Katya Nova Photography » Destination Weddings | Intimate Portraits | Punta Cana | Edmonton

… thanks for stopping by to share our journey of documenting love! we are a rocking team, crazy about each other and what we do… learn more about us HERE

TRAVEL SCHEDULE: 2014 /2015

* April 18 – May 4 2014   |  Abruzzo, Italy  Destination Wedding 

May 5 – July 26 2014 +   |   DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (Punta Cana & Cabarete)

July 27 – mid-October 2014    |   CANADA

* August 25 – 31   |    Burning Man, Nevada Desert  Destination Wedding

* September 4 – 9 2014    |    Halifax, Canada  Destination Wedding

* October 5 – 8 2014    |    Palm Springs, California Adventure Always Beloved Collective Conference

October 2014 – July 2015   |   DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 

* Feb 23 -March 16   |   COSTA RICA  Envision Festival  + Santa Teresa Yoga Retreat

* May 8 – 13 2015    |     Naples, Florida

July  - September 2015   |   CANADA

October 2015 +   |   DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

******************************************************************

MUST READS:

DESTINATION WEDDING 101: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR PUNTA CANA WEDDING (password: LOVE)

CONFESSIONS OF A PUNTA CANA BRIDE

CONFESSIONS OF AN INTIMATE PORTRAITS PHOTOGRAPHER

10 THINGS I LEARNED AT BURNING MAN 2013

INDIA VIRGINS, OR HOW TO SURVIVE ASHRAM LIVING

MEET OUR ASSOCIATE TEAM! (password: LOVE)

 

drop us a line | follow our sexy adventures on INSTAGRAM @katyanovaphoto

  • October 20, 2013 - 11:43

    Shauna Prokopchuk - Thank you Katya and Rob for everything at my sister Megan and her new husband Jordons wedding! I can’t wait to see all the amazing pictures. The engagement pictures were unbelievable and I’m sure the wedding ones will be even better! You were both so wonderful to work with. Enjoy your upcoming travels :)

  • December 8, 2012 - 23:40

    Shyloh - Katya and Rob!!! Every one of your pictures makes me fall deeper in love with both of you! I have never been one consumed with thoughts o marriage… But your pictures certainly capture true uncontrolable love. You both cause me to miss love that I have had, and yearn for the love that is coming. Thank you for spreading your talent and joy with every picture. I love you both! And I wait for the day when I will spend time with you, talk about our love for the universe, and share our passionate energy.

    Love you both unconditionally…. Shyloh

Hi Lovers!! I’m so excited to share this Feature with you… As always, it’s composed with all my love. It feels extra special not only because this Wedding was incredibly beautiful and emotional, but also because it’s the last ‘Punta Cana’ destination wedding of our intense Caribbean shooting season. It’s been really nice to take a break from our sand-between-toes-sweaty-sunny-crazy life, as we’ve enjoyed spending quality time with dear friends in Canada, and traveling across the US. It’s now jacket & boots weather — and we’re almost ready to fly back to Dominican, marking the 3rd winter without snow!!

***    ***    ***

Wendy & Carlos co-existed in high school, and their interaction was limited to saying “hi” and “bye” in the hallways. Wendy: ‘we had the same friends but never had the opportunity to speak or really become close. We bumped into each other 8 years later at a local pub and began getting to know each other. Carlos told me then that he always had a crush on me in high school, but that he would not dare to speak to me. The funny thing is, I felt the same way towards him!’

Please enjoy their gorgeous Jellyfish Punta Cana Wedding through our eyes  :)

jellyfish punta cana

Wendy’s sister-in-law Helen made her stunning wedding gown. ‘In a matter of days, and a few sleepless nights… she had my DREAM DRESS!! Helen is a very talented designer, she was on the show ‘Project Runway’ (season 12) and was in the top 5. I am forever grateful for her making my one of a kind custom wedding dress!’

destination wedding dresses

Make-up & hair magic by Anna Nuet. 

jellyfish bridal suite
badgley mischka wedding shoes

Wendy: ‘The night I reconnected with Carlos is so memorable. I was out with my girls that night. I noticed Carlos and thought to myself ‘damn he still looks good,’ haha. It was Karaoke night, so my friend Cristina wanted to go up to sing – she asked me to join her, but of course me being super shy I didn’t, so she proceeded without me. Sure enough, she picks a Biggie song – so I got closer to the stage and started singing along, cheering Cristina on. I look over and Carlos is doing the same! We smiled at each other… At the end of the night we exchanged pin #’s and began flirting through blackberry massager. Carlos was such a gentleman throughout our entire time getting to know each other; I was the first to make the convo steamy, lol.’

