caleton la palapa wedding. {lisa + dan}

July 23, 2014

So … I know you must be getting tired of hearing about how much we LOVE OUR COUPLES… Too bad!

Lisa & Dan are remarkable human beings … conscious, kind, so loving and open, so tuned in to the most important things, the little things. Lisa was my first 2014 Bride back when she booked us in October 2012. From the get-go, our communication felt as if we were friends making plans to reconnect and I couldn’t WAIT to meet her. I couldn’t WAIT to pour all my love into the Day that was her Wedding. Gosh – I’m talking it up so much – I hope you feel it in the images that are to follow!

Together, they were WHOLE. Lisa & Dan both recognized this gift early on.

Lisa: ‘In 2008, the summer before my last semester of college, I was bored and decided to look for a 2 week job. I found one at a gymnastics gym where Dan coached. I would watch him with the little kids – he was so sweet and gentle. Then I would watch him coach the older guys and drool as he modelled how to do routines on the rings and bars. I told my mom I was going to marry him even though we had never talked. Knowing I would be leaving soon, I wanted to make sure he had my number, so I had another coach give it to him and ask him to call me because I ‘needed to tell him something work-related.’ Instead, he texted me to see if I was still awake because he didn’t want to wake me and told me to call him if I was still up. (In my defence, I did have a message to relay from a parent who’d called the gym).  We ended up talking for over 4 hours about everything that night… and two days later he asked me out. We have been inseparable since. I still joke that he begged me to go out with him and he says I tricked him into calling…guess we’ll never know!’

Dan: ‘As I hung up the phone after that first 4.5 hour conversation, I knew she was THE ONE. Each date after that confirmed how I felt. We haven’t left each other’s side since. She was and is much more than I deserve and can’t believe I actually have.’

Here’s their amazing Caleton Cap Cana wedding … Lisa & her girls got ready at the stunning luxury boutique hotel Eden Roc, followed by a ceremony & reception at La Palapa restaurant.
Kudos to the wonderful wedding planner & designer Valerie of Val’s Weddings and the fantastic force behind Caleton, Ana Luisa, for making this wedding so unique and PERFECT!!!

bride popping champagne eden roc punta canaeden roc wedding wedding rings punta cana wedding details caletonanna nuet makeup hair

Top three things Lisa loves about Dan: ‘1) I love that Dan’s love is unconditional. He doesn’t have restrictions or limits in the way he loves me. 2) Dan is quite simply the most genuine person I’ve ever met. Everyone likes him and he goes out of his way to be friendly to everyone he meets. He doesn’t judge people but accepts them for who they are. 3) I love how intelligent Dan is. Whether it’s music, movies, TV, or books, Dan finds pleasure in learning about new things. When I talk to other intelligent people, I find myself using phrases or ideas Dan has shared with me and I know I look smarter than I am!’ 

eden roc resort photos

Top three things Dan loves about Lisa: ‘1) She pushes me to become something better than I am. 2) Her wittiness and how truly funny she is. 3) Her deep sense of how things should be. She will make a great mother.’eden roc bridesgarter cap canaemotional wedding

Before heading to the ceremony site, Lisa opens a sentimental gift from Dan … wedding gift ideaseden roc wedding photographerla palapa caleton wedding

Lisa, on the Proposal:
‘In 2011 we took a winter trip to New York – the city had become OUR spot. Dan and I had looked at rings for fun, but that was the extent of it. Knowing I pack our bags and like to snoop, Dan secretly had my ring made and shipped to his Aunt’s house in NYC. On a random outing, we came across a quaint place called The River Café on the East River under the Brooklyn Bridge. It had an amazing view of the Manhattan skyline.
We were able to get a table for late lunch, on December 29th. As we were finishing an incredible meal, the lunch crowd was leaving and the dinner crowd had not yet arrived… The sun was setting and I was telling Dan how much I love him and how I can’t wait to spend our lives together.
In typical Dan fashion he replied, ‘Funny you should mention that!’ He then got down on one knee to propose.
In typical Lisa fashion my response was ‘Oh my God, get up.’ 🙂 It was perfect! His timing was right on and I was completely caught off guard.
There was this little old couple watching us during our entire meal… They were the only ones left and ended up coming over to our table to congratulate us. They told us that from the moment we sat down they saw how we looked at each other and knew a proposal was coming, so they were just watching and waiting!’caleton wedding photoscaleton la palapalove is everythingvals weddings punta canala palapa wedding photoscaleton beach wedding

