Get ready to soak up some fabulous Cabo San Lucas gorgeousness. The bride = gorgeous. The styling (the majority of it also being DIY) = gorgeous. The images from The Youngrens = gorgeous. The stunning Cabo back drop = gorgeous. Seriously, so.much.gorgeous to be had, and lucky for all of us the full gallery of images is oozing with even more.
From the Bride… To have a destination wedding was an easy road for us with no arm-twisting needed. We had originally planned on having a large wedding in Los Angeles, but with both sides of our family being spread out all over the country planning such a large affair turned out to be…not so much fun. After one overwhelmingly long night of vendor searching and location finding we jokingly said, “Lets just get married on a beach somewhere.” It only took one look to know we both agreed and into Google search we went. Esperanza Resort of Auberge Resorts in Cabo San Lucas was the first location we found and we knew it was the one; a week long vacation with people we love and adore like crazy was exactly the kind of wedding we wanted.
As crazy as it sounds for a type A like myself, we never even visited the resort before getting married. Our gut instinct was so strong and the reputation of Auberge Resorts is so wonderful we just knew it was perfect in every single way. Once we decided on the location my inspiration for a theme was based on the resort itself. My favorite colors are cobalt blue, sunflower yellow and off white and that tied in perfectly with the resort decor. Since the wedding location also happened to be cliff side overlooking the gorgeous Sea of Cortez, I knew that nautical-seaside-romance was exactly what our wedding would be. It took no time at all for all the details to start falling into place.
I might have been a tad over confident in the beginning about planning a wedding in another country, but I knew I wanted to be my own wedding planner. I was smitten with so many ideas and I also knew the image I had in my head was something only I could create. I also mean create literally because about 70% of the wedding was DIY. I’m happy to say I managed it all and lived to tell about it, but it was far trickier then I imagined! The first projects were creating our save the dates and the passport covers that we sent out with them, which were hand stamped with “All You need is Love” on the bottom of each one. Josh’s family had never traveled out of the country and this was an extra special touch that they really enjoyed. We sent the bridal party some cute (and tasty!) cookies in the shape of a dress with “Will you be in my bridal party?” written in icing. It was a fun and cute way to ask people!
The dinner and reception decor was not only my biggest challenge, but it was also the most fun because I had to be incredibly creative with customs. I knew I wanted to create a lot of the details myself but with the restrictions of what and how much you could send through customs it was incredibly stressful. I can guarantee I did not sleep much until I knew my shipment had made it to the resort safe and sound. Someone referred to me as a “customs ninja” and it’s a title I will proudly wear because it was tricky! Another obstacle was the flowers we could use for the ceremony and reception. With the intense humidity, real flowers were out of the question. My vision for the centerpieces was manzanita trees with blossoms and crystals, but to import real manzanita to the florist was incredibly difficult through customs. I opted for very realistic (though faux) manzanita trees and decorated them with crepe paper flowers I bought on Etsy and hanging crystals with candles. As I set it up on the morning of the wedding it looked better then I could have ever imagined. At the last moment before we left I wanted to be sure to have table numbers for easy guest seating. I hand made moss numbers and hung them from the trees on the tables and it worked perfectly.
Looking back on the entire wedding day it seems like a daydream though there were some very real moments I’m especially thankful for. The genuine amount of love, care and immense appreciation we had for everyone there was thick in the air and it lent to the feel of our entire wedding. I will never forget the intimate moment with my Mom seeing me in my dress for the very first time and helping me into it. When she handed me my bouquet she had adorned it with my Great Grandmother’s wedding ring and a sweet note that my Great Grandmother wrote before she passed, all tied off in her favorite scarf. I felt flooded with love and warmth like she was there with us. We also had a special tribute to a very young woman and my dear friend, Alicia, who had very recently lost her fight with cancer. During the reception we played a song Ali and I always used to sing together. To see and feel everyone I love gather in one big circle and sing “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond at the top of their lungs through laughter and tears was magical and touched me so deeply. It’s a moment I will never forget.
Most importantly, however, we have our amazing photographers, Jeff and Erin Youngren, to thank for a lot of our favorite moments. Not only did they capture every smile, look, and tear of the entire week as our photographers, but as our friends they made us feel so loved and comfortable that we never even noticed the cameras. The moments they so lovingly guided us into were magical. I know Josh and I will never forget when we first talked to Jeff and Erin on the phone. They called us in the middle of their amazing vacation in Thailand just to talk to us about our wedding. As we carried on a call from two opposite sides of the world, we felt like we were catching up with two people we had known all of our lives. As the call was ending, I looked at Josh and we had the biggest, cheesiest smiles on our faces and we knew Jeff and Erin were not only going to be our photographers, but lifelong friends and mentors as well. The last thing I said to them that evening was ” We would love for you to come to our wedding as our friends who just happen to have really nice cameras, not as vendors.” That’s exactly what they did and who they were and we know our wedding would not be half of what it was without Jeff and Erin being the people they are. They are such a gift and any couple that finds them behind the lens on their most important day is absolutely blessed.
We could only have planned our wedding day so far in our heads and the actual event far surpassed anything I could have imagined. We wanted our wedding to be about love and spending all the time in the world with those you care about and for people to feel that. They say all you need is love, and we got that and so much more.
Wedding Photography: The Youngrens / Flowers: Los Cabos Flowers / Wedding Ceremony & Reception Location: Esperanza Resort / Bride’s Shoes: Grazia (Valentine) / Dress: J.Crew / Hair & Makeup: Suzanne Morel / Event Design & Planning: The Bride / Bridesmaid Shoes: Grazia (Tiffany) / Bridesmaid Dresses: Amanda Archer / Wedding Invitations: Two Yellow Shoes / Dinner Thank You Cards: A Graphic Artist / Wedding Clutch: Kiu Designs / Rice Paper Candles: Blossom / Mr. & Mrs. Forks: Beach House Living / Crepe Paper Flowers: Treasured Editions / Moss Numbers & Manzanita Trees: Kate ‘n Kylie / Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Banana Republic + Tommy Bahama