We first met Portia & Alex at a picnic we held for our past, present & future Couples in Central Park, New York. I remember pulling them aside for a few minutes in the stunning sunset light to take a few portraits of them, and feeling like I just wish we could have spent more quality time together: they exuded such grace, gratitude, humbleness, calmness & love!!
Finally, their Wedding Day was here, at one of our favourite hidden gems of Punta Cana: Alsol Luxury Village in Cap Cana (formerly known as Fishing Lodge). This place is especially dear to Rob & I because we came here to take some of our bridal portraits too, back in 2012!
Portia, on falling in love with Alex: “We started out as friendly coworkers. I was a nurse practitioner and Alex was the assistant director of environmental services. We bumped into each other many times and had friendly exchanges. He finally asked for my phone number and every day we would just text each other “good morning” and “have a wonderful day.” This led to a lunch date, and it blossomed from there! Our first date was at a Thai restaurant. A week later, he surprised me with front row seats at a New York Yankees game. Alex was always such a gentleman, and I just fell in love with him date after date.”
Special kudos to Anna Nuet on make-up & hair, and the hard-working team at Alsol Luxury Village!
Portia on the Proposal:
“It was unforgettable! Couldn’t have been more romantic!! It was during a vacation to Punta Cana 2 years ago. Alex proposed in the water at the beach as the sun was setting. We just had shots of mamajuana and were enjoying many cups of Caiprinhas before that. I was so surprised and was crying like a baby! It was the happiest day of my life!”
Portia: “Alex is my everything. He makes my heart smile! I couldn’t picture my life without him! He makes me a better person, and he teaches me to forgive and forget.”
Top three things they love about each other: “caring, loving, and so incredibly supportive.”
deal day together : “Vacation! Waking up late, having brunch, then spending the whole day at the beach with caipirinhas and enjoying our Dominican favourite: yummy red snapper with Tostones. Ending the night with a nice candlelit dinner and then going home to cuddle.”
Wedding song “Perdirme En Ti” by Tommy Torres.
Rock the Dress, Juanillo Beach near their honeymoon resort, Sanctuary Cap Cana.
Our nicknames for each other: “He calls me Mami-Chula, I call him Papi-Chulo. Just a term of endearment 🙂 Hopefully he thinks I’m a hot tamale, haha.”
“We are rarely irritated or upset with one another, but if we are, all it takes is to have a heart to heart and apologize and all is forgiven!”
Portia: “if Alex had a magical power it would be of the healing nature, he calms me down when I’m upset or stressed out.”
Portia’s hidden talents: “I can push and pull a 500 lb sled at the gym! I also love practicing hot yoga, HIIT, and Barre classes.”
Alex’s hidden talents: “I love music, I am a DJ and I also play the piano.”
BRIDE & GROOM POST-WEDDING REFLECTIONS:
1. Most memorable moment of the day/ week?
“Definitely the “First Touch” Katya & Rob set up for us. It was our special moment before the ceremony. I was filled with so much emotion, and butterflies. It was still surreal to us that “this is actually happening.” Getting ready for the big day such as makeup and hair was also very memorable. It was like a dream. I dreamt about this special day for so long and was beyond ecstatic to spend the rest of my life with my best friend.”
2. Any regrets? What would you have done differently If you could?
“The only regret I have is letting family members interfere with the planning process. In the end it is your special day and you should go with your gut feeling. Listening to family members could cause a lot of friction and unnecessary stress you didn’t have before.”
3. What inspired you have to have a destination wedding? How did you pick the right venue?
“Alex always wanted to get married on the beach of Punta Cana. We always wanted a small intimate celebration. We decided on AlSol Luxury Village as our venue because we fell in love with the chapel for the ceremony, and the beauty of the resort. It was so picturesque! We loved that the chapel was conveniently in the resort, as well as the reception portion being walking distance from the ceremony. It was a win win situation!”
4. What inspired your color palette/decorations?
“The tropical Caribbean vibe inspired the coral and gold palette. I love all gold sequined/glitter decorations!”
5. Any comments about vendors, resort etc.
“If you really want amazing pictures, book Katya & Rob! Stunning pictures and the imagery was beyond our expectations.”
6. How to stay on budget while still getting the wedding of your dreams.
“Trying to keep the wedding guest list as low as you can with the closest and dearest to you can help keep you on budget.
I feel one shouldn’t spend a ton of money on the wedding invitations. Most people lose them or throw them away. Save money on the RSVP cards, envelopes, and stamps. I personally think guests should just respond via wedding website!”
7. Communication: any challenges in keeping your friends and family informed about your wedding plans?
“The wedding website we created was not being utilized by many. It provided all the information regarding the wedding booking info and deadlines etc. They would just contact me instead! That was the stressful part, not many RSVPd and we had to account the seats for the reception.”
8. Bridal buys?
“Wedding Paper Divas for invitations. My ceremonial wedding dress was from JLM couture and my reception dress was Lord Maturan. Shoes: Badgley Mischka. “
9. Were there any special heirloom pieces used?
“I had a picture of my beloved father and I from my high school prom made as a charm in my bouquet.”
10. Were there any special wedding performances?
“We had a violinist play for the ceremony. It was so beautiful to walk down the aisle with live music.
We also hired a guitar player and singer for the cocktail ceremony. All the guests loved it and we enjoyed it immensely. It just added a beautiful touch.”
11. What were your musical selections? And why?
“We danced out to Calvin Harris “Summer.” The lyrics have a special place in our hearts. “When I met you in the summer, we fell in love as the leaves turned brown” it happily reminds us of the time we had our first date in late September. Our first dance was to Tommy Torres “Perderme En Ti”. It was a romantic Spanish ballad that translates to being lost in each other’s love. We felt very emotional everytime we heard the song, and it was a no brainer to use it. We kept dancing to the song (during our practices) and it was so hard not to tear up.”
12. Honest advice for future Brides and Grooms:
“Try not to stress out about the details. Try to stay on budget but not with photography or videography. Enjoy every minute of the wedding it goes by so quickly!”
DEAREST PORTIA & ALEX, words cannot express how much we’ve grown to adore, admire & appreciate you two, in such a short time. Wishing you all the happiness & joy, from the bottom of our hearts, and cannot wait to connect (watching each other’s families grow) … here in Dominican AND in New York! LOTS of love, Katya & Rob.