A Cabo San Lucas Love AffairWords by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Alex Lasota Photography
Rochelle and Peter wanted a winter wedding, but without the usual cold-weather trappings (i.e. snow)! That, combined with their desire to keep things intimate, made a destination wedding the ideal solution. “[We had a destination wedding] to keep our wedding small and have fun,” says the bride. “We have a large family and big circle of friends, but did not want a large wedding. This was our way to keep it small as well as keep it as stress-free as possible.” Peter also had an extremely practical reason for leaning toward a wedding away. “We wanted it to seem more like a vacation for our friends and family – a time we could spend several days with everyone instead of just one wedding day, which can so fast.”
Deciding on their chosen destination was almost as easy as opting for a destination wedding. “We figured Cabo would be a fun and warm place to go while the weather was cold at home!” says Peter. “We were also able to be semi-economical with the lodging as some family members had time-shares in the area. Cabo [also] has a large airport, which most airlines fly into. It is also a relatively compact town, allowing for people to get to rehearsals, dinners, the wedding and reception easily.” The couple was so excited to celebrate in Cabo that they couldn’t wait until the wedding. “Peter had been to Cabo San Lucas on many family vacations, but hadn’t been in quite a few years and I had been dying to go – so we took a ‘wedding planning’ trip a few months before the wedding and had SO MUCH FUN,” recalls the bride.
While these two acknowledge that not all couples will be able to make a pre-wedding trip to their chosen destination, Peter and Rochelle strongly recommend it. They share the credit of their stress-free destination wedding with their wedding planners at Creative Destination Events. “Since it was a destination wedding in another country, we didn’t have too many referrals/knowledge on what to expect,” says Rochelle. “Once we found our wedding planner, we relied heavily on their experience and recommendations. They were a huge help and so great to work with.
“[Planning] was wonderful. I am a very hands-on person, so the most difficult part for me was to sit back and allow someone to do most of the coordination for me. You have to really trust your wedding planner that everything will be finished and turn out beautiful – and Melissa did NOT disappoint.” When it came to planning a wedding in another country, Rochelle again credits their planner with simplifying the process. “We didn’t have to work too directly with vendors too often, as our wedding planner did most of that for us. We communicated mostly via email and an occasional phone call. Our contracts would usually come through our wedding planner where we would make our adjustments and give it back to her to negotiate with the vendors.”
Because the couple had such a seamless experience, they wanted to ensure the same luxury for their guests. “Since it was Mexico, everyone flew into Cabo San Lucas and then either rented a car or took a taxi/shuttle to their hotels and villas,” explains the bride. “On the day of the wedding we provided a shuttle service for all guests that picked them up from their hotel/villa, took them to the beach ceremony, took them to Villa Grande where our reception was located, and then took everyone home once the reception was over. Jorge [with Pacific Blue Los Cabos] did a wonderful job coordinating this and it went SO smoothly!”
For the couple, the benefits of opting for a Mexico wedding away were nearly endless. “It would have been less relaxing for everyone,” says Rochelle. “It was winter (and pretty cold) in our hometown, so the atmosphere would’ve been a lot less appealing – nothing compares to a sunny 80 degrees on the beach. We spent more than we originally anticipated (when does that NOT happen?) but still feel like it was still less than what we would’ve spent if we had it in our hometown.”
As for final words of wisdom, both Peter and Rochelle had some solid recommendations. Rochelle: “Relax and just enjoy the day! If your guests are coming into town before the wedding day, try to make it a point to visit with them before so you don’t feel obligated to spend time with every guest on the wedding day. We did this, and it allowed us to just eat, drink and dance the night away!”
Peter: “Don’t stress too much about the details. Everyone will have a great time, because they are on vacation! Have fun with family and friends during the trip, but make sure you remember the wedding is for you, and that day is for you to enjoy and remember forever!”
Vendors: Photographer: Alex Lasota Photography, Wedding Planner: Melissa Buelna and Suzanne Morel with Creative Destination Events, Ceremony/Reception Site: The Resort at Pedregal, Florist: Cabo Floral Studio, Stationery: JP Stationery, Videography: EM Weddings, Cake: Flora Farms, Hair & Makeup: Suzanne Morel Face and Body Care, Gown Designer: Claire Pettibone, Catering: A Matter of Taste, DJ: Adan Mijares, Shuttle: Jorge Ayon with Pacific Blue Los Cabos
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