jellyfish brides
jellyfish bavaro wedding
wedding selfie etsy
wedding polariods
jellyfish wedding flowers
pink gold wedding decor
jellyfish wedding menu
jellyfish parrot

Incredible surprise. Until this very moment, Carlos was convinced his mama wasn’t able to make it to the Wedding! 

mother son wedding moments

Amazing First Touch. 

unique first touch wedding photos

Wendy: ‘My son Kylar reminds me of my dad and that is why he is walking me down the aisle…’

punta cana brides
wendy carlos wedding
caribbean weddings
unique destination photos
baby toms

Top three things Carlos loves about Wendy: ‘I love her smile, humour, and her cooking. I also love what an amazing and caring step-mom she has been to my daughter.’

jellyfish beach ceremony

Top three things Wendy loves about Carlos: ‘I love his pure kindness, silliness, and his ability to always always make me smile! I smile every day because of Carlos.’

jellyfish beach ceremony

Wendy, on the Proposal: 

‘It was on Christmas Day and apparently everyone knew except me. It was so special! Carlos ALWAYS knows how to surprise me and I ALWAYS have no clue too. Every year on Christmas morning we wake up early and go to the living room to open gifts with Jaida. But that year he suggested that we wait until after we come back from his dad house (it’s been a family tradition to go to his parents’ house for brunch and exchange gifts). When we arrived home, all of a sudden my sister showed up with my niece and then Carlos’ sister with her husband and the girls. Our apartment is small so we usually don’t have that many people over. At first I thought it was weird but didn’t pay it much mind. Then I saw a pretty white box with a big gold velvet bow under the tree, which was not there when we woke up that morning!! Sneaky Carlos… I was confused at first because I saw rose petals and the entire box inside was a collage of pictures of us and the family. The top of the box was a huge picture of my parents on their wedding day. I looked up and Carlos is on his knees!! I started to cry and of course said YES! The whole thing was being recorded by my sister. Jaida is so funny because after I said yes she exclaimed: ‘my dad and Wendy are married in the living room, how cool’ Haha! I couldn’t stop looking at my beautiful ring the whole night – it was perfect!’ : )

caribbean beach wedding
jellyfish katya nova
dominican republic destination wedding
jellyfish bodas
cute wedding photos

Most romantic memory together according to Carlos: ‘One of our most romantic moments was on a Halloween when I asked her to be my girlfriend for the first time. Love was definitely in the air that night.’

romantic wedding photos
jellyfish lobster appetizers

Most romantic memory according to Wendy: ‘There are so many but I remember one in particular – it was in the beginning when we started dating. We were hanging out at his apartment one night with a bottle of tequila and were doing shots (we drank the whole bottle)! We talked about everything and anything and couldn’t keep our hands off each other. It was just us being silly and making love. I knew Carlos was the one – he always makes me feel comfortable around him. He also makes me feel beautiful all the time - I love that no matter what we can always be ourselves around each other.’

romantic wedding photos

Wendy: ‘I love the way he holds me. I love his lips and how he kisses me…’

best punta cana weddings

Carlos: ‘Her sexiest, most irresistible feature is her lips. Wendy can make me melt with just a kiss.’

sexy destination weddings

Carlos: ‘My life is different with Wendy by my side because she makes sure that I am organized. She always makes sure we don’t forget anything and everything gets done.  She has given me a family. She has made me a better man.’

sexy destination weddings

Wendy’s favourite guilty pleasures: ‘Reality T.V. (Carlos hates it) and online shopping.’

Carlos’ favourite guilty pleasures: ‘My favorite guilty pleasure is sports. I can watch sports anytime, anywhere at any moment!!!’

dominican republic weddings

Wendy: ‘Carlos makes me feel beautiful all the time, even on my worst days. Everything in my life has changed for the better because of Carlos. I feel protected with him. He pushes me for the better and always encourages me to go out there and try. Carlos is my ROCK!’

best punta cana wedding photographer
punta cana wedding photographer
wc-7767 bl
jellyfish first dance

With their beautiful kids Kylar and Jaida.

punta cana wedding photographer
jellyfish langostinos wedding

Wendy’s favourite things to find in the fridge: ‘cold wine and cheese – yummmmm!!!!’

