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 a bit about us HERE
… below is our approximate travel schedule for the next while – we might be closer than you think, so drop us a line and follow us on INSTAGRAM @katyanovaphoto

we’ve also recently started our new ‘nurturing nova’ blog, which is a tribute to our passion for wholesome living & saving our pennies towards our Dream of building a boutique Yoga & Ayurveda wellness sanctuary retreat in Cabarete, Dominican Republic. hope you’ll get to visit us there one day!

TRAVEL SCHEDULE: 2014

* 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

November 2014 – July 2015   |   DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (we’re moving to the charming town of Cabarete, but will be shooting in Punta Cana on a regular basis)

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P.S. Here are some quick links to our fave blog posts that you might enjoy:

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)

  • 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

Sharon has become a ‘destination wedding sister’ to so many Brides across North America who have never met her in person, but feel close and deeply grateful to her. Over the last few months, she devoted literally hundreds of hours to unifying the voice of Punta Cana Brides and helping many Couples plan their destination weddings in Dominican. It’s pretty incredible, really!

Rob & I were particularly excited for Sharon & Michael’s wedding because this would be the first Sunrise Wedding since our very own in April 2012!! Everything about it was absolutely amazing…

*****

Now, here comes their Love Story!

One day, a certain Southern gentleman came across a friend of a friend’s facebook profile. Immediately, he was in awe: this Yankee City girl was beautiful and smart, having just finished law school! He kept looking for a way to meet her and stars finally aligned just before Christmas in 2009, at a bar on the infamous Bell Blvd., Bayside, NY. And so it began.

Sharon: ‘First, he tricked me into giving him my number by asking to see my phone (he called his own number with it). Second, he danced with me and swept me off my feet. Finally, he grabbed me by the hand that night, dragged me up to the bar and asked some ‘inappropriate’ questions about a previous relationship I’d been in.’ The chemistry was there, and so were the butterflies…

After much persistence on Michael’s part, they finally went out together – for frozen yoghurt at Pinkberry.

Michael: ‘I was having such a great time with her, I didn’t want it to end, so I lied and said I was actually starved and hadn’t eaten dinner yet. Sharon asked if I was in the mood for sushi and took me to her favourite sushi restaurant – Okinawa on Bell Blvd. That’s how our tradition of having frozen yogurt first and sushi second started!’

Michael was perfect – but Sharon was still skeptical and hesitant, having just had her heart broken. She told him that they were just friends and that she wanted to hang out with other people. ‘But why?’ Michael asked innocently, ‘I’m going to marry you one day.’ She blushed and asked, ‘How do you know?’ ‘When you know, you know,’ he said.

*****

Mayte Mari & Nati transformed Huracan Cafe into a stunning, magical wedding venue, running solely on COFFEE, ADRENALINE, AND LOVE.

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A magnificent sunrise greets Sharon as she gets ready to walk down the aisle!

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Sharon shares the Proposal Story:

‘Saturday, November 10, 2012, Michael and I flew down to Charlotte for a job interview on that Monday and to get sworn in on Tuesday to the South Carolina bar.

The week before, Michael was telling me to get my hair & nails done etc. (supposedly because I had this job interview coming up). He even bought me new suits! I didn’t think much of it; I knew he wanted me to feel confident at my interview. Then a few days before, Michael asked if I wanted to go on a special date he would plan. This wasn’t uncommon for him and of course I was more than happy to agree!

That Sunday morning I get super primped up for this date and we hit the road. I keep trying to guess where we’re going … and after about 2 hours, we pull into the parking lot of the Biltmore Estate. As we’re waiting in line to pick up tickets, I say, ‘If these are your dates, you’re going to run out of really good ideas for proposals’ and then I add, ‘If I didn’t know better, I’d ask you where the ring was, but I can see you have no room for it’ (Michael was wearing a button down and jeans).

Little did I know, he had The Ring in the pocket of this vest that he was going to wear ‘because it’s his brand new vest and he wants to wear it,’ which was still in the car. 

