Many of us have dreamt of a beach wedding, the thought exchanging our vows under a blue sky with our toes in the sand and drinking piña coladas with our besties sounds like paradise. Planning a wedding long distance is not easy, and quite often means cutting your guest list drastically. However Cara and Steve were determined to have the perfect tropical wedding, and over 80 of their nearest and dearest came! (they are kinda popular!) This wedding was an absolute blast, from the mariachi bands and wandering the streets of Playa Del Carmen to the late night dancing under the stars. I spent the first day wandering through town and along the beach taking in the view and snapping away with my camera. I even tagged along for the rehearsal dinner down the road, shared chips and salsa with the family and toasted with Tecate beer (the band leader even grabbed me out of my chair for a dance!). I met up with the ladies at the salon the next morning, and when Cara stepped into her dress we all took a deep breath… she was just STUNNING! It was so enjoyable arranging their first look, and although we were battling a serious heat wave and record humidity, the wedding party was amazingly patient as we strolled through town for photos. I have to say the results are pretty awesome! Cara and Steve have two of the biggest hearts, they not only love each other to the moon and back but the love for their friends and family is overflowing, and it spilled into every part of this multi-day celebration. Capturing photos in a beautiful place is one thing, but I feel beyond privileged to have witnessed such a surreal wedding… pure joy from start to finish. Cara and Steve- ¡Salud!
WARNING: I have a lot of photos I want to share with you, so this is a LONG blog post! (be sure to check out some more info from Cara and Steve at the end)
Time for the rehearsal dinner, Mexican style!
I was forced to dance!
Then a little entertainment back at the resort.
Ok, cat’s out of the bag. Yes Cara, I hung your dress from a very high place for the perfect photo opp! (don’t worry, it didn’t fall)
SJP shoes… yes please!
Steve was looking sharp!
I love the this photo from their first look.
The twin ushers were on bag duty.
Probably my most favorite bridesmaid photo ever.
It was so hot!
Cara had a photo of their dog Blue hanging from her bouquet.
The grandmothers were the flower girls… best idea ever!!
Time to party!
Cara and Steve, my bags are packed and I am ready to go back to Mexico with you anytime!
Hair and makeup: SpaAzul at the Royal in Playa del Carmen
Florist: the Royal
Ceremony location: Pelicanos Beach at the Royal
Reception location: Central Garden at the Royal
Event Planner: Onsite: Denys Madrigal, Offsite: Alejandra Parra both provided by the Royal
Cake: the Royal
Caterer: the Royal
Dress: Katie May
Accessories: Veil (something borrowed), Sarah Jessica Parker shoes
Suit/Men’s accessories: Hugo Boss
DJ/Band: DJ Doremixx
First Dance: “I Will” by The Beatles
Parent dances: Mother Daughter dance: “You Are the Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me” by Gladys Knight and the Pips
Mother Son dance: “Holiday Road” by Lindsey Buckingham
What was the most memorable moment of your day?
Cara and Steve: Our first look. After spending the morning apart while getting ready it was so exciting and special having a few moments together before the day took off.
What was your favorite detail?
Cara and Steve: There were many but having our Grandmas be the flower girls and my little brother walking me down the aisle was pretty awesome. Our first dance together and our first dances with our Moms were also unforgettable.
Funniest memory from your wedding day?
Cara and Steve: We have a lot of funny memories since we were lucky enough to have our guests in Mexico with us for days! Our friends/twin brother ushers showing up in matching flower pattern pants was awesome. Also, making Steve take his tie off at the last minute so we could use it for the garter toss (since I forgot the real one) was crazy! And seeing everyone bust a move on the light-up dance floor was so great.
Any advice for future brides/grooms?
Cara and Steve: Delegate and ask for help. And just try to take it all in and HAVE FUN because the day goes by so quickly.
If you could do it all over, would you change anything?
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Cara and Steve: We did not honeymoon yet and are hoping to do some traveling this Fall, possibly to Europe!
Having a destination wedding in Mexico was a bit daunting at first because it was asking so much from our guests. The fact that we had 81 guests join us still blows our minds and we feel incredibly lucky! Looking around at the wedding/reception and seeing the faces of the people that we love and are closest to, knowing they traveled hundreds of miles to be there, was an absolutely overwhelming and incredible feeling. We are forever grateful to them for making the trip and it would not have been the same had they not been with us.
Pre-wedding info (a little history):
How did you meet? (How long have you known each other?)
We met in college and had known each other for 10 years when we got married!
When did you know he/she was “the one”?
Not sure if there was a specific moment for either of us, but after growing together and spending our entire post-college city lives together we couldn’t imagine our lives apart.
Describe the proposal.
Steve proposed the weekend before Christmas at our home. We had both just gotten home from work on a Friday and he surprised me. It was such a fun night, we went to dinner and then met friends in the neighborhood for drinks to celebrate! Since Christmas Eve was in a couple of days we were able to celebrate with our families right away which made it even more special.
Five words that best describe your significant other:
C: Loyal, thoughtful, funny, generous, and handsome!
S: hot, attractive, kind, loving, and warm