‘She was the new girl at work that I couldn’t take my eyes off of,’ Mike confesses. ‘I fell in love with Jill from the first time I saw her, at a call center we both worked at.’
Jill: ‘I received a phone call from this guy “Mike” from work. He informed me that he was calling on behalf of his roommate and would like to know if I would like to stop by for a drink. As luck would have it, I was already on the same street, and accepted the invitation. Fortunately for me, I was all dolled up & had a pre-planned escape route of a night out with girlfriends. Mike met me at the door, walked me into the kitchen (bypassing the roommate in the living room) … we talked & flirted until the very last second before I had to leave! That was it.’
Oh Jill, I adore you!! And Mike, you’re pretty awesome too. 🙂 Really, what a special Couple. THANK YOU for showing us so much love on this Day … that will now forever be our shared Wedding anniversary!
Before we tell the story of their Wedding, here are a few teasers of a secret Boudoir session Jill & I did. Jill talks about the experience in the ‘POST-WEDDING REFLECTIONS’ above – but let me just mention… it’s absolute magic and I’m so glad to see more Brides are choosing to celebrate themselves (and the love for their fiancees) in this unique way!!!
Mike & Jill stayed at the Now Larimar resort and I recommended that she books a room at the adjacent NH Hotel for the session, to avoid the hassle of having us & the make-up artists come onto the property. It worked perfectly! In fact, Jill kept the room until the next afternoon and had Mike + his groomsmen get ready there.
Jill’s flawless make-up & hair by Magda Riccardi.
Ta-da! Another unique decor creation by Mayte Mari & Nati at Huracan Cafe.
Bridal hair & make-up by the uber-talented Krystie Ann.
Jill, on having a destination wedding: ‘We knew we always wanted to get away! I remember Mike showing me an album of a friend who got married in Hawaii when we first started dating, and from that point on we always talked about it. A few years ago our friends were married in Punta Cana. We attended as guests and it was validated, that was exactly what we wanted to do! We narrowed down the country with our travel agent, even though from our last visit to Punta Cana, we knew it was a top contender. The resort was on price point for our guests and Katya did everything else with her beautiful informative blog. I felt I was being “adventurous” by booking an off-resort Wedding at Huracan Cafe & cancelling our resort wedding… Katya Nova ‘popped’ my resort wedding bubble & that is a big reason we chose Huracan. And we’re so happy we did!!!’
Top three things Jill loves about Mike: ‘The way he always makes me laugh, he has always been my biggest fan & biggest support system, and it’s acceptable to be totally silly & ridiculous together.’
Top three things Mike loves about Jill: ‘She never gives up on me no matter how silly or unreasonable I can be. I’ve always loved her shoulders and I love her beautiful smile.’
Okay… so Rob & I were wondering about this beautiful little set-up in the corner. This wedding was obviously a private event, while the romantic table for two kind of looked like it’s like its own party… Little did we know, Jill asked Mayte & Nati to set up something special for us because it was our 3rd wedding anniversary. Of course I burst into tears when I realized this! Mayte even used the same fabric from our actual sweetheart table on our Wedding Day. BEST. SURPRISE. EVER. So much gratitude!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Stunning bouquet by Melissa LaFrance Events.
Most romantic memory together according to Jill: ‘I always love our trips to Montreal together. It’s usually to see lots of different bands play, but we always make the most of it by staying in a nice hotel, heading out to dinner and exploring old Montreal.’
Most romantic memory together according to Mike: ‘On our first trip to Dominican, we walked down to the beach one night, sat down and watched the ocean under the moon for a while. First time I had ever done this and I am so glad it was with her.’
Mike on the Proposal:
‘Jill loves stars, so I had this idea to have a star named after her. The star name became effective the day I proposed at the Science & Tech museum. I arranged with the astronomer at the museum to have her see her star through a massive telescope prior to the actual proposal. I then popped the question inside the planetarium, surrounded by stars inside the museum. This all took place after hours, so there was no one around except for the Astronomer, who conveniently stepped out at the perfect time.’
Ideal day together according to Jill: ‘Sleeping in and waking up to Hubby making pancakes! Then lounging & maybe go shopping, come home, make him a tasty dinner then relax while watching our favourite TV shows with wine, cheese & crackers.’
Ideal day together according to Mike: ‘Jill and I know how to turn any kind of day into a very enjoyable time together so I would say just doing anything together whether it’s dinner, a movie or just heading to the beach in the summer.’
