I told you they were coming. High School sweethearts Nicole & Jake opted for a week long celebration in the Dominican Republic before marrying in an beach-side ceremony in front of 50 of their closest friends and family. Here are some of the amazing photos from their tropical paradise wedding, and some highlights from the beautiful bride…

The beautiful couple...

From the beautiful bride… Jake and I met when we were just SIXTEEN!!!  We were introducedby a mutual friend, who subsequently stood beside Jake at the alter as one of his three “best men”. We never went longer than 3 weeks without seeing each other.  And we made it a
point to say goodnight every night no matter where we were.

Jake & Nicole

From the bride… Jake lost his best friend in a tragic, and senseless, act of violence just over two years ago.   We were devastated, but our grief really snapped us into reality. Life is very short, and you have to just go for it sometimes.  Though we never talked about it, I just knew Jake had started saving for a ring.  I just felt it.  Sure enough six months later at a benefit for our beloved friend who has passed away, Jake told my brothers… “I am going to ask your sister to marry me.”  (Of course he had already asked my father for permission who responded with “It’s about time!”)  He could hardly contain himself since he physically had the ring, and asked to leave the fundraiser early.  I could not figure out WHY he wanted to leave early, but I gave in and off we went.  Now I can’t completely recall the next events, but about 15 minutes later he was down on one knee and I had a ring on my finger. I was in complete shock!

Beach...

From the beautiful bride… Neither Jake nor I are very traditional.  I never envision myself in a princess dress with a huge elaborate affair.  That is just not my style.  I like to hit the beach, have a drink, and relax with my friends.  So, about 20 minutes after I had the sparkler on my finger, Jake looked at me and said “destination wedding”?  To which I responded “absolutely”!  The trouble was not deciding on the type of
wedding we wanted, but WHERE we wanted to have it. On June 25, our wedding party took over Punta Cana.
Fifty three of our closest friends and family stormed the beach, equipped with welcome bags full of beach toys, sun screen, and travel mugs for our all-inclusive drinks!  Everyone at the resort was so relaxed.  Even the wedding coordinator wasn’t in a rush to meet with us.  We didn’t even have a rehersal!  I chose my flowers two days before the wedding, and everything else was taken care of for us.  (If you are a control freak type, this may have been difficult.  For me, it was perfect!)

Father & daughter...

Ceremony...

From the bride… The ceremony had to be completed in Spanish in order for it to be legal in the DR, so we had Jake’s Aunt act as our translator…so in our eyes she was the one who married us.  It was so special to have a family member be the one saying the words you have waited to hear your whole life.

Rings...

Newlyweds...

Wedding party...

Jake & Nicole

From the bride… With everything being so laid back, I was able to have my best friend from childhood introduce us for the first
time as newlyweds.  We didn’t have a DJ, we were our own DJ’s.  Everyone had a hand in choosing the music, so it was a
little bit of something for everyone.  The room was all open to the air, right on the beach.  As we danced our first dance as husband and wife, I could open my eyes and look out onto the gorgeous Caribbean ocean.

Wedding party...

Jake & Nicole

From the bride… We stayed three days after the wedding and swam with sharks and sting-rays, and just appreciated the time we had left on the island with our friends and family.  When else would we have 53 of our closest friends and family all on one island together….JUST FOR
US?!?!  We felt so unbelievably lucky, spoiled, and blessed.  They had travelled all that way just to spend our special day with us.
I realize how lucky we were to have THAT MANY people travel with us.  It was a day, and a week, neither of us will ever forget.

Diving...

The Whole Wedding Party

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