Jarrel and Nikita met in a Grade 11 Biology class. Nikita confesses, ‘my friend Navi, whom Jarrel knew from elementary school, asked me to give him my class notes and to be honest, that’s where it all began. I wish I could remember the exact moment I fell in love with Jarrel… I think it was a gradual process. We became such good friends in a matter of weeks and were really close for a few years. The summer after 1st year university (we went to school 3 hours apart) we spent a lot of time together when we were back home and ended up falling in love.’
Inspiration for having a destination wedding:
‘We thought it would be fun to do something different after attending 12 weddings in 2014! We went to Barbados for a destination wedding in May 2014 and it confirmed our decision to do something away. It was one of the best weeks of our lives.
As for Punta Cana & Jellyfish – finding Katya’s blog helped us tremendously. Jellyfish was love at first site. With regards to Now Larimar, it was a process of research and what made the most sense for our guests.’
Our dearest Nikita & Jarrel – just wow, you two are absolutely amazing – and we are SO HONOURED to have been there for your MAGICAL Big Day! Being around your wonderful friends & family, and hearing all the stories of your ‘youth’ totally made Rob & I wish we’d grown up with you!!!! You totally blew us away with your charm, love, and sincerity. xoxo K+R.
Three things Jarrel loves about Nikita: ‘She is compassionate. She puts others before herself and she loves movies and junk food as much as I do.’
Three things Nikita loves about Jarrel: ‘He’s good at everything he does, he is a very patient and loving person, he always pushes me and everyone else around him to be their best self.’
Proposal according to Nikita:
‘Jarrel told me to take a Wednesday afternoon off of work so that I could attend a performance of an artist he was working with. There ended up being a huge snow storm that day, so I didn’t go to work at all. Jarrel picked me up around 11 am and we went to get Korean food at one of my favourite places on Queen St. After that he told me he had to go to his studio to set things up, so I went to Starbucks to do a bit of work. A few hours later he called me to come watch the “show” at the Rivoli. When I got there, I immediately knew… he was all dressed up super cute and there was no one in the restaurant. We walked to the back of the Rivoli (dance floor and stage area) and he had a keyboard set up. He sang two songs that he wrote for the proposal and then asked me to marry him. It was incredible.’
Amazing decor by Gianna & Clara at Jellyfish Restaurant, Punta Cana.
Rock ceremony: everyone made a wish and threw their love-charged rock into the ocean!
Ideal day together according to Nikita: ‘Staying in, making food, and watching movies or our favourite TV shows together.’
Ideal day together according to Jarrel: ‘Sleeping in, watching movies on the big screen TV … with Pizza Hut.’
Nikita: ‘I call him ‘freckles’ or my ‘lil ginger,’ because he has freckles on his lips and ginger hair.’
Most romantic memory together according to Nikita: ‘Jarrel surprised me for our 5 year anniversary and planned a whole weekend downtown. We roamed around Kensington, went to Busker Fest and then out to Baton Rouge for dinner. After dinner we went back to the hotel he booked and I could hear music coming from inside our room. There was a picture of us on the door and when we went inside there were pictures all over the walls of the 5 years we had been together. Candles were all across the room and cheesy romantic love songs were playing on a stereo! It was the most romantic thing he had ever planned. The crazy part about the whole night is that we were together the whole time and I still don’t know for sure who came to our room to set everything up.’
Most romantic memory according to Jarrel: ‘For me, it was the day I proposed to Nikita.’
Jarrel: ‘My nickname for Nikita? Boo Boo. I used to call her Boo Boo to joke around when she would whine about stuff and then it just stuck.’
Nikita’s favourite things to find in the fridge: ‘Any leftovers … and I’m a happy girl!’
Jarrel: ‘Her dad’s beef cutlets and Diana sauce.’
For the first dance, Jarrel’s sister Tegan sang John Legend’s ‘Stay with You’ … (Tegan – you’re amazing! I’m telling you… come be a wedding singer in Punta Cana!!)
With the help of aunties, Nikita changed into a gorgeous sari that Jarrel’s family bought her. It’s a Mangalorean tradition and is a symbolic representation of her becoming part of the family.
Next, came a surprise that BLEW everyone away!!! A choreographed Indian dance!
Rob & I were so excited we got to hang out with these lovebirds again… and Nikita put on her gorgeous sari for me! (Hehe)… 🙂
Nikita’s favourite guilty pleasures: ‘All kinds of dessert and binge watching my favourite television shows.’
Jarrel’s favourite guilty pleasure: ‘Candy.’
Nikita: ‘If Jarrel had a magic power, it would be time traveling. He’s so interested in the history of the world, he’d want to experience it all first hand.’
Jarrel: ‘If Nikita had a magic power, she would be able to make things pretty with a wave of her wand!’
Nikita: ‘One thing many people may not know about Jarrel is that he meditates every day and is always trying to further his spiritual journey. I love that about him.’
Jarrel: ‘Nikita is an amazing painter, but she needs to be inspired. The only time she paints is if she wants to give someone a gift. I love how talented she is.’
