The moment Katie + Stefan decided to have a destination wedding, they knew they wanted their guests to experience somewhat of an ‘adventure,’ since that is how they like to travel. Katie shares: This was somewhat tricky since we didn’t want the location to be too difficult to get to or have our grandmothers (who are 84 & 90) not able to attend.
The first trip Stefan + I ever took together was to Cabo San Lucas in July of 2006. We ventured to Todos Santos on what was then a dusty ‘highway’ and when we arrived, we immediately fell in love with the charm of the town. How could you not?! We had made several trips back to Todos Santos in the years following, so when we starting talking about wedding locations we both agreed it was the perfect place! It helped that only a handful of our guest list had ever visited Todos Santos and we thought the idea of introducing our loved ones ta a place that we hold so dear to our hearts would make the entire experience extra special.
First up, gorgeous cactus-inspired invites by Paper Refinery below! So perfect for the setting.
How awesome do Stefan and his groomsmen look in those blue suits from Bonobos? Casual, yet sophisticated.
Event designer + planner, Mishka Designs, made sure all the fun, sass, and adventure was there for their big day.
How fun are those colorful papel picado banners?
The Ceremony Space
We also decided if our guests were making the trip for us, we would make a real fiesta for them! So we hosted 3 pre-wedding events leading up to the big day, including a pool party at the villa! Everyone was able to meet and mingle in the days leading up to the wedding, so when the big day arrived, everyone had become super close which really made for an insanely fun night!
We wanted to add some fun + personality into our ceremony and involve a few our friends at the same time. Instead of reading scriptures or poems, we thought it would be fun to choose our favorite movie quotes about love. When we asked each of our friends to be a part of the ceremony, we asked them to read their quote however they wanted, or even act out the scene from the movie. We got some great laughs with the funnier quotes and everyone cried when our friend Katie sang an a cappella version of the love song from “The Wedding Singer.”
Flower petals galore… and the best feeling!
Katie tried on about 50 other wedding dresses before making an appointment at The Dress Theory in San Diego. She thought I wanted an all-lace gown, but none of the dresses she tried felt like ‘the one’.
She shares: When I went in for my appointment with my mom and three close girlfriends, the ladies at The Dress Theory were incredible. They listened to me and pulled some suggestions based on what I told them about the venue and how I wanted to look & feel on my wedding day. When I slipped into the ‘Piedmont’ gown by Sarah Severn I instantly I knew! I started crying, and my Mom started crying…then we were all crying (happy tears!) so we popped the champagne and that was it!
The Rockin’ Reception
Neither of us are very traditional and we wanted to make a few ‘new traditions’ for our wedding. Instead of a wedding cake, we opted to hire a Churro Cart! Stefan and I made a churro together and fed a piece to each other.
As the two have a soft spot for all things Mexico, it only made sense to incorporate their shared love into the overall design! In lieu of table numbers, they named each of the tables after a city in Mexico they had visited together. K+S even picked postcards from each of the 9 cities and used them as the seating assignments.
For our wedding favors, we wanted to give the guests something they would actually use and something that was local to the area. With the help of our friend Cassie and Stefan’s uncle, Stephen (who also was our officiant), we created custom burlap bags that read “La Mezcla Perfecta, Katie & Stefan, April 28, 2018”. We then purchased whole roasted coffee beans from a local coffee farm, Baja Beans, and filled each bag the day before the wedding. We got Stefan’s whole family to help which was a really fun project to do together!
Instead of having a traditional guest book, we addressed each of the postcards to our home and asked our guests to mail them to us with a ‘love note’ that would be waiting for us when we returned from our mini-moon. We are still getting postcards back, a few each week, and it lets us relive the wedding each time we receive one!
What a sunset!
Stefan and I have talked about how incredible the entire wedding was, but we would both agree that the most memorable moment was our first dance. The dance floor at the Villa was raised like a stage, about a foot off of the ground and our friends and family were all given sparklers before our entrance. The sun had set and the full moon was out, and when we made our entrance the wind picked up just enough to get the sparklers really going.
Stefan spun me at one point and we had a moment that felt like we were in our own movie. It was as if we were on stage at a concert where the audience was filled with our closest friends & family, and they were all cheering for us! Absolutely surreal, a feeling we will never forget. Oh yes, and then we broke out into a salsa dance to ‘Suavemente’!!! Something we had been rehearsing secretively for a month via YouTube tutorials. When we finished, everyone was cheering 'Encore! Encore!’
Sparklers + a dance floor right next to the beach… Yeah, we’d like to be there, too!
photography: Ana & Jerome // venue name: Villa Santa Cruz, Todos Santos, Baja, Mexico // event design: Mishka Events // planning: Mishka Designs // florals: Mishka Designs // wedding dress: Sarah Seven 'Piedmont' // wedding dress boutique: The Dress Theory San Diego // hairpiece: Sarah Gabriel // bride's shoes: anklets from BareSandals // bride's ring: The Diamond Connection // getting ready robes: Endless Monogram // hair stylist: Suzanne Morel // makeup artist: Suzanne Morel // groom attire: Bonobos // groom's shoes: Johnston & Murphy // groom's ring: The Diamond Connection // videography: Ana & Jerome // paper goods: Paper Refinery // catering: Salt & Sugar Co // earrings: Petite Delights by Ilona Rubin // pinky ring: Katie's Mother's heirloom // bracelets: local Encinitas, CA designer // rentals : TS Event Rentals, Let It Be Events, Delcabo Event Design, Baja Boutique Rental Company // additional assistance: Allure Event + Jess Flood Event Design // details : Maracas + TS Event Rentals // feather sandals: RiRiPom // flower girl dress: Bitty Bambu