This weekend marks Mr. Swell and my 3rd wedding anniversary. Since we are in the throws of winter here, and look out on snow every day, I am hoping you'll indulge me in a little trip down memory lane back to Mexico. We knew that we didn't want a big traditional wedding, and after looking at what felt like a million locations, we decided to get married in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It was affordable for our guests, a quick flight, had great weather and lovely beaches.
All of our guests (41 in total!) stayed at the same resort, so we were able to hang out for the whole week and have lots of fun together. When it came to the actual wedding though, we were married outside of the resort at a little area called Las Caletas. Las Caletas was at one time the home of director John Huston, but has since been bought by Vallarta Adventures and is now a tour location. It's only accessible by boat and provided us with a totally private area for our wedding.
We were married before Pinterest took over the universe. I am actually quite thankful for that or I would have been overwhelmed with way too many DIY ideas and I'm sure I would have hauled one too many suitcases with me filled with wedding goodies (and spent even more of my life on Pinterest). Even without Pinterest though, I of course DIYed a few things, and had some pretty specific visions about how I wanted things to look. It was a challenge to coordinate everything from another country, but the wedding planners at Adventure Weddings were great and I trusted that they'd be able to make things happen (and thankfully they did!).
We went with a tangerine orange and gold colour scheme.
When our guests sat down they each had a little gold cone on their chair filled with rose petals. We made the cones out of gold velum and then attached a little poem at the bottom that instructed our guests to toss the petals after we said 'I do'. We walked back 'up' the aisle to Sugarland's 'All I Want to Do' and had colourful rose petals flying everywhere. It was so much fun and had the upbeat vibe that we were going for.
The actual decor for the ceremony was kept pretty simple with just bright orange bows on the white chairs, and white taffeta draped over the chuppah (no, we aren't Jewish...it just looked beachy and cool)
We had dinner in a little area just above where the ceremony took place. It was open air and just beautiful. Each guest had a little box for their place setting. I had bought a whole bunch of different orange ribbons, so each box was different, but still coordinated. Inside the box was a little vile of bubbles.
To hold our places at the head table we had little bride and groom rubber duckies. I had seen them before our wedding and thought they were so cute. No, they didn't really fit with the other things we had going on, but they added a bit of whimsy to our head table. We still have them sitting on the side of our bathtub and Fin just loves playing with them.
Instead of a guest book, we asked everyone to write us a wish/advice on a little piece of paper. We also provided some origami instructions, and asked that after they wrote the wish, they constructed their origami and then added the wish to the jar. After a few drinks some of the origami was pretty funny!
We brought the jar home and didn't look at a single wish until our first anniversary. It was really special to be able to read all of the notes that our friends and family wrote to us a year later. After reading each one we attempted to refold the origami and placed all of the wishes back in the jar. The jar still sits on our credenza (along with some sand from the beach) as a little reminder of our wedding day.
I bought it from the Lollipop Workshop on Etsy, and it was fully customized to us. Every detail was perfect from the style of my dress and veil, to Mr. Swell's boutonniere all the way down to the sand and the little shells on the base.
The cake topper was the one thing that I was very protective over that night. I wanted to make sure that it came home with us safe and sound. Luckily it did, and it has it's own little place on the credenza on top of our wedding album.
After dinner was complete, we all moved back down to the beach for our dance. We had a dance floor set up right on the sand, along with a big bonfire. The whole area was so beautiful at night with all of the candle light.
The next day we got all dolled up again and headed out for a trash the dress photo session. I know this isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I am so, so glad we did it. My dress wasn't expensive, and I didn't have any desire to preserve it, and getting it all dirty and wet just sounded like fun.
The photos from the trash the dress session are some of our favorites. I love that all the stress of the day was gone (not that we really had that much) and we could just have fun.
Yes, my dress was totally soaked and full of sand. When I got back to the hotel I rinsed it off and shook it out as best I could. I still have it in my closet in its garment bag, and to this day if I move it too fast sand will fall out of it!
Looking back on these pictures I can almost remember every detail, which makes me so happy. We don't regret for one minute going away and having a destination wedding. We were so lucky to have many of our closest friends and family be able to make the trip and join in all the fun with us. If you are thinking of a destination wedding, Adventure Weddings was fantastic and I can't recommend them enough.
The last 3 years have been a whirl wind to say the least. We moved to Edmonton a week after our wedding (wedding + moving + Christmas = total insanity) and both started new jobs. We've worked away at our house, adopted Diefenbaker and welcomed our little girl. I'm looking forward to what the next 3 years will bring!
All of our wedding photos were taken by Adventure Wedding Photo.