Seamless Riviera Maya NuptialsWords by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of DreamArt Photography
After getting engaged, bride Megan was able to realize not one dream, but two. “For the past eight years, I’ve worked in the travel PR industry and have gotten to go to many amazing places,” says the bride. “But, the one thing I’ve always wished I could do was bring my family and friends along. So, it was natural that when I got married I wanted to do a destination wedding…a celebration in a foreign location with everyone I loved.” Thankfully, her groom Ryane was on board and the decision to host a destination wedding made sense for more reasons than one.
“It also made sense because Ryane and I didn’t grow up in the same location, nor do we live where we are from,” says Megan. “We knew inevitably that one side of the family would be disappointed if we went with the other’s locale. A destination wedding it was!” Once the couple pitched their plans to their family and friends, they were pleasantly surprised by the number of RSVP’s. The main concern was whether the bride’s grandmother would be up for making the trip south of the border. “The only concern was my grandmother and how she would hold up traveling at her age. We just kept reiterating the light was at the end of the tunnel and that seeing the beauty of this resort would change her life. And it did, she was so happy she came!”
Speaking of beautiful resorts, the bride has traveled the globe visiting gorgeous properties. So, how did she choose? “One of my first clients ever was Velas Resorts and one of the first press trips I took was out to Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit,” explains Megan. “When I first saw this location at the resort with three enormous white stone arches, I knew I wanted to get married there. Well, when we ended up getting engaged at its sister property Grand Velas Riviera Maya last year, we considered having the wedding there.” With two beautiful resorts to choose from, the couple took their guests into account.
“What really sealed the deal for us to have the wedding at Grand Velas Riviera Maya is that the airport has direct flights from all the East Coast cities where my family and our friends reside and Denver, where Ryane’s family lives. It was much more affordable and easy for our guests to get flights into Cancun.” Overall, Megan found the entire destination wedding planning process pretty stress-free.
“[Planning was] extremely easy. I barely had to do anything other than show up! I went to the resort a few months after we set the date and met with all the resort’s preferred vendors. I had scoured Pinterest beforehand to pick out all the different elements I wanted and then they took it from there! I also did my tasting at the same time to pick our menu. After that trip, everything was pretty much planned!”
When it came to logistics for their guests, not surprisingly, Megan and Ryane made it as convenient as possible. “Rooming was easy,” says the bride. “We had a link to provide guests that they could go to and make their room reservations directly. Then every week we would get an update with reservations associated with that link that were in our party. The only challenge we had was scheduling transportation. We went with an outside transfer company and it was helter-skelter to say the least. We had to hunt down people for flight times and then coordinate groups for pick-up. Without fail, once we thought everything was set, someone would send us a change in flights and we’d have to juggle things around…again!”
Aside from arranging transportation for their guests to/from the airport, Megan and Ryane believe a destination wedding was far less stressful than planning a hometown wedding. “What was great about having a destination wedding was not really having to deal with too many vendors,” explains the bride. “We communicated directly with our photography company and told them what we wanted. They gave us recommendations and then it was done. Our DJ had a form we could fill out with all the must-plays/definitely-skip questions that was easy to fill out. It was the same with our minister. He had a form that we filled in with some personal information that he integrated right into the ceremony. Seamless.”
When asked how a hometown wedding would have been different from their wedding away, the couple knows they made the right decision to host a destination wedding. “We wouldn’t have spent so much time with our friends and family. We purposely planned our wedding on a Friday so that we could have an extra day to spend with our guests. I feel like if we had a wedding in Miami, where we live, we would have seen our guests just at the wedding and then they would have been gone or off doing other things. With a destination wedding, we were able to do a welcome reception with everyone, the wedding and then a day after at the pool!”
We asked Megan and Ryane if they had any advice for other couples currently planning a destination wedding and this is what they had to say. “There are certain points when it feels like everything has to be done at that moment. Relax – it will all get done. Also, make sure to enjoy the time you have with your family and friends in the destination.”
Vendors: Photographer: DreamArt Photography, Wedding Planner: Claudia Garcia, Groups and Conventions Coordinator with Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Ceremony/Reception Site: Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Florist: Agromex, Stationery: Custom Design by – David Rojas, Calligraphy – Calligraphy by Jeni, Cake: Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Hair & Makeup: The Spa at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Gown Designer: Rosa Clará, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Cubavera, Bridesmaids/Groomsmens’ Clothing Designer: Alfred Angelo/Cubavera
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