A guide and editorial commentry on planning a Punta Cana beach wedding. Photos and tips from Barcelo Palace, Bavara Punta Cana, a luxury resort in the Dominican Republic. As told to Stephanie Be and experienced by TravelBreak contributor, Nicholl Vincent.
– What is a Destination Wedding?
– Where is Punta Cana?
– Why have a Punta Cana beach wedding?
– Punta Cana Weather
– About Barcelo Palace in Bavara Punta Cana
– General Destination Wedding Tips
– Destination Wedding Deals in Punta Cana
– Beach Vacation Packing List
The Dominican Republic is so nice, I’ve done it twice. When I was approached with an opportunity to learn about experiencing and planning a destination wedding in the Dominican Republic, I was ecstatic. I may not be engaged myself, but a very special blogger I know is!
Introducing my friend Nicholl, a Colombian-American, New York based lifestyle blogger. Nicholl and I met on a press trip in St. Kitts, when she ran a fashionable blog which she has since discontinued. With a passion for story-telling, I invited Nicholl and her fiancee to document planning a destination wedding in the Dominican Republic, on behalf of TravelBreak.
As told to Stephanie Be, in Nicholl’s voice, please note our reasons for ringing bells in the Caribbean.
Born into a generation that prefers experiences over belongings, I’d always dreamed of a destination wedding. Perhaps, if I’d been raised in another time, my priority would be a local wedding where those who raised me could easily attend.
Maybe if I was an entirely different person, with different experiences, wants and needs — I would still want that today. But truth be told, when Zuzu proposed … I wasn’t sure if I wanted a wedding at all.
I’m so happy and so content with our lives, that a wedding didn’t seem like an upgrade. A wedding can come off as another massive to-do list. Yet a part of me appreciates the opportunity to honor and celebrate who we are as a couple — and that we have chosen one another for the rest of our lives.
In short, the word “wedding” gives me anxiety. I’m not much of a planner of anything … except for travel.
And so the call for an international ceremony came into play. We hadn’t originally romanticized the idea of a destination wedding — but rather love the simple facts: bringing our family and friends on a trip and tying the knot.
Pictured, Nicholl Vincent learning about a Punta Cana beach wedding.
What is a destination wedding?
Typically, a destination wedding is thought of as a tropical, exotic or resort location wedding. Destination weddings in the Caribbean are very popular — particularly, the Punta Cana beach wedding.
Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic
Where is Punta Cana?
A trendy resort town, Punta Cana is on the east coast of the Dominican Republic. It faces both the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s less than four hours in flight time from New York or Atlanta … and only a 2.5 hour flight from Miami. Punta Cana is hot and not just because of the weather — but because of the accessibility!
Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic
Why have a Punta Cana Beach Wedding?
If you’re considering a tropical getaway in the the DR’s most beloved city, consider these perks:
– Short transit time from several US major cities
– Great weather most of the year
– White sand and turquoise water beaches
– Ranked a top Caribbean Beach by US News
– Ranked a top Affordable Caribbean Beach by US News
– Offers competitive all-inclusive packages
– Top golf destination
– Offers adventure (hikes, waterfalls etc) for getting past resort life
– All U.S. citizens with a valid passport, can get a visa on arrival — easy for busy wedding guests
Nicholl and her fiancee Zuzu, pictured learning about a Punta Cana beach wedding.
Punta Cana Weather and the Best Time to Travel to Punta Cana
Punta Cana has a tropical wet and dry climate. Moreover, it fluctuates from 70 to 90 degrees! The best time to travel to Punta Cana (and have your destination beach wedding) is in the spring. From late February to early June, expect the best warm weather, and the least beach showers. However, if you’d like to make the experience more affordable to your guests, March to November is the low season and booking all-inclusive packages gets cheaper. To completely dodge the hurricane season, go no later than May.
Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic
10 Reasons for a Punta Cana Beach Wedding with Barcelo Bavaro Grand Resorts
As we learned a little on where and why to have a destination wedding in Punta Cana, we became engrossed with details on managing and booking the experience through Barcelo Bavaro Palace.
