There is nothing, nothing, nothing better than walking down that aisle with your eyes locked on the person you are about to marry. Especially if that aisle is made of sand and you can hear the waves subtly crashing in the background. We’re suckers for romance here, but romance AND a beach get us every single time. Captured by Callaway Gable Photography, this wedding has the romance, has the beach, and has the undeniable style we just LOVE. Click here for more!

David is a recent business school graduate who started his own business, and Melissa is an economics PhD student. How else do an outgoing Jewish boy who grew up on a kibbutz and a bookish first-generation American girl meet, but in college! We love traveling and doing outdoor activities together, and David proposed underwater on a scuba diving excursion in Maui. A “stunt ring” in a heart-shaped shell had been strategically placed on a ledge about 40 feet underwater, and Melissa immediately noticed it (the ribbon gave it away).

Melissa’s family is from the Caribbean, and she and David love, love, love a great beach vacation. We wanted a place that was naturally beautiful but easily accessible for our guests. The Riviera Maya, between Cancun and Playa del Carmen along Mexico’s east coast, is exactly that. We chose our hotel, Ceiba del Mar, because it is physically beautiful (it’s owned by a Mexican architect who incorporated lots of local artistry and natural landscaping), the staff is incredibly friendly and competent, and it was just the right size for us (about 85 rooms, and we had about 155 guests).

For colors, the beach itself was our inspiration — the muted gold of a handful of sand, the coral blush of a shell, and the brown of a washed-up piece of driftwood. We wanted the wedding overall to feel very tropical and relaxed, but in a sophisticated, modern way. That’s why we stuck to a pretty simple palette, and incorporated sketches of sea life into the designs of many elements (our invitations, ceremony program, reception place cards and table numbers).

In addition to being beautiful, we really wanted our celebration to be personal and a celebration of bringing together two families and cultures (Haitian and Jewish), plus friends from all over the world. We designed our own ceremony, and family members played all the roles, from officiant to violinist. We chose to incorporate the most meaningful elements of each of our faith traditions, including signing a ketubah and breaking the glass. We honored the memories of loved ones who couldn’t be there by placing flowers on a seat in the front row, and Melissa wore the wedding ring of her deceased uncle on a necklace.

At the reception, the table names were beach towns we have been to together, from Malibu, CA to Goa, India. Our wedding cake flavor was rum, in honor of Melissa’s favorite — her aunt’s Haitian rum cake. We also gave the DJ a very eclectic playlist, which included everything from the horah to reggae.

Photographer: Callaway Gable / Cinematography: Reel Tributes / Floral Designer: Eventos Euforia / Event Planning & Design: Tropical Wedding Experts / Invitation Designer: Hammerpress / Cake & Desserts: Ceiba del Mar / Wedding Gown Designer: Casablanca / Bridesmaid’s Dress Designer: David’s Bridal / Groom’s suit tailor: Diwan Saheb / Wedding bands and engagement ring: Santisi & Bove / Venue: Ceiba del Mar