Trash the Dress Photos Part 3

Monica send us more photos of our Trash the Dress shoot at Garrafon Park today! There should be 1 more batch of photos after this. I’m thrilled we got so many good shots!

Part 1

Part 2

Credits and thanks:

Location: Garrafon Park, Isla Mujeres

Photography: Monica Lopez

Makeup: Vanessa Dominguez Alvarez

Dress: MOM!

First Trash the Dress Photos!!

My photographer, Monica Lopez (info@monicalopezphoto.com), sent me a few of my Trash the Dress photos today! The location is the beautiful Garrafon Park on Isla Mujeres, who were so generous with us throughout the day.

There will be more sometime next week, but for now I can’t stop looking at these:

I think I might ask Monica to follow me around with a camera everywhere I go from now on, forever. Check out her website here: http://monicalopezphoto.com/

More to come in a few days! Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Update: Now you can check out the rest of our Trash the Dress shots!

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Why I Love Beach Weddings in Cancun

I’ve been living in Cancun since I was 19, but had never attended a local wedding until last year. Now that I’m well into my 20s, many of my friends are starting to get engaged and get married (including myself… heh).

My best friends got married on the beach in Puerto Juarez, Cancun

I’d never before realized just how amazing Cancun is for a wedding, but in the past year I’ve had the chance to see several stunning beach weddings right on the Caribbean.

With unique chapels set under a palapa-roof, intense turquoise waters and bright white sand beaches, brides and grooms in Cancun don’t even need to buy large flower arrangements or expensive decorations to set the mood for a romantic beach wedding.

Couples getting married in Cancun can experience an elegant ceremony at one of this destination’s incredible resorts, or choose a more secluded oceanside event venue in areas like Puerto Morelos and Puerto Juarez, both located within 20 minutes of the Hotel Zone.

When it comes to beach weddings, I’m great at salsa dancing in the sand and hounding the dessert table… but when it comes to planning, my organizational skills fail me. So, I decided to ask my friend Ilse, the owner of Diamant Events and a beautiful beachside venue in Puerto Morelos, a little about what it’s like to plan a destination wedding in Cancun.

The gorgeous Ilse of Diamant Events

Why do so many people choose Cancun for their destination wedding?

Because people get more for their money in every way. Cancun offers amazing background colors for your beautiful wedding photos. We also have very good weather almost every time of the year.

Nighttime beach wedding by Ilse of Diamant Events

What inspired you to choose Cancun for organizing destination weddings?

I know Cancun is still a young city and the wedding industry is growing fast around the world, and Cancun is the perfect place to do things the right way. If we all have good and certified wedding planners, we can raise the bar for quality weddings and become the world’s top wedding destination, not just the Top 10.

A daytime beach wedding by Ilse at Diamant Events

What are some fun traditions you’ve seen being used here?

I’ve seen the Chinese tea tradition, one tradition from a Nordic town where bride and groom cut together a piece of wood symbolizing they are now working together as a team, I’ve seen tossing the bouquet to see who is the next one in line to get married, and the Jordanian Candle Dance where all the ladies from the bridal party (including bride) entering the wedding salon with the lights dimmed and all of them dancing; then they get to the groom they carry them and every one dances in circles around them.
How hard is it for a foreigner to get married in Mexico from a legal standpoint?
They can do the legal ceremony here too. Most people don’t want to do the paper work because they don’t realize that any certified wedding planner in Cancun can do that for them, including sending the papers back home and making them legal in their foreign country.
What’s the best time of day for a beach wedding?
My favorite time is just before sunset. The natural lighting, the breeze and the serenity of the ocean at that time is just amazing!

An evening beach wedding by Isle at Diamant Events

Ilse was nice enough to invite me along to a wedding this weekend! She was at a workshop hosted by New York wedding coordinator Candy Cain, where she and other coordinators got their Wedding Specialist Certification. Saturday afternoon, I met up with Ilse at the Gran Caribe Real in Cancun’s Hotel Zone to see a beautiful wedding right on the beach, organized by Candy. It was INCREDIBLE. So small and simple, yet breathtaking. I’ll leave you with a few pictures…

Any wedding with a parasailer in the background is all right with me.

