So, you might have seen this next beauty in the latest edition of Destination Weddings by Martha Stewart but we loved it so much we HAD to see more. So the incredible photographer behind the day, Kate Headley, along with the drop dead gorgeous bride who also happens to be photographer Abby Jiu, gathered up some of their favorite details and sent them our way…just for you lucky ladies and gents. If you are desperate for even more, you can click right here to see the full spread. But beware, it’s so insanely beautiful it might make you rethink every wedding decision you’ve made thus far!
I had never even been to Puerto Vallarta before going there for our wedding. I completely trusted in our wedding coordinators, Kristin and Michelle of Dazzling Details (they are awesome!) to plan our wedding to perfection. We got ready at Dreams Puerto Vallarta, the resort where the bride and groom and guests stayed. And then headed to Casa Garza Blanca, a 7,200 square foot, private villa rented for the night of the wedding. I remember driving over there and seeing the villa for the first time. I had seen it before in pictures, but never in person.
Kristin and Michelle did such an amazing job planning so many intricate and personal details. The toss table was a great element. It sat at the foot of the aisle topped with flower petals and birdseed. The girls also used Mexican pottery bowls as the containers to hold the “toss materials” and this pottery doubled as a favor for the guests to take home.Our aisle runner said, “Abby and Jamey, I do, I do, I do” and it was a great marker as the entrance to the aisle. After we recited our personally written vows, the fun began with our cocktails by the pool. Our signature drink was served at the “mojito bar”. There were five kinds of mojitos for guests to choose from: guava, strawberry basil, hibiscus and blue Curacao. Custom drink umbrellas were made to top it off. As we enjoyed our tequila shots served in a hollowed out cucumber and mojitos, a surprise entered from the front door of the villa. A 10-piece mariachi band walked through the foyer and into the pool area. They played the traditional Mexican tunes and kept the guests entertained while also getting them into the festive mood for the night.
After cocktail hour, we went down the spiral staircase to the beach where a tented area of two long tables was set. Before entering the dining area, guests checked their shoes in the “shoe check” made up of the wooden crates that were decorated with succulents. Guests were seated at the long tables and each place setting was marked by their place card placed in an individual succulent bowl. After dinner and cake, guests gathered their shoes and washed their feet in the “foot baths” which was made with benches draped with muslin cloth and pitchers filled with lavender water.
We danced the night away and then the lights abruptly turned off. While the guests thought it was the cue to leave, the front door opened and a man clad in all black entered blowing a 5-foot horn. It was definitely a dramatic entrance! The guests were led to the grassy courtyard by the fire dances and bongo drums. They played the drums with intensity and as the speed of the drums increased, so did the number of flames that they danced with. It was a great way to end the night.
As a wedding photographer, it was not hard at all to choose a photographer. The obvious choice was Kate Headley, my friend and mentor. Having her photograph our wedding day was such a perfect choice and it was easy to be on the other side of the lens.
A few decor notes from Kristin of the Dazzling Details…
This wedding design really focused around three words: simplicity, rustic, natural beauty. (Ok, that was 4.) The flowers (primarily white Casablanca lilies, white lisianthus and white Argentina mums) were chosen carefully as they created a perfect blend of aroma (casablancas), softness (lisianthus) and a touch of a more rustic flower (Argentina mums). The highlight décor throughout both the ceremony and reception contrasted beautifully – the modern white furniture and clean white flowers against the backdrop of garden and old, rustic boxes and wood.
Tables were set with pure white linens and white chiffon cover linens to add softness. A runner of white textured gauze, very lightly hand-stamped with a leaf pattern (same pattern as on the ceremony programs), added texture to the center of the tablescape. Tables were decorated with two sizes of white vases including a blend of white lisianthus and Argentina mums. Linen moss green napkins were placed atop each plate. Modern white tea bowls with a succulent was placed on top of the napkin. The chairs were draped with the same soft white gauze material as the table runner, and at the couple’s chairs hung hand-painted Bride and Groom signs.
The cocktail area was composed of white lounge furniture pieces – sofas and individual chairs and ottomans – with hand-made throw pillows in jute (same as embroidered aisle runner), moss green fabric (same as napkin fabric) and guaze (same as chair drapings and table runner). Market box tables were covered with small guaze linens and simple white votive candles. Round cocktail tables were dressed with white base linens and guaze overlays and set with white vases and arrangements (same as the dinner tables).
Rectangular Mexican market crates – purchased from a local fruit market – were cleaned, sanded and touched-up (a lot!) and served as floral vessels along the ceremony aisle, lounge tables in the cocktail area, the guest wish board and the shoe check area. In addition, pieces of the crates were salvaged and used as the base of the many hand-painted signs throughout the wedding (the “Toss Table,” the Mojito Bar, the Bride and Groom signs, the foot bath area, etc.)
Design & Coordination: Dazzling Details / Getting ready: Dreams Puerto Vallarta Resort / Venue: Casa Garza Blanca / Wedding Coordinators: The Dazzling Details / Calligraphy: Annie Lloyd of Pretty Mail Calligraphy / Photographer: Kate Headley / Caterer: ByB Banquets / Officiant: Tamara Bradley / Dress: Monique Lhuillier / Grooms suit: Calvin Klein / Bridemaids dresses: J Crew / Shoes: Stuart Weitzman (dyed to match the wedding) / Bride is wedding photographer, Abby Jiu