The scenic Dominican Republic, with it`s white sandy beaches, aquamarine waters and laid back atmosphere is the perfect choice for a destination wedding. In choosing the Dominican Republic, many typical worries for a wedding couple can be easily checked off the list:
- Photo Backdrops – every corner is gorgeous.
- Entertainment – beautiful beaches, exciting excursions and breathtaking nature is all guests need to enjoy their free time from the main event.
- Big Day Anxiety – even the pressures of the most important event in your life will begin to fade the moment you arrive in this Caribbean paradise
- Planning – many of the Dominican Republic's resorts specialize in weddings, so you can outsource all the “headache” to the experienced professionals
Whether you choose to hire a wedding coordinator or not, the following these tips will help plan a wedding in the Dominican Republic.
1. Best Time to get Married in the Dominican Republic
November through April is the ideal time to wed in the Dominican Republic, just skip the common holiday seasons like Christmas, Spring break etc. While June through October is viewed as hurricane season, the probability of a hurricane is very low. However, keep in mind that during this season it is more humid and an unexpected rain may affect your ceremony.
2. First Steps
After enjoying your engagement, one of the first planning elements is when and where. That is where the wedding venue comes in. In the Dominican Republic, try to book at least 6 months in advance. Establish a budget and roughly decide on the wedding guest list. This will help you narrow down venues. Once the venue is selected, couples can move forward on selecting other vendors (if needed) such as a wedding coordinator, photographer, DJ, or florist.
3. Wedding Packages
Research can be overwhelming, but take the time to compare different offers and packages from your favorite venues before making your final decision. Pay attention to what is included in their wedding packages. There can be many perks depending on the number of the rooms that you book for your stay:
- free breakfast for your guests
- free spa treatments for the bride and the groom
- rehearsal dinner
- complimentary rooms
4. The Ceremony
In the Dominican Republic you have the choice between a religious or civil ceremony. Keep in mind that they are not able to conduct religious ceremonies on the beach. Also if your ceremony is not just symbolic, you will need to bring relevant documents, complete the local paperwork and find two witnesses with valid passports. You can review the requirements here.
Photographers capture the magic of your special day. Selecting a great photographer could be one of the most important decisions. To help ease the selection, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I like their style? (Check out their portfolio, website and comments)
- Are we on the same page? It is important to feel comfortable with your photographer, given they will be sharing this event with you.
6. Guest Entertainment
Many venues have tour agents or companies who are able to organize guest excursions. If not, you can always make a list of fun activities such as snorkeling, hiking, horse riding and zip lining etc. to share with your guests.
It´s amazing that you are already in paradise so you don’t have to travel anywhere for your honeymoon. Just keep in mind that some of your family and friends will use the opportunity to stay a bit longer. If wanting an intimate honeymoon, you may want to change resorts.
Ask your venue if they provide dry-cleaning services for the wedding dress, tux etc. If not, arrange a cleaning service to do that for you in advance.
Opt for a light comfortable dress for your beach ceremony. You don’t want your dress to limit you while you gracefully walk on the sand towards your beaming groom.
All the advantages that high heels offer on solid ground turn into disadvantages on the sand. Greek style sandals or bare feet are your best friends and will add some romance to your style.
11. Beauty Tips
If you are able to arrange a hair and makeup trial prior to the event, it may put you at ease. If not, try to provide your beauty vendors with as many details and examples of your desired look beforehand.
A wavy hairstyle for your beach ceremony is hard to resist. It would look fabulous on a calm day - though keep the wind in mind. Just think about a fallback option and don’t let your hairstyle ruin your day.
A live band is the best ambient music for your big day. It would not hurt to ask the band to send you some of their recordings or find comments about them. In any case prepare your own playlist.
Rid yourself of unnecessary troubles by shipping gifts and prepare thank you notes in advance.
15. Wedding Surprise
Merengue is a very popular dance in The Dominican Republic. Learn a few steps as a couple or maybe with the maid of honor and the best man and amuse your guests who may dare to join you in the process.
Whether all the plans pan out or not, don't stress. The most important element to concentrate on is the here and now. Live every moment to it`s fullest. This day is worth remembering in detail.