Christine and Blaine were married at Grand Velas Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico on March 15. The bride wore a strapless sweetheart a-line wedding gown with a ruched bodice, accessorized with her hair in a curly sideswept ponytail, jeweled headband, and a pair of glitter platform pumps, while the groom wore a tan suit with a white button-up shirt, accessorized with no tie. She carried a bouquet of roses, carnations, and lillies. The bridesmaids wore high-low hemline dresses, and the groomsmen wore an orange button-up shirt and khaki pants. Fun fact: they were their kids! Guests were greeted with a wooden sign that said, “shoe valet” to encourage them to go barefoot in the sand for the ceremony at sunset. Each sat rattan chairs atop bamboo rugs as they witnessed the exchanging of vows underneath a chuppah draped with fabric. Once it was sealed with a kiss, it was official! Hugs were the first thing in order before the processional and after the recessional, of course. The reception followed shortly thereafter on the Zen Grand Pool Terrace. Tables were decorated with turquoise linens, orange napkins, and lanterns lit with candles. A salad and entree were served for dinner then a mini cake, topped with skulls, was cut for dessert. Dancing was held on an LED panel floor. And at the end of the night, some even jumped into the water!
Deborah and Laurence were married at The Ritz Carlton in Cancun, Mexico on November 27 — right after Thanksgiving! “The warm location, and the outstanding customer service of the hotel” made them know it was the venue for them! Who could resist that? The bride wore an ivory sweetheart a-line wedding gown with a ruffled skirt, accessorized with a sash tied in a bow, while the groom wore a black suit and tie. “Walking down the aisle barefoot with the sand between my toes . . . seeing my future life partner, family and close friends in front of this breathtaking ocean view,” Deborah said. “It was a moment of joy and tremendous gratitude with God for allowing everything I envisioned to be materialized.” The ceremony was strictly barefoot! Approximately 25 guests sat on comfy ottoman poufs, aisles were lined with wooden signs that displayed verses such as “love never fails” and “it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily ignored, it keeps no record of wrongs” from 1 Corinthians 13. After the traditional Jewish breaking of the glass, the nuptials were sealed with a kiss under the chuppah. Dinner and dancing followed inside the ballroom. Farm tables were decorated with lit lanterns and candles, continent table names, and lots and lots of rose petals. The newlyweds’ favorite moment? “The song I wrote and sang for Larry,” she said. Hangover kits attached to bottles of water served as favors, and a grand exit of sparklers ended the night.
What was the one thing about your venue that made you know it was the one?
It was a small, intimate resort with a beautiful, clean beach and a pier. With all of those aspects, we knew we had the right venue.
Which details from your wedding were your favorites?
One favorite was the ideal location of our ceremony on the beach. We were able to have the wedding party walk through a vine covered gazebo out onto the beach. My big concern as the bride was to ensure that my groom didn’t see me until I was walking down the aisle to him. The gazebo was the perfect barrier to make sure he didn’t see me a moment before!
Another favorite detail was the sand ceremony we did after exchanging our vows. The pouring of two contrasting colored sands into one vase was symbolic to us. We were both raised by single moms and wanted them to be a part of the ceremony. We asked them to take part in this ceremony to symbolize the blending of our families.
If you could offer one piece of advice for other couples planning their wedding, what would it be?
Make sure you scout out locations in person before booking a venue when planning a destination wedding. Pictures can be deceiving and going in person is the only way that you can truly get a feel for the venue. Another reason we chose Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita was because of the exceptional service they provided while we were there during our site visit. We felt confident that they would take great care of us and our guests throughout our wedding weekend.
I would also highly recommend utilizing your trusted vendors. We booked del Sol as our photographers purely based on their exquisite work, but they also ended up being our best resource for recommendations for all aspects regarding our time in Mexico. Their team was able to recommend the make-up/hair vendors we used (which we loved) and had endless recommendations for us during our planning period. It was an unexpected bonus to booking them.
Give us the one moment in your wedding day you can’t stop thinking about.
We loved the way we set up our table for the reception. We always knew we wanted a small, cozy group of guests for our big day. Instead of separating everyone during the dinner portion of the reception, we set up one large family style table so we could all sit together. The location was perfect as well, on the property’s garden section overlooking the beach, pier and spa pool. It was truly the picture perfect location for our special day.
1. What was the one thing about your venue that made you know it was the one?
We both love great food, so initially our venue’s reputation for amazing food is what piqued our interest. After seeing the beautiful view at the ceremony site and the beachfront area for the reception, we knew that this venue was “the one.” It was gorgeous and low-key at the same time, which was exactly what we wanted. We were treated wonderfully by staff of Hacienda and really couldn’t have made a better choice!
2. Which four details from your wedding were your favorites?
1. The music-We had a trio for the ceremony, and a mariachi band for the reception. I walked done the aisle to “Sweet Child of Mine,” and the recessional was “Home” by Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeroes. The trio did such a great job of making this fun but still classy. We the song “Home” because it is so fitting to our life. Dave and I will travel around the world for his career, so home will be “whereever I’m with you (him).” The mariachi band was amazing, and the perfect touch for the fun celebration we wanted our wedding to be!
2. The flowers– Oh my, what can I say about the flowers? They were amazing! The tables at the reception were my favorite. It was like an absolute dream. The flowers were so beautiful, and the places settings were so perfect. I adored the napkin and flowers at the place settings. There is one photo of the tables with the ocean in the background that is to die for! My bouquet was amazing as well!
3. The lace aisle runner– This detail gave my wedding a little bit of the vintage feel I wanted. I had a hard time deciding between a beach or vintage style, and Amy, our event designer, did an unbelievable job at incorporating both!
4. One last thing– Amy surprised us with a caricature artist at our cocktail hour and reception. It is definitely not something I would have originally thought to include, but it was so great. He was very professional and really kept people highly entertained as well as giving them a memento to take home!
3. Give us the one moment in your wedding day you can’t stop thinking about.
Walking down the aisle with my mother, who I love dearly. The photos of that are absolutely priceless to me. Also, seeing David at the end of the aisle smiling at me and having no control over the giant smile on my face in return! He held my hand the entire ceremony and for some reason that sticks in my mind too.