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Keep Them Entertained: Guest Activities

Some couples are hesitant to ask wedding guests to use their vacation time to attend a destination wedding. If your heart is set on a wedding in a tropical climate, the best way to avoid these worries is to plan activities and entertainment for everyone who attends. One of the many perks of having a destination wedding is there’s much less work required for the bride and groom, so why not take advantage of your free-time in the sun with your nearest and dearest?

Have a beach day

Let everyone know you’re going to be spending the day on the beach and pick a time to meet. This is a great chance to take plenty of group photos. Start a bridesmaids vs groomsmen volleyball game or throw a sandcastle building competition. This is a nice way to welcome everyone to the resort and get your guests to start relaxing, together.

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Plan a local excursion

Before departure, send all your guests some information on tours you’d like to do together. If your wedding guests love to party, why not plan an all-inclusive trip to a local floor show or nightclub? Older guests might appreciate cultural or wildlife tours that let them see all the sites  in comfort. Tours that combine multiple sites and activities usually have something that will interest everyone. Ask your destination wedding planner for recommendations and you’ll easily find an excursion everyone will love.

catamaran party

 

Stay in

Well, sort of. There are many all-inclusive resorts that have nightclubs or casinos right in the property. Why not plan a group night at the casino or create a theme night for dancing? For a night at the club have your guests dress like their favourite rock star or plan a retro night. Give out a prize for the best costume at the end of the night.

Make a date with Lady Luck

 

Quick Tip:

Any events, excursions, or themes you plan for your guests, let them know ahead of time so they know what to pack.Include an itinerary with their invitation and let guests choose whether or not they want to join in.

You know your guests best, if your family and friends all prefer big group events and parties then events like these will be a hit. If you think planning activities outside of the wedding celebrations might pressure your guests too much, a list of fun suggestions of activities and nearby attractions is a friendly and thoughtful touch.

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Real Weddings: Jerome & Lynn

Lynn and Jerome met on a night out on the town. Lynn, a high school teacher, and Jerome, a server, met at the bar where Jerome worked, in Burlington, Ontario. Lynn was out with her girlfriends and recalls their first encounter, “I was attracted to his sense of humour from the very start. His gorgeous eyes, stunning pearly whites, and his attention to detail won me over as well. It was obvious that we had so much in common from the moment we spoke.”

Jerome remembers, “I was certainly attracted to her physical appearance when I first laid my eyes on her. But when we began to talk, I discovered she was passionate about so many topics that I was intrigued. The most important thing I realized was how beautiful she was on the inside as well as the outside…I knew I couldn’t let her go!”

Jerome proposed to Lynn on a gondola in Venice in 2014. They had planned a two-week holiday and Venice was their first stop before taking a Mediterranean cruise to end their trip in Jerome’s hometown of Paris. Jerome knew he wanted to take Lynn to his birthplace as his fiancée and so, just two hours into the vacation – for fear that he would lose the ring – he hastily convinced Lynn to hop on a gondola so he could pop the question!

A Breathtaking Big Day

Lynn and Jerome were married in July 2015 at the Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa in Puerto Morelos, Mexico. The ceremony took place under a bamboo arch decorated with warm shades of orange and persimmon in the company of 34 of their closest family and friends. As Jerome started to recite his vows, Lynn remembers all the guests in tears. “His words were so touching that not one of our guests could hold back their emotions, myself included.”

As Lynn thinks back to her Big Day, she recalls how unexpected it was for her father to be filled with so much emotion, especially when he gave her away to her new husband. “He had a very difficult time containing his emotions during the entire ceremony.”

Jerome’s most memorable moments were when he got to kiss his new wife and seeing her in her bridal gown, “She was absolutely breathtaking.” His most unexpected moment of the day was noticing his last name was spelt incorrectly on the wedding certificate!

The ceremony was followed by an elegant beachside reception where the two shared their first dance to Snow Hill’s Be My Baby.

Lynn and Jerome hope to go on their honeymoon sometime in 2016.

 

Get their look

Lynn’s gown: Delanie gown by Sottero and Midgley.

Lynn’s shoes: Steven Madden stilettos.

Jerome’s outfit: Tuxedo rental from Moores Men’s Clothing.

Bridesmaids dresses: Alfred Angelo in the colour persimmon.

