venue: Iberostar Paraiso Grand Hotel Riviera Maya, Mexico
hair, flowers, food: included at resort
dress: Madeleine's Daughter Portsmouth, NH
photographers: Emilie & J
Last July, Kristin and Jesse let us in on their little secret: they were planning to elope in Mexico in March and they wanted us to be there to document it! Together for six years, their families knew they were going on vacation and expected Kristin to come home with an engagement ring. Kristin & Jesse returned home last week giddy to share not just Kristin's engagement ring (which she wore for the first time in public on the plane to Mexico), but wedding bands too!!
Jesse and Kristin are friends with one of my couples from 2006, Katie and Mike. Come to find out, Jesse went to high school in New Hampshire with several mutual friends, too, including another 2006 emilie inc. bride Erin Lenz, (my) wedding planner and florist Kate Parker, and even a friend from middle school who used to live right down the road from me (all of this, we discovered, on Facebook)! It is a small world indeed.
For the sake of all the friends and family who are itching to see pictures of their nuptials, I have packed this post with lots of beautiful images. But first, a slideshow. View below or click here to open in a separate window.
After a morning relaxing by the pool together, I accompanied Kristin to her hair appointment at the resort's spa. Cool as a cucumber, she is.
I was amazed at the precision of the hair stylists. Kristin's worked on her hair for two hours!! And that was even after having a trial a few days prior.
Meanwhile, J went golfing with Jesse.
Later, we headed back to the hotel room for the rest of the bridal preparations.
How adorable is this from Jesse?
While Kristin was hard at work with her make-up, Jesse took the opportunity to put his feet up for a minute. :)
The two exchanged gifts. I love that J just showed Jesse's big grin and his gift.
Kristin did not overlook any details, even scrapping this adorable sign for the hotel room so Jesse wouldn't burst in.
Time to head to the beach!
How sweet is this ceremony scene?!
It was so windy that I couldn't even hear the vows they had written to each other, very fitting for this private pair.
We caught a few minutes of sunshine at the end of the beach for a few portraits.
And then headed back into the resort to utilize some of the architecture.
This photo is a tribute to Lauren, my Jamaica bride from last spring. Kristin purchased the same flower for her hair as Lauren (I did, too!) and had someone add lace from her dress to personalize it a bit.
This is Iberostar just after sunset. Looks like something out a movie, doesn't it? Very grand indeed.
The next day, we met Kristin and Jesse in downtown Playa del Carmen for some casual photos while shopping.
Kristin and Jesse hopped on a parked scooter for a few images. I loved Jesse's guilty face when the owner emerged from a storefront. He quickly pointed to his wedding band as his excuse, saying, "I just got married!"
Where's Waldo, er, Kristin and Jesse?
Many hearty congratulations, Kristin and Jesse! We're so proud of you both, and so honored to be entrusted not only with your secret, but the responsibility of capturing your destination wedding. I am so appreciative of all your kind notes, emails, texts, phone calls and gifts! You made us feel so welcome and loved. Looking forward to spending more time with you both stateside, too! Hugs!
It was SO nice to escape Maine's bitter cold for a few days. J and I stayed about 40 minutes south of Kristin & Jesse's resort on Xpu-Ha Beach at the intimate Al Cielo Hotel (just 4 bedrooms!). While we love small boutique hotels, the thatched roof over our room provided an easy munching route to my body while I slept. I had (and still have) about 30 quarter-size welts on my arms, back and face (!) from hungry bugs. Yikes! We lingered an extra day and visited Tulum, a favorite town about 20 more minutes south, for lunch at Ana Y Jose (where we stayed the last time we went to Mexico) and a leisurely dinner at Posada Margherita, one of our favorite places of all time. We definitely recommend it!