Here’s a fairytale destination wedding at the fabulous Jellyfish restaurant in Punta Cana… Samira & Edwin are two amazing lovebirds whom we’ve grown to adore!!
Samira: ‘It was summer of 2008 and we were both working at a summer camp in Central Park called Oasis. As destiny would have it, I I ended up being Edwin’s co group leader. The most vivid memory of the day we met was us getting ready to go to the Bronx Zoo on the first day of camp. I was boarding the bus and Edwin was telling me that he was Cuban after correctly guessing that I am Dominican. I loved how he made me laugh! Over that summer our friendship grew strong and so genuine. Edwin and I began speaking on the phone and sometimes we would talk for hours. He talked to me about his girlfriend and how amazing she was … and I started to CRUSH on him big time. Some time had passed and Edwin became single. We stayed friends, became very close, spoke more and more every day on the phone for hours and hours until the next morning. I knew he was the one for me. He had everything I had ever hoped for. He was everything. He is everything. He was friendly, he was educated, he was smart, he was hilarious, always made me smile. I was waiting for him to realize I was just as amazing.’
Edwin: ‘During orientation, one of the senior counsellors warned all the new staff that while it may be fun to socialize and have fun with co-workers, our priority should be the kids and not pursuing any summer romances. I thought to myself “who the heck would want to find romance in a summer camp in central park?!”… When Samira arrived and was introduced, she stood out as a bit of shy, conservative person. Every day I would make it a mini-mission of mine to make sure that all my co-workers smiled so that we all had a positive attitude around the children. But I remember having a stronger desire to ensure that Samira was smiling, more so than anyone else!
Midway through the summer, our kids were in the middle of their sports/art period of the day while the counsellors sat for a brief break. Samira laid her head near my lap and I remember getting extreme butterflies in my stomach. In my mind, in my heart, in body, my soul, I felt that I was looking at my future.’
Amazing decor by Gianna & Clara.
Edwin on the proposal:
‘Samira and I had been together for 3 years before we moved in together. Prior to moving in with me, Samira (and her mother) were concerned that moving in without some form of commitment may delay any progress we would make towards our future. On the other hand, I felt that sharing a home would be the ultimate test to determine whether we were truly compatible and meant for each other. Well, after two years of living together, Samira and I have not only learned to accept and appreciate each other’s flaws, but we grew tremendously as a team. I could not picture spending the rest of my life with anyone but her.
Once I secured the perfect ring and got her mother’s blessing, it was time to reach out to her closest friends and ask them if they would do me the honour of being a part of this important day in our lives. I proposed to Samira in front of all our closest friends and family. After she said yes, I had a black limo pick us up (her and her immediate family) and we toasted with a bottle of champagne. The limo escorted us to a nice restaurant in Columbus Circle, where I had made reservations. This was the restaurant that Samira and I walked into four years prior and I promised I would take her there when I made decent money.’
Fabulous Anna Nuet on hair & make-up.
Samira loves about Edwin: ‘How funny he is, his smile, and the way he looks at me. I love his humility, his warmth towards people, his social skills, how genuine he is, his positive perspective on EVERYTHING, and how he treats me like a princess…’
Incredible First Touch.
Edwin loves about Samira: ‘The fact that she always inspires me to be a far better man. Everything I have accomplished so far is literally because of her positive influence and guidance. Her caring, protective nature. Ever since we met, she has been protective of me, literally giving me food off her plate or half her sandwich when I didn’t have the money to buy myself my own lunch. To this day I tell her that she is my guardian angel. I love her strong moral code. She cannot be shaken from her beliefs no matter what peer pressure she faces. I have personally witnessed her faith in God, her faith in humanity and her faith in true, selfless love.’
Ideal day together according to Samira: ‘Laying around at a beach resort with cold beers by the water.’
Ideal day together according to Edwin: ‘Laying in bed with Samira, exchanging “I love you’s,” with take out burgers on the way.’
Edwin: ‘She has made me believe in true love, in a creator and in the fact that positivity will always overcome any negativity. Samira makes me want to be a better man every day.’
Samira’s nicknames for Edwin: ‘I call him Nino, Monkey (because he literally clings to me like a monkey on a tree), or De Leon.
Edwin’s nicknames for Samira: ‘I call her CosaBella. In our early summer camp days, I horribly sang her a song; Samira told me, laughing, that I should never sing like that again. I replied with “you should get used to it because you are going to marry me one day, CosaBella.” I have called her that every day since.’
Samira’s favourite guilty pleasures: ‘Lounging on the couch with a lot of “shit” food.’
Edwin’s favourite guilty pleasures: ‘Calling out from work with her for no reason.’