Nikita: ‘Jarrel has been there for me through everything over the past 10 years. Big and small. He pushes me to not be fearful, to grow and reflect, and to always strive to be the best version of me. It’s hard to imagine who I would be today if I didn’t meet him so many years ago.’
Jarrel: ‘Nikita can always make me melt by giving me a head massage.’
Jarrel: ‘Every day, no matter how crazy my life gets, she is always there for me. I’m so grateful for the level of security and trust, it has allowed me to reach for my dreams.’
Nikita’s favourite gift from Jarrel: ‘sapphire and diamond ring for my birthday.’
Jarrel: ‘Every gift Nikita gives me comes with lots of candy (I have a sweet tooth). It’s become a tradition for my birthday, our anniversary and Christmas. So, every present is my favourite.’
Nikita: ‘I really appreciate that no matter how busy Jarrel is, if something is important to me, he will make sure he makes time for it and that he always takes care of me when I’m not feeling well.’
Jarrel: ‘I appreciate that when we talk to each other and get to spend time together I can tell by the look in her eyes that she really loves me.’
Nikita: ‘I love that he… works SO damn hard and believes that anything he puts his mind to is possible.’
BRIDE & GROOM POST-WEDDING REFLECTIONS:
What did you love most about your Wedding?
Nikita: ‘Seeing Jarrel’s face when I walked down the aisle, saying our own vows to one another and the speeches/surprise videos our friends put together.’
Jarrel: ‘I loved hearing Nikita say her vows.’
Any regrets? What would you have done differently if you could?
Nikita: ‘We stayed at Now Larimar (some people had issues, but management did their best to rectify them) which overall was a good choice. If you’re getting a golf cart to take you from your room to the lobby, call in advance (waiting for one made us 30 minutes late for the ceremony) but we didn’t want to risk walking through the resort and having everyone see us. Overall, we had a great time and all our guests seemed to really enjoy the trip and wedding.’
Jarrel: ‘I honestly wouldn’t change a thing, I just wish more of my family would’ve come.’
Most memorable moments from the Day / Wedding week:
Nikita: ‘1. Surprising Jarrel and the guests with a choreographed Indian dance, performed with some of my best girlfriends. 2. Going on a catamaran trip with about 80 of our guests (we booked with Sanael and the entire thing was amazing). 3. Our Rock the Dress (trash the dress) session, followed by a beautiful private dinner at Huracan (which Mayte and Nati set up for us).’
Jarrel: ‘Seeing Nikita for the first time, hearing her vows, saying my speech and opening up, and us breaking the dance floor.’
Comments about vendors, resort etc
Nikita: ‘I feel like we had the PC Dream Team of Vendors and everything was amazing.
Katya & Rob: honestly, they are as amazing as everyone’s reviews say they are. Katya’s blog and answers to my 1000 questions was the reason we chose Punta Cana and the Jellyfish. They are an amazing duo who made us feel beautiful and comfortable all day and the guests loved them. You can’t go wrong if they are available on your wedding day! If you can, don’t miss out on a Rock the Dress with them as well, it was so much fun!
Cores Films (Diego & Juan): we loved having them film our day and the sneak peeks that Diego let me see on our wedding day were amazing.
Anna Nuet / Krystie Ann: there were 10 of us in total (8 bridesmaids, plus my mom and I). Anna did everyone’s hair and Krystie did the make-up. We all absolutely loved what they did, and all the girls got compliments on how pretty they looked the entire day. I cannot sing them enough praises, and I’m sure pictures will showcase the amazing job they did.
Cake Studio Bavaro: Anna was amazing to work with and did a great job. I’ll be honest in saying that I did not love the top tier of the cake (looks wise – it tasted delicious!), but post-wedding I realized that I didn’t explain what I wanted clearly so it was really an error on my part (send pictures of what you want!) The other tiers were gorgeous and exactly what I asked for. We got 4 different flavours and everyone loved the cake (Jellyfish cut and plated it for dessert). Anna was even awesome enough to test out a lemon cake recipe I sent her that Jarrel loves to see if she could use it for one of the tiers!
Jellyfish Restaurant: the venue is absolutely beautiful. Even if you didn’t have any decor, I think it would still wow the guests. Gianna & Clara were great to work with and did an awesome job. There were a few decor misses (no branches on the gazebo, no orchids or as many flowers as discussed for centrepieces) but no one but me noticed anything. Overall, everything was beautiful and the girls, Isaac and all the staff did an exceptional job! Everyone we talked to absolutely loved the venue and food (we had steak, seabass and pasta as our entree options).
Pastor York: our wedding ceremony was perfect. He was really accommodating and allowed us to make the changes we wanted to the ceremony. He was funny yet serious in all the right places, everyone loved the ceremony.’
Jarrel: ‘I think everything was great, Nikita said it all!’
Any advice for future Brides/Grooms!
Nikita: ‘Relax and enjoy every moment! 🙂 Things may go wrong, but at the end of the day, the little things really are just that – little things. Eat, drink, dance, and cherish the day, it goes by so quickly!!’
Jarrel: ‘Focus on making your partner happy. The wedding day is a foundation for the 2 of you to start your lives, so make it good!!’