Here are Olya & Andrey, our sweet friends from Edmonton, and some of the most genuine, warm-hearted people you’ll ever meet!! Before their Wedding, our favourite memory with them was that one time we talked by the fireplace in their beautiful home (till 3 am I think?!) over about 4 bottles of wine (but it might be 6?). Rob & I just adore them, their Eastern-European shenanigans & charm, and their impressive ability to make anyone feel so welcome, so special. They met at a party more than 10 years ago, but it took them a good 5 years to truly fall in love (or, to finally admit to themselves this was the real deal).
Here’s the lovingly curated story of their gorgeous destination wedding at Dreams La Romana Resort & Tracadero Restaurant near La Romana, Dominican Republic.
Warmest THANK YOU to Irina of Caribbean Wedding Agency, her husband Nicholas Ray (who was fabulous to work with and created THIS wonderful highlight film for Olya & Andrey, RENNY TRAVEL for seamless transportation & party boat experience, Anna Nuet for dolling up the girls to perfection, and the Tracadero team!
From the Couple:
“We got engaged on February 15, 2015 in Stanley Park Vancouver, BC. Once we set our mind on the approximate wedding date, the fun of the planning process had began. Our minds were set on a destination wedding from the very beginning – however, we were debating between Mexico, Dominican Republic and Hawaii. Due to the fact that our amazing wedding photographer, Katya Nova, resides in Dominican – the decision was made!”
Top three things Olya loves about Andrey: “His sense of humour (sometimes – not), positive attitude and charm.”
Top three things Andrey loves about Olya: “Her beauty, ability to be joyful about small things in life, her warm smile.”
“After we settled on having our wedding in Dominican, the next step was to find a venue. We have heard so many great things about Jellyfish Restaurant (our friends got married there few years prior), but we decided to keep our options open for a while. Finally we have decided to stay in one of the Dreams resorts and do the wedding on the resort as well. But luckily we haven’t booked anything at that time.
The purchase of the wedding dress has changed our perspective completely. I fell in love with a very traditional yet unique wedding gown by Martina Liana. However, I couldn’t see myself in the sand on the beach anymore – and the image of the ideal place came to my mind. The venue was Tracadero Restaurant the pictures of which we came across while browsing through endless wedding websites – it was posted by Caribbean Wedding Agency. Tracadero has such breathtaking grounds with absolutely stunning rock pier for the ceremony – it was perfect! Compared to venue on the resort though, it was a considerably pricier alternative. Being a true accountant, I had an excel spreadsheet going and did a cost benefit analysis of the two alternatives. At the end, the choice was made – Tracadero Restaurant.”
Andrey on the Proposal:
“We flew to Vancouver for Valentine’s Day, and the next day I proposed to her in Stanley Park on a bench by the ocean.”
Ideal day together according to Olya: “Spending a day by the ocean, talking, drinking wine and watching life go by.”
“We contacted the restaurant directly and had no major issues while organizing our ceremony and reception. However, it was not easy to plan an off-resort wedding – there are just so many little things that had to be organized. Katya, being a dear friend, recommended a great transportation company (Renny Travel) that made a travel from resort to the venue very seamless (we stayed at the Dreams La Romana resort which was about 20 minutes away from Tracadero). Also, we booked with them a group boat trip to Saona Island two days prior to the wedding day – it was one of the best pieces of advice we took! The trip was amazing and got everyone in a party mood (it wasn’t like we needed it – but it’s never too much).
Caribbean Wedding Agency was our decorator/wedding planner. Irina and her team did an absolutely amazing job that was well beyond our expectations. We booked with her about a month before the wedding and she was right on top of things by constantly keeping in touch and discussing the décor options. We had silver, grey and coral as our wedding colors and she created a dream pallete by incorporating various details while keeping it stylish and classy. It was very easy to trust her and the result was incredible!”
Ideal day together according to Andrey: “A day in Italy somewhere by the coast, looking at old architecture, then having dinner in a small restaurant or café, wine, good music and watching the sunset.”
“We have so many memorable moments from the wedding week that it would take a while to write about all of them. The joyful spirit of the wedding guests was probably one of the most memorable things – everyone was extremely happy, ready to party and have fun. We came to Dominican 5 days before the wedding so it gave us plenty of time to relax and get in the mood. At one point, we even caught ourselves that the wedding day is fast approaching and we still had to finish organizing few little details – we had sooo much fun that it just felt like a great vacation.”
Olya’s favourite things to find in the fridge: “Smoked salmon, Russian salads.”
Andrey’s favourite things to find in the fridge: “Any food. I love to eat.”
Rock the Dress: Altos de Chavon, Casa de Campo. La Romana, Dominican Republic.
Most romantic memory together according to Olya: “One summer night sitting on the bridge in Florence, talking and drinking wine straight from the bottle.”
Most romantic memory together according to Andrey: “The process of creating an intimate oil painting of her.”
Olya’s favourite guilty pleasure: “Drinking wine.”
Andrey’s favourite guilty pleasures: “Smoking cigars, speeding, good drinks with good company.”
“The wedding day was absolutely amazing and unforgettable. We were worried about the rain as it rained on and off every day prior – so at one point we decided that even if it rains, we are going to enjoy it and have fun regardless. We were extremely lucky and there wasn’t even a single drop of rain on the wedding day. It was sunny and hot! The prep part felt like a dream with wedding party having fun and enjoying the day as well – we are very fortunate to have so many great friends. There was laughter and happy tears all day long! We still cannot believe how stress-free the day was – everyone was in a great spirit and we savoured every moment of the day even though it went by very fast, almost like a dream.
We don’t have any regrets – even if we had a chance to do it over, everything would be still the same.
How to stay on budget while still getting the wedding of your dreams…Well, no idea – we doubled our original budget, hahaha! But most importantly we truly feel that it was all worth it!
Our advice to future brides and grooms is to relax and enjoy every moment of your day. Don’t worry about little things – they don’t matter. Just have fun! Our day was the best party we ever had and the memory of it will always bring a smile to our faces. Also, make sure you have a great photographer and videographer. They are the people who will capture the most precious moments of your big day. The stunning wedding pictures taken by Katya and the amazing video shot by Nicholas Ray help us relive every moment of our special day all over again.”