Our Wedding Destination| APbride Audrey

Kunbi O / Monday December 1, 2014


…And the Winner Is…

Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, Manny Ramirez, Albert Pujols, Robinson Cano, Moisis Alou, and the young pup, Starlin Castro, all have multiple things in common. If you’re any kind of sports fan, I would hope you recognize at least two or three names, but for all my baseball girls out there, Cubs fans specifically, you know who these guys are. They are all professional baseball players and all call Dominican Republic home.  So what does this have to do with our wedding? I am so extremely excited to announce that we are getting married on the beautiful beach in Punta Cana, June 30, 2015!!!!!!

Punta Cana Save the Date -Audrey
Our AMAZING Save the Dates by serendipitybeyonddesign.com

This decision has been almost a six month process that has caused me an overwhelming amount of stress, doubt, and worry, but it is finally over!! Joined by our guests, we will be staying at the Now Larimar with the ceremony and reception being held at the Huracan Café!

First, let’s talk about the resort process, or should I say the process from HELL! No really. I’m being completely serious. From the beginning, Troy’s only requirements for our destination included: the resort be all-inclusive, it has to have a swim-up bar, and we are getting married on the beach. Okay, so that leaves us with thousands of possibilities, no problem right?! Luckily, a friend from college had a destination wedding in January so I turned to her for guidance and she sent me directly to Shelli Nornes at Shelli’s Travel, LLC (ShelliesTravel.com). From the beginning, Shelli has been a god send! She immediately returned my initial email and we quickly arranged for our first phone call. From there, we exchanged tons of emails, ideas, frustrations, but we finally found the right resort and location. I wish it was as easy as it sounds, but unfortunately, it wasn’t.  We scoured Mexico and Jamaica before finally deciding on the DR and I was still a little apprehensive. When asking people to spend a good portion of money to attend your wedding, you want to make sure everything is worth them travelling hundreds of miles, spending the money, taking time off of work, etc, just to attend your wedding. Shelli has been extremely supportive and assured me that wherever we booked, would be amazing, and I know she’s right. What I cherish most about Shelli is that she’s very understanding and has the patience of an angel, which I guarantee I tested multiple times. Sorry Shelli!!! I guarantee I was the bride from any travel agents nightmares a few times, but Shelli stuck with me and helped me find our paradise.

Why we chose the Now Larimar!  Other than it meeting all of Troy’s requirements, the Now Larimar features breathtaking beaches, turquoise water, plenty of entertainment, is family friendly, and is just overall gorgeous! It’s always hard making such a large commitment based solely upon reviews and online pictures, but I just had a good feeling about this place. We originally put a deposit down on a resort in Mexico and for some reason, I just wasn’t comfortable with my choice, and we continued looking. I know it sounds weird but I’ve been told that once you find the right resort, you just know, kind of like your dress. No matter what, I know we are going to have an amazing time just being by the ocean with friends a family celebrating.

Now Larimar Bar Now Larimar Wedding View

Pictures by Katya Nova (www.katyanovablog.com)

So why the venue change for the wedding and ceremony? After doing an extensive amount of research, I began finding negative reviews describing resort weddings as “wedding factories” (some resorts can have up to 8 weddings a day), additional expenses to their “complimentary” wedding package, complaints of wedding crashers dressed in swimsuits or speedos, and the list goes on. Obviously, not all resorts have these issues, but I wanted to make sure that our day was special and we got exactly what we wanted, so I began searching for other options. Thanks to the wonderful world of Facebook, I stumbled across a group of brides who had, or were having, their weddings off-site in Punta Cana. I began reading post after post on the different venues, memorized the places based on pictures, and finally requested information from my two favorites. Both locations come with full-time wedding coordinators who create the most magical weddings that belong in all wedding magazines, so of course I was drooling over them. After comparing prices of the two places, alongside the resort as well, I came to the decision of the Huracan Café. My decision was influenced mostly due to the spectacular wedding coordinator, Mayte, who was welcoming and excited the first time we emailed each other, the intimacy of the Café, and the fact that it’s within walking distance of our resort. So from there, I began the lengthy process of taking all of my Pinterest (find me at Audrey Strothkamp, bridal board: “It’s happening!”) fantasies, organizing them into the documents Mayte emailed me, and letting her work her magic. That’s it!!!! It was actually less painful than I imagined and every day I get more excited about what she will come up with for our special day. On top of Mayte’s amazing talent, Huracan is already a gorgeous venue. I can’t wait to actually see it in person, but until then, I’ll have to continue stalking other bride’s photos and dreaming of our day.





84fb972785416243c7e05770171629c7pictures by Katya Nova (www.katyanovablog.com)

So after the last couple of stressful months, I am happy to say that I’m completely content on where we are at in our planning process. The biggest things I have left include bridesmaids dress shopping (happening in January and all of my girls will be together for the first time!!!!), alterations for my dress (also in January), the mailing of Save the Dates (should go out this month), booking flights, and getting all of our guests to book their trips! I’m sure along the way, we will come across a few more bumps, but I’ll be ready!

Watch for next month’s blog and have a Happy Holidays!!

XO Audrey