We’re then told to start our walk at the gardens of the Estate. At one point, Michael mentions how sad he is that we never bring our camera anywhere anymore and how we don’t have pictures of any of our activities…

Some time later, a guy with a clipboard comes up to us while we’re at the greenhouse and we ask him to take our picture. He says, ‘funny you should ask’ because there’s some sort of a ‘pilot program’ that the Biltmore is doing – basically, a professional photographer follows us around for about an hour and it’s free and if we want to buy photos, they charge us, and the good thing is that she’s very familiar with the property and could show us all the landmarks because the property is very large. 

We start posing in different places and Michael is being dorky and cute (doing things like making a heart shape with both our hands) and I say, ‘If this is how you’re going to act during photoshoots, I guess I now know you’re going to be dorky and awkward during our engagement shoot too.’ I’m still oblivious!

Finally, as we get to the top of this hill area that overlooks the mansion, he turns to the photographer and says, ‘Is this the best view on the property?‘ and she says it is, so he then says, ‘I guess this is a good place to propose then’ and gets down on one knee. I’m like, ‘OMG, THIS IS SO EMBARRASSING’ and ‘YOU’RE KIDDING’ and ‘SHUT UP’ and ‘STOP IT’ over and over again. He’s holding both my hands and saying all these sweet things, like how we’ve been together for three years, it’s been three years too long that he’s waited to propose, that I’m his best friend and that he wants to spend the rest of his life with me and can’t wait to call me his wife and then he pulls out a ring from his vest and asks me to marry him! I’m SHOCKED … ‘Yes! Of course!’ and grab him and kiss him and hug him and he slips the most beautiful ring on my finger!

And so he starts to explain everything – how he had planned to propose before in Central Park, but all the parks in NYC were closed because of Hurricane Sandy and so he had to cancel that photographer, that he found another photographer in NC for our shoot at the Biltmore, how he asked my parents for permission while I was at work the Friday before we flew to Charlotte, how he had been saving up for the ring for a while, etc.’ 

LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!!!!!!!

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Baby Elizabeth stole my heart…

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The Speedo Guy. 

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Beautiful ceremony by Rabbi Ancel Salamon (ancelsalamon@live.com)

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As a kid, Sharon always wanted to be a lawyer. (Check!)

As a kid, Michael used to think that when you ‘grew up,’ you just got to pick who you wanted to be. Naturally, he chose ‘Captain Planet.’ (Check!)

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Top three things Sharon loves about Michael: ‘I love how sweet/caring/thoughtful he is, Michael is always willing to help someone else out, even strangers – and you don’t see much of that in NY! I love how funny he is; he always makes me laugh. Also, his blue eyes make me melt!’

Top three things Michael loves about Sharon: ’1. I love the fact that she admits that I’m smarter than her. 2. Her laugh. 3. The fact that we can be silly around each other at all times.’

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One of the most beautiful set-ups Huracan Cafe has seen! (Mayte & Nati don’t even have to wear make-up, they are permanently covered in glitter, hehe!)

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This sign was lovingly made by Sharon herself!

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Ideal day together:

‘There’s nothing we love more than just spending time together. Some days, the perfect day is binge-watching movies or TV on the couch, or reading while snuggled next to each other. Other days, it’s going for a hike, kayaking on the river, or going for a long walk on a beach. The perfect day wouldn’t be complete without our dearest baby girl, Bowie, snuggled up next to us or running as fast as she can with her ears flopping in the wind. (We are most upset about the fact that Bowie wasn’t able to travel with us to attend the wedding). The bottom line is, our perfect day is spending as much quality time with each other as possible.’

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Behind the scenes, Nati finds a few minutes of peace – together with Mayte, they had stayed up for nearly 48 hours… if that’s not dedication, I don’t know what is!!

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Dolled up girls, with the fabulous Krystie Ann & Indira Sanchez.

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Stole. My. Heart.

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Most romantic memory together:

‘We love to take trips together and experience new things. One of our favourite trips was in 2010 when we went to a resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico. It was there that we decided we were going to have a destination wedding. It was incredibly romantic.’

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Sunrise ‘Rock the Dress’ on the beach of Breathless Punta Cana resort, where Sharon & Michael stayed for their mini-honeymoon (they LOVED the place, by the way!)