What’s your dream wedding location?

Disclosure:  I am being compensated for my work in creating and managing content as a Community Manager for the Mexico Today Program.  All stories, opinions and passion for all things Mexico shared here are completely my own.

Juan and Viri's Civil Ceremony by the Lagoon

First of all, a little explanation. Here in Mexico, when you get married, you have to get married twice. One is the religious ceremony, which is the big ceremony and reception, like an American wedding. Second is the civil ceremony, where you have to say your vows and sign a paper, to show you’re legally married.

Jorge and I did the religious ceremony back in July, and we’ll be able to do the civil ceremony soon.

Our friends Juan and Viri, however, did it the other way. They had their civil ceremony last Saturday, and the big formal wedding will be in August.

Some Mexicans just go to the courthouse for their civil ceremony. Others have a small, informal ceremony and party.

Juan and Viri hosted a party at La Europea, a wine and liquor shop in the Hotel Zone. La Europea has a small tasting room in the back for events, along with a beautiful garden and balcony overlooking the lagoon. It’s a great spot. Seriously, the next party I throw will be here! haha

Me and Jorge (in the background across the lagoon is the spot where he proposed!)

Brothers... Armando, Arturo and Juan (the groom)

Looking down onto the garden ceremony area

And now for the ceremony photos (please overlook my poor nighttime photography skills)…

Viri's parents signing the papers

Placing their thumbprints on the papers

Some centerpieces Viri put together with her favorite flower

hors d'eouvres and cake! (The food was amazing, by the way!)

Me with the bride!!

After dinner, a bunch of us stayed out on the balcony for some drinks. I was lame and went home at 1 a.m., but Jorge didn’t get home until 4! Must have been quite a party 🙂

Our Wedding: Professional Photos

Here are the links to all the rest of my wedding-related photos…

Out first visit to check out Hacienda Teya

Hacienda Teya at night (spooky!)


Visiting Hacienda Teya with Mom

Family vacation in Puerto Morelos the week of the wedding

Bachelorette party at Coco Bongo in Cancun


Bridal Shower

Getting ready before the wedding

Wedding bouquets

Ceremony (guest photos)

Reception (guest photos) Part 1 and Part 2

We finally got our professional photos! I tried to scale it down, but there were just so many great shots. Enjoy!

Jorge took about 30 seconds to cry before he could say his vows... then half of the guests broke into tears as well (so I hear).

My sister and dad singing "Rock of Ages"

Jorge's parents placing the "lazo" on us

This was later referred to as Jorge's "quincenera" photo 😉

"La Serpiente" a Mexican wedding tradition where all the single ladies form a sort of congo line, going all around the room and under the veil held by the bride and groom

My sister Sarah caught the bouquet! (and Aubrie, the gracious loser)

Another favorite Mexican wedding tradition... the men form a line and get tequila poured down their throat by the groom

My grandpa singing "Cielito Lindo" with my college buddies... Aaaah, weddings 🙂

Grandma and Grandpa dancing to the mariachis with my in-laws

My Big Sister's Vegas Wedding

First off, the bad news. Level 1 Hurricane Paula is headed straight for Cancun. We’ve been pretty lucky so far this year, but it looks like there’s no escaping this one.

*sigh* Looks like a good day for a Walmart run. 🙂

Anyway, back to the fun stuff. My oldest sister Noelle got married on Friday! In VEGAS! We’re so excited to have Michael as part of our family. He’s pretty awesome.

The ceremony was at the Juno Garden in Caesar’s Palace, followed by a reception at Joe’s nearby. Here goes:

Mommy getting her makeup done

My middle sister Sarah getting her hair done

My hair (I'm gonna hire this girl to move to Cancun and style my hair every day because... wow!)

The beautiful bride (Noelle) getting ready!!

SISTERS! Sarah, Noelle and me

Noelle and my mom on her wedding day 🙂

I loved this dress

Beautiful shoes

Putting on her garter

Noelle and her entourage walking through the Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis on the way to the ceremony

Juno Garden - the ceremony site

Juno Garden

Juno Garden (looking up)

Michael and Noelle walking to the reception site

On our way to the reception, a lady who had obviously been drinking saw the whole bridal party and shouted, “CONGRATULATIONS!” She then looked directly at Sarah and me (bridesmaids) and said, “Oh, don’t worry… you’ll get married someday.”

