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Dominican Republic Wedding

February 15th 2016 was by far, the best day of my life.  It was not only our 3 year anniversary, it was our wedding day.  We got to spend it with our 10 nearest and dearest in a special place we love, the Caribbean.  I am still so humbled and honored by all the love I am surrounded by.  I truly could not have asked for a better day.

 

Dominican Republic Squishy Monster Wedding

However, leading up to the wedding was a different story.  I was stressed out, to say the least.  I’d heard from tons of fellow brides how fun it was to wedding plan and I can’t disagree more which is funny since I love to party plan for other people.  I knew right away that I didn’t want the focus of my wedding to be about “things” and that I wanted everything to flow organically and be mostly, if not completely DIY.  My own vision for the wedding was super intimate with just a handful of our nearest and dearest basking in the sun and playing by the water.  I did not want it to be pomp and circumstance and figure I probably didn’t all the components of my wedding “right” but it was certainly my version of a tropical paradise.

I made all of our wedding favors and we kept the decorations simple with fresh flowers from the backyard and candles everywhere.  I was and am still so charmed with the idea of the flowers that became my bouquet, all the boutonnieres and the ones we scattered everywhere coming from right outside in the backyard.  They even ended up matching my hanbok!  A plain cake from a local bakery served as our wedding cake with a tiny polymer cake topper of a Korean bride and groom in hanbok too.  For music, we shuffled a playlist of our favorite songs.  I also did my own hair and makeup and sewed my own fingertip veil to match the vintage dress I got from Etsy.  I also opted to go shoe-less which was hilarious to say out loud to the horrified ladies at the first and only wedding boutique we visited.  I’m just glad I stuck to my guns.  I shudder at the thought of what would’ve happened with heels dragging in 2 inches of rain water {more on that below}.

The fact that we even had a ceremony at all was a departure from our first plan since we had initially set our sights on a courthouse wedding for something short and sweet with the money to funnel into a really long honeymoon instead.  Our family’s convinced us otherwise and this was when I began feeling a ton of pressure.  It seemed that everyone had an opinion about everything and I didn’t want to hurt anyones feelings.

It didn’t help that 2 weeks prior to my wedding, the Zika virus made big news {we held our destination wedding in the Dominican Republic} and my wedding dress was out of stock for the foreseeable future.  Needless to say I was panicking, but somehow a calm washed over me a few days before we were set to depart.  I even made a joke that the best thing that could’ve happened was never receiving my first dress pick as the one I did end up getting was one I liked even better.  The guest list included 10 people and we spent most of our days lounging around the pool or at the beach drinking and laughing, just as I’d wanted.  The day before the wedding we even saw a huge rainbow, a wonderful omen my father said {you can even see that actual rainbow in the video}. The weather forecast had been calling for rain all week which had me getting worried again.  My mother took my hands into hers and told me not to fret.  She had a great feeling that when the moment was right, the sun would shine for all of us.

There were just so many amazing and sometimes chilling omens leading up to and on the actual wedding day.  The day before our wedding, we were running a few last minute errands and we ran into a local fish monger who had just come in with baskets of fresh lobster.  J’s father is no longer with us.  Lobster was his absolute favorite.  Later that evening, we sat down to supper and the first song that played was his favorite Bob Dylan song.  That same evening, his favorite whiskey {a particularly rare find} was available at the bar.  On our wedding night, we had a bat fly into the house.  It was the same one that had lingered by our pool snapping up insects by the water.  Bats symbolize death then rebirth.  Similarly, we had a dragonfly that kept landing on J’s mother.  It happened on more than one occasion and they are said to be the symbol of change.  They’re also the keepers of dreams and indicate an understanding of a deeper meaning of life.

On my wedding day, I lounged around in my jammies eating the most delicious pineapple and papaya from our hostess, hanging out with my family and reading cards that everyone had sent up to me.  I didn’t even put too much thought into the tropical rainstorm outside the window.  The rest of my family popped in from time to time to check up on me and asked if I was nervous and strangely, I felt eerily calm and collected.  It wasn’t until right before I was walking down the aisle that I felt my stomach lurch.  I couldn’t believe the day was here and before I knew it, the rain completely stopped and I was clutching my father’s arm.  I held on fast to him and we waded {seriously} through the water that had collected in the aisle but as I walked closer to J, I knew everything was going to be alright.  I tend to get distracted very easily but I couldn’t see anyone else’s face but his and barely heard our friend, the officiant speaking.

The most special part of our ceremony were our vows we’d written to our parents.  As calm as I was, I didn’t think I would cry but lo and behold, a sentence into reading my vows to my mother-in-law, fat tears rolled down my cheeks.  When it came time to read my vows to J, I was just a big ole ball of tears.  I couldn’t believe that I’d been so blessed to share this special day with my absolute favorite people in the entire universe and that I was marrying my love.  Instead of bubbles or flowers, we ended the ceremony with a great big group hug.  I saw it as a symbol for our wedding, a union of all the souls there together forever.  I know that sounds corny but my wedding day was special to me for so many reasons beyond the obvious.

Dominican Republic Squishy Monster Wedding

From the moment we stepped foot off the plane, the love was tangible, palpable…clear and strong.  When reservations for our wedding rehearsal fell through {I had totally forgotten that it was Valentine’s day for the rest of the world} the group pitched in to create a wonderful impromptu home cooked meal for all of us.  I was brought to tears several times throughout the trip for all the love that I felt.  I won’t ever forget that feeling.  The love emanating from every single person there to not only us but to each other was a delicious high that I’m savoring even now.

Dominican Republic Squishy Monster Wedding

We even lucked out with the sweetest photographers, @asiapimentelphotography Asia and Niko were so lovely to work with and Asia even took time to mend my bouquet and helped with decorations!  After the ceremony, they led us to a private beach to shoot our family portraits and capture our newlywed shots.

Dominican Republic Squishy Monster Wedding

I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have had my father walk me down the aisle {who also played his harmonica to songs he wrote himself during our reception},

justin_angela_asiapimentelphoto-233-L

but also to have a wonderful mother who’s always been with me every step of the way, two amazing “baby” brothers to laugh with – one who sang and played his guitar for our first dance to “Wild Horses” by The Rolling Stones {another one of J’s father’s favorites} and another who captured every last moment of our wedding week on camera, with the sweetest new sister and mother a girl could ask for and a steadfast man who is strong and true.

I thank God for loving me so well and allowing me to have the best wedding day I couldn’t have even dreamed up.  I’ve never felt so much love rushing in all at once.  I feel so incredibly blessed to be surrounded by the love of my family and adding to it with the love of more amazing people.  I will never forget the many hands that made our wedding possible and have exponentially grown my love back a million fold for all those special folks in my life.

Thank you for being part of my journey.  Next stop on our adventure?  Moving to St. Croix!

You can find more pictures on my instagram 😉

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6 thoughts on “Dominican Republic Wedding

  • brian says:

    YAY Congrats!!! glad it all worked out well and u did it mostly the way u wanted. yep- many people forget weddings are for the couple and not themselves when they offer advice. it is a time for Love and not materials to shine thru. God bless u 2 for many years 2 come! 🙂

  • Louise says:

    Congratulations Angela to you and your new hubby:)

    Your wedding sounds like a fairy tale even including a rainbow! I think it’s hysterical that you went barefoot but, I LOVE it! I wish I had back in the day:)

    Everything sounds so romantic and loving Angela, congratulations may you have a gaziilion years of pure bliss and happiness…Thank you for letting us share your days:)

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