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Favorite guilty pleasure: ‘Eating dinner while watching reality television (the Bachelor and Survivor are some of our faves!)’

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‘One of the nicknames we have for each other is ‘Bean.’ We call each other ‘bean’ or ‘bean-bear.’ Sometimes he calls me ‘jellybean.’

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Michael: ‘I love that Sharon never says no to me and will always do anything to help me out, whether it’s in the middle of the day or  night (scheduling appointments, running to the store, and many other things).’

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Sharon: ‘I love that when Michael does the food shopping for the week, he’ll buy me all my favourite things, even if they’re not on the list (like goat cheese & olives – even though he hates both). I also love that he does the laundry, but I think that’s because he doesn’t trust me to do it, haha!’

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Michael, on Sharon’s hidden talents: ‘her hidden talent is that she is actually more domesticated that she lets on; her cooking is amazing! She can also throw a mean spinning elbow. I’m pretty sure I only had to show her that move once before she got it down.’

Sharon, on Michael’s hidden talents: ‘he’s really into MMA. Most of his friends probably know this already, but he has a purple belt in jiujitsu. I’ve seen him train and he’s definitely better than he thinks he is. I love watching him in action, it’s really manly and very attractive!’

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BRIDE & GROOM POST-WEDDING REFLECTIONS:

What did you love most about your wedding?

‘The sunrise ceremony and the groom’s reaction. There is something incredibly romantic about a sunrise. It’s different from a sunset. I consider a sunset to be romantic in a sexy, sultry way; but a sunrise is romantic in a beginning-of-the-rest-of-your-life kind of way. It’s hopeful and awe-inspiring. Is there a better way to start your wedding day than marrying the love of your life as soon as the sun rises? I can’t think of one! If I had to do it all over again, I’d do it at sunrise – again and again! Part of the reason we chose to do it then was because my husband didn’t want to see me before the wedding or do a First Look, which was so worthwhile because his reaction to seeing me walk down the aisle was the most beautiful, amazing thing I will never forget. I feel so lucky that my groom’s reaction was so emotional.

Oh, and the speedo guy. We all can’t stop laughing about speedo guy!’

 

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

‘Wedding planning was fun, but especially in the last month or two and the few days we were at the resort, it was incredibly stressful. There were so many things that I didn’t think about at the last minute and my budget flew out the window. While I had the best bridal party a girl could ask for, I wish I had someone who had done a destination wedding before to help me with the process. It would have been nice to have someone at the beginning help me outline my budget (and tell me that I was forgetting things to budget for), remind me along the way things that I didn’t know I should be doing until later, and help me when I was spending hours online looking for the best prices for things to go in my welcome bags.

I would have “let go” on the day of. I spent a lot of time worrying about guests, vendors, the schedule, etc. I would leave more time than I thought necessary for things – it would have been better to sit down and relax to wait because we were running early than to feel stressed because we were going to run out of time before the guests arrived for cocktail hour to take photos. I also highly recommend paying everyone and everything related to your wedding asap. Pay for your entire wedding at your tasting and then bring a credit card that any extra charges from that night can go on. I will say though, that I felt really lucky that my day didn’t “go by so fast” because I had literally an entire day for my wedding since we started at sunrise (we got to share some special alone time after the ceremony before I went back to get ready for the reception and since the ceremony was done, it was just getting ready for the fun party), but the ceremony itself flew by; I wish I had stopped and taken a breath and looked around at everyone and made sure I was more in the moment.

One last thing – we wanted to have our guests be on their own, enjoying their vacation and so we didn’t schedule any group activities. Then, everyone kept asking us what our plans were, but we had none! They wanted to know what we were doing for dinner or if we wanted to join them on any excursions. I wish we had done daily meetups at one location at the same time every day and scheduled at least 1 excursion that we invited our guests to join us on.’

 

Most memorable moments?!

’1. The Soul Train line that started the dancing at the reception and nearly everyone jumping off the pier into the ocean to top the night off, especially since Michael said that if at the end of the night everyone ended up jumping into the ocean, then it would have been a success – guess he was right!
2. Speedo guy. We look back and laugh at that all the time now!
3. For me, Michael’s reaction to seeing me for the first time walking down the aisle. For him, it’s seeing me for the first time walking down the aisle.’