Groomsmens attire: Tuxedo rentals from Moores Men’s Clothing.

Jewellery: A hairpiece made with Swarovski crystals.

Types of rings: Lynn was wearing an emerald cut diamond engagement ring and was given two yellow gold wedding bands made by JB Jewellers in Hanmer. Jerome’s ring is made of Tungsten and includes three diamonds.

Hair and makeup: Beauty spa at the Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa.

Photographer: Lidia Grosso Photography.

Wedding favours: Piñata filled with candies.

Welcome gifts: A pair of flip-flops to change into for the reception, and a tequila bottle decorated with a sombrero.

 

 

Old | New | Borrowed | Blue

What was old? Lynn wore her grandmother’s engagement ring and wedding band.

What was new? Lynn’s wedding gown, stilettos, hairpiece and earrings.

What was borrowed? Lynn wore the same garter belt her mother wore on her own wedding day, exactly 48 years ago.

What was blue? The garter belt.

 

Tips for brides and grooms
  • Do not let people from the outside ruin your day. Do what you want to do.

To start planning a picture-perfect celebration like this, contact your travel agent or connect with an experienced wedding consultant at weddingvacations.com – your inspiration for destination weddings & honeymoons.

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How to Choose Your Wedding Day Fragrance

Many women have a signature scent or a variety of fragrances they alternate depending on the occasion. Your wedding is the perfect opportunity to try something new and pick a perfume that will remind you of the day forever. Whether you choose to wear only this fragrance from now on or only wear a spritz for special occasions, a new scent is a memorable accessory that can sit on your beauty table every day.

Here’s some tips for choosing your new scent:

Don’t stray too far from what you love.

True for a new marriage and picking a perfume. If you typically gravitate towards florals, choosing an oriental fragrance is a bold and perhaps risky move. It’s nice to pick a scent that’s different but with some similar notes so you still feel (and smell) like you but with a romantic twist. Also think about your partner, the vow-exchange is the worst time to find out they hate the smell of patchouli.

Think about your venue.

It might be a nice touch to incorporate some details from your venue into your scent. Having a beach wedding? How about a fresh fragrance with notes of tropical jasmine or exotic fruits? Remember your rustic outdoor wedding with cedar notes or notes that match your bouquet. Ultra-glam affairs deserve matching scents with dramatic notes like ylang-ylang or classic rose.

Scents inspired by venue

 

Professional photos or Instagram-ready?

One of the hottest trends in wedding photography right now is to take a photo of the brides day-off accessories which often includes a shot of the fragrance. While a rollerball may seem like the best option for destination weddings or for stashing in a clutch, if this shot is one of your must-haves you may want to opt for the full-size bottle that’s photo-ready.

Photo-Ready Bottles

 

Don’t forget the groom!

This is a great opportunity to get your partner to switch things up a little too. If he’s not a cologne type of guy maybe opt for a scented product like an aftershave or beard-balm.

Scents for him

 

What if I don’t want to switch?

Well you know what you like and there’s nothing wrong with that! If you still want that special touch many perfume brands release limited editions of most fragrances in the fall and most are the same scent just in a different bottle. If your favourite signature scent is perfect as is, just shine up your bottle and check the ‘something old’ off your list.

Limited Edition Fragrances

 

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A Destination Wedding Scavenger Hunt

An idea we’ve seen popping up around Pinterest is the wedding scavenger hunt. What could be more perfect for a destination wedding? This is a great way to get everyone together and exploring an area they may not be familiar with. You can print out lists yourselves, have them professional designed, or just print ours, then leave the scavenger list in the rooms for guests. This is a great ‘welcome to our wedding’ touch and an interactive way to get everyone to know where all the resort’s must see spots are.

Guests who want to  get to know the group can play together, while those who wish to play in pairs or solo can still join in the fun!

Gear your challenges to the average age group and offer a fun tour or treat as a prize.

We’ve made an easy starter scavenger list to get your inspiration flowing.

