2) to get up to the top of the mountain, we all rode in the box of a crickety old truck (not for the faint of heart)! and then, there was this epic giant swing … Andrea & Matt didn’t even flinch. NOT ONCE!
3) we BOTH brought a bottle of bubbly: great minds think alike!
4) Andrea & Matt have two cats whom they treat like children. (Don’t know why, but this makes me giggle)
5) lastly, the KILLER not-so-secret party trick: the Dirty Dancing lift!!! they even pulled it off in a heavy wedding gown. pretty much one of the most BADASS things i’ve seen.
“The champagne helped us loosen up a bit and just relax with one another, so thoughtful! We could not of been happier with the day we had! It was all so worth it!”“I had my hair and makeup done by Olga Montilla before we left (highly recommend!). But we still had to bring my dress, my husband’s suit, shoes, jewelry and change of clothes. We thought we might have to hike up the hill but luckily there was a truck to bring you up. There were so many options for gorgeous photos, it almost seemed overwhelming!”
And THIS is the image that literally made it ALL worth it! “I can’t speak highly enough about Florence’s work and the experience of just being with her. It feels like you’re working with your BFF rather than a photographer!! She is extremely easy going, generous, kind, observant, creative and joyful. She makes taking photos one of the BEST PARTS OF YOUR WEDDING (and beyond). My husband and I couldn’t imagine working with anyone else to capture such an important moment in our lives. I mean, we loved her so much we came back to take more photos!
Andrea & Billy are some of the most beautiful human beings you’ll meet. Their magical destination wedding took place at one of Punta Cana’s most exquisite all-inclusive resorts, Paradisus Palma Real.
1) Most memorable moments from the Day / Wedding week?
“Getting to spend time with everyone who was able to come! We had so many laughs and SO much fun!”
2) Do you have any regrets? What would you have done differently if you could?
“No regrets whatsoever!!!”
3) What inspired you to have a destination wedding? How did you pick the right venue?
“We had previously gone to a destination wedding in Jamaica and had such an amazing time! Once we got engaged, we realized it would be a great choice! Trip Advisor searches helped us find the right venue! Paradisus Palma Real was great because the entire resort is beautiful and there are sooooo many different options for wedding ceremony and reception venues within the resort!”
4) What inspired your colour palette / decorations / any DIY elements / any unique details or traditions?
“Pinterest, for sure! We thought that the light pink and blue would look nice along the beach & ocean!”
5) Any comments about your resort / wedding venue?
“Everyone at the resort (Paradisus Palma Real) was incredible, they have mastered planning a wedding and making your wedding absolutely perfect!”
“Best decision that we made for our wedding was doing First Look photos! We were sooooooo against doing the First Look because we really wanted Billy to see me for the first time while I was walking down the aisle. It wasn’t until about a month before our wedding, we finally changed our minds and we couldn’t be happier that we did! Reasoning:
1- Although its “untraditional” it is sooooo much more intimate. Plus, you can decide whom you want to be there. Billy & I had just the two of us with Florence (she rocks), but if you wanted you could have family, friends and/or the wedding party there with you for it! We loved having it with just the two of us because we wanted to share the emotion privately. We also knew that Florence would do such a great job capturing the moment, that all of our family and friends would be able to see the first look photos once we got them!2- Your wedding day is all about you! Doing the first look photos before the ceremony allowed us to spend time with just each other (for almost an hour) that was awesome!3- After doing your First Look photos, you can take a ton of photos with the wedding party before the ceremony, too! Having that done before the ceremony was a blast! Florence found lots of fun places to take pictures around the resort and she even gave us some champagne to pop and sip on before walking down the aisle. Spending time with our whole wedding party before the ceremony made us feel super relaxed!
4- Once the ceremony is over, you can then enjoy the cocktail hour with all of your guests! That was great! Our venue was great because we were able to enjoy the cocktail hour and take pictures with our guests at the same time! Towards the end of our cocktail hour we snuck off with our wedding party and took a few more photos!
Definitely, definitely recommend doing FIRST LOOK photos!”
