Leticia & Reed's Dreamy Island Wedding
Posted 17 June 2008 - 02:40 PM
Having a destination wedding was the BEST decision Reed and I ever made regarding the wedding. Many people questioned our decision and tried to make us have a local wedding, but I'm so glad we stuck to our decision. Here's my overdue recap with some non-pro pics.
Wednesday, June 4th
Reed & I woke up at the crack of dawn to prepare for our journey to Punta Cana. We drove to pick up my MOH, Susie, because she was going to park my car at my motherâ€™s house while we were out of town. I arrived to her house at 6:30am. When I stepped out the car, I saw Sue crying. I thought something was seriously wrong. It was, sheâ€™s afraid of flying. Here I am getting ready to leave for my DW, and my MOH is crying because sheâ€™s afraid to fly. I gave her a big hug and said â€˜Trust Godâ€™. She calmed down and we drove to the airport.
The check in went well and the kind customer service agent did not charge me for my overweight wedding luggage. The flight to FL was ok. I was shocked when the stewardess told me the can of Sprite was $3. But I had to get itâ€¦ sistah was thirsty. When we arrived to Ft. Lauderdale, we walked right to the next gate to get on our connecting flight, which was already boarding. We saw Reedâ€™s mom & aunt when we boarded the plane and had seats right next to them.
When we arrive in Punta Cana, we were greeted by the locals dressed in their typical culture attire and the melodic sounds of the band playing salsa. We went through customs in a breeze and paid our $10 tourist fee. We took a picture with the ladies dressed up in their garments and headed to the tourist bus for our transfers to the resort.
Along the drive we saw how poor the natives were. There were some small shacks and clothing hanging on the trees to dry. We noticed the land which had dry grass and the horses & cows ribs were visible. The drive was long & bumpy, about half way into the drive, the storms began. We saw some buildings being built that looked VERY nice. The homes are made of concrete and you can purchase a condo for about $50K.
When we arrived to the resort, I was impressed when I saw the main lobby. Itâ€™s an all open air lobby furnished with wicker furniture, marble floors and a bar. Everyone seemed friendly. We went ahead and checked in and were greeted with a cold glass of champagne.
We were given room 2317 and my MIL 2315. When we got to the room I was NOT impressed at all. They gave my MIL & Reedâ€™s aunt a king size bed. They immediately requested to be moved because they requested a double bed room. They were moved to 2123 and it was much better, even though my MILâ€™s bed fell in later that night. They came and fixed it right away. I voiced my concerns to the front desk about our room. It was not up to par and there was a spider hanging out on the ceiling (which was too high to knock down). They tried to move me to another crappy room and I advised them that I was getting married on Saturday and I have 18 guest rooms booked at 32 guests bringing $ into the resort. The manager moved us to room 1307, a Master Suite. It wasnâ€™t the top of the line Honeymoon suite, but I did have a spectacular panoramic ocean view and two balconies. The smaller balcony had our table & chairs and the large balcony was about 2xâ€™s the size of my bedroom and was completely private. We had a Jacuzzi and beach chairs on the balcony and were able to see the beach, ocean and the stars at night.
When I unpacked, I noticed my centerpieces were all broken. I was sad for a quick second, but I refused to let anything damper my wedding weekend.
That evening, we toured the resort and headed down to the World CafÃ© for dinner. The food was very good for an AI resort. We saw a wedding on the evening of our arrival, and I saw Juliana, the wedding coordinator in the hallway of the downstairs lobby. I introduced myself and Reed and we scheduled our appointment for 9:30am the next morning to go over the details.
Posted 17 June 2008 - 02:41 PM
We woke up and attended breakfast at the World Caf© with my MIL and Reedâ€™s Aunt D. After breakfast MIL and Aunt D went to meet with Cecil, the tour guide operator to confirm our return transportation to the airport and Reed & I went to meet with Juliana. She was so pleasant and easy to work with. She had me complete the wedding request form and asked me questions regarding the ceremony & reception. After we made our selections for flowers & dinner, we viewed the terrace that we selected for the reception. I was planning on having an indoor reception because it was so hot. Reed then told Juliana he wants it on the Himtsu terrace and there will be no exceptions. He made the perfect choice. We went to the terrace & went over the layout. Juliana then walked us down to the gazebo and went over the setup. While planning, I wanted all the seats to be setup under the gazebo, but when we got there we decided to only have six seats under the gazebo for the parents & those who helped raise us. Since we wanted to have a relaxed atmosphere at the wedding, we didnâ€™t set up the normal seats in rows. We requested that the guest seats surround the gazebo.
