Hard Rock Punta Cana
Priyanka and Ushan met on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, where they both went to medical school. After four years of school intertwined with dating, he proposed to her on the most romantic beach in Cyprus, called Aphrodite’s Rock. Noted in legend and myth, it is said to be the birthplace of the goddess of love and beauty and swimming around the rock formation is said to bring eternal love.
Although they didn’t swim around the rock, he got down on one knee and asked the question at sunset. The couple said, “After, we popped some champagne, and laid under the stars for a few hours, connecting the stars and recognizing constellations.” Ushan knew there was no better place to get engaged then the island they met and fell in love on.
The couple had always known they wanted a wedding in an exotic location, and since much of their family would be traveling from different parts of the world they decided on a destination wedding. Together they worked with Destify and their agent Brandi who coordinated hotel and travel arrangements and were connected with Mint To Be Event’s Planner Tanvi Rana. They chose the beautiful Hard Rock Resort in Punta Cana for a multitude of reasons; it is a highly-rated resort with private beach, it had many venue options for their multiple events, offered wedding perks and extras, and had plenty of dining and activity opportunities for their families.
The couple also splurged by paying travel costs for much of their families and several of their vendors to Punta Cana. While planning the events they knew there were some key features they desired. They hired outside vendors for much of the decor and entertainment, who could help complete their vision. They chose one of Hard Rock’s signature wedding packages, Buddhist Poruwa, designed by Colin Cowie, along with the Golden Radiance Package as the base for decor inspiration. Everything else utilized local decor and florists, and the couple would like to make special mention of Caribbean Celebrations, Creative Punta Cana and Mercaflor.
The couples’ Indian-Sri Lankan wedding was a series of gorgeous events spread across a serene week in November. Priyanka kickstarted the festivities on the Wednesday arrival by hosting a Mehndi ceremony in their one-bedroom suite. During the Sangeet, a pre-wedding function in Indian tradition, the couple celebrated their last night before marriage. The couple agreed it went from disaster to the best night of their lives. A torrential downpour threatened to ruin all of the lounge furniture, cabanas, and tables, but after a few tears shed and drinks brought by friends they rallied. Everyone joined together on the dance floor and danced in the rain. The couple said, “It was easily one of the most magical nights of our lives.”
The couple hosted two ceremonies; a Hindu ceremony that took place on a clear stage placed atop a canal at 2pm, and the second ceremony, a Sri Lankan Poruwa ceremony which took place on Trumpet Beach at sunset at 5pm. The couple had always said, “We were written in the stars, and that fate brought us across oceans and continents to meet.” So, for their final reception, the couple knew they wanted to go with a starry theme to honor their engagement from Cyprus. It was held in the Fillmore Ballroom featuring strips of star lights along the wall and further otherworldly decor.
Priyanka says that if the thought crosses your mind to have a destination wedding, do not turn back, you will not regret it and it will be the best decision you’ve ever made. Their advice is to create a budget and to design your guest list in a way that will make you and your families happy, all the better to enjoy your chosen slice of paradise with.
Wherever your wedding is, on a tropical island paradise or locally, don’t forget to live in the moment and enjoy every second of your big day!
Special Thanks to: Event Planner: Mint To Be Events (Tanvi Rana) Photographer: nadia d. photography Videographer: IQvideography Hair, Makeup & Mehndi: Henna Allure DJ, Sound & Light: Boston Sound and Light Company, LLC Florals: Mercaflor (@mercaflor_rd on IG) Decor: CARIBBEAN CELEBRATIONS & Creative Punta Cana Sound & Light Rentals: JSAV Dominican Republic HR Onsite Coordinators: Inosca Reyes , Camila M. Tejada & Nancy Ariza Outfits: Frontier Raas, Tulsi Silks, Manyavar, Mokshaa