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)

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

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

Blondie & Bear (a.k.a. Michelle & Alan) met in the 5th grade in Catholic school. I can totally see them as kids, eyeing each other in suspicious wonder… Alan: ‘I was the new kid in class and she noticed me sketching an airplane.  She asked me if I liked planes and I said yes. She then quizzed me on the spot about the altitude at which planes fly. As I paused to think of an answer, she cut me off and informed me that it was 30,000 feet. Michelle slowly turned back around as if to say, “you don’t know anything about planes.”’

He’s had a crush on Michelle since then and she had no idea – until years later, when Alan contacted her via myspace seeking a friendship. The attraction was instant from the first ‘date.’ Michelle remembers, ‘I invited him to my friend’s birthday party and told her I would make him mine that night. Before the party was over, I kissed him.’

Here are the highlights of their perfect Jellyfish Punta Cana Wedding through our eyes!!

LOVE these guys to pieces.

jellyfish anna nuet
jellyfish decor
jellyfish
jellyfish katya nova
jellyfish
punta cana wedding dress

With Anna Nuet’s magic touch, the already naturally gorgeous Michelle looked like a movie star! 

marilyn monroe bride
jellyfish punta cana

As a kid, Michelle always wanted to be a costume designer. She now works in fashion … (and WOWZA she’s designing a surprise outfit for me for Burning Man!!!!) Michelle is dreaming of starting her own burlesque costume design business – honey, I’m first in line!!:)

As a kid, Alan wanted to be the best guitar player in the world… and he’s made it as an uber talented professional musician.

musician groom
jellyfish
jellyfish brides
jellyfish bride

An emotionally charged First Look, as we play ‘When We Dance’ by Sting for Michelle & Alan on our little boombox. 

jellyfish first look portraits

Top three things Michelle loves about Alan: ‘it’s impossible to narrow it down to just three…  I can begin by saying he’s a gentleman, he has his heart in the right place, and he’s a kick-ass guitarist. We share comfortable silences and a love for music and art. Alan & I have a deep spiritual connection that is out of this world!’

emotional first look

Top three things Alan loves about Michelle: ‘she’s a deeply caring and warm person. She’s sassy and knows what she wants. She’s artistic and a lover of music. Each time we speak, I’m reminded that she is not just my true love, but my best friend and soulmate.’

punta cana destination wedding

Favourite guilty pleasures: ‘Famiglia’s Pizza (new york slices and a round of garlic knots), followed by a naughty stroll to Pinkberry for some frozen yogurt.’

jellyfish inspiration

Alan, on the proposal:

‘We are big fans of The Police and Sting.  One Christmas eve, after all the presents were exchanged ( yes, latinos often exchange gifts at midnight instead of Christmas morning), I grabbed my guitar and sang, “When We Dance” by Sting.  I repeated the line from the chorus which goes, “I would love you more than life if you’d only be my wife.” I then got down on one knee and asked her to be my wife.  It worked out, though I’m pretty sure the ring had a lot to do with it.’ :)

punta cana
jellyfish punta cana wedding

Alan’s cousin sang a rendition of “You’re My Best Friend” by Queen for the ceremony. It was AMAZING!

jellyfish punta cana
creative destination wedding photos
dominican republic jellyfish
falling in love
jellyfish wedding photos
punta cana jellyfish ceremony
punta cana wedding photojournalism
love sign destination wedding

Michelle’s favourite thing to find in the fridge: ‘Whipped Cream… hahaha!’

Alan’s favourite thing to find in the fridge: ‘Coke Cola in a glass bottle.’

jellyfish appetizers
jellyfish bridal party

Ideal day together according to Michelle: ‘Either strolling through Central Park or along the Hudson river shooting the shit. Later, binge-watching Law and Order: SVU.’

Ideal day together according to Alan: ‘A beautiful summer day and a long walk on Riverside Drive, nerding out on music, the universe, and figuring out what the hell we’re gonna eat for dinner. You know, life’s tough questions.’

punta cana sunset wedding

Alan’s nickname for Michelle: ‘my nickname is Blondie (sometimes interchangeable with Pain-in-the-ass!) because that’s what he calls me.’

caribbean weddings

Michelle’s nickname for Alan: ‘Bear. She says it’s because I’m huggable and loveable like a teddy bear.’  

groom beach wedding

Rocking out to Bob Marley as they dance together for the first time as husband & wife. 

