Intimate DIY Baja Wedding: Erin + Chris

And for our second destination wedding, we have the wedding of one of my favorite bloggers, Erin from Apartment 34! I’ve been following Erin’s wedding planning all last year, so I’m super excited to share her wedding here today. And it was photographed by none other than Jose Villa! Erin also wrote her top 5 tips for planning a DIY destination wedding, so make sure to read those at the end also. Thanks Erin!

A bit about the wedding from Erin: In August, 2009 the most amazing man in the world got down on his knee and asked me to marry him at home plate in Safeco Field. After six months of planning, in April 2010 we took our closest family + friends to Baja for an intimate, DIY wedding ceremony on the shores of the Pacific. We followed that up with a giant party with all of our extended family + friends back in Seattle!


sparkly wedding shoes

mexico beach wedding

beach wedding jose villa

rowboat on the beach

couple with parasol

pink house

succulent plant

chalk board menus

dinner table wedding

wedding invitation suite

jose villa wedding

Top 5 Destination Wedding Planning Tips for the DIY Bride
1. Have realistic expectations. If, like me, you cannot afford to fly to your destination in advance identify everything that will be out of your control and make sure you’re ok with that! That can include a lot of things such as the location, the food, the flowers & decor items.

2. Get local help. If at all possible, find someone who lives in your location to be your advocate. That may require translation, but it makes reaching local vendors A LOT easier. The easiest place to start is the manager of your venue, but don’t be afraid to get creative! I ended up working with a contact of my brother’s college professor!

3. Prioritize. This hearkens back to point #1. Since so many elements will be out of your control, identify (ideally with your fiance) what elements of your wedding day are the most important. That might be getting great wedding pictures, enjoying amazing food, or having a kickin’ dance party. Put your time and energy into the things you care about most.

4. It’s all in details. Just because you’re traveling a long way doesn’t mean you can’t put your personal touch on things. Pack an extra bag to bring special items (for example, I brought particular candles, lots of paper products, gift bag, table clothes and custom napkins!) from home. You’ll likely need multiple bags like we did – you’d be surprised how willing relatives are to carry them for you!.

5. Sit back and relax. When it comes down to it, the heart of your wedding is the commitment you’re making to your partner. While amazing flowers are heavenly and the perfect place settings so fun and the ideal temperature a dream you don’t need those things to go right, for the day to feel so right. All you need is your love. Cheesy? Yes. True? Absolutely. You don’t have to take my word for it, but here was my wedding motto: nothing can go wrong when tequila is involved!

Good luck to all the destination brides out there! And thanks so much Erin + Chris! Your wedding looked beautiful. :)

photography: Jose Villa // location: Casa Baha Sonadora Los Barriles, Mexico // invitation suite: Brown Sugar Design // calligraphy: Grace Edmands and menus by Primele on Etsy // wedding dress: Robert Bullock // shoes: Christian Louboutin // jewelry: Badgley Mischka // napkins: Country Life Naturals on Etsy // catering: Local Baja restaurant Campestre Trini // ring bowls: Paloma’s Nest

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  1. jose villa captures it perfectly every single time! what a beautiful wedding!

  2. Another beautiful example of why I absolutely love destination weddings! Speaking of love, I adore the bride’s engagement ring! Is that the Tiffany Legacy?? Beautiful!

  3. Hi all, bride here! Thanks for the comments. My husband actually had my ring custom made, but it’s based off of the Tiffany Legacy – my longtime fave! :)

  4. I LOVE the paper details in this wedding. So amazing!

  5. Yay, I finally saw some of the pictures. :)You look beautiful Erin and Jose did an amazing job. – your cuz

  6. You know if Jose’s the photographer then the wedding images are going to be EXTRAORDINARY!!!!! TOP NOTCH!

  7. Beautiful photos! So clean and timeless!

  8. Another amazing wedding capture by Jose Villa! What gorgeous textures and compositions. I want my future wedding to look like this. Gorgeous imagery.

  9. i love erin’s style and her blog. their wedding was nothing but gorgeous.

  10. Woohoo!!! This is SO cute! I love the peonies with burlap.

    That ring is GORGEOUS! It’s like a blingier-sized version of mine so I love the style of it. Y’all got married on my birthday!!!

  11. This location is absolutely gorgeous! I love all the little details that make this wedding so pretty! And of course anything Jose Villa shoots is gold!!

  12. I love the invitations, photos are nice and clean not overly stylized

  13. love, love, looooove. I’m tempted to save these pictures & make it my screensaver. They’re gorgeous!

  14. Really great wedding captures. Simple but really effective.

  15. This wedding is perfect. Jose Villa’s photos capture a light-hearted, happy, easy-going experience (and even if it wasn’t, it looks like it was!). This is just the right attitude for a beach wedding.

  16. The moments are worth remembering.You can really see in their eyes that they are so in love. Nice shots. The ambiance as well too.

  17. Those invitations are amazing! Love the colors. I am book marking that paper company!

  18. I am getting married in La Paz this November and you have totally made me feel better about things not being in my control. Were getting married on the beach with the beautiful Sea of Cortez in the backdrop! What could be better. Thank you for sharing your opinions they have helped me put things into perspective. Beautiful weddin!

  19. hello!
    curious what type of linen you used for your tablecloths, I love it! we are getting married in todos santos in may.

  20. Your pictures are wonderful. If you’d like to see more pictures of the destination-


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jen Campbell, Michigan Bride. Michigan Bride said: Real Wedding: Erin + Chris' Destination Wedding | Green Wedding …: And for our second destination wedding, we … […]

  2. […] Let’s hear from the boys Awesome painterly inspiration Erin & Chris […]

  3. […] by Jose Villa via Green Wedding Shoes. Calligraphy by Grace […]

  4. […] Erin + Chris‘ Destination Wedding in Mexico | Green Wedding Shoes …Feb 17, 2011 … This wedding was photographed by Jose Villa! Erin also wrote her top 5 tips for planning a DIY destination wedding, so make sure to read … […]


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