KATYA NOVA

BLOG

royalton + jellyfish punta cana wedding {meghan + taylor}

October 9, 2016

Meghan & Taylor are so easy to adore. They are brilliant together. I knew from the start this wedding would be very unique and special, if only from Meghan’s sweet loving vibes, great taste and amazing attention to detail.

We’ve never quite seen Jellyfish restaurant this way: a gorgeous lush garden travel theme! The wonderful Claire Duran Events along with the wonderful Jellyfish staff had pulled it off perfectly.

With so much love, we bring you this gorgeous Wedding story from the sunny beaches of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic!

Meghan & Taylor, we are so honoured to have been there for you and can’t wait until our paths cross again!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo Katya, Rob & baby Zion.
royalton punta cana wedding

Meghan: “Taylor swears that we met the first day of law school at a group lunch. The first time I remember talking to him though was the third day, when a big group of us went to Hofbrauhaus, a German biergarten. I remember that he had on a faded Indiana Jones t-shirt and was very charming. We ended up talking about Star Wars and sports and I went home crushing on him soooo hard. I immediately facebooked him …..only to find out he was not available. It took us a year and a half of being really good friends and study partners until we were finally both single. Taylor & I finally got together over a bottle of stolen champagne on New Year’s Eve 2010! Since that day, it was always him.”

royalton bride punta canapunta cana brideroyalton girls getting readypunta cana travel theme wedding

As kids, Meg wanted to become an Archeologist, and Taylor – a Ninja Lawyer (obviously).

punta cana wedding photographer

Taylor: “Law school orientation. It was lunch and they fed us hot dogs. I did not know anyone so I decided to go meet people. Meg was at a large round table basically controlling the entire conversation. She was wearing a dress with flowers on it. Throughout our time in law school we hung out a lot in groups of friends so we got to know each other well. When I became single, I remember Meg walking across the classroom every morning to say hi to me. I was completely oblivious that she was flirting with me. She met my best friend on New Years 2010 and he told me I was an idiot if I didn’t put a little more effort into it. I guess I just realized that she is crazy and loud and intense, but she is my kind of crazy.”punta cana groomkatya nova punta cana

Krystie Ann & Anna Nuet on hair & make-up … dream team! punta cana wedding make up artistpunta cana bridesbride and father wedding dayemotional wedding punta canajellyfish beach wedding jellyfish garden wedding

“Our wedding theme is TRAVEL! We want to see new places and experience new things together. While we have both traveled a lot separately, our tables at the wedding are just a sampling of the new places we want to go together!”

claire duran dominican republic weddingpunta cana destination wedding venueclaire duran weddingsjellyfish punta canaunique punta cana weddings

Top three things Meghan loves about Taylor:1. I love that Taylor is a best friend – not just to me but to his friends too. He cares deeply and he puts in the effort to talk and listen and always wants to know how my day went. It’s rare and amazing. I love that he is not just my partner – but my friend. 2. I love that he is going to be the best dad. He already is the best with our dog-child River. I cannot wait to have his large headed Houston babies. 3. He is really funny. Not always appropriately or publicly, but he can make anyone laugh. Especially me when I’ve had a hard day.”

jellyfish punta cana groom

Meg, on the inspiration to have a destination wedding: “KATYA’S BLOG!! More than a year before we got engaged I stumbled across Katya’s blog and fell in love. I knew Punta Cana was perfect for us. When we finally were engaged, we realized that our local invite list would have easily topped 500. Plus, we moved to DC. We really wanted the chance to go on vacation with our closest friends and family – an opportunity to bring together this group of people is once in a lifetime and we wanted the most time possible with our guests!”  

garden theme punta cana weddingpunta cana wedding flowerswedding garden wall punta cana

Top three things Taylor loves about Meghan: “1. She is one of the most intelligent people I know. I do not think there has ever been something she could not figure out. It is amazing to watch. 2. She has never tried to change anything about me. She always wants me to be the best me I can be. I have never felt bad about being myself around her.  3. We are the most amazing team I have ever seen. When I do not know how to do something or I lose it in a stressful situation she has it all under control. We perfectly compliment each other.”

punta cana bridal roomjellyfish punta cana brides

First Lookjellyfish first look photos

Ideal day together:Anyday that we are on vacation exploring a new place together and enjoying each other’s company. Otherwise, sleeping in, letting our dog-child Chipotle’s kisses wake us up, and cuddling while watching a Harry Potter movie marathon.”

best punta cana photographers

Most romantic memory together according to Meghan:The first summer we were dating, I convinced Taylor to go to the lake with my amazing but intense extended family. He was pretty much the perfect boyfriend the entire trip. What sticks out to me most was the second night we were there. We were staying at a Lodge overlooking a beautiful river. After dinner, we sat in two rocking chairs by ourselves, holding hands and sharing a drink in this beautiful place with a cool breeze and nothing but the stars and nature around us. It was just such a perfect moment and really when I knew for sure that he was “the one.” It was so easy and natural and I was so happy to just be with him in that moment.”

