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April 29, 2019

Our Destination Wedding at The Hard Rock Hotel Cancún

It’s our one year anniversary! A year ago we were in our rooms getting ready to be husband and wife, crazy how time flies! And let me just tell you, this blog post has been a long time coming! As photographers, we of course wanted to take the reigns and edit our own images and that meant working on our images when we didn’t have client work to produce, in other words, putting ourselves at the end of the never-ending-to-do-list. Needless to say, here we are a year later telling you all the story of our big day, lol…

When we got engaged back in 2015, we knew that no matter what we did, we had to have a destination wedding. We were unsure if to do it in Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, a cruise, heck… even in Cuba! But one thing we knew for sure was that we wanted to spend a few days rather than a few hours with our guests, and the best way we found to do so was through hosting a Destination Wedding. We looked into a cruise wedding for a while, but we’re super detail-oriented and a cruise wedding didn’t offer enough creative options for us, hehe. We looked into a beach wedding in a Cuban resort, because well, I’m super Cuban, and super proud (in my Miami voice lol), until we hit the roadblock of travel restrictions and all the complications that come with traveling to my country unfortunately. We then attended a Wedding Expo and found the Hard Rock Cancún! We fell in love with all of the amenities and oh, the beautiful Cancún ocean!

FL Photographer,Latina Photographer,Lifestyle,M Suarez Photography,MSP,MSPhotography,Portraits,Quinceañeras,Weddings,
FL Photographer,Latina Photographer,Lifestyle,M Suarez Photography,MSP,MSPhotography,Portraits,Quinceañeras,Weddings,

The planning process was not the easiest, because as I mentioned earlier, we are uber detail-oriented and planning a wedding in another country is tough! We didn’t have a chance to meet with or interview the vendors, see samples of their work in real life, and we worked with someone from here in Miami (all through phone calls and emails) until we were assigned our on-site coordinator 30 days before the wedding. If you know us, know me… you can probably imagine how stressed I was not knowing who I was working with, putting my wedding dreams in who’s hands? lol… But all of that was worth it knowing we would be celebrating a weekend with our family and friends in this beautiful resort in Cancún. About a year before the wedding we decided to visit the property and tour the space, get a feel for the vibe, and of course make recommendations to our guests of what they can do when they get here. After our first site visit, we just knew this was the place for us. There was music all the time, everyone was friendly, the food was delicious, there were awesome shows, it was all-inclusive, and well… it was perfect! And trust me, I made poor David walk down La Zona Hotelera and we interviewed with multiple hotels, but there was just something about the energy of The Hard Rock Cancún, that had our hearts. We immediately got working on our Save the Dates and sent it out to our families about a year before the wedding. It seems too soon to most, but we wanted to make sure everyone had ample time to plan for the days off and the cost of their stay. From that day forward, our guests would be able to reserve their flights, stay, and transportation. We worked with a travel agent on this so that we could provide our guests with a group rate and a consistent person they could contact if they wanted to ask questions, make payments, changes, etc.

FL Photographer,Latina Photographer,Lifestyle,M Suarez Photography,MSP,MSPhotography,Portraits,Quinceañeras,Weddings,FL Photographer,Latina Photographer,Lifestyle,M Suarez Photography,MSP,MSPhotography,Portraits,Quinceañeras,Weddings,But enough about the little things leading up to the big day, let’s talk about the week of the wedding. I will be writing a blog post soon with tips and lessons learned from our experience planning a destination wedding and will link it here.

We arrived in Cancún on the Monday of the week of our wedding and met with our sweet coordinator Bry. She was very nice and attentive and really helped calm our wedding nerves. She did everything in her power to give us what we needed. We provided Bry all of our details, like 4 maletas full! (i’ll show you soon!) and ran through the schedule for the day. We shared with her our (very) detailed timeline and we walked through the property. We also had a chance to meet Carolina, from Grupo Game, who was also the sweetest! They provided all of our rentals for the wedding.

