Chere and Yohann-Reem Photography-053

Caribbean Culture Wedding in Cancun


December 14, 2022
Words by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of Reem Photography

Chere and Yohann first met in elementary school when they were just five years old, sitting next to each other in class in Antigua. They lost contact when Yohann moved away when he was eight, but Chere never forgot about him. In college, Chere decided to look him up on Facebook. She added him as a friend and messaged asking if he remembered her, and he did! They began chatting with each other, but it wasn’t until Chere took a spontaneous trip to Barbados that they both fell instantly in love. The main inspiration for their wedding was their respective Caribbean cultures. Chere was raised in Antigua, and Yohann is from Barbados, so an island vibe for their wedding was a must. Read on to hear directly from the couple about their destination wedding experience!

“We got engaged in Paris and our pictures literally broke the Internet so when we set a wedding date, our only thought process was ‘How can we top Paris?’ Being from the islands, a beachfront wedding seemed so dreamy and perfect for us.

On a birthday trip to Mexico in February 2021, I fell in love and instantly called my wedding planner and said ‘Let’s do Cancun!’ She agreed and informed me how much easier it would be for guests to travel, in addition to the fact that the flowers I wanted would be easier to get. It turned out to be a great idea! So, we proceeded to find a location and a date. We then let our guests know that everything would be worth the wait and coined the theme ‘let’s try this again.’ Our family and friends were so excited and looking for any reason to travel post-pandemic that they all jumped in, excited for Cancun, Mexico 2022.

Cancun is a great tourist location and the customer service was everything. My wedding planner got the different locations together and we fell in love with the Dreams Riviera resort. The backdrop for our ceremony was just stunning. I wanted a beachfront reception that was not directly on the sand, and Dreams offered that for us!

The biggest issue we ran into for our new destination was new COVID-19 variants, causing some guests to panic and cancel. My wedding planner was very reassuring. She kept me calm and comforted me, letting me know that I’d waited so long for this big day and that it would all be okay. The things we could control, we handled and what we couldn’t, we just worked around it.

During the planning process having a great wedding planner and her team was what helped me. I also knew what I wanted for my wedding since I was a little girl. Since this was our third attempt at this wedding, we had a lot of things in place. All my vendors were booked, and everything from my dress to my bridesmaid dresses was already picked so it made the process less frustrating. My wedding planner Victoria did a good job of keeping everything easy and efficient for me. I really appreciated this. I took a travel nursing job in Alaska right before my wedding, so I was always either waking up early or staying up late to have meetings with Victoria or making phone calls during the planning process. But I will say now, it was all worth it.

My biggest do-it-yourself project was not really a do-it-yourself thing, but being from Guyana, black cake is a traditional food to have at weddings. It represents rich blessings for the couple. We took two suitcases filled with Guyanese black cake as a carry-on for our flight to Cancun. My sister, the maid of honor, ordered cake boxes, and my mom and aunt were tasked to cut the cake up and box them in Cancun for the reception as a take-home for our guests.

My wedding planner’s team set us up with VIP Vacations. Our guests just called and paid to lock their rooms in place. Some issues we ran into included dates of when guests needed to book and make their first payment not being clear – which was important in order for me not to lose my large deposit – yikes! So of course that put me in full panic mode and I called everyone and requested that they book asap.

My wedding planner and mother kept it within budget, but still, overall I was expecting it to be cheaper in my head! Anyone can say they would like to spend less, but if you want a certain look and result for your big day, it will cost. My wedding was so beautiful and so worth the wait, it was everything I’d dreamed of and more. That made it all worth the money spent. I would just say to another bride to be realistic.

The biggest advice is live in the moment. Enjoy each step and every planning process because when you see the final product you will know it’s all worth it. For destination weddings, get a dress that is not too heavy to travel with and something light to move around on the dancefloor with. My dress was extremely heavy and at times made it hard for me to walk in. I think warmer destinations like mine call for light, fun dresses. Lastly, hire a dependable, detailed wedding planner. This will help keep your brain cells when the going gets tough! I couldn’t imagine my day without my wedding planner and her team.”

Vendors: Wedding Planner & Designer: Victorious Events NYC; Photographer: Reem Photography; Venue: Dreams Riviera CancunVideographer: Amor Amor Weddings; DJ: Mike Music; Makeup: Yolanda Aguayo; Hair: Janel Sealy Smith; Bridal Gown: Bridals by Lori; Bride’s Headpiece: Ai & Eva Bridal Jewelry; Reception Gown & Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Yvette DeFreitas; Groom’s Tuxedo: Miguel Wilson Collection; Groom’s Shoes: Giuseppe Zanotti; Groomsmen Tuxedos: The Black Tux; Invitations: Gwen Marie Designs; Menus: Boxed Wedding Invitations; Travel Agent: VIP Vacations

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