Jackie & Socrates

I first did my first destination wedding in Cancun, Mexico in April 2011. Right after I posted the photographs, I got an inquiry for another destination wedding in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Just starting out doing wedding photography, I was totally stoked someone recognized and LOVED my photographs, it’s such a surreal feeling and I still get it every time. My wedding couples are the ones that love and respect my work and excited to work with me. They fuel my creativity.

This is a wedding story of Jacqueline and Socrates worth remembering for a lifetime… (Sorry this story is a little long, won’t happen again! PROMISE!)

So where do I start! What an amazing eventful wedding weekend this was in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The night of the rehearsal dinner, a random patron eating at the restaurant had collapsed into a seizure. The young teen, turning purple suffocating from the lack of oxygen because his tongue was obstructing his airway, the teen’s father screaming and yelling while pounding on his chest, helpless of the situation and trying CPR had unknowingly almost killed him. Socrates, without hesitation, pulled the teenagers father aside, and went to action, rolled the teen over and had restored breathing. Socrates had stayed with the teen til the morning making sure he was alright.

Being in a 3rd world country, hospitals and care are few and far between. I felt it was necessary to mention this even though he took an oath, and not wanting any credit for saving someones life. I felt he should be recognized because when does something like this happen the night before your wedding?! He truly showed genuine concern and compassion for the teen. I would love to have him as my doctor ANY day.

Their wedding day… — 100 degree’s 100% humidity

When do you ever sleep the night before your wedding? Well the photographer didn’t, I was TOO excited. I had slept about an hour. So I went to check on the bride Jackie and ended up starting a little bit earlier. This couple is definitely a power couple, something I definitely envy. They are kind, gentle, genuine, and they always have a smile for you.

** Another thing to note while destination wedding planning, please be mindful of the Hurricane Season! (June 1 to Nov. 30)

My oh my did the bride Jackie look ever so stunning in her mermaid style wedding dress! Not many people can pull this wedding dress and she did it beautifully… But just as we were ready to head out to the outdoor ceremony, the clouds started rolling in, loud thunder and lightning started appearing. (The best thing for a bride to do when this happens is DO NOT PANIC and just be happy.) Jackie was just that, she kept calm and collected and smiled, I told her, the most important people in your life flew thousands of miles just to be here for your special day, so whatever happens today, you’re here with family and that’s all that matters. So what we did while it started pouring is get some portraits out of the way and try to wait the storm out.

After about being delayed an hour and half, there was a short break in the storm. I headed out to the gazebo and boy it was beautiful. They had ended up replacing all the chairs, unable to wait any longer they start with the ceremony (drizzling), then magically just as Jackie walks in for the procession, the rain had completely stopped. It stopped for literally a good 2 minutes just up until she got underneath the gazebo and then it started a torrential downpour again. It was as if someone from up above was watching over her for just those short moments.

The rain had continued on and off for the rest of the day. I was drenched along with my equipment. But weddings are once in a lifetime and I’m a true believer of that, knowing my could potentially lose all my equipment to water damage, I set aside those feelings and just kept shooting on. Things just have a way of working itself out. I managed to get every shot I needed, photographed their portrait session after the ceremony in 30 minutes (Normally 2 hrs), soaked, exhausted, I had made it through the night.

An amazing weekend with such an amazing family. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for such a memorable experience and welcoming me to share your special day. Please enjoy these pictures.

Quick shot out to my MUA/Hair stylist, Toni Scott who did all the hair and make up at the wedding. Thanks for being clutch.

Hair: Toni Scott (Chicago)
MUA: Toni Scott (Chicago)
Resort: Gran Bahia Principe (Punta Cana)
Videographer: Florian Koetter (Punta Cana) — Awesome guy! Edited the video within 24 hours!