“After our first dance, we had the DJ play “dancing in the moonlight” by King Harvest (one of our favorites), and had everyone get up and dance with us! We thought it was a nice & subtle way to show our guests that each of them are a part of us and our marriage!”
Which image(s) is/are your favourite and why?
“LOVE them all, but if we had to choose, I would say we really like how the Rock the Dress photos came out! We had lots of fun with those! Also, Billy really loves the boudoir photos Florence took on the morning of the wedding. I highly recommend doing both of those. The boudoir pictures that we did before I put on my dress made me feel so sexy and beautiful, exactly how I wanted to feel on our wedding day! The sunrise Rock the Dress was so special because it most closely captured our true, gentle, loving, pure relationship with each other! It’s not that the wedding day photos didn’t capture that, but there is a different energy that you have on your wedding day! So its nice to have both!”
6) How to stay on budget while still getting the wedding of your dreams?
“Write down a list of “wants” & “needs” so when you are looking at different options, you always have that reminder to refer to! Its really easy to get lost in all of the decisions that you have to make for the wedding but remember, Its all about what is most important to you! For example, spending a little more on centerpieces might make sense because that is something that is important to you, but that means something else will have to give, so maybe you spend a little less on wedding favors! Also, if you are going to splurge on something, I would recommend it being on PHOTOS! The photos capture all of the important memories & emotion of your wedding, its something you will never be able to get back. Going through our wedding photos (only 2 months later) make our hearts feel so full and happy!”
7) Guest list: how did you narrow down your guest list to a reasonable number?
“We invited everyone…we wanted the guests to make the decision on whether or not they would come!”
8) Communication: any challenges in keeping your friends & family informed about your wedding plans?
“We used a travel agent through Van Zile Travel (in Rochester, NY). I would definitely recommend going through a travel agent! It was nice because once we decided on a travel agent, we provided everyone with her information as well as the resort information on our Save The Date cards, giving guest the option to utilize her if they wanted or go ahead and book on their own! Also, we provided the guests with our wedding website on theknot.com, so we could keep everyone informed!”
9) Bridal buys: shopping advice for stationary, accessories, wedding dress etc
“Personally, when it comes to accessories, we like simple. We did very minimum in terms of accessories so they wouldn’t overpower the natural look that we wanted!”
10) Were there any special heirloom pieces used? (Veil / engraved wedding rings / something blue?
“Well, the center stone of my engagement ring was my great grandmothers engagement ring, which is pretty cool!”
MUA: Anna Nuet. Always amazing! Jay on the Proposal:
Most romantic memory according to Meagan: “Our entire trip to France was the most romantic week of my life. Spending our days exploring, stopping at cafes for a glass of wine, every day was like a fairy tale. My most romantic memory together was of course our week in Nice, but secondly it was the night that Jay surprised me and took me to see the Opera at Lincoln Center in Manhattan. I woke up to a note with instructions for a mini scavenger hunt. He had hidden money with a note telling me to get my hair and nails done, and to buy a fancy dress. When he got home from work he put on a dapper suit and we went into the city at an amazing restaurant across the street from Lincoln Center – where he dropped the surprise on me. He had found an Italian Opera highlighting the lives of Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, which happen to be my favorite! I had made Jay watch a slew of documentaries and shows about their lives in the months leading up to this night. We sat center orchestra on opening night and it was amazing!”
Such a touching First Look… Fave guilty pleasure: “Eating pizza in bed and watching reality TV shows.”Jay: “I just love her eyes. She can melt me with a single look and everything about her is just so irresistible to me. The rest is classified.” 🙂Meagan: “Jay’s touch and smile are everything to me… he gets this romantic, sexy look on his face that is just simply irresistible.”Jay: “My life is better in every way because of Meg. She makes me a better person and makes every day more exciting then the last. She is so family oriented and I love that about her. She has made my family so much closer and has become that glue that keeps us all closer together. We have needed that so much in our lives since my mom passed. She reminds me so much of my Mom and she makes me fall more in love with her everyday.”Jay: “For my birthday last year Meg surprised me and took me skydiving. It was the most fun, exciting, and most exhilarating experience of my life.”Meagan: “Jay has given me purpose to live for another. I have always been so independent and driven because I wanted to provide for myself and my future family. Before Jay, I had thought I may never meet someone, but I always knew I wanted kids. I had seriously contemplated doing it on my own. The moment I met Jay, I knew that I wanted to have a family with him, and that I would finally have the life and love that I always wanted. I strive every day not for myself any longer, but for us and our future.”
