Photographer Jillian Mitchell does it again, capturing perfect moments perfectly from Beka and Matt’s destination wedding. From the papel picado garlands to the Mariachi recessional, this wedding is full of festive details you’re going to love!
What was your favorite moment or part of the day? Definitely our first look! Before meeting our amazing photographer, I was a traditionalist and wanted to see each other for the first time at the ceremony. She recommended that we consider doing a first look because we could share our special moment with just the two of us, and also relieve some of the ceremony jitters. As an added bonus we were able to shorten our picture time after the ceremony and enjoy more of the cocktail hour with our guests. Some of our favorite moments and raw emotions were captured on film during this private session.
“Even though we wanted our wedding to creative, and even though we didn’t get married in a church, we wanted a traditional Episcopal service, which followed the ceremony in the Book of Common Prayer and included the Eucharist. Our officiant was an Episcopal priest from New York and a dear friend of mine. He helped us choose our readings, which are a selected group of Biblical passages, which we had read in either English or Spanish by various relatives from both of our families.”
Your ceremony in three words. Religious, Traditional, Festive.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? At the end of our ceremony, we surprised our guests (even our bridal party!) with a Mariachi band that started playing as we kissed. I honestly can’t remember the name of the song but it was a popular Mariachi song. They led the guests up to our reception and played for our cocktail hour.
Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony? We had one of my attendants translate our ceremony into Spanish so we could be sure to have our guests listen to our ceremony in their first language.
“We wanted our wedding to be a creative, laid-back, endeavor of love, something that reflected our personalities and would bring together our close family and friends. Beka’s extended family is from Mexico and since we know that Mexicans know how to have a good time, we wanted to celebrate by bringing Matt’s family from the U.S. for a weekend of festivities. Our friends and family who traveled from New York, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Dallas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Boston jumped at the opportunity to escape the winter weather and enjoy a warm weekend by the beach.”
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? We wanted to incorporate the rich artisan culture of Mexico and old-world Spain, but loosen it up with some vintage style. I was also inspired by the elaborate and often whimsical embroidery found in Mexican folk art and intricate Spanish lace. Sayulita is such a charming Mexican beach town and Villa Amor is gorgeous! We wanted our wedding to blend seamlessly with the location so we incorporated in-season, local flowers, shopped markets, and collaborated with a traditional ceramic artisan for personalized touches.
Please tell us about any special details from your wedding. We tried to incorporate as much authentic Mexican artisan craft as possible, most of which came from Jalisco and Oaxaca, two regions where my family is from. We commissioned teacups and saucers by a ceramic artisan and personalized them with our first names and wedding date on the bottom of each set. We also had a commemorative platter made for our priest who officiated our ceremony, which was used during communion, and we got tooled leather belts for the groomsmen and gold handmade earrings (arracadas) from Oaxaca for the bridesmaids.
Signature Drink: Tamarind Margarita with Chile Salt Rim // First Course: Shrimp Gazpacho // Main Course: Corn Husk Wrapped Mahi-Mahi / Poblano Chayote Corn Tamale with Wild Rice and Mushrooms / Apple-Roquefort Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breas in White Tequila Sauce with Roasted Vegetables and Slivered Almonds // Dessert: Tres Leches Wedding Cake Filled with Vanilla Mousse, Peaches, and Banana Liquor Buttercream / Neapolitan Flan / Jericallas (vanilla-cinnamon infused custard traditional of Jalisco) / Assorted Mexican Candy
First Dance: “Prime Time” by Janelle Monet featuring Miguel
What was the best advice you received as a bride? One of my friends, who was a recent bride herself, shared with me a great piece of advice: after a certain time you have to stop worrying about the details and just enjoy your big day. It might not turn out exactly the way you envisioned the details, but for us, the whole was much more than the sum of all the little parts.
What advice do you have for other brides? Be yourself, be creative, and don’t be afraid to ditch traditions or make new ones! // Consider a destination wedding. We enjoyed hosting our family and friends for one of the best weekends of our lives! Although having our wedding in an exotic location over a holiday weekend made for a smaller wedding, we had a casual hometown reception a few weeks later where we were able to continue the celebration and share some snapshots from our big day. // If your budget allows, get the photographer of your dreams. Make sure you love their style and personality because they will help capture the moments that you will keep for the rest of your lives. We loved ours and are so grateful that she could seamlessly capture our personalities on camera and the beauty of day. // Finally, make sure to get your groom involved in the planning (even if they say they don’t care, they do!) – it’s his wedding too! Matt has great style and is super creative. I was so glad that he helped with planning because he has some great strengths (like his musical taste) that I definitely lack. What can I say, we make a great team.
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day? A huge thank you to my amazing family! My mother who had grown up in Mexico really drew from her childhood experiences for creative details and helped crafted a menu for the entire wedding weekend. Her sister, Tia Dona, tirelessly helped source everything from sipping chocolate from Oaxaca to coordinating with our ceramic artisan and being a liaison since I couldn’t physically be in Mexico for the majority of the planning. I also had other creative relatives in Mexico who expanded on my ideas and made things more incredible that I could have planned for myself. Our wedding was truly a collaborative labor of love that gave our American family and friends a small taste of the authentic Mexico that I have loved since my childhood.