Life’s most wonderful moments often happen unexpectedly, and the best love stories always contain an element of surprise.
Emina Cunmulaj was vacationing in the Caribbean, enjoying dinner with her best friend and his family, when she glanced over at a table on the other side of the room. Immediately, she noticed Sam Nazarian—a handsome stranger staring back at her. “I never believed in love at first sight until that very moment,” she describes. “We began to talk, and spoke every day for the next several months.” Despite having to maintain a long-distance relationship in the beginning, Emina and Sam’s love quickly blossomed.
“SURROUNDED BY SO MUCH LOVE FROM FAMILY AND FRIENDS MADE THE NIGHT SO MAGICAL.”
Five years into their courtship, the couple was living in Las Vegas and celebrating Emina’s 30th birthday. Sam had flown in her sister and friends, and Emina was whisked into a car for a surprise girls’ night out. Rather anticlimactically, the car ended up bringing the girls back to the house. “I was a little disappointed,” Emina laughs. When she went inside, however, she was greeted by a lively group of family, friends and a private chef. In front of everyone, Sam got down on one knee and popped the question.
A lavish affair in Punta Mita, Mexico, was soon in the works. “We wanted a destination wedding, but we didn’t want everyone to have to spend the whole day traveling,” Emina explains. “My husband had gone there tenplus years earlier, and he was in love with the place.” Emina also spent much of the planning process traveling with wedding planner Sharon Sacks and her team to the location, and decided the wedding would take place on the 18th hole of the golf course, right between the St. Regis and the Four Seasons.
From its inception, the wedding celebration was intended to be a memorable experience that would take place over the course of four days. On the first day, Sam and Emina’s guests arrived at the St. Regis for an all-white party. Every guest and staff member in attendance wore white, and the revelers danced the night away. An exceptional male and female DJ duo provided music, and a special performance was given by fire dancers.
The second night was kicked off with an elegant, romantic dinner at the Four Seasons Punta Mita, right next door to the St. Regis. With the dinner party being on a Friday night, Shabbat, the wedding party celebrated the beginning of the Sabbath as well. Once again, a late night of dancing followed—this time, to the music of the Gipsy Kings.
“Saturday was the wedding, and a day I will remember for the rest of my life,” says the bride, who wore a one-of-a-kind couture gown that was designed and hand-embroidered in Israel. With musical artist Stanaj performing a live rendition of “All of Me” for the newlyweds’ first dance, Emina reminisces, “Looking into my man’s eyes and being surrounded by so much love from family and friends made the night so magical. He gave me the wedding of my dreams.”
Location: The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, Punta Mita, Mexico; Planner: Sacks Productions, Calabasas, CA; Event Design, Furnishings, Draping, Linen: Revelry Event Designers, Los Angeles, CA; Floral Design: Empty Vase, Los Angeles, CA; Wedding Dress: Galia Lahav; Groom’s Attire: Tom Ford