Carlos’ favourite things to find in the fridge: ‘cookies & cream ice cream!’

punta cana off resort wedding
jellyfish cake decor
best wedding cake moments
jellyfish crazy hour
crazy show punta cana
jellyfish fire show

Wendy: ‘Before I met Carlos I was not complete, there was something missing in my life. He is very affectionate, caring and loving. I know this might sound corny but I feel like my mom sent him to me from heaven. Because when we started dating my heart began to feel happiness. Carlos is my best friend, lover, and my one and only true love.’

jellyfish fire show
jellyfish wedding reception
unique destination wedding

BRIDE & GROOM POST-WEDDING REFLECTIONS:

What did you love most about your wedding?
Carlos: ‘I loved the breeze from the ocean, décor and being with family and friends in paradise.’

Wendy: ‘Everything! Everything was so incredibly beautiful. Getting married on the beach and sharing it with our close family and friends.This was exactly what we wanted, thousands of miles away from home, sand between our toes, beautiful breeze, hearing the ocean as we say our “I do’s”. I love how much fun and excitement everyone was having. The entire day was AMAZING!!!’

Any regrets? What would you have done differently if you could?
Carlos: ‘No regrets!’

Wendy: ‘Yes, stress less! I spent most of the time worrying about my toddler son, our guests, vendors etc… I wish I had stopped and let go on the day and had taken a deep breath so that I was more in the moment. Other than that, everything was absolutely perfect!’

Most memorable moments?
Carlos: ‘My wife walking down the aisle with my son, the beautiful weather and the carnival (Crazy Hour)’.

Wendy: ‘Seeing Carlos at the altar, the whole ceremony we were holding hands and staring into each other eyes; seeing my son waiting for me to walk me down the aisle (he looked so adorable and he walked with his mommy very well) and the crazy hour – it was so awesome to see everyone’s reactions to the surprise.’

Comments about vendors, resort etc
Carlos: ‘The resort and vendors were great!’
Wendy:
Anna Nuet – this woman is amazing and sexy! My hair and make-up were both fantastic. I didn’t ask for any specific look and just let her take full control. just sat on the chair and let her do her magic. I have never felt so beautiful. Thank you Anna!

We stayed at the Melia Punta Cana; it was a great resort for us and our guests. Good within the price range for everyone. Everyone enjoyed it – not one complaint – some of our guests are already looking forward to booking their next return to Melia. The resort is large and beautiful. The grounds are very clean and well-maintained. The service staff were very friendly.

Jellyfish & staff: The JF is absolutely breathtaking and the staff were so accommodating. Everything was perfect. Isaac, Gianna and Clara were great and understood my vision. The food and drinks were “ohhh sooo yummy!!!” All of our guests commented nonstop about how amazing our wedding was.’

Ana from Cake Studio Bavaro: The cake and cupcakes was exactly like the picture I sent her and it tasted amazingly delicious!!!! I still think about those yummy cupcakes.

Katya Nova & Rob: I cannot describe the feeling when I first saw Katya and Rob, but when they walked into the bridal suite I instantly started to cry. First of all, they are such a beautiful couple and they have this warm and positive spiritual energy that makes you feel soooo at ease and calm. I LOVE LOVE LOVE them and so did all our guests. They are truly passionate about what they do. Katya and Rob are so amazingly talented!! They make such an incredible team together.

Words can’t describe how grateful we are for all of our vendors. THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!’

Any advice for future Brides?
Carlos: ‘Do not stress everything. Enjoy every moment because the day goes in a flash.’

Wendy: ‘Enjoy the day to the fullest and don’t stress about the little things. At the end all the stressing was not even worth it. This is your day and it will be beautiful because you are marrying the love of your life at the end of day. The day was such a blur to me, it really went by in a flash. So, enjoy every moment, stay positive – have fun, relax, let loose and party hard!!’

 

Dearest Wendy & Carlos: you two have such an amazing family, such an incredible-loving-inspiring relationship… It’s our absolute honour to have celebrated this Love with you… xoxo K+R.

view our portfolio   |   facebook   |   pinterest   |   our reviews   |   we’re on bdw.com   |   instagram @katyanovaphoto   |   email us

  • October 14, 2014 - 09:36

    Lindsay - I love love love it when kids are part of weddings. It’s their special day too. You definitely captured that! Beautiful work.

