Shalonda and Sean’s love story began on a popular dating app where they swiped right into each other’s arms. Over time they realized they were in the presence of “the one,” and Sean knew it was time to take their relationship to the next level. Their proposal took place at Shalonda’s favorite museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, followed by a surprise engagement/birthday party attended by family and friends. Their intimate beach wedding took place at beautiful Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
Read all about Shalonda and Sean’s love story, romantic surprise proposal, and experiences in their intimate and elegant beach wedding in beautiful Punta Cana.
Bride & Groom: Shalonda & Sean
Occupations: Clinical Pharmacist & NYPD School Safety Agent
Wedding date: 6-10-17
Wedding location: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Tell us how you met and all about the proposal. Shalonda and Sean met on an online dating website. Sean proposed to Shalonda at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, her favorite museum. It was magical. A few days before her 30th birthday, he planned to take her out for a celebration. He said it was a surprise. She suspected that he was planning a dinner with close family members and was completely caught off guard when they arrived at the museum. Once they were inside, two museum guides met them. They stated that the other couple cancelled and would no longer be joining them for the private evening tour of the museum. They also mentioned that they wanted to snap a few pictures for their website if that was okay. At this point, Shalonda became a little nervous. She knew that Sean said he had to save money before proposing so it was not going to happen anytime soon but she couldn’t help but hope. He knew she always wanted her engagement to be photographed so they could have pictures of such an amazing moment. They walked through the museum holding hands while they both wondered if the other could tell they were sweating from nervousness. When they arrived at the Temple of Dendur, a spot they had been previously on a date to the museum, Sean grabbed Shalonda’s hand and led her away from the tour guides. After a heartfelt message, he got on one knee and proposed. Shalonda said “of course” through her tears! They then had a “newly engaged” photoshoot in the MET. Just when she thought the night couldn’t get any better, Sean informed Shalonda that they had one more stop. They hopped in a cab where he proceeded to blindfold her. He had her walk into the next location with the blindfold on and then everyone yelled surprise. When the blindfold was removed, she was in a restaurant lounge in Harlem with around 50 of her closest family members and friends. Sean had arranged for some of her closest college friends to fly in from all over the country including Dallas, Raleigh, Atlanta, Washington DC, etc.. To her surprise Shalonda celebrated both her 30th birthday AND her engagement that wonderful night. She shed even more tears of joy and couldn’t have been happier.
Describe your wedding attire. Shalonda wore a romantic fit-and-flare gown with a sweetheart neckline and a classic silhouette. She opted for ivory instead of white. Sean wore a suit that consisted of black pants and ivory jacket with a thick black lapel.
The wedding shopping experience was very interesting for both the bride and the groom as they found their attire while out alone. Shalonda and Sean opted not to have bridesmaids or groomsmen. Shalonda went to a couple of boutiques with her mother but ultimately stumbled upon the perfect dress one day while she was alone and just randomly stopped in at Glamour Closet NYC. Sean had a styling consultant, Groom Concierge, who recommended that he check Bonobos and he found the perfect suit jacket there.
Gifts for each another: We decided to exchange cologne/perfume that way we would always be reminded of our special wedding day when we smelled the scent on our significant other or wore it ourselves.
Ceremony entrance song: “Shining” by Beyonce, ft. Jay-Z and DJ Khaled
First dance song: “Why I Love You” by MAJOR.
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? We decided on the Unity Sand Ceremony to symbolize when two become one. We also had a “dollar dance” which has roots in many cultures. This was time where guests pinned money to the bride and groom as a gesture to help them start their new lives together and wish them many blessing for the future.
What is your best memory from your wedding? The best memory from our wedding was our last dance. Everyone else left to set up for the sparkler exit and it was a time for the bride and groom to have one last time in the hall alone and take in everything from the amazing day that they just had.
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? The wedding is just one day and it goes so quickly. Don’t go over your budget or stress too much with planning. It really isn’t necessary to have the day of your dreams and marry your best friend. Once the day comes, don’t let anything or anyone ruin it. Just enjoy every moment!
Wedding Dress Designer: Watters Brides
Wedding Dress Salon: Glamour Closet NYC
Groom’s Attire: Pants and Shirt – Suit Supply, Jacket – Bonobos
Groom’s Stylist: Groom Concierge
Hair Install: Kellee at Elegance House Creations
Hair/Makeup: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana
Shoes: Bride-Badgley Mischka Groom-Calvin Klein
Ceremony & Reception Location: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana
Photography: Keri Tan Photography
Videography: Huellas Del Caribe Photography & Films, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana
Wedding Planner: Suha Pressey of Weddings Romantique
Florist: Mercaflor, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana
Cake: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana
Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas