Standing knee deep in warm undulating turquoise ocean within minutes of getting off the plane from Atlanta. I took a moment to simply take it in. The sensual quality of wind, sun and miles of gentle waves along the shore of this small part of Puntacana, Dominican Republic immediately infuse your soul with peace and send you right into “island time”.
I had come here to consider this site for a wedding weekend for at least 100 guests, maybe more, followed by a week long honeymoon for the bride and groom. With so many things to consider, I sat by the beach and made a list of parts required for the itinerary of such an event, check boxes and all. In order to be sure that there was everything we would need in the area, I had additional inspiration from the handsome bartender at the Tiki Bar on the beach. Doing this research was clearly going to be tough duty….
With hundreds of people invited, one of the elements of this destination wedding is convenient travel for family and friends. Since there are frequent flights from Atlanta, it should be easy for anyone wanting to fly over to the party. With the resort’s assisted arrival and departure program, it took me under 10 minutes from landing to be in the private shuttle for a 5 minute drive to my room at the Westin Beach Resort of Puntacana.
Lodging required for so many guests could easily be accommodated by where I was staying. Guests could each have rooms in The Westin with each spacious room offering a balcony looking over two swimming pools, hot tub, tall palms swaying in the breezes and paths wandering to the beach. The Westin also has a large formal dining restaurant called Anani, a Tiki Bar by the pool, and a charming bar and restaurant on the sand. Along with a Lobby Bar, there is a Cigar Bar by the pool. All of this nestled against a wide white beach that stretches as far as you can see in either direction with gentle waves providing background music day and night.
The plan was for the groomsmen and bridesmaids to be together. This seemed to be perfectly suited a short distance up the beach to the boutique hotel Tortuga Bay. Modern rooms recently updated stretched along the beach where rooms were hanging over the sand and sea. Additionally, there is a designated area at Tortuga Bay where any guest of Puntacana who checks out in the morning but has a flight home later in the afternoon can relax after checking luggage, and spend the day enjoying the beach, pool and restaurant until departure time.
The bride’s family and the groom’s family each requested a rental house large enough to host siblings and their children, as well as offering a place for gatherings. The bride’s family wanted to host a cocktail party Friday afternoon, catered at this house before the rehearsal dinner. I saw several lovely homes that are part of the Puntacana property for just this purpose.
Friday evening family members and the wedding party would have a rehearsal of the beach side ceremony followed by a dinner under the stars at the Playa Blanca Beach Restaurant. The menu here is fresh and locally caught, and gives the feeling of “going native”. While luscious island inspired courses are served, toes wiggle in the sand as the moon rises over the glistening sea. It is an easy walk down the tiki lighted beach to the Westin after dinner.
The plan also included the groom’s family hosting a catered Saturday morning brunch at their house followed by golf at the La Cana Club featuring a Tom Fiazio designed 18 hole course for as many as liked to play.
Saturday afternoon is to be left for relaxation at the Six Senses Spa, exploring the 50 acre forest reserve called Puntacana Ecological Foundation which includes swimming in fresh water lagoons that leave your skin tingling with freshness, or riding horses on the beach before the wedding scheduled to begin at 6:00PM.
This would be held at The Grill Restaurant, an ocean breeze infused palm covered patio next to the white beach, with a world famous chef who prides himself on his signature taste and texture combinations. The Grill is adjacent to an elegant spacious indoor spaces of tall white beach side galleries.
Sunday morning, the Westin hosts a huge brunch for its guests. It was undecided if there would also be a brunch hosted for the wedding party, but there were many options for locations and catering styles.
As with any plan, there need to be choices. There is a sweet small catholic church in Puntacana Village if that is the bride’s preference. Each of the restaurants has options for indoor or outdoor dining and dancing. Puntacana has wedding planners who will happily help the families design the wedding that dreams are made of, and locate flowers, delicacies but they are very willing to work with a wedding planner from offsite.
There are so many choices, that if you are interested in planning your own destination wedding, I would recommend visiting this site and then talking to one of the wedding planners who have experience and can make suggestions to make your dreams come true! Puntacana beach wedding ideas.
To select from the many lodging options that Puntacana has to offer:Different lodging options for your wedding party.