Barcelo Bavaro Palace – Perfect for a Punta Cana Beach Wedding
Not only are we attracted to all of the general perks of a Punta Cana beach wedding, but no matter where we have a destination wedding, we’d love to have the experience arranged. Consider these advantages:
1. An expert, local, bilingual team to do the planning.
First and foremost, working with locals through a venue tackles that intimidating wedding to-do list. Everything is planned for you! From decor, to food, the cake — to photography and videography — you’ll have a wedding planner through the resort event group. You get to just show up and enjoy the holiday with the people you love.
2. Exploring different venue options.
Perhaps you’re going doing a Punta Cana beach wedding for a secluded vow exchange at sea. However, you could also opt for a modern rooftop overlooking the ocean. Alternatively, in the shade of tropical tress, in a breezy bamboo cathedral in an air-conditioned banquet room with ocean views — or a combination of any of those. We discussed countless options with our host, Barcelo Bavaro Grand Resort.
3. Effortless Transit
Not only do we reap the rewards of a short flight, but the resort will pick you up and drop you off. It’s only 20 minute drive from the airport. This is something guests will greatly appreciate … and ensure that more of them can make it.
4. Easy All-Inclusive Packages
The price is clear when you book the hotel, food and drinks together. Leaving the planning to the wedding planner and don’t create any more work for your guests. With full service bars everywhere you look, your guests too can relax with Mama Juana.
Iconic of a Punta Cana Beach Wedding, the Dominican Republic
5. Experience Diversity
Aside from immersing into Dominican culture on any given adventure, guests can appreciate an assortment of culinary experiences. Barcelo Bavara Palace hosts a variety of restaurants including Japanese, French, Mexican and a steakhouse. Your guests have options and that’s always appreciated.
6. Indulge in the Spa
Whether you’d like to get your hair and makeup done with your bridesmaids, or need a wellness day with your mother-in-law, it’s just a little better when shared with an ocean view.
7. Extend your trip for a Romantic Rendezvous
If you’re going to fly to a destination and organize a trip, you may as well make your time count! Fly in early for a couples’ massage or stay extra to sink into a hot tub together.
A bubble bath, sunset and champagne with my life partner? Yes please!
All non-motorized water sports are included as part of your stay. A little kayaking, snorkeling, and paddle boarding allowed us to be active and have fun. We spent hours out at sea on a catamaran and it was hands down, my favorite part! You can bring your guests together for activities and competitions.
Nicholl and Zuzu in Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic
9. Take Group Excursions
End your Punta Cana beach wedding with a splash. Organize a post-wedding day-trip to swim with nurse sharks and stingrays. This was another trip highlight! We also did the Booze Cruise… it was a blast!
10. Overall Affordability
Lastly, U.S. weddings can add up. Your dollar goes farther in the Dominican Republic, and the quality of your luxurious, adventurous experience is well worth the difference.
We are still on the hunt for the destination where we’ll say our “I do’s”, but we really want to take our time, enjoy the journey, and use this opportunity to travel to as many places as we can before finalizing our decisions. Our trip to the Dominican Republic is one we will never forget! We definitely recommend it for a Punta Cana beach wedding.
Big Thank You from TravelBreak
In summary, a note from Stephanie Be, TravelBreak Founder and editor.
In closing, we’d like to thank the Barcelo Bavaro Palace for hosting this trip. I’d like to thank Nicholl for sharing her experiences on contributing to TravelBreak. For those of you that may recall from a previous blog post, I met Nicholl on a press trip in the Caribbean (a blog she’s since discontinued). When I spontaneously moved to New York last year, I desperately needed to find a Manhattan apartment. Nicholl moved in with her then-boyfriend, now-fiancee Zuzu’s apartment, so that I could sublet her apartment. It was one of the sweetest gestures I’ve experienced! AND from a friend I had only briefly met while traveling. Who knew I’d one day be able to invite her to be a TravelBreak guest blogger! Travel is my very favorite gift to give, and to share this with Nicholl and Zuzu was very special to us all.
See the full TravelBreak Beach Packing Lists for Men & Women
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