Real Wedding: Grace + Mike’s Destination Wedding

I’ve been getting quite a few emails lately with requests to see some destination weddings + any tips for planning one. So, today I have not one, but two gorgeous destination weddings to share! The first takes place in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and was photographed by the lovely Sarah Yates. Thanks to Grace for sharing some details into their day!

beach wedding

When it came time for us to come up with a theme, it was so difficult to choose! There are so many different directions you can go and tons of great ideas out there. As we started to narrow things down, it became clear that we kept coming back to the word “timeless”. We realized that we wanted a wedding that could be appreciated at any point in time, whether it be yesterday, today, or tomorrow. We tried to stay away from anything too trendy and hoped that we wouldn’t raise our eyebrows 50 years down the road, wondering why we did certain things.

Since we were also getting married on the beach and at a private villa in Mexico, we wanted to make sure to draw from our surroundings and incorporate things from nature. All this said, we decided to go with a bit of bohemian and a bit of chic. Thus, with the help of the lovely ladies at Dazzling Details, we created a world that was just that.”

wedding bouquet

wedding program

One of my favorite memories from the day was my dad asking me how we should walk down the aisle and telling me he wanted to hold hands rather than being the traditional “arm escort.” It was so much more personal, and I was so touched that he was the one who suggested it. To walk down the aisle, my cousins (who performed on Broadway for years) sang an a cappella version of “Flower Duet” that was done by East Village Opera Company.

groom in tux

wedding on the beach

wedding backdrop with flowers

beach wedding

couple at the beach sunset

couple in doorway on the beach

cocktail party on the beach

hanging cards in frames

wedding decor

couple dancing

There were so many memorable moments from the day! Having Mike’s aunt kick off the dancing from the minute the music started, even before the younger folks made it to the dance floor… then watching a dance-off that she won. That was the true moment when we realized that everyone (young and old) was having a great time. And then sneaking down to the beach towards the end of the night and lighting a wishing lantern. It was so special to share a quick private moment and do something with just the 2 of us around. We set the lantern off into the sky, while our guests watched from the villa above. Set to music, they watched it float away and made wishes for us.

couple with wishing lantern

What advice to you have for those planning a destination wedding?
• Make a decision, stick with it, and move on. There are too many things to do while wedding planning and way too many choices. Indecisiveness and letting yourself fall into buyer’s remorse will be the death of you! Once you decide on something, don’t reconsider or doubt that you made the right choice. There is so much out there that you can always find something that may seem better and the more confused you will become. Be confident in your choices and move on.
• Be flexible and even more so for a destination wedding. Because so much work and preparation goes into wedding planning, it is easy to become obsessed with things going perfectly and according to plan. Be prepared that it won’t. During our wedding, there were endless situations and things that went awry. However, we went with the flow and tried not to let things bother us. It was the best thing we could have done. None of our guests noticed in the end, and we all had a great time nonetheless.
• All of our friends who had gotten married before us had warned us that the day would go by fast. Oh boy, were they right! It was such a blur, and it was all over before we knew it. As obvious as it sounds, really do try to enjoy every single second of it.

Thanks so much Grace and best wishes to you and Mike!

Venue: Casa Guillermo (Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)
Photography: Sarah Yates Photography
Wedding Dress: Lazaro
Hair and Makeup: Sebastian Salon (Romantic Zone)
Shoes: Pour La Victoire
Bridesmaid Dress: Priscilla of Boston
Hairpieces: Purchased from Lovely Bridal Shop in NYC
Groom Suit: Express Men
Event + Floral Design: Dazzling Details
Invitations/Paper Goods: Twin Ravens Press