Real Weddings: Leana & Daniel

Congratulations to Leana and Daniel on winning our Destination Weddings Photo Contest. Sign up to submit your destination wedding photos in the next Destination Weddings Photo Contest on our Facebook page for your chance to win a romantic trip for two! 

No punch or kick could distract Leana and Daniel from each other’s gaze when they met through mutual friends at a UFC event years ago. This Ukrainian-born gal and Irish-Italian-Canadian mix
were intimately blended together when they became best friends, and later lovers.

“It was an interesting ride and definitely very challenging at times, but we made it,” Leana recounts their journey.

Their common love of animals, especially dogs, travelling, and leading healthy lives kept their relationship strong, and Leana believes that this quote describes their partnership to a tee, “A great relationship isn’t when two perfect people come together, it’s when two imperfect people learn to love and treasure each other and don’t give up.”

On the snow-capped peak of Vancouver’s Grouse Mountain, Daniel and Leana enjoyed a day of snow shoeing followed by a dinner at the renowned Observatory Restaurant overlooking Capilano Lake and the glittering lights of Vancouver.

“The most amazing view of Vancouver, the sunset, and a box on the table with my amazing custom ring that he chose. I was speechless and in tears with happiness! It felt like a dream,” she remembers. It was from that day on that the couple knew they wanted to exchange their vows with a destination wedding, since Daniel’s family lived all over Canada. The happy couple thought this would be the perfect way to introduce their families for the first time – and it came at an ideal time when Daniel and Leana desperately needed a vacation.

A joyous union 

With “message in a bottle” invitations, Daniel and Leana joined their families in a beach celebration at Paradisus Punta Cana on spectacular Bavaro Beach in the Dominican Republic.

“We were very pleased with everything [at the beachfront resort]. The destination wedding was the best idea and choice we ever made! It was so much easier on us, and it was just perfect to spend enough time with all our family members. It was such a special trip, we introduced our parents to each other, and we also got married by Daniel’s father, as he is a minister,” the couple recalls.

Being their parents’ first visits to the Caribbean, the choice to spend their week along the sands of this picturesque island certainly added to the memorability of this special vacation.

Their two puppies made an appearance as cake toppers alongside their owners on a very cute cake served with bubbly pink Moet champagne. These all added unique personalized touches to this beachside celebration.

In a glorious aqua-themed celebration to the tune of live music on the beach, this husband and wife danced the night away, starting with their first dance to Michael Bolton’s When A Man Loves A Woman, cherishing every moment of this very special time with their family and friends.

“We had so much fun, nothing but laughter and tears of joy! If we could do it again, we wouldn’t change a thing. Everything was like a dream! We were thinking of a honeymoon a few months after our wedding somewhere warm, but didn’t make up our minds…” they say.

As the winners of the Destination Weddings Photo Contest, Daniel and Leana will be treated to a honeymoon at Memories Grand Bahama Resort Beach & Casino Resort in The Bahamas, care of Sunwing Vacations.

Get their look

Leana’s gown: Sofia Tolli.

Leana’s shoes: Christian Dior.

Daniel’s outfit: Calvin Klein.

Bridesmaids dresses: Bright coloured, mix ‘n’ match styles.

Photographer: Paradisus Punta Cana resort photographer.

Hair: Luba Doukhina.

Makeup: DIY.

Old | New | Borrowed | Blue

Old: Bride’s antique headband jewellery.

New: Bride’s dress.

Borrowed: The bride’s shoes.

Blue: Ribbon on the bride’s lingerie.