After a whirlwind romance, Stella York bride, Petya, and her husband tied the knot in a romantic destination wedding. The Dominican Republic nuptials – complete with a fire show, cigar rollers, and carnival dancers – was more perfect than the couple could have imagined, and Petya looked absolutely amazing in her tulle Stella York wedding dress for the beachside celebration.
From the bride: We knew we wanted a small destination wedding where we could spend a few days with the people we loved the most. We wanted the Caribbean, as it was close but far enough. We were looking for a type of hotel, not a specific destination. I wanted the place to scream, “romance!” It took us about two weeks to find the place – a resort with an old Spanish town feel, a castle actually, surrounded by beaches, and more affordable than we could’ve hoped for. We booked the venue immediately. We didn’t go down to see it and we didn’t read many reviews. We just trusted our intuition.
On our way there, I was an absolute bridezilla! I had to check in my wedding dress, which made me feel beyond uncomfortable. I was so obsessed with my dress. The idea that it will not make it down there was driving me crazy. The possibility of the resort being a total dump was also creeping in my mind. The brutal turbulence wasn’t helping either. We arrived in Punta Cana, and there I was, lined up first on the luggage belt, impatiently waiting for my suitcase. The dress never came! The belt stopped, people had gotten their bags and the airport was half empty. In the midst of a mini panic attack, I saw it – My suitcase! It had fallen off the belt and it was pushed all the way by another flight’s line. I immediately started to wonder if this is how the whole trip was going to go. And then something happened – I looked around me and I was surrounded by 20 of our closest family and friends, all trying their best to make me smile. We were in 85-degree weather and I had my dress! I put a smile on my face and told myself that this will be the best weekend of my life, and it sure was.
The resort surpassed our wildest expectations. It was paradise. We felt like we entered into another era. It was peaceful and it was beautiful. 60 people came to our wedding, and after three days of being beach bums together, we were all family. Wes and I stayed in separate rooms the night before and I didn’t see him until the wedding ceremony the next day. We got married on a Saturday on a private island of the resort. The weather was perfect. We had a pre-ceremony cocktail hour, which our guests absolutely loved. We had a flamenco guitar player during the ceremony, who filled the air with love. We had a sand ceremony at the end. Another cocktail hour followed, while Wes and I went to take pictures by the beach. Our reception lasted five hours, and it was filled with dancing and entertainment. We had a fire show, cigar rollers, and carnival dancers. Our music was modern and a mix between the cultures. Wes’ grandma had choreographed a dance to “All About That Bass,” which turned out to be one of the highlights of the night. Most importantly, Wes and I spent the whole night focused on each other, not catering to anyone else, but truly enjoying every moment with each other in mind.
Outside of the fact that I married my soulmate, one of my most special memories was that every single person (including men) was obsessing over my dress. I heard repeated compliments about how gorgeous it was, how they have never seen a dress like this, how it shined, and a few girls even asked me to borrow it! Random guests of the resort we were staying in were approaching me the day after the wedding to ask me who the designer was. I was approached from friends of friends, saying that they saw my wedding pictures and wanted to know where I got the dress from.
This was a particularly special moment for me because, to my surprise, buying the wedding dress was the fastest, and easiest, decision I made during the entire wedding planning process. I am not an easy shopper and I am very indecisive (to say the least!). This was the third dress I tried on and I was in love! I felt myself in this dress. My whole family cried when I walked out of the fitting room. I bought it that day and never thought twice if I had made the right decision or not. Receiving so many compliments on my wedding day made me feel incredible about the power of trusting your intuition. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.