Fast forward to Thursday, we had a private check-in room set up for our guests with appetizers, signature drinks, and of course, welcome bags!It was an amazing experience to greet our guests and mingle as we welcomed them to our celebration. Can we also talk about these cute little maracas! We went to el pueblo on the Tuesday that we arrived and negotiated for 20 hand-painted maracas and added a ring for a kiss tag. We must have gone to at least 5 mercados in the area to find the ones we wanted in the colors we wanted, but it made for a fun activity for our guests. FL Photographer,Latina Photographer,Lifestyle,M Suarez Photography,MSP,MSPhotography,Portraits,Quinceañeras,Weddings,On that same night, we hosted a Welcome Party as well, where we had a buffet dinner, Mexican theme decor on the tables, and did a ton of team building activities so that our guests would have the opportunity to meet each other. One of the games we played was “Get on the Bus” where we taped a line on the floor and asked a variety of questions. Our guests had to either stand on one side of the line or on the other depending on what their preference was. For example, if we asked Rum or Tequila, they would stand on the side they preferred; then when we yell “Get on the Bus” everyone would return to the center and we would continue to ask questions. We also played the “Shoe Game” when David and I sat back to back and had each other’s shoes in our hands. Then, one of our bridesmaids asked us “relationship questions” and we had to answer by raising the shoe of the person who would be the best response. For example, if the question was “Who is the biggest baby when they’re sick?” I would raise David’s shoe…lol) We ended that night telling jokes and of course with plenty of music!FL Photographer,Latina Photographer,Lifestyle,M Suarez Photography,MSP,MSPhotography,Portraits,Quinceañeras,Weddings,
FL Photographer,Latina Photographer,Lifestyle,M Suarez Photography,MSP,MSPhotography,Portraits,Quinceañeras,Weddings,

Friday morning was the day before the wedding and we invited all our guests to a private brunch. This day was reserved for our guests to do tours and explore other activities in Cancún. It was also a bonding day for my bridesmaids and I, we even had a mini photoshoot, I gave them their gifts, and the entire bridal party attended the Rehearsal. This was also the day where my heart broke when we had to make the decision of having the reception indoors. All week it was raining right at 4pm, the time of our ceremony! We prayed to God each day for sun and nice weather on Saturday, but the forecast was not agreeing with our prayers… We had a meeting that night with Bry and the team and made the very tough decision of moving the reception indoors. This was not something that I took lightly, because I imagined our wedding outdoors overlooking the ocean and allowing for us all to see the sunset as we enjoyed our friends and family at our reception. However, there are always things that are out of our hands, and this was one of those things. Once thing was for sure, we were getting married on the sand, rain or shine, even if it was just David and I and the officiant; we both agreed on that detail! I am not going to lie, after that news, I went to sleep early…I needed my beauty sleep and had to pray extra for a beautiful day!

FL Photographer,Latina Photographer,Lifestyle,M Suarez Photography,MSP,MSPhotography,Portraits,Quinceañeras,Weddings,FL Photographer,Latina Photographer,Lifestyle,M Suarez Photography,MSP,MSPhotography,Portraits,Quinceañeras,Weddings,

I got the bridesmaids bags from Oriental Trading and the tissue was from the dollar store I believe. Their hats cam plain from Amazon and I used navy blue twine to write their names, then hot-glued them down to the hat.Their necklaces were from Etsy and had their initials on them, they wore these the day of the wedding with matching heart earrings and barefoot sandals, from Etsy. FL Photographer,Latina Photographer,Lifestyle,M Suarez Photography,MSP,MSPhotography,Portraits,Quinceañeras,Weddings,

Don’t the butt tutus look sooo cute!?!?!?

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It’s now Saturday, and the sky is clear, the sun is out, and God heard my prayers, 0% chance of rain. Although I couldn’t change the location of the reception anymore, there was one thing I could do…and I absolutely thank Bry for making this happen for me: I had the team set up one of my centerpieces out in the Breeze terrace, where our reception was supposed to be, because I just needed to see that centerpiece out in the natural light and at the very least, have that photo with the ocean in the background. I know they must have thought I was crazy for this request, but boy did it make my day! And the best part, I was able to see it from my getting ready room!

FL Photographer,Latina Photographer,Lifestyle,M Suarez Photography,MSP,MSPhotography,Portraits,Quinceañeras,Weddings,

FL Photographer,Latina Photographer,Lifestyle,M Suarez Photography,MSP,MSPhotography,Portraits,Quinceañeras,Weddings,FL Photographer,Latina Photographer,Lifestyle,M Suarez Photography,MSP,MSPhotography,Portraits,Quinceañeras,Weddings,
FL Photographer,Latina Photographer,Lifestyle,M Suarez Photography,MSP,MSPhotography,Portraits,Quinceañeras,Weddings,

While I had done a trial hair and makeup when we first came for a site visit, I opted for my mom and I to take care of the beauty for the day. My mom has been a stylist for over 13 years and her doing my hair would be more than just that, it would be a bonding moment for us and a detail I will never forget because after all, my mom has been the one to do my hair all my life! I also decided to do my own makeup since I wasn’t sure I wanted to look that different on the wedding day. I know my face, my like and dislikes, and did my own makeup and my mom’s makeup and helped with my baby sister’s hair. It was a very sweet morning to be able to share that with her.

