Happy Anniversary to my husband and I! Today, 10 years ago I married my husband in the second of our three ceremonies. Three – what are you talking about? Let me explain.
My husband was stationed in Germany at the time of our engagement and upon his arrival home we married at the Justice of the Peace. Four months later we held our celebratory ceremony at a destination location for our friends and family. A year after our JOP ceremony we had our marriage blessed in our church. We like to joke and say we loved each other SO much we got could not quit getting married!
Our large ceremony was held at Las Caletas Island outside of Puerto Vallarta. Chris always wanted a beach wedding and we fell in love with this venue when we saw it virtually and spoke to previous brides. The island is private (i.e. no other guests will crash the party), very romantic, and tucked into mountains for an amazing view of the coastline. It was formerly owned by John Huston and upon his death he gifted it back to the city. He lived on the island and used it as the backdrop for his film, The Night of the Iguana.
Vallarta Adventures operates all tourism and experiences on the island. Their staff was amazing and we had a seamless ceremony and celebration. They worked with us to offer for the first time a cigar rolling experience and fireworks, a custom cake, fire dancers, and more.
We visited the island for the first time four days before the ceremony. We brought in several items to decorate and enhance the look and feel of our ceremony. The staff stored everything and set it up day of ceremony. After our ceremony we left those items for future brides to use for their special day. We also met with our officiant who explained the ceremony, made tweaks to the script, and guided us. It truly was the most fun place and perfect day and experience.
The day of the ceremony my bridal party, my mother, and mother-in-law went by boat to the the island for a day of relaxation and fun. We were treated to massages (you are able to book spa services for your wedding party and they are held in cabanas on the island), champagne and lunch, a morning on the beach, and a private cabana and hot tub! Yes!
The remaining wedding party and guest arrived on a private catamaran that was fully stocked (i.e. open bar). It is around a 45 minute boat ride! We had entertainment provided by the staff and everyone loved this feature. Once they arrived to the island the groom’s party retreated to a patio to change, salute the groom, and start the show.
Meanwhile, I was treated to first rate friendship and love. My girls dolled me up and helped me dress for one of the most important moments of my life. We toasted with a complimentary bottle of champagne and light snacks. We took photos (we brought our own photographer, but they provide you with a photo package if needed – we did hire a videographer on their staff and are so grateful for the film created) outside of the cabanas prior to the ceremony. Music started and it was showtime.
We asked our guests to wear all white and the overall effect was amazing! I descended a natural stone stair path with my dad and we were both balling. That moment was one I had always dreamed of and it was surreal to experience it among family and friends and enter the next chapter of my life.
The ceremony was picturesque with the sun setting and the waves rolling. The wedding party and families quickly took photos after the ceremony and then kicked off our reception with a sit down buffet style dinner, torch lighting, speeches, and soft music. The dance party was on the beach. We provided several playlists; however, our DJ loved us and made sure to keep the party hopping. From the beach to the boat back to Puerto Vallarta we had an amazing time. Fireworks greeted us midway through our boat ride home and we toasted our company, our future, and the lost lovers of the ocean.
PERFECTION!!! I can honestly say I would do it all over again. My day was stress free, the guests enjoyed the whole experience, and I got to marry my best friend all over again!
I forgot to mention my gorgeous bouquet! We provided inspiration and their florist did a fantastic job recreating a stunning bouquet. For the wedding party I visited a local florist near our hotel and my mother and I designed their bouquets and boutonnière. Something simple and easy!