Jenga as the guest sign-in book! What a unique idea! On meeting and falling in love:
Vanessa: “After a full year of planning, seeing everything come together its simply relieving, but my most memorable moment was our First Touch, it made everything real, we were just minutes away from committing to be with each other for the rest of our lives. The emotions were so raw and palpable. Steve was extremely emotional, and I, well… I was living my fairy-tale. It was a very special moment.”“The most special detail of all was my veil, made by my Mom! Growing up I remember my grandmother wearing a “mantilla” (Spanish for veil) for church, and I wanted to honor her by wearing something similar.”What they would’ve done differently:
A few days after the wedding, a unique and memorable “Just Married” session, commonly called Trash the Dress. My favorite, Macao Beach! Vanessa, on chosen vendors:
My palms are sweaty with excitement as I share for this exciting launch with you, Babe!!
PUNTA CANA WEDDING CONTEST: 3 AMAZING PRIZES!!
WIN WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY by Florence Fern ($1950 VALUE) … for ONE lucky Bride.
WIN “JUST MARRIED” CREATIVE TRASH THE DRESS SESSION ($450 VALUE) … for TWO lucky Brides.
I’ve been living & breathing PUNTA CANA WEDDINGS for several years now, but am only now finding my way in this whole blogging / social media world, with my OWN voice! It’s exciting and a bit scary, and I’m diving in head first, ready to share my heart and talent with you.
If you’re a destination wedding Bride planning a Punta Cana, Dominican Republic wedding in late 2017, 2018 or 2019, you’ve come to the right place! My creative engine is revving and my calendar is open… will you give me the honour of telling your unique and precious story?!
WINNERS: announced MAY 31 here on the blog & in the Punta Cana Brides Forum.
1) Like my punta cana wedding girl facebook & follow me on IG @puntacanaweddinggirl: show yourself by commenting on any of my content.
2) Comment below, on THIS POST, with your Wedding Date + Venue + picture of you & your fiancee that shows off your personalities + tell me 3 FUN FACTS about you as a Couple.
3) Send me an email email@example.com and tell me: how would you describe my photography style? What stands out to you, and what, if anything, could use some spicing up?
P.S. Pretty please, ONLY APPLY if you genuinely love my work.
After the winners are announced on May 31st, the crazy amazing FLASH SALE will go LIVE for 48 hours ONLY. It will be like Black Friday on steroids and is a ONE-TIME opportunity to snap up an insanely amazing deal on your photography & videography. I will never again share a deal like this. Not even on Black Friday.
OKAY, LET’S PLAY!!!!!
… and of course I’ll bring the champagne, Babe 🙂
Sweet LOVES! Here’s a set of beautiful teasers that I just can’t keep all to myself … from a ridiculously fun Punta Cana destination wedding at the famous Jellyfish Restaurant, Dominican Republic!
The florals were absolutely divine. Don’t know about you, but I’m so in love with the garden-like “relaxed” flower arrangements that look like they gracefully spilled onto the tables from a magazine cover!
I love being able to create moments that pull my Brides away from the craziness of the morning preparations, to actually enjoy all the beautiful wedding details, take in the gorgeous Jellyfish beach view, feel the breeze, and appreciate how the perfect wedding vision came to life. It always feels so surreal! You know me by now, don’t you? THE signature trick that I don’t hide very well: champagne! Takes the edge off the nerves, amplifies the energy of celebration, and reminds us all to have a little fun with it. I don’t even mind that most of the time I get sprayed down with this stuff and feel a little sticky. The pictures and memories are so worth it, haha! The First Look has become a popular break from the regular wedding day timeline, and for good reason. Such a special way for the Couple to take time for each other, to connect, steady their nerves, and remind each other what it’s actually all about. It’s so easy to lose sight of the magic when there’s so many details to keep track of. Just taking a few deep breaths together can go a looooong way. This is the entrance way to Jellyfish Restaurant: we knew the guests were on their way, but we sneakily carved out some time for the magical First Look anyway. And just a couple more sneak peeks … from the Trash the Dress session at my favourite *nearly* deserted beach in Punta Cana called Macao Beach! I love the authentic “Dominican” flavour, with super sweet stray puppies protecting us … and of course, more bubbly!
