couple posing by "LOVE" sign

Dazzling Dominican Republic Wedding


September 30, 2022
Words by Jessie Allen
Photos courtesy of Beloved Agency

While hosting a wedding in the Dominican Republic immediately appealed to Isabel and Anthony, it was not the white sand beaches or the island vibes that compelled these college sweethearts to make it happen. The desire to be close to the bride’s family and honor her roots while enjoying a getaway with loved ones is what ultimately led the couple to say “I do” in the DR. Read our interview with the couple below to get all the insights into their dazzling wedding!

Why did you choose to do a destination wedding?
A: Isabel:  “I’m a first-generation American. My parents are from the Dominican Republic and a significant portion of my family is still on the island, so I think we always knew we wanted to get married there so that Anthony’s family could experience DR and its people and so that it would be easier for my family to be a part of this big day. That was very important for me. Although immigration allows people the chance to pursue dreams and the chance to provide a better life for their families, there are a lot of sacrifices. My family in the DR has missed out on most, if not all, the major milestones in my life – just like I have missed out on a lot of theirs, so I wanted to make sure this was not a milestone my family missed. I wanted us to welcome and celebrate this new chapter in my life together.”

Q: How/why did you choose the location/destination? Did you run into any issues specific to this destination and how did you resolve them?
A: Anthony: “We wanted somewhere in the DR where there would be enough accommodations for our family and friends that would be traveling, so we knew we would likely have it at or near a resort. Isabel remembered hearing about Casa de Campo over the years as they were the place for several high-profile weddings so out of curiosity we looked up the resort and fell in love with the images and the venue options. We didn’t want a beach wedding, so we loved that Casa de Campo had venue options aside from the beach.”

Isabel: “Also, I grew up watching telenovelas and most of them end in a beautiful church wedding where the protagonists walk off into their happily ever after. I wanted a venue with that level of romance and drama.”

Q: What helped you the most in the planning process?
A: Anthony: “Having a wedding planner that was knowledgeable, responsive, and patient. Neither of us has done this before, and we hadn’t attended too many weddings, so we needed to be guided through the process very thoroughly. “

Isabel: “In addition to having a phenomenal wedding planner, being on the same page with Anthony and having him as involved in all of the decision-making was so helpful. This day was about both of us and so having him engaged in the planning allowed us to split the workload and allowed both of our visions to be represented where possible.

Q: Did you include any do-it-yourself projects in your wedding/reception? If so, please describe them.
A: “We had our seating chart sign which was designed by my sister, and we got it professionally printed in Punta Cana for the reception. My garter was made by my Godmother so that was very special. And lastly, my sister designed a wedding itinerary for our guests to pick up at check-in (since we had events across two days at various locations). This way, our guests had something to refer to that wasn’t on their phone if they found themselves without WIFI or cell service.”

Q: Do you feel you spent more or less money by choosing to do a destination wedding?
A: “We feel we spent more due to the fact we chose Casa de Campo. There are a lot more affordable wedding venues in the Dominican Republic which would have allowed us to spend less, but we loved the accommodating full-service experience Casa de Campo offered us and our guests.”

Q: Any special advice you can offer?

  • Secure a wedding planner that’s local or knows your chosen destination well and that is responsive.
  • Although nowadays we can make things happen virtually thanks to zoom and other similar platforms, we found it very helpful to budget time and money to visit your wedding planner and destination in person. It was so reassuring and helpful to do a proper in-person walkthrough and tasting.
  • Give your guests enough notice to prepare for travel.
  • Ensure you have a way an appropriate way to communicate with guests so that you can relay important information and so they have a forum to ask questions.
  • Lastly, consider a way to welcome guests, whether it is a simple itinerary or a welcome package with goodies like sunglasses or candy at check-in.

Vendors: Photographer: Beloved Agency; Wedding Planner: Deborah Leonardo; Ceremony Venue: Plaza Chavon at Casa de Campo; Reception Venue: Altos de Chavon Amphitheatre; Florist/Decor/Design: Johnatan Moreno of Caribbean Celebrations; Lighting/Fireworks/Entertainment: Ana Pereyra of Altos de Chavon Amphitheatre; DJ: Komari; Stationery: Zola & Paperless Post; Cake: Casa de Campo; Makeup: Jina Morales; Hair: Vanesa Travieso; Gown Designer: Essence of Australia; Gown Shop: The Bridal Room; Groom’s Clothing Designer: Suits by Holland; Bridesmaids Dresses: The Dessy Group; Groomsmen Tuxes: Menguin; Photobooth: Soy Photobooth; Recommended by: World’s Best Wedding Photos

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