I adore a good love story, especially when it comes to us in the form of a breathtaking soiree from The Dazzling Details and Michelle Turner Photography.  That’s a duo who knows a thing or two about pretty, pretty weddings… and when you add in a couple with one of the cutest tales ever (beautiful exchange student meets dashing gentlemen), it ups the lovely quotient about 1,000 percent.  From the stunning La Mansion Vallarta setting to the uber-happy faces to the pretty pink hues, it’s a destination soiree that will leave you smiling for your entire work day.  See it all right here.

From the Bride… Fernando and I first met way back in 2000, when I was an exchange student in his hometown of Mazatlan, Mexico. We became close friends and stayed in touch regularly throughout the years. Fast forward to 2007 – Fernando was working in Puerto Vallarta, and I thought that would be the perfect opportunity to take a vacation down there, since I had never been before. We both realized we had romantic feelings for each other during that trip, and after a few subsequent years of long distance dating, Fernando proposed on Christmas Day of 2010. Having both relocated to Philadelphia, we started thinking about where we would have our wedding.

We chose Puerto Vallarta because it is where we fell in love and shared a lot of our special “first” moments as a couple – first date, first kiss, first “I love you.” We knew we wanted a wedding location that was a destination for both families, to make it fair since everybody was so far apart. We also wanted to keep it in Mexico and ideally near to the beach. I always knew I wanted an intimate wedding, so renting a private villa for our reception made perfect sense, and I fell in love with Casa Garza Blanca (now renamed La Mansion) when I saw it.

I envisioned a wedding that was utterly romantic: soft, feminine, and whimsical. I also wanted to incorporate a beach theme somehow, without doing something typical of your average destination wedding. My final vision ended up being “vintage seaside” – complete with nautical compasses serving as escort carts and favors and a message-in-a-bottle style guestbook. I also wanted to incorporate both of our unique cultures and make sure everyone felt welcome, despite the language barriers between our families.

The Dazzling Details did an amazing job fulfilling my vision. The day was perfect, despite the fact that we almost had a run-in with Hurricane Bud. The Dazzling Details made sure we had a contingency plan and rented tents which allowed us to still keep the reception outside. We had a light drizzle during most of the evening, but I actually thought the rain made the wedding even more unique and romantic. Every detail was beautiful, from the candles and soft lighting, to the bilingual menus, amazing food, and the gorgeous cake. Local touches like a cigar roller and a churro cart added a Mexican touch that our American guests adored. We were even able to catch a brief glimpse of the sunset despite the clouds. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and I think the way our wedding day turned out – rain and all – was just how it was supposed to be for it to be perfect for us. As they say in Spanish, “Novia mojada, novia afortunada!”

Wedding Photography: Michelle Turner Photography | Wedding Venue: La Mansion Vallarta | Wedding Coordination, Design + Florals: The Dazzling Details | Catering Service: Plush Catering | Wedding Cake: Charme Reposteria | Wedding Dress: Watters, Cabo | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Veil: Paloma Blanca (pre-owned via Ebay) | Bride’s Earrings: Nadri Jewelry Group | Bridesmaids Dresses: J.Crew | Groom’s Attire: Express | Cigar roller: Sr. Leopoldo Ponce | Authentic Churro Cart: Sr. Julio | Fireworks Presentation: Sr. Victor Zagal | DJ: Sonido Extasis

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