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New York Wedding Planner

Choosing To Have a Destination Wedding

Luther and I are right in the middle of heavy planning for our October wedding this year. When I say we are in the middle, I mean we are literally in the thick of it and it has been quite the experience! Contrary to popular belief (everyone thinks it must be SOO easy since I'm a planner) it hasn't been that easy. I can't even imagine how difficult it is to plan such an emotional event without any context on how the industry works. Now more than ever, I can attest to the true value it is having a planner that can help you think outside of the emotional tornado that planning a wedding can be.  That being said, I know quite a lot about this industry and even with this knowledge and industry friends who have helped me guide, this planning stuff can be pretty overwhelming!

While in the middle of the harsh reality of planning such an emotional event, one of the questions Luther and I have recently been asking ourselves has been, 'Why did we decide to have a destination wedding?' To be fair, we immediately answer the question and realize we would have asked the same thing regardless of where we were doing it. It is true, if we decided to do it in our home base of New York City things would be easier, but then again, they would also be three times more expensive and I have this odd feeling it would feel like work for me..... (insert shrug emoji)

Either way, I started thinking about the reasons why we decided to have a destination wedding and how we finally settled on our dream venue. I like thinking about these reasons, especially now when things are a bit foggy in the planning department, to remind me that we made the best decision for us. So I've decided to help all of my fellow bride and grooms to-be, help identify the reasons why you might be planning on jumping on a plane and having a wedding adventure! I hope these tips help!

Choosing To Have A Destination Wedding, Tips To Help You Decide!

Choosing To Have A Destination Wedding, Tips To Help You Decide!

Figure Out What You Don't Want

Luther isn't a fan of my 'Don't Want' list of making decisions but I find it easy to see the available options that I 'Do Want' once I've removed all of the things that I know I won't. Some people may say this is a negative way of looking at things, but I disagree! Thankfully, Luther and I both did not want the same things. Neither once of us wanted to get married in our home towns or get married in New York. We wanted all of our guests to have a completely different experience from what they were used to, which ultimately led us to looking at places away from our home base. We also knew that we didn't want to have a beach wedding which surprised everyone when we told them we'd be doing it in the Caribbean!

Find a location that means something to you both

We settled on the Dominican Republic for several reasons. The obvious? My family heritage is Dominican and it holds a very special place for me, which is very much true. But more importantly, we visited Dominican Republic on our first official trip as a couple just a month before we moved in together. We learned so much from each other on that trip! Not just the standard 'this is how you travel' kind of knowledge, but the kind that leaves you sitting at the beach in the middle of the night talking about your childhood and the people you want to become. One of the best memories I've ever had was there. So Dominican Republic was really a no brainer. It was the logical place to bring the people we love to a place that held such an important place in our hearts.

Think about Your Ideal Guest Count

This was hard for us guys! But having a destination wedding meant being able to get a lot of people on a plane and we knew that sadly it would involve some of our family and friends not being able to make it. This was a hard well known fact for us and we really had to sit and think it through before we decided on moving forward. Keeping that in mind, we also knew we didn't want too large of a wedding. Intimate for us meant about 50-75 people which is feasible counting our family members that we know will absolutely be there. Keeping you posted on how that turns out in October!

Finally, Think About What You Do Want

I went full circle here. After we thought about all of the above we got into the REAL fun stuff. Everything that we wanted our wedding to feel like let alone look like! Neither Luther or I are huge beach goers but we visited this little private island off the cost of Dominican while on vacation, and fell so deep in love, that we really want to treat our guests to that experience. So that is on the itinerary. We also really, REALLY love Dominican food so teaching Luther's family the culinary traditions and experiences that I was raised with, is going to be very special for me. And finally, being able to say I Do to my forever dance partner in the middle of our favorite little piece of paradise, is a definite Want on my list.

Choosing To Have A Destination Wedding, Tips To Help You Decide!

Choosing To Have A Destination Wedding, Tips To Help You Decide!

I hope this helps friends! Is anyone else planning a destination wedding? If so, let me know so we can share notes! We're right in the thick of planning and although it has been fun and exciting it also is very blurry and overwhelming. So let's be study buddies!

Ah! Also, my dress if from JLuxLabel. And our engagement pictures are by my sweet friend Mikkel Paige. Because sharing is caring.

xo

Ashley

A Beautiful Cultural Clash in Brooklyn : A 501 Union Wedding

On a day like today, last year, I had the pleasure of enjoying a cultural phenomenon that was this wedding. A Mexican groom, married his Russian bride, and all of the majority of their guests traveled from all over the world to witness their nuptials. The incredible part of this experience wasn't just being part of this beautiful culture clash, it was the fact that we planned this wedding in less than a month! Just a few days shy of hiring me, the couple each received notice from their families, that their parents received their visas and were allowed to travel for the wedding. So with just a few weeks to really put it all together, right before the Holidays, I had to really bring in reinforcement and man did they deliver.

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Lucky for me, the bride had her dress. Knowing in advance that the planning process would have to be pretty quick, our beautiful bride went ahead and purchased her gown a few months before the date was even set. As she described it, "elegant and modest" and perfect for the Holiday season.

Fun fact: The groom is the owner of Michelle Star restaurant, Casa Enrique! It was through the restaurant that the couple met and through it, that they met their florist and long time friend, Carlos from Floresta NYC. So these blooms, were done with love and a friendship that had been blooming for years. 

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Hands down one of my favorite bridal portraits to date. Ayenia caught the most perfect moment and my feelings for it has not changed once. 

Katia & Luis had a traditional Catholic ceremony in the most beautiful church located right outside of Long Island City. They opted to not add additional decor to the already decadent church because the Holidays had supplied more than enough!

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Their 501 Union reception was perfect. Incredibly, easily just perfect. The day before their nuptials, we were hit with a massive snow storm that left us with many cold days to follow. Luckily, this Brooklyn venue was the warmest place to be that night and the musical entertainment did not disappoint. From a 25 piece Mariachi band, Russian games to get the crowd going and a Champagne tower to start off the celebration, we all forgot about the cold night that existed outside these doors.

A very special thanks  to everyone that worked tirelessly to make this event possible! And a Happy Anniversary to our love birds Katia & Luis!

Planning/Design: Dulce Dreams Events | Photography: Ayenia Nour Photography | Videography: GT Modern Creations | Venue: 501 Union |DJ: Aldo Ryan |Florals: Floresta NYC | Catering: Dish Food & Events | Beauty: Beautini