jellyfish first dance
langosta wedding menu
jellyfish punta cana wedding party
fire show jellyfish wedding

Meet a new member of the Jellyfish team: this super snuggly kitten!! She shows up like clockwork around the time when bread or first course are brought out, and within moments, is purring in the laps of wedding guests. It’s so cute! Everyone’s got a different name for her:)

photojournalism wedding caribbean
Our gorgeous sunrise Rock the Dress session with Michelle & Alan at Macao Beach. LOVE.
sunrise beloved photos
sunrise champagne
sunrise wedding punta cana

Michelle: ‘I love Alan’s corkiness. He’s forever making a fool of himself to make me laugh and I love that about him.’ 

katya nova punta cana

Michelle: ‘I love how social he is. He’ll make friends with anyone and I find that incredibly sexy. ‘

punta cana couples best photographer

Alan: ‘When I’m with her, I feel happy and safe.’

unique caribbean weddings

Alan: ‘the gift of acceptance is the most precious gift from Michelle. She takes me as I am and wouldn’t change a thing.’

sexy couples photos punta cana

Michelle’s most romantic memory together: ‘the first time we made love.’

punta cana couples portraits

Alan’s most romantic memory together: ‘the first time I told her that I love her.’

macao beach intimate portraits
couples photographer punta cana

Alan: ‘I love it when she rubs me and plays with my hair.  I turn into a kitten.’

soulmates photography
punta cana sensual photos

Michelle: ‘when I’m feeling down, he sometimes calls me ‘mama’ … and it makes me melt.’

macao beach lovers
punta cana intimate portraits

I hope it’s easy to see that Rob & I give our ALL during our famous Rock the Dress sunrise sessions, and it’s truly amazing how different and unique every session turns out. I love that!!! There are things we can control (like our camera settings, the amount of champagne we get our sweet ‘models’ to drink, the romantic & saucy songs we play etc) and there are variables we cannot control – like how ‘awake’ our Couples are, whether they show up on time, and what the sky has in store for us on that day.
It’s always magical – but I must say something extra special about the sunrise we had with Michelle & Alan.

Even before Alan strummed on his guitar, I had shivers being in their presence. The term ‘soulmates‘ is used when we love someone deeply – but when you see these two together … it’s like they’ve loved one another for eternity, times and lifetimes before. {Rob & I recently devoured an amazing book by Dr. Brian Weiss called ‘Many Lives, Many Masters’ – and witnessing Michelle & Alan’s love echoed & reaffirmed the author’s words so powerfully.}

macao beach

BRIDE & GROOM POST-WEDDING REFLECTIONS:

 

What did you love most about your Wedding?!

Michelle: ‘Feeling the pure love, support, and excitement from our friends and family!’ 

Alan: ‘The air was charged with good energy and vibes.’

 

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

Michelle: ‘I wish we would have started the ceremony earlier to utilize the sun! I would have started the ceremony at 4:00 if I could.’ 

Alan: ‘No regrets!’:)

 

Most memorable moments?

Michelle: 1. Walking towards Alan and feeling his body collapse when I covered his eyes with my hands during the First Look. 2. Meeting up with our clan at the beach the day after the wedding to talk about our favourite moments. 3. Anxiously waiting in the lobby for the Rock the Dress session and seeing the sunrise while riding in the car with the three most coolest people in world! 4. Jumping into the ocean after our Rock the Dress session and Rob saying that I looked like a Unicorn sneezed in my face! Hahaha.. I had gold glitter everywhere!!’  :)

Alan: 1. Swimming with my groomsman before getting ready on the wedding day. 2. Seeing Michelle for the first time during the First Look. 3. Seeing Michelle walking down the aisle.’

 

Comments about vendors, resort etc

‘We stayed at the Majestic Elegance Punta Cana. Pros: The grounds were beautiful and well maintained. The service staff were very friendly. The beach was beautiful and clean. The rooms were clean and the showers were amazing. Cons: Squared toilets… I know. The front desk staff were rude and the staff at the gate were extremely aggressive. The food was the worst from the three resorts we’ve visited. I don’t care to return, but my wedding party had a blast anyway. 

The Jellyfish: this venue is absolutely breathtaking and the staff were so accommodating. Gianna, Clara, and Isaac were amazing! They understood my vision and were eager to please. My family and friends are still talking about how they could never top our wedding! Haha.

Anna Nuet: Sweet, talented, and beautiful! We had a blast in the bridal suite.

