Bridal Bliss: Yanique and Samuel

Yanique and Samuel met and fell in love on the job. For his 30th birthday, she planned a big party in his honor. But that night, Yanique got the real surprise: her slice of cake came out with a giant ring on it. Share their love!

Charli Penn Nov, 28, 2012

1 of 48 Gina Esposito

Co-workers Yanique, 32, and Samuel, 31, did something many are often scared to do. They decided to follow their hears and took their already beautiful friendship to the next level. It was a risk that instantly paid off. They were meant to be, and Samuel proposed to her at his 30th birthday party. On July 28, 2012 they were married in an elegant island wedding soiree. Share their love!

2 of 48 Gina Esposito

“I am very picky when it comes to hair and makeup,” Yanique admits. “So, I flew down my hair and makeup artist for two days. I love makeup, and I am not afraid to wear lots, although I still wanted to look classic and elegant without being overdone. My makeup artist Ellen B did a great job.”

3 of 48 Gina Esposito

This bridal gown portrait really sets the tone for the elegant, island wedding weekend getaway that Yanique and Samuel threw for their special guests.

4 of 48 Gina Esposito

“I purchased my shoes from Nordstrom,” Yanique tells us. “I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on shoes you were not going to see anyway.”

5 of 48 Gina Esposito

Hair stylist Alyn Martin helped Yanique to create the wedding day hairstyle of her dreams. “Once I purchased my dress, I knew I wanted my hair to be off my shoulders for the ceremony and then have ringlets of curls for the reception,” she says. “I liked the feeling of not having anything on back, especially once it got windy.”

6 of 48 Gina Esposito

“My bridesmaids' dresses were designed by Jim Hjelm,” says Yanique. “I wanted dresses that my bridesmaids would be able to wear again, yet were still stylish and sexy. Once I saw the slit and the straps, I fell in love.”

7 of 48 Gina Esposito

For his wedding day attire, Samuel chose to stand out in a flashy suit designed by Sarar Suits.

8 of 48 Gina Esposito

“I did splurge on my headpiece, veil and jewelry,” admits the beaming bride. She found the pieces at Brooklyn retailer Bridal Style Boutique.

9 of 48 Gina Esposito

“I love Orchids so that was a first choice when choosing my bouquet,” Yanique explains. “I wanted a mixture of orchids and roses.” And, what a lovely combination it was.

10 of 48 Gina Esposito

“We wanted our wedding to be a representation of us and everything we liked to do,” says Yanique. “We loved to travel, and having a destination wedding was just something we felt would be a fun getaway for our family and friends.”

11 of 48 Gina Esposito

“When we first got engaged, there were so many venues in NYC that we fell in love with, but as we kept looking, we realized that none of them really spoke to us the way we wanted,” Yanique explains. “Then one day out of the blue, Sam sent me a link to Casa Kimball, and we instantly fell in love and knew that was where we were getting married.”

12 of 48 Gina Esposito

“My wedding dress was designed by Lazaro,” Yanique says. “It was purchased at Kleinfeld in New York City. I tried on about seven dresses, then it was the eighth, and I did not want to take it off. I was smiling from ear-to-ear and my mom said,  ‘That’s it! You found your dress.’ It was an incredible experience.”

13 of 48 Gina Esposito

“Seeing my groom for the first time in our first reveal was very special to me because it was one of the only times where it was just us and no one else around and I was just so happy to be spending the rest of my life with him,” says the new Mrs. Bell.

14 of 48 Gina Esposito

“Samuel is respectful, trustworthy, honest, ambitious and has a heart of gold,” says the bride.

15 of 48 Gina Esposito

“I said 'yes' because there is honestly no one else I could see spending my life with but him,” says Yanique. “He truly is my best friend because I can tell him anything without judgment. He loves me for me and brings out all of my best qualities. I never thought in a million years I would ever find love like this but he is my prince charming, and I am living my fairytale moment.”

16 of 48 Gina Esposito

Yanique and her beautiful bridesmaids (all childhood friends) strike a pose on the estate property.

17 of 48 Gina Esposito

“Surprisingly, I was very calm,” explains Yanique. “From the moment I arrived in DR, I took on the attitude of whatever happens happen. I just knew I had to go with the flow, and that is exactly what I did.”

18 of 48 Gina Esposito

“My husband was in charge of the suits for the guys,” Yanique tells us. “My only request was that their suits be a sand color. I am not a huge fan of tuxedos and preferred for the guys to wear slim fit suits with Adidas sneakers, which were given to them as gifts from my husband.”

19 of 48 Gina Esposito

“I knew Sam was the one even before we got together,” says Yanique. “He was so patient and kind and I saw how he treated his mom and loved his kids.”

20 of 48 Gina Esposito

Look at Samuel's daughter working it for the cameras. What a cutie pie!

21 of 48 Gina Esposito

“Pink and orange have always been my favorite colors, so I definitely wanted to incorporate the fuchsia color along with hints of orange for my wedding,” says Yanique. “Everything was personalized; I wanted our guests to know how special they were to us by all the personal touches that they saw throughout the entire weekend.”

