WILLIAM, Set Designer/Stylist & QUINN, New York Real Estate Agent
Sum-up of the wedding vibe: Our wedding was fun, casual, and a hell of a good time!
Number of guests: 45
Where we allocated the most funds
The venue. We didn’t really have a clue as to how or where we wanted to do our destination wedding, but we had heard so many good things about Tulum. One year before our wedding we booked a last minute trip down to Tulum and spent ten days scouting venues and getting to know the area. We were told that the area was very LGBTQ-friendly. At the time however, it was not legal to have a wedding ceremony. For us, that was fine because we felt it would be an easier process to have the legal parts done back at home and instead have a spiritual ceremony in Mexico. A couple of months before our event, gay weddings were made legal in Tulum. We still had our paperwork filed in New York since it was easier and held a private ceremony with just our parents one week before we left for Mexico.
During our initial visit, we became enamored with Tulum and even more so with “La Zebra.” The venue felt authentic and had a wonderful laid-back feeling, but they also an energy that was indescribable. They really made us feel at home. A major selling point was that the venue had the perfect layout for hosting a wedding. They had the experience of hosting similar events there, so we knew we were in good hands. The staff and venue surpassed any expectations we could have ever imagined.
The planning process was quite unique. I had always pictured us meeting with caterers, wedding planners, etc. A destination wedding takes all of that off your hands (at least when it’s being hosted by Lina at La Zebra!). This may be something people love or hate, but it ended up making decisions easier for us. At first it made me feel very uncomfortable, not having full control over everything. I wasn’t sure that they would truly understand what we had envisioned, or that the band we chose, wouldn’t be good enough, etc. We had to put a bit of faith into the whole event. We communicated our ideas with our wedding planner through websites like Pinterest, and thankfully, all of our ideas were beautifully executed. An extra bonus was that our wedding planner came as part of the package at La Zebra, which helped offset some costs.
What was totally worth it?
Our photographer and band. Our band On the One played all different kinds of music. They are truly better than any other wedding band I have ever encountered. Our photographer Evangeline Lane is fantastic. We spoke many times in the months prior to the wedding, and by the day of the wedding, she felt like another part of the family. She and her partner blended in perfectly. Her photos really captured the essence of the day. We could not be more pleased.
My best practical advice to my wedding self
For us, a destination wedding made the planning process much easier. Yes, it was stressful at times, like making arrangements for guests’ accommodations and travel. However, not having to stress over each and every little detail of the actual event took a lot of pressure off of us. We had to put some faith into our planner and hope that things would turn out great. And that at the end of the day, if they didn’t turn out exactly as planned, we would still be in paradise. That’s kind of hard to screw up!
Favorite thing about the wedding
We have been told by many of our guests that our wedding was one of the best weddings AND vacations that they had ever been on. We really wanted people to feel as though they could find some time for themselves in the trip.
We had a beautiful beachfront ceremony, which was given by Quinn’s Godmother. After the ceremony, the band immediately began, cocktails started to come out, and the dancing lasted until the very end of the night. We chose not to have a sit down dinner, but instead have small plates brought out throughout the night. This kept the party lively and people dancing.
A major reason that we chose to have a destination wedding was to make our wedding not just a one-day event. We rented out the resort for a full week’s stay, which gave our guests the option to stay as long as they liked. We were happy that most of our guests chose to stay the entire week. This gave us some real personal time with each one of them. I had heard many other couples say how they felt their wedding day passed by so quickly, almost like a blur because they had so many people to see in such a short period of time. We did not want a day that felt rushed, and we wanted to enjoy time with all of our guests. We spent the days following the wedding laid out on the beach and exploring Tulum and all of its wonderful attractions with our guests. It was a wonderful bonding experience—one we will never forget.