Pascal (Caribbean Emotions): Pascal is awesome. He did a great job editing our video and delivering it to us quicker than we imagined. My guests had nothing but great things to say about Pascal.:)

Katya & Rob: What can I say?? We felt an instant spiritual connection. You guys are not only sweet and the most beautiful looking couple we’ve ever laid our eyes on, but you guys are extremely talented. Our guests loved you guys and felt at ease taking pictures and letting loose! 

***I call all of you my dream team and would hire you all again in a heart beat!’

 

Advice for future brides?! 

‘Don’t stress! I know it’s easier said than done, but all the little things that the wedding magazines or sites tell you need don’t matter when you’re there. Nothing’s perfect, so just be sure to enjoy every minute, because it goes so fast! Remember why you’re there and what you mean to each other. I fell more in love with my husband and my loved ones after this experience. 

Also, have your ceremony earlier to allow more fun in the sun. 5pm is a popular ceremony time, but doesn’t allow for any wiggle room. 

Relax, Smile, & take it all in! You’re in paradise marrying your best friend with amazing people that flew all the way to another country to celebrate your love!’

 

Alan & Michelle – Rob & I feel so blessed … having been there with you on your Big Day, but even moreso – we feel so lucky to connect on the same wavelength with you two in such a short time. It’s a gift. And we can only hope you feel our LOVE in these images!!! xoxo K+R.

 

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

Angie & Jerome met 13 years ago after their High School Freshmen orientation.  Angie’s eyes sparkle as she remembers, ‘he was sleeping on his belly on one of my good friend’s bed.  All the girls at the get together were in frenzy over this really cute kid named ‘Jerome.’ Apparently, he was really popular around town but I had no idea who he was.  So I walked over to him and smacked him on his butt to wake him up and introduced myself.’  

They dated for a short while in high school, but any relationship at 14 years old would be short-lived. ‘We remained very close friends throughout high school. I had a really bad break up my junior year of high school… Jerome had always been my shoulder to cry on when things got rocky, but one day he finally told me how he felt about me, and the rest is history.’

Now Angie & Jerome are both teachers in their hometown, in the same school district where they fell in love.

They are so amazing together. You just know – it was always meant to be. Angie is so graceful, intuitive, kind, and beautiful in every way. So is Jerome – in a handsome and noble way.  :)

I have to thank my wonderful past Bride (and now dear friend) Tanesha for recommending us to Angie…

As always, applause for Mayte Mari & Nati for the fabulous decor & ambiance at Huracan Cafe: the perfect ‘Bohemian Beach Bum feel’ …  and to Anna Nuet for highlighting Angeline’s natural beauty.

Here’s their Big Day through our eyes … ENJOY!!

destination wedding flowers
huracan cafe punta cana wedding
huracan cafe
just married wedding table
wedding at huracan
huracan cafe mayte

Nati behind the scenes with her wonderful helper, daughter Julia!

nati huracan wedding decor

Jerome Jr. is destined for movie screens! 

mother son wedding love

Anna Nuet is one of THE girls.

anna nuet hair make-up
huracan cafe weddings
wedding etsy signs
huracan cafe wedding ceremony
huracan cafe bodas
punta cana wedding
dominican heat

‘Jerome has pushed me to make myself better. He has given me tough love when I needed it. He’s been my support when I thought I couldn’t be strong enough for myself.  He is my other half. Everything is better because he is a part of my life.’     

huracan cafe bridal suite

‘My life is different because Angeline makes me better. She makes me want to strive for more and do better for her and my son. She has been the most supportive person other than my mother and father that I have ever met, and I know that together we are destined for great things.’

bridal boudoir punta cana
gorgeous destination bride

Tanesha photographed Angie in New York, so that Angie could gift Jerome with a beautiful album of saucy Boudoir images on the Wedding Day! 

sexy bridal boudoir

Angie, on the proposal:

‘It was spontaneous and casual, in a setting that was unpredictable (our home). 

Getting engaged was a very touchy subject for me. We had been together for 8 years, lived together for 3 years, and had a 4-year-old son together. I was at a point in my life where I was ready to get married. I would get upset anytime our family or friends brought up marriage/engagement, because I thought the day would never come. So, after a while, I just refused to speak on the subject.

Jerome proposed on our 9-year anniversary. He was still in school finishing up his Masters degree at the time. I did not expect him home until late that night… Jerome surprised me and came home early. We went out to eat at a little Italian Restaurant across the street from our home to celebrate. The funny part was that the following day was wacky Wednesday at my school, so I had styled my hair up in two pigtails, which were teased out and wrapped into buns. Here I was, sitting at dinner looking like Princess Leia’s jacked up sister with no idea of what was about to happen!!!

