Vibrant Oaxaca Destination Wedding (The Bride Wore a Chartreuse Wedding Dress!)

Vibrant Mexico Wedding

It’s Around the World with GWS week and next up, we’re heading to the gorgeous + spirited city of Oaxaca, Mexico! Speaking of gorgeous + spirited, meet Preston + Jessica, the super hip couple who decided to high-tail it from California and bring all their friends and family along for the ride! Their wedding took place surrounding the Day of the Dead, celebrating P + J’s love amidst one of the city’s most festive celebrations. SO cool. We’re totally inspired by these two, least of all Jessica’s AMAZING chartreuse wedding dress! We’ve got all the details below, but first, Jessica shared a little about how they found themselves planning a wedding in Oaxaca!

We wanted a fresh and inspiring wedding, with traditional touches. Wedding planning is inherently sentimental and emotional. We wanted not only to spend quality time with our guests, but to have fun with them, and really show them how much we love them. Once we had cleared our heads and gathered our thoughts, we stumbled upon an idea to force everyone on a vacation! Oaxaca was decided upon, and the rest of our plans fell into place. We researched the best time of year to visit Oaxaca and found that the weather is perfect between October and November. We joked about a Halloween wedding then realized how mind-blowing it would be for our guests to experience Day of the Dead (Día de Los Muertos).

Marissa Kay Photography was there to capture all the fun details! Let’s have a look!

bougainvillea bouquet

red bridal heels

 First come shoes, then comes the dress! Jessica, a makeup artist, even found the perfect red, long-wear lipstick from Anastasia of Beverly Hills to match her red Aldo platforms.

Jessica’s Chartreuse Wedding Dress

yellow wedding dress

When dress shopping, I imagined what a wedding dress would look like against the soft neutral tones of the sandy stone colored walls, the blue and silver of the agave plants, and the strong pops of color. I had seen a chartreuse-colored Jason Wu dress with a gathered, very romantic draping down some stairs, photographed on a similar background to the stairs at the Santo Domingo Church. The color and design would be a risky move for a wedding dress, but in Oaxaca, the more colorful, the better! After visiting International Silks and Woolens and photographing the color against my skin in different lighting, I was convinced of the color. I worked closely with Marcela Danilowicz of MD Tailoring who handmade my gown with 28 yards of four-ply silk. She used the matte side of the fabric for a soft, classic sheen. The wedding dress fit like a second skin and was the perfect surprise when I walked down the aisle. 

Vibrant Mexico Wedding

Our Favorite Memory From The Wedding

The day arrived... Preston and I spent breakfast together in our room at the Quinta Real, sharing coffee and our love for each other. I am so glad that we not only spent every possible minute with our wedding party, but that we carved out some special times just for the two of us. Once all the hard work of planning a wedding was done, and October 31st arrived, we only had to glam ourselves up and marry our soulmate! After kissing each other goodbye, I was joined by my favorite ladies, including my mother and sister.

all black groomsmen attire

Preston wore black in contrast to the Jessica’s chartreuse. He decided on Japanese denim jeans, a Ted Baker shirt, and finished with a lightweight jacket. P + J asked their wedding guests to also wear black, giving the wedding a classy and streamlined theme!

The Ceremony

Vibrant Mexico Wedding

The ceremony took place in an intimate courtyard of the former 16th-century church in the center of Oaxaca, Quinta Real Oaxaca. Guests were surrounded by native greenery and enjoyed the sounds of a live band playing traditional Oaxacan music.

Vibrant Mexico Wedding

The Newlyweds

Vibrant Mexico Wedding

After the ceremony, P + J walked with Marissa Kay to the nearby Santo Domingo de Guzmán Church. Certain parts of the beautiful building have been around since 1575 and the stunning architecture made for a beautiful, unique backdrop for photos!

Vibrant Mexico Wedding

Isn’t Jessica’s bouquet by Nátura Floristería a DREAM? We can’t get enough of those colors against her dress!

Vibrant Mexico Wedding

Vibrant Mexico Wedding

black hat groom

Vibrant Mexico Wedding

Jessica is a hair + makeup artist and she offered some killer advice for brides come wedding day!

Our Advice To Those Planning Now

As a makeup artist and hair stylist, I give tons of advice on wedding day hair and make up. My usual go to thoughts are to:

1. Keep it classic and never go too trendy! Well, as you can see, I also think it’s important to follow your heart, break rules, and live your best life.
2. Care for your skin, not just on your face.
3. There are massage techniques that you can quickly use to de puff your face, lift the jaw line, and reduce bags under your eyes.
4. Putting a face mask in the refrigerator really has an amazing effect of brightening skin before your wedding day.
5. A light moisturizer prior to applying make up is key to helping your make up look smooth, and go on evenly.
6. If you’ve never had an updo in your life, do not go for an intricate updo on your wedding day. The same goes for brides that don’t wear make up.
7. It is not recommended to change your hair color dramatically before your wedding, but consider getting a gloss put on your hair for shiny locks. I know most brides grow their hair long before the wedding day but it’s perfectly okay to get a fresh short cut and rock a more edgy look, if that’s your style. Don’t compromise your personal comfort or what makes you feel beautiful. I have never felt more beautiful in my life than when we said “I DO!"

Vibrant Mexico Wedding

gold wedding rings

The coolest rings by Lauren Wolf Jewelry!

Vibrant Mexico Wedding

The Reception

papel picado

Jessica had spent some time in Oaxaca as a child and raved about the vibrancy of the city and the people, especially surrounding Día de los Muertos!

Oaxaca is a vibrant city, enriched with deep culture and beauty. Once you have traveled to Oaxaca for Día de los Muertos, you are forever changed. The celebrations are colorful and full of love and life. Alters are beautifully crafted in bright colors with flowers, offerings of candy or breads decorate the alters along with candles. The community comes together to honor the spirits of those that have passed away. It is amazing to participate in the celebrations with such a kind and loving culture steeped in such special traditions.

Vibrant Mexico Wedding

Vibrant Mexico Wedding

With bougainvillea draped on roofs and down walls in the city of Oaxaca, it was only too perfect to incorporate the intense magenta flowers in the bouquet and as simple centerpieces!

Vibrant Mexico Wedding

Vibrant Mexico Wedding

black floral dress

Just YES, you two!! Who else is loving everything about this day?! All our congrats to Preston + Jessica!

photography: Marissa Kay Photography // venue name: Quinta Real Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico // florals: Nátura Floristería // wedding dress: custom gown handmade by Marcela Danilowicz of MD Tailoring // bride's shoes: Aldo // bride's ring: Lauren Wolf Jewelry // hair stylist: Bride did her own hair // makeup artist: Bride did her own makeup // groom's ring: Lauren Wolf Jewelry // paper goods: Handmade by the bride // officiant: Groom's Father