Real Weddings: Caralin & Chris

The early morning commute into downtown Toronto was always Chris’ favourite time of day. Bleary-eyed with an extra large coffee in hand, he would wait in anticipation for the girl with the gorgeous smile. Meanwhile, Caralin couldn’t help but notice the handsome fellow on her daily train ride whose mesmerizing eyes she couldn’t forget throughout the work day.  The story of Chris and Caralin may have started in the most unlikely of places – on board a commuter train – but this rush-hour romance turned into a relationship that went beyond the 9-to-5 daily grind.

Frequent travellers to the balmy Caribbean, it only made sense to Chris that that was where he would ask the love of his life to marry him. The twosome found their way to Puerto Plata, along the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. Venturing off to a secluded beach with a priceless vista of the water, Chris knew that this was the moment of truth.

“I told her how I felt and that life apart would be no life at all. I proposed and she accepted. There [were] more mushy details in between but being there together, where we love to be, made the engagement that [much] more amazing,” he remembers.

Dominican dreams

The sounds of the ocean and the breathtaking view provided the perfect setting for this love-struck pair to say, “I do” in front of 70 of their closest friends and family. Continuing their Dominican theme, the pair held their wedding, accented in a cheery palette of turquoise, pink, purple and green, at the regal Majestic Colonial Punta Cana.

“The location of the ceremony was perfect,” Chris enthuses, “[Blue ocean], the white sand and the gazebo were all great.” Undoubtedly, Caralin’s most memorable moment was, “Saying ‘I do’ to the man I could not live without, surrounded by my most favourite people, palm trees and the sand between my toes.”

After the ceremony, the elated group made their way to the Parrots Bar to continue their celebrations into the night. As a surprise to Caralin, her bridesmaids and friends decorated the reception
gazebo with lanterns, lights and signs, adding to the magic of their tropical nuptials. Never one to miss out on surprising his new wife, Chris had something else planned up his sleeve. After their first dance to Train’s Marry Me and with the help of a few vodka and waters – their signature wedding drink – Chris and his groomsmen enacted a steamy striptease dance for the new bride that, as Caralin recounts, “would be unforgettable…not only for me!”

Paying homage to her Chinese roots, guests took home red sedan chair boxes (which Chinese brides get carried in to meet their groom) filled with lucky candy as favours.

The newlywed lovebirds made their way over to Jamaica where they enjoyed a quiet honeymoon.

Get their look

Caralin’s gown: White tulle, Mori Lee.

Caralin’s shoes: Barefoot.

Chris’ outfit:  A mix and match of various brands.

Bridesmaids dresses: Coral knee-length dresses, Aritzia.

Groomsmen attire:  A mix and match of various brands.

Photographer: Vaughn Barry Photography.

Hair: Majestic Spa and Esthetics.

Old | New | Borrowed | Blue

Old: Pearl and diamond ring (an anniversary gift from her father to her mother).

New: Earrings from Chris.

Borrowed: Veil from Caralin’s sister.

Blue: Underwear.

Tips for brides and grooms
  • It’s so simple to plan a wedding abroad – everything seemed to be taken care of by the wedding planner. 

To see your wedding photos splashed on and for a chance to win a romantic vacation for two, stay tuned to our Facebook page! You could also be featured in an upcoming issue of Wedding Vacations magazine

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The 10 reasons why you need help with wedding planning

By Joe Tuck

Articles about destination wedding tips and trends can give you ideas and inspiration but consulting with an actual wedding expert will be the best decision you can make. While friends and family are great at offering their love and support, a consultant can be of the practical assistance, which will lead to savings in the long run. Here are 10 ways your consultant can help.

