Destination I Do
Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Robot Themed Destination Wedding

Words by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Joann Arruda Photography

Today’s’ real-life destination wedding is a Wedding Wednesday first – a robot-themed wedding! San Francisco couple, Justin and Sara, are self-professed “geeks” for which only a fully-customized wedding would do. “We agonized over venue choices [in San Francisco], everything was just too expensive,” says Sara. “Not to mention the fact that I dreamed of having a venue for more than just a wedding, I wanted a family vacation! [We wanted] a few days of fun activities for our guests and families to get to know each other better. We looked into several lakeside resorts, cabins and hotels with activities nearby and we couldn’t find anything affordable. It finally dawned on us to have the wedding where Justin proposed to me – Casa de los Delfines in Sayulita, Nayarit, Mexico!”

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Sayulita was the destination of Sara and Justin’s dreams. Not just for the beautiful surroundings, but for the ideal accommodations and activities. “Sayulita is a wonderful little gem on the Pacific Coast of Mexico with amazing people, delicious food, World-renowned surfing, tons of fun activities and, best of all, there are dozens of affordable villas to rent,” recalls the couple. “So it was perfect for the vacation wedding we dreamed of. Our guests rented neighboring villas, each offering different views, pools and accommodations at an affordable price.”

Once the destination was set in stone, it was time for this creative couple to get to work creating a one-of-a-kind wedding. “We had a robot-themed wedding because Justin and I are both big geeks: I’m a crafter and karaoke diva and Justin is a designer and video game enthusiast,” says the bride. “Justin designed the invitations and added some sprockets and a Mr. + Mrs. Robot and I took off with the idea from there.” Sara hand-painted each of the little robots which served as table numbers, the wooden signs with robot sayings like “To Beep or Not to Beep, that is the Computation” and hung wooden sprockets to decorate their reception space.

The couple’s place cards, wooden sprockets, also doubled as their guest book. Guests wrote personalized messages on their sprockets and the couple is going to arrange them in the shape of a heart and frame them to be displayed in their home.“Justin and I combined his talent for design and my passion for crafting to create something uniquely ours and we had so much fun from beginning to end!” reflects Sara.

After months of creating dozens of handmade details, it came time for the couple to get all their wedding supplies to Mexico. Because they were getting married in a villa, they brought all of their own supplies: tablecloths, napkins, favors, vases, paper lanterns and lots of other necessities. “Since we did not have a wedding planner, we had to bring the entire wedding to Mexico!” says the bride. “We had a total of sixteen suitcases and two large boxes full of wedding decorations to bring. It was a logistical nightmare. We ended up booking several friends and family on our flight so we could divvy up the luggage. I made matching luggage tags with large numbers on the front and inventory lists inside and everyone was assigned two pieces of luggage to guard with their lives until we arrived safely at the villa.”

Because the couple held their ceremony in the villa’s yard and their reception poolside at the villa, they were in charge of bringing in all their own outside vendors. Thankfully, the owner of Casa de los Delfines was extremely helpful and put her knowledge of the area to use. “Our advice for couples planning a destination wedding is to ask the locals, they have a wealth of information for the eager bride and groom. Gina, the owner of Casa de los Delfines, helped us find a local mother and daughter team to cater our wedding when we could not find a caterer to fit our budget. [The women] cooked an amazing buffet of traditional Mexican dishes and the food was beyond our expectations! We were forced to think outside the box and we were happy we did – the food was amazing and we were delighted to support a local family business.”

The villa owner was also helpful when it came to a unique group activity Sara and Justin prepared for their guests on the day after their wedding: a scavenger hunt. Missions included taking a picture with the oldest man in town and lighting a candle and saying a prayer for the newlyweds in the local chapel. This is information the couple couldn’t have found online and further helped them to create a wedding none of their guests will soon forget.

This DIY bride has some final words of wisdom to share with other destination wedding couples: “It really does happen as fast as every bride says it does, so enjoy it! Take a moment to look around at your guests enjoying themselves, your beautiful décor, your handsome husband, taste your expensive catered food and cake, dance to the soundtrack of your life and feel the love that is abundantly offered to you and your husband from your family friends on your special day. I really enjoyed the entire process of planning our robot-themed DIY wedding, from the decisions to the design, to the dream come true! It was truly a labor of love for both Justin and I. Our wedding was designed by Justin and hand-crafted by me and I think we made a great team!”

Photographer: Joann Arruda Photography, Ceremony/Reception Site: Casa de los Delfines, Gown Designer: Galina, Florist: Flora Amor, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Jean Yves, Bridesmaids/Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: David’s Bridal/Jean Yves, Cake: NAEF Catering, DJ: Sayulita Musica Soundscapes, Officiant: Ceremonies from the Heart.

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