Taylor and Nicholas from the USA have decided to have the beauty of the Caribbean as a special decor for their destination wedding Hard Rock Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Despite few light showers on their big day, from the wedding ceremony to the open terrace reception, it was a day filled with love and happiness. To add the island vibe to their decor, this lovely couple has chosen white flowers, tropical leaves and touches of gold. Our very talented bride Taylor made her own signs both for the ceremony and the reception and also magnificent center pieces! Now, how amazing is that! For their destination wedding Hard Rock Punta Cana MercaFlor designed additional flowers that enhanced ceremony structure and Caribbean Celebrations provided exceptional bistro lighting, Love sign, lounge area, Sweetheart and Cake Table. Of course, Photo Cine Art one more time had the pleasure to film it all :).
We asked Taylor to tell us a little bit more about their wedding day:
What were the florals like in your destination wedding Hard Rock Punta Cana? 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?
I love Calla Lilies and wanted a large drooping bouquet of them with light/pastel colors. I wanted a larger bouquet to go with the large veil I will be wearing. We kept the calla lily theme throughout in the groom & father of the bride’s boutonnieres and the mother’s corsages.
For the ceremony structure, I wanted pops of white and deep tropical leaves, so we used the complimentary structure provided by the Hard Rock Punta Cana, asked to take the screen off the back of it, and added 2 large sections of tropical greenery with pops of white. We kept the green with pops of white throughout the reception. I made the center pieces by spray painting vases gold to add an elegant/formal feel and placed fake, green tropical leaves as well as fake white florals inside the vases. Each vase was placed in the center of the tables on top of tropical leaves, that were covered with sea shells (again, a pop of white). The acrylic table numbers pulled out the gold color of the vases as they had gold table numbers written out in cursive, with gold tropical leaves engraved.
For our last pop of white, we purchased a white lounge area with a white throw rug from Caribbean celebrations.
Overall, we didn’t want to spend too much money on flowers as they don’t last long and the ceremony is such a short period of time. We had a stunning tropical environment for the wedding and the scenery was worth a million bucks, so we didn’t feel like we needed to add much to this!
Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?
We hired a steel drummer for our welcome party the night before the wedding to start the flow of the good tropical vibes. For our cocktail hour we hired a violinist and everyone raved about his spunk! For the reception we decided to hire the carnival crazy hour (hora loca) and added a special request for the individual on stilts to pour shots into people’s mouths from the bottle!
We also brought foam glow sticks for the reception to get the party started right away during the bridal party introductions. We love dancing and having a great time and our wedding went to show that whether you have 150 or 15 guests at a wedding the sky is the limit and you can have the time of your lives!
Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your destination wedding Hard Rock Punta Cana day look? Describe the looks in detail.
Bride: I spent a day with my sisters, mother, niece and bridesmaid to dress shop. We went to 3 different stores to try on dresses, but the dress I ended up purchasing was one of the first dresses I tried on. I initially thought I wanted a crepe material dress that was without lace, and very form fitting and soft. However, after trying on the style dress I thought I wanted, I did not feel like a bride and rather felt like I was wearing a night gown. I had the woman at the dress store pull different style dresses. She took a particular request from my nieces to grab me a dress that was more “poofy” at the bottom. It ended up being the dress I bought! I fell in love with this dress despite it being exactly opposite of what I initially thought I wanted. I always said no to lace, and no to poofy bottoms. I tried the dress on and felt like a real bride.
Garter – I was extremely close with my mommom prior to her passing away from cancer. My family all knew I was devastated to not have her physically present with me on our wedding day. My cousin made me a garter that was extremely special. When I opened with my garter and read the card my cousin wrote me, I cried my eyes out with both happy and sad tears. The lace part of the garter is from my mommoms veil and the satin underneath the lace is from her dress.
Here is part of what the card said from my cousin about the garter: “It is an honor to take a piece of grandmoms dress from the day she committed to love and endure an begin life with grandpop… I know how close you were with her and I know the tears would flow from her eyes if she were to see you walk down the aisle. While this is simply just a garter, think of it as a way to complete your bridal look and smile as you put it on, knowing it is a piece of her and how happy she was on her wedding.”
Groom: This is a funny story. Initially, the groom had picked out a custom suit from men wearhouse which was a brighter blue than that of his actual wedding day suit. Along with this initial suit came a custom vest, on which the back had tropical trees. After selecting the suit, the groom, father of the bride and one groomsman were fitted and their suits arrived in the stores for pickup. However, COVID came about and the other groomsmen still weren’t fitted. The bride finally told the other groomsmen to go get fitted as soon as possible. One of the remaining groomsmen listened but unfortunately when we went to the store, they were informed that the specific suit material/color initially selected was out of stock, as well as the tropical pattern for the vest. They had to start all over with the suit and the next closest color was the one which the groom selected. It ended up coming out perfect and in the end the chaos of selecting a suit was well worth it!
