Are you ready to feast your eyes on a wedding that is so beautiful and so incredibly fun?
I feel like a broken record when I say this, but it's just so, so true and I can't get past how lucky I am with how far Barefoot Bridal has come from when I first started it just a little over a year ago.
I never thought Barefoot Bridal would be what it is today. I never thought that when I first started this that I would develop such a bond with brides across the country. I underestimated how bittersweet it would be every time a bride's group departed or one of my brides who hired me to help plan their wedding had their wedding. I underestimated the friendships I would forge with brides across the country. And their grooms, too!
One of those very special couples is Lindsey and Sean. They contacted me for help with both their travel for their guests and wedding planning. Little did I know what an amazingly fun couple they were and how much fun I would have helping them plan for their wedding. Starting from their story of how they met (a joke over text that brought them together forever!), I knew I was in for a treat with these two!
And I was right. They are equal parts fun and love. See for yourself!
Why they chose a destination wedding:
Sean and I landed on a destination wedding for 2 reasons: First, we've used most of our vacation days traveling to people's weddings and never really got a real vacation in there. Our hope was that this would give people an excuse for a vacation AND attend our wedding. Secondly, Sean and I are HUGE extroverts. We love being around our friends and the thought of only seeing our favorite people for a couple hours was exhausting and overwhelming. We had the best vacation with our best friends - we would definitely do a destination wedding if we did it over again!
Lindsey and Sean are a couple who knows what they want and there was no hesitation or delay in getting started. They had done their research and contacted me to book their group at the Level at Melia Caribe Tropical and their wedding at the Jellyfish Restaurant in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
As you can see, this couple knows how to party. And they wanted to do it with their friends all weekend long! Can you blame them? Their friends look like a blast, too!
Choosing the Jellyfish Restaurant for their wedding venue:
When we decided that Punta Cana was the location for our destination wedding, Jellyfish was a no brainer. We knew we did not want to get married on-resort. Nothing against on-resort weddings, but we wanted to give our guests a semi-real taste of Punta Cana by getting them off resort. I saw a picture of Jellyfish and fell in love with the design of the building but could not figure out if it was actually in Punta Cana. Once I found the Punta Cana Brides Facebook group and read some reviews, we booked Jellyfish immediately.
The Jellyfish is a beautiful venue for a wedding, is it not?
The food and drinks are delicious, too!
About their stay at the Melia Caribe Tropical:
I will preface this by saying, we read some TERRIBLE reviews of the Melia. We experienced the opposite. We had a GREAT experience at Melia. The communication leading up to the trip was a little spotty, but the service was incredible. I would HIGHLY recommend booking your rooms and your guests' rooms in The Level. Personally, I think this made the experience awesome. I think the key is managing your expectations. It's a moderately priced All-Inclusive - just know the food will not be the best food you've ever eaten and be okay with that. Our butlers were THE BEST and the Adult pool and adult beach area were great, too. Sean and I will definitely be back to Melia!
Tip: I definitely recommend groups book at the Level if they are going to stay at the Melia Caribe Tropical. The service and food is way better when staying at the Level.
If you get the right rooms, they're large enough and beautiful for getting ready photos. Don't forget to order champagne and room service for you and your ladies (and gents)!
When we first started planning the Givens/Morgan wedding, the renowned wedding decorator and coordinator at the Jellyfish Restaurant had just recently moved to a new venue and there were two new, young decorators at Jellyfish. At the time, having seen very few weddings with their work and having nearly no reviews from them, I was really nervous leaving such a large and important (to me!) wedding in the hands of someone so green. No one knew just how fast those girls would learn to decorate. There was a small timeframe when Gabriel Duran, the owner of the Jellyfish Restaurant, allowed an outside decorator to come in and decorate for weddings. I jumped at the opportunity and asked Lindsey and Sean if they wanted to hire Val's Weddings and they did.
The decor was beautiful and fit Lindsey and Sean's theme and vision perfectly!
Lindsey and Sean on Barefoot Bridal's services:
We loved working with Sharon. She was prompt in her responses and was so tenacious when we hadn't heard from a vendor. It was VERY nice to have someone that had gone through the process of planning a destination wedding and was able to help me navigate/mitigate a lot of stress. If I were to do it all over again, I would absolutely hire Barefoot Bridal to help plan.
Lindsey knew what she wanted for the decor and Sean knew that he wanted string lights. We started a Pinterest board and went to pinning things they both liked and things they definitely did not want. Likes: sea glass, drift wood, lanterns, rustic - and string lights. Do not likes: bright colors, lace table runners, tulle, signs that are not actually informative. I helped them look over their forms, made sure they received prompt contact from their vendors, and helped with little details like bouquet, cake, welcome bags and invites.
Like I said before, Lindsey and Sean knew what they wanted and choosing vendors was easy for them.
Wedding Venue: Jellyfish Restaurant
Wedding Decorator: Val's Weddings by Val Sergienko
Photography: Shoebox Photography (Melinda & Rob)
Videography: Cores Film (Diego Cores)
Hair & Makeup: Anna Nuet
Officiant: Pastor York
Rehearsal Dinner: Huracan Cafe
Lindsey & Sean's Advice For Future Brides & Grooms:
I am not one of those people with "No Regrets." While I loved every second of our wedding there are some things, that now with retrospect, I would do differently.
- Hair & Makeup: DO NOT GO LAST FOR HAIR AND MAKEUP. It was no one's fault but we began to run late during the getting ready portion of the wedding day. I was going last for my makeup, which was EXTREMELY stressful and very hard to recover from. Someone told me the same advice and I didn't listen - when you are making your getting ready schedule for the day of, plan to go second to last or even third to last. You can always do touch ups!! I also would have benefited from some trial runs of hair and make up. It has NOTHING to do with Anna. I had a very specific idea of what I wanted and once it was done, it did not look right on my face/eye shape. I wish that I would have done a few trial runs with MUAs at home to understand what kind of bridal look looks best on me. My sister and both mom's makeup was radiant!! They all said it was the best makeup they've ever had done!! If I were to redo my wedding, I would absolutely hire Anna and have her do whatever she wanted on me :).
- Stress: Understand what makes you stressed and how to combat it. Because we were running late, I was very stressed and couldn't relax until the ceremony. I wish that I would have put one of my bridesmaids in charge of drinks and snacks for getting ready. I definitely could have used a few glasses of wine before the first look to calm nerves. Spend some time honestly reflecting on what your stress triggers are and make sure you have a "fix" or way to cope on your wedding day. It goes by SOOOO FAST that I wish that I could have stressed less and enjoyed more.
- Be Honest: I spent so much time not wanting to be THAT bride or be annoying that I didn't vocalize things that I wanted and ended up not having them at our wedding. Ideally, you get one wedding and I promise it's worth verbalizing what you want. It helped me to remember that I am most likely not the craziest or most demanding bride a vendor has dealt with.
Lindsey made such a beautiful, fun, sweet bride and I loved every minute of planning with her and going through all her amazingly beautiful photos. I loved how involved Sean was, too. Congratulations, Lindsey and Sean! I wish you many, many years of love, laughter and utter happiness.