**Updated July 2020**
Planning a wedding in Punta Cana can be difficult since you’re preparing for an event hundreds or thousands of miles away from home. You’re planning the wedding of your dreams, and you want everything to be perfect. But you’re surely going to run into a few challenges along the way.
My goal is to make things a little easier for you. The way I see it, if you can be aware of the most common frustrations and struggles our brides face, you can be more prepared when it happens to you. So here are six things that you need to be aware of when planning a wedding in Punta Cana.
#1. You Won’t Be Able to See Your Wedding Venue in Person
Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones… The couple who gets to take an extra trip before their wedding week to scope out venues. To see your options, try the food, have some drinks, and make your final decision. But for most couples, this is not a possibility. If you’re on a budget and can’t make it to Punta Cana for a site visit, you’ll be planning your entire wedding from a computer screen.
Don’t worry! This is the case for 85% of our brides, and their weddings always turn out amazing! All you need are some amazing vendors who can make your wedding dreams come true.
Contact your resort and venue options and ask for recent photos of the wedding locations. Ask for dimensions of the space and the different decorations and tables they use. This way you can gain an accurate idea as to what useable space you can work with, and you can start to piece together your wedding decor.
For more details on venues, check out How to Choose a Wedding Venue in Punta Cana Without Ever Seeing it in Person.
#2. Common Resources May Not Be Available
Although Punta Cana is a popular tourist destination – and it continues to grow every year – there are a lot of things that we still don’t have access to. You may find that vendors don’t have the same resources, products, or variety that you’d expect.
Things that you see everywhere at weddings back home haven’t made their way here yet. Certain flowers, decorations, and details can be hard to find. Or way more expensive than you’d think.
You have to constantly remind yourself that you’re getting married on a tropical island. Use nature to your advantage, and use resources that are common to the Dominican Republic. Fresh fruit, lush greenery, and tropical flowers are abundant and can be used all around your wedding venue. And don’t be afraid to bring any extra details you love from back home.
#3. Expect Insufficient or Delayed Communication
The language barrier, different time zones, and especially the laidback island lifestyle can all play a role in slow or delayed communication from your vendors. Customer service is not the same in Punta Cana as it is back home. Expect responses to take days –or weeks- depending on your wedding date. Some resorts won’t even respond until 3 months before your wedding day.
You will no doubt find that the typical form of communication will be through email, which we all know can be slow even in the best of times. It is important to remain patient and to trust your vendors. They are professionals and will create an amazing wedding for you. Even if you’re not in constant communication.
If at any point you become concerned that you are not being heard or responded to quickly enough, you may wish to organize a conference call via Skype, Zoom, or Facetime.
#4. Hire a Wedding Planner in Punta Cana
When planning a destination wedding, a wedding planner or coordinator will make your life so much easier! Especially if you won’t be visiting Punta Cana before the big day.
Wedding coordinators are incredibly knowledgeable with regards to local vendors. They often come with an abundance of amazing recommendations for cake designers, caterers, DJs, and so much more.
Some venues and resorts will include a wedding planner with their package but not all of them. If they don’t include one, I’d still recommend getting one for the big day. Having a coordinator is certainly an added expense but their knowledge and expertise can offer peace of mind when planning your wedding day.
#5. Gather Photos to Send Your Vendors
Photos from Pinterest, Instagram, destination wedding sites, and your favorite photographer’s website are all great places to start when planning your wedding and piecing together your desired look. Check out The Ultimate Guide to Destination Wedding Decor for different decor styles.
While worded descriptions can easily be misunderstood by your vendors, photos help to clear things up. What’s that they always say… Oh! A picture is worth a thousand words. And it’s so true!
To avoid any possible confusion, send photos and a detailed description of exactly what you want. And don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions until you know everything fits your needs.
#6. Expect the Unexpected
Regardless of the amount of planning you put into your wedding day, you can expect that something will go wrong on the big day. Even the biggest, most expensive weddings run into problems. But with the help of your wedding coordinator and your vendors, any issues that arise can be solved at a moment’s notice.
When something goes wrong, keep calm. Don’t let the minor inconveniences completely ruin your day. Enjoy every moment! Because before you know it, it will be over!
Planning a Wedding in Punta Cana
There are some challenges when it comes to planning a wedding in Punta Cana, but don’t get discouraged. If you keep these six tips in mind, your wedding planning can go smoothly. And who knows… You may even have some fun in the process!
For more helpful ideas, check out 15 Tips for Planning an Unforgettable Beach Wedding.