Couple: Kayla & Marissa
Photography by Amy Peckins Photography
The story of how you met/fell in love:
We met in Grad school at Northern Illinois University. We developed a strong friendship based on similar career paths and being from much warmer climates! A few years later, friendship turned into love as we realized we wanted to spend as much time together experiencing new things.
The destination wedding decision: something you’ve always wanted or came to love?
When initially planning our wedding, we knew we wanted some sort of destination wedding since both of our families and friends were scattered throughout the United States. It took one visit to Riviera Maya to fall in love with that location – especially the crystal clear water.
What made you choose your resort/destination?
It was a combination of the beautiful wedding venues, the extremely friendly staff and the amazing amenities at El Dorado Royale. The choices of accommodations for our guests and delicious food was a major deciding factor as we had heard some horror stories about other all-inclusive resorts. The team from Weddings by Lomas Travel and Destination Weddings were super helpful and made the planning process easier than we could have imagined!
How did you personalize your wedding and ceremony?
We worked closely with our Wedding Designer, sending her pictures of our inspiration and bringing a few things we couldn’t live without. We were nervous about whether it would all come together but the resort staff and wedding coordinators took care of everything, re-creating exactly what we had envisioned. A close family friend traveled with us to Mexico and served as our Celebrant. She even wrote the whole ceremony for us! And our DJ was awesome at letting us choose exactly what music and vibe we wanted for our reception.
The funniest or most unusual moment was when…
Five minutes after our ceremony on the Sky Terrace, the rain that we had been anticipating finally arrived and down-poured. Luckily, there was plenty of shelter for our guests and the wedding coordinators to move our cocktail hour to an inside bar. As for us and our family, we had run to the chapel, and there we waited out the 10 minute showers before taking our wedding pictures.
The most memorable moment was when…
While standing at the alter, our celebrant told us to take a few moments to really enjoy the view of all our guests, the blue sky and ocean in the background. It is still a moment we both think about, especially when looking back at photos!
Three words that sum up your destination wedding experience are:
VIP-Experience, Breathtaking, Memorable
Besides the wedding itself, what was your favorite part of your trip? Did you do any activities with your guests?
We were lucky enough to have a Catamaran trip for us and our guests. It was the day before the wedding, so it was a perfect welcome activity for all of our guests. We enjoyed the drinks, snacks and snorkeling all day! After the wedding, we also did a day excursion with Xenotes Oasis Maya with a few of our closest friends and family. They delivered a top-notch experience – taking us to multiple cenote locations, feeding us amazing food and guiding us through adventurous activities (like cliff jumping)!
If you could travel anywhere for your one-year anniversary, it would be:
We would absolutely go back to El Dorado Casitas Royale – just the 2 of us this time!
Your biggest piece of advice to couples planning a destination wedding would be:
Don’t be afraid to communicate with your wedding specialist often and ask for the things you think might not be possible. We were so surprised when almost every single one of our requests were granted. Also, visiting the resorts in advance was crucial in making a decision. On paper, a different resort seemed perfect but in person, was less accommodating and impressive. Arriving a few days prior to the wedding gave us time to relax and work out the last few details.