Planning a Wedding in the Dom. Rep. (Dominican weddings)
Planning a wedding by the sea
Weddings and honeymoons are landmark times in
our lives. The Caribbean sunsets, tropical gardens
and seasides provide the perfect setting for your
special day. That’s why so many couples
choose to tie the knot and/or take their honeymoon
in the Dominican Republic.
Major resorts in Sosua, Puerto Plata, Playa Dorada,
Playa Grande, Punta Cana-Bavaro, Juan Dolio, Boca
Chica, Samana and La Romana have expert staffs
who will coordinate a carefree wedding for you
and your party. Wedding packages differ slightly
from hotel to hotel but most will include the
judge, license, flowers, music, cake, champagne
and special touches in your room.
A sun washed beach will provide a romantic setting
for a wedding reception. Tropical flower bouquets
and centerpieces in cool seaside colors or passionate
bright colors will add to the atmosphere. Guests
will sit back and relax, and thank you for sharing
these memorable moments with them.
The hotel may arrange for the wedding ceremony
at a beachside gazebo or under an open sky. The
hotel wedding coordinator will translate the Spanish
ceremony for you. The photographer knows the hotel
and area so he can find the best backgrounds for
memorable poses. Your biggest worry is saying
Likewise, if you want to go all the way, the
wedding business is big in the DR. Santo Domingo
wedding specialists can be called in to create
your dream wedding - D'Flora, Tel. (809) 562-5363
and Vargas, Tel. (809) 563-6602, just to mention
two, are reliable and creative.
You should start planning your wedding six months
in advance. The hotels prefer at least three months
advance notice to book the judge and prepare for
your day. While weddings in the DR are beautiful,
they are also practical and excellent value for
Start your wedding day with a pre-wedding breakfast
or brunch. The hotel can arrange for a casual,
morning gathering at the hotel for your party.
Then pamper yourself with a massage, or spend
some time at the hotel spa, and then the beauty
salon for manicure and hairstyling. If the hotel
does not have these facilities, they can arrange
for a beauty specialist to come to your room.
Choosing where to honeymoon::
One of the big advantages to marrying at a resort
is that you can honeymoon right there. If you
will be at a resort in the South, take time out
to visit Santo Domingo, the first city in the
New World. Have pictures of the two of you strolling
through the 16th century Colonial City, an area
dripping with romance. Visit the Alcazar where
the conquistadors planned their exploits in the
New World. There, too, Diego Columbus courted
his newly arrived bride, Maria de Toledo. The
cobble-stone streets and yellow lamplight will
inspire old-fashioned romance.
In Santo Domingo choose from one of the large
chain hotels or a smaller colonial city hotel.
Enjoy the Plaza de España in the Colonial
Zone or the discos in city hotels or residential
areas, as well as the many gourmet restaurants,
cafes and bars.
If the idea of planning a complex honeymoon makes
you nervous, consider an all-inclusive resort.
A prepaid vacation puts money issues behind you.
You can just relax in the sheltered atmosphere
of an all-inclusive, eating and drinking all day
without taking your wallet out! If you like being
in control, get the hotel schedule and choose
from the myriad of daytime and nighttime activities.
It will be all there for you to choose from, bringing
less stress, giving you more time and energy to
concentrate on each other.
If you are traveling with a wedding party, large
all-inclusives have the advantage of keeping friends
and family close together and busy with the many
If you really want to take the easy way, some
of the larger tour operators can sell you a complete
wedding package to save you the trouble of dealing
directly with the hotel. These packages take care
of all the details for a flat fee including the
assistance of their local representative. Ask
your travel agent about it.
For serenity-seeking honeymooners, choose a small
private hotel far away from the all-inclusive
party atmosphere. How about a small mountain enclave
in Constanza, a guest house in Playa Grande or
Las Galeras beach, Samana?
Still stumped about which direction to take?
Then make it a split decision - spend a week in
the South or the East and a week in the North.
These destinations are only 3 or 4 hours apart
so you won’t waste a whole day travelling.
After all, it's your honeymoon; make it memorable!