After our meeting, we decided to take a walk and ventured outside of the resort. We walked to the local vendor market and saw the locals selling their goods. My MIL loves arts & crafts. She purchased some figurines and small trinkets and we returned to the hotel to await the first set of guests that were due to arrive. First, Reedâ€™s best man showed up. He checked in and was given room 8106, which was in good order. My father was due to arrive next, but after hours of waiting, he didnâ€™t show up. My mother, MOH and some co-workers arrived next. I began to get worried because dad hadnâ€™t shown up or called. I thought something happened to them on the long, bumpy road to the resort.
I got upset, nervous and very emotional. I went to my room cried & fell asleep, hoping Iâ€™d hear something soon. Later that evening we were getting ready to head to dinner and Reedâ€™s phone rang. It was my dad. There was something wrong with the plane in Miami and they didnâ€™t have another flight out. They had to stay in a hotel room overnight and catch the next flight out the following day. They were stuck in Miami with nothing because the airline couldnâ€™t locate their bags. I was upset for them, but at the same time I felt much better knowing where they were and that they were okay.
We went to dinner with the guests at the World Caf© and called it a night after that.
Friday, June 6th
All of the remaining wedding guests arrived at the resort on this day. I was having my day of fun in the sun and was at the beach and the pool all day. My friends Dave & Jennifer entered a Paellas contest on the beach and won! They got some pesos to spend at the resort.
Later in the evening, we had our Welcome Gathering. Now, Iâ€™m not a dress or skirt person. I bought a black, white & green tea dress for this event and must say I was rocking it! Reed matched me in his white linen pants & black shirt. When we arrived at the event, all of the guests were there cheering us on & clapping. We said our hellos and introduced the families. After knocking back a few drinks, we walked to Bordeaux for dinner. Since the resort does not take reservations, we had to wait about a hour to be seated. We waited on the patio outside the restaurant, overlooking the ocean and had some more drinks. When we were finally seated, we had a wonderful meal. Some of the guests even ordered whole lobsters and bottles of wine. Everyone had a good time. After dinner Reed & I went back to our room for some beauty rest. Yes, my hubby said he wasnâ€™t taking the free room they offered him for the night before the wedding, so we spent the night together.
Reed & Kevin taking a shot at the Welcome Gathering
Posted 17 June 2008 - 02:43 PM
WEDDING DAY !!!
Reed and I woke up early in the morning and headed to the World Caf© to meet our families for breakfast. I was excited, yet laid back. I didn’t want to get too nervous, so I told myself I would relax and enjoy the day as it comes. At breakfast we were greeted with lots of hugs and kisses. I could feel the excitement of the day in the air. I dressed in my ‘bride’ shirt & some capris. We took pictures before we left the breakfast area and then I headed for the spa.
My hubby treated me to a Heavenly Body spa package and I sure did have a ‘heavenly’ time at the spa. I checked into the spa at around 11am. I indulged in the hydrotherapy tub, which was MARVELOUS.
My first treatment was a Full Body Exfoliation. I was a bit scared to get it since I had slight sunburn and didn’t want to break out before the wedding. But it was well worth it. She scrubbed my body with the mango scented salt scrub for about half an hour and I took a cold shower to tighten & firm the skin. Then I had a Full Body Massage. It was so good, I fell asleep. Next up was the facial. I just felt a lot of cold, wet stuff and rubbing. I was nothing like the facials I’m used to getting, but it was nice. After the facial, I went for my manicure & pedicure. The service was good, the only two complaints I have are that they don’t have a dryer or fan to dry the polish and the water for the pedicure was COLD. But they did a sea salt scrub and a mud wrap on the legs and feet during the pedicure. The final treatment was my hair. I got a wash & blow dry with styling. Now, I LOVE Dominican hair salons and usually go to them for my hair treatments & maintenance, so I was in heaven with the salon. I showed the beautician a picture that I printed and she went to work. I had to ask her to use the big curling iron, because the small one would have taken too long, but everything turned out wonderfully.
I left the spa at around 4:00pm and headed to my room to get my gown & wedding accessories to change. The coordinator was kind enough to reserve a treatment room for me to prepare for the wedding. My room was in building 1 and was a whole 8 minute walk from the main lobby and I didn’t want to be a hot & sweaty bride. I went to my room and there was a bottle of champagne & fresh fruit waiting for me. My stomach was in knots so I didn’t have any of it. I called my MOH and told her I was ready to go. A few minutes later my MOH & mom were at my door we gathered my things and headed to the spa.