Jill: ‘I call Mike Baby or Mikey. I guess I call him Dad too when Brad’s around. ‘C’mon Dad, can we please have more ice cream?” haha! Brad & Jill vs. Dad.’
Mike: ‘My nicknames for Jill? Jilly, Love, Babe, Baby.’
Jill’s favourite things to find in the fridge: ‘Bradley’s grandfather works at a restaurant in China Town and will drop off these bbq pork-filled buns for Mike every now & then. They are SO GOOD! Also, anything my Aunt Yvonne sends home as leftovers. Her cooking is out of this world!’
Mike’s favourite thing to find in the fridge: ‘The last cold beer.’
Mike: ‘I really appreciate Jill’s loyalty. She dedicates and devotes herself to her family and anything she sets her mind to 100%. She is someone that you can always count on to be there.’
First Dance … Roy English ‘As We Grow Older.’
Jill: ‘I really appreciate the fact that Mike is such a good father. I idolize him when it comes to parenting. One day, if I am half the parent he is, I know our kids will be in good hands. I’ve picked up a lot, but he’s always the cool, calm & collected one. Me, I worry too much!’
Jill: ‘He changed my life when I was 18 years old. Mike knew we were going to spend our lives together and would always tell me he was going to marry me. He told me he loved me not even a month into our relationship, and 4 months in he showed up at my work with a “surprise” for me. He whipped up his shirt and showed me he’d gotten a tattoo on his chest of 3 stars & a treble clef to represent us. At the 6-month mark I got a promise ring from him. I thought this guy was crazy! And now look at us, 9 years later, we had the destination wedding we always talked about.’
Perhaps someday the photo below might end up in Bradley’s wedding slideshow! Hehe.
Mike: ‘Jill has been my biggest supporter in everything I’ve done since we met and she has only made my life better by encouraging me to make good choices.’
Sunrise Rock the Dress
Jill’s favourite guilty pleasures: ‘Sleeping in, which is rare because of Bradley’s hockey schedule. Also, chocolate of course, I always have a secret stash, hehe. Crackers, lots of different types of cheese/brie, wine & (insert TV show) to binge watch! Movie popcorn is also another guilty pleasure of ours… Once or twice a year we will actually go to the movies to buy a big bag to bring home & enjoy all the greasy goodness.’
Mike’s favourite guilty pleasures: ‘Chips, Ariana Grande & all of the above! (Still trying to find Jill’s secret chocolate stash though).’
Jill: ‘Mike gives really good hugs and the second his lips graze my neck/shoulders, I’m instantly a pile of mush. He also knows when to send a sweet text to make me feel better.’
Mike: ‘She’s really good at reading me and usually knows what will make me feel better. I love that.’
Jill: ‘If Mike had a magical power, he would most likely be able to turn invisible so he could run around naked all the time. TMI? Who doesn’t want to run around naked all the time?’
Mike: ‘If Jill had a magical power, she could get me Leafs tickets anytime I wanted!’
Jill: ‘Mike plays guitar like a rock star. He is so talented! I’m jealous because I get an F in music. Pretty sure I’m tone deaf! He pokes fun at me when I can’t hear when people are off key.’
Mike: ‘Jill is a fantastic cook and I’m always secretly watching and taking notes so I can become a better cook instead of feeling like I have failed every time I prepare her a meal. Oh, and also, she can moonwalk!’
Jill: ‘I love it when he… wakes up before me & makes pancakes!’
Mike: ‘I love it when she… makes breakfast in the morning!’
Jill: ‘I love having a boy, but I hope I’m blessed with a girl. I want to dress her up in frilly tutus & those cute little tights. Brad won’t go for it, he rolls his eyes & thinks I’m crazy when I point out cute baby dresses & baby booties! I also think Mike needs a daughter to spoil & I know he’ll be wrapped around her cute little baby finger. Bradley will also be the BEST big brother ever. He’s so good with little kids!’
BRIDE & GROOM POST-WEDDING REFLECTIONS:
What did you love most about your Wedding?
Jill: ‘The First Touch. I originally fought him over not wanting to do the First Look, but it ended up being the best decision. The First Touch happened right after he was shown my boudoir shoot teasers, so I had a very giddy Groom waiting for me! Also, the moment I walked out to the top of the aisle and saw Mike for the first time. Nothing can prepare you for that moment. You are hit with a tidal wave of emotions and everything you’ve put so much time into and everything you’ve ever wanted all comes down to that moment. Then I blacked out… I don’t even remember my song playing I was so overwhelmed with happiness!’
