Bows and Arrows | Wedding Dress: Anna Maier | Cake: Reposteria Dilaflor | Catering: D'Arias Catering | Hair & Makeup: Amy Clarke | Groom's Attire: J.Crew | Wedding Venue: Casa Kimball | Chargers: Posh Couture Rentals | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Paper & Calligraphy: Ladyfingers Letterpress | Venue Coordination & Production Assistance: Felicita Garcia | Wedding Boutique: Marina Morrison

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here