Roxana & Mario Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta

I feel that every time I write a post about a wedding I've photographed, I don't know where to begin because all of my clients take my breath away.  Each couple is so unique and most importantly, so in love!  However, Roxana and Mario are different, because they are real friends.  The kind we ask to be a witness when we got married through the courthouse.  

The same great friends that insisted we have a reception during our wedding and didn't hesitate to give all they could at a moments notice.  That is just who Mario is.  He is sweet, noble, and definitely a giver.  In short: A great friend.  When he found Roxana, we all rooted for him to put a ring on that finger because she is just as great!!!  Two great souls who have found each other.  Nothing more beautiful than that!

So, needless to say, this was one for the books.  Because  great friends are few and far in between and they deserve all the happiness in the world.  

This was a beautiful and intimate destination wedding at the Hard Rock Hotel in Puerto Vallarta with a beach ceremony and light up dance floor!  A great background to dance the night away listening to the waves break on the shore!  My favorite!

Why you should have a destination wedding | Mexico Destination Wedding Photographer

According to Wedding Wire: 

Approximately 14% of U.S. couples have a destination wedding - of those, 11% have a wedding at a destination within the U.S. and 3% travel internationally..."

I believe that the reason Destination Weddings account for such a small percentage is because of the lack of information couples receive about having their wedding outside of their home country.  

Personally, I had a destination wedding and couldn't have been happier with the outcome as I whole heartedly remember my day to have been one of the most beautiful and meaningful days of my life. 

So, the question is: Should you have a destination wedding?  Below I outline 5 reasons as to why you should have a wedding at a beautiful destination outside of your home town.  

1.  COST EFFECTIVE 

Not sure if many of you know this, but a large number of all-inclusive resorts gift the couple the basic wedding collection if they reach a certain number of rooms booked.  So in other words, if you are going to have 50 guests book around 30 rooms, you can get your wedding for little or no cost to you! How awesome is that?! 

In addition to the great collections that most resorts offer, you will also be able to take advantage of hiring local vendors that for example, here in Mexico, have more affordable collections as the exchange rate is usually better for those who spend in U.S. dollars.  

2.  VACATION FOR ALL

A destination wedding is the perfect excuse for people to get away from their day to day.  They will be traveling to attend your beautiful beach front wedding as well as enjoy all the resort and location has to offer.  Here in the Riviera Nayarit, there are all-inclusive resorts that offer tours to nearby attractions, surfing, and the sunsets are just breathtaking.  Not only will they enjoy your wedding, but they can also enjoy as a family, couple, or individual, a nice beach vacation.

3.  FULL SERVICE COORDINATION

Many resorts are equipped with a wedding coordination team that makes sure your day goes smoothly and according to plan!  They will also help you choose local vendors, help with getting all of the details set, and all from the confort of email and telephone.  You get to make all the decisions without having the hassle of going from place to place.

On your wedding day, the wedding coordinator and team are on site and ready to handle every important detail of your day.  This makes for a less stressful day and a more enjoyable wedding! 

4.  EVERYTHING IN ONE PLACE

The biggest advantage of having a destination wedding is that you will be able to enjoy your wedding all at one place.  Your ceremony will be beachfront with the sun setting behind you as you say "I do." Your reception will be accompanied by the fresh ocean breeze as you dance the night away with your guests!  

Having all of the major events in one location and not having to deal with moving guests around, makes your event run smoothly and effortlessly.  And if that isn't enough, your on site coordinator will always be close by to help.

5.  WHAT IF MY GUESTS WON'T BE ABLE TO GO?

It is a common misconception that if you have a destination wedding, people will not travel to your wedding.  However, most guests love the idea of having a vacation and enjoy the sites and sounds of a new place where they can relax and rejuvenate.  

