Tropical Wedding + Honeymoon Ideas

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Today’s shoot is a bit different from the typical bridal inspiration shoot – this one actually inspires your honeymoon as well as a tropical destination wedding.  With Brazil in mind to make the colors pop off the page, the team of vendors captured a day filled with jewelry, swimwear, and even some destination wedding table decor.

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The day took place at Hacienda Oceanfront in Santa Barbara, CA where the backyard and pool area became the backdrop for the photos.

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Photographer Melissa Musgrove shared with us a bit about what they had in mind.  “For this tropical, South American inspired pool party photo shoot, Nico really wanted to incorporate the bright vibes and colors of summer. He had thoughts of a pool party stay-cation and with the breathtaking backdrop of the Hacienda Oceanfront, this vision was brought to life.” 

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“The main focus was playing with bold colors that popped with the sun, contrasting the striking lizard greens and cobalt blues with dark black and silver accents. Nico also had fun with fusing in earth hues and reptile-inspired tones, which brought an interesting twist to the summer feel of the shoot.”

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Inspiration Shoot Team: Photographer:  Melissa Musgrove Photography, Makeup Artist: Anna’s Aesthetics, Makeup Artist: Brianna Stewart, DIY or Handmade Goods Designer: Cakes a Go-Go, Event Venue: Hacienda Oceanfront, Linens and Coverings: LaTavola Linens, Jewelry: Mallory Jamieson, Event Designer: NLC Productions

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A Preppy Lake Wedding in Michigan

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Molly and Ryan traveled from Chicago to Northern Michigan for their domestic destination wedding at Molly’s family home.  We asked Molly to share a bit about their big day and how it all came together.  “My family lake house is located in Central Lake, MI. My husband and I love to spend our summers at the lake in Northern Michigan, and Ryan drove up to the lake one summer, as a surprise, which ended in a proposal! We wanted to share one of our favorite places with our closest family and friends, so when my parents said “yes” to holding the ceremony on our front lawn, we jumped at the opportunity!”  And so the ceremony was set at a sentimental spot, while the reception was held nearby at the Shanty Creek Resort.

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“Our lake house is straight out of the 60s, and not much has changed, so we wanted everything to feel both nautical and a bit rustic. We wanted our guests to see the charm in the lake house, so we chose flowers and plants that paired well with our existing landscaping.”

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What was this bride’s most memorable moment?  “Walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing all of our family and friends gathered at our favorite place. I felt such an overwhelming sense of joy and love! We also tried to get a picture of the whole bridal party on my family dock, which started to give way! We have 10 or so action shots of everyone running off of the dock. Those are some of my favorite pictures!”

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“We love the nautical feel that comes with being at the lake. Navy and green seemed like the perfect choice to compliment the natural colors found at our lake house.”  

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And what was Molly’s advice for those of you out there planning to tie the knot?  “Don’t get caught up in the details. Being far away from your venue, you can’t always be there to make every decision. Trust in those who you’ve hired to make your day special. If you communicate your vision clearly, it will all work out! (And even if it’s not perfect, having all of your family and friends in one of your favorite places will more than make up for it!)”

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer:  Paul Retherford Wedding Photography

Wedding Vendors: Band: Mac Daddy Band, Ceremony: Private Residence, Reception Venue: Shanty Creek Resort, Hair: Style North, Flowers: Cottage Floral, Invitations: Earthy Invites

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A Burlap Inspired Destination Wedding in Florida

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Brandon and Jennifer hosted their destination wedding in the beautiful St. Augustine, FL with friends and family by their sides to share in the big “I do’s!”  We asked Jennifer how they selected this special location.  “Brandon and I met in St. Augustine while attending the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences.  One of our very first dates was to a classmate’s wedding on the rooftop of the White Room and I knew the moment I stepped out onto that rooftop that I wanted to be married there.  Little did I know, that I would get married there to that man I barely knew.  Having our wedding on the rooftop of the white room really was a dream come true for both of us.”  

