A BRIEF story of us.

Hello everyone and welcome to our new blog!

This is Maria, we have reached  this  year 18 years of Life at weddingsinplaya.com. Finally we can vote ( or drink)!

Many clients ask us: what is your  story?

how did you become  wedding planners?

how did you land here in Playa del Carmen?

Today we  will  unveil  the story of us, Erica and Maria. 

We were born in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy, a region of great wines (Picolit, among all) and intense wind (bora winds can  arrive to  160Km/h in winter through the Julian Alps). 

I am the  third of three and Erica is only child, but she grew up with her 3  cousins just next to her.

Here is me at one, in the middle, with my two Brothers. They are honorary bros. to Erica as well!

 

Growing up in a little village, even if  Leonardo Da Vinci created  the project, is boring ( I tried running away at 2 years old  but I  was found on the  road, happily walking, by a neighbour). Erica, born 6 years later, was facing  the same challenges.

Finally one  day in 1990, one cold day in October, we met. It was Fun at  first sight! We recognised a kindred spirit in one another and we decided to have a  good time, whenever we could.

It was a great friendship and we planned a lot of trips and adventures together…. one summer we left with our motorbikes for Rimini, in the Italian Riviera, on board of our Vespa and Ciao, for a long haul of 390 Km… Needless to say it was a cool adventure and a fond memory!

Over the years we lived in different countries: Erica left for Shangai and I went to Australia. After 16 months around the  world, after many countries and many beers, at the beginning of 1996, i first saw Playa Del Carmen: it was  a simple paradise: 5th Ave. stopped at  8th street  and Constituyentes was jungle! Can you believe it?

I fell in love!

This was Playa   in 1996. All green…. Porto Real Hotel had not been built and neither the others. I found a job at Viva Maya and  met the future husband i did not know  I was going to marry. 

  Destiny is grand and after a year in Playa I went to live in Texas, happy new mother  of a baby girl, born in 1998, Skylar. Erica came to  visit me and my husband, Sharky, in Houston and assisted to the birth. Happy times! And life flies: we move back to Playa in 1999. Immediately Erica and I got together, just to find out that she was pregnant with Maia, who was born in  the year 2000, another incredibly happy event! Here they are, all grown!

 

 

But back to business: in 2001, Erica was working at the famous Yaxche’ Mayan Restaurant and was getting a few inquires from American  couples to organise a wedding  in Mexico. I owned the Coffee Press, a cafe’  for  expats that used to wake up  at 7a or return from the  beach  at that time after the party….

One day we  were chit chatting and she blurted out: What do you think, Maria, do you want  to enter into business and do weddings together?

I said YES I do ( right in theme… ahaha), and that was 18 years ago.

There was only another wedding planner in town, Brenda, an American restaurant owner that organised weddings at her restaurant.

The first year we planned 3 weddings, asking very little money and making a lot of mistakes.

We knew a Mayan shaman and started organising Mayan weddings first at Yaxche’ and then in many other locations.

Then we started getting an education from the best, going to courses and meetings in Usa, like Weddings MBA and courses with Alan Berg.

Once we were on our 3rd years, we were making some sense. On our 10th  year, about 30 more  wedding planners  started to work in town, now we  have celebrated over 500 weddings! What i love about wedding planning is that for 1 year,  you are the confidential sister of the couple. Then after the wedding has ended, you  go  back to being  nobody: it’s healthy for the  ego!

Life has been a wonderful gift, i still meet  a lot of ex clients that 15 yrs later come to Playa with their kids and stop by to say hi:  we love to see how our clients have kept the promise of Love of their wedding day and transformed into a lovely family!

Photo courtesy of A. E.

So, this is our Story,

we have been so lucky to arrive in  Playa at a time when there  was so much opportunity, so little people, so much  to live. We know that.

We can only  say:

Gracias, Playa. Gracias to all of our  clients, past and future, that love us, support us and  believe in us. We give  the best to all of  you!

Wedding trends 2019: it’s all about You!

Hola everyone,

i hope you all are having a great 2019.

