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Cultural Cancun Destination Wedding Part III

From the warm welcome to every fabulous festivity, Heather Waraksa has whisked us away to witness one culturally stunning fete. And now m’dears, it’s time to see the wedding that followed. A bright and festive bash graced with Planner 1 Events blooms, it’s the ultimate celebration. A dreamy day perfectly planned by AaB Creates, we’ve got the insider scoop on how to plan YOUR destination affair below!

From AaB CreatesFrom an event designer’s perspective, Linda and Sam’s wedding was a dream, because we got to play around with so many looks, all of which worked so well on the property at Nizuc. We were able to create really bright and festive Indian-inspired Mehndi party that fit with the lounge vibe of the location we had selected for the event. Then, literally just a few hours later, at the Rehearsal Dinner all of our decor was Mexican inspired. People often think super casual when they think “Mexican Inspired”, but the location, as well as our couple, were so chic, we wanted to make it feel fun and traditional, but also stylish.

We went with a colorful Otomi theme, which is a traditional design native to Mexico that is so graphic and fresh, it felt modern despite it’s timelessness. The next day we toggled between more traditional decor for the Sikh Anand Karaj (wedding ceremony) and luncheon and then got to have a fun, contemporary glam moment for the dinner and dance party later that night. From a planner’s prospective, we were really grateful that we take a team approach here, because while planning a weekend of events from afar isn’t unusual for us, we were incorporating a lot traditional Indian and Sikh elements while planning a wedding in Mexico from a home base of New York. Luckily we had great vendor partners in Cancun!

10 TIPS FOR A DESTINATION WEDDING

A destination “I do” offers a ton of possibilities for making lasting memories that extend well past the traditional 5 hour wedding reception, but let’s me honest – it can also mean a LOT of extra work. Here are some must-read tips from AaB Creates for planning (and enjoying) the entire destination wedding experience.

TIP #1: Hire A Coordinator

If your friends and family are flying in from around the globe, you don’t want to spend your whole weekend answering questions from vendors! Build into your budget having a coordinator.

TIP #2: Don’t Equate Vendor Response Time with How Good/Bad Your Wedding Will Be

This is particularly true if you are planning a wedding internationally- vendors just don’t have the same response times that you might expect back at home (especially if you live in a big, fast paced urban center). Your venue might take a day or two to respond to an email (maybe more), you might not get an immediate response from your DJ when you send a song list. This is often par for the course for planning a wedding abroad. This isn’t an indication of how things will go when your wedding weekend actually arrives, so you shouldn’t stress about it too much.

TIP #3: If You Bring in Vendors from Elsewhere, Remember you Need to Accommodate Them

If you love an amazing photographer or a florist or an event planner in your area where you live, or anywhere in the world, really, by all means hire them for your destination wedding, but remember you are also responsible for getting them to and from the destination and also housing them, so budget for it. It can be tempting to “save” in this area, but do so within reason, because remember your vendors still have a job to do and you want them to be in the best state of mind to do so. No one is expecting to fly first class or get a presidential suite, but it is important to clarify in writing before hand what travel and lodging requirements they do have.

TIP #4: A Wedding Website is a Must!

We love paper, we really truly do, but at a destination wedding, websites can be clutch for guests’ experience. You have no shortage of space and can update it easily, so you can fill people in on all sorts of details as you get them hammered out. So you can elaborate on dress code for each event and fill people in on all that there is to do in and around your destination. If you have a URL that’s easy to remember, your guests will always know where to look for info as they are shopping, packing and on site for all of your weekend events.

TIP #5: Arrive a few days before everyone else!

At a destination wedding, the couple hosting the weekend definitely sets the tone for the rest of the guests, so if you can get there a day or two before your guests are set to arrive, you will be chill, relaxed and in “party” mode. Your guests will immediately pick up on your vibe and be ready to get the party started!

TIP #6: Be sure to BRAND your weekend!

Even if you are going paperless with your destination wedding, working with a designer to come up with some “branding” for your weekend will make personalization of all your events a lot easier (and cheaper) in the long run! You have so many opportunities to infuse your personal style with so many events, having a cohesive graphic scheme will make tying them all together easier.

TIP #7: Avoid the Pressure to Over-host

If you are taking people away for a whole weekend, you will probably decide to host more than one event. Decide which events feel the best to you and also fit into your budget and stop revisiting it. It can be tempting once the RSVP’s start rolling in to feel “pressured” to add more hosted meals or activities, but it’s self-imposed pressure. Guests may choose to arrive earlier than you expected or stay days afterwards, but you shouldn’t feel that anyone expects you to host more events than what you indicate on the invitation.

