This wedding is very special to us. Sam & Nate are such wonderful people and really shine as a Couple. They are also from our hometown, Edmonton! Just before coming back to Dominican for the season, we got to document their vows during a ‘secret’ legal marriage ceremony in their home.
On having a destination wedding: “I’ve wanted to go the destination route since attending my first destination wedding in Mexico 4 years ago. We’ve just always wanted to have something away from town, a vacation with friends and family.”
Sam on finding Jellyfish Restaurant in Punta Cana:
“I was googling and searching, hoping to find an off-resort venue somewhere, came across Katya’s blog and the rest is history!
As for the resort, I just got the impression from different TA’s that Now Larimar is very active with lots to do. We chose Punta Cana because of the great time we had on our first trip there, also because not many people we know have been to the beautiful Dominican Republic.”
Sam wanted something romantic and dreamy, purple, royal blue with grey accents. Enjoy!!
Dearest Sam & Nate, we are over the moon happy for you and are so excited to see you back in Edmonton so we can make more memories together! Wishing you sweethearts all the joy, adventures, health & abundance that you deserve!!! xoxo, Katya, Rob & baby Zion.
Sam: “We met when we were just 13, I thought Nathan looked like Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys and had a crush on him immediately! It took us until we were 26 to start dating, I had just gotten out of a relationship and Nathan started contacting me through text, we’ve been inseparable since.”
Gorgeous decor by Gianna & Clara at Jellyfish Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
Sam: “I had a photo of my grandma who was a big part of my life, in a locket on my bouquet, but I guess she wanted to stay at the beach, as the locket didn’t make it through the night!”
Top three things Sam loves about Nate: “Nathan is so laid back and easygoing, I love that he can keep me grounded. I love his optimism, he’s always trying to convince me to stop worrying. Also, his confidence, he is who he is and won’t let anyone (or their opinions) get in the way of that.”
Top three things Nate loves about Sam: “Her hard work, compassion and amazing baking skills.”
Butterflies before the First Look.
Nate: “I love that Sam is very crafty and is an amazing baker.”
Sam: “Nathan is good at everything he does, especially anything athletic, he’s just a natural while I can trip walking on flats with no obstacles!”
Sam, on the Proposal:
“He surprised me in the most amazing way! We were in Vegas for a friend’s wedding; we packed 1 suitcase and had 1 carry-on between us, I was a little disappointed inside since I was hoping he would propose there, but there was obviously no ring! It was the day after the stag/stagette night out and I had no idea what time he made it back to the hotel, I got up and ready and was going to go shopping with some of the girls… woke Nathan to say bye and he said no we have plans and fell back asleep! He finally got up, but was still not sharing any details! I was also scared to even think he was planning something since I knew there was no ring!! When we arrived at Sundance Helicopters, I was sooo excited; I’ve never been on a helicopter before! It was such a breathtaking experience having a bird’s eye view of the Grand Canyon!!! The desert, the colours in the natural landscape! It was all so unforgettable! It really felt like the day couldn’t get any better! Then he topped it off with a proposal on the skywalk, I was completely shocked! I especially loved that the moment was captured by the photographers on deck! I couldn’t have imagined a better proposal!”
Ideal day together according to Sam: “lounge around, veg out and cuddle with our puppies in a clean house ha ha.”
Ideal day together according to Nate: “Hanging out watching movies with our puppies.”
Most romantic memory together according to Sam: “the proposal was certainly very romantic and sweet; I loved that he was able to surprise me, since I typically ruin all surprises.”
Nate: “I would have to say probably the proposal. Or the time in Dominican where we walked along the beach to the beds and laid there and stared at the stars.”
Sam’s favourite guilty pleasures: “I love food, all food… savoury & sweet, I love to eat! Also, one of our favourite pleasures is going for pho.”
Nate’s favourite guilty pleasures: “Sam’s baking. Pho.”
Gorgeous cake by Ana Bello (Cake Studio Bavaro)
Sam’s favourite things to find in the fridge: “spicy pepperoni and leftovers.”
Nate’s favourite things to find in the fridge: “Baby Bells and pepperoni sticks.”
Starlit dancefoor by EPC Events
First dance song: “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys.
Unforgettable entertainment by HOTS Productions.
Rock the Dress at Ojos Indigenas Ecological Reserve, Punta Cana Village.
When you are upset or irritated, what’s a way your fiancée can make you melt?
Sam: “wrap me in his arms and bring a pup or 2 into the mix.”