  • September 30, 2014 - 14:10

    Anny Juliana Lasso - omg this was absolutely gorgeous and touching..made me cry of how beautiful everything was..congrats :)

  • September 29, 2014 - 23:38

    Ynes Pena - This was one of the most beautiful wedding and destination I have ever seen in my life. No words can’t express how much I enjoyed Wendy’ and Carlos wedding!!!!! good job

  • September 29, 2014 - 18:41

    Marysol Rosado - I enjoyed looking at these beautiful photos thanks for sharing

  • September 27, 2014 - 21:48

    Lauren Ann Hughes - Just beautiful Katya, as always.

Ashley & Juliano met at Boston’s University of Massachusetts in the cafeteria, through a mutual friend. Ashley remembers: ‘I thought he was very cute and had a great sense of style. He was also quiet and shy, which I loved. He told my friend he liked me later on and got her to ‘ask permission’ for my phone number. After he called me the first time, it was official. There was no question about our connection and we starting dating right away.’

How time flew! After so much careful planning and counting down days, their perfect Jellyfish Punta Cana wedding finally came.

Rob & I are so thrilled to share their Story through in this love-filled Feature… Enjoy! 

destination wedding dress

Top three things Ashley loves about Juliano: ‘I love Juliano’s kind heart, the way he can always make me laugh, and that he is always my partner in crime – no matter what.’

jellyfish groom

Make-up & hair by our fabulous Anna Nuet. 

jellyfish bridal room
different bridesmaid dresses

Ashley: ‘I was 18 when I met Juliano. I remember our first date so well, he picked me up and took me to a really romantic restaurant in Downtown Boston. We ate and talked for hours and had a great time. The memory is so vivid in my mind, from that moment on, there were constant surprises and great moments spent together. It was easy falling in love with him.’

jellyfish bridal suite
jellyfish weddings
jellyfish wedding flowers
jellyfish bridal room

Top three things Juliano loves about Ashley: ‘I love her beautiful green eyes, Love the fact that we get along so well, and her personality.’

jellyfish punta cana brides
jellyfish restarant menu
jellyfish punta cana

Ashley: ‘I love his smile. When Juliano smiles, his whole face lights up and his eyes become brighter and even more amazing then they already are. It makes me so happy.’

groom palm trees

First Look.

creative first look

Ideal day together according to Ashley: ‘There are so many ideal days: bike riding through the city and getting lunch in Cambridge, laying in bed with delicious take out from our favourite place with some good wine, and relaxing in bed catching up on our DVR, going out dancing bachata and being the youngest couple in the crowd, etc. I can’t name one day – there are SO MANY that I just love.’

first look wedding ideas

Ideal day together according to Juliano: ‘Meeting one another after work and going for a walk through the city, making a stop at Smoothie Kings. Hopping on one of the city Hub bike rentals and riding through different neighbourhoods, stopping at pubs for some appetizers and a drink. Then heading home to watch Netflix in bed.’

jellyfish first look
jellyfish palm trees
punta cana wedding photographer
jellyfish punta cana
jellyfish new decor

Ashley on the Proposal:

‘We went to DC for Labor Day weekend, which is my favourite city! Juliano surprised me COMPLETELY, he proposed right in front of the reflecting pool with thousands of people watching.  He actually got someone to ‘take our picture’ then got down on one knee. It was the most amazing moment and I was completely blown away.’ 

bride down the isle

Juliano on the Proposal:

‘I was so nervous I didn’t know where exactly to propose at first. I knew I wanted to do it somewhere she could never forget. Initially, I was going to do it in front of the Lincoln monument but it was so crowded … so when we walked down the stairs and saw the reflecting pool I knew immediately that was it!’

jellyfish beach wedding
jellyfish beach ceremony
emotional destination wedding
dominican republic weddings
destination wedding photos
photojournalistic punta cana wedding

Juliano: ‘thanks to Ashley, I’ve been exposed to different music, different ways of thinking, and got my shit together sooner rather than later.’

jellyfish wedding portraits

Ashley’s nicknames for Juliano: ‘There’s a few, but my most often used one is Bayb. I know it’s not spelled right, but it’s what I’ve been calling/writing him for years. It’s stuck.’

