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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

Badgley Mischka, Alfred Sung, Dessy Collection, Dessy Flower Girls and J.Crew are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.

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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.

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.

[doted]

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

Amsale is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Laura Hooper Calligraphy is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Laura Hooper Calligraphy

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