I have been waiting for soooo long to devour every inch of this gorgeous wedding and it has fully lived up to my south of the border dreams. Tori, the ravishing bride, is half of the fab duo behind Sitting in a Tree Events so we knew before we ever laid eyes on this Sayulita beauty that it was going to be good – like pinch us, we’re in destination wedding dreamland kind of good. Sarah Yates was on site to capture all of the amazing hand-crafted details and so many dreamy moments. All in a days work for this rock star photographer. There seriously were far too many swoon-worthy bits so you must, must check out the gallery for more Mexico goodness.
And that’s not all lovelies, the sweet little churro on top is this perfect film by Austin Hendrix Productions (the groom!). Talk about a wedding power couple…
From the Bride… Margaritas, fish tacos and a vision of vintage Mexico inspired our Sayulita Wedding. We were in search of a town where time slowed and fishing boats, surfers and dogs littered the sand. Nothing too perfect or pristine – a Mexico that is still full of authentic charm, dirt roads, women making churros in the town square, lush landscaping and not a tour bus in sight. An unconventional destination wedding in a place people wouldn’t normally go, yet would fall madly in love with once they arrived. A place of memories tied distinctly to our union. We fell in love with the idea of Mexico years ago on a trip for a friend’s wedding and knew we would someday be married there.
Our love of all things vintage inspired everything from our handkerchief invites to my bouquet and the boutonnieres. We spent a month designing and printing our wedding invitations on fabric with a home printer, an iron and some freezer paper. We wanted our invitations to arrive in the mail looking like small packages of love letters. I collected stamps on Ebay for envelopes, while at the same time scouring antique stores for vintage brooches for my bouquet. Once I had 60 on hand I spent 2 days hand-wiring the brooches like flowers to create the bouquet. I added photos of our two dogs to a locket since they couldn’t be with us in Mexico. The bout’s were created from stray brooches and fabric and then each female in our family was gifted with a brooch on the morning of the wedding to keep. My sister tied hers to her bouquet.
I found my dress hanging in a Nordstrom Rack (after purchasing a glamorous Karl Lagerfeld in the beginning stages) and had two of the same dresses combined and reconstructed adding torn chiffon to the train to create something whimsical and girly. I fell in love with the tea-dyed lace and antique color on the dress and that in turn inspired the rest of the wedding. From that point on I began to tea-dye absolutely everything (the lace on my veil, the paper goods and gift tags) to create an aged appearance. I really wanted it all to look like it had washed up on the shores of Sayulita years before.
Because Mexico is such a colorful place and Villa Amor was so beautiful, we wanted to avoid clichés (minus the sombreros purchased for our photo booth) and anything that would overpower where we were. Small vintage touches and personalized accents were most important. My parents carried two huge duffel bags down full of oatmeal burlap for the tables. My sister hauled 3 vintage cake stands and the cake toppers. Austin and I had bags full of vases, napkins and paper goods. We cut yards of ribbon ahead of time and wound them in another duffel bag. Every member of our family played a huge role in bringing down all the elements that would make up the design of our wedding. It looked like we were moving to Mexico, not just having a wedding there.
My mom spent a week sewing napkins from fabrics collected over time. Keeping with the look of the bride and groom on our invitations, my mom made sketches of each of our 60 guests, which we then printed on muslin and sewed with gold thread onto tea-dyed hangtags. Each one was unique. Itty bitty portraits for our friends. We printed and sewed for days straight; killing one sewing machine with the stiff, tea-dyed paper. After buying another, Austin actually stayed up into the wee hours to finish the project. I’ll never forget watching him sew all those escort cards at 2 AM! What a fiancé! We tried to keep cohesion throughout the wedding: in the use of fabric (handkerchief invites, handmade napkins and vintage handkerchiefs that were handed our to our guests during our ceremony), the brooches (the bouquet, the boutonnieres and given as gifts to all our family members), and the tea dying of all the paper goods. We were after a vintage love story—and hopefully that’s how it translated.
Having a destination wedding you really have no idea what to expect. Everything is based on photos and relies on the expertise of the people you stumble upon to steer you in the right direction. The thing about destination weddings is they have you as a captive audience and you really only have so many choices. Sourcing things from Mexico via the internet was nearly impossible and our way of gaining some sort of control was to carry on as much personalization as possible in a few suitcases. With that said, having a destination wedding is the best decision we ever made. What you give up in control you gain in time and memories with your family and friends. Amazing, unforgettable, pinch-yourself memories.
Despite some difficulties, Villa Amor was everything we wanted. It felt like a place lost in time; villas nestled in hillsides, hidden doors and winding staircases. Our ceremony was held under trees overlooking the ocean, followed by a cocktail hour with mariachis and margaritas. A 200-step climb up the crumbling and twisting brick staircases led to the reception – a breathtaking cobblestone plateau overlooking all of Sayulita and the ocean. There was something so dramatic about our guests grumbling and huffing and puffing up those stairs in heels and then arriving to this secret spot nestled in the hills where we would dance the night away. And that we did; DJ Michael Antonia is truly the best, and had all 60 guests on their feet, shaking and singing along at full volume. Our friends and family left proclaiming: Best. Wedding. Ever.
Our wedding felt so full of love, friendship and emotion. And that’s what we had hoped for in dragging everyone to Sayulita. Margaritas, mariachis, tacos, some good surf, and a place our guests won’t stop talking about. A dream destination wedding in a very magical place. And we’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.
Wedding Photography: Sarah Yates / Wedding Venue: Villa Amor / Event Design + Floral Design + Paper Goods: Sitting in a Tree (The Bride) / Event Coordination: Myka Haddad of Sitting in a Tree / DJ: Michael Antonia of The Flashdance / Wedding Cinematography: Austin Hendrix Productions / Wedding Dress: Nordstrom Rack (Bride’s Custom Design Using Two Dresses) / Wedding Veil: Mother of the Bride / Reception Dress: Haute Hippie / Floral Headpiece: Untamed Petals / Maid of Honor’s Dress: Vera Wang (With Handmade Flowers) / Groom’s Attire: Calvin Klein / Additional Images: Destination I Do Magazine