A Cancun Gazebo WeddingWords by Emily Garcia
Photos courtesy of J&R Photography
Graciela and Costandinos loved the idea of a small wedding and spending extra days with their closest friends and family enjoying the beautiful Cancun beaches and weather.
The couple’s families were “extremely supportive” of their decision, but a few of their friends had a difficult time understanding their decision for a small destination wedding. The pair sent out their save the dates a year in advance and made sure all their guests had plenty of time to plan.
Graciela and Costandinos wanted to have their wedding somewhere neither of them had ever been before. They had never visited the beaches in Mexico, but heard a lot of positive things about Cancun. A few of the couple’s guests had concerns about the level of safety. The travel agency the pair used reassured their guests via email confirming that the resort and location were safe.
The newlyweds describe their destination planning experience as “fairly easy.” Their biggest concern was trying to visualize the venue, because they didn’t visit the resort before booking. Another worry was the uncertainty of the weather and not tasting the food beforehand.
The pair heavily relied on a U.S. based coordinator, Simply Sapphire Events. Their wedding planner helped the couple from the beginning and beyond of their wedding. “Kate was amazing and I could not imagine having to do everything she did myself,” says the bride.
The bride’s mother made a few DIY projects for the wedding. She made cocktail table centerpieces for the wedding and made a beautiful bouquet wrap for the bride’s flowers that had pictures of both of her grandmothers. The bride and her mother decorated candles, small mirrors, tea light candles, made signs for a signature drink name and thought of a creative hashtag.
The couple’s travel agency managed the travel logistics for all their guests. The bride says there were some hiccups with the travel planning process for their guests, but they had great communication with their travel agent and were able to resolve their challenges. Everything worked out the day of travel and guests didn’t have any issues.
“Simply Sapphire did an amazing job of coordinating with the resort and our on-site coordinator,” the bride says.
The bride says having the wedding closer to home would have been much less personal. “I always knew I never wanted to be one of those brides who spent the entire night saying hello to guests or didn’t have time to enjoy her own wedding cake,” Graciela says. “I wanted to be able to kick back, relax and enjoy the entire evening in a very laid back fashion.”
The bride wanted her guests to feel like they were part of a small-knit group on her wedding day. Spending multiple days together allowed the couple’s friends and family to have time to get to know each other.
The newlyweds advise brides and grooms to get themselves a really good wedding planner. “Kate took so much off my plate that there would be times that felt like I should be doing stuff for the wedding, but I didn’t know what to do,” Graciela says. “She reassured me that there was nothing I needed to do and that she had it covered.”
The couple suggests hiring a good photographer. “I also said from the beginning that our biggest splurge would be a good photographer,” the bride says. “Pictures are something you will have forever and I truly think it is worth the money to have a photographer you trust and like.”
Wedding Location: Dreams Riviera Cancun, Mexico, Photographer: J&R Photography, Wedding Planner: Simply Sapphire Events, Kate Anderson, Ceremony/Reception Site: Gazeebo at Dreams Riviera Cancun, Florist: Dreams Riviera Cancun, Cake: Dreams Riviera Cancun, Hair & Makeup: Dreams Riviera Cancun, Gown Designer: Allure Bridal, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Indochino, Travel Agency: Travel Smiths
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