Californians Lauren and Andrew wanted their wedding to be somewhere tropical and exotic, but still accessible and affordable for their guests. Sound impossible? Not for this couple, who not only love their chosen destination but had the added benefit of Lauren speaking the native tongue, an added advantage all destination wedding couples wish they had!
Wedding date: April 17th, 2016
Wedding location: Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Number of guests: 45
Bridal Party: One maid of honour, four bridesmaids, two best men and one groomsman + officiant
Ceremony time: 5:30pm – 6:45pm
Reception time: 7:30pm – 2am
Tell us about the proposal...
I was meeting Lauren in Italy. Before leaving the states, I decided I wanted to ask her to marry me on this trip. I called her parents and got their blessings, and instead of buying a ring I borrowed one of my Mum's to use as a placeholder. We would be hitting cities in Italy and then spending a few nights in Zermatt, Switzerland which had been a lifelong bucket-list destination of mine.
A couple days in, we took the Gornergratt (cable train) up to a ski station in the mountains close to the Matternhorn. The views were epic, and as soon as we passed the tree line it started snowing. Once we got to the top the conditions were like a blizzard. We both noticed this old "Chapel" looking structure and I knew I wanted to propose in front of this ruin. After a beer or two, I suggested we take some photos in front of the ancient church. Once we got there I saw the door was open a crack, and while the snow and wind howled, we opened it to see a chapel full of lit candles and pews dusted in snow. I immediately turned around, got on one knee and took out the ring. When we arrived back to Zermatt the whole town was covered in snow
Where was the location of your wedding ceremony and reception?
At Casa de Los Suenos Hotel on Isla Mujeres
What was the vibe or theme of your wedding?
Simple. Beach Casual.
How did you find your location?
By chance, a family member mentioned that they had had a great few vacations on the island.
How easy or hard was it to plan your wedding?
It felt fairly easy because we both wanted a small intimate experience. The venue was a huge help and we are so grateful for their guidance in terms of vendors and logistics.
Did you have an itinerary or planned activities for guests on either side of the wedding?
Not really, Because we knew most people were limited on time - we wanted to make sure everyone enjoyed a personal vacation in addition to the wedding.
What advice would you give a couple planning a destination wedding in this location?
There are a ton of options depending on what style of wedding suits your style. From boho beach boutique to resort... there are plenty of options although I think the Island is most accommodating to smaller weddings.
What did you like about having a destination wedding?
Knowing that our wedding was more than a day - it was a coming together of forces and an experience of memories and laughter shared between friends and family. We loved that all of our family was together on a vacation. All this and the ease, the affordability, the food, and the vacation aspect.
What was your favourite part of your wedding day?
Lauren: How do I chose just one?! Riding in golf carts over to the ruins to take pictures with the wedding party, the after party where everyone jumped in the pool and sang along to Alanis Morissette's "Ironic" while it started pouring rain!
Andrew: The first look when I got to see my bride for the first time.
Is there anything you would have done differently?
Not drank as much the night before!
Photography: Sposto Photography
Ceremony and reception: Casa de los Suenos (who also provided an event planner, celebrant, catering, cake, cinematographer, decorations, entertainment, florals, guest favours and furniture)
Wedding Rings: Family heirlooms
Bride’s gown: Love Marley, Willowby by Watters
Bride’s shoes: Caparros
Bride’s accessories: Nadri
Hair stylist and makeup artist: Florist Palacios and the team at Studio De Imagen Y Belleza
Bridesmaid dresses: Show Me Your Mumu, Nordstrom, Forever 21
Groom and groomsmen's shirt, pants and accessories: H&M
Flowers: Ortencia Flower Shop