 

Comments about vendors, resort etc

Paradisus Palma Real is an incredibly beautiful resort and my guests loved it. My mom and sister have already mentioned how they want to go back (my mom said she wants me to plan a yearly trip starting next December). However, I was incredibly disappointed with their service. All their restaurants are reservation only, but when you go to the front to ask for a reservation, they tell you that they’re booked and it’s nearly impossible to get in. My friends who had upgraded to Royal Service were able to get reservations, though. Now, if the restaurants were actually packed, I would understand. However, consistently my guests and I noticed that the restaurants were nearly EMPTY! I don’t believe people are making reservations and then just cancelling them – they must be trying their best to push people to the already-cooked-and-paid-for buffet food (which was mostly inedible and I am not a super picky eater). Half our guests got sick (do not eat the calzone from room service – or any cheese for that matter), too. The employees all expect tips BEFORE the service. We only had the opportunity to eat at Market Grill and Bana (other than the buffet) and those had good food. Unfortunately, even though we were there for 5 nights, we only got to eat dinner at a restaurant and not the buffet for 2 and we had to tip $20 to even be seated! Basically, if you’re a bride/groom and you’re booked at this resort, you should upgrade to Royal Service so that your butler can get you reservations for your guests and yourself.

Now on to the good stuff: I seriously think I had the absolute best team. I researched for a very long time. Katya Nova & Rob are just amazing. You can feel their warmth and positive energy. Katya has this deep passion and love for life and it shows in her work. It shows in her personality, too. It’s incredibly important to have a vendor whose work product you enjoy, but more so to have someone there who is like a friend, part of the wedding, and who vibes well with you. Pascal of Caribbean Emotions was amazing, too. He showed up earlier than I expected, stayed later and got me my wedding movie before I even left the D.R. I never felt uncomfortable or awkward with a camera in my face when it was Katya/Rob or Pascal behind it and I’m not a super comfortable person with cameras and people looking at me – I feel so awkward!
Krystie Ann did my hair and makeup (and hair for my bridal party and the moms) and I am not even exaggerating when I say that I have never liked my hair when it’s professionally done or put up, but she is the BEST hair and makeup artist I’ve EVER seen. Both my hair and makeup were exactly what I was going for. It lasted all night for everyone! Indira did a great job for makeup for my girls, too. They raved about both Krystie Ann and Indira for their look. I can’t find a better artist in NYC, home of hair and makeup, than Krystie Ann, if I tried. And last, but certainly far from least, the food at Huracan Cafe was delicious and the service amazing, but their planners and decorators, Mayte Mari and Nati, are like the fairy godmothers of weddings. I couldn’t imagine my wedding designed by anyone else. My maid of honor said, “It’s like your pinterest came to life!” and that couldn’t be truer. The decor was exactly what I wanted, only better than I could have ever dreamed (including my cake table and the amazing cakes by Cake Studio Bavaro). I wouldn’t change a single vendor if I could do it again. Whatever hiccups I ran into were more than made up for by how amazing, amazing, amazing all my vendors were. I am literally in tears thinking about how much I loved working with them all and how I wish I could do it all over again because it was so awesome the first time! This is the team you want for your wedding dreams to come true!’

 

Advice for future Brides!?

‘Be in the moment, let go and enjoy. You don’t get a re-do, so push aside anything that isn’t going perfectly according to plan and focus on the amazing things that are going on, especially the fact that at the end of the day, you get to go home with your soul mate, best friend, lover, husband. The rest is just details.’

 

*** FYI: SHARON FOUNDED THE BEST ‘FORUM’ FOR PUNTA CANA BRIDES ON FACEBOOK. The liveliest, most up-to-date conversations about destination weddings in Punta Cana are happening there, so go ahead and join! 