I once photographed a wedding that had 150 guests travel more than 1000 miles to attend the wedding.  Another had 100 guests.  When you invite your guests to attend your one-of-a-kind destination wedding, they will most certainly make arrangements and be excited to get away.  Just make sure that you give your guests all of the information with enough time ahead.


Here are two resorts that I have loved working with.  There are so many more that offer destination weddings, especially here in Puerto Vallarta.

Sunset Plaza Beach Resort & Spa
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
weddings@plazapelicanos.com.mx

Moon Palace Resort
Cancun, Mexico
weddings@palaceresorts.com


Having a destination wedding is all together less stressful, more enjoyable, and definitely a one-of-a-kind event!  I hope these tips were helpful and I would love to hear any additional tips you might have in the comments below!  

Would you have a destination wedding?

Day After Mayan Riviera | Session Cristy + Eduardo

*español abajo*

I absolutely love Day After Sessions.  They are perfect for destination weddings as it is most likely that we have little or no time to capture the bride and groom alone.  When you have family and friends coming from near and far to attend your wedding, all the time spent with them is precious.  Which is why sometimes, we don't get a whole lot of time for the bride and groom.  

Therefore, we do the session a day or two after the wedding! The couple is relaxed, so in love, and alone.  We take advantage of the beautiful location and choose the best time for the portraits, without feeling rushed.

Cristy and Eduardo wanted the best possible light for their day after session - which meant waking up at 6am! In Cancun, the sun rises behind the ocean, which is so breathtaking, but also really early.  And so.damn.worth.it!!! 

Cristy + Eduardo: Gracias, gracias, gracias por confiar en nosotros como amigos y como fotógrafos para capturar tu día tan especial! Les deseamos lo mejor del mundo y que siempre sean felices como en su maravillosa boda! Fuertes abrazos y los dos!

Las sesiones que se llaman Día Después, ¡son unas de mis sesiones favoritas!  ¿Que es una sesión del Día Después? Son sesiones que se programan uno o dos días después del evento para que los novios, ya mas relajados y aun con toda la emoción de la boda se toman las fotos formales.  Es perfecto para bodas en playa porque muchas veces, tanto como los novios y los invitados, quieren pasar tiempo juntos ya que viajaron lejos para el evento.  Así que es mejor realizar las fotos formales en otro día donde los novios pueden disfrutar y estar mas relajados, mas enamorados,  sin preocupación de tiempo o iluminación y tomar toda ventaja de la locación de la boda - ¡el mar!  

Cristy y Eduardo querían aprovechar de la mejor luz del día, que son a las 6am de la mañana, la hora en que sale el sol detrás del mar. ¡Una vista sumamente maravillosa!  Y como pueden ver, ¡¡¡valió toda la pena!!!

 

Cristy + Eduardo | Moon Palace Resorts Riviera Maya Destination Wedding

We were afraid it was going to rain this day.  It rained the day before yet as luck would have it, the skies opened up for us on this beautiful November day.  The beautiful backdrop of the Mayan Riviera at Moon Palace Resort & Spa was just breathtaking.  A quiet morning, the bride ever so relaxed (and what a gorgeous bride)!

Cristy and Eduardo said "I do" at the resort's chapel over looking the ocean.  It was an emotional and intimate ceremony with all of their closest family and friends; and one very funny priest! Coordinated by Weddings by Herick Lamas (he's my cousin!) it was a magical wedding with a beach front reception where the couple danced the night away while enjoying the ocean breeze.

*Español abajo*

[Español]

Temíamos que iba llover.  Había llovido el día anterior pero el destino abrió el cielo y salió el sol en este hermoso día.  El hotel Moon Palace Resort & Spa en la Riviera Maya fue el fondo perfecto para esta gran boda.  La mañana empezó tranquilamente, la novia relajada (y que bellísima novia)! 

Cristy y Eduardo prometieron un para siempre en la capilla del resort con vista al mar.  Era una ceremonia emotiva e intima compartida con sus seres queridos mas cercanos; y un padre muy gracioso!  Coordinado por Weddings by Herick Lamas (mi primo!) era una boda magica con la fiesta en plena playa donde los invitados bailaron toda la noche mientras disfrutando del viento del mar.

