It’s impossible not to LOVE Karla & David from the moment you meet them. Their genuine hearts, easy-going attitude, joyous silliness, humbling generosity, and the ability to make anyone feel special with their loving attention is … inspiring, to say the least!
Personally, I have so many favourite moments from this gorgeous wedding. Among the top: capturing Karla & David’s first moments as husband & wife in the rain, right outside the Nuestra Señora del Pilar church in Punta Cana Village. Also, our sunrise Rock the Dress session at the beautiful and deserted Macao Beach. We laughed so much and letting them go was sad.
How they met and fell in love??? I don’t think it gets any better than this! 🙂
Karla: “I was at a bar for one of my friend’s birthdays and was feeling brave. I jokingly told my friend that I was going to look for the hottest guy and get his number. I said: TIME ME! Because it’s going to happen in the next five minutes. I scanned the place, found David and BOOM. Getting him to get my number was easy. All it took was a bunch of lies. I told him my name was Isabel and that we were next door neighbors. I’m pretty sure I also said I was a dolphin trainer. What started out as a joke ended up turning into meeting my future husband. We hung out a few times. Then he moved away and came back to Houston 4 years later. At that point we reconnected and have been together ever since. I knew I loved David when I had to leave town for a family emergency and he agreed to take care of my doggy while I was gone. I had briefly mentioned how I wish I’d had time to clean my apartment before I left because it’s so much more peaceful coming home to a clean and organized place. When I came home there was a note from him that said “clean dishes: check, vacuum floors: check, clean towels: check, love Conan: 3 checks.” I couldn’t believe how he listened and did everything he could to make it easier for me during a difficult time. I realized what an amazing and selfless man I had found.”
David is quite the poet, and his version is too good not to include: “We met at a bar. I liked the way she looked: a sophisticated woman with ass for days, and she… she was interested in me! We conversed (what onlookers would call flirting), and demanded my number. Aroused by the huntress spirit, I made sure to give her what she wanted. We did not fall in love right away. No. Like a bountiful crop, it took time to harvest. But the patience paid off. I moved back home, halfway across the country to rekindle a lost relationship between my mother and I. I had an online business that was fresh out of the womb, and everything turned upside down. My days became nights and my nights became days. As fear of the unknown, reality no longer matching my visions, the darkness came to close in. When all was dark, Karla brought light to my life once again. Like the mighty phoenix rises from the ashes in a blaze so bright, I knew our love would burn forever.”
David is originally from Perry, Ohio. Karla is from Maracaibo, Venezuela, originally, but moved to Texas as a child. They met in Houston and now live in Cleveland.
Karla & David, we absolutely adore you. Never stop being yourselves, you and your family are a blessing to this world! Come back and visit us already, okay??? LOVE, Katya, Rob & baby Z.
Gorgeous decor by Gianna & Clara, resident designers at the fabulous Jellyfish Restaurant!
Hair & make-up by the uber talented Anna Nuet & Krystie Ann.
Top three things Karla loves about David: “1. I love how selfless and considerate he is. He is the type of guy who would carry an old lady’s groceries and help a stranger in need. 2. I love that even though he’s a muscular tough looking guy, any time he tries to sound menacing or tough he ends up laughing with his goofy laugh and it ruins the effect. 3. I love how he lets me be myself no matter what. He is my number 1 motivator. He does a dance with me every time I make a big sale and when I wear an adventurous outfit that I think may be too colorful he’ll say ‘do your thang, girl'”
Krystie Ann & Anna Nuet are among the very best make-up & hair goddesses in all of Dominican Republic!
Top three things David loves about Karla: “1. I love the way she moves through life. She is a free spirit who fills the room with happiness and good vibes. 2. I love that she makes me a better person each day. She helps me get out of my own way and reminds me how much more I need her than she needs me. 3. I love that she makes me come out of my stubborn ways to experience new foods, music, movies, and all the things I would normally just skip!”
Ideal day together according to David: “Robe Sunday with Conan! This is when we wear fuzzy robes & slippers and just relax.”
Ideal day together according to Karla: “Snuggling with Conan (our cocker spaniel) and vegging out. Netflix and chill for life! Also, when we cook a delicious meal together and can high five each other for a job well done.”
Iglesia Nuestra Senora del Pilar.
Wow, IMAKUARE are THE best. Their talent is overwhelming! We’ve been Punta Cana wedding photographers for 5+ years and haven’t heard anyone better!