ScavengerHunt1

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Real Weddings: Christine & John

Christine and John were the Wedding Vacations Photo Contest winners from Volume 5 Issue 1. The two won a romantic getaway at the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Their story began at John’s birthday bash in 2009. Christine, a support worker for individuals with intellectual disabilities, recounts how John’s vivid green eyes first attracted her to him. However, it would be John’s romantic gesture of sending her flowers on Valentine’s Day while he was visiting family in Portugal that gave her the green light to pursue a relationship with him. For John, a construction superintendent, he cites her outgoing, adventurous, fun and spontaneous personality as what drew him in to her. The couple, who live in Brampton, Ontario, soon learned that they both enjoy spending time outdoors and found common interests in hiking, swimming and travelling. Aside from their love of the outdoors, Christine loves that John is family oriented, “He grew up with his grandparents in Portugal so he has beautiful family values!” 

John knew that his perfect opportunity to pop the question would be on a trip to Saguenay, Quebec, where they planned to go on a whale watching expedition. While on the boat, John hesitated to propose admitting that he thought Christine would “get too excited the ring would drop into the ocean!” Instead, he packed a blanket and headed to the shores of the Saguenay River where the two watched the sun setting and listened to the whales’ song. Knowing it was the perfect opportunity, he chose this moment to ask Christine to spend her life with him. “As if on cue, a Minke whale surfaced and cheered us on with its own water spray! It was perfect.”

Dominican Bliss

A sugar-white beach, fringed by palm trees provided the perfect setting for seaside nuptials for Christine, John and 24 of their nearest and dearest. In a ceremony accented with lavender and ivory, the group came together in Punta Cana in May 2015. Dressed in an ivory tulle Mori Lee gown, Christine walked down the aisle to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”   

As Christine recounts that special day, she can’t help but smile when she thinks about her grandmother walking down the aisle with the wedding party, “She got so excited, she lost her dentures!” she laughs. She also recalls John dramatically dipping her for their first kiss as husband and wife as one of the most memorable – and unexpected – moments of that day. For John, the private beach reception was his favourite detail, highlighting the “first dance with my wife with the sand between my toes, underneath the stars and the moon,” as his fondest memory from that day.

From the aisle lined with starfish, to personalized tags on each of the guests’ seats and colourful sand dollar confetti, the event was filled with many personal touches which added to the enchantment of the event. The night concluded with a ‘Trash the Dress’ photo shoot at the beach, ocean and pool, where even the wedding party and friends joined in. 

Christine and John are planning to travel to Spain, Portugal and Italy for their honeymoon in summer 2016.

Get their look
Christine’s gown: Ivory tulle, Mori Lee.

Christine’s shoes:  Sandals with rhinestones, Aldo.

John’s outfit: White dress shirt with beige linen pants, Club Monaco.

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Lavender coloured Dessy Twist Wrap dresses.

Groomsmen’s attire: White dress shirt with beige linen pants, Club Monaco.

Jewellery: Diamond drop earrings, gift from bridal party.

Hair and makeup: Hair – Anthony Passero, Makeup – Christine Tran.

Types of rings: White gold bands.

Photographer: Eric Jeffers, provided by hotel.

Stationary and invitations: Invitations by Dawn.

Favours: Fans with bubbles and personalized tags.

Welcome gifts for guests: Welcome gift bags with various snacks and toiletries.

Old | New | Borrowed | Blue
What was old? The wedding party provided all the gifts saying, “no one wants something old” and presented Christine with drop diamond earrings.

What was new?  Lingerie from the bridal party.

What was borrowed? Satin robe from the maid of honour.

What was blue?  Undergarments from the bridal party.

Tips for brides and grooms
  • Enjoy every moment; even the moments leading up to the wedding and after. There is no need for any stress!
  • Remember it is about the bride and groom; it’s difficult to please everyone.

Watch for the next issue of Wedding Vacations where the latest winners of our Photo Contest will be revealed.

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Our 10 Favourite Exit Toss Ideas

Brides today are ditching cliché wedding toss ideas (we’re looking at you, rice!) in favour of fanciful and fun ways to walk back down that aisle with the groom in-hand. The exit toss has been a part of weddings since the Roman Empire and the custom is meant to symbolize the newlyweds’ prosperous new life and fertile future. While the exploding bird myth* has been debunked in recent years, the exit toss is still leaving rice behind in a glittery or lavender scented dust. Here are our top ten picks for creative wedding tosses:

*Back in the 1980s, the throwing of rice was actually prohibited in some U.S. states due to a fear that consuming uncooked rice would make birds explode!

