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