Tori + Dylan | Romantic Beachside Wedding
Photographer + Videographer:MVPhotos
Travel Agent:Ketti Menne, Paradise Weddings & Travel
Venue:Hard Rock Hotel - Punta Cana
Bridal Shop:Raffiné Bridal & Formal Wear
Rings:Wedding Day Diamonds + Manly Bands
Stationery:Minty Paperie Shop
Tori, a kindergarten teacher, and Dylan, a classic car fabricator, met through mutual friends in high school and began dating shortly after. Little did they know they would be planning a picturesque beachside wedding 11 years later — during a pandemic, nonetheless!
For the proposal, Dylan knew it was important to have Tori’s family present, “I proposed to Tori while celebrating Christmas at her parent’s house in December of 2019,” he says. He describes Tori being blown away and completely shocked, as was her entire family — except her father who was in on it the whole time!
A DREAMY BEACHSIDE WEDDING
When it came to planning, the Minnesota couple knew a destination wedding was the perfect fit. But with so many dreamy locations, they didn’t know where to begin, “We knew we wanted to get married on the beach but just could not pinpoint where in the world that would be. I had gone to the Honeymoon and Destination Wedding Showcase and met my travel agent, Ketti Menne with Paradise Weddings and Travel, along with my outstanding photographer/videographer duo, Madalyn and Logan Vermeer with MVPHOTOS, and they both had mentioned how amazing the Hard Rock Resort in Punta Cana (HRPC) was,” describes the bride. But with travel and weddings coming to a halt during COVID, they knew they were in for a challenge, “Once COVID hit, we knew we would not be able to travel to the venue prior to our special day, so Dylan and I had to put all our trust in ‘our people’. We feel so fortunate to have crossed paths with Ketti and the Vermeer’s at MVPHOTOS because our day went off without a hitch.”
For their intimate 45-person wedding, they chose to keep things personal and simple, “We tried to really make this day a true representation of who we are as a couple. Our closest family and friends joined us in paradise to help celebrate our new beginning. Tori’s uncle was our officiant which we felt made the whole ceremony very personal and family-oriented,” says Dylan. “Having a close family member be involved with the ceremony was one of the best choices we could have made to have the personal and intimate wedding of our dreams.” And to honor her late grandparents, Tori also had charms with their wedding photos on her bouquet.
Hues of gold, dusty rose, and navy were incorporated throughout the beachside wedding floral, decor, and fashion. The couple tapped into their crafting skills with the help of a family friend to create bouquets and boutonnieres using silk flowers and traveled with them all the way to Punta Cana. For the wedding party fashion, the couple made it simple for either side, “I wanted the girls to pick a dress they felt comfortable and beautiful in so we gave them the color and they picked a dress which they liked best. I really liked the variety in the dresses. The boys had a simple top with navy bottoms and a dark brown belt,” shares the bride.
For her own look, Tori knew she needed a gown that would flow and work well with a beachside wedding, “I tried on what felt like 60 dresses that day and I kept going back to the same one,” she says of finding her bridal gown. “I instantly fell in love with how I felt and looked in the dress and just knew I needed it. I felt beautiful and I could picture myself walking down the aisle in it.”
Being at a resort made things easy for the reception eats with the hotel catering in an Italian buffet with steak and ceviche. They chose a simple wedding cake that was delicious, not that the groom would know! “I was so busy dancing, I didn’t even try out the wedding cake. We did pick a vanilla cake with strawberry and buttercream frosting for our cake,” recalls Dylan.
Looking back on their romantic beachside wedding, Tori states that “Finally marrying the love of my life and celebrating and dancing the night away with our closest friends and family,” was the absolute highlight. And the groom agreed.
For those currently engaged, the couple has some sage words, “My advice would be to do as much as you can in the 12-4 months prior to your wedding. When you are about 3 months away, the day is there in the blink of an eye and things can get stressful. Take your bridesmaids and family members up on it when they offer to help and lastly, don’t forget the day is about you and your spouse! Don’t let the little details stress you out. Everything will work out and the day flies by so fast you have no time to worry about the little things. Take in every moment of your special day because it is sadly over before you know it.”
Vendors Cont. — Entertainment: JSAV | Bridesmaid Dress Shop: Azazie | Menswear: Express | Hair & Makeup: Hard Rock Punta Cana – POSH Salon | Bridal Jacket: Wild and Daring Bride | Catering: Hard Rock Punta Cana