We met at work in 2012 through a group of mutual co-workers and friends. We spent several weeks getting to know each other as friends because, as co-workers, Chris was adamant to not “mix business with pleasure.” His words, not mine. After several weeks of resisting what was so naturally clear, Chris finally caved and admitted that our friendship was so much more than that, it was love. I, on the other hand, had been very aware of this fact very early on…it was on our second “official” date (we had hung out as friends on “non-dates” several times before) over sushi and wine where I was looking into his big brown eyes and thought to myself, “this is the man I’m going to marry” and almost 5 years later, Chris FINALLY proposed! He went golfing with my Dad last September to ask for his blessing and then later that evening, we were outside of my Dad's house while the sun was setting and the lighting was great so Chris asked my Dad to take a picture of us. Instead, my Dad recorded a video of Chris getting down on one knee and asking me to marry him. It was amazing and I cried like a baby, after saying "YES...FINALLY!"
Destination & Resort: Dreams Palm Beach
Wedding package: Custom Package through Jellyfish
Number of guests: 50 Ceremony location: Jellyfish - Bavaro Beach
Reception Location: Jellyfish Restaurant
Wedding colors: Shades of Pink w/ Palms - Tropical Boho
Favorite Wedding Memory: First Looks w/ My Dad & My Husband
Honeymoon Location & Resort: We stayed at Dreams Palm Beach the entire week in the Preferred Club Honeymoon Suite
Favorite thing about the Resort: It was a beautiful resort with lots to do and plenty of food options. I don't necessarily have a favorite thing, but I did love the Coco Cafe. I started almost every morning with a delicious iced coffee! :)
Excursions: In lieu of welcome bags or wedding favors, we took all our guests on a Catamaran Cruise (by Renny Travel. For 3 hours we cruised around the coastline while enjoying lunch and a full bar on the boat. We stopped over a reef to snorkel and again at a natural pool to swim. It was SO MUCH FUN and I would highly recommend it! We also used Renny Travel to book a private transfer to Macao Beach. It's the last remaining beach on the Punta Cana coastline left untouched with no resorts or buildings around it. Our shuttle bus driver picked us up at our resort and waited at the beach while we swam and hung out for a few hours. There were plenty of other people at the beach, but it's huge so not overcrowded and still very safe.
Why did you choose to partner with Love to Travel for your destination wedding: I met Kim at a bridal expo in KC and she was so nice and friendly with tons of experience in the destination wedding industry so I trusted that Love to Travel could help us make decisions based on their extensive knowledge and vacation/resort partnerships. Our experience was great and all our guests had an easy time getting booked. Kim and her team answered all my emails and questions in a timely manner and I would definitely recommend Love to Travel. Advice to other wedding couples: You can make the process as easy or time consuming as you want to or have time for. I personally didn't want to research hundreds of resorts to find the best one because there are way too many to choose from and I didn't have the time so I trusted Love to Travel to recommend 3-4 and then researched just those before making a decision. Kim is an ordained minister so I would also recommending getting legally married in the beach house before you travel just to make the logistics easier. Lastly, I would definitely recommend looking at off-resort wedding options. When I started the process, I was looking for a resort specifically for the prettiest wedding ceremony and reception location, but quickly realized it was going to be a bit harder to find what I was looking for in our price range. I didn't want our guests to pay a lot for a very expensive 5-star hotel just because they had the prettiest weddings so I found some off-resort venues located in Punta Cana that were much more private so I didn't have a lot of strangers or on-lookers to worry about. We couldn't be more thrilled with our decision to book Jellyfish as their team of wedding specialists were AMAZING! From start to finish they nailed every single detail and made the planning process super easy. You could also look into Huracán Cafe and Kukua Restaurant Beach Club.
Preferred 1 year anniversary trip location: GREECE!
Additional Wedding Details: We had a Welcome Reception Bonfire on the Beach at Dreams Palm Beach and it was great. We told everyone to enjoy dinner at their leisure at any of the resort restaurants and then meet us on the beach for dessert around 8:30pm. We had a dessert station with smores and other yummy treats as well as an open bar and music for a little over an hour. Some of our guests arrived on Thursday and the rest on Friday so we planned this for Friday night and it was the perfect way for everyone to meet and get to know each other a little better. The Catamaran Cruise was the next day from noon-3pm and it was so nice that people already knew each other and could let loose and party a little more (they don't call it a booze cruise for nothing ;-) Lastly, we had a small rehearsal dinner for just the bridal party and their families (18 people total) at the resort's Italian Restaurant (Portofino) the night before the wedding. They reserved 2 large tables for us and then afterwards, we went outside and went over the wedding day details with everyone. It wasn't a formal rehearsal, but just make sure everyone is on the same page so your wedding day runs smoothly!