Deby & Beto Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, Mexico Destination Wedding

We first met at Starbucks months before their wedding.  I was so nervous because they had booked me with out ever meeting me in person and were referred to me by another client and friend.  Deby and Beto is a couple that takes after my own adventurous carefree heart.  We couldn't stop talking and talking about places we had been, how much we like so and so place, and talked about everything under the sun. 

I didn't want to leave without them knowing that I was gonna do everything I could to make their day seamless and wonderful.  And that is just what it was.  Their wedding was full of emotion and excitement as these two beautiful souls joined their hearts in marriage.  I never tire of watching beautiful people tie the knot.

The Hard Rock Hotel in the Riviera Maya, Mexico was our playground for the day.  Deby & Beto decided they wanted their photos indoors, which made for a completely different set of photographs that I personally love!  We had shot their engagement session outdoors and beach side so this wasa nice treat.  *Those photos coming soon!*

CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO VIEW LARGER.

I'm trying out this new layout instead of the stacked images like usual.  What do you think? Should I change back or keep it? I feel like this way you can see the whole wedding upfront and then click on any image you want to see closer.  Please comment with suggestions! 

Please contact me if you would like more information regarding Mexico Beach Destination weddings.  And share with your friends who might just want some wedding inspiration!

Jessica + Jordan Puerto Vallarta Photo Session

Jessica + Jordan Puerto Vallarta Mexican Destination Wedding

Wow, where to begin with this beautiful wedding? Jessica and Jordan were referred to me by Wendy, the coordinator at Sunset Plaza Beach Resort & Spa in Puerto Vallarta.  We emailed a few times and Jessica was just on it, booked right away.  We meant to "meet" via Facetime or Skype but could never get to it.  Needless to say, with the emails and constant contact, I felt like we knew each other from the start! Both Jessica and Jordan are the sweetest couple!! Very nice and wear their hearts on their sleeves.  I couldn't have had a more endearing couple full of love and family and just sheer happiness.  

Their entire wedding consisted of less than 50 people and each person was the nicest and most beautiful soul.  I don't think Jessica and Jordan could have had a more special wedding than the one they lived that day in beautiful Puerto Vallarta. 

Jessica + Jordan: I humbly thank you for trusting me with your photographs on such a special day! Each and every member of your family, as well as you, made me feel like I was also a part of it.  Each moment was special and I am thankful you allowed me to live the day along side you!! Here is a sneak preview and the rest are on their way soon!! Love you guys very much!!!

If you'd like to contact Wendy at Sunset Plaza Resort in Puerto Vallarta for your destination wedding, please email her at weddings@sunsetplaza.com.mx and she will make sure your day is amazing!! 

 

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! 

How much time should we allow for portraits? | Tips for Brides

There are so many resources out on the web today with helpful tips and timelines and checklists.  But no one ever admits that these brides are usually first time brides!  As a bride, it's tough to start the planning process let alone create an entire itinerary for a 16 hour day.  Yes, you read that right, 16 hours!  It's a long day and most people don't realize that it goes in flash and so many beautiful moments happen in the blink of an eye.  


This is probably the most asked question I get during a client meeting.  

The answer: at least two hours.  

Sounds like a big chunk of time out of your day?  Keep reading to see why you need those two hours on your wedding day.

1.  HAVING A BUFFER

During your day anything can happen.  Anything from arriving late to not having your makeup and hair done at the set time.  Or maybe you simply needed to eat breakfast, shifting the timeline back 30 minutes.  In which case, I'm completely all for it.  I rather have a fed bride rather than a hungry bride and 30 minutes less to photographer her.  Anyway, as you can see, there are so many unforeseen things that can happen during the day and having those two hours in reality turns into one and half hours or *gasp* one hour.  

A real story: I once had a bride get to her portraits an hour late.  Rather than sitting around and waiting, I was able to move the itinerary around and photograph the groomsmen first and some family portraits.  This way, I was able to move that hour to after the ceremony and create some great photos for my clients.  If I didn't have a buffer, we may not have gotten so many images from the wedding.  

Having a buffer to allow for amazing photos of you and your hunny is indispensable. As photographers, having that wiggle room helps us to really take our time in framing, posing, and letting us roam the location for great light and unique spots.  If we're running behind, then I need to work quickly on my top 3-5 spots and bang out the photos and create something amazing.  And get you to the church on time!  If we're ahead of time, then I know I can experiment more and create something that's different, unique, and maybe toy around with ideas that otherwise we wouldn't have the chance.  

