‘The ability to connect people from around the world through technology will never cease to amaze us,’ Vicky & Robbie laugh. Back in 1996 Vicky was randomly pinged on ICQ chat by two virtual friends. Although they lived across the country in Vancouver, they kept in touch throughout the years via trending social networks. Over a decade later, Vicky finally met her online friend, Jon, in person while vacationing in Vancouver. He was coincidentally hosting a birthday party where she met the gaggle of guys she had long heard about … including Robbie.
‘Robbie and I talked for a bit and he even dressed a hotdog for me (which I then split in half with someone else, apparently offending him!) I left the BBQ early that night to see fireworks at English Bay, but I added Robbie to my Facebook the next day. I also messaged him to see if he wanted to hang out during my stay but Robbie never responded and we never met up.’
But a message from Robbie did come … one month late. He explained that he had been busy studying and asked if Vicky wanted to hang out. ‘Baffled but giddy that he finally responded, I told him that I was back in Ottawa and wouldn’t be visiting Vancouver anytime soon. For the next few weeks we talked a lot online and our unlikely friendship quickly grew into something I never expected would happen…I started to fall in love. We chatted on MSN, webcam’d, texted and talked on the phone for hours,’ Vicky confesses.
Robbie said he had vacation time but didn’t know what to do. Vicky nonchalantly suggested he come to Ottawa, and Robbie said ‘sure.’ ‘I panicked and quickly retracted my suggestion – a guy whom I only met once was coming to visit me!?’ Robbie then swiftly asked if I would consider taking vacation with him. Amused at his persistence, I agreed to go. First he suggested vacationing in Hawaii but I couldn’t imagine going there – again, with a guy that I only met once – so I suggested Disney World … and Robbie agreed!’
Let’s pause here for a moment. How romantic is this beginning?! FIRST DATE at Disney World? You just know it’s going to be a fairytale, right?
I’m so honoured to share Vicky & Robbie’s Huracan Cafe Wedding in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The venue was transformed by the legendary Mayte Mari and Nati to reflect the Couple’s unique ideas. Hope this beautiful Feature makes you feel all warm & fuzzy!
Finally, Vicky & Robbie went on their first date to Disney World… and it was magical. Vicky swoons, ‘at the end of our 10 day vacation Robbie asked me if we should start dating. I was skeptical about the whole long distance thing but Robbie assured me he would wait until I was convinced. I knew in my heart that I was meant to be with Robbie and within a day we made our relationship official…by announcing it on Facebook of course!
The three-hour time difference was difficult but we made it work and the relationship felt effortless because there was trust and respect. We continued to visit one another and even took a trip to Hawaii. Our family and friends naturally embraced each of us with open arms.’
‘I was laid off a week before my trip to visit Robbie in February 2009. It was a blessing in disguise – I recall sitting with Human Resources and saying to myself, ‘this is a sign.’ That day, without any hesitation, I turned my ticket into a one-way flight to Vancouver and announced my decision to move across the country to my family and friends. It was an intense and emotional week, but I was finally going to be with Robbie.’
Vicky on the Proposal:
‘We went to Hawaii for a third time in July 2012. Robbie proposed on the first night that we landed in Oahu at one of our favourite restaurants. He arranged for the manager to visit our table to offer a complementary caricature drawn by a local artist who was doing a promotion at the restaurant (all this was actually set up by Robbie beforehand). With a bit of coaxing, we went to redeem our coupon. After waiting for what seemed like forever for the artist to finish up with another client we began getting our picture drawn. Tiki, the artist, drew me first and then proceeded to draw Robbie. After what felt like seconds,Tiki announced he was finished and handed me a drawing that was framed and wrapped in cellophane. I was shocked! I was watching the projector screen the whole time and he hadn’t even drawn Robbie’s body!! I started to get upset and even though it was free, I felt ripped off. I wanted confirmation that Robbie felt the same way and when I turned around he was down on one knee. Confused and taken aback I blurted, “What the f— are you doing?” When I finally realized what was happening, I couldn’t stop crying to articulate my answer. Speech impaired and trembling, I threw my arms around Robbie and nodded repeatedly while he placed the ring on my finger. It was beautiful. When I finally composed myself, I bashfully asked him to repeat his proposal so that I could say “yes” (and apologize for cursing).’
Our extraordinary Mayte Mari, behind the scenes.
Vicky & Robbie, on having a Destination Wedding:
‘The decision to have a destination wedding is important because it symbolizes our beginnings. Robbie and I began our relationship miles apart and looked forward to ‘vacation.’ It meant we would be spending time together and we could literally forget about the troubles in our daily lives! We cherish these memories and want to celebrate on vacation with others in hopes that they will feel some of what we felt when we went on a trip together. Most important to us though, is to celebrate the next phase in our life with the people we hold closest to our hearts – it isn’t Ottawa or Vancouver but rather family and friends who are ‘home’ for us. And although not everyone is able to celebrate with us, we are grateful for those who can.’
Next, 10 fun & random facts about our lovebirds:
1. Robbie was born and raised in Vancouver, BC and has 1 older sister. Vicky was born and raised in Ottawa, ON and has 5 older sisters.
2. Robbie’s mother is Japanese and his father is Croatian. Both Vicky’s parents are Chinese.
3. ‘We don’t drink coffee. Robbie dislikes the smell and I am afraid it will stain my teeth.
4. I went to my first concert when I was 12 and saw Green Day. Robbie went to his first concert when he was 27 …and saw New Kids On The Block . We went together in Montreal’ 🙂
5. ‘Halloween is one of our favourite celebrations…not only do we get to dress up but Robbie enjoys indulging in the little packages of candy.
