Beach Wedding in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
A Beach Wedding in a tropical paradise. It is the very epitome of romance.
Balmy nights, beautiful sunsets, lovers walking hand in hand along a white sandy beach. What could be better? Taking said scenario and adding those famous words “I do.” Getting married is a magical event in and of itself, but getting married in paradise…well, I can think of few things better!
The marriage of Christopher Marshall and Basia Porczyk took place at 3 pm at the Majestic Elegance Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Between the creamy silica sand beaches with its unbelievably turquoise water and the gorgeously lush grounds of the venue, it was a dream location.
Majestic Elegance Resort, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Majestic Elegance Resort reception, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Sven and I arrived at 11:30am to meet with the bride and groom respectively. We knew we were in for a visual treat the moment we stepped up to the reception. The hall was airy and immense, adorned with rich wooden beams that formed elegant geometric patterns across the cathedral-size ceiling. The wood, we were told, is called Wengué (or scientific name Milettia Laurentii) and was brought directly from Europe by the architect. An enormous copper and green stained glass chandelier hung at its center juxtaposed against a gleaming marble floor that ended at an equally decadent cascading staircase. Translucent marble back lite by amber lights framed the reception desk. Wow. And this was just the entrance!
It was 30 degrees C and the sun was shining despite rain and thunder storms being in the forecast. Apparently, Basia’s contagious smile and sunny disposition can influence even the weather! Just as the heat became noticeable, a smiling waitress appeared out of nowhere and offered us a frozen mango colada rimmed with raw sugar and a refreshing ocean breeze swept across the room. I kid you not.
I looked at Sven and he at me as we read each other’s minds–we have got to do more destination weddings!!!
Basia’s honeymoon suite was not disappointing. It exuded luxury. We kept cool while getting ready with champagne and a spread of local fruit almost too beautiful to eat. Marzena, mamá de Basia, accompanied her along with the maid-of-honor, Bonny-Lynn Russell, who was herself accompanied by “Baby Russell” who has not yet made his debut outside of Bonny-Lynn’s belly. Marzena got the party started by surprising Basia with a gift that led to tears, a beautiful diamond studded watch, and the next hour was passed ooohing and aaaahing over how beautiful Basia looked with the addition of each ornament added to the ensemble. Basia and her mom looked over albums of photos of Basia’s childhood that she had brought from home and before long it was time for Basia to sneak away and meet her future husband.
The couple had decided to meet with each other before the ceremony. We blindfolded them to add some drama to thier first peek and led them to a quiet corridor. Nervous giggles and Sven and I directing like mothers to small children, “Not yet! Not yet!..No peeking…Ok…NOW!” was the soundtrack of their first delightful glimpses of each other.
Understandably, we found it hard to separate the lovebirds.
The ceremony took place on the beach where a lovely gazebo had been set up for the occasion. Pastor Rick York was the officiant and he was just delightful. It was hard to believe that he had only meet Basia and Chris earlier that day as his words were warm, charismatic and intimate. And in English I should add as I don’t speak much Spanish and would not have understood a word otherwise! As part of the ceremony, Basia and Chris symbolically poured white and blue sand from 2 vials into a heart-shaped jar representing their union. Bonny-Lynn and Chris’ mother, Karen Marshall, each did a reading in honor of the newlyweds. Wedding Coordinator, Andreina Calderon, was in Basia’s own words “amazing to work with” and was very accommodating in allowing us to photograph the family at the ceremony site. It was a merry event complete with good-humored heckles and congratulations from sun bathing on-lookers.
After a champagne toast, we took advantage of our gorgeous surroundings to photograph the equally gorgeous bride and groom. Sven and I couldn’t wait to get back into that grand entrance hall, but a small cigar shop along the way proved to add its own brand of charm.
Eventually, the heat insisted we head back to the cool beach where the rest of the wedding party awaited the arrival of the newest Mr. and Mrs. Marshall. A grand table was set up to accommodate all the guests and a feast of lobster, filet mignon, plantain and other local vegetables was the entree of the evening. Marzena and Grzegorz sang a traditional Polish song to the newlyweds and the evening continued to the sounds of glasses toasting and chiming to initiate kisses, of which there were plenty.
The party resumed on the beach after dinner. Basia and Chris did their first dance inside a “stage” of rose petals in the shape of a heart. James Rushton, one of Chris’ best men, kept the evening rolling as the MC. He was a natural talent, that is when he could pry the microphone out of Basia’s hands! The couple tested their knowledge of each other during the wedding shoe game answering difficult questions like: “Who said ‘I love you’ first?” “Who is messier?” and “Who has been in more accidents?” to recap just a few.
The next day, Troy and I meet the newly wedded couple for a “Trash the Dress” Session. It started out modestly. Basia wasn’t sure how she felt about getting her dress wet but by the end of the session, we were all fairly soaked!
Basia later confessed that the Trash the Dress Session was one of her favorite memories of the wedding. The liberation and sense of empowerment she felt was worth the sacrifice of her wedding gown.
They rinsed the dress in the resort shower, pulling out nearly 3 lbs of sand before stuffing it into a plastic bag for the flight home. Upon their return to Canada, they promptly had the dress cleaned. Amazingly enough, the cleaners were able to return it to it’s former glory. Apparently, the salt water had done wonders on the cake, wine and sweat stains from the wedding.
It was one of those rare times where Basia got to have the cake and eat it too!
Read more about Basia and Chris’s salty, sultry EPIC Trash the Dress session.
“Ciocia & Wujek” is Polish for “Auntie & Uncle” . We love you too, Basia!
Basia and Chris would like to thank in their own words the following folks for making their wedding a fabulous success:
“To Everyone who made this day the BEST day of our lives! WE THANK YOU!!!
Our Parents and StepParents:
Marzena & Grzgorz Szado –Thank you for the gift of my wedding dress! It was beautiful!–and Karen Marshall and David Marshall. We love you all.
Rick York— Our Charismatic Pastor
Andreina Calderon – Our Amazing Wedding Coordinator
Shirleen & Troy Burnett – Our Hilarious & Creative Photography/Videography Ninjas
Majestic Salon for their Beautiful Hair & Makeup
Majestic DJ & MC Services – Upbeat Music/Entertainment
Our Wedding Party: Bonny-Lynn & Allen Russell, Sean Marshall and James Rushton, who was an outragously funny MC. Thank you guys for all your support and heartfelt speeches.
Our guests: Candy Neil, Colleen Cardiff, Donna Thicke, Fran & Mike Ruston, Prisca Vogel, and Robyn & Mike Frederiksen. Thank you for coming so far to be by our side.
I’d like to acknowledge my appreciation of my sister, Gosia Porczyk, who was always with me in spirit and cheering me on from a distance. I love you!
Shout outs to Live-streaming Fans, (We understand your frustration with the poor internet connection, but just think of it as a trailer! LOL)
Liz & Robin Russell for watching our fur “baby” Lyla.
Thank you for all the beautiful wedding cards/gifts we have received!!!
And to everyone else who would have loved to be there, could not make it but toasted us from afar! WE THANK YOU!!!”
Burnett Photography is a husband and wife team whose passion is creating sophisticated, stylish, sexy wedding photography. Contact us today to learn more about our services.