We’re also happy to help her introduce Barefoot Bridal (Sharon Kopp – planner and travel agent)    |    www.pinterest.com/barefootbridalx   |   barefootbridalweddings@gmail.com

 

Dearest Sharon & Michael, your love for each other & passion for life is the hard-to-find kind… Your Wedding was so special to Rob & I, we can’t wait for you to come back and visit! xoxo

 

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  • July 22, 2014 - 17:44

    Sharon Kopp - Loveeee you, Katya! Your photos are magic. These are amazing. And thank you so much for the plug!! Best part of Barefoot Bridal is being able to stay in touch with all my favorite vendors!!!

Lyndie & Josh were in the same 5th grade class. Lyndie: ‘Josh was such a cutie, all the girls had a crush on him, including me. (He still claims he has love letters from me somewhere from that year!) We didn’t become friends until high school, but it never progressed to anything more than that.’

It wasn’t until about 6 years after high school that they started hanging out more regularly, in a group of mutual friends. Eventually, it became obvious to both of them this was turning into a real relationship and after many months had passed, they finally made things official!

Their Jellyfish Punta Cana wedding was everything they’d dreamed of and more. I’ll let you be the judge:)Enjoy!

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Lyndie found these beautiful antique frames at her great-grandma’s house and incorporated them into her wedding decor!

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Lyndie: ‘Josh puts me in line and helps me see the bigger picture. I am where I am today because of his encouragement and belief in me.’

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The fabulous Anna Nuet … doing her thing!

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Lyndie on the proposal:

‘We were in Illinois visiting Josh’s mom’s family for Christmas. The day after Christmas he took me to Chicago and we went see “The Book of Mormon,” visited the aquarium, and ate at a really fancy restaurant. When we got back to his parent’s house, a bottle of champagne and a present (the ring) was waiting for me on the kitchen table. It could have been a really romantic moment, but I’m really awkward at times and I kind of ruined the moment by asking if I could run to the bathroom first. In my defence, it was a 45-minute ride back to his parent’s house, I had a few drinks at dinner, and my bladder was about to burst!’

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LOVE this First Look.

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I love when I catch Josh flexing in the mirror and he thinks I’m not paying attention, it’s cute! I love the motivation and dedication he has when it comes to his work… I also love that he still hangs out with me after seeing my spastic dance moves, listens to me when I attempt to sing, and hears the weird things I say…:)Last but not least, I love his ability to put up with me and my shenanigans!!’

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We both can be quick tempered at times and argue over silly things. I appreciate the fact that it only takes 5 minutes for us to get over it and talk about something different.’

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Ideal day together: ‘takeout, a bottle of wine, and a movie on our incredibly comfy couch.’

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Most romantic memory together: ‘our two day trip to Punta Cana last year was really nice, 2 days spent relaxing on the beach with no cell phone interruptions. How can you beat that?’

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Lyndie’s favourite guilty pleasure: ‘I’m a candy junkie!’

Josh’s favourite guilty pleasure: ‘Taco Bell!’

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Lyndie’s favourite things to find in the fridge: ‘Popsicles!’

Josh’s favourite things to find in the fridge: ‘Pizza, Mountain Dew.’

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First Dance song: Firehouse ‘Love of a Lifetime.’

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BRIDE & GROOM POST WEDDING REFLECTIONS:

What did you love most about your wedding?

‘I loved how laid-back and relaxing the whole feel of it was. I am so glad I decided on a destination wedding. It was amazing and I know I could not have pulled off anything as unique in the States.’

 

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

‘No regrets, I think the way the wedding was planned worked well for our group.’

 

Most memorable moments?!

‘Our First Look, I’m so glad we decided to do this. It saved us a lot of time after the ceremony and it took the edge off.

We decided to add the fire dancers the week before the wedding. It was a surprise to our guests and everyone loved it!

We booked the catamaran Santa Maria, which was a private tour for us since we had such a large group. It was so much fun and I can’t wait to go back and do it again.’
Comments on vendors / venue etc

‘The Jellyfish has so much natural beauty, all of our guests were very impressed with the venue.

The new decorators Gianna & Clara’s work is continuing to get better each wedding they decorate. There were many things that were different than what we discussed at our meeting, but overall I was happy with the décor.

My hair and makeup was done by Anna Nuet. She did an amazing job, I absolutely loved my hair and my makeup was flawless!