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We planned the entire wedding in six months, and we somehow managed to do it all from Texas.  We have been living in Austin, TX for over two years now and it was definitely a challenge to plan wedding from so far in such a short amount of time so we had to put trust in our friends still living in town to help us make so many important decisions.   My maid of honor completed our wedding cake testing and an usher had to be the witness to sign the contract for the white room because we were unable to be there.  Even with the challenge of distance, our vendors were so amazing that the entire process went without a hiccup.”

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“One of my favorite photos of my bouquet displays a bluebird pin that was given to me by my mother in law to represent my something blue.  It was given to her by her mother in law on her wedding day, and it holds such a special place in my heart.”  

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The flower girl of course didn’t steal the show but we can’t help but fall in love with this little one!

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The bridesmaids’ neutral palette went perfectly with the rustic design this duo had in mind.

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We asked Jennifer what the inspiration for the rustic wedding décor was.  I am originally from a very small town in southern Mississippi and a true southern girl at heart, so the rustic theme has always appealed to me, however I wanted to find the right balance of classic meets rustic to accentuate our beautiful venue.  The decorating began with mason jars and burlap and the touches of lace and mercury glass were added to make it unique for us.  I also have always loved soft neutrals and that’s usually all you’ll find in my wardrobe so I couldn’t have felt more like myself on our perfect day.”

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“Our favorite element from the wedding was the sweet treats bar.  We wanted it to be bright and fun but simple, and the pop of color in the room was such a great contrast to the otherwise neutral palette.  Brandon proposed at the end of the 5K color run in New Orleans, LA and we were both covered head to toe in bright paint and he had a photographer to capture the moment and it was so special to us and we wanted a way to incorporate it into our big day, so from the photos came the inspiration for the candy bar.”

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And in addition to the sweets bar was this ‘spooned’ cake complete with monogram cake topper.

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And for the grand finale?!  Sparklers for their sendoff!

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Pure Sugar Studios

Wedding Vendors: Ceremony + Reception Location: The White RoomDesign: The Conservatorie Floral Event and DesignEntertainment: McGhee Entertainment, Hair and Makeup: Amanda Hopcraft, Wedding Dress: Allure Bridal sculptured A-line ivory lace, Wedding Cake: Publix Bakery

 

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Appy Couple Promo Code for our Readers!

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We’ve got another great gift to give our readers from our friends over at Appy Couple, the wedding website and app company with amazing destination wedding websites for you and your guests to use before and even during the wedding weekend.  Just enter BB25 at checkout and save on any design you purchase!

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This perfect palette for a beach wedding is from The Bridal Bar Collection (which we’re super excited about).  But they’ve got all kinds of great designs for destination I do’s.  A wedding website is a must have for your guests when traveling for your big day (and it will save you a ton of time from answering the same questions over, and over, oh, and over again too!).  Check out all that Appy Couple has and don’t forget to get your discount at checkout with promo code BB25.  Happy shopping travelers!

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A Jewish + Hindu Destination Wedding in Antigua, Guatemala

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Tina and David and their most beloved friends and family traveled from around the world to Central America to celebrate their stunning Hindu and Jewish wedding.  Tina shared all the details of their intimate day with us. David and I live to travel so a destination wedding was perfect for us.  We chose to have our wedding in Antigua, Guatemala, an old Spanish colonial city with a breathtaking landscape, beautiful architecture, and warm and friendly people.  We had 70 guests join us in Antigua for a truly unforgettable week-long wedding adventure.”  

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“While the wedding was in Guatemala, I am Hindu, and David is Jewish.  So, we strived to incorporate aspects of all three cultures, as well as our love for adventure and travel, into the festivities.”

