Many years ago (almost 25) I arrived to a little village called Playa del Carmen.
I did not know it would change my life. Among the pristine beaches, the amazing coral reef, the incredible great Caribbean sea and the blessed/cursed (depends if it’s night or day!!) mezcal, i also discovered that… near Playa … there were many caves with water, called by the locals cenotes which means a natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. … The term derives from a word used by the low-land Yucatec Maya—ts’onot—to refer to any location with accessible groundwater.
These locations were quite desert in 1996, when i arrived and few had started to explore them.
Visiting a cenote then, was an amazing adventure: first you had to find a friend with a truck, then venture to the small highway to find some entrance to the cave which was always hidden and very ruined, then convince the guy at gate (if he was there) to enter and swim (at our own risk, as the place was desert). But the prize was a day in cold freshwater and enjoying the jungle at its best!
Fast forward 24 years, now a cenote is a fab wedding location, in fact i had 3 weddings in 3 days at the wonderful cenote Buho.
This is one of them.
Kira and Arslan met online 2 years ago, in Canada. Kira is a dedicated animal lover, manages a pet shop and Arslan was fresh from Spain, where he lived most of his life.
It was love at first sight.
They decided to get married in a subtle and relaxed way, inviting the families to a legal ceremony in a cenote, which Kira knew before, as she has come to Playa since childhood.
Her mother, aunts and uncles were at the ceremony and we all had great fun celebrating the young couple and drinking champagne (in plastic glasses, of course, which we took with us to safeguard the pristine ecological environment!!).
After the ceremony we all went back to Playa to enjoy a superb dinner at Aldea Corazon (thanks Oda and Ale)!!! Cake by La Migaja was yummy!!
Thanks to Yesenia for the legal wedding, Isaura Photography for the lovely photos and Namaste tours for the van ride (even if it broke down, but then it is an adventure!!).
To Kira and Arslan ; you are young, you are in love: the world is your Oyster. GO LIVE!
Maria, your flamboyant Author of this post, has gone through the best of the niche to find for you what can work on a beach wedding in Mexico.
Happy New year, everyone!
7 wedding trends that I foresee
Sustainable weddings are on the rise and we’re here for it. Finally! Do not buy dead flowers, use little plants… that can be gifted to your guests or to the beach club to maintain the natural dune environment.
Create an event that is personal: no second chance to have a first wedding…. So be bold in respecting yourselves and your ways. Donate a part of the wedding budget to a Charity and invite your guests to do the same, organize a beach volleyball day before the wedding to play together, have your father act as the minister, or a friend, do wear that barrette or use nothing, 2020 is the year of Freedom. Is this You? Be it! At 54, I have discovered that life is easier if you do not strive against your essence, so please do yourselves a favor: flow unencumbered with your style!!
Original favors *and flavors…
I am Italian, so food is quite important in my life. I dreamt all my life of wedding favors that I can eat. Why not offer the gift of love that can be munched on? After all, wedding favors are so 90’s: spin the idea and give nothing to keep, but a good sweet or salty snack for the guests to enjoy…possibly organic… From dried papaya to Mexican cocoa or coffee to organic pretzels… you can have fun giving to each guest a different snack!! and also inspire your menu to the food you love: mix and match national dishes to create a gastronomic trip around the world.
Put yummy and not stuff in your wedding: gift an edible favor!
One of my fav themes about 2020 wedding trends, is mysticism.
Spirituality combines many things: crystals gifts, copal or sage during the ceremony, palo Santo to take home, clairvoyants ….even aura photo booths. Don’t force this though, make it work for you —donate to guests a rose quartz crystal, stone of the heart chakra, or ask your guests to pass around your wedding rings during your ceremony, imbuing them with good energy and well wishes.
I love the new idea of creating a little corner with a tarot reader or a palm reader to keep the party going also when they are tired of dancing! Keep the reader busy for 2 hours, telling him or her to keep the readings to 5′ and you will have a lot of positive comments from the crowd!
Minimalist gown *that allows you to breath
In almost 20 years I have had my share of bustling and un bustling wedding gowns (I also had a bride swoon because it was too tight…).
Free your belly! No more tight dresses, use your figure to the best, make peace with your body form: we all are beautiful in our own way! (I myself have 8 extra lbs and dress to kill nonetheless, when I feel like it)
Add personal accents (barrettes, no veils, crown of dry flowers): they are all 2020.