Katya Nova & Rob, there are no words to describe how wonderful they were! All of our guests raved about them. They could see how involved they were and the little details they were able to spot and capture. From the moment you meet them you can see the love and passion they put into their work. I can’t wait to see the amazing shots they captured!’
Advice for future brides?!

‘Don’t stress out about the little things, no one will notice the small details except you. Take it all in because it goes by way too fast, so make sure you enjoy it!!!’

 

Lyndie & Josh – warmest CONGRATULATIONS on your marriage, let it be as beautiful, harmonious, full of joy / laughter / funny dance moves … as your Wedding was!! Much love, K+R.

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  • July 20, 2014 - 20:49

    Bonnie Tucknott - The wedding was beautiful! What a lovely couple you make. Love You!

Their love story is similar to ours – Myla-Ana was the wedding coordinator at a friend’s wedding, where Curtis was a groomsman. (Rob was a wedding guest at a friend’s destination wedding where I was the photographer!) :) 

Curtis remembers, ‘I was coming off a break up and literally prayed to God for a new woman. I was specific with my requests and approximately 4 days later I met Myla! She embodies every important quality that I could ever want in a woman.’

Myla & Curtis are one of those couples who make people turn their heads as they walk past – their radiant love and passion for life are contagious. Myla-Ana is one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met, and that beauty is not just skin-deep.

Here’s the Feature of their amazing destination wedding at Paradisus Palma Real! As always, with so much love. Enjoy… 

P.S. Warm shout-out to Mariela, the extraordinary wedding planner at Paradisus + Diego Pocovi & his team, who flew in from Miami (they are super talented and we look forward to seeing Myla & Curtis’ film!) :) 

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Their Wedding festivities started with an All-White Welcome BBQ the day before the Big Day and it was SUCH a blast!!

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Myla-Ana has a nickname for Curtis, ‘Sitruc.‘  She explains, ‘we have known each other for 9 years, but I knew about 3 years ago how serious he was about me and how deeply in love he was with me. I could tell by the way his behavior changed towards me. So, I turned his name around the way his behavior changed and started calling him ‘Sitruc,’ Curtis backwards.’

Below is the ‘Sitruc‘ Bear they brought with them to Punta Cana! Apparently, the ‘alyM’ Bear is too big and had to stay home! :) 

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‘I love that Curtis is great at writing me love notes and showering me with flowers.’

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Top three things Curtis loves about Myla: ‘What’s NOT to love about Myla-Ana? Here are my top 3: 1) I love her optimism and positive attitude 2) I love that Myla and I can do absolutely nothing and feel like we’ve had the best time simply because we’re together 3) I love the effort that she puts into making our relationship work. She’s totally invested into ‘us’ and her actions reflect it.’

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A pre-wedding gift from Curtis arrives: fabulous Gucci shoes and a diamond tennis bracelet. Spoiled!:)

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Top three things Myla loves about Curtis: ‘I love his personality, he is so funny and fun-loving. Curtis starts telling jokes the minute I open my eyes in the morning. Oh yea, and he has to kiss me on my face at least a dozen times before I get out of bed. I love how romantic he is. From the small things to the big things, he is always thinking of creative ways to show he cares and put a smile on my face. He is amazing!’

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Curtis proposed to Myla-Ana in a beautiful restaurant in Barcelona, Spain. ‘I was so nervous and practiced 100 times what I was going to say. When I finally got the nerve, I got down on one knee and expressed my love for her. I told her that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her and that I could not ask for a better life partner. The entire restaurant exploded with cheers and began taking pictures with their phones. Coincidentally, actors Sean Penn and Idries Elba were at the restaurant having dinner. They heard the applause and congratulated us on our engagement!’ 

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A touching wedding ceremony at the Paradisus Palma Real garden gazebo. 

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garden gazebo wedding paradisus

‘Myla-Ana had restored my faith in the prospect of having a committed relationship. I was a notorious bachelor – a single guy to the max!!! I didn’t think that a serious relationship was in the cards for me until I met Myla. She gives me hope that I will have a family one day. My relationship with her has matured me and given me balance. Daily her presence is teaching me about sacrifice, unconditional love and protection. Also, my relationship with Myla has kept me close to God.’

