Real Weddings: Brooke & Austin

These high school sweethearts were drawn to one another from the get-go. Brooke was taken by Austin’s eyes, while it was Brooke’s personality that wooed Austin. While Brooke was in Aruba on a family vacation, anticipating a brunch for her brother’s birthday, she arrived at breakfast only to find Austin down on one knee, holding a bouquet of red roses.

“It was so perfect and so thoughtful. After saying ‘yes,’ my first question to him was, ‘who is at home watching my puppies?’ This was followed by tons of celebrating and deciding, that day, that we would be married some place tropical,” recalls Brooke.

With some wholesome advice, this investment advisor and boutique manager were on their way to marital bliss. “Don’t stress. All that matters is each other, and as long as you get to say, ‘I do,’ everything else will be ok,” they declare in unison.

A celebration in Punta Cana

Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic, shaped up to be the top choice for their destination wedding. One November afternoon, in the presence of their friends and family, Brooke and Austin made their vows to one another in a secluded private island at Sanctuary Cap Cana. The choice of location spoke for itself, as neither the bride nor groom were big on a having a beach wedding, so they opted for this classic venue that drew in the surrounding vistas of their destination.

“How many brides get to say they married the love of their life on an island? This was the most breathtaking, perfect backdrop to start my life with the most perfect man,” Brooke recounts.

“The fireworks were both of our most unexpected moment. We loved it,” Austin says.

Their celebration in the Sanctuary Cap Cana ballroom, amid shades of mandarin and vibrant island colours, included many tiny details that reflected their individual and shared histories. An Aquarius and Virgo, this match-made-in-heaven enjoyed their first dance to A Thousand Years by Christina Perri, and chose to spend their honeymoon along the soft, sandy beaches of the Dominican Republic’s coveted Punta Cana.

Get their look

Brooke’s gown: Monique Lhuillier.

Brooke’s shoes: Ugg fuzzy flip flops and bare feet.

Austin’s outfit: A linen suit from Men’s Warehouse.

Type of rings: White gold bands.

Jewellery: Diamond necklace, bracelet and earrings.

Bridesmaid dresses: Watters Bridesmaids in mandarin, all handpicked by each bridesmaid to fit their body type.

Groomsmen attire: Linen suits from Men’s Warehouse.

Photographer: Adam Nyholt Photography.

Hair and makeup: Kristie Ann.

Favours: A box of Dominican chocolates.

Old | New | Borrowed | Blue

Old: Brooke carried her father’s wedding band and her grandmother’s wedding band with her the whole day. Carrying these keepsakes on her reminded her that love is never easy, but always worth it. These rings were both symbols of how to make your marriage last through these individuals’ own example.

New: Brooke’s Aunt Kyla bought her an angel charm to remind her that her mom would always be with her, and was there in spirit.

Borrowed: Brooke borrowed her moms’ necklace and bracelet. This had always been her plan for a very long time, and when her mother passed away this piece became even more special to her.

Blue: This was Brooke’s favourite memento. Brooke’s mother had kept so many of the little things from her own wedding day. Brooke added the blue flowers from her mother’s silk bridal bouquet to her own bouquet, adding even more meaning to her walk down the aisle with her father.

Tips for brides and grooms
  • Try not to stress and remember to breathe and take it all in.
  • We would have had a very cookie-cutter destination wedding had we not had the help of a consultant. They made our wedding so unique and perfect for us.

See your wedding photos splashed on! Submit your destination wedding photos to the Wedding Vacations Photo Contest on our Facebook page for your chance to win a romantic trip for two o Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall in sunny Montego Bay, Jamaica! You could also be featured in an upcoming issue of Wedding Vacations magazine