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Destination I Do
Friday, December 9, 2016

From Seattle to Sayulita

Words by Candice Maniga
Photos courtesy of Dia Rao Photography

The decision to have a destination wedding wasn’t tough for Brendan and Kelly. They had fun at past destination weddings and loved to travel, so bringing their friends and family together for a vacation and celebration of their love was perfect.

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Knowing several guests would be flying in from Seattle, the happy couple picked a destination that guests could fly to directly: Sayulita, Mexico. The town was already part of their story; it was where they got engaged. They had a great turnout of 135 guests travel to see them say their “I do’s.”

“We really believe picking a location that was desirable and fairly easy for our guests to access was a huge part of our turnout success,” the newlyweds said. Brendan and Kelly informed their guests about travel information, lodging options and celebratory events leading up to their W-day via a wedding website. “We highly recommend having your guests stay at the same hotel,” they said. “Our guests took up the majority of the Villa Amor and there were so many good stories to come out of it!”

The newlyweds had a great planning experience, noting that having a wedding planner is a must. “We could not have done it without our wedding planner, Karen,” the couple said. “All we had to do was fill out a few questionnaires and tell her what we envisioned for the wedding and she took care of all the details.” With the help of their planner and Pinterest, the wedding they imagined was brought to life.

Their wedding planner, Karen, was local which helped immensely when it came to communicating with smaller local vendors – especially the vendors that only spoke Spanish. They communicated over the phone, email and Skype for consultations and arrangements without running into issues. “Everyone exceeded our expectations,” the newlyweds said.

Brendan and Kelly didn’t want to bring too much with them, so the only DIY-project they included was making gift bags. The bags included items they thought their guests might need on the trip like “personalized sunglasses, first-aid and hangover kits, local beer and limes.” When it came to décor, they chose to incorporate their destination. “It was important to us that most of the decorations at the actual wedding – fans on the ceremony chairs, confetti canons, painted tiles for table numbers – came from local shops, so Karen helped us coordinate that.”

We asked Brendan and Kelly if they had any advice for other couples headed toward their W-day: “Plan a wedding that is meaningful and special to you as a couple,” they said. “Don’t fret the small stuff. Party the night away [because] it will be over before you know it.” 

“It was the best week of our lives,” the newlyweds said. “We would do it all over again if we could.”

Vendors: Photographer: Dia Rao Photography, Wedding Planner: Karen Ruezga of Villa Amor, Ceremony/Reception Site: Villa Amor, Florist: Flor Mimo, Stationery: Serendipity Beyond Design, Dessert/Cake: The Churro Man, Hair & Makeup: Funky Diva, Gown Designer: Watters, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Trunk Club

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