Lisa: ‘Dan has the most beautiful crystal blue eyes. When he first gets out of the shower they look bluish-grey and so clear. I am a sucker for those eyes. I tease him that they are the real reason I am marrying him and if our kids don’t get his beautiful eyes…grounds for divorce!’  🙂 

emotional wedding ceremonyld-8038 blla palapa caleton cap canala palapa

Doesn’t Val look like she’s ready for anything?!
vals weddings dominican

Lisa: ‘I appreciate how Dan does not have gender stereotypes. He cooks, cleans, does laundry, etc. and he truly appreciates when I do the same. He never just expects it. Also, I appreciate how honest Dan and I are with each other. We don’t have “off limit” topics to discuss and talk about everything and anything. Dan will do anything to make me happy…though I will NEVER take advantage of this!’

cap cana brides

Dan: ‘I love how cute she is when she wakes up. I love her inner strength. I love how she strives for perfection when she believes in something.’

caleton katya nova

Ideal day with your fiancée: ‘Sitting on a patio drinking wine, eating good food, and listening to music. After lunch, we would walk around town aimlessly trying different things, enjoy talking, or just being together and silent. …Exploring, finding adventure in new things, and just laughing our way through it all.’la palapa caleton wedding

Dan: ‘I love Lisa’s aura (she carries herself not like a girl but like a woman)… Also, her beauty without make-up.’

caleton weddingspunta cana wedding photos

‘With Dan by my side, I know I have a best friend that I get to spend every day with. Dan and I have fun and are goofy everywhere together. It makes daily chores seem like an adventure! Also, Dan helps me relax and not stress so much. He is really good about not worrying over things we can’t control…that way, we are polar opposites. He truly gives me balance.’

dominican republic destination wedding

‘Lisa is my rock. She is the first person whose pride in me I would move mountains for. She is my ground. Until I met her I was a lost soul without purpose. Without her, there is no ‘me.’

caleton cap canala palapa wedding photos

Most romantic memory together: ‘A Bed & Breakfast in Napa on a quick weekend trip we fit in after visiting family in Northern California! Oh, and of course our movie date when we saw ‘Vicki Christina Barcelona’ in an empty theatre.’

cap cana wedding photoscaleton wedding photoscaleton wedding menucaleton wedding cakela palapa caletonjewish punta cana wedding

Lisa’s Mom is amazing. I adore her. Here’s one of her quotes from early in the day: ‘When I grow up, I want to be just like Lisa!’ 🙂 I LOVED sharing some beautiful teary-eyed moments with her… la palapa weddingpunta cana fireshowpunta cana weddingspunta cana photographers

You know that Lacy has recently joined our team?! Here’s her FIRST SOLO photo session with Lisa & Dan at sunrise the next day!! I’m so proud!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 

Our boombox ran out of juice, so here I am, sneaking up on Lisa & Dan’s peaceful moment with ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queeen… hehehe!
lisa dan love queen

Lisa’s favourite guilty pleasures: ‘Trash TV…I love reality TV and it drives Dan crazy. I don’t watch much TV but if I do, the trashier the better!  It is a way to not think and unwind. Plus, it is GREAT comic relief!’

Dan’s favourite guilty pleasures: ‘Binge-eating-Taco Bell at 2 am!’

rock the dress caletonsunrise trash the dresssexy wedding day after sessionsunrise caletoncaleton rock the dress

Lisa’s nicknames for Dan: ‘I call Dan Monkey, Babe, Shnookie Bear, and Puppy…really no good story behind it. I just think they are cute things like him!’

Dan’s nicknames for Lisa: ”Platypus’ – because she likes to slap her foot on the ground (sounds like a platypus tail) & ‘Puppy’ – because she is sweet like one.’

intimate portraits punta cana

Lisa’s favourite things to find in the fridge: ‘sweet wine, chocolate, or anything sweet. Also, cheese!!’