jellyfish beach wedding punta cana

Most romantic memory together according to Taylor: “There really isn’t ONE moment. There were times in law school that we threw all of the blankets and pillows on the floor in front of the television.  Then we bought alcohol and all of the junk food that we could and spent the whole day on the floor in our “nest” just talking and laughing and watching television shows. Those are my favourite moments.”

punta cana bridal party ideas

Taylor: “She has the cutest cheeks when she smiles.”  punta cana real brides

Meg: “We have sooooo many nicknames for each other. The most common one I call him is Stupid Face, which sounds bad, but is a term of endearment from one of our favourite shows, Doctor Who. Our dog, River, is named after the same characters from that show.”

punta cana wedding couplesbeach wedding photos punta cana

Meghan: “Taylor can always guess who is going to “win” the Bachelor. Every.Damn.Time. Also ,he cooks the BEST steak. I’m usually disappointed when we are at a restaurant because his steaks are better.”

garden wall punta cana wedding

Meghan’s favourite guilty pleasures: “The Bachelor/Bachelorette (which I make Taylor watch), Pretty Little Liars, and Cheese Fries.”real punta cana weddings

Taylor’s favourite guilty pleasures: “Pizza. In fact I just had pizza and now I want another. Every pizza is a personal pizza if you believe in yourself.”

jellyfish restaurant real weddingtravel theme wedding ring pillow

Meghan on the Proposal: “In the summer of 2014, we realized that Taylor’s career was going to take him to D.C. When he was almost immediately offered a job, I didn’t even think twice about relocating with him. At the time, my boss (a judge) was running for re-election so I knew I couldn’t move until after election day in November but he had to be there in September. We packed up our house, had a good friend find us a place, and prepared for him to move. The Friday before he was set to move, we had a very emotional (and beer heavy) good-bye with our friends in Kentucky. The next morning, he asked me to stay with our puppy while he went to pick up his dry-cleaning before the move. I ended up calling him, unashamedly hungover, asking him to pick up some Chick Fil A. When he came back, I devoured my two spicy Chicken biscuits in a very un-ladylike manner while I noticed that he was pacing. Suddenly he sat down and started talking about our future and then before I knew it, he was down on one knee! I had to swat the puppy away after she made a play to eat the ring – and I said YES!”  

jellyfish punta cana weddingjellyfish wedding ceremony

Scottish handfasting: the majority of our lineage is Scottish so we hunted down family traditions and tartans for this special moment!”

wedding ceremony beach punta cana

Taylor on the Proposal: “We were hungover, tired, and hungry. Dry cleaning was the excuse I needed to get out of the house and get the ring. My original plan was to propose at the restaurant (which was the beer garden where we first had a conversation), but I was so nervous that I could not stand it so I got down on one knee in front of her on the couch. The first thing she said was “I don’t have a bra on!”  Finally, she said yes. Meg then proceeded to clean her nails with a fork so she could take a picture. It was one of the most “us” moments.”

katya nova weddingspunta cana dominican republic beach weddingjellyfish family photosfun punta cana weddingjellyfish punta cana weddinglight saver wedding photoslight saver bridal partyjellyfish wedding dinnerjellyfish restaurant wedding venue

Meghan’s favorite things to find in the fridge: “Cheese Fries. Cheese. Fries. Guacamole.”

Taylor’s favourite thing to find in the fridge: “Eggs. I love eggs.”

punta cana wedding dinner

“First dance song is “When the Right One Comes Along.” It is from one of our favourite shows, Nashville. It is really fitting because the song is all about what happens when the right person comes into your life.”

jellyfish restaurant reception

Cake by Ana Bello Cakes.punta cana wedding cakefire show punta cana light saver wedding funpunta cana wedding funwedding party punta cana

Isaac & Gabriel, masterminds behind Jellyfish Restaurant!jellyfish punta cana gabriel isaacGlourious, slightly boozy sunrise!
sexy trash the dress punta cana

Meghan’s favourite gift from Taylor: “Our puppy, River. Technically we both paid for her but it took 3 years to get him on board. I was soooo puppy crazy but I wouldn’t get one unless it was “our” puppy. The moment he first met her is one of the best moments of my life, to see how much he immediately loved her and still does.”unique punta cana weddings

Taylor’s favourite gifts from Meghan: “We tend to buy each other experiences rather than gifts. I have to say that all of the vacations and restaurants and random “stuff” we have done together have been my gifts.”

sunrise trash the dress punta cana trash the dress

Honeymoon destination: Peru.best trash the dress photos

Together Meg & Taylor have traveled:So far much of the Eastern Seaboard plus Disney World twice, Mexico, Haiti, and the Caribbean. Our wedding theme is places we want to go together. Our next stop is a honeymoon in Peru! Followed by (our tables names) places to see together for the first time: New Zealand, Norway, China, Tanzania, Japan, Ireland, Thailand, and Egypt! We have both been fortunate to travel a lot in our lives but we cannot wait to see more of the world together!”

rock the dress punta cana katya nova punta cana

Meghan: “I love his butt. This is very ironic because I made him do one of my “Brazilian Butt Lift” workouts earlier today and he told me I was trying to kill him by working out muscles that shouldn’t ever be used.”

trash the dress punta cana beachthe adventure begins wedding sign

Meghan: “Taylor is my partner in every sense. I never walk though life alone because he is there through every good time and bad (he even talks to me when I am in the bathroom). I wouldn’t change a thing.”punta cana wedding photographer

Taylor: “She makes me a better person. Whether she forces me to be better or I want to be better for her. Simply put, I would be pretty worthless without her support, encouragement, and love.”

best trash the dress photos intimate portraits punta cana

BRIDE & GROOM POST-WEDDING REFLECTIONS:

Most memorable moments from the Day / Wedding week?