Nate: “Letting me relax and be lazy and cuddle with me.”
Nate: “I love that she has an abundance of drive and passion.”
Sam: “I love that he… calls me gorgeous every day.”
Nate: “I really appreciate the little ways in which Sam makes me a better person.”
Sam: “I really appreciate that Nate does everything he can to make me happy but he won’t ever lose himself to please me. I also appreciate that he calls me out for being a ‘princess.’”
Don’t think that we’ve forgotten: here’s a special treat: a throwback to Samantha & Nathan’s secret ceremony at home in Edmonton!
Sam’s favourite gift from Nate: “other than my gorgeous engagement ring? he got me a princess cut diamond pendant for Christmas one year and I never take it off.”
Nate’s favourite gift from Sam: “probably my PS4, haha.”
“We have fur babies Allie and Tuco, we got them together and Nathan always called them our ‘practice babies.’”
Sam: “Nathan helps me to enjoy life in the ‘now,’ he is the opposite of me: calm, easy going … he can trust that in the end things will work out. While I constantly worry about planning everything, he keeps me grounded. Nate keeps me from over-worrying about things that aren’t important or out of my control.”
Nate: “Sam made me the man I am today, I owe everything I have become to her.”
BRIDE & GROOMS POST-WEDDING REFLECTIONS:
Most memorable moments from the Day / Wedding week?
Nate: “The First Look, seeing my beautiful bride for the first time in her wedding dress. Of the wedding week, unfortunately, was probably losing my wedding ring.”
Sam: “The anticipation and excitement just before the First Look, watching Nathan squirm a bit before he was allowed to turn around, the whole seeing each other on. the. day! and I loved that we talked decor…man of my dreams! For the week: giving my niece ‘hello kitty’ and disney princess tattoos … she tagged every guest as her ‘friend’ haha.”
Any regrets? What would you have done differently if you could?
Nate: “No regrets, not every individual item was perfect, but the day itself was.”
Sam: “I regret all the stress I felt, I wish I took more time to enjoy the whole planning process, the details weren’t perfect, but in the end it really doesn’t matter … maybe ask for help instead of doing most of it alone. I wish we had ring photos, since Nathan lost his ring.
Also, I forgot to switch to barefoot sandals during wedding and then forgot to wear them for the Rock the Dress session.”
What inspired you to have a destination wedding? What inspired your colour palette / decorations / any DIY elements / any unique details or traditions?
Nate: “Just the idea of being wed on a beautiful beach and enjoying a group vacation with all our family and closest friends. Decorations, DIY elements and tradition was all Sam.”
Sam: “The inspiration to have our wedding at Jellyfish and Dominican Republic was all Katya’s blog! I love the colour purple and searched for colour palette inspiration on Pinterest. DIY elements: invites, mugs/welcome gifts (all paper goods), program fans, bouquets and boutonnieres, flower girl basket bought plain white.”
Any comments about vendors, resort etc
Nate: “Katya & Rob were amazing, of course. Misban Espejo from Live Storytellers was awesome as well. The staff at Jellyfish were phenomenal, and the resort was beautiful. To me, everything was perfect.”
Sam: “Now Larimar: pretty, mostly modern. I was disappointed that we didn’t get any towel art or flower petals the whole week…some guests did.
Jellyfish: great, definitely not everything I wanted for decor but still amazingly beautiful. Dance floor was perfect!!…loved by guests, food and drinks were fantastic. Everyone was so sweet and helpful.
Photography by Katya Nova & Rob: truly amazing!! Couldn’t be more grateful.
Live Storytellers – great to work with but waiting for my film still 😉
HOTs productions: fire show, crazy hour and cartoonist: loved every moment…totally worth it! The entertainment team even got my mom onto the dance floor. Vanesa even managed to get us a cartoon since we missed out on that the day of!! Such a caring wonderful woman.
Ana Bello of Bavaro Cake Studios: Nailed it! I showed her a photo I liked and we didn’t settle the final size and flavour choices until Saturday for our Tuesday wedding! Sooo pretty, only wish I had more than a couple of bites…at least I tried all 3 tiers!
DeLeon cigar rollers: they made pretty labels from a design I provided but did not roll any cigars during the event as I confirmed several times. They did provide an entire extra box of cigars though.”
Any advice for future Brides/Grooms!
“Don’t stress over every detail, just show up and enjoy the amazing experience, it doesn’t need to be perfect to be perfect. Focus on one task at a time and ask for help!“