2.  ALONE TIME

Your day is full to the brim.  Full of wonderful moments, family, friends, and everything inbetween.  What your day doesn't have a lot of is ALONE TIME with your hunny.  Most brides don't realize this until the day of.  Between getting ready with your girls to the infinite line of hugs after the ceremony, your day is filled with people.  And while this is the whole point of a wedding - sharing with friends and family- you have to share the day with your hunny too.  

It doesn't matter if you're doing the portraits before the ceremony or after, having this alone time is so important for the two of you because it'll be the only time you'll have truly alone.  

Seems selfish?  NO WAY!  Having your guests there to celebrate with you is important, however, being able to relish in your love together for a moment, all alone, while taking some crazy beautiful photos sets the day apart.  When you look back on those photos you'll remember being alone.  You'll remember how it felt when that photo was taken, all the excitement and love toward one another.  Photo after photo will make you want to go back to those two hours when you kissed with tender love.  Just the two of you.

3. MORE PHOTOS

Needless to say, having enough time for just the two of not only makes you feel more excited, it also lets the photographer take their time.  I love to take my time creating something unique and timeless for my clients.  To take all the love they have for each other and make it tangible through photos.  Which also allows for more photos of the two of you.  Gone are the days of your grandmother's wedding portrait - standing together holding hands facing the camera and smiling.  

Having this amount of time lets us explore, go places, experiment, and have fun!  And who doesn't want to have fun on their wedding day? 

More time = more photos.  More ways to remember and relive your wedding day over and over again.  


Now, don't worry, I usually take care of the itinerary for my clients since it's probably the last thing they want to worry about.  I make sure that everything runs smoothly and we can get the amazing photographs that my clients want.  Don't let anyone talk you into having less time for your photos.  It's important not only for alone time, but for having a buffer, and creating more great photos of the two of you!  

After all, your flowers won't last and your dress will go into storage.  What is left are your photographs making your wedding unforgettable.

Did you like these tips?  Share them with a friend or comment your tips below in the comments section, I'd love to hear your thoughts!  

Happy Saturday!

 

Must haves on the morning of your wedding

The morning of your wedding can set the tone for the entire day.  I've compiled some tips so that you have a great morning full of laughter and happiness while you get ready to walk down the aisle and say I Do to your soul mate.  

These tips also help your photographer capture the day beautifully with lots of details so that you don't forget how you felt that morning.  That's what is so great about photography, it really does capture the feeling of your day and when you look back, you can relive those feelings again and again! 

1.  GETTING READY ROBE

Having a special robe while you're getting ready makes the day even more special.  A special robe makes the whole experience feel like a spa and creates that spa like atmosphere! And if you can get your bridesmaids to participate with getting ready attire, then it feels like you're all at the spa together enjoying and taking advantage of being pampered.

2.  GET READY IN A HOTEL 

Getting ready in your home can be a more cost effective solution, however, getting ready in a hotel room can take away the stress of having to clean up after and coordinating everyone to get ready in your home.  The photos in a hotel room are also much prettier as they always have great window light and decoration.  They also provide lots of spaces to photograph you, the bride, by herself in beautiful settings without.

3.  HAVE EVERYONE DRESSED BEFORE YOU GET DRESSED

This tip is so important when it comes to your photographs.  Having your bridesmaids and your mom, and who ever is going to get you ready be dressed and ready to go.  Everyone looks beautiful and there is nothing to distract from the moment of getting their friend ready for her big day.  It's special and only happens once, and when everyone is ready the photos are effortless and beautiful.  They also look great inside of your album to help tell the story of your day.

4.  THE NIGHT BEFORE IS IMPORTANT TOO

This is technically the night before but can affect your day in so many ways.  Drink plenty of water so that you are refreshed the morning of your day.   Try to do a relaxing activity and allow all of your thoughts to float away.  Stressing out about any last minute details of your day can really wreck your mood the next day.  

5.  DON'T STRESS 

Don't stress out about anything on your day.  In my experience, something always goes awry on the day of... can be anything from traffic to having less time for your photos.  These things happen and it's better that you don't stress.  Take on the day knowing what is most important: vowing to love your soulmate!  That is the real reason why you are up and getting ready for your day.  When you take on the day without stressing about the day, you will enjoy every moment of it and it'll show in your photographs.

I hope that these tips help you when your big day comes!  Don't forget to have some bubbly as well!