We all know that I have a soft spot for destination weddings, having had one myself. I'm actually sort of bummed that I haven't had the opportunity to feature more of them! But I'm very happy to report that I have a couple of amazing destination weddings in my queue to share with you guys over the next month or two :) The first tropical destination wedding that I'm sharing with you guys today was shot by Ali Brannan Photography, and held at the Majestic Colonial Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
When I first saw these wedding photos, all I could see was the heartfelt emotion that seemed to radiate off of my computer screen. The photographer, Ali did an amazing job of capturing the sweet happiness surrounding Matt and Jessica's day, and for that reason, I knew that I wanted to share this destination wedding with all of you. I'll be up front with you...this one isn't about the details; although the few decorative elements that are used really are lovely. Us wedding bloggers seem to catch a lot of slack for our editorial choices; what weddings we choose to feature, and which ones we don't. I, personally, have never received a complaint on the matter, but I recognize that I'm not going to make everyone happy, and I'm never going to satisfy everyone. For that reason, I try not to dwell on the issue too much!
When it comes to picking and choosing which weddings or engagement shoots I want to feature on A Paper Proposal, I usually go with my gut. It might sound cheesy, but I try to find something in each submission that moves me...whether it's a couple's proposal story like Macey and Chad's, Ginny and Andrew's amazing wedding favors, Mandi and Quentin's fun choice of wedding venue or the stunning flowers used in Jesse and Paul's big day. Sometimes, my reasoning isn't all that deep...it's the wedding gown or the pretty paper that does it for me; but other times, it's a single photo of the groom when he sees his bride for the first time. I try my best to communicate what I think is special about each photography feature, but I also realize that this isn't a very objective way to judge submissions. Then again though, I've never claimed to be 60 Minutes!
Anyway, when I saw these photos, there was something so real about the smiles and the embraces that just got me. I hope that each and every couple is able to look at their collection of wedding photos after their day, and get that "tug on the heartstrings" feeling about at least one of their own photos...I think that Jessica and Matt have many to choose from! Then after I saw the photos, I read the bride, Jessica's story of her and her new husband, Matt, and I was officially hooked. Ha, this entire blog post took a very different turn after I read it! For that reason, I thought I'd give it to you straight (from Jessica, that is ;)
"I was traveling the country by myself and I was...[in] Denver, Colorado. I
took on a waitress job for the time being. The very first time we met, I actually served...[Matt] and
he told me he was going to be working with me soon. The first shift we worked together, he
asked me out. I had other plans, and said, "No," but he was persistent. Finally, I broke my plans to go
out with him. We met for drinks at Rock Bottom, I showed up late (unknowingly
previewing him to what he was in for, for the rest of his life). After that, we drove around and I
told him to stop at a water fountain. We jumped out and danced in the fountain. That was our
"First date." After that, we slowly started going on more dates until he asked me out [to date exclusively]. I actually
said "No," because I was at a point in my life when I had no interest in being in a committed relationship. I
was, at the time, trying to travel the country and I didn't want anyone to show me the way.
After I turned him down, I regretted my decision. He made me so happy and I didn't want to
move on with my life and lose him. I told him a few days later that I wanted to date him. We had a
blast together. He made me laugh harder than anyone ever has.
The news of our new addition, Jacob,
arrived 6 months after that. When Jacob was born, Matt sacrificed his life in Colorado to move... near my family in Buffalo, NY. I won't say that it was easy; it was actually the hardest thing that I
have ever been through. Through everything though, Matt showed me what an amazing, selfless
man he is.
Now that we are married, we are currently working on degrees to be school teachers,
and hope to have more children soon. We have been through so much, and have learned so much
together. I am so blessed to have him; he is the best partner and father that anyone could ask for. I
look forward to our life adventure together :)"
I want to personally thank Jessica for sharing her story! I hope that it, and these photos by Ali Brannan, make you stop and think in the same the way that it did, me :)
Fun, Bright and Lovable Destination Wedding in Punta Cana - Vendors & Credits