Hope you feel the LOVE`!!!!!!!
Are YOU a destination wedding Bride considering a Punta Cana wedding? I’m full of amazing resources, let me be your Punta Cana Wedding Girl! 🙂 I’m so much more just a destination wedding photographer … a bit of a wedding planner, extra bridesmaid, creative director … all rolled into one!
Meet Heather & Shawn, sweethearts from Chicago. They knew each other in high school, but didn’t fall in love till college!
Here’s their amazing wedding at Huracan Cafe, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
Special thanks to dear Nati & Huracan team for putting so much love & heart into making the day so special. Enjoy! Proposal Story: “It was June 15th, 2015. The proposal was in Long Beach, CA. Heather was speaking at a conference there so we decided to make a trip of it together. That day Heather went to a few seminars, while Shawn relaxed and reflected. A few weeks prior Shawn had made the dinner arrangements and ordered flowers to be waiting. We took a nice walk to dinner, which was at The Sky Room. He proposed at the very top of the building in their observatory that overlooked the Pacific Ocean, while we were “waiting for our table to be set.” Heather was completely surprised! We had a lovely dinner (and a lot of wine). Then we went to a few local bars. We didn’t tell anyone until the next day so we could just be together and not distracted. We also made some friends with locals. The night ended with us stopping at 7 Eleven to get some snacks, totally destroying the kitchen with drinks and food, and then falling asleep (not so romantically).”
First Look! Heather loves: “Tacos and Pizza! Also, shopping and spending money. And Shawn’s smile, and his nose. I also love, love LOVE my engagement ring!”
Shawn loves: “Pizza and Jack Daniels. Also, Heather’s booty. And my Movado watch, my favourite gift from Heather.”
First Dance “From the Ground Up” by Dan + Shay.
Dear Heather & Shawn! Wishing you all the LOOOOOOOVE! xoxo Florence.
Kayla & Cody are from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and I ADORE them. They beautiful destination wedding took place at Dreams Palm Beach resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Our ‘Just Married’ session (which some would call a ‘Trash the Dress’ session) was photographed at sunrise on resort property.
Kayla: “We met in Junior High. I’m not certain of the exact moment in time when I ‘fell in love’ with Cody but for as long as I can remember there’s been an unexplainable emotion present, I could have never guessed it would weave itself through my soul and cradle my heart so effortlessly. Trying to explain how and why I love him would be like trying to describe the taste of water.”
Cody: “We met in school when we were probably 12 or 13 and I was smitten. I asked her to be my girlfriend back then and she broke my heart, then dated some loser skater guy instead, but I’m not bitter or anything, haha. We continued on for a couple years until she moved away when we were 15. Luckily for her, she came back for grade 12 and I had to really turn up the heat on her. The time came when she finally agreed to be my date to a wedding and she never stood a chance!” 😉
Kayla LOVES: “Cody’s humor, his sneaky-kind heart and I adore his strength and optimism. I’ve never encountered anyone that’s carried themselves with quite the presence that Cody does.
Cody LOVES: “Her smile, the way she loves me back and … dat ass!” 😉
First Look, Dreams Palm Beach Resort, Dominican Republic:
“We ABSOULTELY LOVED the First Look! It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I would highly recommend it to anyone. Just having him hold me and offering us the moment to truly embrace each other, alone. It was soothing and it helped clear some butterflies. I was more excited to walk to him during our ceremony than I was nervous!”
Kayla ALSO LOVES: “Beer, salt and vinegar chips and pickles. Oh, and Harry Potter. Cody got me into it!”
Cody ALSO LOVES: “Chocolate, any dessert, I’m like Gollum with his ‘precious’ when it comes to sweets. Oh, and pasta. Give me all the pasta!”