ocean wedding punta cana

Juliano’s nicknames for Ashley: ‘Oh yes. Chunky-Butt and Baybz. She still always kind of blushes when I call her Chunky-Butt.’

punta cana destination weddings

Ashley: ‘with Juliano by my side, I am happier, I am more grounded, and most importantly, I am so excited for our future. I don’t want to rush/miss a second of any of it!!’

punta cana wedding photos
punta cana maternity photos
bride with bridesmaids
jellyfish bridal party
group wedding photo punta cana

Most romantic memory together according to Ashley:

‘After Juliano proposed, he took me to Capital Grill where he had made reservations, they had champagne on ice waiting for us with everyone greeting us and congratulating us! After dinner we went back to our hotel and Juliano had rose petals all over our room. It was so amazing. He is always romantic though, some nights he comes home with champagne or wine and tells me we should dance in our kitchen or he’ll take me out and wine and dine me. I am a lucky girl!’

bride groom portraits

Most romantic memory together according to Juliano:

‘Our first date, I would say. I brought her to a nice Italian restaurant in the city with the perfect lighting and intimate setting, and a table in the corner reserved for us. It wasn’t because it was the best restaurant in the city – it was the look in her eyes that said – you did good. I knew that night that I liked her a lot. We joked, we laughed, we drank, and had yummy food.’

gorgeous jellyfish bride

Cana Beat Reggae Band. So good! 

cana beat wedding band

Breaking it down to ‘Murder She Wrote’ … Sizzling!

punta cana wedding band
jellyfish fish
jellyfish wedding toast
wedding jellyfish restaurant
mother daughter wedding
jellyfish wedding party
punta cana wedding

Rock the Dress session next morning at Macao Beach! 

macao beach brides
punta cana wedding
macao wedding photos
destination wedding photos
macao wedding pictures

As a little girl, Ashley always wanted to be a judge or an attorney.  ‘I love to speak my mind and am great at arguing my points across well,’ she says. She now loves her career as an Investigator.

macao beach wedding

As a kid, Juliano wanted to be an architect. He now rocks a career in Real Estate.

punta cana photographer
dominican republic weddings

Ashley’s favourite guilty pleasures: ‘skipping a workout and eating junk food in bed. Juliano hates the crumbs but always joins me when I bask in bed with Sex and the City reruns and takeout.’

Juliano’s favourite guilty pleasures: ‘when we say okay we are going to do a 30 day challenge and not eat junk food and then we order pizza and buffalo tenders from our favourite mom & pop restaurant in the neighbourhood.’ 

wedding beach portraits
beach boudoir
sexy couples photos
punta cana trash the dress
saudade tattoo

BRIDE & GROOM POST-WEDDING REFLECTIONS:

What did you love most about your Wedding?

‘EVERYTHING. Is that a bad answer?  It’s true, haha!’

 

Any regrets? What would you have done differently if you could?

Ashley: ‘The only thing I would’ve done differently is not believe the “island time” theory. I was a little too laid back thinking things would be handled more smoothly and day of/up to ceremony – and I had to be on my game. I wasn’t able to sit back and really relax until dinner.’

 

Most memorable moments:

Ashley:

’1. Our First Look – I totally recommend it! We had a few minutes to ourselves and it was the BEST way to start the day. It was so emotional and relaxing at the same time… it was perfect. Seeing my honey and being in the moment and realizing our wedding was HERE… after months and months of planning and waiting… IT ARRIVED. And was so SO perfect. I could relive that moment a million times.

2. Our reggae band Cana Beat playing Shabba Ranks at cocktail hour – I die. It’s an oldie but a goodie and just has so many great memories for us. It’s one of my favourites and always gets everyone ready to party… to hear it on our wedding day – no words. 

3. My Nana and Mom walking me down the aisle and giving me away to Juliano. His face was so bright, smiling with joy, I felt so beautiful and full of love.’

 Juliano:

’1. First look…

2. My mom dancing…

3. First dance.’

 

Comments about vendors, resort etc

Jellyfish – beautiful venue, delicious food!

Pastor Mark – great ceremony, only down side is he double-booked himself, so we were running a few minutes late and it became chaotic.

Anna Nuet – AMAZING. Beautiful inside and out and rocked all of our hair/makeup. She was like one of the girls as we were getting ready. 

Katya & Rob – I have to say, I cried when I met her at our tasting (she happened to be shooting a wedding downstairs). I know it sounds ridiculous, but the aura is true - she (Rob, too) makes you just feel so at ease as if you were at home when she enters a room. Incredible.

