the destination to our wedding.

[J] + I always knew that we would someday plan our wedding afar. we had envisioned an intimate ceremony on a breathtaking beach. that was the easy part. when we got engaged, we had no idea where to begin. after many intense nights of google searching, we stumbled upon destinationweddings.com. I felt at home there. I was able to search many destinations, a ton of resorts, and get an idea of what a wedding there would look like. we knew we wanted an all-inclusive resort, with many restaurants & activities, family friendly, and somewhat easy to get to from the united states. we went back + forth between the dominican republic + jamaica. but finally settled on punta cana, dominican republic. all because we fell in love with the hard rock hotel & casino.

there are twelve restaurants. everything from hibachi, brick oven-style pizza, a brazilian steakhouse, and so much more. not to mention, every pool has a food menu. and room service is included. six bars + nightclubs.

of course they have an amazing coffee shop, that [J] + I made a habit to stop by daily. and a gelato shop that will make you drool.

the pools are amazing. but the best ones, have swim-up bars. and the ocean is the craziest shades of blue.

but truly, we felt at home. you start seeing familiar faces. the bartenders know your drink order. the waitstaff asks “how are you doing today? like they’ve known you forever. the service is incredible.

I could live there.

[the wedding department at the hard rock punta cana blew my expectations out of the water. I cried saying goodbye + thank you to our coordinator, erika, that I knew for a total of seven days. I felt people bending over backward to ensure we had our dream wedding. and we did, plus so much more].

the destination to our wedding c/o LLinaBC.com

the destination to our wedding c/o LLinaBC.com

the destination to our wedding c/o LLinaBC.com

the destination to our wedding c/o LLinaBC.com

the destination to our wedding c/o LLinaBC.com

the destination to our wedding c/o LLinaBC.com

the destination to our wedding c/o LLinaBC.com

the guys who delivered our lunch + champagne to us girls while we were getting ready.

the destination to our wedding c/o LLinaBC.com

the destination to our wedding c/o LLinaBC.com

the destination to our wedding c/o LLinaBC.com

the destination to our wedding c/o LLinaBC.com

take me back ..

what’s your dream wedding look like?

any questions on planning a destination wedding, how [J] + I planned ours, or anything really ..I’m more than happy to answer. or help.

happy friday.

wedding // welcome bags.

there was no question in our minds, we would be putting together welcome bags for all of our guests. but we did have two questions. what would we put in said bags? and how the heck would we get them to the dominican republic?

the answer to the first question came to us slowly over the course of six months. our guest bedroom became more wedding headquarters and less bedroom. it’s still not put together. we began gathering items. they fit into two categories: survival kit or fun. in our survival kit, we included: chapstick, alcohol prep pads, bandages, emergen-c, tylenol, breathe mints, tums, and tissues. for fun, we included: custom koozies, custom stadium cups [with straws + lids], door hangers, and a welcome packet.

our full intention was to find plain tote bags and have them printed with a design [J] created. but we lucked out. as my mom + I were innocently shopping one day, we spotted totes at forever 21, wearing the phrase “♥ is all you need”. [they didn’t have our exact amount in that design, so we found “love” & boat anchors too]. to personalize the totes, we had them printed on the back side with our names & wedding date.

wedding // welcome bags c/o LLinaBC.com

wedding // welcome bags c/o LLinaBC.com

wedding // welcome bags c/o LLinaBC.com

wedding // welcome bags c/o LLinaBC.com

wedding // welcome bags c/o LLinaBC.com

wedding // welcome bags c/o LLinaBC.com

wedding // welcome bags c/o LLinaBC.com

we used an entire suitcase to transport our welcome bag goodies [and our other personalized wedding decor] to the dominican republic. it weighed 48.5lbs. we considered that a win. until we arrived at our destination, and our bag did not. it took all of me to resist transforming into bridezilla or bursting into tears mere moments after arriving in paradise. all was right with the world again when it arrived the next evening. thank you chicago for not holding our bag hostage for too long.

I would highly recommend welcome bags to any brides having destination weddings. 

our top items were easily the emergen-c, koozies [for the fully stocked beer fridge in the rooms], our welcome packet, and the bag itself.

wedding // welcome bags c/o LLinaBC.com

if nothing else, it provides a fun wedding souvenir for everyone to take back home.

happy tuesday.

wedding // the best week ever.

[J] + I are still living on a cloud. neither of us can get over how incredible our wedding week was. or how exhausted we are.

wedding // the best week ever c/o LLinaBC.com

we arrived at the hard rock resort & casino in punta cana, dominican republic on tuesday afternoon. we were greeted by my father & a tray filled with five frozen tropical cocktails, called the van halen. did I mention one of our suitcases never made it on our airplane? another cocktail please. we immediately put on our swimsuits & went towards the water. then came our first group dinner, 13 of us for hibachi.

wedding // the best week ever c/o LLinaBC.com

we spent the next two days [wednesday + thursday] greeting guests & relaxing and drinking poolside. on wednesday night, there was a romantic dinner planned for just [J] + I. it was perfect. [our lost luggage arrived to our hotel on wednesday evening. no big deal, it just had all of our wedding items in it. I can finally breathe ..easier].

wedding // the best week ever c/o LLinaBC.com

wedding // the best week ever c/o LLinaBC.com

friday came entirely too quickly, and kicked off our wedding events. we accidentally skipped the actual rehearsal entirely. when you’re on island time, it can be hard to get people on a schedule [us included]. it ended up working out perfectly. our wedding party was only two bridesmaids + two groomsmen so we figured it would be no problem. [true statement: I didn’t see our ceremony site until I walked down the aisle to get married]. our rehearsal cocktail hour + dinner took place on a terrace overlooking the ocean. so breathtaking.

wedding // the best week ever c/o LLinaBC.com

wedding // the best week ever c/o LLinaBC.com

saturday: [J] + I’s wedding. which I’ll save for a later day.

on sunday, exhausted was a word that couldn’t even be used to describe me. I was beyond that. but there’s something about being surrounded by palm trees and crystal clear water, that forces your eyes open. so we spent the day at the pool with our families + friends. [it’s all about the dirty monkeys. yum!]. besides saying goodbye to many guests, monday looked much the same.

wedding // the best week ever c/o LLinaBC.com

tuesday was our day of departure. and of course, came too quickly. we woke up early to walk around the resort & snap photographs. we said goodbye to our ceremony site. drank our final dos equis. shot a champagne cork off our balcony. and sipped down one last dirty monkey before our shuttle picked us up at noon.

we’ve been home for 4 full days and are slowly adjusting back to “real” life. with countless loads of laundry + trips to the grocery store. but more importantly, catching up on sleep.

I am very, very excited to share all of the details of our big day.

happy monday.