Happy Wednesday you gorgeous bunch of brides-to-be! We’ve got a special treat for you today with the most entertaining couple we have featured to date. So get ready to have a little fun, laugh out loud, and have the best Wedding Wednesday yet!
FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHER:
Kelsey and Dave from Woodstock, Illinois, chose THE most magical wedding villa in Flor de Cabrera, Dominican Republic. They wanted a wedding that was a true reflection of who they are and the love they share, and what better place to bring passion alive than the very tropics? ”Anytime we vacation together, there is always a little spark that starts a fire between us, and we wanted to capitalize on that feeling for our wedding day” Kelsey says. She scrolled tirelessly through wedding blogs looking for inspiration and that’s how she came to discover and fall in love with Flor de Cabrera.
They describe their wedding week as ‘straight out of a dream’. ”From the bus ride to the villa, the excursion to Lake Dudu, the wedding day, to the free day, we had the time of our lives”, and as if it all this wasn’t enough, the night of the wedding was brightened up by the most enchanting Full Moon. Now looking back, if there is anything they could have done differently, it would have been to spend one more day in paradise: ”Everyone fell in love with Cabrera, they begged for just one more day.”
These sweethearts aspired to have a romantic tropical night, choosing a blush and classic gold palette with touches of nature, such as greenery and pineapples as a special detail, Kelsey explains, ”we incorporated pineapples into the decor because when I traveled to Central America in college, bringing a pineapple to an event was a sign of hospitality and love.”
They attribute much of their wedding success to the incredible support of their vendors, who made sure the wedding party had the time of their lives, by taking care of every detail. According to them, ”the wedding week was a breeze because of all the love and genuine regard Wilvia has for EVERY detail. The service, the food, the logistics, the feel, absolutely incredible! Our photographers, Katya and Rob, made sure we didn’t have the “dreaded picture time” as part of our wedding day. They were like our best friends, there to party, who just so happened to take outrageously breathtaking pictures.”
Kelsey and Dave exchanged vows in front of 36 of their closest relatives and friends, during a ceremony that truly reflected their personalities and their unique love, simply by focusing exclusively on what they wanted and not what was expected to be the ‘perfect’ wedding. ”The best advice we can give is to do it your way. If you want a ceremony at sundown, do it. If you want cocktail hour before the ceremony, do it. If you want to be the last one at the bar with your groom at 4 am doing shots of mamajuana, do it. It’s your wedding day, so do it your way.”
Oh, Kelsey & Dave. Their light-heartedness, selfless care for everyone else’s well-being, incredible ability to collect magnificent friends, passionate dedication to each other, and a rare talent to find positivity in any situation are only a few of the qualities which make them SO special. These sweethearts are from Woodstock, Illinois, and for their intimate destination wedding they travelled all the way to THE most magical wedding villa on the island, Flor de Cabrera, Dominican Republic.
When did you two get married?
February 10th 2017
How did you meet and fall in love?
Kelsey: “How we met & fell in love?! Let’s go back to 2007. I was attending a high school in Nebraska and came home for winter break. One of my girlfriends invited me over to hang out while her sister was having a little party. When I arrived at my friends house, the older sister had a few words to share with us younger girls before the guests arrived. She told me that she had a SUPER big crush on this guy, and we were not to talk to him. Well this was a “guacamole party” where everyone was competing for the “best guacamole” award.
My girlfriend and I took a stroll into the kitchen for a snack (and of course check out the older boys). I sat down across from where one of those older boys was making guacamole and we locked eyes. That’s it. We just kinda knew that we were supposed to talk to each other, regardless of what the older sister had to say. We stayed in the kitchen talking with all her friends, and Dave took my old nextel dinosaur phone and tried to put his name in my phonebook. His name turned into “DATU” and then his digits were in my phone.
We left that night and I received a myspace notification that Dave Tummillo had sent me a friend request. We began commenting on one another’s myspace walls and then started texting and he asked me on a date. At that time, I was only 17 and he was 22. Trying to get approval from my parents to go on a date with a 22 year old was not going to go over well, especially since Dave was older than my older brother!
I promised my parents that he would come to the door and introduce himself and they would understand why I wanted to go on a date with him. Dave pulled up in his fancy car and came to the door. My dad saw his car, talked to him for a few minutes, and let me go. That’s exactly how this all went, it all just “worked,” and it worked so SO good.
