Thursday, January 24, 2013

stephanie + richard | gran bahia principe cayo levantado - samana destination wedding

I am lucky to be able to say that I've seen a lot of beautiful places. I've spent my fair share of March Breaks in Florida with my family, seen the East Coast with Beans' family, and of COURSE, ventured to the DR and Paris for wedding related festivities. 

But there is something to be said for places of luxury...places that look more like screen-savers than real life. 

And the Gran Bahia Principe in Cayo Levantado (AKA "Bacardi Island") is one of those such places. When Stephanie described the resort to me over an iced coffee at Starbucks, it sounded like paradise. And when she told me that her wedding date fell only FIVE DAYS after Joelle's wedding in the DR, I took it as a sign that I needed to attend and photograph this one. 

Switching resorts by myself was an experience in and of itself...but seeing this beautiful place and witnessing Stephanie and Richard's wedding day, was worth it about 20 times over. 

So what do you do when you wake up on the morning of your wedding and it's pouring rain?

You change into a bikini and get outside, silly! Some photo-ops are worth having to re-shower...

And while the girls monopolized the pool, the men played around by the beach! 

(Is this one of the perks of being a destination 
wedding photographer? I think so.)

This is one of those moments where the guys make a suggestion for a photo and you just have to go "SURE, LET'S DO IT!" ...and then when you're editing, you actually kinda like it. 

Back in Stephanie's bridal suite, the girls were doing the usual girlie things: curling their hair, applying some last minute nail polish, toasting the bride-to-be, you know 

Stephanie made the sashes for her girls' mint coloured bridesmaids dresses. I swooned over them all day. 

And how cute is this 4-tiered wedding gift from the ladies in Stephanie's family -- one gift for each of the something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. 

I cannot get enough of this handmade fabric wedding bouquet that Stephanie made... It reminds me of the ENDLESS hours I spent hot-glueing fabric flowers for my own wedding bouquet!

Stephanie and Richard opted for a first look (LOVE them for this!), and their reactions were so sweet...

Everyone loves a teary-eyed bride... :)

After the first look, we took off for some poolside photos. One of the best parts of doing a first look is getting prime lighting (& ALONE TIME!) to do photos of just the bride & groom. 

Umm...I just died. Stephanie -- this has to be one of my favourite bridal portraits EVER. 

Stephanie and Richard chose the garden terrace for their wedding ceremony, and with the blue blue sky, the sunshine, and all the palm was simply perfect.

Fans to keep the guests cool during the ceremony...too cute. 

For the procession, I was told it would be just like "Titanic." Obviously for a movie-freak like me, there was no other explanation necessary. How cute is it that the groomsmen picked up the ladies and brought them to their spot at the front?!

Officially MARRIED!

A couple family portraits :)

I love that Stephanie's family brought this vintage umbrella as an heirloom for some photos. I think we decided it was late 19th century? That could be wrong, but looked beautiful :) 

Have you ever seen a better looking wedding party? These people made my job SUPER easy. 

Just your everyday (but intense) game of tag on the beach... :)

Oh the sunset...

After the sun sank behind the clouds, we made our way to the private reception for speeches and dinner and cake... 

When the father-of-the-bride starts to get emotional, I lose it. 

First dance as husband and wife...

Stephanie, Richard -- what can I say?! Thank you so much for the opportunity to share your special day in PARADISE. 

I am positive that I'll be back to that resort, so if you're thinking of taking an anniversary trip, let's talk!! ;)

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