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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.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Styles
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.

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

You’ll Want to Get Married Just to Wear This Gown

I would get married all over again just so I could wear this gown, and honestly could you blame me?! From the venue to the florals, every detail dreamed up by Claire Duran Weddings and Events is enough to make any girl want to start the wedding planning processes all over again. Overflowing with beautiful scenery and unreal glamour, Taken by Sarah Photography captured it all to share in The Vault!

From Claire Duran Weddings and EventsThis inspiration shoot for Composed Workshop’s debut was in a beautiful historic venue in the the Colonial City of Santo Domingo, the first city in the New World and the point of entrance for the rest of the colonization process of the Americas. Full of beautiful architecture that dates back as far as the first decade of the 16th century, Quinta Dominica was the perfect backdrop for this editorial piece. Also built at the beginning of the 1500s, this venue first served as a monastery/convent house for priests and later as classrooms of the first University in the New World. With so much history, and with a space and garden full of colonial romanticism and interesting flora, Quinta Dominica provided the perfect background to showcase current inspiration, yet while allowing us all to step back in time. This shoot was part of the first Composed Workshop and our goal was to capture the beauty already embedded in the environment while adding the right elements that would just compliment the vision without taking the main attention from the colonial landmarks. Composed Workshop is an educational gathering for industry creatives, mostly focused in Latin America and with practical teachings in floral, styling and photography, and we are excited for a future full of locations such as these to inspire wedding creatives to look at their surroundings with fresh eyes.

From Taken by Sarah PhotographyAs a photographer, I was delighted to see that every street had something colorful and beautiful around every corner. I wanted to show the old beauty of the city, the vibrant spirit of the people of Dominican Republic, and a new perspective to Santo Domingo brides on the outdoor beauty that surrounds this place. Our real couple could not have been more lovely and in love, something that makes any editorial shoot really shine. My approach for styled wedding shoots is to show not only creativity, but also something that can be easily used for real wedding inspiration and always a real couple that can inspire others in a tangible way. The DR has a lot of destination weddings in Punta Cana, but I think that couples should consider this other side of the DR that has so much irresistible charm that planning a gorgeous and unique affair will be a piece of cake.

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Photography: Taken By Sarah Photography | Coordination: Torcello Events | Styling: Claire Duran Weddings And Events | Floral Design: Posh Peony Events and design | Dress: Elaya Vaughn Bridal | Cake: Pasteleria Rosario | Invitations : Little Cat Creative | Hair + Makeup: Jochy Campusano | Wedding Venue: Quinta Dominica | Envelope Calligraphy: Inloft207 | Film Lab: Pro Photo Connection | Hairpiece: Lindsay Marie Design | Rentals: Divano RD | Silk Ribbon: Honey Silks And Company | Workshop: Composed Workshop

Romantic Beach Wedding in the Dominican Republic

Thanks to Clary Pfeiffer Photography we’re going on an imaginary vacation. So pack some SPF because this tropical getaway is searing with stunning. Complete with a beautiful shoreside ceremony, we’re confident that you’re going to get completely swept away in the pretty. It’s the type of sandy toe celebration that you’ll want to dive right into, and thankfully you can do just that in THE VAULT!

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Styles
Elegant

From Clary Pfeiffer Photography… Nidia and Sam’s wedding day was one of the most memorable weddings I’ve photographed so I’m very excited to be sending this submission your way today. The couple are both from the Dominican so when deciding where to have their celebration it was easy for them to come up with a location. The beauty of photographing a destination wedding is you get to meet a couples closest love ones and hear personal stories about the couple. Nidia and Sam truly are special people!! Their wedding was gorgeous with an ocean view and when the sun set and the dancing started it was so much fun! They had sparklers for the first dance and then surprised all their guest with “Crazy Hour” where amazing dancers came out to dance with everyone.

From The Bride…Our story began seven years ago; eyes meeting across the dance floor, bodies moving to the latest bachatas, and lips promising to meet again despite an undeniable tipsiness. History repeated itself on June 13, 2015 as Samuel and I stepped onto the dance floor, but this time for our wedding.

Samuel and I both love the sea, our culture, and our beach vacations, so it was only logical that we would choose Punta Cana as our wedding destination. We are both from the Dominican Republic, so having our wedding there was more than ideal.

We wanted a wedding that brought together little pieces of what makes us us: rustic, serene, glam, romantic, with touches of dominican culture. We did a lot of research and found all of these elements at the gorgeous Huracan Cafe.

Huracan Cafe has a beach hut vibe enhanced by its white sands, mint blue waters, and the magic touch of wedding planners Mayte and Nati. These elements moved in perfect harmony during our wedding ceremony. The wedding party’s mint blue and natural linen ensemble were an extension of the beautiful beach backdrop. The touches of green decorating the beach chairs and ceremony gazebo complemented the surrounding palm trees. The gold details on the cocktail lounge and reception area were a compliment to the beautiful golden light seeping through the palm trees. Lastly, the crystal chandelier and splashes of pink softened the surroundings to balance the romantic with the serene.

We were mesmerized by the beauty of it all and before we knew it we were standing on the dance floor, ready for our first dance. We wanted to bring in cultural elements to the celebration, so we chose a song from bachata singer Juan Luis Guerra titled “Mi Bendicion”, “My Blessing”. We followed the dances with “La Hora Loca” or “Crazy Hour”, bringing everyone to their feet with folkloric beats and dance moves. We danced, we moved, we drank. By the end of the night, we once again made tipsy promises, remembering seven years of history as we moved to the beat of our favorite bachata songs.

See more beach weddings in THE VAULT!

Photography: Clary Pfeiffer Photography | Cinematography: Arana Productions | Event Planning: Gossamer | Event Planning: Mayte Mari & Natalia- Amore Weddings | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Estelle's | Hair And Makeup: Anna Nuet | Groom's Attire: Nordstrom | Venue: Huracan Cafe | Groomsmen Accessories: Banana Ribbon | Hair Accessories: Chick Shack

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