Melissa and Dillon decided to make everyone’s dream come true by having a Mexico destination wedding in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. They thought so carefully as to where they wanted to tie the knot and picked this beautiful, tropical jungle resort. Occidental Grande Xcaret was the perfect backdrop for a wedding and I was completely honored to be a part of their special day. My husband Nik and I were thrilled to get to stay a few extra days. We took the day before the wedding to play with some of the details out in the jungle next to some Mayan Ruins. I especially loved the bright green moss on some of the stones. My other favorite were the huge, green palm tree leaves and their vibrant color surrounding us everywhere we went! The trees were so gorgeous with their winding trunks and roots draped all over the jungle. We even found a root of a plant that was growing out of the side of a rock! Perfect spot for the bouquet! So much growth and life here!!
We also took a walk down to the ocean’s edge and found some beautiful dry coral to photograph the rings. This is a photographer’s dream! No apologies for the amount of photos I’m sharing! :) This is a big one.
Melissa was so darling in her little Bride tank top, perfect for this Mexico Destination Wedding. She brought along so many darling details, one of which was a wire hanger with her new name. She thought of everything!
This girl also made all over her own bouquet arrangements for herself, her bridesmaids and even the groomsman boutonnieres. The beautiful colors made the perfect pop against the greens of the jungle. Her dress was GORGEOUS! It fit her perfectly and did not disappoint the day of the wedding. I don’t know how she got all of these beautiful items to Mexico, but if you want to plan a destination wedding, this is your model!
In this Mexico Destination Wedding, the waves crashing on the rocks was so dramatic! And the color of the sea in pulled itself right into the ribbons of the Bridal Bouquet. SO pretty!
Melissa was so darling spritzing everyone in the room. One thing I loved seeing as I photographed her was her relaxed and fun vibes she put out to all her girls in the room. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves which, in my opinion, is the BEST way to get married! :)
The beauty we can see through the lens may not be what everyone else is looking at, but what grabs my eye when something different is happening.
Dillon was also looking especially dapper in his sea foam tie and accessories. The guys were having a fun time staying cool in the hotel room.
A few last minute touch ups before the first look. Dillon and Melissa wanted to opt in for the First Look in order to take advantage of all the light in the day exploring around the resort. We went all over the place – from the inner paths through the jungle to the resort hallways and beautiful scenery near the river. Dillon was such a good sport to me and Melissa who LOVE more and more pictures! :)
I loved the way Dillon looked at Melissa. I could get lost in this actually. The kindness of his gaze just adoring her beauty on this day, in this moment. Melted my heart. Just look at the way he gently is holding her face. AHHH! So sweet!
Look how much they like each other. :) hee hee!
Ok, when I see this image, I just see Melissa totally at home in Dillon’s arms. Her face is so relaxed. My heart. I loved this one.
Melissa was simply glowing on this day! She really lit up as we played around the resort. It brings me so much joy seeing a couple who LOVE to be with each other, like two kids playing. Melissa and Dillon laughed and just enjoyed each other’s company! This is the heart of a wedding day for me. Once I have time to play with a couple, to see them relax into each other, I know they will have an experience to remember for a lifetime. The time together is so important on a wedding day. Don’t forget to make time to be with your best friend. The First Look is a PERFECT way to set the stage for a relaxed wedding celebration.
This resort was so so neat! There were all kinds of little animals around like macaws and turtles and little ant eater raccoon things and little cute… jungle… things, I literally have no clue what they are called. Hahaha! One day, we even followed a monkey to breakfast as it swung through the trees up above our heads! So fun!
This moment was so funny. We saw a bunch of groomsmen wandering the resort and decided to send them on an errand to bring back water. When they arrived, Dillon was in survival mode and chugged his water. Melissa, not knowing that her water was in the other groomsman’s hand thought Dillon was sharing with her. She watches longingly and then bursts into laughter as the water disappears. Hee hee! Don’t worry, we all had a nice refreshment. :) This wedding party was so much fun!!! What a great group of people to support this wonderful bride and groom in Mexico!
We had to. :) Photographer Selfie!
We took a little walk down the path to the ceremony site to see the setup before everyone else arrived. I was amazed how GORGEOUS it was in person. I had seen photos of this spot, but words can hardly explain how it looked in real life! The Mayan Ruins were the PERFECT backdrop for this intimate wedding. The canopy on the rocks was such a light and airy addition to the scene giving the site a lovely beach feel. The breeze was coming in off the ocean making it the ideal temp!
Sometimes it’s just fun to get a few shots of each other to remember we actually get to work in such beautiful locations, like Mexico. I am so thankful for my sweet husband and his mad photography skills. :) I also love when he matches the ocean.
The ceremony was about to begin. Melissa and Dillon’s friends and family had arrived and were enjoying the salty sea air along with the graceful pelicans having an entertaining diving snack just off the shore. We could see the resorts across the way on the island of Cozumel. The colors were absolutely vivid!
Dillon was excited and his face was covered in joy as he waited for his bride to arrive.
During the ceremony, the dark, heavy clouds were building up above. Nik and I had a game plan in case it rained for gear and such. It began to mist for about .2 seconds. Then, the clouds just blew right over our heads creating the most lovely light possible for this once in a lifetime occasion. I pray for these conditions for EVERY wedding! Just about 5 minutes before this next image was shot, the sky was dark! And then, BLUE sky! Only in Mexico. :)
I loved the laughter that ensued during the ceremony. It was light, authentic and completely enjoyable. Seeing the expressions on Melissa and Dillon’s faces throughout the ceremony brought tears to my eyes.
What a fun group for a Mexico destination wedding!!!
Next it was time for a little more play with this beautiful couple before the reception. The guests headed over to the open air reception site while we played a bit more around the rocks of the beach. Thanks to Dillon again, for allowing us to just spend time capturing this gorgeous wedding location!
Mexico Destination Wedding Details!
I couldn’t get enough of Melissa and Dillon’s DARLING details that she packed and traveled with all the way to Mexico! Especially these intricate rope knots which matched the railings perfectly!!
The cake was beautifully delicious and Melissa and Dillon started everything off just right with the sweetest first dance. Definitely one of those Cinderella moments.
Mexico Destination Weddings are the best!!!
The party was filled with lots of fun and laughter from all! The food was delicious and everyone had smiles on their faces, especially me! :) How can we not have smiled the whole time!?
Then after everything was wrapped up, we walked back to the rooms and took a little stop to dip our feet into the pool. Well, maybe not just our feet…
I volunteered to go in. Anything for the shot.
Thank you to all the people who were a part of this special day! To my husband, Nik, for being an amazing second shooter and support the whole vacation. Without you, I may forget to take care of myself too. :)
If you’d like to book your Mexico Destination Wedding, please contact me here!
Bridesmaid Dresses: The Bridal Connection
Wedding Coordination: Luz from The Occidental Grand Xcaret
Flowers, decor, & makeup – Melissa Johnson, Bride and Photographer :)