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Destination I Do
Friday, January 28, 2011

This Real Destination Wedding Couple Dishes Out Tips and Tricks

Words by Courtney Kellar
Words by Courtney Cox
Photos courtesy of Jeremy Gilliam

Today begins a new tradition here on Destination I Do’s blog. This is the first post of our new blog series “Destination Couples Dish.” Our Real Wedding Wednesdays are wonderfully popular and we wanted to bring our blog readers more gorgeous real destination weddings to feast upon. Friday’s real weddings will have an interesting twist, though. We’re giving real destination brides the chance to share their planning experience and offer advice to other potential destination brides. So, future destination brides rejoice - this one’s for you.


Jina danced her way into Mark’s heart at a Chicago Salsa Club and the rest is history. Their decision to have a destination wedding was an easy one because the couple really wanted a “private and intimate” affair.

After the help of a travel agent specializing in destination weddings, the couple decided on Riviera Maya, Mexico for their nuptials. Mexico provided the warm, tropical locale Jina and Mark were looking for, but was easy to get to for traveling family members.

Jina and Mark say that the hardest part about planning a destination wedding was deciding on which beautiful location in which to exchange their vows. Once Riviera Maya was it, the rest was easy. In the end, 20 of the couple’s closest friends and family traveled south of the border to hear the couple say “I do.”



Jina offers a great bit of advice about the number of attendants to a destination wedding. In a nut shell, don’t stress! “In the end, keep in mind that the guests that want to be there will go regardless of the cost. Relax and enjoy every moment.”

Jina looked lovely in an Aire Barcelona gown and Mark marched down the aisle in a Prada suit. The couple kept things simple while exchanging vows in a gazebo on El Dorado Seaside Suites property. The resort closed one of its restaurants for the evening just so the wedding party could have privacy.



Mark and Jina paid homage to how they met by performing an Argentine Tango and Salsa dance to entertain their guests after dinner. The bride changed into a short BCBG dress in order to really dance the night away.

This couple really understood what it means to have a destination wedding in some far flung locale. “Our favorite moment was just having our family and friends with us on a mini vacation,” says Jina. “Instead of just having one day to celebrate together, we had three days.”



The couple had some final words of advice for couples considering a destination wedding.

“Our advice for stress avoidance is to communicate early to your guests about the wedding and only book rooms for the definite attendees,” says Jina. “We’ve found that having a destination wedding created a deeper level of camaraderie amongst our guests and ultimately a vacation that gave everyone lasting memories.”

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