A week-long celebration in Punta Cana topped off with a wedding more gorgeous than I could ever put to words sounds pretty darn lovely, no? Well just take a little peek below and you will see that was just the case. And even prettier if you can imagine that. Captured by ShoeBox Photography, this gallery is the definition of gorgeous. See what I mean here.
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From The Bride…Effortlessly beautiful, an intimate natural setting and a party of a lifetime is what we wanted to accomplish. This celebration was by nature, a celebration of our love, but just as equally important, a celebration of the love and support of the friends & family around us who made a huge effort to be there. The night needed to reflect our appreciation for every single person who put their life on hold to be with us, and I feel confident we successfully created memories of a lifetime by measure of the tears shed that evening and the dancing had that night on the sand, complete with an hour of fire spinners, merengue dancers, acrobats, men on stilts and lots of confetti!
We knew we wanted to spend an entire week with our friends and family as oppose to a single day which is famously known to be very chaotic and nerve-wrecking, hence the decision of a destination wedding. Staying at a resort offered the convenience we were looking for, but did not exude the atmosphere we wanted for our wedding day. It needed to represent our personalities, and instantly fell in love with a stunning rustic beach bar venue I fell upon during an online search.
Joel being from ‘the sticks’ in Eastern Canada, and myself having had travelled the World and lived in 4 different countries, we decided on Bohemian Vintage, with a touch of rustic :) Our beautiful and exceptional wedding coordinator, Mayte, realized our vision perfectly, and went above and beyond. She was so excited about our vision considering our styles were very similar, she went as far as bringing her personal home decor to our wedding!!!!! I told her we could have simplified everything and have gotten married in her living room lol. Each table had it’s unique spin, and had plenty to stimulate the senses!
The WTOO bridesmaid dress palette turned out beautiful. I wanted a soft romantic beachy breezy look, but also knew I wanted different shades of colors. The girls could wear whichever nude shoes and earrings they preferred. We kept arms and neck bare, following the less is more concept! Joel and I saved quite a bit of money by ordering dried and bleached baby’s breath flowers for the girls, and handmade boutonnieres for the men on Etsy. The bouquets wraps were each individualized (by Mayte) with a piece of excess fabric and jewels from my dress.
Both my grandmothers passed during the same month in the previous year, and I wanted them to walk me down the aisle, therefore pinned a charm of each of them on my bouquet. Another small yet impactful detail was to present each of our mothers a small & elegant bouquet of flowers, with our baby pictures pinned on each.
My dress was a little dramatic for the beach, but it somehow worked. I bought it at a really great price from a local wedding boutique owned by an old family friend (the owner used to buy chicken from my grandmother as a child). I had it altered down to my size and created more of a plunge in the back. It had that vintage / boho look I was going for, with a touch of glam, and I absolutely loved it.
We kept everything a surprise, including the venue. The guest only knew to be ready for a shuttle pick up at the lobby for 4:15pm. They didn’t know where they were going or how far they were driving…and they were great sports about it! The reaction was amazing when they stepped into the venue.
Our wedding party left slightly earlier. Once we hit the dirt road leading up the venue, the shuttle stopped and the bridesmaids kicked the groomsmen out. While the boys figured we were stopping for photos, seven local ‘motoconchos’ showed up, signalled for them to hop on the back, and sped off, dirt and all, to the venue. This was all the more hilarious since most of the groomsmen drive high powered speed bikes and motorcycles! They thoroughly enjoyed it and had a really good laugh.
We wanted the music to be a BIG part of the evening and had a cousin bring his guitar to play during the seating and welcome cocktail prior to the ceremony. Everyone enjoyed him so much he played during our cocktail hour as well. Another very personalized and memorable detail was having one of the groomsmen, an exceptional singer/guitar player, play our first dance while we danced in awe barefoot on the beach surrounded by our favourite people, the waves and an ocean breeze. It was all very overwhelming to say the least.
Then the party began…..and shirts came off!
In closing, we would not have been able to relive this day over and over again if it weren’t for our amazing photographers Melinda and Rob from Shoebox Photography who rarely missed a moment and captured every detail of the day and night. We loved them.
From Shoebox Photography…What can be said about their day that could possibly describe it best? The bridal party were stunning, due to the lovely and talented Anna Nuet, the guys were a fantastic representation of what fun should be. This was a group of family and friends whose sole purpose was to see these two get wed in style and send them into marriage with a bang.
Mayte and the Jellyfish staff always create a stunning setting but this one was above and beyond. The sheer detail in this bohemian chic & vintage theme was a photographers dream. The ceremony was sweet and funny as it always is with Pastor Rick York presiding & had a unique touch, a handmade wine box with the inscription ‘You’ll be my glass of wine. I’ll be your shot of whiskey.’ France & Joel locked inside a very special bottle along with the notes they wrote each other just a few hours earlier. Down the road, they’ll unlock the box when they really need the wine and notes inside! One of the most touching moments through tears by the groom as his beautiful bride walked towards him.
The day and night were filled with beautifully funny speeches, and even a very special appearance by Batman. After having spent an entire day with the group it all made sense, stories that started the day as crazy were very believable by the days end. The back story with Batman is that it’s a bit of an obsession for our spotlight fanatic groom. Who at times, rephrase, every chance he can, likes to dress up in a Batman costume ( usually under the influence ) and bring his brand of happiness to all. However on his wedding night the brides incredibly awesome mom stole the show when she surprised everyone by storming the event as the Batman theme song suddenly poured through the speakers. Hilarious, and utterly shocking for both the bride + groom as they had no idea who it was. Such a high note in my books. Oh, that and the duet of Ricky Marten’s Livin’ la Vida Loca. That too was a moment where we seriously thought we were going to drop our cameras in fits of laughter.
The drinks were flowing, the dancing was fierce, fuelled by the talented ‘crazy hour’ crew that presented their iconic fire show, merengue dancers, a capoeira performer and intricately costumed devils and clowns to kick things off right. The night took it’s final turn and depending on which side you were on ( ever been one of the only sober people at a crazy party? ) the shirts and pants started to fly as they fired down shots on their sandy dance floor by the beach. It was with a heavy heart that we packed up our gear, having to turn down numerous requests to keep gettin’ our dance on.
sometimes babies suck.
France and Joel will forever be in our hearts, it was such a memorable day spent with remarkable people.
Photography: ShoeBox Photography | Bridesmaids Dresses: WTOO | Groom's Suit: Le Chateau | Event Planning + Design: Mayte Marie + Amore Weddings | Groomsmen Attire: Mexx | Hair + Makeup: Anna Nuet | Performers: Agua Azul Performances | Restaurant: Jellyfish | Table Numbers: Meg Lane