Cana Beat – AMAZINGGGGGGGGGGGGG. They made my wedding dream come true and I cannot say enough fabulous things about them. There aren’t many YouTube videos online, but if you are looking to book a reggae band – DO IT.’

 

Any advice for future Brides?!

‘Read reviews, be prepared, and know what is important to you. All that mattered to us is we got to marry each other with our closest family and friends, on a beautiful beach, with delicious food and drinks.  As cliche as it sounds, it was incredible and wouldn’t change a thing.

AND GET A VIDEOGRAPHER.’

P.S. It was a great pleasure to work with Dave & Yuri of Together Forever Films from Boston!  http://vimeo.com/105784982

Our dear Ashley & Juliano — we can’t think of you without a huge smile and our hips rocking to the sexy reggae beats. You two are amazing and we feel so friggin’ lucky to have been a part of your MAGNIFICENT Wedding!! LOVE, K+R.

view our portfolio   |   facebook   |   pinterest   |   our reviews   |   we’re on bdw.com   |   instagram @katyanovaphoto   |   email us

  • September 25, 2014 - 20:11

    Oana Thompson - your work is always so beautiful! it’s hard to explain the stages i go through when i read your blog posts. happiness, wonder, excitement to name a few.

    forever in awe,
    Oana

Where do I even begin. It’s obvious to anyone who’s ever taken even a short glance at Wendy & Sean that they are soulmates – or whatever word you want to use to describe two people who complete each other so perfectly and love each other so deeply, that your eyes well up with tears of joy and gratitude.

They met at work and the innocent flirting started pretty well right away. At the time, a group of co-workers were playing pranks on each others’ cars and Sean dared to leave a ‘ticket’ on her car for being ‘not such a great driver.’ Naturally, Wendy decided to flirt back … by asking him to come over to her apartment and help her bake for a baking contest at work. Booya! Nice moves, Wendy! Would you be surprised if I told you they didn’t do much baking that night? :)

Wendy: ‘I had butterflies the night before our first date. I was so smitten with Sean and really hoped he liked me as much as I liked him. Confession: the day he showed up to help me bake, we talked for hours, had snow crab legs and curly fries, went out for snowballs and watched a movie – only 30 minutes of that evening was actually spent baking brownies out of a box for the contest, hence no blue ribbon to show for it. However, I ended up with the best prize, Sean!’

They managed to keep their relationship a total secret from everyone at work for 7 months, only keeping in constant contact on BlackBerry Messenger, which was their lifeline. So romantic!

Here’s their gorgeous Punta Cana, Dominican Republic wedding at the gem off-resort Kukua Restaurant, run by the wonderful Bego. Enjoy!

kukua destination wedding
cute baby destination wedding

Top three things Sean loves about Wendy: ‘She is a nurturer. Also, I love her ability to interpret people and their emotions, intentions, and feelings so easily. She picks up on things well before other people do. Last but not least, I love her spirit for what is important in life: she is light-hearted and fun but also shows serious dedication to what matters to her most, like completing nursing school and her relationships.’

kukua beach bridal room
happily ever after wedding
kukua beach weddings
kukua punta cana weddings

The fabulous Bego, standing by the labour of her love…

bego kukua punta cana
kukua dominican republic wedding
wedding stone ceremony
kukua beach wedding decor

Top three things Wendy loves about Sean: ‘I love Sean’s heart. He wouldn’t hurt a fly… (well maybe a fly, but nothing else). He has this innocent and humble heart that makes me want to be more like him. He always focuses on the positive aspects of every situation and cares so much about people. I also love his sense of adventure. He taught me to ride a bike, to love the ocean, to take risks, and he was even *almost* successful in teaching me to drive a stick shift!’ Oh, and to me, he’s the most beautiful man in the world. I never get tired of staring at him. He still gives me butterflies, even 5 years later…’

punta cana groom
kukua beach

Ideal day together according to Sean:We’re having a blast, most likely traveling somewhere warm and trying something new. It doesn’t have to mean adrenaline-pumping activity (but it might). Or it might just be sitting watching the sunset. Ideally, we are enjoying great food as well. The point is, that we are together, enjoying the moment, living youthfully.’

handsome punta cana groom
wedding cigars punta cana

Ideal day together according to Wendy: ‘A sunny day playing in the ocean, followed by a delicious meal, (we are true foodies) and lots of cuddling. Ahhh, what a perfect day.’

