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A Story of Hope and Healing

I tried really hard to get through this post without crying, and I’ll have you know I made it through a whole ten words of the description below from Del Sol Photography before the tears started to fall. And then I just couldn’t help myself. This gorgeous Bride lost the love of her life 52 days before their wedding, and writing that sentence just sends shivers up my spine. But this beautiful shoot is so much more than a collection of gorgeous images, it is her way of letting go and finding her new happily every after. Trust me, it’s a story you’ll definitely want to take some time to read today…

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From Del Sol PhotographyEarlier this year Janine suffered a monumental loss when her fiancé passed away 2 months before their wedding day. To deal with her grief she decided to create a memorial photo-shoot. The images and video story we created together were an incredibly cathartic and emotional experience for us both. The experience allowed Janine to rediscover her femininity and open her eyes once more to the beauty of the world.

My name is Matt Adcock and this is the first time I’ve been inspired to do anything like this in my 10 year career as a destination wedding photographer. After I heard Janine’s story, I really wanted to do what I could to create a magical adventure for her. She told me that she felt a strong connection with the element of water, for its cleansing and purifying qualities and the sense of freedom she felt while swimming. I knew that the natural aquatic wonders of the Riviera Maya would offer great comfort and would be the perfect vehicle for her healing process.

I began to develop a plan, one that would involve a symbolic and ceremonial liberation from grief. The shoot was designed to have several points that would serve as memory markers for her, the balloon release and the falling into the cenote both representing elements of letting go of the past and opening herself to the future.

This is by far the most emotional I have ever been while working on a project. I was brought to tears when I started to bring the story to life in the editing room. I am humbled to have been able to meet and work with Janine and am inspired by her words and her courage in sharing her message of hope. I would like to thank Zuko and our friends at AM Resorts and Dreams Tulum for helping us bring this idea to life.

I laughed and cried with Janine. Her spirit and energy are contagious and I really hope her story touches someone else going through a tough time. Janine had the courage to express herself in a way others can’t even imagine.

After the shoot, we interviewed Janine. She shared these thoughts with us:

From Janine…When I finally decided that I wanted to keep my wedding dress and not sell it because of what it means to me, I started to Google “photography” and “underwater bride”. Del Sol Photography came up more than once so I finally looked at their website. I was in awe of their work so I said to myself, “What are you going to lose? Just go for it. So I filled out the “contact us” part of their website and they got back to me in 24 hours.

My expectation was to find a certain closure and to have a photo shoot of my dress in a different way that not your average bride would even think of doing. I wanted to be free and I wanted to do something different.

The day of the shoot I woke up at Dreams Tulum very excited, but I was also very nervous. My dress was huge and I didn’t know what to expect while I was in the water. I had no idea what a cenote was. But I was also curious to see what Matt had in store for me. He ran a bunch of ideas past me and so I was eager to find out how the day was going to go.

This day was very emotional. At the end of the day I felt so accomplished and I felt more alive than I have ever felt since May 1st. I really felt that Johnny was smiling down at me and finally giving me closure that I can live my life in a positive way, but never forgetting why I was here. I want to move on and explore the world. I want to meet people who I can share that with. After the shoot I felt like all this was possible.

If I could reach out to anyone suffering from a loss, I would tell them this. Listen to YOUR heart! You are the most important person and only YOU can help yourself. What I experienced isn’t for everyone but I do want people to know that you are not alone in all this, if you have family that ask if they can help SAY YES! You are grieving and you need this time to really think about what you are going to do next. You have the right to cry and you have the right to be alone (but not too much alone) If you are close to family or friends lean on them. Also, try something new! When I did this photo shoot I had the best time I actually had fun for the 1st time in 3 month since Johnny passed away. Reach out for help and never apologize for your actions because you are strong and you will get through this!

Photography: Del Sol Photography | Hair & Makeup: Sara Tamargo | Hotel: Dreams Resorts

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Elegant Puerto Vallarta Beach Wedding

Having attended destination I do’s in this lovely locale, I can confidently say that Puerto Vallarta is a stunning spot to tie the knot. From the always perfect temps to the soft carpet of sand under your feet and the gorgeous venues like this one, Villa Romance, where The Dazzling Details planned this beach fete to perfection. Captured by Figlewicz Photographer, this tropical gallery is worth a little Monday morning escape!

