A Seaside Soirée In MexicoWords by Taylor Wilson
Photos courtesy of Susanna Antichi
When it came time for Anthony and Lauren to begin planning their big day together, they knew they wanted a destination wedding. “We have a really fun and vibrant group of friends and family and we wanted to get everyone together for a few days to meet, have some fun in the sun and party!” says the bride. The couple decided to go south of the border to Mexico, as Playa del Carmen was the perfect fit for them.
Not to mention, most guests were absolutely ecstatic to escape the winter winds of Chicago and bask on the sunny shores of Mexico. However, Lauren’s father was not too keen on the idea but as the two were walking down the aisle, moments before he gave his daughter away, Lauren’s dad turned to her and said, “I thought you kids were crazy to make everyone come down here, but I was wrong. This weekend has been amazing.”
Planning the wedding from afar was relatively effortless. Of course, as with any event, there were issues and minor setbacks but luckily, with the help of the couple’s wedding planner Cindy, there were no major issues. Lauren feels she would have had a much more difficult time without Cindy’s help and is so thankful she found someone so compatible with herself that she quickly bonded with, making the process fun.
The couple welcomed their guests to their wedding weekend with a burlap welcome bag in their hotel rooms filled with the itinerary, “must haves”, shot glasses and other treats. Lauren embellished the burlap bags with vibrantly collared yarn pompoms to “jazz up” the bland bags.
Lauren and Anthony confidently agree they spent much less money on their wedding than had they had it in the states, falling significantly under budget. Shrinking their guest list from 350 to 98, they were able to achieve the intimate feel they were looking for. They spent three wonderful days in a stunning locale with their loved ones, something they wouldn't necessarily have been able to do in Chicago.
Lauren reminds other couples planning a destination wedding, “Have as much fun as you can getting ready for the big day and if possible go and check out your top two destinations to see how the travel would be for your guests. And honestly, if it’s in your budget, hire a wedding planner to take with you on your destination wedding. Anthony and I were able to spend quality time with our guests and be part of the vacation that everyone else was taking. We are very fortunate and grateful for how amazing our destination wedding was. It was awesome and I think every single person had a wonderful time!”
Photographer: Susanna Antichi, Wedding Planner: Cindy Shanholtz of Effortless Events, Ceremony/Reception Site: The beach at Playacar Palace, Florist: Zeniga Florals, Stationery: Smitten Boutique, Cake: Playacar Palace, Hair & Makeup: Suzi Prybylo & Nicky Bragglia Playacar Palace, Gown Designer: Free People (ceremony) & Anna Sui for BHLDN (reception), Groom’s Clothing Designer: Suit Supply
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