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Destination I Do
Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Intimate Mayan Wedding in Tulum

Words by Izzy Rosales
Photos courtesy of Caro Navarro Photography


As crystal-blue waves lapped the ivory shores offering soothing sounds of the sea, Karlii and Richard said “I do” in Quintana Roo in an intimate setting.


From the moment they became engaged, this serenity-seeking, beach-loving couple had a clear vision of what they desired for their wedding ceremony. While searching for their ideal slice of heaven, the couple came across vacation rental, Villa Nah Saastal–a beachfront property tucked away in the secluded Soliman Bay of Tulum, Mexico. 

“We chose the area because it was private and absolutely beautiful,” Karlii says. “We knew we didn’t want it on a crowded beach with a lot of people to witness. We wanted it more private and this location was perfect!” 

In order to fully enjoy their special day, an elopement with close family and the Mayan community as witnesses would allow them to avoid any stressors that might have come from inviting several guests.

“After all,” says the bride, “We are paying for it, so why not enjoy it and make it our dream wedding and not what others want?”

Luckily, they were met with love and support from their families.

“Our family was happy with whatever we chose to do as long as we are happy with it,” the bride says. Some felt uncomfortable leaving the country, so the couple made sure to express their understanding should family not be able to attend.

With planning now in full motion, the couple hired Paradise Weddings & Events to take care of the major details. This left room for Karlii to plan her own special touches for the day, including making her and her daughter’s boho crowns and designing her wedding gown. 

“We knew what we wanted and could not find it anywhere we looked,” said Karlii. “So we found the materials and made both boho crowns to our liking and then designed the dress the same way.”

Since the humid jungle paradise is the ancestral homelands to the Mayan peoples, the couple decided to incorporate the rich spiritual practices into their ceremony. 

On the day of the wedding, the ceremony’s attendees dressed in a light palette of white and cream colors per Mayan tradition. Barefooted and sunkissed, the bride and groom walked down the sandy aisle leading to an arch of dried palm leaves and white roses. A Maya Shaman burned sacred Copal to bless the ceremony and cultivate a sense of spiritual union. 

With a blow of a conch shell, the ceremony ended as the couple embraced and were showered in flower petals by their loved ones. Shortly after, the sun sank into the horizon, and the sound of distant rolling waves made the perfect soundtrack to end the beautiful evening. 


Vendors: Photographer: Caro Navarro Photography; Planner: Paradise Weddings & Events; Ceremony/Reception Site: Villa Nah Saastal; Groom’s Attire: ZaraMusicians: Musi-k Entertainment; Cake: Pasteleria La Migaja; Floral Designer: Cherry Blossom; Videography: About Time Wedding Films

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