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Playa del Carmen Destination Wedding from W&E Photographie

It seems almost crazy to say it, but I’ve never actually been to Mexico.  Sure, I’ve been close… I frequent San Diego often and have even spotted it’s beautiful beaches from a whale watching boat, but I’ve never actually stepped foot on those golden sands and soaked in those paradise-like rays of sun.  I know, I know. It’s something that needs to be rectified sooner rather than later, especially since I spend my days soaking in beautiful weddings like this breathtaking Playa del Carmen soiree; an affair so pretty, it makes you want to pack those bags and catch the first flight South.  See it all captured by W&E Photographie in the full gallery.

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From the Bride… Alvin proposed to me in Playa del Carmen, Mexico during a vacation trip and we knew right from the start that we always wanted to have a destination wedding. We debated on where to have the wedding, because my extended family was in Argentina but decided that there was no better place to say “I do” than Mexico. We checked out a couple of resorts in Playa del Carmen but as soon as we drove up to Grand Velas, Alvin fell in love with the resort and knew that this was the place where we would share our wedding with family and friends.

As we planned our wedding a couple of key things that were important to each of us were having a Catholic wedding and incorporating Filipino traditions, delicious food, great photographers, and just having fun. As far as the decor of our wedding, I fell in love with a soft pastel look and not choosing colors. The flowers, bridesmaid dresses, and decor of the whole wedding was a mixture of colors with a soft palette. I loved that the girls were able to choose a dress and color that complimented their features. We also put our own personal stamp on the decor by DIY-ing the table numbers, table runners, escort cards, sweetheart table ribbon and added the paper garland (from Etsy) and wooden letters (a gift from a friend).

For our wedding day I wanted to make sure we incorporated loved ones in the ceremony and throughout the wedding day, especially Alvin’s mother. Alvin’s mother, Josefina, passed away from breast cancer in 2004. Josefina Aganon Mencias was a prestigious pediatric doctor from Dillon, South Carolina and to this day she is still honored and remembered by many folks. In the ceremony program there was a dedication to Josefina and my grandmothers who had passed away. There was also a special locket attached to my bouquet, and inside that locket was a picture of Alvin and his mother right before she was sick. I unfortunately never had the opportunity to meet such a wonderful woman. However, I knew this amazing person was special to Alvin and I wanted to honor her for raising such a great man.

Photography: W&E Photographie | Wedding Dress: TULLE New York | Floral Design: Grand Velas | Wedding Cake: Grand Velas | Reception Venue: Grand Velas | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Rosalin’s Bridal | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bill Levkoff | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bari Jay | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Dessy | DJ: Grand Velas | Bridal Boutique: Ava Clara Couture | Flower Girl’s Dress: Monsoon | Men’s Suits: J.Crew | Ties: Banana Republic

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Playa Del Carmen Wedding from Reams Photo

Can I let you in on a little secret? I totally use SMP Destination as a virtual escape every.single.day. I mean, it is part of my job, right? But some days I just can’t pull away. Today is going to be one of those days. Because this Playa Del Carmen wedding is a dream. The images from Reams Photo are lovely and light-filled, the backdrops are stunning and the Bride and Groom? Well they couldn’t be more in love if they tried. It’s the best possible virtual vacation, and you can see it all here.

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From Reams PhotoAshlee and Ryan’s wedding was the perfect mix of DIY and a low stress, budget friendly destination wedding. The whole weekend was a big adventure- a wedding in 2012 in a Mayan jungle made for the perfect backdrop! Tons of crafty details (hand drawn invitations, personalized tequila bottles with their last name, mini scrolls with handwritten vows, and a map in her shoes to start!)  She also used lots of Etsy vendors to round out the details she couldn’t get to herself. Ashlee and Ryan love to travel and it only made sense to have their friends and family there for the best getaway of their lives!

From the Bride…We LOVED all of the quality time we were able to spend with each guest without feeling like we had to rush off to see the next table or group of guests. We not only got a wedding out of the deal, but we also got the vacation of a lifetime with everyone that we love most! There simply is no price to attach to the memories we now have from that week with our friends and family. One of our favorite memories of the day was saying our vows. The officiant first asked us to face each other and hold hands and then he talked about how the hands that we were holding would be the hands to hold our children, to help us up when we fall, to comfort us in old age, etc. That was so unexpected and moving. Definitely got the tears going!  We then loved reading our own vows to each other in front of our family and closest friends. We had put a lot of thought into them and worked on them for several days with each other without ever reading them out loud. We wanted them to be promises that we made not only to each other, but also to each other’s families and to our whole group of support. While drafting them we couldn’t keep from crying (I can’t even type about it without feeling emotional and we both tear up whenever we reminisce about it) so reading them aloud to one another was especially emotional. We have agreed to re-read our vows to each other each anniversary!