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Ideal day together according to Myla-Ana: ‘We love to watch movies together. We have this secret place where we like to go. We will pack up the picnic basket and grab blankets, to spend the evening watching movies together. It’s our own secret place.  If I tell you what the secret place is, Curtis may call off the wedding (haha).’

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Ideal day together according to Curtis: ‘Football Sundays. When it’s the NFL football season, every Sunday we cook a lot of food, eat all day and lay around watching football together.’

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Favorite gifts:

Myla-Ana: ‘When Curtis gave me the keys to his place: they were on a key chain that said “I love you” … INSIDE OF A GUCCI HANDBAG.’ 

Curtis: ‘Black diamond earrings and ice tea maker.’

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Sunrise Rock the Dress / Intimate Portraits session the next day… AMAZING.

punta cana sunrise

‘We have too many romantic memories to name. Curtis is the ULTIMATE in romance. But if I had to choose one it would definitely be our private dinner on the beach in Bermuda. It was a complete surprise. He had a horse and carriage (complete with my favorite champagne) pick us up from the resort to take us on a tour around the island. They took us to a private beach for dinner – Curtis had the chef bring out our favorite foods. And oh yeah, more champagne! It was very romantic. There were tons of candles and flowers that the waitstaff set up around and on our table.  We literally were the only ones on this beach!’

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paradisus palma real

Myla-Ana’s favourite guilty pleasures: ‘champagne, pineapple, pizza and soft chewy cookies.’

Curtis’ favourite guilty pleasures: ‘Harold’s Chicken, Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant, Old Fashioned Doughnuts and a shot of D’usse.’ 

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intimate couples photos punta cana

‘I appreciate the way that Myla makes every special occasion special with a capital ‘S.’ During the Christmas holidays she’s totally immersed in the holiday spirit. She sings Christmas songs all month long, wants to watch holiday movies and the entire house is beautifully decorated. Christmas is just an example of how Myla goes that extra yard. She always has a theme for every holiday or special occasion. From family brunches to hot chocolate bars, my Boo Boo Child is the best!’

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ONE MONTH ANNIVERSARY: POST-WEDDING REFLECTIONS:

 What did you love most about your wedding, SPECIFICALLY?

‘I loved that we were able to party with our wedding guests for 2 nights. We had a Welcome BBQ the night before the wedding, so it gave us a chance to greet and hang out with our guests before the wedding day. This gave us a chance to focus more on one another without the pressure of worrying if our guests were waiting to greet or speak to us. Highly recommended for large weddings.’

 

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

‘I supplied bug repellant in the welcome bags for all my guests, but forgot to apply my own. The mosquitoes/bugs were not really a problem but because I am allergic, I was swollen in a few spots the morning of the wedding. I had to take a few Benadryl the day of the wedding to reduce the swelling. I obviously would have preferred not to have been a medicated bride the day of my wedding!’

 

Most memorable moments from the Day / Wedding week?!

‘The surprise dance that my groom choreographed for me with his friends… the many tears that were shed during our ceremony… and opening my AWESOME wedding gift surrounded by my closest girls.’

Comments about vendors, resort etc

‘Words can’t describe how grateful we are for all of our vendors. Our wedding guests are still talking about how awesome everything turned out. Please remember not to take shortcuts when it comes to your photos. You only have 1 day and 1 moment that you can’t get back. After your day and moment is over, one of the things you can count on to relive your special day are your photos. Katya Nova & Rob are so amazing at what they do, you are guaranteed to have high quality lasting memories.’

 

Advice for future brides?

‘Take a moment with just you and your groom after you take all your photos and exchange vows. My groom and I took about 15 minutes to ourselves and had a glass of champagne together away from EVERYONE before we were introduced at our reception.’

 

Myla-Ana & Curtis: you two are an awe-inspiring source of LOVE. Rob & I are so blessed to have had the chance to spend time with you and document your Wedding – wishing you a lifetime of pure joy and harmony!!! xoxo K+R. 