Dave was a drummer in a local band and I called him my rockstar. I attended his band practice and met his friends. He also took me out with his family for dinner on New Years Eve. This was all in week! We went on a few more dates before I had to go back to Nebraska for school. He gave me a stuffed animal gorilla and I went on my way, back to the prairie. We talked every day and couldn’t get enough of each other. I came back home for a short break at the end of January, and he asked my father if he could date me. On a date night, he lit some candles and asked me to be his girlfriend. We fell hard, fast. That little LOVE word came a few months later and despite the distance, we always found a way to fall deeper. Here we are now, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Dave: “What she said.”
What are the top three things you love about Kelsey?
1. She is always so creative with our relationship, never letting things get dull. 2. She is beautiful. 3. She loves mac & cheese ALMOST as much as I do. 4. She plays Playstation with me.”
What are the top three things that you love about Dave?
1. Dave can always make me laugh. 2. Dave is the most driven person I have ever met. He will do anything to make his dreams a reality. 3. Dave wants what’s best for me. He will always support me, encourage me, and light a fire under my ass when I need it.”
Why did you guys decide to have a Destination Wedding?
“We wanted to remember our wedding day as the best day of our lives. We decided on having a destination wedding because we wanted the people that mean the most to us to be with us on our wedding day. Everyone who attended has had an impact on our relationship, and we wanted to remember our favorite people on our favorite day.”
How do you both make each other smile when you’re upset?
Kelsey: “Whenever I’m angry, upset, had a bad day, whatever, he will always flip my bottom lip with his finger, or point out my dimples. I can’t help but smile every freakin time. Grrr.”
Dave: “When I’m upset or irritated, Kelsey can help in two ways: cookies or non-stop kisses.”
How have your lives changed from being together?
Kelsey: “How is my life different because of Dave? Holy smokes, this one hit me hard. Dave is my best friend. I can honestly say that I am a better person because of him, in all aspects of my life. He has taught me that anything is possible, and I can take on anything that life throws at me. He ignites my sense of adventure while keeping me grounded. He pushes me to succeed while forgiving my failures. He is pretty much the best person to be around if you want to change your life for the better.”
Dave: “I am a planner by nature. She has taught me to be more outgoing and creative in life. She always gives me a purpose to do the best I can, and makes me excited for our next adventure, even if it is picking out what frozen pizza we want to eat on a friday night while searching through Netflix for 3 hours and not deciding on a single movie.”
Most romantic memory together according to Kelsey:
“Watching Lion King together. KIDDING! Everytime we go on a vacation, whether it be camping, a cruise, or a resort, we turn into different people. It’s like Dave and I are 17 and 22 again and the fire just ignites. Those are the romantic memories that I never want to forget. Honestly, when he asked me to be his girlfriend, that was the most romantic side of Dave I’ve ever seen. He lit candles around the hot tub and then had candles lit in his room and just made me feel like I was the sexiest girl on the planet. Dave doesn’t really need to say sappy things, because his look says it all. I could fall over and over again with that look.”
What do you love the most about each other?
Kelsey: “I love that every night in bed he gives me a goodnight kiss. Even if I fall asleep before him, I always get a kiss. AND he does the dishes, and gets the mail, and takes out the garbage.”
Dave: “I love that Kelsey can never get enough hugs and kisses and always wants to have cheat meals with me even if they are every single day.”
How did he propose?!
Dave: “It happened in the downtown Woodstock square (where the movie Groundhog’s Day was filmed). She didn’t want to do anything I had planned because she is a scaredy cat. I wanted to propose in the big gazebo thing that had music playing but she was like ‘no, I’m not going up there, let’s get dinner instead, what are you doing, why are you being weird…omg you aren’t…and then she said YES (didn’t even grab the ring from me or look at it until I said, ‘don’t you want your ring’?)”
Kelsey adds: “I honestly remember it being the most romantic thing he has ever said, but I don’t remember what he said. I just know I lost it, like, full on tears and sobbing and it was the happiest day of my life. You see, Dave never, I mean NEVER gets sappy. So when he did, wowza, I was so taken aback that I just wanted to give him a trillion kisses and never let him go. Best day yet!”
Most memorable moments from the Day / Wedding week?
Our wedding week was straight out of a dream. The Flor de Cabrera team didn’t miss a beat on bringing our vision to life. From the bus ride to the villa, the excursion to Lake Dudu, the wedding day, to the free day, we had the time of our lives. The best part about our wedding? The full moon. As if everything wasn’t perfect enough…
Do you have any regrets? What would you have done differently if you could?
Just one more day in paradise. We spent Wednesday night through Sunday morning with our guests at Flor de Cabrera. Everyone fell in love with Cabrera, they begged for just one more day.