This is Maria here offering a personal and uber selected array of wedding trends for 2019. Ready?

First of all, let’s keep something very clear: it’s YOUR wedding.

Not your mama’s, not your sister’s and not your best friend’s.

So get personal! Hire vendors you connect with on a personal level, not just the ones that suit your aesthetic or budget, you will be working with your planner for a year or more so it would be grand if you 3 click.

You 2 are the heroes of this story and you 2 are going to decide together what is important to the  both of you. Never mind grandma wants a Catholic Wedding: if you want to get married by  a Mayan shaman on the beach at the sound of drums on a full moon, that is what grandma should see (and she will like it too, because your happiness is her happiness).

Be bold enough to be you: aren’t you worth it?

I always tell my clients : this is YOUR day  and you pick how the day will unfold… so go big.
This year’s trends finally are listening to the wisdom of the centuries (ours! LOL): that’s why I am particularly excited about  them and happy to introduce my top fav coming up in 2019.

They’re proof that these major life events are becoming more and more about the couple : weddings are getting more personalised and that is a great sign!

No more FOMO nor following the trend: you are  the trend, you never missed out anything, because you are creating this Moment!

The year is shaping up to be one of the most incredible wedding seasons ever.

So here we go:

1.

Be you

I  never address this topic long enough  but mark my words: this is the one day that will be in your memory forever: why not just go all the way?

if you  like purple, go purple.

If you want to get married in moody colours, go with them (colour will feature more heavily than in previous years, think deep shades like burgundy and hunter green for a striking and moody look to your day or mix several shades from the same palette to create a fresh style….gowns with asymmetrical elements will also be trendy… bridesmaids no longer in same colour but shades of same palette…)

 

This one-shoulder dress is from Justin Alexander’s spring 2019 collection. Ovidiu Hrubaru/Shutterstock

2.

Smaller weddings but unique experiences

No one wants to have a cookie cutter wedding or copy  Meghan Markle and her prince: the trend now is

THINK UNIQUE

Expect 50 to 70 guests weddings but a lot of flare.

We will see more planners getting out there to  create a journey and experience for all the guests to enjoy…  not only on the wedding day but also at welcome parties and post wedding brunches (sometimes on a catamaran, sometimes in a cave), something we have always done and got rewarded with lots of loving gratitude from our over 500 clients (yep we have started in 2001, many of our clients are parents and soon will be celebrating 20  years married… Erica Bressan how come we got so grown-ish up?)

 

Photo Alessandro Banchelli

www.photostudioab.com

www.weddingmexicophotography.com

3.

Food : artistic edible displays

Food as art, amazingly yummy and beautiful to look at!! that is a trend i relate too, as Italian. Many couples are ditching traditional wedding buffets for more memorable options. Popular examples of interactive food stations include tequila tasting with meat and veggie tacos, ceviche bars and churros carts.
Also a trend: grazing receptions, where there won’t be a sit down dinner but more of a selection of different appetisers and snacks with something for everyone, from the vegan to the meat lover. Tom and Jon you are totally 2019!!

Also a trend: less traditional array of seating elements and more fluid use of space: high top tables, pillows and carpets to create a Maroccan suuk with hookas and belly dancers, use of beach chairs covered with Mexican blankets, use of indigenous art like Huichol and Otomi…. in a word: Whimsical!

Photo subject to Author’s right

4.

Greenery instead of too many flowers, but also colours!!

We love palms leaves, they  are cheap and beautiful! So many brides are chosing the option of a mostly  green arch or bouquet.  But also bright and rich colours… You can incorporate these colours in all aspects of your wedding decor from table settings, candles, linens and florals. Turquoise is definitely one of the key colours for 2019… Coral as well.

Matt and Holly, you are trendy!

Photo Alessandro Banchelli

www.photostudioab.com

www.weddingmexicophotography.com

5.

Meaningful ceremonies: variety and real feel

We love our couples and we would love to see something personal in every ceremony. Whether it’s writing vows that tell an untold story, a touching song from your brother or the newest and original rings warming passage (all guests pass the rings in a pouch and hold them in their hands sending their blessed energy to the couple), we love that unique touch that talks about you. Also signs in all languages and fonts!!

