I don’t know what it is about beach weddings… no wait I totally do. Each and every single one is full of lovely ocean views, loads of sun and carefree brides and grooms and they always leave me dying to take off on a little vacation to some far flung locale. Today’s wedding is no exception. We are headed to the shores of Las Caletas in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where Chris and Claire held their uber fun and totally stylish wedding that fits right in at SMP. Nate Broshot of License to Still shot a whole lot of amazingness including, but not limited to, the set of breathtaking floating dock images. Just wait until you see those babies. All in all, it’s beautiful and it’s beachy and it’s yours to devour in the full wedding gallery!

see the FULL wedding gallery here!

From the Bride… My (now) husband and I both have large families that are consequently spread out all over the United States. When trying to pick a location for our wedding, we came to the conclusion that a destination wedding would be our best fit. We figured if everyone needed to get on a plane (and practically everyone did) we might as well make their destination worthy of the price of the ticket. We wanted our wedding to be a relaxing, casual event. Having our wedding on the beach seemed as natural a progression as our friendship towards marriage. Trying to find the right beach however, was not. After a long search and a bridesmaid’s help, we found Las Caletas, a beautiful location only reachable by boat, located off the coast of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. With the help of our wedding coordinator Kelley Kahrhoff, our truly magical, destination wedding became a reality.

My husband is from upstate NY and I have been bi-coastal most my life. I’ve had the luxury of living in the beautiful bay area of California along with spending many years of my life frolicking in the south. I wanted our wedding to reflect “us” and I’m happy to report that most described our wedding in just that way, 100% authentically “us.” Not too many frills, fuss or muss. Three parts sweet southern charm, west coast cool and a shot of yankee. While brides often have a million, creative ideas that they are trying to execute, having to travel to a wedding location makes things even trickier. I was also attempting to have a budget-friendly wedding and so a lot of our items were made ahead of time at the kitchen table with our families and/or purchased in Puerto Vallarta in bulk. Opting out of having tropical colors for a beach wedding, I wanted to simplify the color palette in an effort to save money and enhance the natural beauty of the island. I chose navy blue and lime green to highlight our surroundings in hopes that they would stand-out against the beige undertones of the sand as well as offer a hint of sophistication.

We chose to have a simple, crisp ceremony with white chair coverings and chupa, along with white petals for the aisle. A family member read the an excerpt from one of my favorite childhood books, the Velveteen Rabbit, and along with our programs we made DIY paper bags that held petals to be thrown at the end of the ceremony. For the reception, our centerpieces were large, glass cylinder vases filled with limes to add to the ambiance and using fruit instead of flowers saved us a bundle! Sliced limes also held escort cards and table indicators were made out of used tequila bottles. Our own personal corks saved throughout our relationship held place cards and starfish wine stoppers served as favors. We especially loved how our guests could sit down at their plate and read their cork. Each one had a hand-written memory with either “Chris’s graduation 08”or “Valentine’s Day 03.” It was as if our entire dating history was strewn across the reception tables.

With the atmosphere warranting bon-fires we thought a smore station would be perfect, and our guests really seemed to enjoy the campfire snack. To add to the Mexican culture we had a tequila tasting table for the guests to enjoy as well as cigars. A banner with the words “Te Queiro” was tied above our guest book table, which hosted dozens of Puerto Vallarta post-cards instead of a traditional book. Professional fire dancers helped to seriously end the festivities with a bang! Luckily we had the catamaran sail back to the city of Puerto Vallarta to continue spending time with the people we love under the stars. It was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to have all of the people that mean the world to us celebrating in one exotic location.

Photography: Nate Broshot of License to Still / Wedding Coordination: Kelly Karhoff of Vallarta Adventures / Location: Las Caletas through Vallarta Adventures, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico /  Dress: Casablanca 1955 purchased at Darlynn’s Bridal & Formal Wear / Shoes: Aldo