1. Mini Beach Balls

Perfect for a destination wedding, we love this fun and photo-worthy idea. Easy to pack and fun to play with, throwing mini beach balls (that can also be personalized to match your colour scheme) is a great way to embrace your theme and add a pop of colour to your wedding pics.

wedding party and beach balls

2. Sprinkles

Cute, colourful and biodegradable, this trending toss idea is a fun way to spread some sweetness. Avoid a melting fiasco by placing the sprinkles in paper cones in the air-conditioning until the ‘moment’ arrives.

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3. Leaves

Throwing leaves is a great way to embrace the season if you’re having a a fall wedding. If you’re tying the knot with a destination wedding, tropical green leaves or eucalyptus are a great way to add a bold bit of green to your photos. The best part? If your wedding is outdoors and there’s a breeze then there’s no cleanup necessary.

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4. Snow

Tossing snowflakes can be a really eye-catching exit. You don’t need to dismiss this idea if your ceremony is on the beach either; opt for fake snow confetti to create the ultimate ‘snow in summer’ look.

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Eco friendly snow from saveoncrafts.com

 

5. Lavender

Give guests packets or cones of dried lavender for a pretty toss with a lovely scent.

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6. Bird Seed

Eco-friendly and tasty for any feathered-friends that may stop by later, bird seed is wallet-friendly and easy to pack into small bags.

birdseed packets

Photo by JacquelynVaccaro. Items available on her Etsy store.

7. Flower Petals

Couldn’t find a flower girl? No problem! Let all your guests rejoice in your union and toss some pretty petals in the air. If your ceremony is in a tropical oasis be sure to request some blooms that grow locally for the toss to give the exit an authentic touch.

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8. Rosemary

Another scented toss idea that will remind your guests of Italian villas, the long and pretty green leaves of rosemary sprigs will look beautiful in the air or in pretty packets.

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9. Push-Pop Confetti

These poppers are just the right amount of messy. Leave one on your guest’s chairs or have a wedding party member pass around these colourful poppers with clear instructions on when to release. We recommend checking with your venue that confetti is allowed because the cleanup can be a bit of a chore.

The Original Push Pop Confetti from Thimblepress

10. Metallic stars

A great option for glamorous weddings or even New Years Eve nuptials, these metallic stars are a great way to make your exit shine.

Golden stars in the form of confetti on white

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Bridesmaid Gift Guide: Destination Wedding Edition

Giving your bridesmaids a thoughtful gift is a great way to thank them for all the hard work they put into your special day. While not necessary, this wedding trend is growing in popularity and can include everything from jewellery to monogrammed leather accessories.

For a destination wedding your girls have to put in a little extra effort in terms of booking time off work and travelling for a few days, so while a gift may not be mandatory it’s a super-sweet way to show your appreciation.

Gifts for your bridesmaids

 

For the beach babes

What could be more appropriate for a destination wedding then gifts they can use during some fun in the sun? Opt for a cute beach bag, flip flops or even monogrammed towels for a fun way to say thanks.

Get out again gifts

Want to give your girls something they’ll grab again and again? Instead of a getting-ready robe why not try items like a cute romper she can wear in the summer (also easy to remove without wrecking the hairdo!) or even a non-sheer beach cover-up. A cute bikini bag is also a great idea for any beach-day or future vacations.

For the travel mavens

Do you have a few members of your bridal party that have the travel bug? Give your girls a travel-friendly gift before take-off so they can use it for your big day as well as on future adventures. These travel-friendly makeup bags prevent lost lipsticks with a unique lay-flat design. In order for your girls to bring their must-have beauty products a stylish set of reusable travel containers are great to keep them travelling pretty.

Small and sweet

There are lots of small mementos you can gift your girls without breaking the bank. These smart and chic mini-emergency kits and compact and are under $25. Reusable tumblers are great for your girls to use during your destination wedding as well as at home for on-the-go smoothies and shakes. Pop in a nail file and a nice nailpolish shade to match your wedding colours and you have a cute and thoughtful gift.

Shiny and sentimental

Give a gift the girls can wear on the day itself and hold-onto as a keepsake for years after the event. A pretty piece of jewellery with a nod to the venue is a lovely way to give your bridesmaids a memento from your destination wedding.

