Destination I Do
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A Sentimental Sayulita Wedding

Words by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of One Lens Photography

Megan and Joseph had a very clear idea of what they wanted when it came time to say “I do.” First and foremost, the couple wanted a casual, intimate event that focused on friends, family and most of all – love! The two have traveled to Sayulita, Mexico frequently over the years and knew it had just the right energy for their W-Day. “Sayulita is a place very near and dear to us,” says Megan. “There is a magic which exists that is difficult to describe, but easy to feel. When thinking about our wedding, we wanted more of a celebration and party and less of a ‘wedding.’ Sayulita was the perfect place to have that dream come true.” 

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More than a vision of design details and traditions, Megan and Joseph’s wedding was unique from start to finish. “Weddings are a time for family, friends and lots of love,” says the bride. “The problem? [Traditional weddings] happen quickly and are so expensive – one night and it’s over. We didn’t want to have that experience. We wanted the ability to have everyone together for a longer vacation – old friends meeting new friends, two new families sharing a joined experience and the ability to have more than just one special memory.” 

While this Seattle couple was confident in their decision to have a destination wedding in Mexico, some of their guests hesitated. “Not everyone was a fan of the idea,” explains the bride. “In fact, our guest list quickly dwindled. We went through many emotions depending on who the person was and what their presence would have meant. We tried to resolve concerns by sharing our personal experiences and, in some cases, tried to help educate people about the area and potential safety concerns.” 

Looking back, the couple has no regrets and appreciates each person who was willing to make the trek south of the border. “[Our guests] wanted to be there, join the celebration and have an experience. This made everything better in the long run and we wouldn’t have changed a thing.”

There was another upside to a smaller guest list – the couple was able to rent a villa which accommodated almost everyone. “We chose Casa Pata Salada because it had seven casitas and a house, allowing most people to stay on property,” says Megan. “For the most part, this made things really easy.” The couple opted not to hire a wedding planner and, looking back, the bride admits there are pros and cons to doing everything yourself.

“I often wondered if I should be doing more. Many of my girlfriends were so absorbed in their wedding planning...months and months of time spent pouring over information and making decisions. Their weddings turned our fabulous, which at one point left me thinking, ‘Either I am really good at this or I am doing something really wrong.’ [Turns out] it was neither – the storm just hadn’t happened yet.

“Once we got to Sayulita, it was a whirlwind of planned chaos. All of the stress my girlfriends had been experiencing prior to their weddings I went through in one week. No amount of preparation would have lessened the planning that needed to happen on location.” During the wedding week, Megan felt frustrated that the planning caused her to miss time with her friends and family, but was concerned her and Joseph’s wedding vision would have been compromised by using a planner. “Regardless of the stress and coordination, our wedding was exactly what we wanted and was a wonderful representation of us as a couple.”

Come W-Day, everything went off without a hitch and the bride largely credits her vendors for the day’s success. “Delani from Hecho con Amor really helped us get organized…she was an angel and helped coordinate all the items to support catering, but also helped us negotiate our wedding cake, taco truck and churro truck…we wouldn’t have been able to do any of it without her. [Also,] our florist, Mireya, from Flor Mimo was beyond amazing. We wanted to have a very ‘Sayulita’ feel to the wedding and, for the most part, I let her have total freedom with her designs.”

These laid-back lovebirds had a vision and put in the hard work to make that vision a reality. The bride has some final words of advice for other couples going through the same destination wedding planning process. “Something will go wrong, it’s okay. Interview your vendors and use them as resources, ask a ton of questions and don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t forget why you are there…to celebrate love. [Also,] you still need a honeymoon! We didn’t plan one because we thought the destination was enough. You will be so busy with friends and family that you will need a vacation to relax from your wedding vacation.” 

Vendors: Photographer: One Lense Photography, Wedding Location: Sayulita, Mexico, Ceremony/Reception Site: Casa Pata Salada, Florist: Flor Mimo, Hair & Makeup: Funky Diva Hair Salon, Gown Designer: Free People, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Tommy Bahama (shirt) and H&M (pants), Catering: Hecho con Amor, Taco Truck: Taco al Ivan

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