Yeah, thanks.

View from reception garden

A special guest made an appearance...

They're pretty good dancers!

Back of Noelle's dress... so pretty! (Sorry Amy, I stole your photo)

Gorgeous! (Another stolen picture from Amy)

Most of my mom's side of the family 🙂 (Sorry again, Amy)

Sarah, Elvis, me

Elvis with all the girls!

Sparkle Cake!! best. cake. ever.

After the reception, a bunch of us went back into Caesar’s for drinks and fun. Noelle got cheers wherever she went, and there was a surprising number of guys hitting on her… I think they were a bit too late.

Drinks at the Seahorse Lounge after the wedding

Aaaand my favorite... the bridal party eating dinner at 2 am

 

My Wedding Bouquets

Just came across these leftover photos from the morning after my wedding.

Since a few of you asked to see more pictures of my flowers, these are the best I can do for now haha. The only flowers we really had were the bouquets, and only 1 table arrangement.

My bouquet

My bouquet up close - roses, freesia, tulips and orchids

bridesmaid's bouquet - roses and freesia

Jorge and Laura's Wedding Ceremony, Hacienda Teya

*Note: These are all pictures taken by various guests/family members. Within a few weeks, I hope to have the official ones from the photographer! Sorry if these are a bit limited.*

Last Thursday, everyone in my family took the 3-hour trip from Cancun to the beautiful city of Merida for our wedding.

The first thing we did once we got to Hacienda Teya was the rehearsal. My awesome sisters had made me a bouquet for the rehearsal out of bows and ribbons from the gifts we got at the bridal shower.

We spent the rest of the day getting hair and makeup done, while eating some Burger King. I was pretty calm the entire day, and the stylists were telling me I was the calmest bride they’ve ever seen. I guess I just knew everything was taken care of, and I was mostly just excited to see everybody at the reception.

My family got to the hacienda around 5:30 and spent some time taking pictures.

ME! about 20 minutes before the wedding.

My Uncle John did the ceremony, with the help of a friend who translated. Everything went very smoothly. Two bridesmaids read from 1 Corinthians 13 (everybody does it, I know, but I just love that chapter!) My sister Sarah read in English, and my friend Damayanti read in Spanish.

My sister Noelle and my dad performed one of my all-time favorite songs, Rock of Ages. It was beautiful!! (I cried… not gonna lie) I hope the photographer has pictures.

During the vows, Jorge began to cry and couldn’t continue on for about 30 seconds. He was embarrassed about it, but everyone thought it was so sweet (including me). I later found out that when Jorge started crying, all my uncles/cousins/guy friends in the crowd also started to shed some tears. Awesome 🙂

We threw in some Mexican traditions, including the arras (exchange of 13 golden coins to represent how we share financial responsibilities), and the lasso (a Catholic tradition when a cord with a cross on it is placed around the bride and groom’s necks, symbolizing their union in Christ). I hope the photographer got pictures of that, too!

Before the ceremony, I was nervous it wouldn’t turn out well because of all the translations, plus the mix of traditions we were using, but I have to say it was one of the most beautiful ceremonies I’ve ever seen, thanks mostly to my Uncle John. He did a great job of having everything so organized, so profound, yet so simple. I know, I know, maybe I’m just bragging, but SERIOUSLY! It really was a perfect ceremony. A few minor glitches here and there, but mostly those little things make for great stories later.

The groomsmen

Cousin Aubrie with the cute little hand fans we handed out to the ladies... very useful to cool off and to dry tears, so I hear.

Jorge's dad taking my mom to her seat... I still keep hearing about how gorgeous my mom looked at the wedding 🙂

My bridesmaids: I love these girls 🙂

Jorge's cousins as flowergirls (dresses made by Jorge's grandmother)

Daddy and me

 

Me trying not to step on my dress as I sunk into the carpet/grass

 

Bubbles!!

