Two years ago, we traveled down to Cancun, Mexico with 68 of our friends and family members to host our long-awaited, tropical destination wedding. After visiting a handful of cities in Mexico over the years, John and I felt that Cancun was the ideal destination because of its convenience and picturesque location with pristine-white sand beaches and turquoise waters of vibrant teal and bright blue hues.
We chose Secrets The Vine Cancun, a chic and contemporary adults-only hotel, in Cancun’s hotel zone, to host our wedding and accommodate our fairly large group. We were fortunate to have been able to stay at the hotel when they first opened in late 2012 when we flew down for a site visit giving us a true experience of what we could expect if we chose to host our wedding there. After an extensive search and narrowing down our choices to six hotels in Cancun and Riviera-Maya, not one compared to the service, cleanliness, location and style that Secrets The Vine provided. From the refreshing glasses of champagne and cold towels that were handed to us upon arriving, to the modern ambiance and simplistic interior decor, to the chill-down lounge music playing in the lobby, the exceptional cuisine between their six à la carte gourmet restaurants and 24 hour room service to choose from and the genuinely friendly and attentive staff that made sure our stay wasn’t anything short of excellent, we had no doubt that this was the perfect location to host our May 10, 2014 wedding.Our family’s travel agent assisted our guests with all travel arrangements including flights, hotel and round-trip shuttle services to and from the airport since everyone’s arrival and departure days varied. We reserved a block of rooms at the hotel to make sure everyone stayed on the same property and we included detailed information on how to go about booking hotel reservations on our wedding website which was included on our Save the Dates. Our Save The Dates were mailed nine months out and our wedding invitations were mailed out about four months before the wedding.
We put together welcome bags for our guests which included a personalized itinerary, beach towel clips, a first aid and hangover kit and miscellaneous travel size items such as sunscreen, Aloe Vera Gel and lip balm that we dropped off to our guests’ rooms on the days they arrived. The night before the wedding, we hosted a welcome dinner for all of our guests at Sea Salt Grill and then had everyone come back to our suite for after dinner cocktails. The Master Suite that hotel management so graciously upgraded us to, was over 1,300 square feet with a wrap around balcony and an ocean front view, making it an ideal intimate setting to spend time with our guests. On the morning of our wedding day, I got ready in our room and I had my bridal party join me so we could spend the day together. I selected ombré themed purple and lavender chiffon gowns for my bridesmaids while my adult flower girl stood out in a gray chiffon gown to offset the rest of the bridal party. I wore a strapless tulle mermaid style bridal gown with sweetheart neckline that was custom made by Rachel Alvia of Avail & Co and I chose a classic white rose bouquet while my bridesmaids’ bouquets were a mix of white hydrangeas and lavender roses. John wore a light gray suit that was custom made by Durus’ Custom Tailors while his groomsmen went with a laid back casual look with gray pants, white button ups and black suspenders.
Even though John and I had decided to forgo exchanging wedding gifts on our wedding day, he surprised me with an iPad that was hand delivered to me while I was getting ready with an uploaded personal video message from him and video montage of his childhood. It was by far the sweetest and most thoughtful gift that he has ever given to me and one that I will cherish for many years to come. We opted for a first-look photo session with our wedding party and family before our ceremony. The wedding ceremony took place on the Lounge Terrace at 5:30 pm followed by cocktail hour on the bridge and a 7:30 pm poolside reception. During cocktail hour, John and I ventured off with our photographers for a beach photography session and you can view more of those photos here.
Our reception was one of the most entertaining and lively receptions I have ever been a part of and one that turned into a non-stop dance party that kicked off in the middle of dinner and went into all hours of the night. John and our best man put together the evening’s play list with a variety of 80s, 90s and current Top 40 pop music which included tunes by our favorite artists such as George Michael and Sade that played during dinner and later transitioned into EDM beats that kept everyone on the dance floor through the end of the night.
Our wedding day was absolutely a day to remember and we will be forever grateful to have had our friends and family travel the distance to be able to celebrate the day (and week) with us. Although the day has passed and today officially marks our second wedding anniversary, we are so lucky to have had Bethany Petersen of BP Film & Photo fly down from Utah to capture the day’s events through photo and film which will always bring back warm memories as we relive our perfect day. You can watch our edgy and non-cookie cuter wedding film by clicking below.
[Photography credit]: Bethany Petersen of BP Film & Photo