New ways to sit your people
Tired of the usual 8 people per table? Create a seating plan that rocks. Young crowd? Sit them on pillows like in Morocco! Or have a flowy line of tables… Surprise the crowd
with a different seating arrangement or with original ways to tell them where to sit. You can also do a sign for the menu that is not printed, but on wood or a mirror…. And how about drinkable (or edible) escort cards??
Wedding vows that wow
Boring is off.
… just open Google and check what’s new for you? Writers are finding each day new ways to say I love you, why not explore how to say I marry you in a new personal way?
My guy told me: “I want you to be who you are and be able to deal with that.”
I find that very real and romantic!! Let’s all be ourselves truly and rejoice that we have found our tribe. It is a beautiful day to be able to laugh and enjoy with your people, the ones who will always have your back.
This is your special day and no doubt you are already considering the venue, the flowers and your guest list but at the very heart of it all will be your ceremony, so let’s make it really cool!
There are no rules, there are no limitations! We listen to your ideas, wishes and desires and work with you to create a beautiful, tailor-made ceremony that reflects you as a couple, delivered to the highest standard.
You may already have an idea of your dream ceremony, or you may need a little guidance; we can discuss the many options available to you; creating your perfect personalized ceremony.
When it comes to wedding decor, the bolder, the better.
Bursts of color: that is new decade! When I think of 2020, I see colorful and full of Creativity. The average age of the ones who are getting married now is 33, that means that soon the kids born in the 90s will marry (Omg I have a daughter born in 98….). Dynamic ideas like holographic stationery, Mixology of non alcoholic drinks, pistachio green, lavender hanging floral centerpieces, matching patterns, such as buffalo check, gingham, toile, bold florals, moon bounces…
Millennials are into new vintage… so offer to your guests a different show and enjoy creating it!
Jonathan and Tom contacted me over the summer of 2018. It was a hot August and i was in Venice, visiting my family. We had a phone call and I fell in love with them.
Vibrant, artistic and down to earth, they were MY kind of clients!
They were desperate, because, as often happens, they could not receive a straight answer from their AI hotel, where they wanted to host their wedding.
I love a challenge, so jumped right in after our preliminary interview, when I discovered that they were two magnificent (and stressed out) young men with a big heart.
I was so happy to work at this wedding because they are both artists and the details show. Tom made all the covers for the party and planned the suits, Jonathan with his artistic vision organized the 2 days party with incredible flaire and absolute sense of timing.
I went twice to Merida to buy all pillows and covers made of local material, that all guests took home!
The ceremony was held on the astonishing and bewilding (just coined this term) Island of Holbox, a gem of sand near Chiquila’. Your truly has a lovely home near that jungle.
Planning was complex but with their guidance it was easy to understand what they wanted and how to do it. Plus 20 years of wedding planning are making our job way breezier. On day May 2nd 101 artistic people from all over the World arrived to Isla Holbox. WE were ready to take this place!!
The first night was the ice breaker. Everyone showed their best wit improvising shows, dressing up, making up speeches, dances, choreographies and songs. It was incredible!
A huge bonfire on the beach, compliments of HM hotel, was enjoyed by all.
And wedding day, next day, was a dream come true. The perfect set up, the amazing blue sky, the stunning palm trees near the sea, the tenderness of the love that all guests shared made this wedding a bit more stunning than others…. Look at their flare, holding the smoke bombs…. True talent.
During the ceremony a red string long several yards was passed to all and we all had a bracelet made. At the moment of cutting all of these strings, someone had taken my 40 scissors! PANIC!!
Finally a waiter brought them, he had taken them to the table, while i was Aaarghhh!
Those red strings were to join us all in a mutual embrace of Love and Blessing.
And after a woundrous beach wedding, the night party started with our drummer leading all on the terrace for hours of dance and fun.
Various DJ’s played and the party was to die for!!
Thanks to Marina Pochepkina and Team for photos and video, to HM hotel for the location and Tom Smith for the classy covers. GREAT thanks to Wilfrido Sanchez Arriaga for his incredible work! Thanks Jon & Tom for trusting me and being such great humans. See you in Italy, for sure!!
Our paths will cross again and i am sure there will be many more occasion to celebrate Life, Love and Now!!!
love you both to bits, Jon and Tom.
