Rustic, Romantic, Chic, Isabel & John! Hard Rock Punta Cana Destination Wedding.

“I didn’t fall in love with you.

I walked into love with you, with my eyes wide open, choosing to take every step along the way.

I do believe in fate and destiny, but I also believe we are only fated to do the things that we’d choose anyway.

And I’d choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality,

I’d find you and I’d choose you”

We met at work, we joked and chatted for over five years before I even knew he was interested.  One evening, after happy hour with some other co-workers and a number of beers later he finally confessed.  He claims he had known for years and that I had been giving him vibes that I felt the same way (in fact, he had told a colleague three years earlier that he would marry me some day) but it wasn’t till that very moment that I realised that I liked him too.   What happened next cannot be described with words, we fell in love before we even started dating.  Everything just clicked, instantly and completely and we knew almost immediately that we were going to spend the rest of our lives together.   

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The Proposal 

Ah…the proposal!  Well, we booked our wedding before we were officially engaged so John had to figure out a way to re-introduce the element of surprise to an inevitable situation.  He told me he didn’t want to do it on an obvious date/time of year because he wanted to catch me off guard.  We booked the wedding in October 2015 and he purposely allowed all of the next major dates (Thanksgiving, my birthday, Christmas, New Year’s) to come and go without proposing.  He then suggested we go to NYC for the weekend of his birthday, to do a joint celebration of our birthdays which were 4 weeks apart.  Mother Nature conspired against our plans and a snow storm forced us to cancel that weekend, then a number of prior engagements made it so that the next available weekend for us would be towards the end of March.  We planned our trip, he got a beautiful room overlooking Times Square and amazing tickets to the upper deck of the Empire State Building and I thought to myself “this is where it is going to happen!”.  There were a number of moments I cringed with excitement and nerves anticipating that when I turned around, he would be on one knee…but that moment didn’t come.  There were a number of moments that weekend, a number of them, and then I remembered what he told me about wanting me to be surprised and I made peace with the fact that maybe this wasn’t the weekend.  We continued on with our adventure in the City and loved every minute we were there- when it came to an end and we were packing up to leave the room, I was admiring how beautiful and busy NYC seemed from our all glass wall facing Times Square.  John hugged me from behind as he normally does, he kissed my head and whispered in my ear “Babe, I love you so much…will you marry me?”, this was a question I had heard countless times before, we would ask each other that almost on a daily basis so I simply answered like I always did when he asked…”of course my love”.  He then said “no babe, I’m serious, will you marry me?” as he pulled on my hand.  When I turned around, he was on one knee, with the box displaying my beautiful ring…and I lost it.

 It was just him and I, with NYC on our backdrop, it was intimate, beautiful and completely unexpected.  It was perfect.     He will tell you I went into shock; I took the wrong elevator, walked into the men’s bathroom, and later walked into a bench. (I did, all of it☺ )

The  Planning

Just three words describe the vision I had for my dreamed wedding:  Rustic Romantic Chic.  We had 95 guests and  we wanted to find a venue that would offer the best possible stay for our guests, many of which had never been to the Dominican Republic nor spoke the language.  Hard Rock was the perfect match for our guests and staying on resort seemed like the most practical for a group our size.  Everyone had nothing but raving reviews about their stay and the HRPC Wedding Department (Katiusca specifically, the woman is an angel) and the entire Staff made us feel like we made the right choice.

We chose a 6pm ceremony because I had always imagined how dreamy it would be to have a Sunset wedding…and it really was.  My decorator and her team did a wonderful job in executing our vision & Mother Nature did the rest.  The weather was perfect; the sky was absolutely breathtaking and the pops of dark purple and orange against the beautiful sky with its array of pinks and orange hues was truly more than I could have ever asked for.

 The reception was truly where Valeriya Serigienko and Maria Yakusheva outdid themselves.  Tons of Orange roses, hydrangeas, succulents; elements of gold/ votives with candles, branches and greenery. I was in love with every single element of that ballroom; it was as if my vision was brought to life.  It was rustic, romantic, chic and elegant; there were pockets & clusters of beautiful décor everywhere I turned…it was my real life fairytale.  And please let’s not forget my gorgeous cake, I changed my mind so many times when it came to the cake that I finally let Ana (owner of Cake Studio Bavaro) work her magic.  I felt very comfortable giving her creative license to do as she pleased because the woman is a Cake guru; the cake was not only beautiful but it was delicious!

Enjoy this wedding as featured in The Trendy Bride


Dream Team Vendor List

Travel Agent: Cherie Peninger

Wedding Coordinator at Hard Rock Punta Cana: Katiusca Arache Rodriguez

Decorator: Valeriya Serigienko (Val’s Wedding)

Photographer/Videographer: our DREAM Team- Asia Pimentel & Nikolay Chernichenko

Hair/Makeup:Anna Nuet ( & Jazmin Abad Brito (

Fire show/Crazy Hour/Cold fire: HOTS Productions

DJ/Lighting/Dancefloor: JSAV – DJ- Michel & MC: Jehison Cabrera

Cake: Ana Bello from Cake Studio Bavaro

Photobooth: Rented via Hotel

Boat Excursion (Farewell event):  Sanael Caribbean Boat