• Tanner Clemens


Best. Day. EVER. Call me weird but I was never one of those girls who dreamed about her wedding. I looked forward to marriage and having a partner in crime but the wedding was never something that I had a vision for.

So when my husband proposed to me in front of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in NYC, the immediate pressure to make wedding plans set in. Where will it be? When will it be? How many people? Colors? Budget? I honestly felt like we didn’t even have time to enjoy just being engaged before the stress set in. And while I know that wedding stress inevitable, I also knew that was something I did not want to deal with throughout our whole engagement. Out solution?


There were a lot of factors that went into making this decision and obviously there are pros and cons to it, just like having a traditional wedding. But what we realized is that we had to do what was going to make us the happiest, save us the most money and be the least stressful. For us, that was leaving the country. If you’re thinking about doing a Destination Wedding, I encourage you to take some time to list out all the factors that go into it so that you can really weigh your options. Here were the things that we had to consider.

1. Not as many guests While this is appealing to some, the hard part was accepting that some of our friends and family wouldn’t be able to make it. We had to make sure we were okay with just a select few being able to come and after asking around to see who would consider being there, we found out that the majority of the people who we love the most would be there.

2. Planning time Some weddings can be thrown together in a matter of months. Others take a year or two. With a destination wedding, we had to make sure to give not only us but our guests a long enough heads up to be able to budget for it and take vacation time. After taking this into account, we decided to have a little bit longer than normal engagement to ensure that it wasn’t too stressful for anyone to be there. Our time frame was that we got engaged December 27th, 2014 and then we got married July 26th, 2016, giving us a little over a year and a half to enjoy our engagement and to also plan and save. I will say thought at I felt like I had to do very minimal planning with our wedding. The majority of it was just exchanging emails, signing documents and picking out things from a catalog. I barely had to do much more than just making decisions and communicating. This REALLY took a ton of stress off the natural Type A psycho I can be. 3. Budget This was a biggie for us. We were young, both still in school and working a lot. Our parents helped a little bit financially, but we paid for most of it out of our pockets. So we had to make sure that whatever we did, we would be able to afford it. After listing out estimates of a traditional wedding back home vs. a destination wedding, we discovered that a destination wedding would save us a lot of money. Which made our decision even easier. 4. Location After we decided that we were going to make this happen, we really needed to nail down a location. I knew that I wanted an all inclusive resort and for some reason I just had my heart set on Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Maybe because it was different and I had never been or the fact that the beaches were to die for. Whatever it was, that was just the place that I wanted so we went with it. My second choice would have been Mexico though and that’s mainly because flights would have been shorter/cheaper. The next decision was to choose our resort. I knew nothing about what would be best to host people of all different ages but also specialized in Weddings. Destinationweddings.com was a lifesaver however and they directed me to several different options that would suit our needs and we finally landed on the Hard Rock Hotel in Punta Cana. My personal opinion? It was GREAT. It was enormous (which some people don’t like) but it gave all of our guests plenty to do and really allowed them to treat it as their vacation as well. For that, it was the perfect fit for us. 5. What do YOU want I think the most important thing to remember during all of this is that it’s YOUR day. What do you envision it to look like? What will make you the happiest? To me? It was about being in the place I love most.. The beach. And not only that, but I wanted our day to be about US not 200 other people. We had about 35 guests and it was absolutely perfect. If I could go back, I would do it over and over again in a heartbeat. We have absolutely no regrets and both feel that we 100% were able to relax and soak up every second of that special day. Now I won’t go into all the detail of the girly things such as dresses, colors, flowers, etc. BUT I will drop a few more gorgeous pictures -taken by GGG Photography- and also attach our full footage wedding video along with the highlight video that our amazing videographer,Video Punta Cana made. Highlight Video. Full Footage Video.

If you are seriously considering a Destination Wedding and have any questions, drop a comment below and I’ll answer everything as best as I can :) Happy Wedding Planning!