An Intimate Carribean Elopement

The story of Sarah + Chris has been one of our favorites throughout this Braids + Waves Weddings journey. The spontaneity of their elopement, the wholesome story of how they met, and the relationship that was destined later in their lives makes this couple one that we admire.

We are so thankful to the bride, Sarah, for sharing their story with us. From new neighbors to wedding planning (and cancelling all those plans), the bride fills us in on all of the details of their wild + adventurous elopement in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

All photos captured by Nathaly Norman, photographer and friend of the bride + groom, who was ironically on her honeymoon in Punta Cana at the time!

Chris and I have known each other for 14 years. When my family relocated while I was in 6th grade, I moved in right next door to him. He was a senior in high school at the time but he was always the cute guy next door that I had a MAJOR crush on. Because he was 7 years older than me, he went off to college and we rarely saw each other except for holiday breaks. We both dated other people throughout the years and just politely waved to each other from across the driveway when we saw each other; although, he always remained the cute guy next door.

This stunning Abronia Gown by Laudae fits the relaxed + romantic vibe of the elopement.

It wasn’t until my senior year of college that my mom mentioned to Chris’ mother that he should ask me on a date. He put it off for awhile because of our age difference but always kept the idea in the back of his mind. A few months later, he finally reached out to me. We met up with friends at a local spot for our first date and we immediately hit it off. We continuously dated for a few weeks until it became too much with my schedule during nursing school. We mutually decided to go our separate ways.

The elopement was held on the beaches of the luxury resort, Excellence Punta Cana.


One night while I was up late studying, I received a call from Chris asking if we could try things again. It had been about 5 months since we had seen each other, but we picked up right where we left off. A little less than a year later, Chris proposed outside of my parents house, in the spot we first met 14 years ago. It was the easiest question I have ever answered.

I have never been the type of girl that dreamt of her wedding day, but I knew I wanted something small and intimate. Originally, we planned have the ceremony and reception in Seaside, Florida underneath a beautiful oak tree. We had vendors booked as well as family and friends invited, but about five months into the wedding planning we realized that it just was not for us and was not what we wanted our special day to be. We decided to scratch the entire wedding. 

We decided that we would get married on the beaches of the Dominican Republic, where we had planned to go for our honeymoon. We decided to keep it from everyone and told them we still wanted to take the vacation, but the wedding plans were on pause.

The sand beaches were beautiful. It was a perfect golden hour on the beach with just us two and the ocean. I can not imagine a better way to commit my life and heart to my best friend.

The ceremony was private and quiet. A perfect place to say our personal vows. After the ceremony, we strolled down the beach taking pictures, playing in the water, and enjoying our newlywed bliss.

Our story and our wedding is very non-traditional but, it is our story and I would not change it for the world.

A take away from this amazing love story is that moments in life all come down to timing. It is important to trust in the way things happen naturally. Also, stay true to yourself in the wedding planning process. Do not let others sway you on what your journey into marriage should be. Only the two of you can decide that.

Congratulations Sarah + Chris! We wish you many years of love and happiness!


Braids + Waves


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