Having an on-site wedding coordinator and limited selections made planning a breeze. All decisions were made through a chain of emails detailed with pictures of our choices. We selected our wedding cake without tasting a bite (it turned out to be the most delicious cake ever). We chose our ceremony site from low-res photos of another couple’s wedding. And flowers were contingent on the island’s availability. Some brides may have hated the lack of unlimited options. I, on the other hand, found everything about it pleasant and as stress-free as wedding planning could be. I never felt overwhelmed and was happy to have the guidance.
That feeling was great --- while it lasted. Unfortunately, there were some unexpected setbacks along the way that turned my easy breezy planning into a bride-to-be’s worst nightmare.
Back up to the Christmas before our spring wedding. The family was in town and we went out to enjoy some holiday festivities. My husband and his cousin were roughhousing while the rest of us waited to cross the street. In a quick second, Ryan ducked his head to dodge a playful punch. I was the innocent and unfortunate bystander right behind him, aka shit out of luck. SMACK – the Rocky Balboa-packed punch made contact with my face and everything went black.
After a trip to the emergency room, I was told I would need reconstructive surgery. With our wedding only four months away, this situation added a multitude of stress to our planning and limited budget. Timing was of the essence and insurance only covered so much. It felt like a nightmare – something I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. Fortunately, surgery went well and I was back to myself in about a month. Before we knew it, it was time to fly to the Dominican for our beach wedding. Paradise, at last!
When we got to Punta Cana, everything was going according to plan. Our family and friends all arrived safely and we were taking full advantage of the unlimited food and fun the island had to offer. After a late night walking the resort, we returned to our condo to find the maids cleaning our bathroom. I thought it was odd they were working so late, but I was too much in bliss to question them. It wasn’t until the next evening that I noticed my expensive WEDDING DAY makeup was missing. The makeup I had several trials to perfect and purchase for my desired beach bride glow. Needless to say, emotions were high and things got ugly.
A security team was sent to our room to search up and down in case I misplaced any of the items in my neatly organized makeup bag. Nothing turned up except a flow of tears and one stressed out bride. They proceeded to drive me across the island in a golf cart to every beauty salon and store on the resort. This proved to be a big waste of time, as the resort didn’t carry anything comparable.
There was no real resolution, but the resort did reimburse me for the cost of everything stolen. The money meant nothing to me at that time. They also threw in a couples massage to nullify the added stress this caused me -- and my husband -- who was amazingly calm and comforting through the whole ordeal. My bridesmaids saved the day with their makeup and helped me achieve the perfect blushing-bride-look.
Despite the unexpected mishaps, our wedding was the happiest and most perfect day of my life. The setting was intimate and picturesque. The comfortable weather and soft Caribbean breeze was dreamlike. I was all-smiles as I walked down the sandy aisle to my handsome groom. The ocean’s soft waves were so relaxing as we exchanged vows. I married the man of my dreams – my best friend, soul mate, and voice of reason when I flip out about stuff like missing makeup. It was everything I ever dreamed of.
After the wedding, our family and friends flew back to the states. We took a cab to another resort 45 minutes across the island to continue our stay in paradise for our honeymoon. Elated and in love, we had one amazing adventure that we will always cherish.
Venue: Iberostar Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic Dress: Maggie Sottero Photographer: Nicola Bisgoni