22 of 48 Gina Esposito

“I love Sam’s caring spirit and the way he is with his friends and family,” says Yanique. “He will go above and beyond for anyone he cares about, and that is one of the qualities I was attracted to.”

23 of 48 Gina Esposito

“For my ceremony décor, I wanted fuchsia flowers leading up to the altar as well as branches with little rose petals hanging from the branches,” says the bride.

24 of 48 Gina Esposito

“I chose chair ties for the back of each chair to incorporate the fuchsia color with the flowers,” says Yanique. We love her commitment to her color palette.

25 of 48 Gina Esposito

Samuel’s son and daughter, who served as ring bearer and flower girl, walked down the aisle together. Isn’t this the sweetest thing ever?

26 of 48 Gina Esposito

“My mother, who has been my rock all my life, was there to walk me down the aisle,” says Yanique, who came out to the sounds of Pachelbel’s Canon In D. “I knew it made her very proud.”

27 of 48 Gina Esposito

Yanique’s bridesmaids grinned proudly as they watched her marry the man of her dreams.

28 of 48 Gina Esposito

“We had an outdoor ceremony on a cliff overlooking the ocean,” says Yanique. “It was absolutely breathtaking. Everything else was fairly traditional, and we tried to keep it simple and short.”

29 of 48 Gina Esposito

“I was very nervous at the altar, but I felt so much love coming from my husband that he calmed me down with just his stare,” reveals Yanique. “I felt like he was hugging me with his eyes.”

30 of 48 Gina Esposito

“My husband and I opted to write our own vows and have a unity sand ceremony so we could truly express how we feel,” Yanique explains. “I wanted to incorporate Sam’s two children into my vows so they would know I was not just marrying their father, but them as well.”

31 of 48 Gina Esposito

Yanique and Samuel seal the deal with a passionate kiss.

32 of 48 Gina Esposito

Mr. and Mrs. Bell take a moment to celebrate after the ceremony.

33 of 48 Gina Esposito

“I did most of the planning,” Yanique admits. “Although, Sam was very much involved.”

34 of 48 Gina Esposito

“My wedding day was fun, stress free and happy. If I could relive it again, I would, and I would not change a thing,” says Yanique.

35 of 48 Gina Esposito

“Since the villa itself was so beautiful, we were able to capture all of our wedding photos there without ever having to leave,” Yanique says. “It was perfect because we were able to take pictures on the grass as well as on the cliff.”

36 of 48 Gina Esposito

Samuel and Yanique’s guest visited a custom seating chart to find out which table they were to dine at that evening.

37 of 48 Gina Esposito

“My husband actually was in charge of the music selection, and I was very surprised by his choices,” jokes Yanique. “We ended up entering the reception to Jay –Z and Alicia Keys’ ‘Empire State of Mind.’”

38 of 48 Gina Esposito

“Of course, I need to add in some bling factor, so I purchased napkin rings with a little bling to give some sparkle to the tables,” says Yanique. “It was perfect.”

39 of 48 Gina Esposito

For their wedding flowers, Yanique requested all roses be used, and they were sprayed a pretty fuchsia to match the wedding colors.

40 of 48 Gina Esposito

For their first dance as husband and wife, Yanique and Samuel danced to romantic classic “You” by Jesse Powell. “I absolutely love that song and knew from the first time I heard it that I wanted it to be the first dance song.”

41 of 48 Gina Esposito

“One of my favorite wedding memories was the toasts,” says the bride. “The best man gave one of the best toasts I have ever seen taken place at a wedding; everyone was in tears from laughing so hard. It was hysterical!”

42 of 48 Gina Esposito

“We knew since it was a destination wedding our guest count would be on the lower side, but we actually had about 70 guests at our wedding and it was the perfect size,” the bride tells us. “I would not have wanted anything larger. We were able to party and spend time with everyone without feeling overwhelmed.”

43 of 48 Gina Esposito

Yanique and her mom hit the dance floor together. What's sweeter than this?

44 of 48 Gina Esposito

“We are not big cake people, so choosing the cake was one of the easiest parts of the wedding planning,” explains Yanique. “We chose to have a three-tier wedding cake with red velvet and cheesecake mix at the bottom, vanilla with strawberry filling at the top and chocolate mousse in the middle. The cake was delicious, and of course, I am Jamaican so my mom was sure to have Jamaican black cake as well which was a hit with all of our guests.”

45 of 48 Gina Esposito

Happy groom Samuel really cut a rug!

46 of 48 Gina Esposito

“The fireworks show was a special surprise for our guests and for us,” Yanique explains. “When we first started planning,  I begged and pleaded with my husband to have them and he gave in. However,  a few weeks prior to the wedding he decided they cost too much, so he axed it. By this time, my wedding planners knew how badly I wanted the fireworks show, so they threw it in as a surprise to us.”

47 of 48 Gina Esposito

“The fireworks show completely made my night,” says Yanique. “It was beautiful.”

48 of 48 Gina Esposito

The happy couple honeymooned at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana for seven days. Did you enjoy Yanique and Samuel’s spectacular island wedding style? Tell us your favorite details below and leave your best wishes for the newlyweds. Want to see your wedding featured in Bridal Bliss? Email us now.


# Weddings


# Weddings