Amber and Jake just like many couples in 2020, when COVID pandemic hit the world, had to postpone their long-time dream destination wedding at Hard Rock. Which, as Amber was telling us, was a blessing in disguise. The original wedding date was May 20th,2020 and it got moved to December 16th, 2020. We ask this sweet bride couple of questions about their destination wedding at Hard Rock 2020 experience, how she was planning her destination wedding, her take on décor, custom made lace wedding dress, absolutely EVERYTHING you want to ask fellow bride, we did it for you! Take a look what she told us below. Also, don’t forget to take a peek into the photos (the wedding is so fresh that it is still on my camera’s memory cards lol).
Amber and Jake’s destination wedding at Hard Rock, photography by Photo Cine Art:
Q: Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day?
A: Jake and I knew all along that we wanted to have a destination wedding. I am a very simple girl and knew I wanted a very neutral color scheme. I love rustic decor and greenery, whites and nudes – (my house totally looks the same!) So that is what we went with and I thought it was absolutely breathtaking!
Q: Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?
A: I went back and forth with our wedding decor for a while. It was actually a blessing in disguise having to postpone our original wedding date of May 20. This gave me a longer time frame to rethink the decor. In the end, I decided to go with real florals – which totally exceeded my expectations – they were beautiful! I decided to bring all of my own stationary which I had ordered on Etsy and preprinted & framed. My favorite piece of decor had to be our greenery wall and wooden name design cut out from wood provided by Caribbean Celebrations through the Hard Rock! It really added the personal touch we were hoping for!
Q: What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?
A: Our florals were absolutely gorgeous!! One of my favorite things that day. They were all real – from my bouquet, the bridesmaid’s bouquets, boutonniere, and the centerpieces. I think they did set the overall tone for the entire wedding. The white roses and various eucalyptus styled stems really brought everything together. The best part about having real florals was we were able to bring them back to our room and enjoy them for the rest of our stay – they made our room smell really amazing too! ????
Q: Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?
A: After having to postpone our wedding after the pandemic hit, Jake and I really had a lot of time to think and replan. Our number of guests went down significantly. We were around 50+ guests before the pandemic hit and ended up having 21 guests with us in the end. With such a small group – we knew we wanted to provide as much FUN as possible – simply as a huge THANK YOU for still coming to celebrate with us during this pandemic. We added the HOTS Crazy Hour with 2 samba dancers and a man on stilts as well as a fire show to end the night on the beach. Both were AMAZING and our guests could not stop talking about them. Everyone said they’ve never been to a wedding that was so much fun!
Q: Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.
A: We both had an idea, going in, of what we were looking for when it came to finding our wedding day looks. We both knew we did not want a traditional look. We wanted to have a beachy look! After all, we were getting married on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world!!! ☺️ For my dress, I knew I wanted lace. I also knew I wanted an off-white look. My dress was actually custom made and had the lace pieces hand sewn to have the effect of the lace fading down my dress. I loved it! Jake went with a less formal look of a grey pant and gray vest combo. Which totally fit his laid back style and looked incredibly handsome on him.
Q: How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.
A: Jake and I met for the first time in high school; we had many mutual friends and my eyes just so happen to catch his at a high school football game. I often think it was love at first sight for me because as soon as I saw him that day – I knew I had to have him! A couple weeks later we just so happened to be at the same party together – and the rest is history ????
Jake and I were together for 8.5 years before he proposed! Our proposal was a fairy-tale and a complete surprise to me. Jake and I vacationed with our friends in Tennessee for a week – we drove from Delaware, where we lived together. After a very fun week with our friends Jake and I decided to spend some quality time together – just us. We road tripped home and made a few stops along the way. We stopped in North Carolina, Virginia, etc. When stopping in North Carolina, Jake told me we would spend the day at the Biltmore Estate, the largest mansion in the US! I didn’t know much about it. He was always the planner. He told me we would take a horse and buggy ride to the top of the mansion. Jake hired a private photographer who captured the entire proposal. We got to the top of the mountain and we were posing for a picture when he got down on one knee and proposed. I was speechless!
Q: What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?
A: This may sound cliché but I think I can speak for us both when I say the most anticipated part of our wedding day was having it actually happen!! Between the alcohol scares when we first started planning and the pandemic, we were just in awe we were able to FINALLY have our special day! There was a few times we really had to look at each other and take it all in and say, “we finally did it!”
Q: Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?
A: Yes! Through this entire experience – we have both been through a lot of heartache, tears, and hard times, I truly mean it when I say we have been through it ALL. Most importantly though, through this entire process, we have had tons of happiness along the way. Despite every obstacle we had to face; our trip and wedding day turned out absolutely perfect. It’s like when we landed in Punta Cana – all of the stress went away. To everyone planning right now who has fears or doubts – just remember you only have one life to live, try not to live your life in fear! At the end of the day, God always has a plan and whoever is meant to be there on your special day – will be! And all that matters is you & your significant other are there having the time of your lives! What’s meant to be, will be. ❤️ what’s not, will not.
Venue – Hard Rock Punta Cana
Ceremony place: Piano Gazebo, Hard Rock Punta Cana
Travel Agent – Anita O’Donnell Classic Vacations
Photography – Photo Cine Art
Ceremony Officiant – Marcos Parucker Soares
Hair and Makeup Artist – Maria – POSH Salon at Hard Rock Punta Cana
Florist – Mercaflor Florist
Cake – Hard Rock Punta Cana
Bride Dress – Watters / Lovely Bride Philadelphia
Shoes – Badgley Mischka
Bridesmaids Dresses – Christina Wu
Groom Suit – Ralph Lauren
Groomsman’s suits – Ralph Lauren
Shoes – Rockport
Stationary – Etsy
Gifts for the guests – QueenBHome