TIP #8: Consider a Well Chosen Welcome Gift vs. a Welcome Bag

It’s super lovely to have something waiting for all of your guests when they arrive at your destination, but a snack laden tote bag isn’t necessarily the only answer. An awesome bottle of wine and a hand written note, or a keepsake present that might be local to your destination can send the message of “welcome, I’m happy you are here.” without the hassle of assembling bags or giving guests useless amenities.

TIP #9: Plan a Daytime Activity

One of the benefits of having a destination wedding is all the extra time that you get with your friends and family. Take advantage of it and make one of your events a day-time activity. Maybe it’s an excursion, or even just an organized afternoon of lounging and snacks by the pool, daytime fun adds an extra dimension to a wedding weekend.

TIP #10: Don’t be too Matchy-matchy

While you might love everything having a cohesive feel, having more than one event can be an opportunity to have 2 or 3 (or more!) different style parties! Have fun with the opportunity and don’t be afraid to make one event totally modern and fun and another more romantic, or have the night before be super casual and the next day be more formal. Diversity is the spice of life!

Photography: Heather Waraksa | Videography: Mike Cantarell Films | Floral Design: Planner 1 Events | Hair & Makeup: Alexandre Corbanezi | DJ: DJ NVM | Transportation : Mayan Hospitality | Event Design & Planning: AaB Creates | Fireworks: Special Events Mexico | Live Entertainment: Visuddha Entertainment | Mendhi: Veronica De La Paz | Paper Goods + Accessories : Wedding Paper Divas | Photo Booth: La Cabina Smile Booth | Rentals: Planner 1 Events | Speciality Linens: BBJ Linen

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here

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Cultural Cancun Destination Wedding Part II

One colorful soiree wrapped up in cultural meaning is a surefire way to get our hearts racing. But, add in the fact that this is only the second installment of this stunning affair and you’ve captivated our hearts and minds. With beautiful blooms by Planner 1 Events, every snap from Heather Waraksa is a pretty pop of color within one show-stopping Mehndi party. See it all here!

Sunsets, sandy toes and stunning pops of color, this is our idea of the perfect fete. Winning the award for impressive color combinations, this darling pair celebrated their upcoming nuptials with crafted cocktails and plenty of Planner 1 Events blooms. Heather Waraksa was behind the lens capturing every minute to share including their wedding (up next!).

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Beach Resort

From the beautiful Bride… During the holiday break in December, I went to India with Sam and his family to buy all of our Indian outfits for the wedding. We practically went to every single shop in Delhi and Chandigarh. There we spent as much time shopping for the accompanying jewelry as on the outfits. It was a lot of fun, but very intense. Luckily Sam’s aunt and cousin had already done the legwork of finding the best shops for us to visit, so we were able to get all the shopping done in under a week, which I’ve been told is miraculous. I had also wanted to wear a white dress in addition to all the indian outfits, and I shopped around for quite a while. I ended up with one from J.Crew because it was just the right amount of simple and understated elegance for me.

In India, Sam got his friends kurtas (traditional indian long shirt & pants) and I got my friends handprinted Indian scarfs. We wanted our friends to have something Indian they could wear if they wanted to for the Sikh ceremony and the Mendhi. We had fun picking out the colors for each of our friends. We also got a lot of bangles and bindis for women at the Mendhi. It was inspired by tradition and was all so very colorful, celebratory and playful.

Because we were hosting an entire weekend, we had a total of six events. When asked if we had a favorite, I honestly can say that we have been debating the answer to this exact question with family since the wedding. I just can’t pick one! I absolutely loved all of them.

Photography: Heather Waraksa | Videography: Mike Cantarell Films | Floral Design: Planner 1 Events | Hair & Makeup: Alexandre Corbanezi | DJ: DJ NVM | Transportation : Mayan Hospitality | Event Design & Planning: AaB Creates | Fireworks: Special Events Mexico | Live Entertainment: Visuddha Entertainment | Mendhi: Veronica De La Paz | Paper Goods + Accessories : Wedding Paper Divas | Photo Booth: La Cabina Smile Booth | Rentals: Planner 1 Events | Speciality Linens: BBJ Linen

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Romantic Riviera Maya Wedding

Ever since I got back from a long weekend in the Dominican Republic, I’ve been dreaming of going back to a beachside paradise. After seeing this breathtaking wedding set against charming thatched roofs and breezy palm trees, it’s official—my next trip will be to the Riviera Maya, and I’ll be booking it through April Schmitt at Divine Destination Weddings & Honeymoons. Inspire your wanderlust and see all the gorgeous details captured by Amy Rizzuto Photography in the gallery.