Lots of unexpected twists on the traditional wedding in the year….

 

Photos subject to Author’s right

So you got the idea: it’s all about you! We are here to simply send an invitation: an invitation to living  every  moment fulfilled. We want to invite you to a dance that will never cease to amaze you. The dance is your  life. The invitation is to live it in joy, amazement and infinite Bliss. Your guests will thank you. And years from now, the memories will be amazing!!!! 

Tamara and Russell, Gran Coral Beach Club Wedding

We have been blessed to witness many weddings, listen to many ceremonies and seen many exchanges of vows. I have to admit there is one ceremony that I will never forget. Not just because the groom came to the ceremony on a boat, but due to the way the ceremony had been performed.
Let me tell you this whole story.

Russell, the groom actually wanted to get to the wedding site with a catamaran.
As any good planner, after also seeing the desperate look on the his bride Tamara’s face, I had completely forbidden it! I could see the groom stranded in the ocean, if the wind was not cooperating! No way that I could give him that chance!

So we settled on a fishing motor boat.

As in any good story, the two moms got lost on the way to the venue and they had the rings too. No moms. Ceremony delayed till their arrival.
The groom had to wait offshore and was offered to fish to try to entertain himself.
Tamara was waiting in the limo and getting nervous for him.

Anyways, like any good tale, we finally started.

They had their own minister and made a sand ceremony as well.

The highlight of the ceremony were Russell’s vows. I have never seen anything like that before and I do not know if I will… well maybe somebody will be inspired.

He was actually very clever and did not have to work hard on preparing them. He got everybody in the party involved. The microphone was passed from one to another. Each one of the 50ish guests asked him a question to which he answered I DO or I WILL.

Will you take her as your beloved wife?

Will be with her in good and bad times?

Will you embrace her family as your own and seek out ways to strength these ties?

Will you wake up every day early in the morning and prepare a coffee for Tamara and not talk till she has finished it?

Will you let her go out with her girlfriend every Thursday night?

Will you help her taking care of your future children, change diapers and feed them in the middle of the night while she is resting?

And so on. I will let you imagine the questions!

At the end, the final surprise. Diego, our dj, had the recording of Grandma’s question? She was not able to come due to her age and health but she was there with us, in more than spirit!

Well we were all crying, from laughters and emotions.

It was very romantic

And spectacular with a fire show, when they were still allowed!

Party time

Well, i have one more anecdote to share about Tamara. That goes way before the wedding. She had the biggest tasting in the history of all the tastings I have done in 17 years. Chef Luis accepted it, not without grinning. It was Tamara, her mom and of me. They loved everything, but half way through the tasting we had way more than enough.

My beloved chef came out of the kitchen after hearing that and from his 5 6” height (he kind of looked 6 4” that moment) and he said very quietly: I am sorry. You made me cook all this and now you are going to try it all. We all felt like little kids and very obediently did as we were told. I won’t comment on the way we ended up walking to my car!

It has probably been 7 years since that wedding.
We do not remember the names of all the couples. Though we remember the faces, those little stories and what they made us feel. This is what makes our job the best in the world.

With love
Erica and Maria

 

 

 

 

Details of the wedding

Pictures courtesy of www.playaweddings.com
Details of the wedding

Abbie and Andrew, El Taj, Destination Wedding, Playa del Carmen

Abbie & Andrew Low-1-58

This week’s wedding features Bride Abbie and her Groom Andrew and took place on the silver sand at the El Taj hotel with a beautiful minimalist aesthetic. Theirs was a very personal wedding ceremony – the groom’s own father performed the ceremony.

 

Getting ready at El Taj – gorgeous ladies and very party guys!

ABBIE & ANDREW_ low-1-16

ABBIE & ANDREW_ low-1-34
We love their green minimalist set up – it’s very simple but the wooden table, golden silverware and details offset by the greenery works really well and everything looks amazing!