Mike: ‘Finally seeing my Bride walk down the aisle towards me. This was something I had been looking forward to for years and it had finally come true. Also the gift from Jill; the Boudoir pictures were a complete surprise. They were so sexy!’
Any regrets? What would you have done differently if you could?
‘I regret not staying a couple days longer to have a mini honeymoon. The trip itself was a whirlwind and at times felt more like a ‘business not pleasure’ trip. I felt we were either meeting vendors, doing scheduled shoots, money exchanges, dinner dates with different groups, so we barely got any time to just relax and enjoy paradise. Even extending the trip by 3 days would have been perfect!’
Most memorable moments from the Day / Wedding week?!
Jill: ‘Sanael Catamaran was the highlight of the week (after the wedding of course!) It was a non-stop party for the younger crowd upstairs and the older crowd could hang out downstairs and enjoy the views. The Boudoir & the sunrise Rock the Dress. It took us both out of our comfort zones and we got to experience a beautiful sunrise and cherish those moments for rest of our lives.’
Mike: ‘Hanging out and getting ready with the guys from my wedding party on the wedding day was a lot of fun. It’s a great time to bond and talk about anything you want to keep the stress levels down prior to the ceremony. It’s important to relax and soak it all in because the time flies by and before you know it, you’re standing at the altar.’
Comments about vendors, resort etc
‘NOW Larimar was awesome! Great a la carte restaurants, and all of our guests enjoyed staying in the garden view rooms. Everyone was always easy to find and it was a lot nicer than the craziness of the main part of the resort. Advice: To avoid the ridiculous NOW vendor fees for outside vendors ($500), girls can get ready at the venue and boys can get ready at the NH hotel which is directly beside the garden view rooms. It was the best advice that was given to us!
Huracan Café – Food was amazing & the staff were excellent!! The venue itself was so spectacular. I had butterflies walking up to it for our tasting, and left so happy, hubby validating my choices. The venue was perfect for us!
Mayte & Naty – They are even more beautiful in person and their work speaks for itself. I was spoiled by these ladies with the Wedding of my dreams and every single thing was more than I could have imagined.
Krystie Ann – This woman is an artist and she made my girls & my mom look amazing! My hair and makeup was absolutely perfect and I am so happy we had her to take care of us! Advice: splurge for airbrush!
Juan from Corefilms – Awesome to work with and I am SO EXCITED to see what he captured. Thank you Juan & Corefilms for giving us the gift of re-living our wedding day over and over again!
Katya & Rob – My whole planning experience wouldn’t have been the same without Katya’s beautiful blog. I have been picture-stalking this beautiful couple for years now, and we are so fortunate we had them document our Wedding Day! Thank you for sharing your anniversary with us, and thank you for your artistic eye, guidance & all around love that radiated off of the two of you. The little human you’ve created will be the luckiest kid in the world to have parents like you.’
Any advice for future Brides / Grooms!
‘GET YOUR DREAM PHOTOGRAPHER. I knew we had to have Katya & Rob, and I knew we had to work extra hard to get them. Don’t settle, you must truly love the artist behind the camera and their work. I want to obsess over our beautiful wedding pictures for the rest of our lives. Take your time in choosing your perfect match, it so important not to settle or choose to quick!
GET A VIDEOGRAPHER. Simple. How else will you be able to watch the palm trees blow in the wind, the sound of your voice when you say “I do” and re-listen to the beautiful speeches your family & wedding party has crafted for you. It was the best decision and I can’t wait to re-live our wedding day through the eyes of our videographer.
Ladies! Do your husband a favour and do a Boudoir shoot! It doesn’t have to be for your wedding day, it could be for an anniversary or birthday. I will never be able to top that gift I gave my husband for the rest of my life. The experience itself was absolutely exhilarating and is a “celebration of your body & spirit,” as quoted by Katya Nova.
Last but not least, savour every bite, sip, laugh, smile, hug, song & kiss. It goes by so quick! Sit back and take it all in. Drink in the décor, appreciate all the love & guests who have flown this far to spend a week with you in paradise, and promise to take time to enjoy the moments alone with your husband/wife.’