featured image - nathalie and justin

Love at First Skype: Justin & Nathalie’s Mexican Destination Wedding


July 24, 2023
Words by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of P. Taufiq Photography

From the beginning of their initial discussions over Instagram to a seven-hour Skype session that ignited a spark that would grow into a lifelong love, Justin and Nathalie took the unconventional route. So, when it came to selecting a location for their wedding day, it only made sense this adventurous couple would opt to host a multi-day celebration in sunny Playa del Carmen!

Way back when we ventured off on our first international trip together. The trip was to Playa del Carmen, Mexico and instantly became one of our most beloved places. It was one of those trips that held moments where we could clearly see what the future held for us,” the couple says.

Nathalie and Justin specifically chose the Generations Riviera Maya/El Dorado Royale wedding because in every way it embraced true royalty! The resorts were beautiful and spacious, plus food options for guests seemed endless. They had options for family-friendly spaces, adult-only areas, and even the perfect set of casitas for the couple and their nearest and dearest to enjoy. 

To ensure each detail could be planned to perfection, Nathalie hired Shaadi Destinations who coordinated the location. Thanks to the support, the couple felt at ease through the process of booking, securing locations within the resort for the events, and making the wedding/guests feel special the week-of.

“It was very important for us to have every event in an outdoor space to soak up all the beauty around us,” the bride tells us. “Our first kiss as a couple took place on the beach, making a beachfront location an easy choice for our vow ceremony and reception.”

The couple embraced the theme of Mexican sunsets for their Indian wedding and therefore chose the Sky Deck venue for the epic views of the ocean on one side and a colorful backdrop on the other. Overall, the couple’s hope for each event was to honor Justin and Nathalie’s love story in general. 

“Starting from the day of my Bridal Mehndi and all the small details from our furry friend, where we met, our anniversary date, etc, we chose to highlight special details of our journey each day. Our Sangeet was playfully named our “Fiveever Fiesta” as an ode to our use of 5Ever instead of forever, our first international trip to Mexico together and our wedding week taking place in Mexico.”

In further homage to the setting, the Sangeet included elements of a Jarritos bar for guests, tacos, a signature “Marry Me” margarita, limbo, water drums and playful colors throughout. 

“For our Indian Wedding, the sunset theme shined bright throughout,” Nathalie says. “Our bridal party created the sunset colors for us, while our outfits were classical red against a sunset mandap.”

Personalizations added included coconuts offered at guests’ arrival with the couple’s wedding logo carved into the sides. They also designed customized puzzles to include a word search and a crossword to keep guests busy during the ceremony, while also providing them with a timeline of events.

“For our Vow Ceremony overlooking the water, white roses and golds with hints of blue were present and for our Reception, we did the opposite. At our ceremony, guests were greeted by a timeline card that also included fun facts about our relationship, as well as bears that represented each grandparent who couldn’t be with us,” the couple says.

In honoring all aspects of the couple’s story and their cultures through three different events, Nathalie and Justin felt a more perfect wedding couldn’t have existed even in their wildest dreams.

Our love for travel and exploring new cities and foods goes beyond making new memories – it’s a way of seeing the world through one another’s eyes, a way of seeing life and love in new cities and places,” the bride says. “It’s always been our dream to take our loved ones on an adventure with us to witness our love and celebrate our marriage. Picking Mexico and our dream resort was just the icing on the cake!”

When asked what advice they’d share with other couples in the process of planning their own destination wedding, Justin and Nathalie had this to say:

“Everyone will hear this time and time again, but invest in your photo and video team. These are the memories that you’ll have in physical form forever! For us, it was super important to find a photo/video team that made us feel like ROYALTY!”

Vendors: Photography & Videography: P. Taufiq Photography; Coordination: M.C at Shaadi Destinations & Shelley Craig at Generations Riviera Maya; Ceremony/Reception Site: Generations Riviera Maya & El Dorado Royale by Karisma; Florist/Decor/Cake: Weddings by Lomas Travel; Stationery: Designed by Bride, Printed via Canva; Hair & Makeup: Tadeo Perza; Gown: Brides of Florida & Kitty Chen Couture; Groom’s Clothing Designer: Indochino; Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Organzza; DJ: DJ Powerhouse; Mehndi: Loto Mehndi; Favors & Decor: Partylogue; Live Performers: Drums in Paradise

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