“The proposal was perfectly and completely unexpected. I’d always imagined Cody would propose in some extravagant way and I thought for a long time it would have something to do with the purchase of our new house or our families. He’d been out of town working, out during the week and home on the weekends. It was Friday and Cody was exhausted. I came home that afternoon from work to quickly drop off my stuff before a hair appointment, when I left he was yawning and planning to have a nap. He told me to text him when I left the salon (which was conveniently located around the corner from our apartment). While I was paying for my hair I got a text from him asking where I was and how long I’d be, my first thought – ‘UGH! He wants me to grab dinner and I don’t want to go the store alone because I’m a gigantic baby!’ My PLAN was to say I hadn’t seen the text and then we’d go find dinner together… clearly, I was very mistaken and he already had plans! When I got to the apartment the door was locked, which initially confused me, when I open it, Cody was standing in the way and startled me. He was all jittery and weird and I couldn’t put together what the hell he was doing. He told me he’d got a gift for me and showed me to a ‘Pro-Hockey Life’ bag that was sitting on one of our bar stools.. wtf right? Confused, I opened the bag to find MY Oilers jersey with LINDERMAN crested on the back!
*SIDE NOTE: This Oilers jersey had been a gift for my nineteenth birthday and every single birthday after, I’d asked to have my name crested on it. I kept telling him he had to put Plunkie on it before I wasn’t a Plunkie anymore! And birthday after birthday he’d avoid it.
Before I could wrap my head around what was actually happening he was down on one knee, with tears in his eyes, asking me to marry him. I’d give anything to be able to relive that memory and so many others that make up our relationship. I didn’t even say yes, I just started kissing him and he had to stop me to confirm it was legit. Of course it was a yes, how could it not be.
The night before he proposed to me, we were at hockey, we always stay after the game to have beers and chill with the guys. When we got home that night, Cody was putting his gear away and adorably asked me ‘what was sexy’ and what he could do for me while I was at work the next day.. ‘would it be sexy if I cleaned the house?’, I had no idea what he was on about but he was pretty drunk so it was both adorable and hilarious. NOW looking back I’m never going to forget that.”
Kayla: “Cody has changed my life in more ways than I care to explain here and to be quite blunt, Cody saved my life. He pulled me from a dark place and reminded me how beautiful the world is and how very much I am worth. He allows me to be the completely insane, ridiculous, freak show that I am and instead of running for the hills, like any sane person should, he’s joined me and revelled in my chaos. He’s allowed and encouraged me to be angry and embrace sadness, because that’s okay when you need it. He’s created a happiness in my life which there are simply no words for and he’s loved me, purely and ferociously through all the cracks and leaks in my foundation. My life is WONDERFUL because of Cody.”
Cody: “I love Kayla beyond words. I cannot take care of myself, so I would probably be dead without her. Seriously.”
Kayla: “I love my incredible engagement ring. I’m still so captivated by it. Also, my Oilers jersey! He took me to my first NHL hockey game on my eighteenth birthday, bought me a jersey for my nineteenth and six years later proposed to me with my new name crested on the back of that jersey! AND! One more, he once braved Build-a-Bear just because I was totally obsessed with this dragon named Toothless (from How to train your Dragon), he went all by himself and did the whole bit, kissed the heart and did all the silly things, just because I’m a dork.“Cody: “My fave gifts from Kayla? Tough call, either my Xbox or Boston Bruins (Lucic) jersey.”
Kayla: “I appreciate how well Cody knows me and the little things he does that remind me of that. He’ll buy me MGD in bottles even when yucky Budweiser is on sale, he always buys the right kind of pickles, he always leaves me fresh towels and a cloth is the bathroom for when I get home because he knows I’ll forget and have to yell for him and when I’m sick he’ll make sure I have my favourite spoon to eat my soup with.”
Cody: “I love ALL the little things she does for me that I never ask for. I couldn’t name them all.”
FIRST DANCE SONG: ‘Let Me Take You Home Tonight’ by Boston.