Meghan: “First, our sunrise Rock the Dress session. It was such a special time and it was one of the only times all week that we had time to ourselves. It just was so natural and easy and just about celebrating our love. No one to witness it but the camera – we just got to be together. (I did get a crazy abs work in trying to stay upright in my dress in the waves too, haha). Second, the welcome party on the first night. I was holding Taylor’s baby cousin CeCe, sitting down talking to my bridesmaids with Taylor’s best men’s girlfriends and my mom. It was just that moment when I was like Wow! we pulled this off. This group of people – the people we love most are actually here together in one place! It was what we dreamed of from the start!”

Taylor: “My most memorable moment was the First Look. It was awful standing there with my back turned while I knew she was standing behind me in her dress. And then I turned around and saw her and the look on her face. Nothing will ever make me forget that moment!”

Any regrets? What would you have done differently if you could?

Meghan: “I probably would have had my makeup on before Katya and Diego arrived. A few other things here and there but overall no regrets.” 

Taylor: “I would have arranged for some time for Meg and I to sit down alone during the wedding and just take a deep breath.”

Inspiration and favourite Wedding elements:

“We wanted to have a destination wedding so that we could have a vacation with out favourite people and that is exactly what we got. We wanted quality time, celebrating the start of our lives together. In keeping with this travel feel, we had a travel theme for the wedding. We tried to incorporate little fun elements while keeping an overall really gorgeous look (put together by our outstanding planner Claire). One of the favourite things we did was name the tables after places we hope to go together. We both were fortunate to travel to some amazing and popular places before we ever met so we wanted to focus on places we would go together! Another thing we did that was special was a handfasting – we braided our family tartans together to create the cloth. We also put our own touch on the cocktail hour: having the fantastic DJ Ariel play our list of mostly nerdy movie theme songs (i.e. the John Williams cocktail hour). it was SO us.” 

Comments about vendors, resort etc

Katya and Rob: Katya’s blog is how I feel in love with destination weddings and Punta Cana in particular. We just loved how they captured everyones love and pure joy. We are so thankful that we found them. I actually had Katya booked for our wedding within like a week of being engaged! Best decision ever. It honestly felt it was like having our wedding captured by old friends. You all made our day so special and we are so grateful! 

Royalton: I highly highly recommend this resort. It was so perfect for our group. Small enough to see each other but big enough to get some alone time. Food was decent and the beach was fantastic. 

Hair & Makeup: Anna Nuet and Krystie Ann – their results speak for themselves. Beautiful work and all of the girls and moms were thrilled! 

Cake: Ana Bello – She nailed the design and it was delicious. Even two days later when we were eating it at 3 am in our swim out pool. 

Planner: Claire Duran of Claire Duran Weddings & Events. I could write a novel about how amazing Claire was. She is a DC based planner originally from the Dominican and she was our wedding angel. Talented, organized, and overall amazing. Everything you are seeing in the pictures is because of her ability to tailor and execute our vision. 

Special shout out to HOTS productions, DJ Ariel, and MC Jehison for giving us an amazing party! We still cannot believe we got some of our relatives on the dance floor! 

Any advice for future brides/grooms:

Meghan: “First, be organized. I know the sage advice is not to worry and just relax. I’m not the type of person who can really do that unless I know that I am organized. I listened to my instincts and through Claire’s help, had things as nailed down and organized as possible before we got on the plane. Because of that I was able to fully relax on the day. So my advice if you are like me – be organized, have help (even it is just your most trusted bridesmaid), and then drink lots of mimosas on the morning of your wedding! 

Secondly, accept that planning a destination wedding can be very emotional at times. Some people may not come and that might really hurt. Some people will have good reasons, some terrible excuses, and some just won’t want to travel. Somehow planning a destination wedding makes it open season on giving opinions that would normally be too rude to share. But the people who are going to be make it so worth it. Focus on your loved ones, take care of yourself,  and be excited to share your wedding and a vacation with the most important people in your life.  I cannot explain how just giddy we were when our guests arrived. I am so glad I followed my first piece of advice because we didn’t want to do anything planning wise once we realized we could be spending our time at the swim up bar with our family and friends! 

I’d also encourage anyone even thinking of getting married in Punta Cana to join our facebook group – it is an invaluable resource for planning and for a sisterhood of brides who get what you are going through!

Taylor: “Grooms, don’t ask questions. Just follow directions and you will be fine.”

Comments

comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

   
           
   

Subscribe

Download your free Crafting the Perfect Wedding Timeline pdf, wedding planning tips, drool-worthy inspiration, special offers, recent love stories and behind-the-scenes glimpses into our Caribbean dream life!