For a wedding destination steeped in flawless tropical scenery and Old World culture, you shouldn’t look any further than the Dominican Republic. The most visited tourist destination in the Caribbean, occupying the eastern part of the island of Hispaniola, the Dominican Republic has it all to make your destination wedding memorable and unique.
Why Choose the Dominican Republic for Tying the Knot?
The Dominican Republic is home to both Caribbean and Atlantic-facing beaches and with its stable government and thriving tourism industry, this country has been transformed into the destination wedding hot spot. Luxury all-inclusive wedding resorts share space with remnants of Spanish colonial architecture and award-winning golf courses. Punta Cana, to the east, attracts the high-end travelers, while Puerto Plata, to the north, appeals with all inclusive attractions where you can find more affordable wedding packages.
Wedding in Dominican Republic is easier than ever to organize, since many couples, especially US and Canadian citizens, travel there to tie the knot year-around. With the right wedding planner, you can choose to have either traditional western ceremony or a truly Dominican Republic wedding with Latin traditions.
When to Get Married in DR?
There are two distinct tourist high seasons in DR: winter season between December and March, when the climate here is at its optimum, and the summer months of July and August, crowded with travelers from the northern hemisphere. If you have an opportunity to do that, I suggest saving a bit of money and having an easier time managing your big day, if you arrive during the fall or the spring. The temperature here doesn’t really vary all that much from season to season, so you’ll have terrific weather anytime you visit this fascinating country. Nevertheless, one should keep in mind that the DR is in the center of the Caribbean hurricane belts, meaning it gets hit with a major storm in every 10 years, on average. August and September are, hurricane-wise, the riskiest months, but smaller storms can occur even in the months before and after.
Top Destination Wedding Locations in DR
Punta Cana and Bavaro
At one time, these two areas were distinct and lying at either end of a coconut-tree-lined, mesmerizing beach. Nevertheless, over the past couple of decades, an extraordinary spate of construction has simply blurred the boundaries between Punta Cana and Bavaro. I get impression that Punta Cana is more than a specific location, but a marketing brand and it includes even Bavaro, the airport area and Friusa, the busy traffic intersection. The individual resorts in Punta Cana tend to be cities unto themselves, encompassing several separate hotels, tropical gardens and beachside territory. Although these resorts are rather huge, the development in Punta Cana is far from complete, given the size of this area, so new hotels and malls continue to go up. Nevertheless, you can still find glorious stretches of uninterrupted sand, particularly in the north at Uvero Alto and El Macao.
With the white sand beach and a variety of all-inclusive resorts, your wedding in Punta Cana can have the real touch of paradise. Here, it’s easy to find a wedding venue of your dreams and there’s no reason to be worried about the crowded beaches, since there are many astonishing places and secluded sand beaches for an unforgettable pre-wedding photo session. Of course, you’ll need someone to show you those special secret places!
It’s the most interesting and the biggest city in the Dominican Republic, and of course, it’s the capital. Santo Domingo has impressive cultural and historical sites that make an arresting counterpoint to the breathtaking beaches. The city’s substantial colonial district, the Zona Colonial, with dramatic setting right on the Rio Ozama and beautiful old buildings attracts most visitors. In fact, many travelers never bother to go outside this neighborhood, because there are so many things to see and do here. As expected, Santo Domingo as the capital of the DR offers the country’s best nightlife and restaurants, while at the same time serving as its cultural center with wonderful museums. The night activity of the capital is centered on its Malecon, a palm-lined, breezy promenade that runs parallel with the Caribbean Sea, but there are also many party locations further inland.
In Santo Domingo, there are breathtaking wedding venues spread out in the city which you can use for a wedding ceremony and/or a reception party. You can even get married at museums, botanical garden or unique hotels, which is incredible opportunity for unusual wedding experience. However, there are no public beaches here and, in case you want a tropical beach wedding, there are two nearby areas with breathtaking villas and private estates.
It’s so easy to fall in love with a thin strip of land poking out from the northeast corner of the DR into the Atlantic Ocean. The Samana Peninsula is probably the most appealing part of the whole country, with its vast banks of transparent green-blue sea and swaying coconut trees. Away from picture-perfect powdery white sand beaches, there’s Cordillera Samana, a mountain range with a few impressive waterfalls and more than 60 different types of palm tree, mostly penetrably only by horse. But, more than for spectacular view and geography, travelers come to the Samana Peninsula to see the thousands of humpback whales that migrate there during the winter. In fact, whale watching has become the major local industry in this area.
Las Terrenas and Las Galeras are the most popular areas to get married in Samana, but the top-notch island of Bacardi should be mentioned as well.
More Things to Know about Getting Hitched in DR
In 1994, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley got married in the Dominican Republic and many celebrities, including Jennifer Lopez, Brad Pitt and Frank Sinatra have been known to frequent this country. The Dominican Republic is certainly an ideal place to celebrate love and happiness, thus it’s a terrific destination wedding spot. Here, you will find the perfect balance between a friendly atmosphere and privacy, while surrounded by live music, tropical flowers and palm trees. Nevertheless, make sure you checked all the legal requirements for getting married in the DR to avoid unpleasant surprises.