Christine and John were the Wedding Vacations Photo Contest winners from Volume 5 Issue 1. The two won a romantic getaway at the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Their story began at John’s birthday bash in 2009. Christine, a support worker for individuals with intellectual disabilities, recounts how John’s vivid green eyes first attracted her to him. However, it would be John’s romantic gesture of sending her flowers on Valentine’s Day while he was visiting family in Portugal that gave her the green light to pursue a relationship with him. For John, a construction superintendent, he cites her outgoing, adventurous, fun and spontaneous personality as what drew him in to her. The couple, who live in Brampton, Ontario, soon learned that they both enjoy spending time outdoors and found common interests in hiking, swimming and travelling. Aside from their love of the outdoors, Christine loves that John is family oriented, “He grew up with his grandparents in Portugal so he has beautiful family values!”
John knew that his perfect opportunity to pop the question would be on a trip to Saguenay, Quebec, where they planned to go on a whale watching expedition. While on the boat, John hesitated to propose admitting that he thought Christine would “get too excited the ring would drop into the ocean!” Instead, he packed a blanket and headed to the shores of the Saguenay River where the two watched the sun setting and listened to the whales’ song. Knowing it was the perfect opportunity, he chose this moment to ask Christine to spend her life with him. “As if on cue, a Minke whale surfaced and cheered us on with its own water spray! It was perfect.”
A sugar-white beach, fringed by palm trees provided the perfect setting for seaside nuptials for Christine, John and 24 of their nearest and dearest. In a ceremony accented with lavender and ivory, the group came together in Punta Cana in May 2015. Dressed in an ivory tulle Mori Lee gown, Christine walked down the aisle to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
As Christine recounts that special day, she can’t help but smile when she thinks about her grandmother walking down the aisle with the wedding party, “She got so excited, she lost her dentures!” she laughs. She also recalls John dramatically dipping her for their first kiss as husband and wife as one of the most memorable – and unexpected – moments of that day. For John, the private beach reception was his favourite detail, highlighting the “first dance with my wife with the sand between my toes, underneath the stars and the moon,” as his fondest memory from that day.
From the aisle lined with starfish, to personalized tags on each of the guests’ seats and colourful sand dollar confetti, the event was filled with many personal touches which added to the enchantment of the event. The night concluded with a ‘Trash the Dress’ photo shoot at the beach, ocean and pool, where even the wedding party and friends joined in.
Christine and John are planning to travel to Spain, Portugal and Italy for their honeymoon in summer 2016.
Christine’s shoes: Sandals with rhinestones, Aldo.
John’s outfit: White dress shirt with beige linen pants, Club Monaco.
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Lavender coloured Dessy Twist Wrap dresses.
Groomsmen’s attire: White dress shirt with beige linen pants, Club Monaco.
Jewellery: Diamond drop earrings, gift from bridal party.
Hair and makeup: Hair – Anthony Passero, Makeup – Christine Tran.
Types of rings: White gold bands.
Photographer: Eric Jeffers, provided by hotel.
Stationary and invitations: Invitations by Dawn.
Favours: Fans with bubbles and personalized tags.
Welcome gifts for guests: Welcome gift bags with various snacks and toiletries.
What was new? Lingerie from the bridal party.
What was borrowed? Satin robe from the maid of honour.
What was blue? Undergarments from the bridal party.
- Enjoy every moment; even the moments leading up to the wedding and after. There is no need for any stress!
- Remember it is about the bride and groom; it’s difficult to please everyone.
Watch for the next issue of Wedding Vacations where the latest winners of our Photo Contest will be revealed.