Photography: Reams Photo | Flowers: DIY | Ceremony + Reception Location: Iberostar Tucan, Riviera Maya | Invitations: DIY Bride + Groom | Cake Topper Birds: DIY | Cake Topper Banner: Stephlovesben | Papel Picado: AyMujer | Canopy Shell Curtain: DIY | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Sash: AmieNoelDesigns | Jewelry: The Jewelry Bar | Garter: TheChicaBoutique | Hair Flower: deLoop | Veil: Borrowed from friend | Bridesmaid’s Clutches: JennaLouDesigns | Bridesmaid’s Jewelry: DIY  | Groom’s Suit: Island Importers | Hats: San Diego Hat Co.

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Playa Del Carmen Wedding from Elizabeth Medina Photography

This is why I love, love, love SMP Destination.  On any given day, we can be celebrating side by side with a darling duo upon a mountaintop, soaking in a breathtaking European locale or, like today, smiling happily with two sweeties as they say “I do” in paradise. Two sweeties, actually, who whisked away their family and friends to the Grand Velas Resort for a weekend of fun in the sun and happily ever after.  It’s vibrant hues meets stunning ocean views meets an entire gallery of lovely captured by Elizabeth Medina Photography.  Join me there for all of the pretty.

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From the bride… My husband Neal and I were destined for a destination wedding.  Neal is a pilot for United Airlines and flies a small plane for fun on the weekends.  One of our favorite things to do together is to take spontaneous weekend trips to the beach.  In fact, that’s how we actually met.  Neal was flying a group of my friends on a six seat Bonanza airplane from the East Hampton to Rhode Island for the day.  I joined the group at the last minute, never suspecting that I would meet my husband on the spontaneous trip. Neal and I had been dating a year when we took another last minute trip to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico to escape the East Coast winter.  We stayed Grand Velas Resort and fell in love with the location.  As we laid by the beautiful pool overlooking the ocean I said to Neal “ We need to figure out a way to get all of our family and friends here to enjoy this amazing place with us”.  Little did I know he was proposing to me two months later and our wedding planning began.

The Grand Velas was the natural choice for our wedding.  Late January was the perfect time for our family and friends to escape the Midwest and East Coast winter.  150 guests hoped on planes from New York, Michigan, Chicago, California and even Australia to celebrate our wedding at the beautiful beach resort. We were inspired by the spectacular surroundings of the beach location. We decided to keep the wedding simple and elegant to compliment the scenery.  The wedding colors, fuchsia, purple/blue and sunny yellow, were inspired by the resort’s pink bougainvillea, blue ocean view and sunshine overhead. The ceremony was held on the beach which we kept simple with rustic chairs, grass mats and a white hoopa framed with fuchsia flowers. The bridesmaids wore fuchsia dresses by Amsale.  The groom and groomsman wore Hugo Boss navy suits and fuchsia ties. My dress by Reem Acra was the first dress I tried on.  It was it was light and airy, perfect for the beach ceremony but also beautifully elaborate with intricate beading up close.

Neal and I are very close to our niece and nephews and it was important that everything aspect our wedding to be child-friendly.  Our nephews Jack and Max, 2 and 3 years old, wore navy blazers, striped bow ties and white Converse shoes.  Alexa, the flower girl, 5-years-old wore a little white dress and a flower wreath in her hair.  We included little gifts at for all the children at their table place setting with stickers and color books. The reception was held along the pool at the Grand Velas.  Maria Elena Glacia, our planner did a beautiful job perfecting every detail.  Square tables, all white lines and chairs were the perfect setting for the bright monochromatic flower arrangements in blue/purple, pink and yellow.  

Greenwich Letter Press designed our invitations with a beautiful Mexican tile print. We incorporated this motif into the table numbers hand-painted by LuckiiArts and menus by Laura Hooper calligraphy, who we found on Etsy.  The Mexican tiles were used on many other wedding details including chocolate tiles on the cake! White paper lanterns framed the palm trees and floated in the pool.  The full moon and cloudless sky was the perfect last touch for magical night.  Elizabeth Media, our photographer captured the simple elegance and most importantly the happiness of our wedding with absolute perfection.

