Pretty in Purple Beach Wedding in the Dominican Republic

Julie and Jake wed on the beach in the Dominica Republic as friends and families (and even boats passing by) were witness to their nuptials. The couple shared their story with us and why pair opted for a destination wedding to begin with…

We knew we wanted to do a destination wedding because, in all honesty, we both have such humongous families that we just wouldn’t be able to afford a wedding in America. That being said, we also didn’t want people who to “just come for the food and open bar.” Those who really wanted to celebrate our love would literally cross the ocean for us.

We went for a rustic beach theme, with colors Ancient Violet, Hummingbird Blue, and Elegant Charcoal.

 

Favorite moment from the day?

“We both agree it definitely was the First Look, which is funny because we weren’t even completely sold on doing one!? We didn’t want to ruin the “butterflies” of seeing each other for the first time at the aisle, but WE ARE SO HAPPY we did it.

I loved it because it was an intimate moment that Jake and I got to share with just the two of us (and our wedding party overlooking from a distance). We took our time and enjoyed just “being” in the moment. It was overwhelming, but in a good way.

  

DIY just might be my middle name. I love doing arts and crafts, and I knew if I ever got married, I would definitely be making a bunch of my own elements. I made my own Save-The-Dates, helped in every design element of our wedding invitations, designed our welcome & thank you cards. I also made the boutonnieres for the groomsmen/godfathers/fathers, corsages for the godmothers/mothers, bouquets for the bridal party, and my most favorite DIY element of all, my bouquet. I drew inspiration for it on Pinterest and couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. The combination of imagination, love and hard work is a pretty wondrous thing!

We don’t regret anything because we are firm believers that everything happens just as it’s meant to. So whatever happened, was perfect. If you’re one to sweat the little things, DON’T! If anything goes wrong, i.e. a party boat passing by on the water BLASTING obnoxious music as your saying your vows (yes, this happened to us), everyone will still remember it as being the “best wedding” they’ve ever been to, which we hear all the time!

Our favorite part of wedding week was the boat party the day after the wedding! In lieu of wedding favors and welcome gifts, we opted to pay for a private excursion on the Sanael for all of our guests. It was a large party boat with drinks, food, and music. They took us out to snorkel and swim in this natural pool, and partied/danced with us all along the way. There wasn’t one person who wasn’t smiling or having a great time, and absolutely everyone raved about it (even until this day!). The wedding stress was all gone, and we were all able to just let loose.

Love deeply and fully, and remember it isn’t about the small things; it’s about who you’re standing at the altar with and all the people there to witness the unfolding of the beginning of a fantastic journey of a love.

Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Katya Nova Photography

Wedding Vendors: Musicians: Agua Azul Fire Show, Invitation Designer: Aster Bagtas Design, Cake Designer: Cake Studio Bavaro, Groomsman Attire: Club Monaco, Cinema and Video: Cores Films, Event Venue: Jellyfish RestaurantHair Stylist: Krystie Ann Hair & Makeup Artist, Dress Designer: Maggie Sottero, Officiant: Pastor Rick York

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A Vintage Chic Destination Wedding in Sardinia, Italy

Marco and Carla had a beautiful destination wedding in the medieval village of Castelsardo, on the edge of the sea with views near and far. This Sardinia destination I do was one filled with love, laughter, and a gorgeous lace wedding dress. Carla shared with us how they selected their location and all the sweet Italian details.

We chose the resort by my love for the sea and the fact that I find the Castelsardo landscapes highly suggestive and romantic.

For the outfits, I wanted something original but at the same time traditional and recalling the colors of my land. I found Elisabetta Delogu’s unique pieces.

On a single, extraordinary day, it ‘s hard to find a “favourite time” but having to choose I would prefer the evening part when dancing party – a particular intimate moment with the people I love.

Advice for other destination wedding couples from this well-versed bride?

To other couples, I would recommend choosing a destination and decorating themselves without having to be influenced by relatives and friends because the wedding day should reflect the tastes and the peculiarities of the bridal and make happy first the bride and groom and foremost the people concerned and then also all the guests!

Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Valeria Mameli

Wedding Vendors: Wedding Location: Incantu, Wedding Dress: Elisabetta Delogu, Hair: Hair Studio Laura, Flowers: Ikebana

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A Playful Private Villa Destination Wedding in Costa Rica

Julie and Dom said I do to a destination wedding in tropical and beautiful Costa Rica. The pair searched until they found just the right spot and then enlisted the help of destination wedding planner and designer, Tropical Occasions, to help make their day magic. Julie shared with us why they selected the oh-so special location they did.

Dom and I wanted a place that felt like home, which for us meant a place that fit both of our families under one roof. Despite being thousands of miles from home, we wanted to imitate that feeling of closeness and intimacy — the feeling of being “home” — just better. :) For both of us and how we were raised, home is where our families are — no matter where we are in the world. Neither of us felt strong ties to a particular geography, as time and moving around mean that our loved ones would be coming from far and wide, either way.