After dinner we went back home and took our dogs for a walk around the park. Jerome started talking about marriage and was teasing me. I kept telling him I didn’t want to talk about it. Finally, I just snapped and went on a good 15-minute rant about why I wanted to get married. I was telling Jerome how I deserve to have that special moment with him, and how I want to share the same last name with him and our son. I just went off!  He started laughing at me, which then really pissed me off. ‘So lets do it,’ he laughed, ‘let’s get married.’ That’s when he got down on one knee.  It was pitch black and I couldn’t see anything but his white teeth smiling at me. Anyone who knows my fiance knows how he’s a prankster, especially at my expense! I didn’t see a box or a ring, so I thought he was messing with me.  My reaction was smacking him on his shoulder and telling him to shut up.  But when he didn’t stand back up I realized he wasn’t kidding. I bent down closer to him and saw the ring … I got so excited I jumped on him!!’

mayte mari brides
huracan wedding ceremony
wedding ceremony huracan

Our Beloved Mayte Mari.

mayte mari weddings

Beautiful ceremony by Pastor Mark.

huracan cafe beach ceremony
beach weddings punta cana

‘Jerome always thinks about me first. He is constantly checking up with me at work to make sure I have eaten. He will just show up to my school and drop off lunch for me. On days that I am running late I will walk into the kitchen and he has packed a lunch for me (and I’m not allowed to peek at what it is until I get to work). Usually, because there are tons of snacks that he knows I don’t usually eat but can’t resist if they are in front of me. He is considerate and always treats me like his Queen.’

unique beach weddings
huracan cafe
huracan cafe wedding

Angie’s favourite things to find in the fridge: ‘yellow American deli CHEESE!! My son and I will sit on the kitchen floor and sneak slices. Jerome calls us mice!’

Jerome’s favourite things to find in the fridge: ‘orange juice and Kit Kat bars.’

punta cana family photos
father son wedding photos
sweet destination wedding photos

‘Angie’s ability to be superwoman is incredible. She worked full time while going to school and took care of our newborn baby while never skipping a beat. She dropped everything and came running to me when I got injured twice in college. She is also the most amazing mother. And in a world where everything is so fast-paced and busy she finds time to slow everything down and reign me back in. She is truly the amazing…’

huracan cafe brides
dominican republic weddings
punta cana weddings
huracan cafe weddings
punta cana weddings

Most romantic memory according to Angie: ‘Jerome played football for Penn State, so whenever I had a break from school and could get off of work I would drive up to visit him for a weekend or week. This particular weekend as soon as I had gotten to his school there was a snowstorm.  We were snowed in the entire weekend and did not leave his room.   It was nice just being so isolated in there with him.’   

Most romantic memory according to Jerome: ‘Our trip to Vegas for a weekend in college is my most romantic memory to date. We literally spent the entire weekend just enjoying each others company and nothing else in the world mattered but us.’

creative punta cana weddings

Angie: ‘I love it when we have a lazy day in our PJ’s together, snuggled up on the couch with our son, watching our favourite movies or TV shows.’

Jerome: ‘An ideal day together would be waking up to an amazing breakfast and go travel somewhere. I would love to be able to just up and go for a day or two without any hassle and treat Angeline to a nice getaway.’

dreamcatchers wedding decor

Angie’s favourite guilty pleasures: ‘raw cookie dough and cake batter. Jerome hates it when I sneak and eat both!’

Jerome’s favourite guilty pleasures: ‘pizza, late night cereal, and fried oreos…’

dominican republic wedding photographer
creative weddings punta cana
mayte mari weddings
huracan cafe first dance photos
huracan cafe wedding cake
huracan cafe reception photos
huracan wedding menu
huracan cafe wedding
caribbean weddings

And here’s our Lacy’s second EVER photo session … magical sunrise with Angie & Jerome. 

huracan cafe sunrise
katya nova sunrise

Jerome: ‘I love Angeline’s eyes. They represent her to the fullest – always bright and forever changing colours… just like her mood!’ :)

punta cana sunrise rock the dress

Angie: ‘I love Jerome’s lips, I love how even after 10 years his kisses still give me butterflies.’

punta cana photographer
couples boudoir punta cana
punta cana unique weddings
sexy punta cana photos
sexy bridal tattoo