How did you pick the right venue?
We’ve been to so many weddings that were about the production instead of about the couple. We wanted a wedding that reflected us and the love we share. What better place to bring passion alive than the tropics of the Dominican Republic? Anytime we vacation together, there is always a little spark that starts a fire between us, and we wanted to capitilize on that feeling for our wedding day. I (Kelsey) have had a slight obsession with weddings since forever, so even before my engagement I was known to scroll a few times a day through StyleMePretty looking for inspiration. I came across Flor de Cabrera and immediately fell in love. I showed a picture to Dave, and we both decided we would get married there someday. So we made it happen.
What inspired your colour palette / decorations / any DIY elements / any unique details or traditions?
All the little details, decorations, and colors in our wedding were inspired by a “feel”. We told our planner we wanted a romantic feel with natural elements and a touch of class. We found our AMAZING bridesmaid gowns that were blush, and so we went with blush. We wanted the natural feel so we went with greenery, and we wanted a touch of class, so we went with gold. We incorporated pineapples into the decor because when I traveled to Central America in college, bringing a pineapple to an event was a sign of hospitality and love. I wanted all of our guests to feel that sense of hospitality and love, because we are who we are because of them.
Any comments about vendors, resort etc?
The best part about our vendors? They all worked together to give US the best day/week of our lives. The Flor de Cabrera team was unbelievable. Our planner, Wilvia, did above and beyond what we could have ever imagined. The wedding week was a breeze because of all the love and genuine regard Wilvia had for EVERY detail. The service, the food, the logistics, the feel, absolutely incredible! Our photographers, Katya and Rob, made sure we didn’t have the “dreaded picture time” as part of our wedding day. Katya and Rob were like our best friends, there to party, who just so happened to take outrageously breathtaking pictures. When looking at the photos, the smiles you see are from the vibes they bring. The bridal party was glammed out by Ryann Marie Doyle and her crew. I gave her my vision and inspiration, she went with it, and made me feel like a queen. I would pick the same vendors over and over and over again.
Do you have any shopping advice when buying stationary, accessories, wedding dress etc?
Etsy is your friend. The best items I purchased were from Etsy! My wedding robe, my barefoot sandals, and my garters. Also, don’t worry about the price as long as it fits your “feel”. The bridesmaid dresses, clearance rack. The bridesmaid earrings, clearance rack. I found the best deals by NOT searching by keywords like wedding, or bridesmaid, or flower girl. No one will know the price, only how it looks.
How to stay on budget while still getting the wedding of your dreams?
Always remember what’s truly important on your wedding day when thinking of your budget. I found myself asking questions like ” Will orchids make me feel more in love with Dave than roses?”. We went from a $$$$ flower budget to a $$$ flower budget so that we could bring our entertainment and alcohol budget from $$$ to $$$$. Dave and I paid for the wedding ourselves, so we were able to make it EXACTLY what we wanted it to be.
SUNRISE MORNING AFTER SESSION:
Guest list: how did you narrow down your guest list to a reasonable number?
Dave always asks “Who would you call up right now to take to dinner?”, so that’s how we chose our guest list. Immediate family and best friends, giving us a perfect number of 36. Small, intimate, and full of love.
Did you have any challenges in keeping your friends & family informed about your wedding plans?
We sent out our invitations to our guests a year in advance, made a wedding website, and a facebook group to keep everyone in the loop. Since we picked our best friends and family, we had no issues with communication. For all our other family and friends, we sent out save the dates for a reception back home to make sure they know we are ready to party with them upon our return.
Any advice for future brides/grooms?
The best advice we can give is to do it your way. If you want a ceremony at sundown, do it. If you want cocktail hour before the ceremony, do it. If you want to be the last one at the bar with your groom at 4am doing shots of mamajuana, do it. It’s your wedding day, so do it your way.
Thank you so much to the amazingly fun couple Kelsey and Dave for sharing their love story with us, and to Katya Nova Photography for sharing this drop dead gorgeous album! We wish you all the best lovebirds!
Photography: Katya Nova Photography | Apparel: Catherine Cole Studio | Etsy Designer: LoveJenXo | Etsy Designer: NicolettesCouture | Dress Designer: Elise by Watters from Simply Luxe Bridal | Officiant: Martha Cabrera | Hair Stylist: Ryann Marie Doyle MUA | Event Venue: Flor de Cabrera | Wedding Co-ordinator: Wilvia Medina of Flor de Cabrera | Submitted via Two Bright Lights |