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Photography: Elizabeth Medina Photography | Ceremony + Reception Location: Grand Velas Resort, Riviera Maya | Event Planning: Maria Elena Galicia of Playa Wedding | Floral Design: Roberto Galan, Agromexpress | Cinematography: PlayaWeddings | Invitations: Greenwich Letterpress | Table Numbers: LuckiiArts | Menus: Laura Hooper Caligraphy | Hair + Makeup: Styling Trio Riviera Maya | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bride’s Dress: Reem Acra | Bridesmaids Dresses: Amsale | Groom + Groomsman Suits: Hugo Boss

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Playa Del Carmen Wedding from Elan Makeup Studio + Sarah Kate Photography

We always have a little impromptu office party when one of our beloved LBB Members shares their wedding with us… but when the lovely Anita of Elan Makeup Studio sent us her gorgeous destination I-do’s, we considered packing up our party, moving it outdoors, and mixing up a few Friday margaritas. Anita and her handsome hubby threw a colorful Caribbean celebration that will have you searching high and low for an excuse to get your toes in the sand. Captured by the lovely Sarah Kate Photography it’s stress-free sophistication and you can see it all right here in the gallery. Congratulations Anita + Mike!! Thank you for sharing your day with us. XO

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From the bride: Being in the Dallas wedding industry, I had always wanted to have a destination wedding since I knew it would be extremely hard to choose from the amazing vendors here. When Mike proposed, I asked where he thought we should get married. I am a Texas girl; he is a Northern California boy so we both knew that regardless our friends and family would have to travel to witness our vows. Mike suggested Playa Del Carmen, Mexico as our destination wedding place, if they had to travel then why not to a beautiful beach. That is when I knew I was marrying the perfect person!

We searched on line for the perfect beach front hotel and found The Azul Fives Resort by Karisma. We needed something family and kid friendly since our immediate family had little ones. The staff was wonderful and very accommodating, they even spent and extra 2 hours during our first walk through to make sure our extra things we wanted were perfect as well as showing us our option “b” if it rained. Once we found the resort we started the planning process with the help of their coordinators located in Miami, Florida.

We had 72 guests that attended our big day, large for a destination wedding but it really was the perfect number to celebrate with. Mike and I agreed that we wanted a close friend to marry us; we chose one of our longtime friends Tony Pham to be our clergy and both of us had 6 attendants. Knowing that it was a beach wedding we started out with a casual vibe that quickly changed when I found my beautiful dress with the help of Marsha French at Stardust celebrations and my shoes (that I actually ordered on line a year before Mike had proposed). I chose bright and vibrant colors for our wedding. If you know either one of us, then you know “bright” is perfect. Cobalt blue dresses for the girls, navy linen shirts with khakis for the boys and bright orange, yellow and red flowers for decor. We had one vendor that we hired from the Dallas area, Sarah Kate Photography of course! Our photos were going to be the only thing we would have to remember our special day with and she was the perfect person for us.

Mike was a very involved groom; he helped with the decisions of everything and was a great sport during the entire process. With both of us being big music fans, the playlist was a joint effort and really made the wedding and reception perfect. Everyone was seated to Vitamin Strings Quartet songs, the bridal party walked down to “Marry Me” by Train and my Mom walked me down the aisle to “This Years Love” by David Gray. Our first dance song was “She’s Got A Way” by Billy Joel. Blue glow sticks and black sunglasses were brought out during the reception, something we knew our guests would love.

I hope that I inspire new brides to think bold and embrace color, especially on the beach where it can pop. Don’t be afraid of using your imagination either and stepping out of the box making it your own!

Wedding Photography: Sarah Kate Photography | Hair + Makup: Mayra Lopez of Elan Makeup Studio | Wedding Venue:  Azul Fives Resort | Officiant: Tony Pham | Wedding Dress: Custom by Steven Birnbaum via Stardust Celebrations | Bride’s Veil: Custom by House of Lovely | Shoes: Betsy Johnson | Cake Topper: Green Lily Creations | Hanger: Wisconmon | Rings: Bova Diamonds

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Tulum, Mexico Wedding from Button Up Photography

Ever since my honeymoon in Tulum two years ago, I’ve been dreaming of going back. It’s such a romantic place, full of magic and beauty, making it the perfect spot to say I do. This couple knew they struck gold when they decided to ditch their hometown of NYC and head for the beach. Button Up Photography captured all the pretty and you can see even more right here in the full gallery!

