Destination Wedding: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

November 2022, Desirea and Brian got married at the gorgeous, Majestic Mirage in Punta Cana surrounded by 50 of their closest friends and family. Des and Brian have been friends of mine for years and they've been dating since high school. I was lucky enough to be apart of this wedding as a bridesmaid and on the photography end of things. Let's just say, I have been waiting for these two to tie the knot for a long time and I know the rest of their friends and family felt the same way!

In the early stages of wedding planning, Desirea emphasized how important this destination wedding was to her and to Brian. One thing about Des and Brian is they have a core group of people that have supported them as a couple for the last 10+ years. Des takes her friendships seriously and loves hard. I knew being apart of this group meant we'd be in for many memories to be made. Where do I even begin?...This trip was one for the books... from pranking the guys with matching shirts, emotional speeches given by the bride, the father of the bride, the bridal party, lots of shots, and a whole lot of dancing! I wish we could do it all over again.

More below...

On the morning of the wedding, the bridesmaids gathered at the resort spa for full glam and bubbly mimosas; while the guys kicked things off with a champagne pop and big cheers. Desirea surprised Brian with a pin that he wore inside of his suit jacket that had a photo of his late best friend, Fitz and his beloved dog, Bane. The bridesmaids surprised Desirea with a scrapbook filled with sweet memories and well wishes.. It was a heartfelt morning that set the stage for the most gorgeous afternoon ceremony.

Desirea and Brian decided not to do a first look so the first place they saw each other was at the ceremony. It was a short and sweet ceremony filled with laughter and tears.

Following the ceremony we bolted for the resort lobby which featured a grand staircase. It was perfectly shaded and had a cross breeze that cooled us off. Lets just say it was extra warm wedding day.. the groomsmen were the real MVPs in their suits. Once we wrapped up with the portraits, it was time to party!

Can we just take a moment to look at these breathtaking florals created by VLADY_FLOWERS!!! VLady is based in Punta Cana and has been creating beautiful weddingscapes for couples and events in the area for quite some time. I would recommend her business to any couple looking for floral design work in the Punta Cana area in the future. Be sure to give her a follow on Instagram!

Cocktail hour was held beachside at the bar that overlooked the ocean. We took some time to snag some shots of the guests and various groups of people in attendance. Des and Brian mingled for a bit before we headed over to our tropical dinner and poolside reception!

The reception was epic. The night opened up with introductions, first dances and toasts. Just when I thought the night couldn't get any better, we were all surprised with entertainers that came out of no where. They gave us a show filled with choreographed routines and funny skits. I knew this wedding was going to be epic but the stilt walker, drag dancer, and two Dominican Dancers sure put this wedding reception at the top of the most entertaining list.

With all that excitement, the reception eventually came to an end but the trip was no where near over. The next day many guests gathered together for drinks at the pool and played in a very competitive volleyball match- the girls against the boys! There were so many memories made throughout the week.

Having a destination wedding is an absolute commitment but it truly put a new perspective on weddings for me as a photographer, personally and professionally. From a personal perspective, I didn't realize the price point to have a destination wedding is much more sensible/reasonable than throwing a wedding in the states. If your family and friends can swing the travel expenses, it's TOTALLY worth it - again, personal perspective. To be able to celebrate for more than one day with your closest family and friends was truly priceless. I was honored to be apart of Des and Brian's wedding day.

I will be sharing tips, tricks, and all the fun memories made for years to come! Megan and I had a blast with this group and we cannot wait to see what opportunities may arise in the future for destinations here in the states or beyond! We hope to see Punta Cana again soon!! For now, enjoy a little highlight from Desirea and Brian's gorgeous wedding day!

Shot by: Megan

Edits: Jackie (Bridesmaid & Owner, Shore Love Photography)

Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie (color- peacock)