Sophia and Alberto

Dominican Republic

 

 

Photography + Cinematography | Brandon Kari Productions | @brandonkariproductions

Venue | La Briciola di Santo Domingo

Event Planner | CV Studio | @cv_studio

Gown Salon | One and Only Bridal | @oneandonlybridal_

From the Photographer

This couple is the definition of love. They run a crisis care center in Honduras for children in need and have one of the purest hearts. Their beauty is reflected in the splendor of this wedding.

Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette?

Our wedding was seriously a dream come true… I would say our inspiration was based off of the natural beauty that the Dominican Republic has to offer. We chose our wedding style and color palette to be all neutrals with greenery and very few white florals. The old streets of Zona Colonial made deciding on the design and style of our wedding so easy. CV Studio, our planner and designer really made my vision come to life with adding simple and natural elements. A Dominican tradition we followed is that all guests wear white to weddings as the color white represents peace in their culture. I was always in love with this idea of all our guests wearing white and neutrals to our wedding, it made the pictures truly incredible. Another Dominican tradition we added was a Perico Ripiao band to our reception. The Dominican culture is so rich and we wanted to incorporate it in our wedding as much as possible. The merengue band lead our guests and wedding party in a parade from the wedding ceremony to our reception spot, it was incredible and seeing the joy on our guests face made it even more special.

 

Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception?

Yes to everything decor, I was looking at bridal magazines and Pinterest for months trying to decide on the perfect look. In my mind, incorporating the old world look of Zona Colonial in our wedding was essential. The church were we got married is one of the oldest churches in the Dominican Republic so we wanted a look that complimented the church but that also added a modern vibe. We decided on linen cloths draped over the walls for our signs which was our biggest DIY project, a friend of mine made these signs and they added the perfect touch. We decided to use ghost chairs for the seating, the chairs added that modern element we were looking for. CV Studio did an incredible job of making our vision come to life. The reception was held at a restaurant that was restored from an old building, we brought the same old world look to the reception with a twist of modern. The decor for our reception was similar with greenery, linen and ghost chairs. The reception had most of our DIY projects as we had a cigar bar, generations of love table and a guest book with a unique card box. My incredible mom actually did most of our DIY decor as I have a full time job that didn’t allow much wedding planning time. Our generations of love table was probably my most favorite DIY project, we even added the wedding invitation from my grandparents wedding!

 

What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?

I would say most of our decor was actually greenery and different botanical elements. We used greenery for almost everything, the church was lined with greenery and white florals as well as the reception. I think the greenery gave our wedding such an enchanted feel and added that extra detail we needed with minimal effort. We actually decided to not do bridal bouquets or boutonnieres for our bridal party. We mainly did this so we would stand out as bride and groom since everyone was in white, it was also a huge save on budget to cut out those extra costs.

 

Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?

I feel like we did so many little things to personalize our wedding. We had hand rolled cigars for guests as a wedding favor, but I would say adding the merengue band after the ceremony was probably our favorite personal touch. It gave so many people a true taste of Dominican culture. It was also a good way to let them enjoy dancing and having fun while we did pictures after the ceremony. After the ceremony we had a small stand with fresh coconuts before the parade to the reception. I know I keep talking about the parade so that was probably my favorite part.

Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.

I have always been into fashion and decor. So like I said, I spent months searching for the perfect look. I would say my minimalistic style is what gave me the most inspiration for our wedding day. I wanted the architecture of the buildings to stand out by only adding simple elements and textures to compliment the space. Keeping the same monochrome color palette with only adding greenery really let the buildings shine.

 

How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.

We actually met when I was 16 years old. I went to the Dominican Republic with my church on a mission trip and Nino was the translator for our team. I would never admit this to him but I was drooling over him haha I was like who is this handsome translator and now we are married so that obviously worked out. We dated long distance for almost 3 years then lived within the same city for almost a year before getting engaged. The proposal was the actual sweetest thing, Nino had good friends of ours keeping me busy all day at a training. After the training our friend told me she wanted to get a bite to eat and insisted we go to this restaurant super out of way. I remember telling her I wanted pizza and arguing to go somewhere else, I unintentionally made it a bit harder on her than it should have been. Looking back I can totally see she was nervously texting her husband who was with Nino trying to coordinate the time of our arrival. Little did I know Nino was at the restaurant waiting to propose! I remember we pulled up to the restaurant, I got out of the car and a lady blind folded me. At that point I knew something was happening but I would have never guessed it was Nino waiting to propose. I literally had no idea he was going to do that so it was such a huge surprise. Before I knew it he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife, it was incredible. That man even had fireworks go off in the background and a cheese board waiting for me (he knows how to spoil me).

 

What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?

I think the most anticipated moment was our first look. We debated doing a first look for so long but we are so glad we decided to do it. It was such a sweet time together before our wedding and It was actually one of our only moments with just the two of us. Before our first look together I did a first look with just my dad which was so special, I loved having that time with him before he gave me away. Nino did a first look with his mom and I also did one with my mom, grandma and brother. My mom got ready with me and my bridesmaids so I got to spend my whole morning with her which was so sweet. We had to get ready earlier but doing a first look with all the important people in ours lives added such special memories.

 

Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?

I think my biggest wedding planning advice would be to delegate as much as possible and if it is within your budget get a wedding planner. Your wedding day, even your wedding week is not a time to be doing everything yourself. You truly just need someone that you trust to release all the details and take over coordinating. CV Studio had a team of 5 wedding planners on our wedding day, I can’t say enough good things about them. One of the planners was with me and the bridesmaids while the other was with the groomsmen. The rest of their team were at the ceremony and reception site making sure everything was going as planned. They kept everyone on track and helped with whatever was needed. Having a wedding planner allowed us to truly enjoy each others company and each moment of our wedding day instead of stressing over the details. Also.. destination weddings are the absolute best. I can’t say that enough, its like a week long party with all your guests before your wedding day. I was just talking about this with Nino, instead of our wedding feeling like one day it felt like a week with memories to last a lifetime. Of course everything has its pros and cons so of course there were some planning details made more difficult by having a destination wedding but the positives truly out weighed the negatives.