Angeline shares: ‘When I was 20 years old I found out that I was pregnant with our son. It was a scary time. I was young, still had not finished college, and Jerome was away at school playing Division I football for Penn State. My son has been my motivation since the moment I knew he was growing inside my belly… He helped me grow into womanhood, has showed me that I am stronger beyond any measure I thought possible, and has given me love that I never knew existed. He is my best friend and I am so grateful that he picked me to be his Moma. A few months after he was born I got this tattoo (of his not-so-tiny little feet). I placed it on my back as a reminder to myself that no matter how hard things may get,I will forever have tiny little footsteps following behind me and watching how I overcome obstacles, and for that reason, giving up is never an option.’

back tattoo intimate portraits
punta cana intimate portraits
punta cana intimate portraits

BRIDE & GROOM POST-WEDDING REFLECTIONS:

 

What did you love most about your Wedding?

Jerome: ‘Watching Angeline coming down the aisle. We chose not to do a first look. I wanted to save that moment of us seeing one another for the first time as she walked down to me.’

Angeline: ‘Incorporating our son in our ring ceremony. The look on his face when we called him over to us was priceless. He brings so much joy into our little family. Jerome and I wanted to present him with a ring to show that we are just as committed to him as we are to each other.’

 

Any regrets, what would you have done differently if you could?

‘We have no regrets. Everything was absolutely perfect.’

 

Most memorable moments!?

Angeline: ‘My most memorable moment would be our Rock the Dress session we had. It was such an intimate, sexy, magical time. Katya and Lacy made it feel like it was just my Husband and I in the water. It went from capturing some nice shots during sunrise to grown and sexy under a pier in the nude. In the words of my husband, our session went 0 to 100 real quick. Lol!

My second most memorable moment was meeting with Mayte Marie for the first time. It was such a magical moment for me. You speak to someone for over a year, exchange e-mails about ideas and concerns you have while planning a wedding thousands of miles away. Then you share with her two huge, life-altering events in her life. When you finally meet them it’s like your heart is just overwhelmed with so many different emotions. I just could not wait to meet her half way up the beach to just hug her and hug her tight. She is so pure-hearted and so devoted to the brides she works for. I love her and appreciate all she does. Mayte is very very special person.’

Jerome: ‘I loved being on vacation with our entire family. Specifically, the time we spent by the pool. By the third day all the employees knew who we were and would reserve an entire section for our large group of 18 + people. At the end of our vacation they were just as sad to see us go as we were to leave. We even made some long term friends with some of the employees and keep in touch with them weekly. It’s nice to hear from them and see how things are over in paradise.’
Comments about vendors, resort etc

Mayte: There are no words in any dictionary to describe what a beautiful woman she is. From the minute we met it felt like we were long lost girl friends catching up on life. Her vision and passion is pure genius. She made me feel at ease and truly handled everything on the big day.

Pascal Keller: (Caribbean Emotions). Pascal was our videographer. He was so much fun. What I loved most about our video were the moments he captured and no one ever knew he was there.

Katya & Rob: Ok so …… LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE them! All of my family and friends are still talking about them. Their vibrant personalities, fun conversations, and great sense of humour just added so much to our big day. Leading up to our big day they were so very helpful. It can be stressful at times planning a destination wedding. From our very first e-mail exchanged over a year ago they were their to help relief any stress I ever had.’

 

Any advice for future Brides?!

‘Get a videographer!!! I was hesitant to get one, but Jerome convinced me. For the first time ever in our ten year relationship he was right about something! (hahaha!) The day goes by in a blur because you are in such a high that you don’t really get to take it all in. I have watched my video about 5 times and each time I laugh at something new, see a detail I didn’t notice before, and love reliving those special moments. Plus, Pascal is awesome !!!!!’:)

 

Angie & Jerome, you two are amazing … so inspiring – and you have such a beautiful family!!! Thank you, from the depths of our hearts, for sharing your LOVE with us!

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

  • July 24, 2014 - 21:34

    Kathleen Angermeyer Roesinger - BEAUTIFUL!!!

So … I know you must be getting tired of hearing about how much we LOVE OUR COUPLES… Too bad!

Lisa & Dan are remarkable human beings … conscious, kind, so loving and open, so tuned in to the most important things, the little things. Lisa was my first 2014 Bride back when she booked us in October 2012. From the get-go, our communication felt as if we were friends making plans to reconnect and I couldn’t WAIT to meet her. I couldn’t WAIT to pour all my love into the Day that was her Wedding. Gosh – I’m talking it up so much – I hope you feel it in the images that are to follow!

