Punta Cana Oceanside Destination Wedding at La Cana Golf Club

Melissa Baran

Juan and Edna's wedding day celebration was a culmination of high school sweetheart love to a long-distance challenge while Juan served as a Marine to a Today Show proposal. As someone who married my own college sweetheart who serves in the military—I feel the most meaningful connection to these two and know that their bond is so, so powerful because of it. Today, we get to play virtual guests to their Big Day, planned by CM Events and Design and captured by Asia Pimentel. From CM Events and Design... Edna and Juan are high school sweethearts. They went to Eastside High and call their love story an "Eastside Love Story". After high school, Juan went off to the Marines and Edna stayed in New Jersey attending college. Once Juan completed 4 years in the Marines, he returned to New Jersey and pursued his dream of becoming a firefighter. Juan surprised Edna with a proposal, live on the Today Show!. Fast forward to the wedding weekend in the Dominican Republic.Juan's family is from the Dominican Republic and Edna's family is from El Salvador. They knew they wanted a destination wedding and the Dominican Republic just seemed like the perfect destination to bring everyone together. Working with the planning and design team from CM Events and Design, Edna and Juan celebrated the weekend with about 60 of their closest friends and family at Punta Cana Resort and Club.The bride wanted vintage details incorporated throughout the wedding, so for the invitations, the bride had custom newspapers designed and printed that included information about the weekend, their proposal and fun information about the couple.Puntacana Resort & Club is home to the Caribbean’s ultimate beach and golfing experience, with 3 miles of magnificent white sand beaches and 45 holes of championship golf. The understated elegance and timeless vision of Oscar de la Renta, which defines the uniquely Dominican experience of staying at Puntacana Resort & Club, makes it a favorite and was the perfect location to host their sophisticated wedding celebration.For the design, the bride wanted to incorporate two of her favorite colors, blush and dusty blue while still keeping the design romantic and timeless. Although the white sand beaches at the venue are some of the most beautiful in the world, the couple wanted to use the beach and the Caribbean Sea as a backdrop and opted to have a ceremony on the grass. The planning and design team had a custom arch built so that the simple ceremony space would have a statement design piece. White rose petals filled the aisle and white chivari chairs completed the ceremony space. Special touches during the ceremony were the flower girl wagon that carried the bride’s niece, the violinist and the vows that Edna and Juan wrote.After the ceremony, guests were greeted with custom monogrammed coconuts; chilled coconut water was the perfect refreshment. To find their seats, guests found their place on the custom-built escort display wall which held vintage keys and name tags tied with hand died silk ribbon. The reception was held on the upper level of La Cana Golf and Beach Club on their Spanish Patio. The couple wanted an open-air feel with views of the beach and sea. The florals and decor included linen and table runner drape by BBJ, lounges with compote arrangements, gold rim chargers, taper candles, low centerpieces filled with garden roses and designed by Katie of Bloom 52. The open-air terrace was decorated with hanging bistro lights and smilax, and trees were added to the terrace area to transform the space as well. Other special touches included a cigar bar, a simply frosted fresh floral Dominican cake and a signature drink called the Yoshito named after their dog Yoshi which was given to Edna by Juan while he was deployed.

Photography: Asia Pimentel Photography | Event Design: CM Events and Design | Event Planning: CM Events and Design | Floral Design: Bloom52 Floral Co. | Flowers: Mercaflor | Wedding Gown: Pronovias | Stationery: Paper Tales Custom | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Joanna August | Catering: Puntacana Resort & Club | Makeup: Melanie Gabrielle | Hair: Olga Montilla | Calligraphy: Custom Crafted | Tux: Generation Tux | Officiant: Jehison Cabrera | Venue: Puntacana Resort & Club | Clubhouse: La Cana Golf and Beach Club | DJ and Lighting: Vizman Entertainment | Linen: BBJ Linen | Rentals: JR& CO | Ribbon: Jefferson Lane | Video: NCH Films