6. Although I have never been married, this will be my second wedding dress. While shopping at a maternity store with my sister years ago, my brother-in-law found a maternity wedding dress on sale…for a DOLLAR! We couldn’t pass up the deal so my sister generously bought me my first wedding dress. I’ve worn it as a Halloween costume and for photos to prank a few friends.’
7. ‘We enjoy grocery shopping and although we are only two, we absolutely love Costco. It takes us several hours to complete our trips because we always go down each and every aisle.
8. One of our guilty pleasures is going to the home shows at the local fare. We like being blown away by the demonstrations and sometimes….always end up buying stuff!’
9. Vicky & Robbie play recreational volleyball together with friends and enjoy snowboarding in the winter. They love to travel and have a special place in their hearts for Hawaii and Japan, where they’ve traveled together.
10. Robbie plays hockey, golf and several other sports. Vicky enjoys painting, arts and crafts, stickers and make-up.
BRIDE & GROOM POST-WEDDING REFLECTIONS:
What did you love most about your Wedding?
‘The roller coaster of emotions and feelings we shared that day which started from the moment we woke up …The first time we walked into the restaurant and saw Mayte & Natalia working away was something really special…thinking about the anticipation and warmth of our First Look still gives us butterflies… seeing one another down the aisle and choking up during our vows… the fire show…Oh and who could forget the speeches? Our wedding gave us the opportunity to tell each other and the people we love how much we appreciate them, which we don’t do often enough. That night, we truly felt the love and the positive energy in the room.’
Any regrets? What would you have done differently if you could?
‘No regrets. We married the love of our lives and had 50 of our closest family and friends there to share it with us. It doesn’t get more perfect than that.’
Most memorable moments from the Day / Wedding week?
‘1. The First Look. It really gave us a chance to slow down and take in the moment. In what seemed to be a whirlwind of a day/week/2 years leading up to the Big Day, it was really special to have the private alone time with each other. It is something we will remember forever – we were in paradise together.’
2. Group excursion. We chartered a catamaran for the day after the wedding in the afternoon. We felt like we could finally exhale, relax and had so much fun with our guests. The catamaran had music, booze and most importantly food (ummm lobster)! So glad we did it.
3. Relaxing with friends and family. We got to spend time with our favourite people in the world for a whole week (not just one day). More specifically, since our family and friends live on opposite sides of the country, the vacation gave everyone the opportunity to spend quality time together and get into some very memorable shenanigans (the Cave, falling into the pond at the golf course, eating questionable street meat, midnight swims, photo shoots on the beach and being pleasantly surprised when our friends decorated our hotel room after the wedding).’
Comments about vendors, resort etc
‘Katya and Rob – not only are we so glad to have worked with Katya and Rob, our guests also had wonderful things to say about this dynamic duo. They were professional, friendly and interacted with everyone. Throughout the process they have been much more than just our photographers – they had been there to give advice, information and guidance throughout the planning process.
We are not a photogenic couple (quite awkward at times) so we were thankful Katya and Rob were able to put us at ease. Our bridal party also really enjoyed having their photos taken. *They always make sure to lean forward in all their photos now, haha!!
Similar to a cook pouring their heart and soul into their cooking, Katya and Rob’s art comes so naturally to them. Even when they interacted with one another you could see their love for each other shine through with every movement they made. It was beautiful to see. Katya, your calm demeanor, loving personality and incredible gift to paint pictures with your words really set the tone for us for the rest of the night. Rob your fantastic sense of humour and your down-to-earth personality is timeless. Thank you both.
Mayte and Natalia – the months leading up to the wedding were nerve wracking but after Skyping and meeting Mayte we were quickly reassured. We loved the decorations and how everything came together at the end – the venue looked great. Mayte and Natalia were able to incorporate our personal touches and everything looked just like we pictured it. They really did a great job accommodating our 1001 requests, from building a special beer/kiss pong table complete with LED lights to Natalia’s meticulously drawn sign.
Paradisus Palma Real – the resort was amazing and our guests are still raving about how much they loved it. The grounds were immaculate and it certainly had everything you could wish for.
We opted for the Royal Service which included a butler (think personal coordinator) and it was definitely worth the extra $50 a day. For instance, although all 50 of our guests were staying at the resort we were not able to book large group dinners/events before arriving and because we were not getting married on the grounds they were not able to accommodate any of our group requests. However, our butler was able to bypass some of these rules and helped us organize group dinners, saved chairs and beds for everyone at the beach, booked excursions and made sure our stay was going smoothly.
The quality and variety of food at the resort definitely surpassed our expectations. We also highly suggest forking out the extra 60$ to go to Passions – a similar restaurant in Vancouver, BC would cost well over $200 per person. The food was phenomenal and you were able to order as much as you wanted. The service was top notch and they accommodated all food intolerances/allergies.
Hispaniola Aquatic Adventures – We booked the private excursion via email a few weeks prior to going to DR and it was very quick and easy. The Santa Maria was a perfect boat for our group of 32; it was clean and spacious. The crew was fun, accommodating and genuine which made the excursion very enjoyable.’
Any advice for future brides/grooms?!
‘If you are able to arrive a few days before your guests, do it. It allowed us to organize ourselves and tie up loose ends in a relaxed pace so that we could enjoy time with family and friends when they arrived. We probably would have otherwise been rushed/stressed. Lastly, make sure you try to get lots of quality sleep leading up to the wedding, it is a long day!!’
DEAREST VICKY & ROBBIE – ah, you two are something special… THANK YOU for sharing this magical day with Rob & I … We are so grateful! What an incredible Couple you are… We wish you the WORLD at your fingertips (not just the Disney one, hehe) LOVE LOVE LOVE, K+R.