What’s wonderful about a destination wedding? It’s a celebration and vacation wrapped up in one! Before and after exchanging their “I do’s” in beautiful Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Celia and Stephan Cooper and their invited guests took full advantage of every luxurious amenity that Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana had to offer. With its picture-perfect beach, world-class spa, shimmering freeform pool, and huge selection of dining options (a whopping 15 restaurants and 20 bars!), even movie nights under the stars, this adults only resort provided the perfect backdrop for the couple’s celebration of love and Trinidadian roots.
About the couple
Bride’s Name: Celia Manswell
Bride’s Hometown/City: Ajax, Ontario
Bride’s Occupation: Sales Director
Groom’s Name: Stephan Manswell
Groom’s Hometown/City: Ajax, Ontario
Groom’s Occupation: Supervisor
Describe the couple, how did they meet and what do they do?
Celia and Stephan met on Christmas Eve in 2016 after “swiping right” on the ever-so-famous dating app, Tinder. Stephan impulsively decided to ask Celia to join him for New Year’s Eve (bold move!) and the rest, as they say, is history. They share many common interests. including their love of family, track and field, travel, cars, fashion, and of course, each other.
Born to Trinidadian parents, Celia grew up in Ontario, Canada, specifically the Toronto area. She went on to pursue her Bachelors Degree in Communications Studies at the University of Windsor on a track and field scholarship, later moving to South Florida for a job in the media industry. Celia is now Mom to Ishan (20 years old), Christian (15 years old), Arielle (11 years old), and Angelique (10 years old), and resides in Ajax, Ontario. She works in the SaaS industry as a Sales Leader for Docebo, freelances as a marketing consultant, and runs an online jewelry business which she hopes to turn into her own brand. In her spare time, Celia enjoys making jewelry, entertaining family and friends, writing, travel, gardening, interior design, and most of all, Soca music. Her new groom, Stephan “Curt” Manswell, was born in San Fernando, Trinidad, and moved to Canada when he was just six years old where he grew up as the oldest of four siblings. Stephan went to Central Technical High School, where he started his track and field career and made the Canadian World Junior Team at 19, then moving on to study architecture at Humber College. He’s proud to be the father of Kadeem and Tyrone and grandfather to Serai. Stephan has worked at Costco for more than 27 years and is currently a Front End Supervisor, but in his free time he enjoys making music, golfing, working out, wood working, and family time.
Did this wedding incorporate any special history, hobbies, or passions that are special to the couple?
Celia was very intentional with the vendors she chose to work with and include in their big day, ensuring that black creators, stylists, and couples were represented throughout.
The wedding was also largely inspired by island influences, as the couple both have deep roots in Trinidad. From the first minute of the day to the crazy-fun one hour Hora Loca show at their reception, “party” and “dancing” were two words constantly used throughout the planning process.
Describe the feel of the wedding day.
Their wedding day was full of love and celebration. Though the weather didn’t cooperate as hoped and the ceremony was moved indoors, it didn’t stop Celia, Stephan, and their guests from enjoying the day to the fullest. The reception looked a bit clearer as the clouds parted and the couple and their wedding party took advantage of the moment for some epic nighttime photos!
Why did the couple choose their wedding venue?
The couple chose Punta Cana as they had been there twice before, and had great memories. As both of them have Trinidadian roots, Dominican food is very similar and they know how to throw a good party!
Celia and Stephan wanted something fun and different for their wedding, and they also wanted their guests to enjoy some great seafood. The island’s Jellyfish Restaurant was the perfect venue for their dream tropical wedding, and even designed a special menu for the groom so he could eat all the seafood his heart desired!
What did the couple and their wedding party wear? Did it have any significance?
This stunning couple was undoubtedly the center of attention in bright white.
Bridal look: Gown: Fit and flare, romantic meets sexy and fashion-forward style 1305 from Martina Liana. 3D organza elements enhanced the overall floral design, intermingling with various beadwork and sequin details for a rich shimmer effect. It had stunning lace appliqués throughout the gown to add a dimensional element to the sparkle. The plunging neckline and thin straps mirror the plunging low back and contouring sheer sides for a fresh, modern feel–complimented perfectly by the lengthy, scalloped train.
Bridal Shoes: Betsy Johnson
Suit/Ensemble: White Tuxedo, Mendocino
Shoes: Christian Louboutin
What accessories did you wear? Custom
Wedding bands: Custom
Their wedding party dressed in shades of coral and pink, which complemented the tropical background of Bavaro Beach perfectly.
What was their colour palette and why was it chosen?
The couple chose fuchsia, coral, green, and yellow to play up their tropical theme. With both the couple and the ceremony archway sporting white, they wanted everything else to be bright and bold! We love it.
What was the couples favourite moment during their wedding?
When I entered the hall with my brother on my arm I felt nothing but love in the room and I immediately felt so overwhelmed with gratitude that we were so fortunate that we both had come so far and we were now starting an amazing new chapter together with such a strong foundation.
Wedding Day Details
The first dance: Hold Me – Whitney Houston & Teddy Pendergrass
Wedding and Travel Planner: LUXE Destination Weddings
Venue and Catering: Jellyfish Punta Cana
Décor and Floral: Jellyfish Punta Cana
Hair and Makeup: Damian Gerardi Cuevas
Can you tell us a bit about your experience working with LUXE Destination Weddings?
Our wedding planner was amazing. She made the vision come to life! Thanks Tiffany! Thanks also Christy who helped us decide on a great location and honeymoon recommendations!