Standing knee deep in warm undulating turquoise ocean, sipping something made by the charming bartender at the edge of the sand, I took a moment to simply take it in. The sensual quality of wind, sun and sand along the shore of Puntacana, DR seems ready made for “happily ever after” weddings.

I had come here to consider this site for a wedding weekend for at least 100 guests and two large families, followed by a week long honeymoon for the bride and groom. With so many people and events to consider, I sat by the beach and made a list of parts required for the itinerary, check boxes and all.

With hundreds of people invited, one of the elements of this destination wedding is convenient travel for family and friends. With Puntacan resort’s assisted arrival and departure program, it took me under 10 minutes from landing to be in the private shuttle for a lovely 5 minute drive to my room at the 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 Weston 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 endlessly 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 to the boutique hotel Tortuga Bay, further along the beach. Cozy rooms recently updated and hanging over the sand and sea. Additionally, there is a designated area at Tortuga Bay where any guest of Puntacana checks out of the Westin at 11AM but has a flight home later in the afternoon can check luggage, enjoy 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 site for gatherings on Friday and Saturday before the wedding ceremony.

The bride’s family wanted to host a cocktail party Friday afternoon, catered at their house before the rehearsal dinner. 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 breakfast at their house, followed by golf at the La Cana Club featuring a Tom Fiazio designed 18 hole course. 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.

The ceremony itself would be held  on the grounds and beachfront followed by dinner and dancing 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 elegant spacious indoor spaces, covered porches fronted by the sea, tall windows and elegant french doors make seamless transitions from formal columned rooms to open beach side galleries and out to the sand. Romantic elegant environments for rain or shine.

Sunday morning, the Westin has a huge brunch for its guests with endless fresh choices served  under a covered roof, surrounded by tall ponds next to the pool. It was undecided if there would also be a brunch hosted for the wedding party at yet another of the restaurants, but there were several 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 families design the wedding that dreams are made of, locate flowers, select restaurant locations and delicacies. Additionally,  they are very willing to work with a wedding planner of your choice. There are many options for lodging for family and friends, and romantic options for a honeymoon when all the guests leave.

 

For more information on Weddings at Puntacana: http://www.puntacana.com/weddings

Puntacana Resort & Club: http://www.puntacana.com/