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Real Weddings: Tiffanie & Dennis

Tiffanie and Dennis’ romance started out in an unlikely place, at a Muay Thai class. Noticing the new instructor who was tall, handsome, and had a charming voice, Tiffanie went up to him and introduced herself. Dennis later admits that he was intrigued by her smile, “It was like a little sun. She brightened up any room.” A couple days later, both Dennis and Tiffanie injured themselves that same day in class. At the post-fight celebrations with the gym crew, since they were unable to dance with their injuries, they spent the entire night chatting, “And the rest is history!” says Tiffanie.

One Saturday afternoon, Dennis told Tiffanie that he had a surprise for her and arranged to meet at a downtown hotel. When she arrived there, she received a text telling her to go to the concierge to get her first clue for a scavenger hunt. Tiffanie followed the clues which brought her on a journey through the many memorable places where their romance had flourished. Finally, as she arrived at Toronto Island and found her way to a clearing where they once had a picnic, “I found Dennis waiting there on one knee.”

Surrounded by Love

On a balmy October afternoon, Tiffanie and Dennis were joined by 25 of their closest friends and family for a tropical union at the Royalton Riviera Cancun Resort and Spa. Wearing a beaded, ivory chiffon Amanda-Lina gown, Tiffanie walked down the aisle at the resort’s chapel where the rolling waves of the Caribbean Sea provided the perfect soundtrack. While Tiffanie confesses she can’t name just one favourite detail from her big day, she recalls saying “I do” and the first kiss as husband and wife as her most memorable moments.

For Dennis, seeing his bride walk down the aisle towards him was his fondest memory of the day. “When I saw her, I was overcome by so many emotions,” he recalls, “I didn’t expect almost not being able to recite my vows.”

As Tiffanie thinks about that special day, she recalls the sense of calm that enveloped over her, “I just felt so Zen-like about the wedding… my bridesmaids were shocked!”

The celebrations continued with a reception at Royalton Riviera Cancun’s OPA! Restaurant where Tiffanie and Dennis danced their first dance to Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole’s tropical rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. The rest of the evening was devoted to a delicious menu of Mediterranean cuisine, wedding mojitos, and soulful jazz music.

The couple extended their Mexican retreat with a honeymoon in Cancun’s Isla Mujeres.

Get their look

Tiffanie’s gown: Tiffanie was on Say Yes to the Dress Canada, and she said “yes!” to an ivory chiffon beaded Amanda-Lina dress.

Tiffanie’s shoes: Classic Nine West heeled sandals.

Dennis’ outfit: Custom tailored suit from Empire Customs.

Bridesmaids dresses: They wore their own light pink dresses.

Groomsmen attire: They wore their own dark blue suits.

Jewellery: Stella & Dot.

Wedding planner: Stephanie’s Spirale

Photographer: Marvin Lam from PPB Studio, Toronto

Old | New | Borrowed | Blue

Old: The bride’s veil.

New: The bride’s shoes.

Borrowed: Stella & Dot jewellery.

Blue: A blue purse.

Tips for brides and grooms
  • Enjoy EVERY second because it flies by too quickly, just relax and go with the flow.
  • Share some tasks with you friends; don’t feel you have to do everything yourself.

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Seventh Heaven with Jessica Mulroney

Set on the 7th floor of Toronto’s flagship Hudson’s Bay store, Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay is a glittering oasis dedicated to wedding couture. We met our contributing editor, Jessica Mulroney, of Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay at their elegant Toronto store to learn more about the latest trends in destination wedding bridal fashion.
It’s approaching Christmas when we visit it, the store gleaming with icy white dresses, glistening with intricate beading, silky applique detailing and mother of pearl embellishments. The stuff of every little girl’s daydreams, it is a true wedding wonderland. A sentiment echoed by Jessica, when we sit down and chat.
Surprisingly (or perhaps unsurprisingly depending on which way you view it), one of Canada’s leading stylists – Jessica is currently helping Sophie Trudeau with her wardrobe – took little time selecting her own wedding dress.
“It was actually the first dress I tried on,” she tells us adding, “in reality I was a pretty laid back bride. My mother and mother-in-law were heavily involved and it was actually my husband Ben (Jessica is married to etalk host, Ben Mulroney) who was the groomzilla. I didn’t really want a traditional looking wedding dress. I had an idea in mind and when I saw my dress I knew it was the one.”
Jessica confesses however that had Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay been an option when she and Ben tied the knot eight years ago her shopping trip might have lasted a little longer. “Bridal fashion has evolved dramatically over the past five years. When I got married there simply wasn’t the choice.”

