Wedding in Punta Cana
Wedding in Punta Cana

This article is written for those brides who plan to organize their wedding abroad on the ocean coast or in the garden among exotic tropical plants or unique ancient buildings. You can find all this and more, if you want to have your wedding in Dominican Republic.

Dominican Republic is famous around the whole world for its white sand and azure water color in the eternal summer.

Wedding in Dominican Republic: Punta Cana

The portal entered Dominican Republic in the list of the most attractive countries for the organization of weddings. Why do people go to get marry in Dominican Republic?

The most popular place for wedding is Punta Cana. This place is made for the real romantics who dream of non-standard wedding ceremonies. White sand on which, it is so pleasant to walk barefoot, a breeze caresses the face and beautifully plays with the hair.

Bright tropical greens and the blue ocean become a fine background for a wedding ceremony which will strike all your friends and acquaintances.

In Punta Cana there is a huge wedding industry. At your service, there will be experts who will be ready to organize a magnificent ceremony inside and out of the hotel. You can bring with you many guests or organize a private ceremony on the lonely beach, only for two newlyweds.

You can order both a symbolical ceremony, and official, with the judge or the priest. The prices in Dominican Republic are very reasonable. In the city of Bavaro (Punta Cana’s suburb) there are many hotels with available quotations and smoothly running wedding services.

Also there are popular weddings in country houses. In a country house it is possible to have close relatives, to organize shootings, preforming a ceremony, a photo shoot and a reception. Other guests from the hotels will be brought to the location by a special bus.

Also, Dominican Republic is beautiful by the fact that newlyweds can combine the wedding with a honeymoon trip. Weather in Dominican Republic is very stable. It is the country of eternal summer. The most comfortable weather – December, January, February, March. Heat peak is from May until the first half of October.

The rainy season is absent. Rains are most often very short and also occur at night. Some increased risk to have rain at a wedding is possible in May and August. But it is not a constant. For example, May and August 2015 were very dry and hot.

The most popular hotels for carrying out wedding ceremonies with a large number of guests are Melia Group (Melia, Paradisus Punta Cana, Paradisus Palma Real). All these hotels are in Bavaro.

A standard wedding photo shoot includes: shooting of getting ready in the groom’s room (30 min.), getting ready in the bride’s room (1.5 hours), the ceremony (20 minutes), a photo shoot with guests and a couple’s photo shoot (2 hours), the reception (3 hours).

Newlyweds have to understand that they pay not only to the photographer but to hotel for granting a location and the agency which renders service of photos and videos. In this regard, the photographer is practically never familiar with newlyweds and sees them for the first time on the day of their wedding.

Wedding in Paradisus Palma Real

Wedding in Paradisus Palma Real
Wedding in Paradisus Palma Real

Hotels offer several options for carrying out wedding ceremonies: a garden, the beach, the enclosed space in case of bad weather. You can have a reception at a restaurant, near the pool, on the beach or in a garden. In the evening, it is often raining.

Therefore if you don’t want to take a risk, it is better to make a reservation for the reception under a roof. If you have many guests and many bridesmaids and groomsmen, it is the best to choose spacious open spaces at the beach and a garden for a ceremony, because if your location is in a wooden gazebo, it can be too tight of a space and the photographer won’t be able to capture beautiful photos, as it will be too crowded.

Wedding in Paradisus Palma Real
Wedding in Paradisus Palma Real

Photos turn out multidimensional because various locations are within walking distance. A big plus of having a wedding in a hotel is that it is possible to shift the most of the stress of the organization of a wedding to the employees of the romance department.

Wedding in Paradisus Punta Cana

The place for photographing is very difficult to find. The disadvantage of the hotel wedding is that there are many strangers/guests around watching your private moment, especially if it’s located on the beach.

If you want to have a private ceremony, I recommend you to choose a location in the garden, because on the beach, around you, will be many tourists. Also you have to be ready that if you want to bring a wedding photographer (or videographer) who does not belong to the on-site photography company, you will have to pay extra to the hotel.

The best restaurants for your wedding in Punta Cana

Your wedding in Punta Cana can take place outside of the hotel. The most popular places for weddings in Bavaro are beach restaurants such as: Huracan Cafe, Kukua, and Jellyfish.