So, we got to work searching for a beautiful villa in either Central America or the Caribbean, that could fit up to 20 people (Dom is one of 5 kids) AND host a wedding on site. Punto de Visa immediately popped up in our search. Costa Rica has always been one of my favorite places in the world, so I was beyond thrilled to have found Punto de Vista (Dom had never been, until we went in November 2015). It was love at first sight. We made the decision then and there.

  

For the wedding day, we were fortunate to have Karen and Aimee from Tropical Occasions. They truly made decision-making easy, and wedding day execution was like magic. It all just happened, and we were there to attend our own wedding as guests. It made us feel like royalty. 

 If it’s financially possible for couples, I cannot recommend Karen and Aimee enough. It’s much, much more than just a luxury. It allows you to really experience your wedding and live in the moment. It’s also a better experience for your guests, because you can be present and not worried about logistics (bc at the end of the day, logistics will come last and your guests will feel that). 

We asked Tropical Occasions owner, Aimee Monihan about the details that came to life on this big day.

As a designer I appreciate a couples vision, but it is rare when one comes in, so vibrant, and so ready to put design fully into our hands. Julia and Dom represent what fun collaboration is all about, high fashion, excitement, travel, while still being grounded by their everyday lives and happiness together. A colorful NY couple that is by no means cookie cutter, Julia and Dom based their wedding vision not off of individual must haves, but on an overall feeling they wanted to be present.

They left the details up to us, but gave a few words to describe the feeling of their day. “Tropical, yet modern, colorful, and elegant. Forward thinking, and most importantly FUN.” 

 So the end result was using a mix of vibrant green tropical leaves (Monster, Elephant Ear, Citrus Leaf, some Eucalyptus accents mixed with lots of vibrant tropical and classic floral like Mokara, Phalenopsis and Dendrobiums Orchids, Gingers, Bird of Paradise, Roses, Asiatic lilies, Gloriosa Lilies, Cala Lilies, Hypericum and Coffee Bean Berries.  

We made the ceremony just green and white, with the only pop of color being the bride’s bouquet. We wanted the emphasis to be on our incredible clients and also to leave a fun surprise element to follow.

  

Then the couple were off to the beach, a planned moment they won’t regret, Julie shared with us…

Dom and I were against going down to the beach for photos after the ceremony. We basically just both had FOMO. However, being swept away from everyone and having just a few minutes alone together was incredibly important. We realized it in the moment, too, not just in hindsight. We both kept saying “wow, I’m so glad we did this.” I think it helped that the downpour stopped at the perfect time and we were left with a stunning sunset. It’s hard to think of a better place to be than Manuel Antonio beach in that exact moment. 

The photos were picture-perfect, in part due to the bride’s amazing style.  Aimee from Topical Occasions filled us in on the vision:

Julie had a direct artistic vision in the designing of her two wedding dresses, and she chose an amazing NY talent to create them. Her ceremony gown was unbelievable, so modern while still never upstaging her individual beauty (not that her smile could ever be missed). She chose a top braid hairstyle, almost like a braided mohawk, which is the only style that could possibly reflect how cool she actually is. Her transition into night was done flawlessly with a fun two-piece concept, soft, playful, and the best possible option for dancing. With both bride and groom having Latin roots, their families made sure that their wedding had a Latin flair, one of the best moments being a surprise flamenco serenade from a close friend. 

For the reception we added color and different style designs for the tables to give depth. The main table was long down the center of the terrace and had a full tropical green garland with bright loose florals intertwined. Tons of small gold mercury votives, and tall tapered candles in glass vase vessels & gold bases for the main table to give it drama. On both sides of the table were round tables for the other guests. Half of the tables had super tall explosions of tropical leaf centerpieces with pops of fun colorful flowers and candles at their base. The rest of the round table had compote dishes with full lush green tropical leaves & bright florals. Lighting was enhanced with candles everywhere and bistro lights hung above the table to give it a more modernized and natural feel.

The bride’s favorite moments from the day? There were a lot, as you can imagine!

Walking upstairs to our reception and seeing the phenomenal work that Karen and Aimee did on making it LITERALLY MAGIC on that rooftop. I cried. It was the most beautiful wedding ever and no, I am not biased at all. It was insane. It gives me chills just thinking about it now.

There are too many favorite parts to count. It was a magical experience. Even just writing this is making me remember all of the emotions I felt. To be surrounded by so much love and so much beauty is an experience you’ll never, ever forget. 

Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Jennifer Ballard Photography

Wedding Vendors: Wedding Planning + Design: Tropical Occasions, Wedding Location: Villa Punto De Vista, Wedding Invites: Minted, Officiant: Brother in Law, Florals: Stylos Flores, Hair + Makeup: Costa Rica Hair and Makeup by Monica, Videography: Beau Video, Catering + Cake: Platano Verde, Rentals: Costa Mesa, Music: DJ Teddy Brown

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8 of the Best Destination Wedding Ideas from Engage!17: Cayman Islands

Today we’re recapping the recent Engage!17: Cayman Islands wedding industry event on Grand Cayman. The summit is where the best of the best of our field from all over the globe come to dish about weddings and destination weddings and improve our businesses so we can be better for you.