When we arrived at the spa we were given room #1 to get dressed. It was kind of small for three people but we made due. I unpacked my stuff and not even 5 minutes later, Misti, the photographer was at the door. She took a few shots and then headed over to Reed & the best man’s room to get some pictures of them. I put on my undergarments and started to apply my makeup. When Misti came back she said that Kevin (the best man) was in the shower and Reed was standing in the room like ..duhhh. I was getting headed. Why was Kevin in the shower after 5:00? The wedding was starting at 6pm. I finished up my makeup and started to get dressed. I was NOT going to wear a garter, but my MIL said I should since it’s only a once in a lifetime thing. So I put on the garter and had my MOH drown my legs in Gold Bond power to help ease the sweat.
Soon after I was almost dressed, Juliana came in the room with my bouquet. I asked her is everything was ok and if the guests liked the music. She said what music? My dear hubby forgot to give Juliana the Ipod with the music. I told him she had to have it early in the morning and of course, he waited until the last minute. I told Juliana that I had gospel music on there that should be playing as the guests were being seated and waiting for us. My MOH said she preferred my DIY bouquet, so I asked Juliana to us the one she gave me as table d©cor for the reception. Juliana left and told me she will be right back.
I finished getting dressed and my dad walked in to get me. He saw it was crowded and quickly left to wait in the spa lobby. Misti took some pictures of me heading out of the room and then left to cover the gazebo and get some guest pictures. I entered the spa lobby and was greeted by my dad. The receptionist gave me a chair and I bottle of ice cold water. I sat right under the AC vent so I could stay cool while I was waiting. After about 10 minutes, Juliana came and got me for my long walk to the gazebo.
Posted 17 June 2008 - 02:45 PM
Posted 17 June 2008 - 02:46 PM
The ceremony went so quickly and was so beautiful. I had not written my vows until that afternoon. I wanted to speak from my heart, but decided to jot something down just incase my emotions got the best of me and I couldnâ€™t get the words together. We prayed, remembered our loved ones, declared our intentions, exchanged rings, said our vows, did the sand ceremony and jumped the broom all within half an hour. It went by so quickly. When Juliana announced us, I was at awe. My smile was ear to ear. But the best part was hearing my husband say â€˜You look so beautifulâ€™ right after we jumped the broom.
Posted 17 June 2008 - 02:47 PM
After the ceremony, we took a few group pictures and headed down to the beach for our photos.
My DIY makeup shot
The reception was very nice. I was disappointed that I couldnâ€™t use my centerpieces since they broke, but Juliana did a good job setting up. There was a minor set back. My cake stand was being used to hold the cookie favors. LOL I had my MOH handle it and Juliana fixed it quickly. We had the first dance as soon as we entered, and gave the guests a shocker. We started out with Brian McKnightâ€™s Love of my Life and I edited the song and added Buju Bantonâ€™s I Wanna be Loved. It was true to us to incorporate some reggae tunes into our first dance.
I wasnâ€™t planning on doing a bouquet & garter toss, but it was important to my MIL to have some tradition, so we did it and it was actually FUN. Especially since Aunt Debbie caught the bouquet & Kevin (the Best Man) caught the garter. It was so funny to see their reaction because they were going at it during the trip. Aunt Debbie had threatened to beat Kevin for misbehaving a few times before the wedding. LOL
After the fun festivities we danced the night away.
Posted 17 June 2008 - 02:48 PM
The resort provided breakfast in bed at 9am for us. We actually ended up back at the restaurant eating with the guests. Some of them were leaving this day and we had to say our goodbyes. Aunt Debbie was able to arrange a tour bus for our group to tour the city of Higuey. It was great to get out and see how the locals lived. Many of them are very, very poor. We saw small concrete homes on the drive to the city. Children were asking for money and hard workers, working on the farms.
When we got to the city, we were impressed. They had some very nice condos and shops. We stopped at two local souvenir shops and then went to the Basilica. Sue & I went to the bathroom and I was in shock. Glad I only had to twinkle, because the toilets were just bowls, no seats and the water did not flush. They only turn the water on once a day to flush, so you had to pee on top of pee. There was no running water to wash your hands. There was a bucket and a bowl to get water & rinse your hand. After this experience, Iâ€™m so grateful that I live where we have access to sanitary facilities. Oh yhea, and Billy the goat was hanging around outside the bathroom pooping.
Shopping in Higuey
Condos in Higuey
We took this picture on the balcony that we had the reception at after dinner.
Monday, June 9th
Flight back home â€¦ boooo
I wanna go back to Punta Cana !!!
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