From Amy Rizzuto Photography … The sun rose slowly, casting a warm glow over the turquoise blue waves lapping against the bright white sand. It was the morning of Danielle and Adam’s wedding day, and it couldn’t have been more perfect. With hearts for adventure and travel, Danielle and Adam decided to get married in Riviera Maya, Mexico. Eighty- four of their closest friends and family ventured to the Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun Resort to witness Danielle and Adam tie the knot and become husband and wife.

Before the walk down a beautiful sea shell lined aisle, Danielle and Adam decided upon a first look in an old abandoned mansion on the beach. As a single tear trickled down his smile lined face, Adam pulled Danielle in for the biggest hug, whispering she looked more beautiful than he could have ever imagined. After their gorgeous sunset ceremony, Danielle and Adam danced the night away with all of their family and friends.

Photography: Amy Rizzuto Photography | Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bill Levkoff | Catering: Secrets Maroma | Location: Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun Resort | Photography - Assistance: Mekina Saylor Weddings | Travel Agent : April Schmitt

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Cultural Cancun Destination Wedding Part I

Tuesdays are my tough days; smack in the middle of Monday’s fresh start and Wednesday’s hump day joy. But today is different m’dears; we’re taking a little Mexican mental escape with a full day of festivities following along on this weekend-long destination celebration from AaB Creates. Heather Waraksa captured it all, starting with the couple’s chic Welcome Party right here; let’s get started!

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Beach Resort

From the Bride… Sam and I met at Harvard Business School six years ago. We had heard about each other through mutual friends but finally met toward the end of our first semester at the holiday party, aptly named Holidazzle. We started dating seriously a few months later.

When we got engaged, we chose to have a destination wedding because we wanted to gather all of our friends and family in one place where they can meet each other and spend quality time together for the entire weekend, away from the distractions of everyday life. A Mexican beach was top of our destination list because it brings back many great memories for us. The warm climate felt especially attractive for us in March, and also for our East Coast friends and family to escape the cold winter. Sam and I had wanted to wed in Cabo but our initial plans were knocked off by the hurricane in October. We ultimately fell in love with Nizuc in Cancun during a scouting trip and decided to do our wedding there instead. The location ended up being super convenient for guests to travel to, which was an important consideration for us.

Photography: Heather Waraksa | Videography: Mike Cantarell Films | Floral Design: Planner 1 Events | Hair & Makeup: Alexandre Corbanezi | DJ: DJ NVM | Venue: NIZUC Resort & Spa | Event Accessories: Wedding Paper Divas | Event Design & Planning: AaB Creates | Fireworks: Special Events Mexico | Live Entertainment: Visuddha Entertainment | Mendhi: Veronica De La Paz | Photo Booth: La Cabina Smile Booth | Rentals: Planner 1 Events | Speciality Linens: BBJ Linen | Transporation: Mayan Hospitality

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Event Styling And Decor
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Romantic Destination Wedding in Tulum, Mexico

If I had to put my finger on my favorite kind of wedding, it would be a wedding that looked just like this one from Blush Wedding Photography. Why? Well, first it’s filled with love. The kind you can feel through the screen, and that’s my favorite. And second, it’s filled with this gorgeous, seemingly effortless elegance that makes my heart do leaps, making this gallery a big winner in my book.


Colors
Seasons
Winter
Settings
Resort
Styles
Elegant

From Blush Wedding PhotographyQuite often when people have destination weddings, it’s to have a small intimate wedding. This was not the case for Cristen and Jayson. They had over 100 people fly down for their tropical wedding celebration in Tulum Mexico. A true testament of how wonderful these two are.

Their destination wedding week celebration was perfect from beginning to end. Everyday the sun was shinning, the water was a perfect blue, and the palm trees swayed lightly in the breeze. The best part was, since everyone was there for a week, the couple had time to spend quality time with all their guest. Something that many couples don’t get to do with a traditional one-day wedding.

On the wedding day, Cristen looked so effortlessly beautiful in her designer dress by Ellebay. What makes this dress even more special, since she was the first one to order this design, Ellebay actually named the dress after her! It fit her perfectly the moment she tried it on, it was definitely meant to be her dress. Cristen’s beachy wavy hair left down, complemented her dress and the beach vibe. Their portrait session ended with a picture-perfect sunset. We had a ‘drone’ camera capture Cristin and Jayson as they walked on the beach into the sunset. That night, everyone danced the night away in the warm tropical air. It was perfect.

Photography: Blush Wedding Photography | Wedding Dress: Ellebay | Stationery: Fox And Flourish | Bridesmaids' Dresses: BCBG | Ceremony/Reception Venue: Gran Bahia Principe Tulum In Mexico | Succulent Gift Favours: Balconi

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here