After deciding on a “wild, free party” destination wedding in Sayulita, Mexico, photographer Melissa Fuller and her husband Josh’s next order of business was deciding how much tequila they needed to buy! And with tequila, bright colors, festive designs, and a whole lot of love both the couple and their guests had a wedding of a lifetime. See it all from the most incredible talents (Laura Austin, Frank Harrington, Amanda Lopez, Trevor Traynor, John Lucarelli, and Grimace Films) in The Vault!
From The Bride…Melissa Fuller, Little Black Book wedding photographer and her husband Josh, immediately fell in love with the vibe of Sayulita, Mexico after a long bout of indecision of where to host their very own wedding. “There is a slowness to the days in the charming town, situated just outside of Puerto Vallarta. When visiting you spend your days in a salty wash, getting in and out of the slow breaking longboard wave, shopping the beautiful local art, and eating fresh fish tacos,” writes the bride whose heart was an easy win.
When deciding what to do for our own wedding, the answers came easily once we established our theme. I’m not talking about colors and decor…I’m talking about the feel. And the theme we chose was literally marooning our closest friends and family in a tropical place and having the most wild free party we could manifest. We ended up making decisions on everything from that mantra. The next order of business was deciding how much tequila we needed to buy!
Pulling from the town, Josh and Mel decided to go with a neutral and white palette. With a destination wedding you are limited by the amount of things you can bring on an airplane. Writes Melissa, “One thing that was safe was knowing that white, cream and stone would all compliment the already beautiful gardens at the venue. We also wanted our guests to arrive and feel as if they had been taken away to a retreat. Guests were asked to wear white and shades of neutrals. I designed a tipi to serve as a natural wood cathedral that was built buy the local palapa builders and embellished by family with rope chandlers that I created. It was stunning. For decor, I spent my evenings leading up to the wedding doing a lot of DIY macrame and twine making with a cup of wine in hand. I knew that I could make a lot of twine flags and later make decisions about where they should go and just string them up around the property. All of the decorations fit into one large suitcase!”
They leaned heavy on their friends and family whose contributions came together, culminating in what become an epic party. One of their favorite memories is sitting in a beach house the day before the wedding with their friend, The Whooligan, covered in sand sipping on beers while putting together the playlist for the wedding at the final hour. “It all just came together like that. You do as much as you can before, but it was the moments of everyone coming together and splitting up into little groups for little adventures that we will always remember. We threw songs out there, cracked jokes, and got pumped for the big day laughing at each other’s suggestions. It was the best!” they share.
The couple also owns a company making re-useable stainless steel cups and being environmentally conscious is high on their list of priorities. They served a mix of specialty cocktails, hibiscus margaritas, local beer, and aqua fresca from the cups which doubled as gifts for their guests. Guests were also given wood veneer etched artwork from the folks at 5 Points Collective that matched a screen print the couple used in lieu of a traditional guestbook. “I wanted something that I would want out at our house not something that would tucked away and never be seen again and for our guests to take home something that wouldn’t end up in the trash or their nic-nacs drawer,” writes Melissa who found the artists while window shopping in Venice one day. The message on the print, “See the Unseen, Be the Unbeen,” was perfect and the art couldn’t have looked more like a scene from Sayulita.
Melissa used Squarespace to design the wedding website which aided in relaying ever-changing travel and accommodation information to their guests. She used the images on the home gallery page to tell people what they needed to know about the feel of the days to come. “It ended up being a huge success, one of my favorite pages I created was an RSVP page where I populated an image of our guests after they said they were coming. People had a lot of fun watching familiar faces pop up and it helped build the anticipation of the wedding and get folks to know each other who might not have met yet.”
For fare, Mel and Josh kept it simple and delicious. Everyone loves tacos. After the ceremony and before sunset guests milled the beach eating a mix of tamales, ham and pineapple tacos pastor, wood fired pizza and late night churros. To counteract the effects of the tequila bar they had a stack of fresh coconuts with straws prepped to keep partygoers hydrated.
It got sweaty, shirtless, and barefoot. “It was f*%#ing awesome!!” summarizes Josh who doesn’t dice his words.
We would like to say a huge thanks to the people who came together for our lives and this event. Laura Austin, Frank Harrington, John Lucarelli, Miguel the man with the plan, their parents and families, and Trev and Amanda, their friends who turned their Thanksgiving break into a wedding scouting mission. JJ & the folks at Pizzeria Rustica where they had their rehearsal dinner. To the talented Meghan Minillo for her lovely signage. And to Johannes and Anne who created a home so beautiful beyond imagination that our wildest wedding dreams came true.
Photography: Laura Austin | Photography: Frank Harrington | Photography: Amanda Lopez | Photography: Melissa Fuller | Photography: Trevor Traynor | Photography: John Lucarelli | Cinematography: Grimace Films | Wedding Dress: Sarah Seven | Necklace: Child of Wild | Anklet: Free People | Custom Stainless Cups: Cupsco | Makeup: Jenni Tay | Ringbearer Box: Fleamarket find hand painted by Melissa | Groomsmen Gifts: Boker | Kids Rompers: Viva Boho Kids | Vow Book painted by Melissa: Moleskine Notebooks | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Show Me Your MuMu | Kimono: Karen Thomas | DJ: The Whooligan | Venue: Teitiare Estates | Coordination: Miguel | Groomsmen Attire: Bonobos | Sign, Web, Paint + Design By the Bride: Melissa Gayle Fuller | Groom’s Shoes: Kenneth Cole | Robe: BHLDN | Floral Design: Chandra Petelin | Guest Poster + Art Gift: 5 Points Creative | Hair Accessories: Glimour of London | Hair: Hair My Heart | Bridal Boutique: The Dress Theory San Diego | Signage: Meghan Minillo | Jewelry: Bahgsu Jewels | Bride’s Gift Bull Skull: Evoke The Spirit | Hair: Tyler Gomez | Hair Boutique: The Dress Theory San Diego | Bride’s Gift Skull: Evoke the Spirit