This “hard work” doesn’t come without a few fabulous parties and oodles of great destination wedding ideas.  And we’ve brought back those ideas to share with you today.

So take a look at our top 8 favorite destination wedding ideas from Engage!17: Cayman Islands at the brand new Kimpton Seafire Resort and Spa.

Penthouse Parties:

If your hotel has a penthouse or rooftop setting that can be booked for intimate gatherings or for a hotel stay, consider an intimate meet and greet for the maids and men, close families, or even a post-wedding day sendoff. It will give your guests a chance to see the destination from a whole new angle and treat them to something a little extra special on location.

Electric Signs:

Destination wedding or not, electric signs are hot, hot, hot in reception décor. Engage used these creative signs by Name Glo to welcome guests, jazz up the bars, and even say good bye after the festivities were over.

Beer Trucks:

Yep, beer trucks.  Food trucks may still be great, but what about a beer truck for your groom and guests on the wedding day?!  Let loved ones fill up on their favorites and try a local brew or two too!

Surfboard Stands:

If you’re hosting a beach destination wedding, why not repurpose your boards to serve as tabletops, signage and other party décor. We love how the Engage team used these surfboards as a shoe valet station!

Boozy Snow Cones:

When the weather is hot, nothing delights kids and the kid in all of us like an old-fashioned snow cone. For the grown ups in the group, consider spiking them with your favorite liquors and create a fun twist on old faithful. Serve this at your kick-off welcome party and your friends will know what fun is to come!

Signature Desserts:

Infusing the local culture, cuisine and flavor into a destination wedding is a must and dessert is a great way to do it! Kimpton Seafire created a ‘torched sweets’ station and served fresh-made popsicles at one of the Engage events and it was a crowd favorite for sure!

Adventure Activities:

Traveling is all about new experiences and making memories so why not give your guests something to talk about and plan a bucket list experience for all!? In the Cayman Islands, you have the rare chance to swim in the wild with friendly stingrays after an afternoon at sea on a Red Sail Sports catamaran. Your guests will not forget this wedding weekend activity! See what your destination has to offer that’s something a little bit different than the ordinary.

Celebrity Appearances: Because, why not?

The Engage Summits are known for big surprises and this event was no different. For the finale night gala, we were treated with a surprise performance by one of my old favorites, En Vogue! I can say from personal experience as a guest, budget permitting, this is money well spent to dazzle your friends and family and take the party to an entirely new level. Loved ones will be talking about that night for years to come.  And wedding music agency, Elan Artists, can get you groups like this – just as they did for Engage.

And a big thanks to the hosts of this fantastic event, Kathryn Arce and Rebecca Grinnals from Engaging Concepts and the Engage Summits.  Without the two of these amazing women, the wedding and destination wedding industry that we get to work in wouldn’t be what it is today and frankly, weddings around the world would be a little less inventive, creative and well-done.  So thank you to Rebecca and Kath (pictured below) for always showing us what it means to be an innovator in the world of weddings!  …And thanks for a really great time in one of my favorite places, the Cayman Islands too!!

Stay tuned tomorrow for one more favorite destination wedding idea from Engage – this one was too good, it needed its own post!  Don’t miss it.

Photos by: Rebecca Davidson Photography, Laura Dee Photography, Love Life Images, John Cain Photography, Paul Morse Photographs, Carla Ten Eyck

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Colorado Elopement at Telluride Waterfall

Lauren and Josh eloped under a waterfall in beautiful Colorado. The pair weren’t entirely alone on their wedding day, their darling son Guyus, joined them to witness their sweet (and stunning!) nuptials. The couple shared their intimate wedding day with us and a little about how it came to be.

We decided that something so important and special was better shared with those to whom it would mean the most. Not that our families wouldn’t have loved to be there, but since I have some health issues that make it hard to cement long term plans, we usually play things by ear. This day turned out to be no different: We made a few plans, went on a road trip (and got lost a little bit) and had an adventure!

Colorado holds a special place in our hearts. My husband was born here and I grew up outside of Denver. We started our relationship here. We felt like it would be really wonderful to incorporate the natural beauty of a place we both love so much in our special day.

The bride and groom loved having their little one by their side as they tied the knot!

He’s such a character, and he makes everything so fun! It was such a treat to be able to have him share in our familial celebration of love.

       

When we asked the bride about the most memorable moments from the day…

I think my son would definitely say the cake!

For me, it was just so special to be able to share that love we have for each other in such natural splendor, feeling at once both magnificent in the power of our celebration and minute in the setting of the world.

Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer:  RebeccaMarie Photography

Wedding Vendors: Cake Designer: azucar bakery, Floral Designer: Bella Calla, Design and Decor: Candlelight Ambiance, Dress Designer: D’Lola Couture, Event Planner: Sweetly Paired, Location: Telluride Waterfall

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