Abbie & Andrew Low-1-43

The ever-present Mariachi

Abbie & Andrew Low-1-84
Indigo beach reception with the El Taj hotel in the background

Abbie & Andrew Low-1-215
Cake Time! We especially love the way it’s decorated, consistent with the minimalist theme

ABBIE & ANDREW_ low-1-169
And of course, the couple’s First dance and a party brings the day to a close

Abbie & Andrew Low-1-234

ABBIE & ANDREW_ low-1-157

ABBIE & ANDREW_ low-1-173

All images courtesy of Bernardo at Viva Photography.

image3

Irene and Gonzalo, Gran Coral Beach Club, Destination Wedding, Playa del Carmen

VqhJ3422539132m

Today’s wedding features a exquisite purple themed decorations and one of the loveliest chapels you’ll see – meet Bride Irene and her Groom Gonzalo.

RRRys414088088m

Their Mexican themed rehearsal dinner was held in the luxuriant Lunata Hotel garden with piñatas, papel picado, margaritas and mojitos, a taco cart and al pastor tacos by Chef Ruben Lopez.

Late night pics taken on the always exciting 5th Avenue 

NW9CK414090479m

59C5v414090006m

Their Catholic wedding ceremony was held in the stunning Nuestra Señora del Carmen Chapel on 5th Avenue.

xv8N3422520928m

wDS5r422529852m

rJGfp422525943m

The ensuing Wedding reception was held at the Grand Coral Beach Club.

ZVwMV422535689m

Who doesn’t love a Mariachi band?!

Cl6Tj422538826m

Gorgeous wedding cake

gNBdg422545177m

Churro cart!

NKD9k422629601m
Irene and Gonzalo’s big day finished up with a Party with music provided by DJ Diego (Evolution Mix).

9nr1c422544597m

GG17q422629264m

vSYwg422545598m
Bouquet and garter tossing

x6QF7422628283m
FYrdz422629726m
All images courtesy of Rachel at Playa Weddings.

Brooke and Stephen, Blue Venado Beach Club, Destination Wedding, Playa del Carmen

Brooke and Stephen , Beach Wedding at Blue Venado Beach Club, Pl

Isn’t this just what you picture when you think of a destination beach wedding?

That’s exactly what this weeks’ couple, Brooke and Stephen, thought and they should know – after all they met on the beach, lived by the beach and proposed on the beach too!

They celebrated their big day with lots of friends and family at Blue Venado Beach Club, specially chosen for it’s intimate and private facilities.

The Bridal party having fun getting ready

Destination-Beach-Wedding-Blue-Venado-Beach-Club-BS_0013

Destination-Beach-Wedding-Blue-Venado-Beach-Club-BS_0003

Destination-Beach-Wedding-Blue-Venado-Beach-Club-BS_0020

The Groom nervously awaits his BrideDestination-Beach-Wedding-Blue-Venado-Beach-Club-BS_0035

Destination-Beach-Wedding-Blue-Venado-Beach-Club-BS_0040

The vows

Brooke and Stephen , Beach Wedding at Blue Venado Beach Club, Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Photos bt Del Sol Photography.

The rings

Destination-Beach-Wedding-Blue-Venado-Beach-Club-BS_0048

And they’re married!

Destination-Beach-Wedding-Blue-Venado-Beach-Club-BS_0050

What Mexican wedding is complete without a Mariachi band?!

Brooke and Stephen , Beach Wedding at Blue Venado Beach Club, Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Photos bt Del Sol Photography.

Gorgeous flowers and food

The reception

Brooke and Stephen , Beach Wedding at Blue Venado Beach Club, Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Photos bt Del Sol Photography.

The speeches

Destination-Beach-Wedding-Blue-Venado-Beach-Club-BS_0075

Cutting the cake

Destination-Beach-Wedding-Blue-Venado-Beach-Club-BS_0081

Time to party!

Destination-Beach-Wedding-Blue-Venado-Beach-Club-BS_0091

Destination-Beach-Wedding-Blue-Venado-Beach-Club-BS_0089

 

Thanks to del Sol Photography for the images