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It’s no wonder the Dominican Republic has long been a favorite for destination weddings.
When you envision a snapshot-worthy Dominican Republic beach, you’re likely thinking of Punta Cana, a stretch of beaches and resorts along the eastern coast known for its exceptional beauty. Consistently ranking as some of the best in the world, beach weddings in Punta Cana are always popular. Meanwhile the lively villages and great amenities are something visitors love here.
Of course, the beaches like Marcao and Bavaro Beach are what visitors love, but there are a number of activities nearby to make a destination wedding in Punta Cana fun and exciting. Hoyo Azul, a chilly, neon-blue lagoon has visitors diving 65 meter cliffs on hot days. Punta Cana is the Caribbean’s golf mecca, with celebrity-designed gems like Punta Espada and La Cana nestled along gorgeous beaches. For nature lovers, the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park is a great place to visit with guided tours to help you spot over 500 species of exotic plants and wildlife. And at night, merengue and salsa music fills the air and keeps travelers on their feet.
SEE MORE: These Are the Most Popular Months to Have a Destination Wedding
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We’ve enlisted Jennifer Corrigan, Certified Destination Wedding Specialist, to round out some of the key Q&A’s about planning a wedding in Costa Rica. Ready to book your beautiful destination wedding? Connect with a DestinationWeddings.com specialist now.
What are the marriage license requirements?
For a Civil wedding ceremony, the couple must arrive three business days prior to the ceremony date. They need to send in a certified copy of their Birth Certificates, with parent’s names listed, a photocopy of the bride’s and groom’s passports, and a notarized Declaration of Single Status for the bride and groom. If previously married, they will need to submit two copies of the Divorce Decree or Death Certificate. There’s also a mandatory waiting period for women — 10 months — before they are legally allowed to remarry. The legal government fees are $695 for a wedding in the Dominican Republic, and may be higher depending on the resort of choice to do a civil ceremony.
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What’s the best time of year for a wedding in Punta Cana?
For a lower chance of rain and/or hurricanes, couples should choose November to May. Keep in mind that bad weather can happen no matter what season it is. The resorts typically offer a backup location should a couple need to relocate.
What are some of your favorite Punt Cana wedding venues?
This is really subjective as each resort offers lovely venues. Some couples may want a private garden setting and others may prefer the beach setting. There are a few offering Sky Deck locations also. This is really up to the couple, but looking at photos of the different locations the resort has to offer for the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception should narrow down their options.
For weddings with a lot of kids in attendance, Nickelodeon Resort in Punta Cana is a great balance of elegance and fun. They have a wonderful sky terrace venue overlooking the Caribbean that is picture-perfect for ceremonies, cocktail hour or a full reception! Bavaro Beach offers pristine white sand to get married on. My favorite beachfront wedding resort is Barceló Bávaro Palace. Majestic Resorts in Punta Cana has one of the most beautiful garden gazebos. It allows for a little extra privacy, as it is tucked away from the beach. Some couples choose to host their wedding off property from the resort. I’ve seen beautiful ceremonies and receptions take place at nearby restaurants, like Jellyfish or Huracan Café.
What’s the average cost of a wedding in Punta Cana?
This really depends on the group size and the hotel of choice, along with any current promotions being offered to the couple with a group room block. On average for a group of 40, I would estimate $8,000-$10,000. Things like decorations above and beyond what is included in the wedding package, photography, live music or DJ, and a dance floor will also add additional costs. The pricing for photography can run from $750- $7,000 depending on the time-block and the type of photographer the couple chooses.
What’s the #1 piece of advice you would give a bride planning a destination wedding in Punta Cana?
Plan the wedding you’ve always dreamt of and with the things you want on your special day! Keep a wedding file of favorite photos of things you want to incorporate into your day. This can be items such as centerpieces, floral, color schemes, signs, etc. Some brides will even bring special items with them for the ceremony/reception set up (keeping in mind, they have to be able to pass Customs). Once the planning begins, we can share these items with the onsite wedding team so they can match everything else and set up what you prefer!
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