Samandy and Manny’s wedding was the 7th wedding I’ve photographed in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. It was also the 5th wedding I’ve photographed at the Majestic Colonial/Elegance Resort. One of my goals when shooting in the Dominican Republic is to ensure I try new things so everyone’s wedding images don’t end up looking all the same. As a photographer, it’s a good thing to challenge yourself during each and every shoot. As you will soon see, there was a very different component during S & M’s TTD session : )
We agreed to meet the morning after their wedding at 6am. The clock in Samandy and Manny’s room was set wrong so when they thought is was 6am, it was actually still 5am! They waited outside in the dark for over an hour - ooops! (Kind of funny, but it really wasn’t). It was still too dark at 6am so we didn’t actually start shooting until 6:30am. I am the furthest thing from a morning person so sunrise sessions are a challenge for me right there. To top it all off, I only got about 3 hours sleep because I spent the night downloading all my memory cards onto my laptop and backing up the images for extra safety before going to sleep. Contrary to popular belief, destination weddings are not a vacation for wedding photographers.
Here are just a few of the images from Samandy and Manny’s Sunrise Trash-the-Dress Session - enjoy!
I guess it’s not obvious that it’s brutally early in the morning here since Samandy and Manny are giggling like school kids : )
I think there’s a really good chance they might end up having really cute kids! : )
Loooove this one - the H20 almost looks delicious here.
One of those images that looks fab in colour and black & white - I still can’t decide.
They were such great sports - going in and out of the water.
And willing to do pretty much anything for the shoot! I love working with couples that are eager beavers.
The biggest advantage of doing these sessions at sunrise is that there is barely anyone around to distract you.
I was so glad this palm tree was still here - it is just super cool.
I always like to do my rendition of “Blue Lagoon” (a family friendly version of course). Samandy and Manny weren’t even close to being born when that movie was out though!
Ok, now that you are over the complete shock they actually ripped and tore the dress, try not to judge. Personally, I think there are worse things than ripping a wedding dress - like married couples that don’t wear their wedding bands - actually, don’t get me started on that! : ( If I was a wedding cop (if such occupation existed), I would gladly hand out demerit points to married couples that don’t wear their weddings bands “because it’s just a piece of jewelry”. Sigh. Major pet peeve.
Tearing the dress actually wasn’t for our photo shoot. Since Samandy’s dress was soaking wet, it was SUPER heavy and hard to move around in so removing a few layers just made things easier. I thought while I was standing there, I might as well document it.
We wrapped up the session on this fun bed of coconuts.
By the time we finished, it was almost 9:30am. Samandy and Manny were total troopers and very fun to work with! I really love working with couples like S & M that are willing to push the envelope with me. Congratulations to both of them for committing their lives to each other with the blessing of marriage. They flew home the next day and then were off to a fabulous honeymoon in Paris!
Although my visit was short, it was sweet and I was super honoured that Samandy and Manny invited me to tell the story of their destination wedding experience in the Dominican Republic. I was truly thrilled to be a part of their wedding day! I hope you have enjoyed viewing their images.
My next 2 destination weddings are scheduled for later this year, so there is more tropical fun to come!
So I have to say, I just loved Manny’s suit. Not only did it go with the beach theme, but it totally jived with Manny’s personality as well.
And of course, I loved Samandy’s dress too.
Night came, but that didn’t stop us! I’m a huge fan of night shots and Samandy & Manny were totally into it just as much as I was (they actually skipped dinner with everyone and ate it later! : ) ).
The main lobby building of the Majestic Elegance Resort.
As I mentioned previously, the suites of the Majestic Elegance are totally fantabulous! We did a few images here before heading to the reception.
Looooooove that couch and the light/art piece thing above it.
We had Salmon, Lobster and Octopus for dinner. Would you believe it was one of the best wedding meals I have ever had? Yep, true story. I was quite shocked myself (especially the octopus part). Normally I am quite scared to eat anything in the D.R. that has a face (ie. meat), but when you are “Starvin’ Marvin” you’ll eat anything that is put in front of you. Actually, any of the weddings I’ve eaten at in the D.R. have all been really great, but the salmon, lobster and octopus was extra YUMMY!! (Now I’m totally hooked on lobster which is going to be an expensive habit). The octopus was cut in super small pieces so you wouldn’t have known you were actually eating parts of this big squid fish creature.
Up next, Samandy and Manny’s Trash-the-Dress session!
I finally got to meet Samandy and Manny in person the day before their wedding in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. We were not able to meet until then because they live in New York and I live here (Ontario). Samandy and Manny are both American-born-Dominicans raised/currently living in Bronx, NY. It was nice they were able to travel to where their roots are and tie the knot there (and much easier on the pocket book to get married in the D.R. than the state of New York!).
Samandy and Manny were married at the Majestic Elegance Resort, but this was not the original plan. They had booked everything at the sister resort next door, The Majestic Colonial, but when they arrived 2 days before their wedding, they were informed all the rooms were full, there was no room for them or their guests and they they had to stay next door at the Majestic Elegance instead (oh, and get married there as well!). Imagine finding all of this out 2 days before your wedding! This is really nothing out of the ordinary for Caribbean countries though - disorganization is the norm so if you go there and expect things to go wrong, you won’t be disappointed. If you expect everything to go as planned, you’ll be super duper disappointed.
The Majestic Elegance is one notch up from the Majestic Colonial - the rooms are MUCH nicer at the Elegance. So in all honesty, S & M had it made by staying there instead.
A few quick and random facts about Samandy and Manny:
The ceremony took place at the gazebo (which was really nicely decorated).
Purple was the theme colour.
Samandy and Manny’s pastor from their home church in NY officiated their ceremony for them.
The entire ceremony was in Spanish. Not an ounce of English or Spanglish - just Spanish. I had no idea what was being said, but that didn’t matter, although, taking a basic Spanish course is on my life’s “to do” list.
S & M’s moms (upper right photo).
The Majestic Elegance has some awesome photo opportunities inside the resort.
Samandy really knows how to work the camera!
And Manny’s not bad at it either! ; )
Loved these ones!
Part 2 is next - the beach!
Guess who is this week’s spotlight couple on Weddingbells.ca?
Katie and Wes!
I photographed their wedding on December 10, 2009 in Punta Cana, D.R. and they were recently interviewed by Weddingbells for their “Real Wedding” section:
You’ll definitely want to check the article out so you can find out how Wes proposed to Kate, how they initially met, the scoop on their wedding day, all their wedding vendors, etc.