As soon as Kelly proposed, we knew we wanted to get married where our love story began, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Not only was planning a destination wedding difficult with the time change and language barriers, but COVID-19 was still putting a burden on our plans. After years of dedicated planning, saving, the bulk-booking of flights and hotels, we convinced 65 family friends to be a part of the most magical day of our lives. Finally saying "I do" at a location that means everything to us in front of our favorite people, seems even more special.
As covered in the NY Times
Travel Agent: Lars from Destination Weddings
I highly recommend reaching out to Lars as he allowed us to enjoy planning the wedding and ultimately our vacation. Lars was extremely knowledgeable of the destination wedding process, and he worked around the clock to make sure our group had the best rates. Make sure you have a great price locked in for your guests before you sign the hotel contract.
Fishing Charter with the family: Viviana's Fishing Boat Cabo Marina
We chose a great and inexpensive charter to take 9 of us fishing early in the morning the Sunday before the wedding. We packed a bag of snacks, beers and water for our trip. On the dock, the captain met us and we handed over money for fish bait and our licenses. Hind sight, we did not have to purchase 9 licenses ($35 each) as only 4 people fished. Out on the water we reeled in 2 Skipjack (tuna family). While trolling the coastline you could see sea lions, whale, and pelicans. Alex fileted the fish on the boat and bagged it up for us to take to Captain Tony's. There they cook the fish several ways for your party to share. It was an incredible day and truly enjoyed eating the fruits of our labor after.
Hotel: Pueblo Bonito Sunset
Wedding Planner: Elisa at firstname.lastname@example.org
After visiting many Cabo properties prior to the wedding, we absolutely fell in love with this resort. Kelly and I chose a beach wedding and a skypool reception. Before signing the contract make sure you negotiate everything you envision at your wedding. We negotiated the arch, the flowers on it, the flowers for the maid of honor and flower girl. We also negotiated the videography charge for EM Weddings prior which really helped our budget overall. Another tip is reviewing your wedding timeline! We altered their timeline because they had the timing back-to-back with no wiggle room for photos and traveling on golf carts from the beach to the reception. Do not lose the time you are paying for. After speaking to a handful of other brides we all came to a joint conclusion that the communication leading up to the wedding is for lack of better words, brutal. A month before the wedding I received answers quicker, but when you are a planner, like myself that was not good enough for my deadlines.
Hair & Make-Up: Olivia from the resort spa, Armonia was incredible. I got a hair/make-up trial the day before the wedding as I was nervous. She listened to my wants, needs and I reviewed some inspirational photos with her. I felt so beautiful when she was done, it came out perfect! On the wedding day be sure to order snacks and champagne before you get to the salon.
Photographer: Maritna Gebarovska
I would not want to work with any other photographer for my engagement or wedding photos. Martina has the most amazing eye and captures the love in the most beautiful way. She is exceptional and worth reaching out to.
Videographer: EM Weddings
I was worried about using the resort vendors, however after researching Em's site and social I felt confident they were going to do a fabulous job; and they indeed did! We negotiated 8 hours, which was perfect, and they had a crew of 3 people. The drone footage was beautiful, and they put together a file of the entire day!
Rehearsal Dinner & Welcome Party Bon Fire
Kelly and I headed over to Pacifico for some romantic photos before the wedding rehearsal on the beach. We met our family and friends for some family photos prior to going over the wedding details with Elisa, our wedding coordinator. Elisa met us on the beach and ran us through the day before we headed to La Nao. We chose La Nao for dinner because it is a large enough area, it would be quick, and it is very close to the beach. Kelly and I stopped in at lunch to let them know we would have about 17 people joining us for dinner that evening, just so they were aware. We were very budget conscious through the planning process, but if you do any add on, we highly suggest the bon fire (& the firework sparks on the dance floor, I'll get to that). It was a lot of fun, and our friends and family enjoyed the time on the beach with a private bar. If you do this bring a large portable speaker with a play list ready.
Bridal Boquet Made by my mother with my late grandparents' jewelry
Wedding Day Outfit Details:
Wedding Dress: Allure Bridals
Nails: Elegant Nails, Amherst, NY (716) 768-4674
Groom's Suit & Shoes: RW& Co Other Options
Highlights in Hair: Jessica From Totality Salon
Lip Stick: Tom Ford Bomb Frost Sold Out, Option
Custom Watches: Gift for Groomsmen BoBo Bird
Mother of the Bride Dress:
My mom looked stunning in an Adrienna Papell Dress from Macy's. Here is a link to the dress options.