So what are her top picks for destination wedding trends?

In picking her wedding dress, although she may not have opted for a traditional gown, she did make the purchase at a bridal salon, adding, “It was mainly to make my mother happy. We went to a salon in Montréal. When I saw her face as I tried it on, it was worth it, and that moment became significant for us, as it marked the start of my marriage to Ben.”
This emotional connection is one of the things that Jessica most enjoys about her role at Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay. “The picking of the dress, whether it’s together with your mother, sister, auntie, best friend or grandmother, is very much a part of any bride’s journey. It’s lovely when I get to be part of that process and get to know the couple and their family.”
When asked how a bride should plan her outfit for her wedding day, Jessica suggests that this should be one of the first things she thinks of after the ceremony and venue itself. “Once you’ve decided where and how you want to get married, it’s time to pick the dress. For most gowns you’ll need to make an order between nine and 12 months ahead of the ceremony to ensure that there’s time to schedule all the necessary fittings. While the destination you get married in shouldn’t dictate the style you choose, it’s certainly going to affect it, so it’s important that you have a clear vision of your wedding day before you choose your gown.”
So what are the wedding dress rules if you have your heart set on tropical setting? Refreshingly, according to Jessica, there aren’t any.
“Destination is a factor, but you certainly don’t have to dress down simply because you’ve opted for a beach wedding. Not all ceremonies by the beach actually have to take place on the beach. Many resorts have so many different venues that allow you to wear those Manolo Blahniks without worrying. Like the resort we just visited (Jessica recently visited Royalton Riviera Cancun Resort and Spa for our magazine cover shoot) there are restaurants, sky terraces, air conditioned venues – there are options.”

Classic Curves

Dress: David Feldon, style no. 8532 Headpiece: Maria Elena Camilla Pucholt Photography

Classic Curves
If you’ve got your heart set on that traditional wedding dress shape, then this gown by David Fielden is a great option. There are several tulle layers but these are extremely light. The bodice shaping is without excess boning so you won’t feel constricted or overly warm.
Perfect Contrast

Dress: Mark Zunino, style no. 127 Headpiece: Maria Elena Camilla Pucholt Photography

Perfect Contrast
Make a statement walking down the aisle in this striking Mark Zunino gown, the bodice has a flesh coloured translucent back – perfect for showing off that tropical suntan! From the front this look is equally stunning with applique leaves that seem to cascade from the waistline onto the floor-length hemline.
Bare Essentials

Dress: Pnina Tornai, style no. 4348

Bare Essentials
This figure-hugging, strapless, lacy sheath with a sweetheart neckline by Pnina Tornai lets you keep cool and look glamourous at the same time. For extra drama, team it with a lacy batwing shrug that will give a flowing silhouette for your wedding photos.
Sparkling Sensations

Dress: Reem Acra, Im a sensation Shrug: Frascara Bracelet: M Crystal Rhodium Camilla Pucholt Photography

Sparkling Sensations
Sequins aren’t just about holiday party dresses. Why not opt for a lighter fabric embellished with a metallic, sequinned finish like this one by Reem Acra? Each ray of sunshine on the dress will catch the light beautifully, providing a breathtaking centre piece for your wedding photos.
Retro Chic

Dress: Greta Constantine, style Znon Veil: David Dunkl

Retro Chic
Keep it simple, yet stylish with this 60s inspired knee length gown by Canadian designer, Greta Constantine. Made from silk, it has a sleek clean-line look and its soft ivory shade would complement the décor of any destination wedding. Keep it subtle and pair with tonal accessories, or make a statement as our model has done here by adding a splash of colour with these elegant shoes.
Feather Light

Dress: Rosa Clara Bracelet: Corocraft Camilla Pucholt Photography

Feather Light
This elegant, halter neck gown is all about delicate fluidity. Embroidered with intricate beading on the shoulder straps and subtle filigree embroidery on the bodice that gives way to a feathered floor-length train, the design creates eye-catching movement when you walk. Pair it with an understated head piece and a single piece of jewellery – such as this chunky bracelet to complete the look.
Grecian Goddess

Dress: Lanvin Flip flops: Sergio Rossi

Grecian Goddess
The simple folds on this elegant, flowing floor length gown will lend an ethereal feel to your look on the Big Day. Perfect when teamed with jewelled flip flops, you’ll feel cool and confident for your beachfront ceremony.