Dan’s favourite things to find in the fridge: ‘beer, lunch prepared for work by Lisa, and Tres Leches Cake.’

cap cana wedding photospunta cana wedding photographersla palapa caleton weddingcaleton groom

Oh yeah. That happened!creative wedding photoscaleton beach wedding photosbeach intimate portraitskatya nova associates


What did you love most about your wedding?

Dan: ‘Lisa, of course. But then – the energy in the room throughout the whole evening.’

Lisa: ‘I loved how much fun and excitement was in the room all night. Everyone just kept saying “Best Wedding Ever.” I was so concerned that everyone was traveling so far and I really just wanted the party to be fun…it definitely was! Everyone let their inhibitions down (even before the alcohol started flowing) and truly PARTIED. Being relaxed with Dan after all the stress of planning was the best. I also loved watching him as I walked down the aisle and hearing the beautiful personal vows he wrote for me.’


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

Dan: ‘None!’

Lisa: ‘I was so sad the next day when I realized that a song “In My Daughter’s Eyes” was left out of the evening… I had totally forgotten to even put it on my list (though I listened to it frequently leading up to the wedding and planned to play it). It’s a song my mother, who is my best friend, loves and says it reminds her of me. I know how much it would have meant to her. Looking back, I wish I would have made it as much of a priority as the first dance song…I feel terrible I left it out.’


Most memorable moments?!

‘1) Lisa walking down the aisle is a moment I will never forget.
2) Singing Drunk Again by Reel Big Fish!
3) Seeing the pride in our parents eyes…’

‘1) We were about the leave to head to the ceremony and a golf cart pulled up with my dad who had an extremely sentimental gift and card from Dan…I totally lost it.

2) The moment when Hava Nagila came on and our friend Paul took it upon himself to grab chairs for Dan and me to be lifted up in. We had NO idea that was coming and will forever be grateful he brought in this Jewish tradition to our non-traditional/non-religious wedding (we follow different religions so we left it out altogether).

3) ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen was our final song of the night. It was so fun to have everyone singing together after an amazing wedding with family and friends. So much love was in the room!’
Comments about vendors / venue etc
Dan: ‘Everything was perfect except security at Caleton.’

Lisa: ‘Katya, Rob, & Lacy were what everyone says and just so much more…simply AMAZING. I felt so comfortable and at ease with them. My family and friends loved them beyond words.
Anna Nuet was wonderful and did a great job making us all feel gorgeous. My mom doesn’t like to look “over the top” and she adored Anna. She listened to her wanting to look natural and kept true to my mom’s true beauty.
Val and her team were amazing. They did a fantastic job of turning my pintrest board into reality. They were present and available all night and everyone loved them! Ana Luisa at Caleton is amazing as well. The resort was gorgeous (we had our wedding night there)… the theft we experienced (a camera with precious images went missing from our room) left a bad taste after such an amazing experience.’


Advice for future brides?!

‘I made a promise to Dan (who stresses over NOTHING, while I stress over EVERYTHING) that all the crazy bridal stress would disappear once we got on the plane for DR. I truly kept that promise and let things just happen once we arrived. Everything will work out…you don’t notice the small stuff the day of the wedding because it is all so magical and the love is overwhelming. Stress before if you are like me and stress, but don’t take it with you to the wedding trip. Also…try to disconnect from social media. Be present in the moment of not only your wedding, but the days before and after. You will never get those moments back. I am not a FB person to begin with but I know it can become consuming. Don’t let it. You can ‘check in,’ share pics, and give other brides advice when you return. Make memories that last and don’t let them pass you by.’


Lisa & Dan – we LOVE YOU SO. Reconnecting for more quality time is not a questions of ‘IF,’ but that of ‘WHEN’!!!! (Perhaps Costa Rica with bambinos?!) xoxo K+R.

view our portfolio   |   facebook   |     twitter   |   pinterest   |   our reviews   |   we’re on bdw.com   |   instagram @katyanovaphoto   |   email us



Leave a Reply

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



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!