Real Tulum, Mexico Wedding


August 21, 2020
Words by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of Krystle Akin

Just as Jenny and Mike mixed things up and decided to go for a destination wedding in Mexico over a hometown wedding, we are mixing things up too. When we interviewed this vibrant couple, it was evident to us that their personalities and great insight needed to come across in the story. But, with so many quotable moments, we decided the best way to present their Tulum, Mexico destination wedding story would be for you to hear their answers straight from their mouths. 

Q: Why did you choose to do a destination wedding? 
A: We have always loved to travel, and Mexico is a favorite place of ours. We really wanted to share this side of ourselves with our loved ones and offer them an opportunity to take a special and memorable trip together.

Q: How did your family and friends respond to the decision? If any of them had a negative reaction, how did you resolve it? 
A: Honestly, we received a very positive reaction overall… at least to our faces!  We had expressed our desire to do a destination wedding for quite some time. While initially, I am sure there were some folks who wished it were easier to get to, everyone was very grateful for the trip once they made it to Tulum.

Q: How/why did you choose the location/destination? Did you run into any issues specific to this destination and how did you resolve them?
A: I (the bride) had been to the Riviera Maya several times before and knew how beautiful it was, but I had never been to Tulum. I poured over photos of weddings that my planner, Kristee, had done before, and I actually settled on a venue just based on pictures from social media and from a gut feeling. Kristee sold me on it, and once I went to the location a few months later, I was so happy with my choice!

Q: How would you describe your overall experience of planning a destination wedding?
A: I give a HUGE amount of credit to my wedding planner, Kristee at Fresa Weddings who handled SO many details without me having to think twice. I would strongly recommend hiring a wedding planner that is knowledgeable and experienced in your destination of choice. Kristee has excellent relationships with top vendors in the area and it eliminated the process of me having to hire a lot of individual vendors myself. Getting to Tulum when the time came was a bit stressful – traveling with the dresses and everything else that I may or may not need, and having some items shipped to the destination in advance… that adds up!  I was NOT very relaxed on the flights to Tulum, I can tell you that much. I finally got a margarita upon arrival and felt a wave of relief once everything was unloaded in our hotel room. 

Q: What were the travel logistics like for your guests? Did you run into any issues and how did you resolve them?
A: I made a very detailed wedding website with extensive information on how to get to Tulum and where to stay.  It’s worth noting, however, that while this worked really well for our friends and cousins, it was more challenging and slightly less useful for the older guests who are not as tech-savvy. In the end, it worked best for us to provide a list of recommended hotel options and where they were in proximity to our venues (we also had a welcome party), and then let everyone go ahead and book what was best for their budget. We made ourselves available to help anyone who needed it and I used maps and illustrations to show people how the area was laid out.

Q: How were you able to coordinate with vendors from afar? Did you run into any issues and how did you resolve them? 
A: Once again, this is where having a great wedding planner comes in handy. My wedding planner Kristee handled all of the communication with our DJ, venue, florist, mariachi band, sax player and transportation. I found our fabulous photographer SO easy to communicate with via email, and the same for my amazing hair and makeup team and videographer. Tulum is a destination wedding heavy zone, so all of my vendors were very well-versed in long-distance communication, and email tended to work best. I can’t recommend my vendors enough – they were all INCREDIBLE. Another high note was the ease of working with Patricia at Loco Tulum for our wedding welcome party. She was fantastic and made the whole thing a breeze, and the welcome party was one of the best highlights of the trip.

Q: Do you feel you spent more or less money by choosing to do a destination wedding?  
A: I feel it was about the same. The wedding day itself wasn’t an over the top splurge, but if you factor in our additional welcome party plus travel and hotels… it added up!

Q: How do you think your wedding would have been different had you not held it away from home? 
Now that we had our amazing destination wedding, I really can’t picture it any other way. There was something downright magical about the whole experience. Having our closest family and friends together in a tropical place to celebrate was truly unforgettable.

Q: Overall, do you have any special advice you would like to share with our readers to help prepare them for their day? 
A: It is the most cliché thing you will hear, but it is SO true… don’t sweat the small stuff! There will be a few things that go wrong, and guess what? They won’t matter! Live in the moment as much as you can, and don’t worry so much the week leading up to the big day. Have faith that it’s all going to come together beautifully. As soon as our wedding was over, a part of me wanted to turn back time and live it all again WITHOUT worrying about the outcome of events. Everything was perfect, even the imperfections! Although I admit, those were hard to come by. 

Vendors: Photographer: Krystle Akin; Wedding Planner: Kristee at Fresa Weddings; Ceremony/Reception Site: Akiin Beach; Florist: Vanessa Jaimes; Stationery: Minted; Hair & Makeup: Zoe Elizabeth; Gown Designer: Berta; Rentals: Kay and Tee Boutique Rentals; Videography: Frame Wedding Film; DJ: Plugin Audiovisual; Transportation: Paradise Transfers and Tours; Saxophone Player: Julio Sax; Welcome Party Location: Loco Tulum

Couple in Punta Cana doing a destination wedding by the ocean
Destination Weddings at Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva
Hyatt Ziva and Zilara Destination Weddings
Black couple getting married in Jamaica
Jamaica Destination Weddings
Couple in Cancun doing a gazebo destination wedding
White couple getting married in Punta Cana, DR
destination wedding couple throwing rose petals in costa mujeres
Iberostar Weddings

Find a Vendor

Access our list of vendors based on your destination location.