Marriage paperwork:: getting married
in the dominican republic
Marriage license requirements:
Submit the following paperwork before the Oficialía
del Estado Civil
(The resort of your choice will present your documentation to the Civil Registrar/Officer)
for the preparation of your marriage
certificate. Note that you may send photocopies
in advance and bring the original with you:
Single status affidavit translated by an official
translator into Spanish
Divorce certificate translated into Spanish, if applicable
(Legal transcripts of the birth certificates,
single status affidavit and divorce certificate
need to be prepared at the Dominican Consulate.
You will also need two witnesses. If they are
foreigners, they will need to have passports as
identification. If they are Dominicans, "cedulas"
Dominican Government issued I.D. cards, are sufficient.
After the marriage
The document issued by the Justice
of the Peace is a valid marriage certificate anywhere
in the world.
It may come in handy to
legally translate and certify your Wedding Certificate at the Dominican Consulate.
will be useful if you are considering a name change
for any other legal need. Verify if
your hotel of choice may include this in your
wedding package for an extra fee. This procedure
usually takes about a month.
Wedding tips:: getting married in the
Take advantage of features like a ride in a horse-drawn
carriage, a music trio or quartet that will play
all your songs if you let them know in advance.
Splurge on flowers, taking advantage of the variety
of tropical and exotic flowers and their lower
Purchase the photo album and the video, for life-long
Design a cake topped and decorated with seashells
or fresh orchids. Or send in advance a picture
of your dream cake for a custom-made cake.
Remember to choose attire proper for the hotter
Caribbean weather. Sleeveless gowns are best.
Some have even married in their bathing suits
down on the beach! Yes, you may wear a long train
but don't expect it to stay immaculately white.
The dress can be steam-pressed by the hotel's
dry cleaning department upon your arrival.
Come days before to get a beautiful suntan for
that wedding day.
Take advantage of hotel massage or spa facilities
to de-stress before the wedding.
Request a Plan A – open air - and a Plan
B – indoors - in case of a tropical shower.
Remember to prepare yourself for the unexpected.
Getting married in another country is a wonderful
experience but the language and culture difference
could result in some ‘interesting’
surprises. If you just relax and go with the flow,
you’re guaranteed to have a perfect wedding
Church weddings, as mentioned, need more formalities
than a civil service. You will have to fulfill
all the civil wedding requirements and then some.
Check with the hotel of your choice to see if
they have had any recent experience with church
weddings. A Dominican wedding specialist will
be helpful guiding you through these formalities.
If you are both foreigners and want to marry
in the Dominican Roman Catholic Church, your Archbishop
may need to request permission from the Archbishop
of the Diocese where you would like to marry in
the DR. If you are marrying a Dominican, this
will not be necessary as the Dominican spouse
has an assigned church depending on his/her home
town. With connections, this may be changed to
one of the historic churches within the Colonial
The lovely but small San Estanislao Church (Roman
Catholic) at Altos de Chavon (seats about 40)
in La Romana is chosen by many foreign couples
every year. Arrangements are costly but can be
made through Casa de Campo, Tel (809) 523-3333.
The San Estanislao church priest will allow you
to bring a priest of another denomination to participate
in the ceremony.
Some Dominican parishes, San Estanislao included,
may also permit a foreign language-speaking priest
to participate in the ceremony.
Jewish weddings can be held in the DR with or
without the presence of a rabbi. To locate the
rabbi, call the Israeli Embassy in Santo Domingo,
Tel. (809) 542-1635.
Church weddings for foreigners have been
- San Estanislao Church in Altos de Chavon (La
- Basilica La Altagracia, Higuey, La Altagracia
- Cathedral of Puerto Plata
- Sosua Synagogue (Puerto Plata)
- Santo Domingo Synagogue
- Cathedral of Santo Domingo
- Cathedral of Santiago
A religious marriage has the same legal implications
as a civil marriage. In a religious marriage,
the parish priest sends a copy of the act of the
celebration to the authorized Officer of the Civil
State within three days after the marriage, so
that it may be registered. Even if a civil marriage
has taken place before the canonical marriage,
the parish priest must still send a copy of the
act to the Official of the Civil State to be registered.
If you have reached a special anniversary, you
may want to reaffirm your vows. No better way
than by organizing a family and friends trip to
an exotic destination in the Dominican Republic.
The resort of your choice can help coordinate
a service followed by a reception and party.
.:: Taking care of
your legal documentation for your wedding
in the Dominican Republic. Information for
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