Bride Alexis and her sister had made a deal long ago—if her sister had the traditional hometown family wedding, Alexis got to have the destination party wedding. And that’s exactly wheat she and groom Darryl did. The couple we married at Casa Natalia in the small art town of San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico. Maye Cortinas planned the detail, Papillon Press set the thonw with playful lettepress invitation and Ana & Jerome were behind the lens to capture it all—including a very fun series of portraits as the bridal party paraded through the cobblestone streets of Cabo.
From the bride: It all started when my boyfriend of 8 years Darryl, an artist and designer, surprised me Christmas morning with a hand made 8-page comic book re-living key moments from our relationship. The book was divided into separate phases of our relationship and rigged to play specific songs of that time. As each page turned, a new song would play. He wrote the story to follow the lyrics of each song, and the whole book was like watching a music video of our life together. As I turned to the final page, our favorite song began playing (same song we ended up using for our first dance), and he got down on one knee!
Now, when it came to weddings, my sister and I always had a deal: if she had the traditional hometown family wedding, I would get the destination party wedding. Since we fell in love with Cabo years earlier during a visit to one of my brother’s film shoots, and my parents were going back there a few days after the engagement for a winter retreat, the timing couldn’t have been better. As soon as they got there, my mom stepped right into planning mode. Knowing our vision, she met with Maye (who would become our wedding planner), scouted the best hotels and sampled all the restaurants! Mom knows best, and we chose to have our wedding at the hotel Casa Natalia in the town of San Jose Del Cabo, known for its artisan galleries and art walks. We can’t say enough about Casa Natalia and its wonderful staff – they were totally professional, friendly, attentive and warm (plus the most delicious hand-made margaritas!).
To set the tone of our Cabo wedding, our invites were done by our friends at Papillon Press. We met with Chantal and gave her two guidelines – we want fun and we want whales! Her final illustrations and letter-pressed package were delightfully perfect and charmed.
We booked two weeks at Casa Natalia, and held the wedding after the first. We invited most of our guests to stay the week leading up to our wedding, and ended up booking the whole hotel to ourselves. Every morning we’d all meet for breakfast at Mi Cocina, Casa Natalia’s open terrace restaurant, before heading out to Hotel El Gonzo’s secluded Beach Club to swim, eat, tan, paddle board and party. In the evenings we’d sample all the diverse cuisines around town and then visit the local galleries and artisan shops. As Darryl always wanted to try surfing, the guys rented a van and drove the coast up to Todos Santos for a day of surfing and suds. On the way back they stopped in Cabo San Lucas to check out the nightlife. There was also a local organic market within walking distance that featured a variety of food trucks and tents, local entertainment and hand made goods, another great way to spend a sunny afternoon. Suffice it to say, by the time the wedding day arrived, everyone was sunned, relaxed and ready to party.
As the hotel itself is so picturesque, we didn’t have to do much extra when it came to decor. Maye honored all of our requests to detailed perfection (as well as surprising us with the biggest and best Pinata we’d ever seen). From the flowers to the cake, she knew exactly how to execute our vision. We chose to do the photos before the evening ceremony, as we’d have more time and light to walk the scenic cobblestone town and take advantage of its colorful stucco walls and architecture. Our photographers orchestrated a great shoot, from us getting ready, to the walk around town. They allowed us to be ourselves and enjoy the experience, capturing the spontaneous moments while making sure we looked like movie stars. As I own a spa and have worked over 10 years doing weddings, I was able to help the girls with their makeup and bring my friend/co-worker Meghan to do everyone’s hair. My dress was custom made and inspired by Keira Knightely’s wedding dress (the one she’s famous for wearing post wedding on several occasions), the headband was custom made as well. The white sunglasses were by Tom Ford, the purse was Marc Jacobs and added on a whim, and of course my Valentino shoes! The groomsmen and the groom were all in custom Brooks Brothers navy suits, Cole Haan Air Giraldo Wingtip Derby footwear, J Crew socks and Ray Bans. My bridesmaids chose their own complimentary embellished cocktail dress in neutral blushes and creams by Needle and Thread and Alice + Olivia that added some major glamour.
During our pre-ceremony cocktail hour we had a local guitar duo entertain our guests. For my processional, we had a violinist and guitar duo play an acoustic version of Tom Petty’s Wildflowers, and then for the recessional, we requested an acoustic version of Sonny by Bobby Hebb. After the dinner, we had a local DJ play (and take requests) as we danced and took turns at the Piñata. As we knew most of our guests would still be up for some fun, we booked an after party at La Osteria, a close by open terrace bar. They had a local band set up, and allowed us to stay very, very late into the night.
When people ask me how my wedding went I tell them we got exactly what we wanted. I purposely selected vendors that were best suited for my tastes, and I let them do their jobs. They know best, and it let us concentrate on what really mattered – having a great time with our loved ones!
Photography: Ana & Jerome // Wedding Planner: Maye Cortinas // Flowers: Florenta Flower Design // Makeup and Hair Styling: Pygmalion Spa // Dress & Headband custom made by McCaffrey Haute Couture // Valentino Sunglasses: Tom Ford // Jewelry: Tiffany and Co. and Blue Nile // Bridesmaids Dresses: Needle and Thread and Alice + Olivia // Groom+ Groomsmen: Brooks Brothers // invitations: Papillon Press// Cakes: Maria Melia // Ceremony & Reception: Casa Natalia