kukua beach bridal room
weddings groom shots
punta cana photographers
punta cana unique weddings

Wendy & Sean didn’t want to see each other before the ceremony, but were excited to share a few moments ‘alone’ together before the ceremony… I ran around frantically, trying to conceptualize the perfect shot of their ‘First Touch’ – until Bego, bless her heart, pulled out this genius ‘divider’ wall. It was perfect. And so special, we were all in tears. 

emotional first touch wedding

Sean, on the proposal:

‘It happened while on a trip to the Outer Banks, NC. I purchased the ring months before and had kept it a secret from Wendy the whole time. I had a plan to propose by the ocean at the Hatteras Island Cape Point. This plan was almost spoiled by sea turtles! When we purchased an off-road pass to drive to this area on the beach, the National Park Service informed us that this area was closed to vehicles due to turtle nests, but it was still accessible by a 3/4 mile shoreline walk. I wanted to propose at this spot, so I had to figure out how to make it work.

Forgetting about how I would actually get Wendy to the beach so early in the morning (sunrise), I moved forward with the rest of the plan, which included gluing letters made of wood, which spelled ‘marry me,’ to a shell. The nice lady at the campground store did not sell any large conch shells, but said she could bring one in from her garage which she collected during the last hurricane. The next day I picked up the shell from her and sneakily spent a very long time “taking a shower” that night – working on the shell. Wendy agreed to wake up very early the next morning to go watch the sunrise at the point.  As we walked towards the spot, I continued to add shells to my backpack so Wendy wouldn’t become suspicious. We collected shells and took pictures along the way, and when we reached the point, I strayed off from her while she took pictures. During this time, I took THE shell out and held it under the waves, calling Wendy to come look at what I’d supposedly ‘find.’ As she got closer, I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. She freaked out! We enjoyed our time on the beach and began making our way back, forgetting only to stay along the shoreline as to not disturb the sea turtles. At about this time, a law enforcement officer showed up and pointed out our missteps: 1. driving on the beach before the time allowed, and 2. walking on off-limit parts of the beach. He took our IDs and went back into his truck. Wendy flashed the new ring and the ‘marry me’ shell to the officer and said ‘We just got engaged!’After some time he returned with: ‘Well, between the two violations, you’ve racked up over $700 in fines, but because you just bought that ring, I’m sure you don’t have any more money left, so … just have a nice day and be more careful.’ We left the beach and enjoyed the rest of our day without breaking any more laws!!’

unique first look wedding

Our dear Lacy Bear behind the scenes!!

lacy katya nova

Wendy’s nickname for Sean:HFL (husband for life). I think this came from some reality tv show…’

Sean’s nickname for Wendy: ‘I sometimes call her Wen for short, or ..  I guess she’s my WFL (wife for life).’

first look kukua beach
all you need is love
wedding ring bearer
kukua beach flower girls
kukua beach ceremony
kukua beach wedding
emotional beach wedding groom
kukua beach weddings
beach ceremony kukua
kukua dominican wedding
punta cana kukua wedding
wedding photojounalism punta cana
kukua beach weddings
punta cana beach wedding

Most romantic memories together according to Sean:

‘… We have a tradition of writing notes on dinner receipts at restaurants. We probably have hundreds by now.

… Our beach engagement for sure.

… The first date at her apartment and the first kiss on her couch.

… When we’re laying around, she sings songs in a delicate voice – ‘you are my sunshine’ and one she made up called ‘heart strings.’

 

kukua beach wedding photos

Most romantic memory together according to Wendy: ‘The first time we said ‘I love you.’ I felt it for several months but wanted him to say it first. We were sitting in his truck in a parking lot of a restaurant after a yummy dinner. He finally said it. My life was complete!’

dominican republic wedding photographer

Sean: ‘My life is so great with Wendy. She is my better half and we really complement each other. She pushes me in areas where I need it, and I think I do the same for her. We are a great team. With Wendy by my side, my life is different because I know that I have a life-long partner to tackle all of life’s challenges with and to celebrate all of life’s prizes with. That is huge.’

kukua beach brides

Wendy: ‘I love that I can literally feel that he loves me. He shows me how much, every day.’

kukua punta cana

Sean: ‘I really appreciate that Wendy is there for me 100% and that she always wants to be with me all the time. She really takes great care of me too. Also, she makes the best breakfast burritos on earth.’

kukua brides

Wendy: ‘After I met Sean, for the first time, I felt I would be happy living the rest of my life in its current state. I am happy, satisfied and in love with our life together. It’s fun and exciting, yet simple. My favourite part of the day is coming home to him.’

creative destination wedding photos
kukua beach weddings
punta cana beach weddings

Wendy’s favorite things to find in the fridge: ‘Blackberries and sweet wine.’

