Today’s post features a ceremony in a unique glass enclosed chapel overlooking the ocean and a fun reception in a to-die-for gazebo! This is the first of my new weekly Real Destination Wedding features. And so I thought it was fitting to start out with the destination wedding that served as the inspiration for this entire website – my very own Cancun Wedding!
My big day was photographed by the ahhhhmazing Morgan Lynn, an award-winning member of the Wedding Photo Journalist Association. I’m also proud to say she was recently named one of the World’s Top 10 Photographers by American Photo Magazine! She did such a fantastic job capturing our day, that it was really tough to choose the handful of images I’ll share here. So without further ado, here’s the story of my real destination wedding.
I was never one of those girls who had her entire wedding planned out from the age of 5. When I got engaged, I was starting with a clean slate. I wanted everything to be a reflection of who we were as a couple at that moment in time. We love traveling to tropical beaches, eating good food and dancing to our heart’s content – hence the reason we chose Cancun. Our style is modern, sleek and minimalist which would be reflected in the decor. And we are obsessed with Cancun’s stunning white sand and turquoise beaches – the inspiration for our color palette.
But what defines us more than anything else, is our strong ties to family and friends. That’s why we didn’t overlook any details when it came to making our guests feel special from the moment they stepped off the plane. On the first day, we greeted everyone with a welcome bag full of local goodies and a welcome cocktail reception. The night before the wedding, we treated everyone to a rehearsal dinner on the beach at sunset, complete with a three-course meal, an open bar, and an unbelievable fire dancing show. If I had to choose a theme for my destination wedding, I’d say it was all about the intertwining of two lives and two families.
We exchanged vows in the glass-enclosed chapel of the Gran Caribe Real (the only one of its kind allowed to perform Catholic Ceremonies in the area).
In keeping with the theme of appreciating family & friends, the first page of the ceremony program had a note thanking everyone for all the laughter, tears and joy they’ve shared throughout our lives. The front cover featured a custom logo of our first names wrapped around the initial of our new last name – a symbol of our new intertwined lives. I also used that logo on a custom aisle runner, shot glasses and the napkins on our tequila bar. I’ll get to that in a bit:)
After the ceremony, we headed over to Le Meridien (now called Sandos) for some portrait shots, cocktail hour, and a fun reception in the oceanfront gazebo.
Our guestbooks were a hit because we made them all about, well…our guests. We encouraged them to take pictures of themselves against the stunning backdrop using an instant camera we provided. They inserted their pictures on a blank page along with their well-wishes. Not only did everyone have fun posing for pics, but we have an awesome keepsake that we’ll cherish forever.
You know what they say- when in Rome, do as the Romans do! So it’s only fitting that when in Mexico, you drink Tequila! Our special tequila tasting bar included a variety of tequilas, chili powder, lime, salt and a serape (traditional Mexican cloth) for an added touch! The reception called for some more goodies for our guests. The women were treated to a basket full of flip-flops in all colors and sizes. And the men were treated to some authentic Cuban cigars straight from the humidor.
I had to jump in on the action because hey…it’s my wedding and I smoke (or pretend to) if I want to!
As day turned to night, we cut the cake and enjoyed a few memorable speeches.
As you can imagine after kicking off our shoes, having a few tequila shots, and smoking cigars, we had nothing left to do but hit the dance floor…and we did. In a big way.
Check out our trash the dress photo session on the beach the next day at sunset!
Photographer: Morgan Lynn Photography
Bridal Gown: Demetrios
Groom’s Tux: Men’s Warehouse
Shoes: Nina Shoes
Bridesmaid Dresses: Eden Bridals and Bari Jay
Ceremony: Panama Jack Resort (formerly known as Gran Caribe Real)
Reception: Sandos (formerly known as Le Meridien)
Hair & Makeup: Fernando Fuentes from The Makeup Pros