It was a magic night…. with lots of Wrestlers as you can see!
It was 2009, ten years ago Jenny and Jason got married at Grand Coral Beach Club.
It was them and their most beloved friends.
Lots of details, great music with mariachi and Dj, incredible buzz and even a final jump into the pool!
To me, Erica, what I remember the most was a magical gift just before the ceremony:
a rainbow after a quick shower.
As a planner it was a relief too.
Checking on the weather and trying to make any kind of magic to avoid bad weather, like knives buried in the earth in a pot, a glass of water turned upside-down, and mainly a prayer to the Mayan God of rain Chaak, can be taking quite a lot of energy!
Time has passed very fast and this happily married couple came back to the Mayan Riviera to celebrate their 10th Wedding Anniversary with a very private Mayan Ceremony with Don Eduardo.
This time I had a shaman helping with the weather. The day before the forecast was not really “friendly”, though that day was spectacular…..
Everything was ready for the ritual and was perfectly fitting the ambience.
The background this time was not the Caribbean Blue waters, but another natural treasure of our peninsula. A cenote!!
The smile on their faces was even brighter than the sun while they were walking hand in hand towards the wedding location. Carefree, relaxed and totally happy.
Surrounded by the luxurious Mayan jungle Jenny and Jason decided to renew their vows by a cenote, a deep natural well that exposes groundwater underneath, typical of this area of the Yucatan. It is a pretty unique location and it does make an epic frame for any wedding.
Alessandro from Photostudio AB was with them one more time. He portrayed the evolving and growing love of this beautiful couple.
I do like when people elope. Yes, a big wedding can be spectacular, though nothing beats the intimacy and the emotions of two people who are simply in front of each other. Nothing else matters. It is a real celebration of love.
It is even more meaningful when after 5, 10 or more years two people decide to reaffirm their love, after going through all the ups and downs that life brings them. Now they really know each other. Getting married is the first step of a journey, a moment you will never forget, but the path that you build together from that moment forward is what is all about. When a bride in planning her wedding get a little lost and forgets that this magical day is just one day I always like to help her focus on the real meaning of what she is going through: you are choosing your companion and your special ally in life and adventures. Together you will walk holding hands. And their hands are still searching for each other and giving the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch, just like the day of the first wedding.
Well to keep the tradition and bringing it to an all new level Jenny and Jason could not miss the chance to jump into the crystal clear water of the cenote and do a photo session.
After all these years, you still make an amazing couple. Happy Anniversary Mr. and Mrs. Miles!
May you get many more Adventures together to celebrate Life!! May your love get stronger and stronger and …. see you again in 10 years!
Andrea and Daniela wrote over a year ago, they are both from Casale Monferrato, Italy, in the delightful hills of Piemonte, which means at the feet of the mountains.
They wanted to come to Playa, which they love dearly, with 40 friends and get married symbolically to celebrate 20 years together. I love that, because it is clear that getting married is the promise of love, but celebrate twenty years together means that the promise was kept… and keeps going!
So i jumped on the occasion and proposed the semi secluded beach of Paamul, between Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Paamul is a hidden gem a bay with very few hotels, one restaurant only and few tourists.
They loved it, so the party was organized with a prompt visit to their home town in Piemonte by yours truly (they do have excellent Dolcetto D’Alba, there and the food? mmmm… to die for!).
Ten months after the planning, Daniela, Andrea and a large group of Italian friends arrived in Playa, at the Magical Hotel Iberostar. We went to see them and had incredible fun shopping to accessories like sombreros, masks, collars and colorful blankets, to add folklore to the wedding.
When the Big day arrived, Daniela was very emotional, but Andrea was even more! Unfortunately, a deep rain fell just few minutes before the wedding, having us all wet and allowing us to use no chairs as the pillows were wet. Alas, Andrea was not missing one beat, wearing a sombrero as umbrella!
A big full moon was romantically hanging in the sky for us and Alessandro Banchelli, photographer, decided to immortalize the two before going home after an incredible dance party.
thanks to Kalu restaurant for the food and drinks, Floreria Jardin for flowers and decor and AB Photostudio for the great pics.
To Daniela and Andrea, i can only say one thing: auguri e figli maschi, like we say in Italy…(best wishes and boys!!)