Real Wedding | Alison + Craig

Alison + Craig’s destination wedding in Cancun is simply heaven! I love it when a couple can celebrate their special day amidst a true blue seascape with a warm ocean breeze and an endless sky to delight any wedding guests senses. Not only does Alison look absolutely gorgeous in her Jim Hjelm wedding dress; the bride hit a home run with her bridesmaids Bari Jay gowns in dusty rose – super high fashion and tastefully accessorized with just a few long stemmed white lilies. Love the sheer draping around the pergola…love the beautiful bride and groom…love this wedding!

Alison + Craig | May 9, 2011 | Now Jade Resort and Spa, Riviera Cancun

The Ceremony
We had a beachfront ceremony on the resort’s beautiful pergola, overlooking the ocean.  There were 75 guests, and we chose 6 PM for our ceremony time so that we might catch the beginning of the sunset.  The weather was perfect and although the wind was strong, it helped keep us cool.  One of my good friends became an ordained minister and performed the ceremony, making the ceremony ten times more special!  The violinist that the resort hired was spectacular and truly helped to make the ceremony the most romantic moment of my life!

The Reception
We chose an open-air restaurant as our reception location because we figured if we flew all this way to have a tropical beach wedding, it was crucial that our reception be at least partially outdoors!  The resort staff (namely Ana our fantastic Wedding Coordinator) did a fantastic job setting it up, and the spacious room looked incredible!  I was quite laid back about decor, and I found that the decor I did provide was really not even that noticeable.  My advice to future destination brides is not to worry about too much detail, but lighting is everything!  We splurged on extra lighting, and the centerpieces were beautiful but no one really noticed.  The lighting, however, made the party!  My only regret was not using paper lanterns.  I also found that although the outdoor reception location was beautiful, we were quite hot and sweaty!  Even this worked out for the best, because our sweaty dance party pictures are that much more funny!!!  All in all, we had a blast and it flew by.  We were so distracted by socializing that we all forgot about speeches from the Best Man and Maid of Honor.  We also forgot to do a bouquet toss!  The 4-hour reception felt like 45 minutes to me.  I wish I could re-live it!

How Alison Felt in Her Wedding Dress
Sexy, statuesque and glamorous!

Why Alison Decided to Sell Her Wedding Dress
I CANNOT stand the thought of this dress never being worn again. SOOOO much thought, planning and obsession went into the choosing of this dress for me.  I spent weeks, more weeks and even more weeks searching for the perfect dress. When I found it, I was IN LOVE! Then accessorizing it became an entire new ordeal.  I hemmed and hawed for DAYS trying to figure out if I should max out my credit card to buy the Marisa sash that I fell in love with. Every time I put on the dress with the sash, all of my friends gasped and said I had to have it.  I knew it made the dress.  How could I let all of this work be in vain?! I wore this dress for TWO HOURS!!!! Someone else has to have this practically brand new, stunning gown make them feel as spectacular as it did me!

I didn’t realize at the time when I bought my dress brand new, how little wear a wedding dress gets!  Just to think that so many brides hold on to their dress and that beautiful fabric never gets worn again is a pity!

Alison’s Wedding Dress | Jim Hjelm / Photography | Blue Lens Caribe