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“We kicked off the celebration with one our favorite pastimes – a hike up Guatemala’s most famous active volcano, Volcan Pacaya.  The following day, we hosted a sun and fun-filled lakeside pool party on the shores of the breathtaking 1000-foot deep Lake Atitlan.  The day before the wedding, we put a Guatemalan twist on a traditional Hindu pre-wedding celebration by having a “Mehndi Picnic” on the lush grounds of Casa Capuchinas, a lovely bed and breakfast in the heart of Antigua.  Local henna artists applied traditional henna designs on our guests.  That evening we also held a traditional Jewish “rehearsal” dinner at Restaurant Welten, with poolside cocktails and dinner in Welten’s gorgeous dining room, which is decorated in the style of a colonial Spanish home.  The night ended with a “Torrito,” a unique Guatemalan firework display.”  

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“For the wedding itself, we choose to have both a Hindu and Jewish ceremony.   Both were held outside atop Antigua’s famous El Cerro de la Cruz, a hill that offers a magnificent view of one of the three volcanoes that surround Antigua and overlooks the entire city below.  The mix of the two ceremonies was visually stunning and it was a beautiful way to join both families.”  

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“The reception was held at the temple of Las Capuchinas, a convent built in the 1700s that is beyond gorgeous.  We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect way to celebrate our wedding.  Our wedding planner, Diana Sciarrilo of I Do, Guatemala, did an exceptional job.  Sear Carr or Sean Carr Photography, did an outstanding job capturing the beauty of Antigua and the wedding itself.”

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Sean Carr Photography

Wedding Vendors: Wedding Coordinator + Florals: I Do, Guatemala, Catering: El Convento, Ceremony Site: El Cerro De La Cruz, Reception Venue: Las Capuchinas

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Ritz Carlton, Kapalua, Maui Engagement Party

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Emma and Jaan planned a destination wedding in Maui, but things don’t always go according to plan.  Jaan is from Belgium and they had a bit of unexpected visa trouble before the intended “I do’s.”  But the plans had been made, the flights booked and guests excited to attend the big day so instead, the couple turned their would-be wedding into a fabulous destination engagement party!  With just a few good friends and family members in attendance, the pair celebrated their upcoming wedding with a dinner overlooking the ocean at the Kapalua Bay Cliff House.

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We asked Emma about their experience and what it was like having an engagement party instead of the wedding they had expected.  “I thought we were going to feel really disappointed on the day of, but it was so relaxing and the party was so much fun we couldn’t be sad about not getting married that day.”

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Luckily, these love birds didn’t have to wait much long to actually tie the knot.  “We got married a week after my husband’s visa came through. In other words, we had a week to plan a wedding and decided to piggy back on a 3rd cousin’s wedding (she was okay with it!)”

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We often ask couples for advice for you and here’s what this pair had to say.  “Don’t get too wrapped up in planning. We planned for months only to have to cancel our wedding. But in the end, we were able to plan our actual wedding in a week and it turned out just as ideal as we’d imagined.” 

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“In the end I was happy we didn’t get married in Hawaii. There were so many competing weddings happening on the beach we had planned to get married on, I’m glad things turned out the way they did. But of course, everything else about Hawaii was beautiful and amazing.” 

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One of their favorite moments from the festivities?  “Trying to light lanterns on a very windy night and then having the hotel sprinklers go on and getting totally soaked.”  Sometimes the unexpected and unplanned are the best of memories from the big day!

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Audra Wrisley Photography + Design 

Wedding Vendors: Location: Ritz Carlton, Kapalua Bay, Dinner Venue:  Kapalua Bay Cliff House Wedding Cake: Maui Cake Store, Bride’s Dress: Urban Outfitters

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A Destination Elopement in Iceland!

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Today’s shoot is actually a day after elopement session for Julee and John who decided to tie the know with just the two of them in magical Iceland!  The pair enlisted destination wedding photographers, Nordica Photography to capture some personal moments the day after they said “I do.”

