As some of you know, last summer I traveled quite a bit to shoot weddings outside of California! However, I've never been out of the country to shoot a wedding.. but I won't be able to say that for long because Mieke and I will be headed down to Mexico to shoot Brittany's wedding in November! Who is Brittany, you might ask? She's one of my fabulous 2013 brides who happens to be planning her Puerto Vallarta wedding from right here in Southern California! I thought about writing up my thoughts on destination weddings and why they are an amazing option to consider but then I thought.. why not let you hear it from the bride-to-be herself!? So I interviewed her and here is what she had to say about her upcoming nuptials! (P.s. You're definitely going to want to check out her engagement photos for the story on that gorgeous rock on her finger! We'll be taking those this month!)
-How did you know that a Destination Wedding was right for you?
We knew a destination wedding was right for us when we started doing research about venues and costs up and down the coast of California (I'm from northern Cali and we've lived in LA for 10 years). I spoke with more than 30 venues and none of them really felt "right" to us. There were a lot of places we were looking into that would have been nice but there was nothing that stood out to either of us as being THE place for us to get married. I was actually surprised at how difficult choosing a venue and location was becoming. I never imagined that I would be a destination bride but I started reading Style Me Pretty and spending a LOT of time on Pinterest when we got engaged. The more I read about destination weddings, the more I thought, "maybe this would be right for us!" I carefully ran the idea by Mitch, not knowing what he'd think. But he said, "That sounds like fun - Let's do it!" And that's when it felt right.
-Why Puerto Vallarta?
Mitch and I have been to Puerto Vallarta twice on family vacations. It's such a beautiful place and we love the vibe. We looked at Hawaii and other places in Mexico (mainly Cabo San Lucas), but we have been wanting to go back to Puerto Vallarta. And we are even planning to host our rehearsal dinner at a local restaurant that we already know we love. It's familiar enough to feel like we are going "back" to a special place to get married but still a complete departure from the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives.
-How did you even start the process?
We started looking in Mexico because we wanted to go somewhere that wasn't too far for guests to travel and also fit our budget. Since I barely remember any Spanish from high school, I knew I would need help planning my wedding. I contacted The Dazzling Details after reading a post on Style Me Pretty about a gorgeous wedding in PV. I also emailed a girl I went to college with because I remembered seeing her destination wedding photos on Facebook. I knew she got married in Puerto Vallarta so I wanted to hear about her planning process. She had nothing but great things to say about her entire experience and even recommended a wedding planner I contact...The Dazzling Details! Since I was already in contact with them, I knew that it was meant to be. I wasn't going to be able to make it down to PV to interview wedding coordinators so getting such a great recommendation from someone I knew meant a lot to me.
-How are you handling the stress? ..is there even any stress?
There really isn't much stress, to be honest! We are lucky enough to have an amazing wedding planner who is taking care of most of the logistics and our families are very supportive of the decisions we are making. There was a lot of stress at the beginning when we were looking to get married in LA, but that all seemed to melt away when we decided to get married in PV. Any time something a little stressful creeps up, we just remind ourselves what the wedding is all about - us getting married and being together, not stressing about what napkins will look best with the decor. This process should be fun and not a headache.
-What has been the best part about having a DW?
Getting excited about going on vacation! I don't know if I would be as excited about planning a wedding in LA. Talking to Michelle & Kristen at The Dazzling Details and planning everything for our trip has been so much fun. I can't wait to go on vacation with our closest family & friends and marry my best friend!
-How does your family feel about it?
Our family is very supportive. I think it took a little convincing to get the grandparents on board, but they are going and have also been so supportive and excited to go wherever we decide to get married. Our families are wonderful!
-Any advice for brides considering a DW?
Do what feels right to you. Just because you didn't always dream of getting married on the beach in another country doesn't mean it won't end up being the perfect way to celebrate your love. And try not to let the opinions of others sway your decision to do what you and your fiance really want to do. After all, it's YOUR wedding and you should have fun with the planning and love everything about the decisions you make :)
So there you have it! Thanks Britt for giving us a look inside your wedding planning! If any of you have any questions about the destination planning process or what vendors she's using, feel free to leave them in the comments :)