Sean’s favourite things to find in the fridge: ‘Pizza!!! And anything she has made leftover… chicken parm, pot pie, steaks, shish-kabobs, smothered pork chops, jerk chicken, burgers.’

 

trust me you can dance vodka
kukua beach dinner
kukua beach cake
wedding cute baby
cake smashing punta cana
kukua beach wedding photos
kukua wedding party
kukua beach wedding party
kukua beach wedding
kukua beach fire show

Sean: ‘If Wendy had magical powers, she would be able to stop time. She doesn’t like to go to sleep at night because that means one more day has gone. Not that is has passed by (as in wasted), but she is just very aware of the immense value of our time.’

kukua beach first dance
kukua wedding reception
bride jumping into pool
punta cana wedding pool party

POST-WEDDING REFLECTIONS:

What did you love most about your wedding?

‘We loved that it was so different from the traditional wedding. It was all about fun and love, and our friends and loved ones were all on a beautiful Island, thousands of miles away from home, supporting us and cheering us on as we tied the knot.’

 

Any regrets? What would you have done differently if you could?

‘We have zero regrets. It was hands down the best wedding we have ever been to. We spent a year planning our wedding, down to every little detail, but in the end all we remember is that we had a blast and everyone was happy.’Most memorable moments from the Wedding?
Wendy: ‘Walking down the aisle to Sean. I was filled with happiness, excitement and out-of-control butterflies. I couldn’t wait to see him, marry him and show him my dress.’
Sean: ‘Seeing Wendy come out in her dress left me in awe, but standing at the beach gazebo together during the ceremony was very special for me as well. Wendy and I held hands while her brother delivered a heartfelt ceremony – I couldn’t fight the tears and felt elated the whole time!’
Seandy: ‘The First Touch was so awesome. We got a chance to hold hands and talk without seeing each other before the ceremony. It was pretty darn special. A moment we’ll cherish forever.
Also, my big and tough Army Ranger brother, Kwame got all emo as he officiated our wedding. Love love love!’
On Melia Resort:

‘The Melia Punta Cana was a great resort for our group. It’s very large, but beautiful. The grounds are very clean and well kept. The food and drinks were pretty good and the pool bars became a daily ritual.’
On Kukua & vendors:

Kukua Beach is breathtaking! It has a unique design and holds lots of character. The view of the ocean is absolutely gorgeous there. We loved that it was private and had an intimate feel. The beauty of having a destination wedding is not having to worry about finding vendors on your own. Bego is the awesome wedding coordinator at Kukua. I sent her my vision with lots of pictures and she delivered. We had a meeting and tasting with her a few days before the wedding. It literally lasted all day. We had a great time discussing our ideas and seeing them come to life. Everything turned out amazing.
I had my hair and makeup done by the spa at Melia. I was happy with the results.
We loved our MC Raul. He was a lot of fun and such a nice guy. He kept the party going. Katya Nova, Rob and Lacy are beyond photographers. They are incredible people with such positive energy. They were obviously very passionate about photography, love, and life in general. Our guests loved them, and so did we.’Advice for future Brides?
‘If your reason for having a destination wedding is so you can take it easy and have fun, then keep that in perspective and don’t stress. Enjoy the planning process because you’ll probably miss it after it’s all over. Focus on the positive, and it will feel like the best day of your life.’

 
Dearest Wendy & Sean – we loved every moment with you! You know we’re not just saying that too — the beautiful tears and hugs we shared were absolutely magical. Wishing you all the love, joy, and bliss of connectedness that you deserve… You two are incredible. LOVE, K+R.

view our portfolio   |   facebook   |   pinterest   |   our reviews   |   we’re on bdw.com   |   instagram @katyanovaphoto   |   email us

  • September 22, 2014 - 01:42

    Patricia Whetsell - Wow!!! Gorgeous Pictures and enjoyed reading all your comments in between. Love you guys!!