Editor’s Note: We would like to welcome our newest columnist, Camille Jocsak to the Luxe Beat Magazine family! As a destination wedding planner, Camille has some incredible stories (and wedding planning tips) to share. We hope you enjoy this first article about a destination wedding set in Playa Del Carmen and come back for more of her ongoing series, Paradise 2 Perfection.
As a wedding planner it is my job to create weddings that are magical, romantic and seemingly flawless. Bridal couples put their faith in me to give them the wedding day of their dreams and this is no small feat believe me. In the following series, I will take you on a journey of love and romance featuring real weddings and highlighting some of the most romantic wedding locations around the globe.
Weddings are very personal and every bridal couple has a “wedding day dream.” A vision of what they would like their wedding day to look like. I have to take that vision and turn it into reality whether it is in their home town or thousands of miles away in a foreign country. Some want large and extravagant affairs while others are looking for a smaller more intimate day and even other looking just to plan their secret elopements! Regardless of the size, country or venue, weddings are and always will remain one of the most important days in a couple’s lives.
Both nursing students, Jenny and Tyrone found themselves in the same study group in college. After a year of friendship they both knew they were meant to be together. Five years after meeting Tyrone officially proposed to Jenny at the beautiful Piazza San Marco in Venice Italy. With their mutual love for travel both the couple knew that they wanted a destination wedding surrounded by their closest family and friends choosing Mexico has their country of choice.
For Jenny and Tyrone, Mexico was their country of choice for their destination wedding. Like most destination weddings there are many variables to consider before the actual “wedding planning process” can even begin. It was important to Jenny and Tyrone to find an all inclusive resort that would cater to both their friends with young children and those who were looking for an adults-only alternative. With this in mind it was also imperative for them to be able to move easily between the resorts so that they could spend quality time with everyone who travelled from afar to share to their wedding.
As a wedding planner it is my job to listen, create and execute not only the perfect wedding day but in the case a destination wedding, to ensure that the entire stay for the bridal couple and their guests exceeds expectations. After hearing that many of Jenny and Tyrone’s guests had not only never been to Mexico but had in fact, never been to an all-inclusive, it was important to pick a resort that would provide a well-rounded array of activities as well as quality food. We wanted this, their first foray in to the world of all-inclusive vacations to leave them wanting to return.
All these factors led us to Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Perla & La Esmeralda as the ideal location. Both resorts are on the ocean and located in a private bay surrounded by protected mangroves, just yards away from the world’s second largest coral reef and stunning views of Cozumel Island. Guests seeking an adults-only resort were booked into La Perla and treated to a calm and serene environment with international cuisine served in 14 world class restaurants. Unlimited premium liquor served in 16 bars, nightly entertainment and a free form pool rounded out the many services this resort offers.
Alternatively guests with young children enjoyed the same quality service, restaurants and bars while staying at its family-friendly sister property La Esmeralda. Both resorts offer the options to VIP one’s stay, La Perla with “Royal Service” offering upgraded accommodations, a personal butler, separate check-in area, private lounge and dedicated pool and beach areas. La Esmeralda offers similar services with their “Family Concierge” upgrade with the addition of extra amenities for the “mini VIPs” including child size robes, slippers, milk and cookie turn down and beach kits among other things.
Since these resorts share a property and are essentially mirror images of each other, it was the perfect solution for Jenny and Tyrone, allowing them the opportunity to be with everyone. Adults from both properties have open access to each allowing guests to further socialize with ease, and for some parents a little “adults only” quality time.
Jenny and her bridal party were able to utilize the elegant bridal suites equipped with showers and lounge areas where they spent the day relaxing and socializing while getting ready for the big day. Always a must at this resort is a day at the incredible Yhi Spa. This 19,627 square foot oasis offers everything from facials and body treatments to a full thermal circuit with wet and dry saunas, plunge pool and hydro massage. It is the perfect place to unwind, rejuvenate and be pampered! Trial hair and makeup sessions are also offered ensuring that the bride is wedding day ready!
Jenny and Tyrone could not have chosen a more appropriate resort for their wedding and their vision of elegance was carried throughout the decor. Their dream to be married under the beautiful gazebo at La Perla was made possible by the resort allowing us to bring the children from La Esmeralda to the ceremony site just prior to the nuptials starting. By having the reception on La Esmeralda side we were able to ensure a fun filled evening for both adults and children alike.
As with any tropical wedding Mother Nature has a way of sometimes rearing her ugly head and although the forecast predicted otherwise, our beautiful outdoor reception and dinner setup was suddenly floating due to an unexpected storm front. Eighteen months of planning and organizing washed away within minutes. Thankful that the weather held for the ceremony, Jenny and Tyrone took it all in stride and once again put their faith in me and left me to do what they hired me to do, “make it happen.” With the help of the incredible resort staff we began to work our magic in the ballroom. And work we did! Since much of what we had was now unusable either due to the fact that is was ruined in the storm or it was for outdoor use only, we found ourselves running to borrow linens and decor from restaurants, lobbies and even long forgotten storage rooms. What took us an entire day to setup outside had to be done within an hour.
Lights were strung, bars erected, tables set, new centerpieces created and to the surprise and pleasure of our bridal couple and their guests the outcome was truly magical. Jenny and Tyrone’s faces as they entered into the ballroom as Mr. & Mrs. filled me with such pride. Their smiles as they looked around the ballroom told me that we had accomplished what we set out to do, give them their dream wedding.
Regardless of the type of wedding one envisions, large or small, elaborate or simple, legal or symbolic, beach, pool or ballroom the most important thing is to have someone working for you and worrying about the things you should not have to on your wedding day. Things happen, situations arise, not all of them as drastic as was the case with Jenny and Tyrone but even the little things can seem insurmountable when all you want to do is enjoy your day, your guests, your moment.
Would things have worked out the same had they not had a wedding planner? I can confidently say “No.” It is because of the relationship I had built with Jenny and Tyrone during the year and half of planning with them that I was able to make decisions on their behalf. I knew what their vision was and what key elements were a must for them. With the help of resort management and staff we gave made sure those key elements were incorporated into the new setup. Last minute changes, spur of the moment decisions, creativity, resourcefulness and above all else advocating for the bride and groom! That is what a good wedding planner brings to the table!
Jenny, Tyrone and all their guests walked away from an incredible week-long wedding vacation with fond memories and a wedding day they will definitely never forget!
After every rain there is a rainbow!