One&Only Palmilla Destination Wedding

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Hilary and Joshua landed in Los Cabos, Mexico for an intimate destination wedding with friends and family at the famed One&Only Palmilla Resort.  We asked Hilary how they selected this special location.  “I wanted something different, not your traditional catholic wedding ceremony and Josh wanted to elope at Boston town hall. To compromise, I knew a destination wedding was it. A four day party with our closest family and friends in an amazing location that everyone would remember forever. When I saw the pictures I knew this was it! I love the upscale resort, the Mexican culture, the beach and sun, the climate, and the Chapel was the perfect alternative to a Catholic Cathedral.”

This wedding wasn’t just a one day event, but several days of parties to celebrate the couple – kicked off by welcome bags by Laura Hooper and in-room tequila from the resort.

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“The whole 4 days were amazing!! We had our Bachelor / Bachelorette parties the first evening. We started out separately with a limo, champagne, dinner, then met up later in the evening. The next night we had a Welcome Beach BBQ with delicious food and open bar. It was so nicely done with the lanterns on the beach. The next day was the actual wedding and reception and then the Farewell Brunch – which again had amazing food, especially the traditional Mexican food – Chilaquiles (my new favorite!!). We had the entire open patio area to ourselves and the Watermelon juice was most memorable.” 

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 Hilary and Joshua decided on a first look moment together.  We love this idea – to lighten the mood and start celebrating, the bride walked up with shots for each!   “One of my favorite moments was when I saw Josh (the hubby) for the first time for our first look photo shoot. He was so nervous (and a bit pale from being hung over) and it was perfect! I was nervous too.” 

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The colors of the event reflected the area, as did the gifts.  “Our wedding gifts to each other incorporated the Mexican Fire Opal. We wanted something local and personal. He selected the stones for his cuff links and I selected my stones for a sterling silver bracelet all from one of the local shops in San Jose Del Cabo.”

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Set in the chapel on property at the Palmilla, the ceremony was anything but cookie cutter.  “Our ceremony was very unique and personalized. It contained elements of a traditional Catholic wedding (the vows, exchanging of the rings) but we also incorporated Mexican and Japanese traditions (my mom is Japanese) – The Arras Ceremony (Exchanging of the 13 wedding coins) – The unity coins represent not only prosperity but they also represent love, trust, commitment, respect, joy, happiness, harmony, wisdom, wholeness, nurturing, caring, cooperation and peace for this new marriage.”

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“The wedding lasso – The lasso, looped and crossed in the middle* is wrapped around the bride and groom* to symbolize the Blessed Trinity… The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit* who are one and the same* The lasso symbolizes* this same union* and the infinite nature of marriage.”

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“SanSan Kudo (Drinking/Sharing Sake) – The sake, which is also served to the guests, is poured into three special cups of different sizes. The ceremony is called “SanSanKudo,” which means three sets of three sips equals nine. It dates back to the 8th century and is one of Japan’s oldest traditions. Using the smallest of the cups, the groom takes three sips. Then the bride does likewise. They do the same with the medium and large cups. At the end of the sake ceremony, both families drink a cup of sake, which represents the union of the bride and groom and unification of the two families.  Drinking the wine is a sign that the marriage vows are sealed.”

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Of course, what ceremony would be complete without a horse and carriage ride to and from!?!

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Then it was off to the beach for some quality time with their photographers.  Chris + Lynn even dared to fight the waves for a few photos of the bride and groom.

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To keep with the theme of the location, the couple commissioned a very unique guest book.  “I had an artist sketch a cactus with love birds (for our prints). Each guests’ thumbprint represents a cactus blossom and I had them sign next to their print. I had seen other versions of this guest book with thumbprints as balloons or leaves on trees, but I wanted this to fit with our Mexican theme so a cactus seemed fitting.”

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The flowers worked with the natural environment and lanterns lit the night sky beautifully.

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The bride and groom weren’t the only ones participating in a shot or two!

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The bride had a little competition on the dance floor by a very young wedding guest.  So cute!!

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We asked the bride and groom what advice they would give future destination couples.  “Pick an amazing location and go with your gut. We looked at many places, but in the end we chose the Palmilla, which I had selected from the beginning. Also, keep your guest list to a minimum. I think 40 was perfect. I was able to spend time with everyone and enjoy their presence more than the 10 minutes you get at other weddings when the bride and groom make their rounds.”

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Then it was a sparkler send off before Hilary and Joshua moved on for their honeymoon, so they could have a bit of time just for two.  “Immediately following the wedding we headed north to the east coast town of Cabo Pulmo for some relaxation and scuba diving in a very remote area. We spent three days there before heading back to the US.  Then in April we took our official honeymoon. We headed to New Orleans for the Jazz and Heritage Festival the last weekend in April – spent an extended weekend with friends enjoying the music, the food, everything that NOLA has to offer! After that we headed out to California and immediately to French Polynesia for our 10 days trip hitting up Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, and Rangiroa.”

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 Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographers: Chris + Lynn

Wedding Vendors: Location: One&Only Palmilla, Flowers: Florenta, Hair and Makeup: Susanne Morel, Wedding Dresses: Monique Lhuillier via Once Wed and Pre Owned Wedding Dresses, Shoes: Jimmy Choo, Rings: Tacori from Barmakians, Groom’s Attire: J. Crew British Khaki Linen suit, Brook’s Brother’s white shirt, Cole Haan British Tan Wingtip Oxfords, Finger Print Image: Etsy, Welcome Bags: Laura Hooper Calligraphy

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  • Mathilde Lamothe

    Such a lovely wedding. Great job by the wedding planner. Well done preparation and perfect choice of wedding location.

  • Stacie

    Lovely post, and congrats to the bride and groom! I’m wondering if they hired an outside destination wedding planning firm, or used only Palmilla’s Celebration Coordinators. Also, in hind sight, would they make a difference decision. Thanks.