Karla on the Proposal:
“David proposed to me in my uncle’s house in Ohio. My parents were visiting from Texas. He wanted my family to be there because he knows how important family is to me. It was a pretty ordinary day so it was a huge surprise! He made all of the women cry.”
Karla: “I wrapped my grandma’s rosary around my bouquet. Every woman in our family has done so and I was the first grandchild to do it. It was extremely special.”
Most romantic memory together: “The first time I visited Cleveland on Valentine ’s Day. It was so romantic that he was able to convince me to move there in -4 degree weather… David took me to Little Italy for dinner where there was a live trio serenading us. Then he surprised me by taking me to a contemporary dance show at Playhouse Square because he knows how much of a dance nerd I am. I was geeking out with excitement.”
Karla’s favourite guilty pleasures: “I love stupid reality shows like Real Housewives and Bachelor, while I drink sangria. I realize how dumb they are, it is just so darn relaxing to lose brain cells while watching them.”
David’s favourite guilty pleasures: “Classic NES and arcade video games.”
Karla: “Let’s face it, David is a hottie with a body. I enjoy very much watching his pecs dance, but my favorite is his round booty 🙂 “
Karla: “When I’m upset or irritated, David tells me to sit my ass down and then he makes me a delicious meal, rubs my head and sits with me through a girly show that he hates. He also knows that when I’m upset all I want is a hug and a kiss, so I’m never upset for long.”
David: “When I’m upset or irritated? Almond butter brownies!”
Karla: “If David had magical powers, he would be a ninja because he’s always alert and ready for self-defense. Sometimes I’ll reach for his face to get an eyelash and my arm quickly gets karate chopped.”
David: “Karla’s magical powers? She has the magic ability to blame Conan for her farts.”
Karla’s favourite thing to find in the fridge: “Mochi Balls! Also, I love carbs… bread and pasta! and chocolate!”
Gs favourite thing to find in the fridge: “Raw Chocolate Milk! I also love the Beef shawarma from an authentic Lebanese restaurant. I told Karla during one of our dates that this would be my last meal if I were on death row. She asks weird questions on dates…”
David: “I can’t ever find any of my socks, but I have a cocker spaniel named Conan who is better than everything. I have Karla to thank for that.”
Karla: “With David by my side, I eat better, I go to sleep earlier, and take better care of myself. He’s a good influence on me. I also know what it’s like to shovel snow and skate in your car on the icy roads, all because of David.”
Crazy Hour! La Hora Loca!
Karla’s favourite gift from David: “During one of our dates I had asked him what his favorite childhood toy had been and I told him mine. Mine was Camp Barbie. I remembered everything about her: her purple jeans, her crop top with a squirrel and her backpack that turned into a sleeping bag with stars that glowed in the dark! He somehow remembered and for my birthday he gave me a 1993 Camp Barbie in the original package. I almost cried. She’s still in my closet. Maybe if we have a daughter, she’ll get to play with a vintage Barbie when she’s older.”
David’s favourite gift from Karla: “She got me a new pair of Tom shoes because mine kept getting dirty from taking Conan to the dog park.”
Together they’ve traveled to: Cleveland, Memphis, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Chicago, Orlando, and Harbor Beach Michigan… and now, beautiful Dominican Republic.
David: “I love it when she rubs my shoulders after a long day and kisses me on the forehead.”
Karla: “I love how affectionate David is. I love getting all my hugs and kisses multiple times a day, every day.”
BRIDE & GROOM POST-WEDDING REFLECTIONS:
1) Most memorable moments from the Day:
Karla: “The two moments I will never ever forget: 1. David’s reaction at our First Look. He’s not a crier so the fact that he got emotional made me a sobbing mess. It was an incredible moment of happiness and relief! It was amazing how all of the nerves that build up throughout the day disappear instantly when you see your groom. 2. Because we did the First Look, I focused on just looking at our family and friends while walking down the aisle with my dad. I walked slow and just absorbed all the love, smiles and happy tears.”
David: “Seeing Karla at our First Look was unforgettable. Literally brought tears to my eyes!”
Any regrets? What would you have done differently if you could?
Karla: “No regrets on anything big! I feel like everything we chose, from our venue to our resort to all of the vendors were all the BEST DECISIONS EVER. There were a couple of things we almost didn’t get (video and the fire show) and I’m so glad we changed our minds and included them. I did have one tiny regret. We had some cheese sticks while getting ready and they are similar to Venezuelan cheese sticks (tequeños). When I tried them I thought: Damn! We should have gotten these as an appetizer 🙂 They are freaking delicious!”
