Real Wedding | Erinn & Shawn

As a destination wedding bride myself, I can really appreciate what Erinn has to say about the ease of planning a beach wedding.  The hotel takes care of everything so all you have to do is show up and look beautiful.  (Which Erinn did in spades).

Erinn & Shawn  |Viva Wyndham Maya – Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

How he proposed
In August 2008, Shawn and I went to San Francisco for the Outside Lands Festival.  Before the trip, Shawn and I talked about becoming engaged and even went ring shopping.  I was hoping he would propose in San Francisco but I didn’t think he had ring yet, so I thought it wouldn’t happen.

The first couple days, we saw wonderful sights and took in unforgettable music.  The vibe around the city and music festival was so carefree, easy spirited and exciting, the perfect place to get engaged! Before the concert, Shawn took me to this beach that overlooked the Golden Gate Bridge.  He had a blanket with him so he put it down and we had a small picnic.  We also had a bottle of rum because drinks at the festival were very expensive, so we each did a shot (I think this calmed his nerves before popping question!). Shawn and I started taking about marriage and then he went into his bag and asked me to marry him.  Seeing him with the ring and the love in his eyes was something I will never forget.  I immediately said yes!  It was the most special moment in my life.

The ceremony
The ceremony was in the Rivera Maya on the beach.  Us plus 35 guests stayed at the Viva Wyndham Maya All Inclusive Hotel in Playa Del Carmen. They did a lovely job and made it so easy!  The wedding planner ensured the correct music was played and the civil judge was so comfortable in his role. With his smiles and laughter, it just added to the happiness throughout the ceremony.  It was interactive, both Shawn and I were able to talk about our feelings and dreams for the future and we actually created quite the crowd of spectators.  When the ceremony was over, not only were our guests clapping but all the spectators as well! It was truly a site!

The moment Erinn will never forget
I will never forget how proud my Dad looked that day walking me down the aisle.  Being a daddy’s girl, his support means the word to me. Seeing him smile and hearing his words of happiness, made me feel like I was the luckiest girl.  When we got to alter, he said in front of everyone, “Is this the one?” in a joking manner and everyone laughed!

The reception
The reception was held in their Mexican room where we dined on the classic foods – nachos with salsa and chicken fajitas.  We were able to play our own music mix during the supper, the wine was flowing nicely, guests were able to order any type of drink they wish and desert came just in time.  After dinner, we started with speeches then moved into the first dance.  Shawn and I didn’t have a song until our trip to San Francisco. When Radiohead played “You are all I need”, we knew that was the one!  When Shawn and I danced to Radiohead, I remembered hearing that song at the festival thinking, this is my soulmate.  The moment could not been any better.

The wedding theme
Since we were having a Mexican wedding, I wanted a “beachy” feel to everything about it.  The invitations color was yellow/gold and I glued mini starfish on the front and inside.  The invites also included the monetary information as our guests were responsible to pay their way.  I coordinated both items to match and compliment each other.

All confirmed guests received a gift bag where I glued more starfish on the bag, gave mint candies resembling a mini “Corona” can, gave hand sanitizer, and created information sheets including: “Must know Spanish Phrases”, “Planned Events”, “A La Cart Restaurants” and “The Wedding Day.” These sheets matched the wedding invitations and included more mini starfish.  On the last day, Shawn and I gave a thank you cards personally written by us which also matched.  The starfish on all the items really added the “beachy” feel I was going for and were perfect!

How she knew her dress was “the one”
For the wedding dress, I searched HIGH and LOW to find my perfect dress.  When I started looking, I loved Monique Lhuillier and Reem Acra but then I found the designs of Claire Pettibone. I was in love! I could not get over her designs and I knew I had to have one!  I went shopping a few times but Claire Pettibone was not sold in my area.  I found my dress on website and I knew it was the one! I bought it in early January 2009, and sometimes continued to look at other options until my wedding in November, but never once did I feel I made the wrong decision.  The dress was perfect for me and I never received as many compliments as I did that day!

Her advice for other brides
For all brides, when your day comes, make sure you take it all in and embrace every moment.  Don’t get caught up or stress about the little things.  The only thing that matters is the love and joy you will share with your husband, family and friends.  Another thing, try and get someone to videotape the ceremony and speeches.  I thought this was cheesy to do this but one of our guests videotaped it all and I am so incredibly happy I have those memories on video.  Lastly, don’t worry about trying to divide your time to every guest.  Your guests should understand and if you want to dance all night, you can. You are the bride, it’s your day and you can do what you want!

Erinn’s Wedding Dress: Claire Pettibone Chantal