Friday, August 14, 2009

Destination wedding: The Dominican Repubic the island of waterfalls

Beaches in the Dominican Republic

Located in the eastern Caribbean, the Dominican Republic (DR) is an easy-to-get to destination from New York City. Caribbean sunsets, pristine seaside and palm-lined beaches greet you as you enter this beautiful country. If you are looking for lush tropical gardens as a backdrop or the uniqueness of a quaint village, the DR can accommodate extravagant and intimate; exciting or relaxed weddings for every style and budget.

I spoke with Shasha Cruz, director of public relations for the DR Ministry of Tourism’s New York Office recently and this is a portion of our conversation about this beautiful Caribbean island.

Can you tell me about this beautiful country and opportunities for weddings here?

The DR not only offers the perfect landscape for those looking to get engaged, but also offers brides-to-be a vast variety of hotels with comprehensive wedding packages including wedding coordinators, bridal treatments, photographer, music, flowers, honeymoon suite, personalized wedding cake, catering, amenities for guests and much more to ensure that the wedding day is as hassle-free, cost-effective and relaxed as possible.

What are the heavy times of year you're seeing brides?

The DR is a perennial weddings/romance destination due to its year-round summer-like weather, multitude of resorts and hotels that cater to weddings. It is also easy to get to the DR with many nonstop flights to major cities. High tourist seasons from the U.S. include the winter months. However, a destination wedding to the DR can be scheduled at anytime.

Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic

What are the best/signature experiences can a wedding party expect - or most importantly, if a couple is looking for a venue, why would they choose your space vs. another venue?

The DR offers unique and beautiful backdrops for weddings.

* Most of the resorts that cater to weddings have several scenic spots were couples can tie the knot and celebrate with friends. Marrying under a gazebo on the beach with the Caribbean azure blue sea and stunning coastline as scenery; marrying in private gardens with fountains that many resorts offer, to marrying with the magnificent Dominican Alps as a back drop are easily arranged at hundreds of hotels that have wedding specialists to help the bride and groom.

* A unique and charming spot for weddings can be found at Altos de Chavon, a replica of a 15th century artist’s village near La Romana on the southeast coast. Here cobblestone paths, coral stone fountains and terra cotta buildings create a magical effect for a wedding.

* The DR boasts many world-class hotels and brands thoughout the island. On the East Coast, resort complexes like Punta Cana, Cap Cana, Roco Ki, and Casa de Campo in La Romana are popular for destination weddings. While the DR’s North and North East Coast offers breathtaking coastlines, mountains and unspoiled beaches with a range of hotels, resorts, boutiques and eco- and family friendly options for destination weddings.

Dominican Republic
Beach of Dominican Republic

Tell me about the catering, bridal suite, adventures and anything else you want to share with a bride.

The DR offers couples a unique romantic escape to fulfill every destination engagement or wedding fantasy. Resorts have been meeting and exceeding wedding couples dreams. Sophisticated professional in the DR who specialize in making the big day an amazing memory can offer brides-to-be a vast variety of hotels with comprehensive wedding packages and amenities for guests and much more to ensure that the wedding day is as hassle-free, cost-effective and relaxed as possible. Couples can also celebrate their honeymoon filled with adventure activities unique to the DR like waterfall cascading, snorkeling, hiking and horseback riding on one day, a couples massage on the beach or in a luxury spa, enjoy a romantic beach dinner or stroll the palm-tree lined gardens and unique museums to experience the country’s amazing culture and history.

If you want to get married in DR, these are a few things you need to keep in mind.
1 – Register with the Oficialia del Estado Civil (City Clerk). It’s an approximate $450 fee and there is NO Waiting period. The hotel or resort wedding coordinator can assist with all the paper work needed.
1a - You will need to have your passport, and ORIGINAL copy of your birth certificates, Single Status Affidavits, and if divorced, your divorce certificate that has been translated by an ‘official translator’ into Spanish.

2 – Contact the resort at least one month in advance to reserve a judge. Even though this is only one month, it is highly recommended that you submit all your paper work at least six months BEFORE your wedding date to endure a smooth process.

3 – You will need two witnesses over 18 at your ceremony.

4 – After your ceremony you will be given a document that confirms that the weddinbg took place but a marriage certificate my be requested from the local justice of the peace. This piece of paper makes it legal and recognized worldwide. DON’T FORGET THIS STEP!!

I’ve visited this island many years ago and can tell you that the warmth of weather pales in comparison to the warmth of the people. With so much to do on the island (including all-inclusive resorts!!) you and your guests will have a great time. So make it a long weekend and enjoy all that DR has to offer.

For more info: The DR features the best beaches, fascinating history and culture, and is a chosen escape for celebrities, couples and families alike. Visit the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism’s official Web site at: or call 1-888-374-6361 for more information.


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