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The bride shared a bit about their decision to land in Iceland for the wedding.  ”John and Julee fell in love with Iceland 2 years before they decided to get married there. The breathtaking landscapes, the quiet eeriness of the land, and the subdued mood it encompassed made them appreciate it’s unique beauty.” 

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“Being from New York City, an intimate and isolated marriage ceremony was what they were looking for and found that in Snaefellsnes Peninsula out in West Iceland.” 

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“On October 29th, 2013 they married via civic union and dedicated the following glorious (but cold) day galavanting around the peninsula taking amazing photos with Nordica. Such a great day to remember!”

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Nordica Photography

Wedding Vendors: Bride’s Dress: Ian Stuart’s RhapsodiaBride’s Coat: ELLIATT Angel Fur Jacket, Flowers: Reykjavíkurblóm, Groom’s Suit: J. Crew Ludlow Suit, Venue: Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Iceland, Accommodations: Hotel Budir

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One&Only Palmilla Destination Wedding in Los Cabos

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Alfredo and Gioconda said I do to a destination wedding in Los Cabos, Mexico at the spectacular One&Only Palmilla.  The pair had a larger guest count that traveled all the way from Brazil so instead of using the inside of the authentic chapel, they wed on the steps of the grand site to accommodate all their guests!  We chatted with wedding manager, Arianna Ocampo at the resort and she gave us a peek into this beautiful couple’s beautiful big day.  “It was certainly a joy to work with these two, my main contact was the groom and he put a lot of trust in us in the entire event design and vendor selection. We planned this wedding in 3 months and had 250 guests from Brazil so it was so much fun.”

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“For the bride was extremely important to make sure using classic wedding color like white, she envisioned lots of floral and also we had as part of the Latin traditions, little organza bags with rice inside to through after the couple got married.”  And so she called on local event designers, Elena Damy to create an abundant, beautiful backdrop complete with all those perfect details she could have ever imagined!

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And that classic chic style certainly led to a more formal destination wedding than one that’s barefoot in the sand (though this couple still enjoyed amazing ocean views).  We asked Arianna for her advice for hosting a destination wedding where guests get a bit more dressed up for the occasion and here is her two cents.  “Certainly the weather in Los Cabos works better for a formal destination wedding during the months of December through June.”

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After the outdoor ceremony, guests moved to the pool deck area for dinner under the stars listening to the ocean below.

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The talented team at Elena Damy designed white tablescapes that paired perfectly with the wrought iron and wooden accents around and didn’t detract from the stunning setting.

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Even monogrammed napkins welcomed guests to dinner!

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“The dinner and dancing reception had lovely details such as hanging crystal balls with orchids and candles, we also had a wood arch with greenery and crystal drops and balls along with orchids and candles. One of my favorite details was the cake, we set that up over a stage covering the Jacuzzi at Agua Pool, we had special lighting over it and the cake was a fun and gorgeous design by Chef Steven Lindsay.”

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“One of the hits from the dinner, was the Famous Tres Leches Cake from Steven Lindsay, all guests were commenting about it.”

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“Certainly the best part was the dancing reception, we had 3 DJ’s from Brazil and the party was amazing until 5am.”

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: CHRIS+LYNN | Destination Wedding Photographers

Wedding Vendors: Ceremony + Reception Location: One&Only Palmilla, Caterer: One&Only Palmilla, Agua by Larbi Restaurant, Baker: Steven Lindsay at One&Only Palmilla, Logistic & Coordination: Arianna Ocampo at One&Only Palmilla, Lighting & Production: Oxten, Floral + Event Design: Elena Damy, DJ’S: Eduardo & Paulo, Photobooth: MVS Studio, Reverend: Marco Arechiga, Videographer: Elysium Productions

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Couture Wedding Dress from Australian Designer Jaime Lee

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We recently landed on the collection of an Aussie designer by the name of Jaime Lee Major after a bride whose wedding we featured rocked an incredible dress by the designer.  So today we decided to share a bit more of the looks created by this couture fashion house.  Great for formal destination weddings and daring brides-to-be, we love all the lace and bead work – it’s just breathtaking!