  1. Your consultant has an established relationship with the at-destination resort and understands what the in-house wedding planners can provide on the ground. This goes a long way toward managing expectations and seeing that every detail is twice confirmed. Dealing with a resort directly might mean you won’t hear back straightaway. The consultant is a reliable partner who speaks the resort staff’s language, professionally and likely, linguistically.
  1. You’ve chosen the best spot on the beach for your destination wedding but what will you and your guests do before and after the ceremony? Every location has its signature hot spots and activities, and your consultant can hook you up with the best tours, whether it’s an adventure for the whole group or an intimate excursion for two. These safe and reliable tour recommendations can bring peace of mind when it’s most needed. Surprise your bridal party with surfing lessons, or, your spouse-to-be with a jeep tour to swim under a waterfall
  1. It’s the M.O. of a wedding expert to cater to large groups. Taking your wedding abroad means coordinating flights, resorts, and tours for all of your closest family and friends. You might have folks coming along who’ve never been issued a passport stamp and an expert is a great resource to have in your back pocket. Putting travel coordination in the hands of a consultant who can offer a bespoke service lets you focus on the romance and fun parts of a wedding, like choosing the dress and playlist songs for the reception.
  1. You won’t see the fruits of your labour until you arrive; as a result, this once-in-a-lifetime event comes with many questions. What do I have to pay for? What will the flowers look like? Does the beach really have white sand? Is the food any good there? For your consultant these questions are common and they can advise you so that what you want is what you can expect upon arrival.
  1. Plan B. What if there is bad weather, last minute guest additions or someone needs to cancel? Up and to the moment the vows are spoken anything can happen and your consultant can advise you on all the second best options to carry under your cap when the unexpected occurs or things fall sideways.
  1. What to bring/What not to bring. Packing is never an easy task, never mind having to include a wedding dress and tuxedo shoes as carry-ons. You’ll be surprised by what can be provided for at the destination, on or off the resort, so cross-reference your checklist with the wedding consultant and perhaps you can leave the hair blower and curling iron at home.
  1. A destination wedding offers up the chance to party in paradise and it will likely connect you with a different culture. Many couples choose to incorporate elements of the local milieu into their wedding day. While your consultant is connected in your destination, they’ll also be able to give you local referrals in your home town – i.e. a Salsa Dance Instructor or a Spanish language tutor.
  1. Travel brochures are as thick as telephone books and you can go cross-eyed wading through all the choices. Do you want to stay in ocean-side villas or under a jungle canopy; a city-sized resort and casino with all the amenities or a boutique style hotel; island or mainland? Sitting down with a consultant will allow you to talk through what is most important to you for a wedding destination and your consultant will be able to present the best resort options available.
  1. Next to having a baby, planning a wedding always brings with it, loads of advice and suggestions from friends and family. While these words of wisdom are imparted with the best of intentions, having a consultant in your corner is firstly, a reliable filter to run all the information through, and second, they are a third party confidant that can handle your venting about family frustrations without making judgements.
  1. We couldn’t avoid it. The BUDGET. Given the investment of time and money this feast of occasion commands it makes sense that hiring a consultant will lead to long-term savings. The expert can keep your budget in check, help you set realistic goals, let you know about money saving ideas and over expenditures, and present you with options that will save you headaches on what will be a day of no regrets.



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Top 8 “something blue” ideas for your destination wedding

By Natasha Jervis

A destination wedding is one of the most unique wedding celebration styles that a couple can have, but what happens when your special day in the tropics is just around the corner and you haven’t found something blue yet? I know how I was when I was frantically searching for something blue  and unique before getting married on the beach in Mexico last May, and believe me, it wasn’t pretty.

There are loads of ideas that you can use as your something blue, from blue flowers and blue toenail polish to blue hair accessories and earrings. How about mixing things up and breaking free from the same old, same old? Check out these eight unique something blue ideas for your tropical destination wedding.

Anklet or charm bracelet

Many brides decide on earrings with little blue jewels in them. An anklet or bracelet with little blue charms is a bit more untraditional when it comes to wearing something blue on your wedding day. Bear in mind that your gown will probably hide an anklet like mine did, whereas a sparkling blue charm bracelet will be seen by everyone.

Bow tie?

For your man that is. A unique idea is to have your man bring the blue to your wedding day. There are loads of tasteful bow ties out in stores, so you won’t have any problem finding one. The hardest part will be getting your husband-to-be to wear it.

Hair accessories

A popular choice among brides is to add a blue clip or ribbon in their hair. Get creative and be a wild child by placing blue orchids (fake or real) in your hair. Orchids are unique and stunning on their own, so imagine how beautiful you’ll look with one of the most exotic flowers in your hair. For example, for my destination beach wedding, I placed white orchids in my hair and my man loved the exotic style. Be more daring than me and make them your something blue!