Together, they were WHOLE. Lisa & Dan both recognized this gift early on.

Lisa: ‘In 2008, the summer before my last semester of college, I was bored and decided to look for a 2 week job. I found one at a gymnastics gym where Dan coached. I would watch him with the little kids – he was so sweet and gentle. Then I would watch him coach the older guys and drool as he modelled how to do routines on the rings and bars. I told my mom I was going to marry him even though we had never talked. Knowing I would be leaving soon, I wanted to make sure he had my number, so I had another coach give it to him and ask him to call me because I ‘needed to tell him something work-related.’ Instead, he texted me to see if I was still awake because he didn’t want to wake me and told me to call him if I was still up. (In my defence, I did have a message to relay from a parent who’d called the gym).  We ended up talking for over 4 hours about everything that night… and two days later he asked me out. We have been inseparable since. I still joke that he begged me to go out with him and he says I tricked him into calling…guess we’ll never know!’

Dan: ‘As I hung up the phone after that first 4.5 hour conversation, I knew she was THE ONE. Each date after that confirmed how I felt. We haven’t left each other’s side since. She was and is much more than I deserve and can’t believe I actually have.’

Here’s their amazing Caleton Cap Cana wedding … Lisa & her girls got ready at the stunning luxury boutique hotel Eden Roc, followed by a ceremony & reception at La Palapa restaurant.
Kudos to the wonderful wedding planner & designer Valerie of Val’s Weddings and the fantastic force behind Caleton, Ana Luisa, for making this wedding so unique and PERFECT!!!

bride popping champagne
eden roc punta cana
eden roc wedding
wedding rings punta cana
wedding details caleton
anna nuet makeup hair

Top three things Lisa loves about Dan: ’1) I love that Dan’s love is unconditional. He doesn’t have restrictions or limits in the way he loves me. 2) Dan is quite simply the most genuine person I’ve ever met. Everyone likes him and he goes out of his way to be friendly to everyone he meets. He doesn’t judge people but accepts them for who they are. 3) I love how intelligent Dan is. Whether it’s music, movies, TV, or books, Dan finds pleasure in learning about new things. When I talk to other intelligent people, I find myself using phrases or ideas Dan has shared with me and I know I look smarter than I am!’ 

eden roc resort photos

Top three things Dan loves about Lisa: ’1) She pushes me to become something better than I am. 2) Her wittiness and how truly funny she is. 3) Her deep sense of how things should be. She will make a great mother.’

eden roc brides
garter cap cana
emotional wedding

Before heading to the ceremony site, Lisa opens a sentimental gift from Dan … 

wedding gift ideas
eden roc wedding photographer
la palapa caleton wedding

Lisa, on the Proposal:
‘In 2011 we took a winter trip to New York – the city had become OUR spot. Dan and I had looked at rings for fun, but that was the extent of it. Knowing I pack our bags and like to snoop, Dan secretly had my ring made and shipped to his Aunt’s house in NYC. On a random outing, we came across a quaint place called The River Café on the East River under the Brooklyn Bridge. It had an amazing view of the Manhattan skyline.
We were able to get a table for late lunch, on December 29th. As we were finishing an incredible meal, the lunch crowd was leaving and the dinner crowd had not yet arrived… The sun was setting and I was telling Dan how much I love him and how I can’t wait to spend our lives together.
In typical Dan fashion he replied, ‘Funny you should mention that!’ He then got down on one knee to propose.
In typical Lisa fashion my response was ‘Oh my God, get up.’:)It was perfect! His timing was right on and I was completely caught off guard.
There was this little old couple watching us during our entire meal… They were the only ones left and ended up coming over to our table to congratulate us. They told us that from the moment we sat down they saw how we looked at each other and knew a proposal was coming, so they were just watching and waiting!’

caleton wedding photos
caleton la palapa
love is everything
vals weddings punta cana
la palapa wedding photos
caleton beach wedding

Lisa: ‘Dan has the most beautiful crystal blue eyes. When he first gets out of the shower they look bluish-grey and so clear. I am a sucker for those eyes. I tease him that they are the real reason I am marrying him and if our kids don’t get his beautiful eyes…grounds for divorce!’  :) 

emotional wedding ceremony
ld-8038 bl
la palapa caleton cap cana
la palapa

Doesn’t Val look like she’s ready for anything?!

