Our wedding was on April 28, and I’ve finally had time to digest everything and I’m ready to share with you all my destination wedding experience! Sorry this may be a long one!
Our wedding was on a Thursday and we arrived on the Monday prior, and departed on Sunday. If I could change anything about this, I would have arrived closer to the wedding and stayed longer after the wedding. (EDIT: We arrived multiple days in advance because 48 hours prior to our wedding, we had a meeting at Kukua with Mayte to go over final details including menu and drinks. Additionally, you get to taste test all the appetizers, all the drinks, and they bring out a full course presentation similar to what you’ll get on your actual wedding night - aka come hungry because the food is delicious!) We were so excited and anxious for our big day, but didn’t want to do anything too adventurous in case of medical accidents, getting ill, or getting sunburned etc. would have loved to do some excursions (hiking, catamaran, or day trip to saona island or Santo Domingo) but we just stayed local near the resort. The weather during our week there was insanely gorgeous, never too hot, not too cold, it only rained the last two days we were there which wasn’t a huge deal to us. I brought hand fans for my guests thinking they’d boil during the ceremony but actually the ocean breeze kept everyone cool under the setting sun and it was quite comfortable. Even Carlos who was standing facing the sun at the alter didn’t break a sweat, and my dad who sweats just by stepping foot outside, didn’t sweat at all! Day of the wedding, my bridal group (mom, grandma, sister, & mom in law) got picked up at 945 from our resort. At Kukua, we met Mayte, and Olga Montilla (make up artist) showed up right at 10. Olga organized who would go first based on the services and styles we wanted - she was incredibly thorough, gentle, and kind. She made all of us look absolutely incredible and our makeup and hairstyles held up throughout the entire night. My sister has Down syndrome and Olga was so careful and patient with her, it was such a sweet moment for my sister and Olga had no problem making her feel at ease. During our getting ready we had options for lunch and drinks. The bridal suite is air conditioned which was great and felt just right. I love how cute the bridal suite is and fit our little group just right. But plenty of seating for larger groups too! And of course the big mirror! Around 2pm Mika from Punta Cana Photography showed up and she is such a gem of a human, I was so impressed by her professionalism behind the camera and telling us how to pose and different angles. I’m no supermodel but the sneak peeks I’ve gotten have blown me away. She did a great job at telling us where to go and what poses to do. You can tell that she knows what she’s doing without being rude or obnoxious, she was in fact just the opposite very calm and meticulous and the photos so far turned out amazing! I cannot wait to see the rest! I did do a first look with Carlos and it was great to see him before the ceremony because I was less nervous walking down the aisle and I was just so excited to see him and get alone time with him. Highly recommend if this is something you’re on the fence about! Ceremony time! After the first look I went back upstairs for last minute touch ups with Olga, and then I went downstairs to greet my dad who would be walking down the aisle. I had a huge emotional breakdown at that point because everything hit me all at once, all the feelings of being overwhelmed, the excitement that this day had finally come, and that my dad was here to be with me and share this moment. I did shed a few tears but my makeup did not budge!!!! Olga’s application and expertise really showed because my emotional state didn’t ruin the makeup at all! I forgot to mention that Alejandro (Kukua’s officiant) came to meet me upstairs before the ceremony to go over the script as we had planned to do a hand fasting piece. I wish I had been more focused and asked specifically about the hand fasting because I was under the assumption that Alejandro was going to perform it for us. But at the alter, he was holding the microphone and the iPad and so had no free hands to “tie our knot” so carlos and I awkwardly held our ropes and in the moment was too flustered to do it ourselves. Otherwise the speech he gave was beautiful and really touching for our guests. I would have rather practiced the hand fasting portion and communicated better about that but it did not distract from the overall moment. After that we took a few photos with friends and family, and then we had dinner. Let me tell y’all!!!! Dinner was freaking amazing, by far the best food I had while in Punta Cana. For cocktail hour we served yucca balls, cheese balls with guava, and paella. We decided our specialty drinks were the coconut mojito and the passion fruit mojito. Our welcome drink was the blue lagoon (or blue Hawaiian) since it matched perfectly with my accent colors! For dinner We had the salad with strawberry dressing (came in a pineapple), penne pasta with vodka sauce, white fish and chicken with mushroom sauce and mashed potatoes, and our cake was vanilla with guava filling. Guys, the food was so so good! But I got full really quick, I wish I could’ve eaten more of the food but I was so stuffed and also just excited about the day! Post dinner was cake cutting, and then the party started. The dance floor and bar server and the DJ were amazing, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. We had such a small group that the bar server actually started bringing drinks and shots out to us on the dance floor it was great! We did an open bar for 3 hours and it sufficed perfectly. Overall, the day goes by way too freaking fast, and I just wish I had a time machine to slow it down and soak it all up. I thoroughly enjoyed every single moment and the service and hospitality of Kukua was beyond words. I don’t think my dream wedding would have came to life were it not for Rachel, Mayte, Olga, Mika, and everyone else involved. I realize this was a huge operation and everyone really put 100% effort into making our day so so special. Thank you to everyone involved and everyone who had a handle in our fairytale, it was a dream come true! Rachel: thank you so much from the bottoms of our hearts for being there from the very beginning when I thought the Pinterest wedding of my dreams was just a fantasy - you made the dream come true with the help of Mayte and I’m forever grateful for your guidance and assistance. If you made it this far, thanks for reading my review I hope it was helpful for future brides and that it solidifies your decision to have beautiful Kukua as your venue for your special day. I found Kukua on Pinterest as I kept searching for Caribbean beach wedding and Kukua kept popping up, and all the pictures were just so gorgeous. I knew after one conversation with Rachel that based on the price point and the customization options, this was where I wanted my fairytale to take place.
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