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From the Bride… My one must for our wedding was having our ceremony outdoors. The trouble was, we live in New York City. I scoured the city for venues with gardens or plots of grass, some even high on top of skyscrapers, but nothing was ever quite right. They were either too small, too large, way too expensive, lacked decent in-case-of-rain options or just didn’t feel enough like being outdoors. All along my fiancé, Julian was hoping for a smaller affair with just our immediate families. When we couldn’t find the right space in NY, I said ok, let’s do a small wedding, but to make it special- we’re going to Tulum! It was on!

My fiancé’s family threw a rehearsal dinner the night before our wedding at another hotel just down the beach. They were so great and packed little flashlights for each person, because there aren’t many lights on Tulum’s beach at night. It was one of my favorite memories of our wedding weekend- walking down the beach with all our little lights toward the hotel. A saxophonist was playing as we arrived and had cocktails on the beach. Later we had dinner with tons of speeches that my in-laws had pre-arranged. It was lovely!

For our wedding, we had a Mexican trio sing while guests were sitting and through the cocktail hour and later switched to a DJ. People signed our guest book with advice and included a mini Polaroid picture. The staff passed around mojitos with our cocktail napkins in our three colors (fuchsia, purple and blue) each with a different love quote. My favorite was from the author of Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie, which said “Magic does happen, if only we wish hard enough.”

Since I had been poring over Style Me Pretty’s pages in the months before our wedding, I got a ton of ideas here- our papel picado banners and flags, the silver sea urchin placeholders and the Botanical Paperworks guest gifts. I even found my earrings on here! I forgot to ask my photographer to get photos of our welcome bags unfortunately. I had papel picado stamps made and stamped a banner on card stock with the colors of our wedding, and we wrote personal notes to each guest. I filled the bags with bottled water, a salty and sweet treat, altoids, little emergency kits, Tocca sunscreen towlettes, travel candles and mini bottles of Patron. I used the same papel picado stamps for rose petal bags and every third guest chair at our ceremony either had petals, maracas or a papel picado flag, as well as palm fans wrapped in purple ribbon. I also wrote the place cards and table numbers and addressed our wedding invitations myself and made my own envelope liners. I had so much fun with all that stuff!

The night went by so quickly, dances, cake-cutting, tequila shots, even some pool jumping. The staff also built a bonfire on the beach and after the DJ and photographer left we sat in a big circle and sang. It was amazing! The only thing better than having the wedding of your dreams, is having a whole weekend with your closest friends and family in paradise!

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Wedding Photography: Hideki Falcon from Button Up Photography | Wedding Venue: Be Tulum Hotel in Tulum, Mexico | Wedding Invitations: PostScript Brooklyn | Wedding Stationery: Botanical Paperworks | Place Card Holders: Gallery 360 | Papel Picado Banners + Flags: Ay Mujer | Cocktail Napkins + Matches: For Your Party |Lanterns: CB2 | Wedding Dress: Nicole Miller | Bride’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Veil: Bridal Veil Falls, NYC | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Parker | Groom’s Attire: Prada

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Mexico Wedding at Le Reve Hotel and Spa from Rensche Mari

I am currently bundled up under a sea of blankets gripping a steaming cup of coffee as snow softly falls outside my window, so this Mexico wedding by Rensche Mari is such a vision to me. A dream, if I may say. The sunshine and endless ocean views obviously are pulling at my snowed-in heart strings, but the thing that really put me over the edge? The Groom sent in the description below, and that gets be every time. See so much more here.

From the Groom… One of my favorite things about a wedding is when family and friends are involved. Heloise’s mom started a day before with arranging the flowers and getting everything perfect for her tables, her dad, brother, cousin and friends helped too, her mom also made the gift boxes out of pewter with the K&H entails…so it was truly made with love!

From Rensche Mari They invited close friends and family to join them on their special weekend. Everyone was in a very relaxing mood, surely due to having margaritas, mexican beer, great food and getting some vitamin D from the sun. On the day of the wedding we had perfect weather and a beautiful ceremony on the beach. Afterward the bride & groom where showered with rice and everyone cast a stone into the sea with some well wishes for the couple.

Wedding Photography: Rensche Mari / Wedding Venue: Le Reve Hotel and Spa in Playa del Carmen, Mexico / Floral Design + Decor: DIY by the Bride, Bride’s Mother, Family + Friends / Wedding Invitations: Delphine Press / Entertainment: Plug In Audiovisual / Wedding Dress: Something Blue Vancouver / Shoes: Coloriffics / Hair + Makeup: Styling Trio Riviera Maya / Grooms attire: Hugo Boss / Rings: Era Designs / Wedding Coordinator: Arlenis Ruiz Paz of Le Rêve Hotel & Spa