Maria & Gino have known each other since they were kids. Maria laughs, “Gino was always the little cousin who would watch our soccer games as we grew up. We went to the same high school and would sometimes hang out together with his friends. One random night out his cousin and I met up with his friends and for some reason that night we kissed. 6 years later, here we still are!”
What made their wedding even more special for Rob & I is that these sweethearts and most of their loved ones came from Edmonton Alberta, our Canadian home town.
They hosted the dream wedding week at Royalton Punta Cana resort and the actual wedding off-resort, at the famous Jellyfish Restaurant.
I’m so in love with this wedding. Maria & Gino are stunning creatures inside and out!
Our dearest Maria & Gino, you gorgeous lovebirds are perfect together! Hope you feel our love and gratitude through these timeless images! LOOOOOVE, Katya, Rob & baby Zion.
Maria’s gorgeous gown by Inbal Dror.
Maria on the Proposal:
“Ohhhh it was amazing. Gino and I had been planning to go to Europe for our second time to visit my family in Italy and stop in France because I had been wanting to go to Paris FOREVER (I am obsessed with the Eiffel tower and the Love Lock Bridge). Our first stop was Paris. After a quick nap we got all dressed up and walked to the Love Lock Bridge. I was looking at all the different locks when a lady approached us and introduced herself. She told me she would be taking pictures of us. As she starts taking pictures of us, Gino hands me a lock and gets down on one knee, “Maria Luisa will you marry me” read the lock and there he was handing me a ring! This was all caught on camera, and it didn’t stop there, she followed us around Paris taking us to cute little streets and photographing us more. She left us at a café where we had champagne and to make it even better we then walked to the Eiffel Tower for the light show. When we got back to our room Gino had a huge bouquet of red roses, strawberries and champagne. Unreal!!!”
Top three things Gino loves about Maria: “She cares a lot about me and she’s fun to be around. Maria is a happy-go-lucky girl who wears her emotions on her sleeve. She’s hard working and driven and she’s so pretty.”
Top three things Maria loves about Gino: “He makes me laugh even when I am mad at him, makes me feel protected, and he’s so darn handsome!”
Hair & make-up by the amazing Krystie Ann.
Ideal day together according to Maria: “We would wake up and make breakfast together. Then we would grab a coffee and walk around our house in the river valley. If it’s in the summer maybe we would go to an outdoor pool or walk Whyte Ave. In the evening we would get dressed up and go for a drink downtown and people watch. When we got home we would lay on the couch, watch a movie and then drink wine on our porch.”
Ideal day together according to Gino: “Maria would make me breakfast in bed, then we would go down to the river valley for a nice little run. Have lunch at the Gold Bar ravine, have a low key picnic, after that we would maybe go to an Improv show on Whyte Ave for dinner and some drinks.”
Most romantic memory together according to Maria: “Our first Valentines Day together was really romantic, but our engagement night takes the cake.”
Most romantic memory together according to Gino: “Engagement night, hands down!”
Maria: “Gino wants the same things in life as I do and helps us achieve that. He pushes me, motivates me; I don’t think I would be the same person without him.”
Stunning Cake by Ana Bello, Cake Studio Bavaro.
Maria: “I really appreciate Gino’s love for family! Being Italian we have huge families and lots of functions! He understands and loves it! I love seeing him with my nieces and his nieces and nephews too (both of ours now), he’s great with kids!”
Gino: “She makes good food, has good moral values, and is a great support system! I love and appreciate that so much about Maria!”
If you could eat one type of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Gino: “She inspires me to wake up in the morning and be a better person, to love like crazy, be passionate about the things I love and above all, she shows me that true love is possible.”
Maria’s favourite things to find in the fridge: “Turkey burgers.”
Gino’s favourite things to find in the fridge: “Leftover Ling Nan rice!”
BRIDE & GROOM POST-WEDDING REFLECTIONS:
1) Most memorable moments from the Day / Wedding week?
Gino: “Seeing Maria come down the aisle was very memorable! Also the party at Jellyfish Restaurant was awesome! Everyone danced and drank all night!”
Maria: “Wedding week … I would have to say just sitting on the beach looking around seeing our friends and family all together in such a beautiful relaxing setting. The Day was more than I really could have dreamt. The weather worked out perfectly in our favour, the decor at both the Royalton and Jellyfish were unreal and seeing Gino as I walked down the aisle was almost surreal.”
2) Do you have any regrets? What would you have done differently if you could?
Gino: “No regrets!”
Maria: “Zero! I only wish Gino and I would have stayed a few days longer! It’s ok we WILL be back ;)”
3) What inspired you to have a destination wedding?
Gino: “We wanted our wedding to be a party with our family and friends and didn’t want the party just to stop at one day, we wanted it to continue!”
Maria: “I am an anxious person who stresses A LOT. I just knew I wanted our wedding to be different, drama free and very little stress! Honestly as we were looking for locations I came across Jellyfish in my searches and Katya Nova photography. As soon as I saw them both together I was set and determined to have my wedding at Jellyfish with Katya Nova as my photographer! Mint and gold are my favourite colours and I just wanted to add some other beautiful colours to accent them. I brought a few things from Edmonton to make our wedding a bit more personable and I loved seeing my vision come to life!”
4) Any comments about vendors, resort etc
Gino: “Our vendors were unbelievable! We loved them all and were so happy with how everything turned out! Rob was awesome with all the guys the day of, he fit right in! Jellyfish was so amazing, more than what we had hoped for!”
Maria: “LOVED our vendors. Cant say enough about them. If I had to do it all over again I would do EVERYTHING the same. Krystie Ann was amazing, she’s so calm, cool and collected and kept telling me to not stress and just made me feel so at ease. Katya & Rob were unreal. It worked so well to have Katya with the ladies and Rob with the guys. There was no stress in rushing and Katya made me feel so comfortable! Diego from Cores Films was unreal too. He would show me little bits as the day was going on and I was just BEAMING. He thought of such cool ideas (filming me as I read Ginos card to me.. which I BAWLED through). Jellyfish Restaurant was a dream come true for me! As we arrived for our tasting the day before, I welled up in tears just looking at this place, which I had been fascinating about for almost two years. It’s hard to even describe the setting of our wedding. It was so picturesque! HIGHLY RECOMMEND our Vendors!
Royalton Punta Cana, our resort, was beautiful! Great food, great layout, so it was so easy to find our guests and great staff as well!”
5) Any advice for future brides/grooms!
Gino: “Don’t stress the small stuff. Everything will get done, the vendors know what they are doing! Take it all in because it flies by!”
Maria: “Take it all in! I know its been said so many times but seriously. That week FLEW by. I can honestly say it was the most amazing week of my life! Try not to stress (I know its hard to do) but seriously the vendors have done this so many times they are so experienced they know what they are doing!!!”