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When Rob & I showed up to Sherricka & Stanley’s ‘All White Welcome Party’ at Eden Pool, we knew this would be no ordinary wedding. We were surrounded by beautiful life-loving people who really knew how to get down and party!! Sherricka & Stanley glowed the brightest, rocking out to sexy Caribbean beats from their awesome DJ.

They met and fell in love at work, at the NYC Board of Education. I bet the romance was steamy – there’s such potent, undeniable chemistry between them!!

Here’s their fabulous Hard Rock Punta Cana wedding… Enjoy!

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Top three things Sherricka loves about Stanley: ‘I love his smile, his laugh, and how he would do anything to make me happy.’

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Top three things Stanley loves about Sherricka: ‘I love that she’s independent, beautiful, has a big heart.’

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Sherricka, on the proposal: ‘We were on vacation in the Dominican Republic.  I was so shocked! Stan was so sweet – he started by telling me how much he loves me and how he wanted me to be the mother of his kids…’

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A beautiful, emotional First Look!

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hard rock punta cana first look

‘Stanley understands me and often makes sacrifices for my happiness. I appreciate him so much in my life!’

first look punta cana

‘I love that Sherricka is very supportive and sweet to me & everybody around her.’

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Sherricka’s favourite guilty pleasures: ‘Reality TV.’

Stanley’s favourite guilty pleasures: ‘Sleeping in!’

hard rock groom

Do you have a nickname? If so, what’s the story behind it?

Sherricka’s nicknames for Stanley: ‘Papa Bear, Hunny Bunny and BABE!’

Stanley’s nicknames for Sherricka: ‘Babe, Cookie Monster, Baby!’

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punta cana hard rock

Sherricka: ‘I love it when he comes and puts his head on my shoulder and tells me everything will be ok, or when he brings me chocolate chip cookies – my favorite food!’

Stanley: ‘I love it when she massages me.’

hard rock ceremony

‘I love how Stanley keeps me grounded and helps me to see life in ways I never considered before.’

hard rock brides

Favourite things to find in the fridge:

Sherricka: ‘Ice Cream, yogurt, fresh salad, SWEETS, and of course Jerk Chicken.’

Stanley: ‘Haagen Daaz (Swiss chocolate and almonds), and of course curry goat or chicken.’

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Most romantic memory together: ‘Our lobster dinner on the beach in Dominican Republic the day Stanley proposed to me. It was absolutely beautiful, you could see the reflection of the light in his eyes!’

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An awesome Fire Show at the Eclipse Lounge!

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BRIDE & GROOM POST-WEDDING REFLECTIONS:

What did you love most about your Wedding?

‘All the love we received from our family and friends. We didn’t expect around 80 guests to join us when we decided to have a destination wedding!’

 

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

‘Time management … although we wanted our day to flow somewhat organically, we didn’t expect to be behind on time for the majority of the day. You can imagine the anxiety!’ 

 

Most memorable moments from the Day?

‘Our All White Welcome Party the day before was soooo fun! It started off with never-ending rain which had us panicking like crazy, then suddenly thanks to God it stopped. We all ended up in the pool dancing with our clothes on. Good times!!!’ 

We also really enjoyed our First Look… it was so emotional seeing Stanley for the first time! OMG it brought tears to my eyes (tearing up just thinking about it). All of the preparations and realizing we made it to that moment. Stanley says the moment he saw me in my dress for the first time made him fall in love all over again.’

 

Comments about vendors:

Katya & Rob are the absolute best so warm and welcoming with their magnetic energy! After corresponding for so long it was like meeting friends! We love them and so did our guests. We do not look at them as photogs, but as our dear friends. If you can book Diego Films – do it! Juan and Michael were incredible – the very best and very understanding, such as awesome team!! We miss them!’

 

Any advice for future Brides!?

‘Enjoy the day to the fullest, there may be hang-ups and things may not go according to plan, still stay positive and enjoy yourself, your man and family. After all, it’s the one day you’ve waited for for so long, so let nothing destroy your spirit!’

 

Our dearest Sherricka & Stanley, you two have the biggest hearts and are so obviously in love – it’s amazing! Can’t wait to see you again when we’re in New York!!  Love, K+R.

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