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From Figlewicz PhotographerWe first met Jessie and Sean on the beach at Terranea to photograph them getting engaged. I know I have said this before, but we LOVE shooting proposals! We LOVE being there for that first moment. We LOVE hiding in the bushes and we LOVE that look the girl gives her man! It’s so candid and real. By the time the wedding rolls around we feel very connected to their story. Sean and Jessie are so special to us! They are a beautiful couple and they love each other so much. We were thrilled when they asked us to fly to Puerto Vallarta for their wedding. We went a few days before the wedding and we had a blast. We got to know everyone and enjoyed watching this family love each other.

They chose Villa Romance for their wedding venue. All their guests were so excited to finally see this secret location. It was perfect… private beach covered in shells, aqua pool, and a fantastic view! Everyone was in heaven! Jessie is a nanny and all her kids flew down to be in the wedding. The whole team from Dazzling Details did an amazing job at making all the kids feel very welcome. They even had a playhouse filled with toys!

Photography: Figlewicz Photographer | Event Planning: The Dazzling Details | Floral Design: The Dazzling Details | Wedding Dress: Reem Acra | Cake: Charme Reposteria | Invitations: Designers Fine Press | Ceremony Venue: Villa Romance | Reception Venue: Villa Romance | Bride's Shoes: Steve Madden | Rings: Boscus Designs | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Kirstie Kelly Couture | Catering: Plush Catering & Events | Hair & Makeup: Sebastian Salon | Groom's Attire: Evolution Of Style | Groom's Shoes: Sperry Top Siders | Groomsmen's Attire: Boscus Designs | 10 Piece Mariachi: Los Aventuras | Accomodations: Villa La Estancia | Ceremony Officiate: Michael Shannon (Father Of The Groom) | Coordination: The Dazzling Details | DJ & Dance Floor Rental: Sonido Extassis | Guest Gift Bags: The Dazzling Details | Late Night Tacos: Tacos Saguayo

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Tropical Cabo San Lucas Beach Wedding

When the getting ready shots include a Bride sporting sparkly earrings once worn by Marilyn Monroe as her ‘something old’, you know the wedding that follows is going to be fabulous as ever. Set that wedding in a gorgeous designation like Cabo San Lucas, put Sweet Pea Events behind the planning and sprinkle it with coral and turquoise, and it reaches a whole new level. Sara & Rocky Photography tagged along for all the fun and thanks to them, you can too.

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From the beautiful Bride…This intimate wedding in Cabo with 30 guests was all about family & friends. Most of the guests stayed at the venue, Villa Turquesa, and it was a week-long celebration overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The groom is a hockey player for the St. Louis Blues and the bride is a sweet southern belle from Dallas.

-The bride’s earrings were worn by Marilyn Monroe, and were a gift from the bride’s father and step-mom as her “something old”.

-The groom’s daughter, Layna, made the bride the blue heart you see in the photos – that was her “something blue”.

- Seashells were used as twist on the traditional boutonniere.

- The seahorse was one of our main design elements and subtly incorporated through the décor.

-All of the linens and pillows were hand-sewn and custom-made just for this wedding.

Photography: Sara & Rocky Photography | Videographer: John Christopher Photographs & Films | Planner: Sweet Pea Events | Floral Design: Mazarte Florals | Wedding Dress: Warren Barron- Vera Wang | Cake: Cabo Flowers & Cakes | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J. Crew | Hair And Makeup: Suzanne Morel | DJ: DJ System | Groomsmen's Suits: J. Crew | Groomsmen's Ties: Tie Bar | Officiant: Rodrigo Palacio | Bride's Ring: Precision Jewelers | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Villa Turquesa (Private Residence) | Groom's Ring: David Yurman | Groomsmen's Shirts: Daniel Cremieux | Invitation Cookies: Layered Bake Shop | Invitations & Paper Elements: Southern Fried Paper | Linens/Lighting/China/Chairs: Linens, Things And More | Transportation: Danny Boy Cabo

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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