David: “Everything was perfect. Could not have planned it any better.”
What inspired your colour palette / decorations / any DIY elements / any unique details or traditions?
“DECOR: I told the girls at Jellyfish our theme was “tropical with happy colored flowers.” I really didn’t give them much direction at all and they nailed it. The colors and palm tree branches instantly make you smile! So fresh and beautiful.
DIY: Our amazing friends Sara and Randy made us a wooden map of DR which our guests got to sign at the welcome table.
FAMILY TRADITION: I wore the earrings that my grandmother Ita Mima wore on her wedding day and also wrapped her rosary around my bouquet. Every woman in our family has worn these and I was the first grandchild to do it. It was extremely special.
FRIEND TRADITION: When my friend Monica got married instead of a bouquet she threw a bridal Build-A-Bear. Her name is Bernadette the Bridal Bear, or Berny for short. I caught her after basically shoving my friend Carly out of the way and almost breaking her glasses. I threw Berny at our wedding and our friend Erin caught her. Erin’s next! Erin’s next! Now she gets the honor of taking up extra suitcase space with that thing and throwing her at her wedding.”
Any comments about vendors, resort etc
“I feel a little spoiled in the sense that I feel like we chose the very best everything…
Hair and make-up team: Anna Nuet did my hair and make-up as well as make-up for all my bridesmaids and mom. Krystie-Ann did all of my bridesmaids and mom’s hair. They made us feel fierce, fabulous and flawless.
Church & priest: Nuestra Señora de Punta Cana & Father Jean Lacaille. This church is gorgeous and Father Jean was super laid back and great to work with.
Ceremony music: Imakuare. This music trio had me crying the entire ceremony. The music was absolutely beautiful.
Venue: Jellyfish. I have never seen such a beautiful wedding venue in my entire life. Just the beauty of it alone in enough to make you want to get married there. But everything about it was perfect: excellent service, delicious food, they keep everything flowing smoothly. I didn’t have to worry about any details. They’re the experts. Huge shoutout to Janelky our coordinator and Clara and Gianna our decorators. Praise hands!
Photographers: Katya & Rob. You guys don’t just take stunning pictures, you were our much needed wedding day therapists. Any time it started raining I just remember your smiling faces saying “we’re making memories!” You had us embrace all of the moments and reminded us to absorb it all and enjoy. We loved you and our guests did as well!
Video: Cores Films. We loved working with Manuel. We haven’t received our video yet but we’re hoping to enjoy watching it by Valentine’s Day.
Crazy Hour & Fire Show: This is what makes your Punta Cana wedding unforgettable. David and I were moved to the sand because our dance floor was completely packed. Every single person was dancing and dancing hard! This tradition needs to be adopted in all US weddings 🙂
Hard Rock Hotel: I have never felt so VIP in my entire life. I want to live at the Hard Rock, forever.”
How to stay on budget while still getting the wedding of your dreams …
“We definitely splurged on experiences and dialed it back on “stuff,” here is what I mean:
-We kept our guest list smaller by not inviting anyone because we felt obligated. Every single person we invited we truly wanted there with us. It makes it more special and it saves you $$$
-We got the basic décor: whicker chairs, white wooden dance floor, didn’t go crazy with flowers and didn’t bring anything with us.
-We got Menu #1 and it was perfect
-No cake (cupcakes only)
-We didn’t do formal invitations – our guests RSVP’d online.”
Bridal buys: any advice??
“Make your dress shopping experience special. I made mine a girl’s weekend. Ten of us went to Chicago and I did dress-shopping by day and comedy show/dinner by night. It was fun to hear my girls giving other brides their honest opinions and then smiling and being quiet when I came out because they didn’t want to influence my decision haha.”
Any advice for future brides/grooms!
“If you can do a destination wedding, DO IT! It is one of the best decisions David and I have made. A lot of people will give you their two cents about everything. Do what you want to do and don’t worry if it hurts their feelings. Spend your money on experiences rather than things. No one will remember your centerpieces but everyone will be talking about the Crazy Hour months later!! Brides: Eat before you get your makeup done! Even if you’re too nervous to eat. I was STARVING by the time we got back to the venue for pictures. Delegate tasks for your parents, wedding party etc. This way you don’t feel overwhelmed and they are always happy to help. Do a First Look! Lastly, take some deep breaths and look around and just absorb all of the love that surrounds you on that day :)”
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