Newlyweds are attracted to more reasonable prices, more flexible and personal relationships, more flexible timing of wedding day. All of these restaurants have a professional team of decorators and wedding coordinators.

Also around restaurants, there aren’t a lot of various locations for a photo shoot. Huracan Cafe has a beautiful pier and a pirate’s boat, which is docked there in the morning and in the evening.

There is no palm trees. Near Jellyfish, there are palm trees, but they belong to a different hotel and sometimes the entrance is forbidden. It depends on which security guard there is on duty.

All three of the above mentioned restaurants have beautiful beach furniture and a swing, and the well-known letters I DO and LOVE. Huracan Cafe, has recently been renovated and now can serve 150 guests. A private room is allocated for the bride and her bridesmaids. Now it is the biggest bridal room, full of natural light with a magnificent view of the ocean.

Also you can organize your wedding on a boat. It is completely private and a huge bonus is the lack of insects. Photos on the main deck with the setting sun are very beautiful.

If you have a smaller amount of guests (no more 10 people) you can organize your wedding ceremony on a paradise island called Saona (time from Bavaro – 1 hour by car plus 1 hour by boat).

Wedding on the yacht
Wedding on the yacht

The ceremony can be on the Caribbean Sea, or on the private beach of Cabeza de Toro (Punta Cana). Advantages of such a ceremony are that you save considerably on the budget, you have romantic impressions of full privacy and exoticism.

The down side is that it is expensive on Saona Island, long bus ride and the boat ride can be a little rough with rolling on waves. You will be on Saona Island in the afternoon when is very hot. In case of a rain, you should transfer the wedding ceremony to the next day.

Wedding on the yacht
Wedding on the yacht

In general, Dominican Republic isn’t so simple to find the perfect place for a photo shoot, as it can seem. The majority of beaches and palm tree locations belong to hotels or private individuals and it is forbidden to photograph there.

Many other locations can be visited for the purpose of a photo shoot, however only with payment. Therefore, it’s better to discuss all your wishes with your photographer before the wedding, so you are ready for additional expenses if you want something special.

In Dominican Republic you can easily organize any wedding ceremony both traditional and non-standard – with walks on horses, trips on yachts, helicopters and retro cars. It is the country with the highly developed wedding industry and a big variety of places for the organization of your special day.

Some time ago newlyweds held their weddings only in resorts, but now, there is a set of services for a wedding outside of resorts. Summing up the results, basically the wedding inside the hotel saves your time, the wedding outside the hotel saves your money!

Let’s discuss a little more about wedding photo shoots. Planning a wedding in Punta Cana or at any of the resorts in Bavaro, you like the most, you will work with the photographer from an agency.

As a rule, these photographers have good professional skills and a wide variety of experience. Here is the other side, an agency photographer works with a big stream of clients.

As a rule, they photograph and retouch 10 – 15 weddings a month, which naturally leads them to perform mechanically, under constant stress. Working as a wedding photographer is a highly physical, emotional and stressful job.

It is necessary to add breaks, which is needed to work under the hot sun and heat. This often doesn’t even allow time to eat during the whole working day (8 – 9 hours). You can be shocked, but it’s like that.

Service prices of a photo and video in hotels make about $1000 – $1500 dollars US for the shooting of a wedding with a reception. Yet, the actual photographer only gets 15 – 20% of the amount.

Conversely, the photographer who works independently with you in correspondence, will try to organize preliminary interviews and as much as possible, meet your requirements and wishes without having to suffer from overloads of continuous wedding days.

They also have more time for repair and restoration of the photo equipment! (Which wears out very quickly in Punta Cana due to sand, humidity and salt). You can look at my wedding packages: Wedding photography packages in Bavaro & Punta-Cana area.

Being a wedding photographer in Punta Cana, I am always ready to answer any questions from my clients, and not only about photos! My clients often need advice about locations, ways to save on services without damaging their wedding day, how to choose a style of dress for the bride and specialist in a make-up, musicians, etc.

For 3.5 years of my life in Dominican Republic I photographed more than 250 weddings and my knowledge of this specific wedding industry in Punta Cana and Bavaro offers my clients a lot of help. I wish to all of my brides an unforgettable and amazing wedding day!!!


  1. Hi there,I check your blog named “Wedding in Dominican Republic – tips from Belgium photographer —” on a regular basis.Your writing style is awesome, keep up the good work!