Abril + Daniel | Mexico Destination Wedding

Ever since the very first meeting with Abril, I wanted to photograph her wedding.  Her sweet soul poured into the details of her dream wedding and I just wanted to be a part of it.  During the next 8 months, we would talk, plan out the details, and get excited!  When we photographed their engagement session, it was such a dream to see how Abril's soul would touch Daniel's.  They are a match made perfect.

The day began with lots of emotions and a great team that created the most perfect day for Abril and Daniel.  Each detail was a part of their love story, a part of their soul.  I can't believe it came and went so quickly!  Luckily, we have amazing photos to relive such a beautiful and love filled day!

This is just a sneak preview, there are so many more great moments that I can't wait to share with Abril and Daniel!

A+D:  Thank you so much for having me be a part of your beautiful and wonderful day!  There is nothing more beautiful than to see two people so in love with each other.  I wish you many happy days and for your love to continue growing! 

Citlali Portrait Session | Nayarit, Mexico

I love Tepic.  For so many reasons.  One major reason:  Parque La Loma.  This park is so beautiful and filled with large trees everywhere you go, along with a jogging track and for equipment for those crossfit junkies.  Most of all, it's green! Which makes it perfect for photos!

Citlali and I met at the Instatour meetup the second week we moved and she is just so fun to be around!  As a radio host, she has a bubbly personality and a contagious laugh! She's absolutely adorable. 

Can't wait to do another session with this lovely lady! :)

Did you like these photos?  Make sure to hover and pin them or share them with #jackielamas! 

 

Abril + Daniel P. II Engagement Session | Chihuahua, Mexico

Over the course of the wedding planning process, I like to sit with my clients and really get down to what they are looking for as far as photography.   What styles they like, what look they're going for, and most importantly, what compliments their personalities.  All of this mixed in with with my style of romantic, intimate, and classic photography.  

A lot of the time, this can't be captured with just one session or one location.  And therefore we schedule two days in different locations! I love when my clients choose different locations and looks because it gives me the chance to create something different with each session.  Perhaps one more classy with interesting lighting, and the other with fun accessories full of light.  

This is exactly what we did :).  This is part 2 of Abril and Daniel's engagement session with a more urban feel.  To see part 1 click HERE.  Enjoy!


Abril + Daniel | Engagement Session Chihuahua, Mexico

Roberto + Scheila Chihuahua Mexico Wedding

Since I have lived here, I have been so fortunate to meet a lot of my husbands friends.  What is more unique is when they become a part of your family.  We learned of how they met and their love story when we photographed their engagement session.  How during a mission event with their church they began to message each other which lead to an special inside joke only they would know.  Later, that small spark grow to a flame and when Roberto hung a hand painted banner with the words "Will you marry me?" all the while serenading her with his lovely guitar and voice, she knew her answer was yes! 

This adorably in love and happy couple reminds us of why love is so powerful and how when we know who is the right person for us, we never want to let them go.  I am beyond words for these two, our friends, our family.


Jorge | Modelo Chihuahua

If you've been following my blog, you know that I teach photography at both the university and high school levels.  During the semester, I try to schedule a few mock shoots so that students can observe first hand how to direct, pose, and carry on a session.  There is no right way of having a session and I make sure to tell the students that everything depends on their style.  However, I believe that having them observe how I shoot, take control, and allow myself to focus on my models/clients, they can learn a little and apply it to their own sessions.  

Enter Jorge.  Jorge is an event planner and one of the best I know here in Chihuahua.  He is incredibly detailed and his candid nature makes it easy to know what you are going to get.  Jorge was kind enough to model for us and help me to teach the university students a little about posing, studio lighting, and how to use a reflector.  Thank you Jorge!