Destination I Do
Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Destination Wedding: Sweet Sayulita

Words by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Jessi LeMay Photography

Monica and Nathan are lucky to have friends who live in Sayulita, Mexico. After a visit to the charming town, the couple knew it was where they wanted to say “I do.” Anxious to ensure all their guests were on board, Monica and Nathan developed a strategy to get their guests as excited about the couple’s destination wedding as possible. “We took a trip down to Sayulita about a year and a half before the wedding and then made a slide-show teaser of pictures from the area to get everyone excited,” says the couple. “We also got our friends’ input on homes we were planning to use for the actual wedding reception. Getting our friends involved in the process helped to get them as excited as we were. It was like planning a dream vacation and then selling the dream vacation to family and friends – which was even more fun.”

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Allowing a year-and-a-half of planning time also gave their guests comfort and plenty of time to save up for the trip. “We put together a website which detailed nearly every aspect of the trip – essentially laying out what they needed to know and do from the moment they got off the plane in Puerto Vallarta,” says Monica and Nathan. “We also sent out email updates every few months with additional information. And, since we had been to Sayulita before, it was very easy to answer questions.”

While the couple offered up a schedule, they also encouraged their guests to get out and see the sights. “We suggested people pair-up and rent golf carts for getting around between the resort and around town. The golf carts allowed people to take their own adventures during the week, from surf lessons and paddle boarding, to visiting one of the many taco stands in Sayulita. We had the opportunity to spend a week together with our closest family and friends, celebrating one of the most important and special times of our life. [We took] a great vacation with family and friends, with a little wedding thrown in.”

Interestingly enough, Monica and Nathan said having a destination wedding made the actual ceremony and reception less stressful. “The adventure of traveling together and staying at the same resort created friendships and bonds between family and friends which all culminated in a wonderful, relaxed and enjoyable wedding ceremony and reception.”

Now considered destination wedding aficionados, the couple has some final words of advice for other destination wedding couples. “Cherish all the memories you make from the moment you leave to the moment you get home. Take lots and lots of pictures so you can always look back and see what a great time was had. Let your guests feel like they are on a vacation and encourage them to go and do things – this way you won’t feel you are entertaining the entire time! If you sell [the experience] like a vacation with a wedding thrown in, well, who doesn’t want or need a vacation?”

Vendors: Photographer: Jessi LeMay Photography, Wedding Planner: Courtney Richardson with Sunset Soiree, Ceremony/Reception Site: Casa Vela in Sayulita, Mexico, Florist: Flor de Mimo, Gown Designer: Amy Kuschel, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Banana Republic, Bridesmaids/Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: Asos/Banana Republic

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