vals weddings dominican

Lisa: ‘I appreciate how Dan does not have gender stereotypes. He cooks, cleans, does laundry, etc. and he truly appreciates when I do the same. He never just expects it. Also, I appreciate how honest Dan and I are with each other. We don’t have “off limit” topics to discuss and talk about everything and anything. Dan will do anything to make me happy…though I will NEVER take advantage of this!’

cap cana brides

Dan: ‘I love how cute she is when she wakes up. I love her inner strength. I love how she strives for perfection when she believes in something.’

caleton katya nova

Ideal day with your fiancée: ‘Sitting on a patio drinking wine, eating good food, and listening to music. After lunch, we would walk around town aimlessly trying different things, enjoy talking, or just being together and silent. …Exploring, finding adventure in new things, and just laughing our way through it all.’

la palapa caleton wedding

Dan: ‘I love Lisa’s aura (she carries herself not like a girl but like a woman)… Also, her beauty without make-up.’

caleton weddings
punta cana wedding photos

‘With Dan by my side, I know I have a best friend that I get to spend every day with. Dan and I have fun and are goofy everywhere together. It makes daily chores seem like an adventure! Also, Dan helps me relax and not stress so much. He is really good about not worrying over things we can’t control…that way, we are polar opposites. He truly gives me balance.’

dominican republic destination wedding

‘Lisa is my rock. She is the first person whose pride in me I would move mountains for. She is my ground. Until I met her I was a lost soul without purpose. Without her, there is no ‘me.’

caleton cap cana
la palapa wedding photos

Most romantic memory together: ‘A Bed & Breakfast in Napa on a quick weekend trip we fit in after visiting family in Northern California! Oh, and of course our movie date when we saw ‘Vicki Christina Barcelona’ in an empty theatre.’

cap cana wedding photos
caleton wedding photos
caleton wedding menu
caleton wedding cake
la palapa caleton
jewish punta cana wedding

Lisa’s Mom is amazing. I adore her. Here’s one of her quotes from early in the day: ‘When I grow up, I want to be just like Lisa!’:)I LOVED sharing some beautiful teary-eyed moments with her… 

la palapa wedding
punta cana fireshow
punta cana weddings
punta cana photographers

You know that Lacy has recently joined our team?! Here’s her FIRST SOLO photo session with Lisa & Dan at sunrise the next day!! I’m so proud!!:):):) 

Our boombox ran out of juice, so here I am, sneaking up on Lisa & Dan’s peaceful moment with ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queeen… hehehe!

lisa dan love queen

Lisa’s favourite guilty pleasures: ‘Trash TV…I love reality TV and it drives Dan crazy. I don’t watch much TV but if I do, the trashier the better!  It is a way to not think and unwind. Plus, it is GREAT comic relief!’

Dan’s favourite guilty pleasures: ‘Binge-eating-Taco Bell at 2 am!’

rock the dress caleton
sunrise trash the dress
sexy wedding day after session
sunrise caleton
caleton rock the dress

Lisa’s nicknames for Dan: ‘I call Dan Monkey, Babe, Shnookie Bear, and Puppy…really no good story behind it. I just think they are cute things like him!’

Dan’s nicknames for Lisa: ”Platypus’ – because she likes to slap her foot on the ground (sounds like a platypus tail) & ‘Puppy’ – because she is sweet like one.’

intimate portraits punta cana

Lisa’s favourite things to find in the fridge: ‘sweet wine, chocolate, or anything sweet. Also, cheese!!’

Dan’s favourite things to find in the fridge: ‘beer, lunch prepared for work by Lisa, and Tres Leches Cake.’

cap cana wedding photos
punta cana wedding photographers
la palapa caleton wedding
caleton groom

Oh yeah. That happened!

creative wedding photos
caleton beach wedding photos
beach intimate portraits
katya nova associates

BRIDE & GROOM POST-WEDDING REFLECTIONS:

What did you love most about your wedding?

Dan: ‘Lisa, of course. But then – the energy in the room throughout the whole evening.’

Lisa: ‘I loved how much fun and excitement was in the room all night. Everyone just kept saying “Best Wedding Ever.” I was so concerned that everyone was traveling so far and I really just wanted the party to be fun…it definitely was! Everyone let their inhibitions down (even before the alcohol started flowing) and truly PARTIED. Being relaxed with Dan after all the stress of planning was the best. I also loved watching him as I walked down the aisle and hearing the beautiful personal vows he wrote for me.’

