Joanie & John – Playa del Carmen, Mexico

/ / Real Weddings

playa_del_carmen_mexico_destination_wedding_planner_taia_younisThe planning journey of Joanie and John was a roller coaster; one that started with a wedding for 100 guests at Longfellows in Saratoga and ended with an intimate destination wedding for 25 of their closest family and friends on the sunny shores of Playa del Carmen, Mexico.


Being that this was a second marriage for both Joanie and John, their initial idea for a traditional wedding just didn’t seem right and so in the middle their planning, they did exactly what all couples should do, they began to plan an event that was more “them.”  They wanted an intimate ceremony in a beautiful setting and special bonding time with their kids and close family members.  A tropical destination wedding in the barefoot beach town of Playa del Carmen fit the bill.

Guests arrived in Mexico two days before the wedding and spent time relaxing as a group at the Gran Porto Real Resort and enjoying the local attractions.  The bride and groom welcomed their guests with canvas beach totes filled with all the vacation essentials:  tourist information, magazines, aloe lotion, and local souvenirs and, of course, tequila complete with limes, salt and personalized shot glasses.

Joanie & John’s wedding day was gorgeous, not a cloud in the sky . . . until about 30 minutes before the ceremony just as guests were arriving to Margaritas and the sounds of the Mariachi Band at the wedding location.  Dark skies loomed and thunder rumbled in the distance.  Determined to give them the beach wedding they dreamed of, my team switched into high gear, skipped the pre-ceremony cocktail hour and got the judge in place to start the ceremony early.  By some miracle, the weather held off and the beautiful breezy ceremony in the sand went off without a hitch.  We even squeezed another hour out of the weather for guests to enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the custom outdoor lounge before heading inside for dinner.  And then the rain came down!



Guests dined at an intimate Tuscan style table in front of a dramatic water wall.  Décor featured the bride’s chosen colors of Fuchsia and lime green. playa_del_carmen_mexico_destination_wedding_planner_taia_younis18 White linens were a sleek backdrop to the beach chic table arrangements featuring rounds of fuchsia roses, cubes of floating candles filled with cut limes, starfish and candles.

Although dancing in the outdoor lounge was rained out, we were fortunate to have a beautiful indoor beachfront space with floor to ceiling windows where guests danced the night away together with a glowing bride and groom!

Special thanks to my assistant Julie for being my “right hand in a foreign land” and to all the vendors to made this event come together:

Venue:   Wicky’s Restaurant & Beach Club
Décor & Floral Design:  Euforia
Photography:  Alisha Clark, Clark + Walker Studio
Hotel Accommodations:  Gran Porto Real Resort
Travel Arrangements:  Candy Cain Travel
Invitations:  The Pink Orange