As a wedding photographer in Colorado, I photograph a lot of destination weddings. Colorado is considered an absolutely beautiful location (which it truly is!) so a lot of couples come here to get married. However, sometimes those of us that live, breathe and love Colorado every day want something different for their wedding day. For Luke and Bailey, that meant treating themselves and their families to a vacation and celebration together with a Dominican Republic destination wedding.
But let’s start from the beginning. Bailey and I actually a few short years ago. She was a bridesmaid at her sister’s wedding at Baldoria on the Water. I had lost touch with everyone after the wedding when Sterling joined the Navy, moved to San Diego, and started medical school. This all happened pretty much in a few months time. I was absolutely elated though when I heard from Luke and Bailey that they were getting married. I knew that everyone loved Sterling’s photos and wanted me to capture their day for them and be their wedding photographer.
Destination Wedding Photographer
As a destination wedding photographer, I travel a lot and the Caribbean is practically a second home for me. I’ve visited the Florida Keys, Cozumel, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Bonaire. Now I get to add a Dominican Republic destination wedding to the list! When it comes to destination weddings, there are a couple of vendors that I highly recommend bringing with you instead of hiring locally. That is wedding photographers and videographers. The photos and footage from the day are irreplaceable and will be the only thing that will outlast the day. When it comes to traveling to other countries, especially outside of the US, it’s great to have a photographer you trust. It’s important to have vendors with you who speak your language, know exactly what is important to capture on your day and will be back home to deliver the photos to you.
The Joy Is In The Journey
Back to Luke and Bailey’s Dominican Republic destination wedding. It wasn’t just about the day. The entire journey was an experience and memory in itself. My second photographer, Devon, and I flew on the same flight with the bride and groom and probably ½ of their family. The Southwest flight attendants really took care of everyone and had the whole plane celebrating the couple, congratulating and wishing them the happiest of weddings.
Once they were on the island, their resort, Majestic Mirage of the Majestic Resorts, took care of everything. They made the trip seamless and enjoyable for everyone. From the airport transportation to the sunset cruises and rehearsal dinner. When you book an all-inclusive resort wedding is that you know that all of your guests, family, and friends, have everything they need and could possibly want! The rehearsal dinner was like a family reunion with both sides getting to see family they hadn’t seen in years. It was also the first time some of them got to meet the other side of the new family. I loved that all the groomsmen showed up in their favorite beach shirt attire, including, one that matched the resort’s curtains!
So after a few days enjoying all the activities, pools, food and beaches that Majestic Mirage has to offer, it was finally Luke & Bailey’s Dominican Republic destination wedding day! As is typical in the Caribbean, it was a beautiful, warm, sunny day. While the ladies were meticulously doing hair, makeup, nails, and other beauty regimens the guys were… drinking. Lol! I mean they did get ready and shower but I think that was 20 mins of pictures. Thanks to my second photographer Devon for getting some fun shots of Luke in the shower (in swim trunks!) as a gift to Bailey! 😉
A Dominican Republic Destination Wedding Day
We made sure to have special moments with Bailey’s mom, dad, and sister helping her get dressed and putting on her jewelry. Bailey even had her mother’s belt wrapped around her wedding bouquet. After she was dressed, we had her and Luke exchange their letters and read them out loud. Then we found a pretty hedge outside for the two of them to reach around to hold hands and pray. I love that they got to enjoy a quiet moment together before their ceremony. It was so beautiful to witness. I absolutely love when my couples lose themselves in the moments of the wedding day and really take in all the emotions.
Then it was time for the wedding! It was on the beach in a gorgeous gazebo overlooking the water. Both Bailey’s Mom and Dad escorted her down the aisle to give her away. I love the expressions on everyone’s face when she arrived at Luke. Those tears quickly turned to happiness overrun with pure excitement. The couple was fist-pumping their way down the aisle! Afterward, I MacGyver-ed my way onto a beach towel bin to get a group shot of everyone. After 30 mins of portraits around the picturesque beach and resort, they were ready for a party!
Oh, and a party it was! This was an amazing party! Everyone, regardless of which “side” they flew in to see, was dancing, singing, drinking, and sharing memories. I loved Bailey and Luke’s coordinated first dance and the touching slideshow from their youths. It was so fun to see everyone enjoying the handmade rolled cigars. Then, their friends played guitar while everyone circled around to sing. I don’t think anyone from that night could remember every detail but it was certainly a night they would never forget.
Up For Anything
But guess what? Even after an epic wedding day and night, these two weren’t slowing down. They were game for anything. Even when that meant getting all dressed up again the next day to go take more pictures! Luckily, Devon and I got there a few days early to location scout. We found the perfect virgin beach near Punta Cana. I hired a driver for us and went to a few areas. We played on a sunny, gorgeous beach so these two could have some photos to themselves. The buildings next to the beach also had colorful murals that made for vibrant, romantic portraits.
We had a little more time for photos so I had a great idea to try out. I had brought a wedding dress of my own for Bailey to borrow and we did UNDERWATER WEDDING PHOTOS! IN THE POOL! Both Devon and I are scuba divers but Devon actually has an underwater housing for our big cameras. With her camera and my point and shoot, we ended with these spectacular bride and groom portraits underwater photos. Luke and Bailey were complete naturals underwater. Most people can’t romantically kiss and swim underwater all the time lol.
The Fun Never Ends
There’s another bonus to bringing in your travel wedding photographer with you, at least for me. There really isn’t a time constraint like you have with traditional weddings. These bonus days are included in my destination wedding photography packages. I am so grateful that these two gave me the creative freedom and jumped in feet first on all my suggestions. It really shows in the photos from their wedding journey.
Alas, it was time for us to return home, but Luke and Bailey stayed an extra week to “honeymoon” longer in the Dominican Republic. I think their family is already trying to plan more trips back as a group since it was such a wonderful experience for everyone. Of course, I’m so glad that these two can relive their wedding day over and over from the story their wedding photos tell. Congratulations to Luke and Bailey! Mr. & Mrs. Fiegl!
Amazing Dominican Republic Destination Wedding Vendors
Dominican Republic Destination Wedding Venue: Majestic Mirage Punta Cana
Dominican Republic Destination Wedding Photographer: Katie Corinne Photography