Wedding Party Entrance: Bryan Adams - Everything I do - played acoustic by the resort guitarist
Bride Entrance: Somewhere Over the Rainbow - played acoustic by the resort guitarist
Exit Song at Wedding: Hall & Oates - Dreams Come True - played over the speaker
Reception Entrance Song: T.I.- Bring Em Out
First Dance: Kiss the Girl Acoustic Version from the little mermaid sung by Brent Morgan
We decided to fly our friend, DJ Dovey, in for 2 nights because we love his style. The price to have our friend there with the music we love was better than using the resort DJ. He did an exceptional job with our music requests and was a fantastic MC. Worth It!
Favors and Details:
Personalized Napkins: Amazon
We brought our own signs and had them made locally
We made and brought the light up glass centerpiece seating chart
We used our florals from our wedding arch for the cake and the sweetheart table.
Cake: 1 tier chocolate, 2 tiers vanilla with buttercream frosting. It was delicious
The morning of our wedding Kelly and I ordered breakfast to the room. My mother, sister, niece and I had to be at the salon at 10am for makeup and hair. We had champagne and some food ordered to the salon and then rushed back to the room at about 1pm. Martina and EM Videography were there to meet us as we were getting ready.
Kelly and I decided to do a first look by building 11 as the florals and palm trees were beautiful. This also allowed us time to get some photos of just us and take in the day. Our friend Bret was kind enough to meet for photos of our first look and as we walked the property before the ceremony.
Finally, after a busy morning, Kelly and I met on the sand under the gold arch in front of 65 guests for the most magical day of our lives. We surprised our family and friends with a guest "pastor," my best friend Matt Baudo. He was decked out in a white robe with an American flag on one side, and a Canadian flag on the other. He did an incredible job, making our wedding ceremony fun and light-hearted. My childhood best friend, Charis, also shared a beautiful reading during the ceremony which we chose together.
After the wedding make sure you have time saved for pictures, and for your guests to get where they need to be. Our cocktail hour was at the Skypool during the sunset. The starters we chose were all great; crab cakes, golden crispy chicken tacos, and a mini burger that we placed in "MacDonald's" bags. For the main course we chose Seabass, Ribeye, and Vegetarian Lasagna; Kelly and I do not recommend the ribeye. For our first dance, we had 4 of the spark fireworks go off during the end of our song and it was a fantastic add on. We opted out of adding an extra hour and had everyone head to "The After," to continue the party!
We truly could not ask for a better day!
Tips Before the Wedding: •Get your ring cleaned or clean it with a cleaning pen •Break in your shoes •Tips for vendors in envelopes •Finalize music selections and photo shot list •Share timeline with bridal party, parents, in-laws, vendors •Make sure bridal parties have tried on their outfits and everything fits and they aren’t missing anything. •We downloaded and shared the ceremony app for photo sharing during the weekend •Finalize and practice your vows •Put together emergency wedding day kit •Make a packing list (rehearsal dinner outfit, getting ready outfit, wedding attire, honeymoon) •Place all décor in boxes based on location with labels for your wedding planner. One box for welcome table, another for sweetheart/head table, another for dessert table, etc. Label all your décor boxes with what’s inside. It will make it so you’re not having to answer a million questions the day of your wedding and easier for packing up at the end of the night. •Tell your bridal party how they can help in advance. No one likes tasks sprung on them last minute if you can avoid it. I asked the group if some can bring steamers, one to pick up our lunch for the day, one to make a get ready playlist, etc. •Order your lunches and drinks for your bridal parties with room service Things to remember day of: •Drink water! I recommend adding liquid IV or the hangover patch •Eat- order room service before with your wedding planner •Go with the flow and be flexible to keep things moving on your timeline. •Deep breaths, take in the day. •When walking back down the aisle, pause at the end for a second kiss, makes for great photos.
Even as the world continues to find its footing amidst covid, it's important to remember that the wedding will go on, and it will be magical. In spite of challenges, Kelly and I had the absolute best day of our lives with the most amazing people by our sides. If you do have any questions or need some recommendations, please reach out!
"There's been a return to the very basic fact that a wedding is about two people in love coming together."