 

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The best beaches in Puerto Plata

Situated on the north coast of the island facing the swirling seas of the Atlantic Ocean, Puerto Plata is the perfect playground for water sport enthusiasts. With great undulating waves, a perfect climate, and pleasant trade winds, there’s a host of activities to please every kind of water baby – from adrenaline-seekers who surf and kitesurf, to underwater explorers with excellent snorkelling. In addition to some wicked waves, this slice of the Dominican Republic is known for its exquisite beaches, which make for a great spot to while away the day working on your tan or an idyllic backdrop of your picture-perfect wedding ceremony. Say, “I do” with the warm ocean breeze blowing and the sun shining down upon you.

The best beaches in Puerto Plata cater to travellers of all styles and interests. Here is a selection of beaches to dip your toes in, snorkel your way through or just simply while away the hours on some pristine oceanfront stretches of sand.

Playa Grande

Mark this beach as a “Must Visit” when you find yourself in Puerto Plata. Arguably one of the most beautiful beaches in the Dominican Republic, Playa Grande offers sun-worshipping vacationers stunning azure waters on one side, milky-beige sands on the other and backed by a dense fringe of palm trees. Striking cliffs plunging into the ocean depths below, visible in the distance, add to the enchantment of this fairy-tale beach setting. Lovers will delight at this tropical locale which offers picture-perfect backdrops for post-wedding photos thanks to its lush foliage, clean sands and naturally-splendid landscape.

El Breton Beach

A short drive east of Puerto Plata nestled within Cabo Frances Viejo National Park, El Breton Beach, a gorgeous cove, hides away behind swaths of lush verdant forest. For those looking for a beach off the beaten path, this one is the winning ticket. Work up a sweat with a rigorous hike through the park then cool off with a refreshing dip in the ocean. Divers and snorkellers will marvel at a magnificent Spanish galleon shipwreck, which sank almost 400 years ago and displaced so much of the living coral that it gave the new formation the moniker, “Silver Shoals.”

Punta Rucia Beach

West of Puerto Plata, Punta Rucia boasts white sand beaches and gorgeous mountain views. This beach on the north coast a small point that separates the two beaches (Ensenada) is bordered by a large thriving coral reef, which provides great snorkelling to discover a multi-coloured world of marine flora and fauna and is a popular spot for snorkellers. Small eateries line the beach and are convenient addition to while away the day without having to leave. A peaceful lagoon nearby provides the perfect setting for bird-watching.

Cayo Arena

One cannot help but conjure up dream-like images of paradise islands and mirages when they come upon Cayo Arena. A tiny islet surrounded by emerald and sapphire-coloured waters and a short boat ride from the north shore, Cayo Arena brings to mind the paradisiacal landscapes of an oasis island in the middle of the sea. This tiny paradise is famous for its sea bed that is home to a spectacular aquatic world with beautiful coral reef formations and vibrant marine life making it a list-topper for snorkellers.

Cabarete

Surfers, windsurfers and kiteboarders find their true calling at Cabarete, where the perfect mix of constant winds and waves provide the ultimate playground for these aquatic athletes.  Just 20 minutes from Puerto Plata, this small, laid-back spot is also home to the world’s largest kiteboarding competition each year. You won’t want to forget your camera as witnessing these water gliders and their colourful sails in the sky provide great subjects to photograph. Bring along your own equipment for a small fee to catch some of your own waves, or simply admire these daredevils from the shore.

It’s evident that the beaches in Puerto Plata serve up a harmonious mix of silky sands, beautiful deep blue waters, and laid-back vibes. So, no matter what kind of vacationer you are, grab the sun block, your flip flops and your shade, and hit the beach!

 

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