Tropical Elegant Destination wedding at Jelly Fish Restaurant Punta Cana

Boy version about their first meet up:  We were both living in South Florida when we met where you’re not supposed to meet– a bar– and talked about everything you’re not supposed to talk about, like religion and politics.

Girl version about their first meet up:  Chad was just back from traveling around the world and had so much knowledge about art and politics. My sister and I decided to go out for a quick drink when a Russian guy started talking to her. They found out that they were both at the same college studying the same major. His friend was kind of standing there so I asked him if he was Russian as well. He laughed and said no and when he had a hard time telling me where he was from because he moved around a lot as a kid and had just came back to the US after traveling the world, I was intrigued.  We ended up talking and laughing until 5 am.  Six months later, we moved to New Zealand together.”

After being together for six years, we were on vacation in Queenstown,  New Zealand for New Year’s Eve and had dinner at Botswana Butchery, a beautiful restaurant next to the lake.  After dinner, we walked down to the shore of the lake to await the fireworks. Right as the clock struck midnight and the fireworks were about to go off, Chad pulled out the ring and popped the question. Evelyn said yes and we kissed under the fireworks at the lake. We then celebrated with a bottle of Veuve Cliquot at a great little cocktail bar nearby.

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Enjoy this wedding as featured in:  Intimate Weddings

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About our wedding:

We had a very hard time choosing the country in which to get married.  We live in New Zealand and have family across the United States, in the Dominican Republic, and in London so we knew that everyone would have to travel to get to our wedding. We looked at venues in New Zealand, Spain, Italy, New York, Florida and a few spots in the Dominican Republic. We settled on the Dominican Republic (Evelyn’s father is Dominican) and were looking at Las Terrenas in the Samana peninsula, but thought it would be harder for people to travel there. So we decided to see what options were available in Punta Cana. Not wanting a resort wedding, where you could be one of several weddings in a single day, we decided to see what we could find outside of the resorts. That’s when we found Jellyfish. The venue blew us away. Since we weren’t able to travel there ourselves, we relied heavily on photographer’s blogs and facebook groups dedicated to off-resort Punta Cana brides. We chose it over other venues in the area for its rustic, open, breezy feel right on a gorgeous beach. It felt more removed from the crowded beaches elsewhere in the area. It is beautiful and the food and drinks were so good, which is very important to us. We had a very specific vision and didn’t want anything that looked cliche or part of a package. The two on-site decorators did a great job executing our vision. We didn’t have to worry about a thing.

We both love the beach and the tropics. We wanted color but not what you’d typically think of for a beachy theme such as seashells and starfish. We wanted something rustic but colourful. The colours we chose were inspired by the sea and flowers in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. The theme was focused on sea glass, bougainvillea, driftwood with accents of gold.     The majority of the colour came from bougainvilleas together with pink and white roses representing our loved ones who couldn’t be there with us.  The pale pink roses incorporated throughout  were important to Evelyn, whose grandmother used to draw them on handmade birthday cards before she passed away. To keep the rustic feel, we also had some pale green leaves incorporated throughout. The bougainvilleas were twisted along a big piece of driftwood which hung above the long table and used as a table runner as well.  It was amazing.

About my dress:  The Dress from Bridal Gown by Bridal Designer Kimberly Day, Wellington,  New Zealand.
I originally bought a dress from a bridal gown shop in Las Vegas early on in our engagement. Advice to future brides: don’t buy your dress until you have your venue and date booked. We had a long engagement and by the time we finally set a date, I fell out of love with my dress. It was beautiful, but my style had changed and I wanted something more ethereal and delicate.   I worked with someone whose wife specialised in making bespoke wedding gowns so I decided to have a consultation with her. I immediately knew that she would take my vision and make it a reality. The whole process was so personal and so much better than buying something off the rack. It fit perfectly to my body, we chose the right fabrics for the weather and the humid, salty, sandy environment and for travelling with my dress halfway across the globe. I was able to add things and take things away as we went. If you can find a good bridal designer, do it.

About our vendors:

Cake: Anna Bello of Cake Studio Bavaro   We wanted a simple cake which matched the rest of the theme. We knew we wanted fresh flowers on top. Our cake designer used gold paint on the outside, leaving a brushed edge, giving it that rustic look we wanted. We also had cupcakes with gold sprinkled on top.

Photographer:  Asia Pimentel Photography – Our photographers were the best! Asia and Nikolay felt as though they were old friends and we really enjoyed working with them. They are so passionate about their work and they take a lot of pride in what they do. They compliment each other so well and we couldn’t have been happier with our choice.

Venue: Jellyfish Restaurant, Punta Cana
Officiant: Fairy Tale Endings
Hair and Makeup: Jazmin Abad Brito  (hair for the bride, mother of the bride, maid of honour and makeup for the mother of the bride)
Accommodation: Dreams Palm Beach
Stationery: Designed by the bride and printed by Service Printers in Wellington, New Zealand
Music: DJ Ariel Perez
Travel Agent: Sharon Kopp, Barefoot Bridal