Punta Cana – My Happily Ever After Starts Here

SO I have been slacking hard but have a few posts written and scheduled! I have been tied down working on some content for some paid advertising by some brands but I am back and ready to put my heart on the line in my posts and put some more focus on the travel side of my blog! I have a lot of travel coming up and some amazing content coming your way over the next few months! What better trip to start with than the one we took for our wedding?! So here are the details 🙂

Punta Cana will always hold a special place in my heart because this is where I started my forever with the love of my life.

When you are someone with a background like mine, (and for those of you just reading my blog now…I was a victim to domestic violence before I met my husband) you have a hard time imagining ever being married and truly happy. The moment I let Frank into my life, that foggy image all the sudden became so clear. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. If you are a victim, know you are a survivor and that you deserve to be happy. Never settle. All of this is much easier said than done but I was fortunate to meet a man who knew about my past, embraced it, loved me for it and lifted me up when I had moments of weakness. It is not an easy thing to overcome or get past and for a long long time I was in that dark place with not light in sight.

My husband and I met on Tinder years ago (before it exploded and became a fad) and since then have become best friends. He is my ultimate travel partner and each year we try to plan one trip just for us. We have done this since we started dating. (Actually, Frank used to ask to come meet me when I was traveling before we started dating so I guess he was ready to embrace my travel bug and join in from the very beginning) We chose Punta Cana because we wanted to get married on a beach, no shoes, all-inclusive and somewhere that was not going to break the bank for the guests we did want in attendance.

Frank and I have been all over the world together. From state side trips to Nashville, New York, LA, Minneapolis, etc…to international trips to Italy, Switzerland, Grand Cayman, and South Africa (where we got engaged). Because of how much we travel, our family and friends knew we would not get married at home in Chicago.

Aside from the obvious reasons of a beautiful beach backdrop, Punta Cana was a really affordable place to get married. Our photos really do speak to how beautiful the day actually was (I will post a few below don’t worry). I truly don’t think I have ever smiled to much in my entire life.

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If you look closely to the photo above you can see a rainbow that came out right when we said ‘I do.’ This is a photo with every guest that made the trip down for the wedding!

The ceremony was amazing. One of my best friends from Nashville was not able to make it down but he recorded a song for my procession down the aisle and Frank had no idea 🙂 it pushed him over the top and brought him to tears. Here is a glimpse of our first looks at each other! Well this is right before I got past the bushes and could see him 🙂

We decided to write our own vows. I was so nervous about this…and of course Frank wanted me to go first. Frank is a phenomenal writer so that only made my nerves worse. I am guilty of writing my vows the morning of the wedding…as my girls arrived to the room to get ready. It was the most in the moment and the most heartfelt words I have ever put to paper to vow to the rest of our lives together.

Getting ready with the best friends a girl could ask for and the three moms I would now have was amazing. I unfortunately found out my father was not able to get on a flight down a few minutes before hair and makeup started, so having the love and support from them when I could not be with Frank for a hug was a game changer for me. Thank goodness for FaceTime y’all…because my dad was able to watch the ceremony live from the airport thanks to my brother.

Frank had given one of the girls my wedding gift so she gave me that along with a video from him. It was the perfect way to have him there but not there for the hard news. I ended up texting him just to let him know so he was not surprised to see me walking the aisle on my own.

The reception and portraits were captured by my favorite gal Jamie Loren. She is a photographer from the states (Chicago specifically) and she flies all over the world for weddings. It is no surprise to me because she is AMAZING! I mean wait until you see these ceremony shots below.

The only word I can think of to describe our wedding day is MAGICAL. Our wedding was truly something magical. It was perfectly overcast when photos were taken post ceremony (my photographer lovers will understand how awesome this is). There was a rain storm in the middle of our outdoor reception and our guests embraced the rain and danced the night away with us. I truly would not change a thing about our day and love looking back at the video and photos to relive it again and again.

Pre and post wedding we were able to spend time with guests at the pool, we attended a foam party at the resort, we went horseback riding on the beach, we went to the casino…you name it. It was actually exhausting but beyond fun and so worth it! I think my favorite part post wedding was going on an afternoon snorkel and booze cruise with some guests that were staying for a few days post wedding.

If you are wanting a more casual wedding that is more like a vacation with the most awesome people in your life then a destination wedding is something you should definitely consider!

I have had a lot of questions about where my wedding was and what it was like so that is my main reason for this post. Feel free to comment below or shoot me an email if you have more questions!

And yes we are going on a honeymoon but we will not be on our honeymoon until the end of May this year! So stay tune to see where we are headed 🙂

12-08-18 will forever be one of the best days of my entire life ❤

xoxo

Rell


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