Kayla: “I want to forever remember the way Cody looked at me the first time he saw me. I want to remember how he held my hands so tightly during our ceremony and how we couldn’t stop kissing before we were actually supposed to. I want to remember the butterflies I felt before I saw him, I was beyond nervous but I also felt strangely calm, like I never have before.”
Cody: “My favourite wedding moment … The way Kayla looked when we were exchanging our personal vows, I hope I never forget that.”
“We LOVED … Being on the beach, not wearing shoes! Our personal vows and my best friend preforming our ceremony. I was so full of adrenaline in that moment I could barely remember what she said, she had to send me the ceremony and it’s absolutely breathtaking, one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read, I hope it forever brings me those emotions and tears of happiness.”
Dreams Palm Beach – Beach Ceremony and Pool Island Reception.
Approximate schedule times: Ceremony 3PM / Reception 6PM.
Approximate guest count: 30.
Bridal gown (make): Stella York.
Cake: Vanilla & pineapple.
Favours: Custom made shot glasses with our initials, wedding date and a little logo ‘Drunk in Love.’ We also purchased tequila for each table to enjoy with their glasses.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WISHING YOU ALL THE HAPPINESS & MAGIC, FLORENCE.
I am so, so excited about the launch of our beautiful website, Punta Cana Wedding Girl. When you pour THIS MUCH love, passion, creativity & hard work into something, only good things can happen, right?
So here I am with my current small gallery of favourite images, photographed in some of my very favourite places around beautiful Punta Cana.
Hard Rock Punta Cana Wedding, Dominican Republic. Jellyfish Punta Cana Wedding, Dominican Republic. Huracan Punta Cana Wedding, Dominican Republic. Huracan Punta Cana Wedding, Dominican Republic. Ojos Indigenas, Punta Cana, Trash the Dress. Hard Rock Punta Cana Wedding, Dominican Republic. Macao Beach, Punta Cana, Trash the Dress. Huracan Punta Cana Wedding, Dominican Republic. Macao Beach, Punta Cana, Trash the Dress. Ojos Indigenas, Punta Cana, Trash the Dress. Huracan Punta Cana Wedding, Dominican Republic. Punta Cana Dominican Republic Destination Wedding.Cabrera Wedding Photographer: Flor de Cabrera Destination Wedding, Dominican Republic. Cabrera Wedding Photographer: Flor de Cabrera Destination Wedding, Dominican Republic. Hard Rock Punta Cana Wedding, Dominican Republic. Cabrera Wedding Photographer: Flor de Cabrera Destination Wedding, Dominican Republic. Paradisus Palma Real Wedding, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Hard Rock Punta Cana Wedding, Dominican Republic. Huracan Punta Cana Wedding, Dominican Republic. Hard Rock Punta Cana Wedding, Dominican Republic. ‘I’m a big believer in asking the Universe for what you want (and of course working your butt off to help the Universe deliver, haha). So here I am, declaring my dream and wish … hey Universe, are you listening?! I dream and wish to work with Couples in love who have beautiful, genuine hearts and joyful, playful personalities. Couples who know that the little things are actually the big things. Couples who know that life is too short to worry about shit that won’t matter in the end. Couples who believe in MEMORIES over THINGS. And together, we can create magic.
Jen & Dan are from Miami, Florida, and they tied the knot at the gorgeous Huracan Cafe, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
Jennifer: “We met in August of 2009 at the University of Central Florida at a party Dan was having at his house and we both talked about wanting to start running. The next day we ran 3 miles together and could not stop talking and getting to know each other. From then on we didn’t stop hanging out together.”
Jennifer: “It started off feeling like a great Saturday with a morning run and brunch followed by a gorgeous beach day at a secret spot Dan and I always go to. I was completely in the dark and was insanely surprised. Such an exhilarating moment. He arranged for my family to be at a gazebo nearby after so we could all celebrate. It was perfect. Truly magical!”
LOVE: “Boat day to the sand bar. Nutella and cupcakes. Her butt. His legs. Working out. Champagne. Almond milk. Concerts. Traveling. Massages.”
First Dance Song: Bob Marley “Is This Love.”
Honeymoon: St. Lucia.