Planning Your Dominican Wedding
- Where to Go
- The Best of the Dominican Republic
- A Nature Lover’s Dominican Trek
- The Sexiest Dominican Beaches
- Historical Dominican Road Trip
- A Dominican Culture Tour
- Carnaval and Its Masks
- Planning Your Dominican Wedding
- Dominican Adventures
- Golfing the Dominican Republic
- Dominican Music and Dance
- La Ruta del Mango
- Day-Tripping in Monte Plata
- The Best Small Resorts
How does a wedding in paradise sound? On the beach? Amidst 15th-century buildings in the colonial city of Santo Domingo? The Dominican Republic offers wildly romantic venues for beginning your life together. Major resorts and hotels throughout the Dominican Republic have experts on staff to coordinate a flawless wedding that will give you and your guests lifetime memories.
Most wedding packages include the following: judge, license, flowers, music, cake, champagne, and special touches for the bridal accommodations. Here are some more tips for a carefree wedding celebration:
1. Start planning your wedding at least six months in advance. This way you are sure to get better deals than a last-minute booking; vacancies are more likely, and most hotels prefer at least a three-month leeway to make all necessary arrangements. If you choose a wedding on the beach or under the stars, what will you do if it rains? Religious ceremonies take longer to prepare.
2. Research venue options by visiting their websites. Often, venues will provide complimentary wedding services, but they have other wedding packages for additional cost that offer options above and beyond bare essentials for your stay, wedding, and honeymoon (e.g., religious ceremonies, couple’s massage, breakfast in bed, pre-wedding day breakfasts, or spa treatments for the wedding party).
3. Ask if the hotel has a photographer/videographer on staff. If not, can they recommend one?
4. Do you need a translator? Ask if the hotel has someone who can translate the ceremony if need be.
5. Consider decorations. When arranging for decorations and cake toppers, ask what the staff can do. Tropical flowers are an easy and low-cost choice. Orchids are abundant in the Dominican Republic. How about seashells? If you have a cake in mind, send a photo of your dream cake and see if they can copy it.
6. What will you wear? When choosing attire for your ceremony, keep in mind the Caribbean climate. Sleeveless dresses are great, but consider the fabric. And what will the groom wear? Does he want to be in a full tuxedo under the blazing sun, or are there other options? If you plan a wedding right on the beach, remember that a dress with a train will not stay white.
7. Plan on being at the resort or hotel at least three work days in advance. This is best for any last-minute arrangements. Use the time to ready yourself for any guests that will join you. Perhaps put together a welcome basket with local fare or might-need items like suntan lotion or disposable cameras, for their room upon check-in. Or simply work on getting the perfect tan for your wedding.
What You’ll Need for Marriage Paperwork
- Original birth certificate
- Single status affidavit in Spanish
- Divorce act in Spanish. Legal transcripts of the single status affidavit and divorce act can be prepared at the Dominican consulate nearest to you.
- Two witnesses. If they are not Dominican, they will need to bring their passports.
You will receive the wedding certificate from the justice of the peace.
Do you want someone else to do all this legwork for you so you can just show up and have it all happen? Richard Weber at Tours, Trips, Treks and Travel (Cabarete, tel. 809/867-8884, www.4domrep.com) can make your dream wedding happen in the tropics. Dream big; it’s okay. Richard is a miracle worker who uses all his Dominican Republic knowledge and contacts to get the job done so you can have all of the memories but none of the headaches.
© Ana Chavier Caamaño from Moon Dominican Republic, 4th edition