Bell Hunters: Stephanie + Josh = Dominican Republic Wedding

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Bell Hunters: Stephanie + Josh = Dominican Republic Wedding by Zorz Studios (1)
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Our earlier fashionable Antelope Canyon engagement couple exchanges their vows in a fairytale Dominican Republic wedding with the sunset blowing its kiss on the ocean breeze.

Here’s my former corporate-life colleague Stephanie again who graced the Antelope Canyon with her fiance past spring, with whom we sank a car in desert’s sands, and who pathed the way for my wife and me into a monastery where we worked in obedience while stuck for a few days in Arizona because of the snowstorm in New York. Their fairytale Dominican Republic wedding took place this summer in Cabrera. The trip was eventful and documented in my travel journal so I will skip some details here. I was supposed to shoot 2-3 other clients there as well, all from the wedding party taking advantage of the tropical locale sans the travel expenses of a New York photographer. Some walked away last minute but the most adventurous and determined one pulled off an epic underwater session to be published here soon.

The sunset ceremony was breathtaking: bride’s hair flowing in the ocean breeze and groom’s tears reflecting the last rays during the vows…


I arrived to Cabrera the night before, explored the outskirts, and came to the clients’ villa Castillo Del Mar in the morning. The ceremony wasn’t until 6 PM, and the guys would not see each other before that, meaning I could not do much with both of them. The bride also didn’t want much of getting ready shots of her. 🙂 Soooo, I wandered around to scout the area, had lunch, shot candids and details. It is customary for destination weddings to be self-contained, i.e. having all functions in one location (villa or resort) to ease the logistics and lessen the stress. Larger properties offer more variety for the backdrops (like another Dominican Republic wedding shot several months earlier) but you do not get that feel of intimacy, dedication, and enclosure to share with friends and family.

Somehow, and nobody could explain how, only one groom’s shoe made it to the wedding day. He tried to ride to the village nearby but returned empty-handed. A friend of his lent a pair although not in his preferred color.

Stephanie put a lot of effort into making her wedding unforgettable: the decor of this Dominican Republic wedding was truly majestic, stylish, and fairytale-like. (Ooh-ooh-ooh, and see those photos on the easels? Look like mine!) The sunset ceremony was breathtaking, with the bride’s hair flowing in the ocean breeze and groom’s tears catching the last rays during the vows… I was amazed to see how the venue staff transformed the main pool into a deck to host the entire wedding party! Formal portraits followed the ceremony and I was left with less than an hour with the couple. Couldn’t do much… all those locations I scouted in the morning! The reception started quietly first to get the eating part out of the way but then came some cool entertainment, including fireworks and—true to a Dominican Republic wedding— firedancers!

Feeling like lacking their wedding portraits, I asked the couple for a bit of their time the following day, dressed up again even if without makeup and hair done, so we got some during the break in the all-day underwater session. Because the break was short, I cannot call it a proper trash-the-dress photo shoot like in another aforementioned Dominican Republic wedding or other Day-After sessions but I love the images and they resonate with their engagement session in Arizona.

P.S. About this cover image and the title… Title is the word play on the couple’s last names and yes, the image is not quite about the couple. I just like it a lot and it worked with the title.

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Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov is a creative director and lead photographer of Zorz Studios, Manhattan-based boutique photography studio, offering arousing and daring fashion, commercial, beauty, and wedding photography. Multiple Fearless Photographer™ award winner, named among the top 50 US wedding photographers, top 10 NY wedding photographers, winner of Adobe contests, featured by Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle et al, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week photographer, and a distinguished member of Grace Ormonde Wedding Style‘s Platinum List, he is eager to step out of his and willing clients' comfort zone to pursue original artwork with a lasting impression.

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