We aren’t talking about your dear old great grandmothers 1930s vintage brooch here. If you want to spruce up your wedding dress, you can attach a silver brooch with little blue crystals or if you are part of the more affluent crowd, sapphires.


Your something blue can be something you put on and take off, as long as you wear it at some point in the official ceremony. While you may not want to wear a shawl over your wedding dress in the blazing hot sun, you may be thankful for it afterwards when the temperatures drop and the breeze comes in. You can wear a light blue shawl as you walk down the aisle and pass it to a family member to hold.


This was another one of my simple solutions for something unique and blue at my tropical destination wedding. I attached a piece of blue ribbon around my bouquet of flowers. It was a simple and easy idea, and when my anklet wasn’t showing during the ceremony, my ribbon was.


A blue clutch purse is a unique way to add some blue elegance to your wedding outfit. It is also a smart bride move, as you can keep your “refresher” makeup with you during the ceremony and festivities that follow after.

Wedding dress

Step out of your comfort zone and be extraordinary. Get married in blue! This is a fantastic way to solve two wedding day dilemmas at one time. There are so many blues out there to choose from and in these modern times, women can wed in whatever they like. Your something blue can be you!

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#EPIC wedding entrance songs

By J. Tuck

The destination’s resort DJ can set the playlist for your reception but your choice of entrance song sets the tone for the celebration. Whether it’s a choreographed ensemble presentation featuring the entire wedding party or a subtle, intimate introduction – depending on the locale of your post-nuptial festivity – you can tailor the tune to suit the seaside scenery. Here is a set list-worth of songs to consider for your introduction as newlyweds and the first track to an evening spent dancing in the sand.


♥ La Isla Bonita (Madonna) – Essential lyrics: Beautiful faces, no cares in this world, Where a girl loves a boy, and a boy loves a girl.

♥ Walking on Sunshine (Katrina and the Waves) – Essential lyrics: I feel alive, I feel the love, I feel the love that’s really real / I feel alive, I feel the love, I feel the love that’s really real.

♥ Lovely Day (Bill Withers)- Essential lyrics: Then I look at you, And the world’s alright with me / Just one look at you / And I know it’s gonna be / A lovely day.

♥ Beautiful Day (U2) – Essential lyrics: It’s a beautiful day / Don’t let it get away.

♥ Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours (Stevie Wonder) – Essential lyrics: Ooh baby, here I am / Signed, sealed delivered, I’m yours.

♥ The Way You Make Me Feel (Michael Jackson) – Essential lyrics: I never felt so in love before / Promise baby, you’ll love me / Forevermore.

♥ You’re My Best Friend (Queen) – Essential lyrics: I’ve been with you such a long time / You’re my sunshine.


♥ Shut Up and Dance (Walk the Moon) – Essential lyrics: Oh, we were bound to get together / Bound to get together.

♥ Happy (Pharrel Williams) – Essential lyrics: Sunshine she’s here, you can take a break.

♥ Cheerleader (OMI) – Essential lyrics: She gives me love and affection / Baby did I mention / You’re the only girl for me / No I don’t need no next one.

♥ It Takes Two (Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock) – Essential lyrics: It takes two to make a thing go right / It takes two to make it outta sight.

♥ Uptown Funk (Bruno Mars) – Essential lyrics: Don’t believe me just watch.

♥ Crazy in Love (Beyoncé, Jay-Z) – Essential lyrics: ‘Cuz I know I don’t understand, Just how your love can do what no one else can.

♥ Forever (Chris Brown) – Essential lyrics: Feels like we’re on another level / Feels like our loves intertwined.


♥ Say Hey (I Love You) (Michael Franti & Spearhead) – Essential lyrics: But I know one thing / That I love you.

♥ Praise You (Fatboy Slim) – Essential lyrics: I have to celebrate you baby / I have to praise you like I should.

♥ I Gotta Feelin’ (Black Eyed Peas) – Essential lyrics: Tonight’s the night / Let’s live it up.

♥ Without You (ft. Usher) (David Guetta) – Essential lyrics: All I need is you and I.

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