My favorite part of the entire thing was the setting. As Jorge and I listened to my Uncle John preach, we had a great view of a beautiful bamboo forest behind him. Not to mention the lush plants growing all around the garden walls. If you notice, we really didn’t have many flowers or decorations for the ceremony because, quite frankly, the space is perfect just as-is.

Wedding Blessings

45 days til the wedding!

I have to admit, I was stressing out for a few months because costs just kept adding up and adding up. I hadn’t really told anyone that except for Jorge and my wedding planner, Marina.

It got to the point where I wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to have a few things I wanted due to budget constraints. I just couldn’t get excited about anything because I was worrying about money, and I felt guilty for anything that wasn’t absolutely necessary. We got everything at a great price, but with 250 guests and 25 tables, EVERYTHING is expensive!

We love and cherish every single one of our guests, so cutting the guest list was never an option. Actually we did cut it… it WAS at 330!! It stressed me out having so many people, but when I think about it, how awesome is it to have SO MANY friends that you care that much about?

Anyway, recent budget changes and some very generous family and friends have placed everything well within our budget!!! Hurray!!! Stress no longer! I can finally enjoy this, and I’m gonna be milkin it for all it’s worth!

Anyway, I’d like to take this time to thank the people who have made all this possible:

-My parents, who have generously paid for most of our wedding budget. Without you, it wouldn’t be as beautiful as it’s going to be. I hope you both love it as much as I do.

Noelle, Mommy, Daddy, Sarah and Yours Truly

-My mother in particular, for her amazing talent. Thanks to her seamstress skills, my $5,000 dream dress only cost $250. The wedding invitations she made look professional, and only cost $100. (Remind me to do a post on the invites! They’re so cute!)

-My grandparents, who have helped all my family members to be able to make it down to Cancun.

-My future in-laws, who are helping us financially as well as helping us make so many decisions. I know at the end of a long day, the last thing you want to do is go over a guest list with me… AGAIN. Thanks for doing it with a smile on your face.

Jorge and Glenty at their vow renewal reception

-Juan and Viri, our great friends, who are generously paying for our cake. (chocolate-nut flavored! woo-hoo!)

-Jorge’s aunts and uncles, who are helping us pay for a few things and have saved us so much money (We’re renting a charter bus for my family to get from Cancun to Merida the day of… one uncle got the price from $1500 to $600 dollars!)

-Jorge’s grandmother, who is making the flower girl dresses herself

-Jorge’s mother, who is making 100 candles for us, along with the centerpieces.

-My bridesmaids, who put up with my indecisiveness and always make me feel special. (I’m missing pictures of Isis, Jorge’s cousin, but I love you just the same!) My mistake was having seven gorgeous bridesmaids. It’s gonna be tough to outshine them all!!!

Thanks sisters, for always photoshopping me in when I couldn't be there.

Me with Zareth and Viri

Damayanti

Julyssa

-My wedding planner, who is doing all this for FREE. You’re awesome, Marina. Thanks for putting up with all the last-minute changes, for all the great ideas, and for winning the hearts of florists, makeup artists and DJs. You’re going to make an awesome wedding planner, and I’m proud to be your first bride.

Me with coordinator Marina and bridesmaid Julie

-Iliana, the sales manager at Hacienda Teya. I have sent you thousands of e-mails, and you always responded within 24 hours. You’ve made everything so easy, and thanks for bending over backwards to get me everything I’ve asked for, even when you didn’t have to. You’re my favorite person I’ve never met.

-My horrible math skills, which brought me great relief in times of trouble. (I might have miscalculated a few things and thought it was going to be $1000 dollars more expensive than it was going to be… oops. I felt really stupid and somewhat concerned about my financial skills, but also friggin ecstatic, when I noticed that slip-up.)

I’M SO EXCITED NOW!!!! 😀 I think it’s awesome that so many people have come together to make this day awesome for us, including all of our guests, who are traveling short and long distances to be there on our special day. (250 people willing to travel anywhere from one hour to 10 hours just to be there? Amazing. God has really blessed us.)

Check back in tomorrow to see pictures of the tuxes for the groomsmen!!