When you are upset or irritated, what’s a way your fiancée can make you melt?
Samira: ‘When I close the door in his face and then he comes into the room and clings to me like the monkey that he is. I want to laugh inside, but I’ll never show him that I think it is adorably cute.’
Edwin: ‘When she extends her arms and wiggles her fingers asking for a hug knowing that I am super mad. I can never say no.’
Samira’s favourite things to find in the fridge: ‘Anything chocolate… and water.’
Edwin’s favourite things to find in the fridge: ‘Cheese… because I am a sneaky, fatty rat after midnight!’
BRIDE & GROOM POST-WEDDING REFLECTIONS:
What did you love most about your Wedding?
Samira: ‘This is kind of amazing because I didn’t think I was going to do this until Katya suggested it on our wedding day – but doing “the First Touch” was absolutely magical – it was more powerful to me than even walking down the aisle. It was so much yet so little all at once. When I saw my now husband’s fingers crawl over the edge of the door I was consumed with emotions, it was truly beautiful. I also absolutely loved my wedding decor, it was literally heaven made of white roses, hydrangeas and orchids.’
Edwin: ‘I have to agree with Samira – the First Touch was a magical experience. Being so close to her … where I could touch her hands softly … yet so far away because i could not see her; knowing that in minutes she would walk down the aisle to me – it was pure excited emotion. The First Touch also happens to lead into my favourite moment. Seeing my beautiful fiancee walk down the aisle towards me left me speechless (funny enough, that is the name of our first dance song). I could not contain my excitement and emotions, I felt l was the luckiest man to walk this earth.’
Any regrets? What would you have done differently if you could?
‘We have no regrets, we demanded everything we wanted and got it to perfection!’
Most memorable moments?!
1. ‘The first dance with my husband and then with my mother. It was magical, cant watch it without crying my eyes out.
2. When my husband told me what my wedding gift was: an upgrade of my photography package with Katya Nova!! Pictures to me are everything, best wedding gift EVER!! and he did it during our First Touch!!
3. Lastly, falling asleep outside our room door with my dress still on and the best man’s shirt as my blanket (I mean I legitimately made a bed on the floor, and it was perfectly comfortable!!! LOL) … all due to us losing our room key and my husband had to go get it – THE ultimate sign of wedding party success!’
1. ‘While it was sunny at our resort, it was raining lightly on our way from Majestic to Jellyfish. By the time we arrived to Jellyfish, we were enveloped in a tropical storm. It was pouring rain and the winds were picking up quickly. The Jellyfish team informed me they needed to pull the beach decor and move the ceremony inside. Needless to say, I was a bit worried! However, the rain slowed within minutes and the clouds began to part. By the time my beautiful Cosa Bella walked down the aisle, there were barely any clouds in the beautiful sky.
2. The first dance to our song (Speechless by Michael Jackson) was a powerful memorable moment … especially when Samira began to cry in my arms. I was overcome with emotion and could not hold my tears back when I promised her that I would take care of her forever.
3. Seeing Samira’s reaction to the surprise videos that I coordinated from her Father and her best friend (both back in NYC) who were unable to travel to the DR for our wedding.’
Comments about vendors, resort etc
Samira: ‘Majestic Colonial was amazing, beautiful huge room! … Katya Nova bride forever!! I felt like I’ve known her FOREVER! … Anna Nuet did my hair and make up she was AMAZING!!! … Jellyfish was out of this world! Issac and team took great care of us, but most importantly, they LISTENED to everything I wanted and made it happened so I am forever grateful to them.’
Edwin: ‘I agree with Samira on every point. Meeting Katya and Rob felt like running into life-long friends whom we hadn’t seen in some time. It was a blast hanging with them and having them coordinate our huge hectic family for all of the photos. The JF team exceeded our expectations by far and made Samira’s vision come to reality. Lastly, Juan, from CoresFilms was a great professional to have with us – one of my groomsmen is a professional videographer and he told me he was impressed with the equipment that Juan was using and the shots that he was capturing.’
Any advice for future Brides?!
Samira: ‘Katya taking us away right after the ceremony was hands down the best thing that could have happened to us, haha! We ran with her — I did not realize how overwhelming it is to take pictures with family members! My best advice is — brides, don’t be scared to ask for what YOU want and do not settle for any less! Be bold, be blunt and be honest. Coming from the most undeceive person in the world, for my wedding day I knew exactly what I wanted: lots of flowers and I wanted them to be huge! It’s your Day and it has it to be as magical as YOU want it to be.’
Dearest Samira & Edwin … Rob & I are endlessly grateful you’ve chosen us to document your precious Day — your love is magical!! Hope you always feel our love in these images… xoxo K+R.