Special Item for the groom – The groom lot his grandmother many years ago. Inside his wallet, he kept a photo of his grandmother so he felt she was present with him during this momentous time.
Taylor also shared some of the details of their love story and magical proposal day with us:
“When Nick and I met, I was 19 and Nick was 22. We worked together at Apple Bee’s for a few years. Nick tried for a long time to hide his crush on me, but I knew what I wanted and I got it.
Despite walking the extra-long way around the restaurant just to pass by Taylor, Nick made it clear that he wasn’t ready for a committed relationship as he just got out of a long relationship. He continued to hang out with Taylor and couldn’t hide the crush he has on her. However, Taylor walked away, because months had gone by and Nick still wasn’t “ready for a relationship”. Nick quickly knew he made a mistake and came back to Taylor, finally ready to commit to getting to know her more seriously. After a whole year of dating went by, Nick finally asked Taylor to be his girlfriend.
Nick’s lack of haste continues to be a theme. You see, he asked me to be his girlfriend on 09/08/13. It wasn’t until 03/03/2018 (yes, 5 years later) that he asked me to Marry him. Throughout those 5 years, we started to really enjoy trying wineries together. The first winery we went to together was “Wagon House Winery” and it became a place we’d frequent. Every time we drove to this winery, we’d be in awe of the beautiful land and homes in the surrounding area and I would always say “One day, we are going to live out here, it’s so peaceful”. When we’d get to the winery, we’d get a glass of wine and play shuffle board. This just so happens to be where Nick ended up proposing. Right before our family cruise, I went out with my mom, niece and sisters to get their nails done for vacation. I came home from getting my nails done and comically told Nick “my nail polish was called wedding cake pink” (It really was). Because I was on spring break, Nick told me he planned a date night to relieve some stress. We got ready and Nick drove us Wagon House Winery. When we arrived, I was taken back by Nick order as he ordered a WHOLE BOTTLE of wine rather than a glass and then looked at me and asked what I wanted, as if he had no plans of sharing the bottle. We sat and talked for a little while at a table, and then the manager came over to us and said “hey, I know you come here often and we just finished our new barrel room. I want to give you guys a first look at it before it’s open to the public. Would you like to come see it?” Of course, I said “Yes!”. She walked us over to the “Barrel” room and when she opened the doors music was playing (Ed Sheeran’s – Perfect) and balloons were hung up that said “Marry Me”. At first, I thought to myself “Awe, how sweet, someone proposed here” not realizing it was for me. Then, I saw a table, full of our photos, rose petal and lit candles. Nick got on one knee and asked me to Marry Him. Some of our family was in the room, hiding and recording it all. It was PERFECT.”
YouTube Highlights video: https://youtu.be/wKWqqa_TCNA
Venue – Hard Rock Punta Cana
Ceremony place: Piano Gazebo, Hard Rock Punta Cana
Cocktail Hour location: Element Terrace, Hard Rock Punta Cana
Reception location: Element Terrace, Hard Rock Punta Cana
Travel Agent – Destination Weddings Expert – Will Medina & Nicole Sanders
Photography – Photo Cine Art, Destination Wedding Hard Rock Punta Cana
Videography – Photo Cine Art
Makeup – Styling Trio
Florist – MercaFlor
Cake – Hard Rock Punta Cana
Wedding Dress – Stella York (Style # 6626)
Veil – Bridal Manor in the United States, Sewell, NJ
Bride’s shoes – David’s Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses – LuLus, dress name: Heavenly Hues Maxi Dress. Dress style #: 304822
Groom Suit – Joe Custom Suit from Men’s Warehouse
Groomsman’s suits – Men’s Warehouse
Groom’s shoes – Blake McKay. Shoe style name: Damon Shoe Color: Cognac
Entertainment – HOTS Productions
Gifts for the guests:
Wine Tumbler – Etsy
Robes – Etsy
“I do crew” Fanny Packs – Amazon
Knot bracelet – Amazon
Engraved necklace – Amazon
Marvel Superhero beer stein with groomsmen each as a cartoon marvel character – Etsy
Massages at Hard Rock Punta Cana Spa
Dress socks – custom made with superhero symbol to match each groomsmen mug (DIY)
Belt – Perry Ellis