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As seen in her recent fashion show that was a show stopper in itself, the gold is what we are obssessed with!  Perfect for the bride who wants a little color in her aisle.

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Short, long, sheer or formal sophisticated, Jaime Lee has a few new fans stateside!

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Pretty in Pink, a Beach Wedding in Cabo with a Pink Wedding Dress

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Heather and John said I do on the beautiful beach of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.  The pair enlisted the help of Beth Bernstein of SQN Events to plan their destination wedding and she gave us an insider’s look into their big day.  “Heather & Johnny always knew they wanted a smaller destination wedding. Heather spent many vacations in Cabo with her family throughout her teens and hooked Johnny on the beautiful locale shortly after they began dating. They love the warm and sunny weather, and the relaxing Mexican way of life, but still enjoy a good party – Cabo offers all of that and more.

The couple attended a friend’s wedding in 2013 at the Pueblo Bonito Pacifica and knew it was the perfect spot for their nuptials as well. They wanted their guests who would be traveling from the Midwest in the middle of Winter to enjoy a thoroughly relaxing, pampering, luxurious, and fun vacation.”

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“Though the wedding was on the beach, the couple did not want the event to be casual. We wanted to create an atmosphere of elegance while keeping things light and fun. The save-the-dates were linen & lace luggage tags, telling guests immediately that this was a destination wedding on the beach. The linen was then carried through on the wedding invitations, but here we introduced the gold element for a more elegant look.” 

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This bride changed up the color palette by putting her maids in white while she rocked a stunning blush pink Lazaro wedding dress.

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“The groom’s sister-in-law wrote and officiated the ceremony, and the couple wrote their own vows.”

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“Instead of traditional escort cards, we guided guests to their table with a glass of champagne which had their name and table number printed on a disc placed on the rim.”

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“We achieved the “beach-meets-chic” look by using a palette of white and gold, with just a hint of blush pink in the décor. Dinner tables were draped in a textured linen from Nuage that resembled cascading flower petals, and adorned with clusters of vessels containing floating candles and orchids. To add sparkle, we rented gold Chivari chairs and purchased whimsical, glittery table numbers from BHLDN (their Mr. & Mrs. Signs were used on the bride & groom’s chairs as well).” 

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“The menu focused on Mexican cuisine and an authentic Mariachi band played during cocktails around the fire pit.”

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We often ask what unique challenges the destination wedding planning experience brought on and here was Beth’s explanation.  “Life runs at a much slower pace in Mexico. Response times are not as fast as they are in the U.S. which initially caused some stress. Getting someone on the phone is actually much for effective than communicating via email. This is very different than the way planning is done at home. Of course you need a paper trail (or an e-trail) to document big decisions and contracts, but if you need a quick answer, it’s best to pick up the phone than sending an email.

We found out about three weeks before the wedding that sales tax was increasing significantly as of January 1st. The wedding was scheduled for January 4th, so we made sure to pay our contractors by the end of the year in order to avoid the increase (which we had not budgeted for).  Instead of shipping welcome bag items and sending them through customs, which can be costly and time-consuming, we visited a local Walmart and loaded our shopping carts with items.”

Then there are those little details on the day of that only a wedding planner can tend to (and the couple is happier not knowing about them of course)!

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For more from this fun fete, check out the video by Poetic Productions!

Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Julia Franzosa Photography

Wedding Vendors: Event Planning & Design: SQN Events, Venue: Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Resort & Spa, Videography: Poetic Productions, Floral: Mazarte Floral, Chair Rentals: Linens, Things, and More, Linens: Nuage Designs, DJ: Roberto Contreras, Paper: Erickson Design, Hair & Makeup: Suzanne Morel, Bridal Gown: Lazaro, Men’s Suits: Formally Modern, Bridesmaids Dresses: Faviana Couture, Rings: Gary Simon of Simon Jewelers

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