 

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

Dan: ‘None!’

Lisa: ‘I was so sad the next day when I realized that a song “In My Daughter’s Eyes” was left out of the evening… I had totally forgotten to even put it on my list (though I listened to it frequently leading up to the wedding and planned to play it). It’s a song my mother, who is my best friend, loves and says it reminds her of me. I know how much it would have meant to her. Looking back, I wish I would have made it as much of a priority as the first dance song…I feel terrible I left it out.’

 

Most memorable moments?!

Dan:
’1) Lisa walking down the aisle is a moment I will never forget.
2) Singing Drunk Again by Reel Big Fish!
3) Seeing the pride in our parents eyes…’

Lisa:
’1) We were about the leave to head to the ceremony and a golf cart pulled up with my dad who had an extremely sentimental gift and card from Dan…I totally lost it.

2) The moment when Hava Nagila came on and our friend Paul took it upon himself to grab chairs for Dan and me to be lifted up in. We had NO idea that was coming and will forever be grateful he brought in this Jewish tradition to our non-traditional/non-religious wedding (we follow different religions so we left it out altogether).

3) ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen was our final song of the night. It was so fun to have everyone singing together after an amazing wedding with family and friends. So much love was in the room!’
Comments about vendors / venue etc
Dan: ‘Everything was perfect except security at Caleton.’

Lisa: ‘Katya, Rob, & Lacy were what everyone says and just so much more…simply AMAZING. I felt so comfortable and at ease with them. My family and friends loved them beyond words.
Anna Nuet was wonderful and did a great job making us all feel gorgeous. My mom doesn’t like to look “over the top” and she adored Anna. She listened to her wanting to look natural and kept true to my mom’s true beauty.
Val and her team were amazing. They did a fantastic job of turning my pintrest board into reality. They were present and available all night and everyone loved them! Ana Luisa at Caleton is amazing as well. The resort was gorgeous (we had our wedding night there)… the theft we experienced (a camera with precious images went missing from our room) left a bad taste after such an amazing experience.’

 

Advice for future brides?!

‘I made a promise to Dan (who stresses over NOTHING, while I stress over EVERYTHING) that all the crazy bridal stress would disappear once we got on the plane for DR. I truly kept that promise and let things just happen once we arrived. Everything will work out…you don’t notice the small stuff the day of the wedding because it is all so magical and the love is overwhelming. Stress before if you are like me and stress, but don’t take it with you to the wedding trip. Also…try to disconnect from social media. Be present in the moment of not only your wedding, but the days before and after. You will never get those moments back. I am not a FB person to begin with but I know it can become consuming. Don’t let it. You can ‘check in,’ share pics, and give other brides advice when you return. Make memories that last and don’t let them pass you by.’

 

Lisa & Dan – we LOVE YOU SO. Reconnecting for more quality time is not a questions of ‘IF,’ but that of ‘WHEN’!!!! (Perhaps Costa Rica with bambinos?!) xoxo K+R.

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

Monica & Roger were just visiting Punta Cana from California and wanted to celebrate their Wedding Anniversary with a fun romantic photo session. Rob & I picked up a bottle of bubbly and took them to our favourite beach, Macao. It was an AMAZING time!

These two met through a mutual friend and felt the sparks right away. It took Roger a while to win Monica over, but they soon realized they had so much in common and were perfect for each other…

dominican republic couples portraits

Ideal day together: ‘sleeping in, going out to our favourite breakfast spot, enjoying great food & drinks.’

macao surf camp

Monica’s nickname for Roger: ‘Booboo, from day one!’

Roger’s nickname for Monica: ‘I call her ‘Mamas’ or ‘Mamita’…

macao beach photos

Most romantic memory together: ‘our engagement weekend in Hawaii.’

punta cana couples photographer

Monica’s guilty pleasures: ‘Food, vacations, and wine!’

Roger’s guilty pleasures: ‘A good ice cream or a dessert!’

sexy portraits punta cana

Monica: ‘With Roger by my side, I’m happier and more complete. He loves me for me.’

couples boudoir punta cana

Roger: ‘With Monica by my side, I’ve become more aware of emotions.’

couples beach boudoir
intimate portraits caribbean
sexy photos dominican

Monica & Roger – we had a blast with you! Come visit us again! (And Monica – thanks for your lovely gift of that sexy headband – it looks so good with my dreadlocks!) xoxoxoxo

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