FL Photographer,Latina Photographer,Lifestyle,M Suarez Photography,MSP,MSPhotography,Portraits,Quinceañeras,Weddings,FL Photographer,Latina Photographer,Lifestyle,M Suarez Photography,MSP,MSPhotography,Portraits,Quinceañeras,Weddings,

After we got hair and makeup done, I gave my mom a gift, a handkerchief embroidered with a message from me. She absolutely loved it! We go the handkerchiefs from Hobby Lobby and then went to the mall for engraving. We got severals of these, for our parents, best man and maid of honor.

Ody has been such an amazing friend for so many years. We met in Florida Sate back in 2009 and the friendship that started as borrowing a bobby pin, turned into pledging the same sorority, Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha Incorporated. Ody, you are so positive and so caring! You make me and everyone around you smile. As always, you’ve taken such great care of our friendship! Love you girl!My Maid of Honor is that type that you dream of having! I mean…Tequila shot to calm my nerves, yes, thank you!

Right when we were about to finish our Bridesmaids portraits, I got a beautiful surprise from my groom! Bry came and told me thank God I had such a detailed timeline, because she had a surprise for me and she was able to know exactly where I was! lol, so she brings a huge bouquet from behind her back and a note.  I had not cried allllll day, but this note, it got me! So much so, that I thought about having two bouquets as I walked down the aisle, lol, but then thought of a better idea. I loosened a red rose from this bouquet and added it to the center of mine, the perfect symbolism.

David did not want to do a first look, although I was dying to do it! Now that he looks back on the day, he wishes he did it, men! lol So although I did not do a first look with David, I was able to convince my dad (who does not like photos) to do it and I am so glad we got to do this, it was beautiful and such a sweet memory.

My mom did not want to miss this!! They’re too cute!!

Now that we’ve gone through my morning, let’s take a peek into the boys’ morning, it all started with suspenders and a bottle of Blue Label!

This watch I have talked about before. It was a watch I gave to David back in college, when we were both *very* broke lol, Think broke college student in love meets the man of her dreams and desperately needs a good gift idea for the holidays…walks by Macy’s and finds a watch that symbolizes everything he is…sees the price tag and dies…but wait! she is approached by the saleswoman with a fabulous coupon…puts this on a credit card and packs this gift in the prettiest wrapping paper and neatest bow…wants to wait for the holidays, but can barely wait to see his reaction…boy comes over and discovers the box…girl goes to class…boy sneakily opens gift labeled “David, open on Christmas” and decides he’s a rule breaker, of course…Girl comes back from class and has a beautiful dinner cooked for her and is greeted with a kiss and a “you shouldn’t have”. Watch $450, Memory of this story $Priceless. To this day, it’s his favorite watch and he wore it on our wedding day!

Rizwan, David’s best man also got a special handkerchief. They have been best friends for a very long time, attended Georgia State together, and they pledged La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda together. Rizwan is amazing! He is intelligent, very tech savvy, and super sweet! He loves David so much and has always been there for him and me! Rizwan, thank you for sharing this day with us.

Of course, I had a gift for David as well… I prepared an apple watch for him with my boudoir images as the face. Let’s just say he was surprised! lol

The groomsmen look soooo good in their suspenders and matching socks!

Right before the ceremony, guests gathered in the main lobby, Smash Bar, it was awesome to have everyone walk together to the ceremony.

Everyone is ready and the ceremony is set up, and it is 3:57pm, it happening you guys! This is what I was thinking a few minutes before the ceremony, oh and also… did they put down the bubbles on the seats, how does the reception look so far, are the shot glasses lined up and do the kids coloring books have crayons?!?! lol, that’s just me! But as David told me the week we arrived in Cancún, you can worry up until the day of the wedding, because that is our day to relax and let things happen the way they should, God knows what he does and how he does it, so leave it in his hands and enjoy our wedding day…Oh my husband is soooo amazing!

The flower girls’ headpieces were from Aldo and their barefoot sandals and dresses were from Etsy, don’t they look adorable?!?

We set up our ceremony as a swirl so that I could walk by and give our guests a front row seat, so I can smile at them and hold their hands, and thank them as I walked in and as we walked out. We also decided to do an unplugged wedding because we wanted everyone fully present and enjoying the moment. I was relieved that everyone complied and really enjoyed the ceremony live!

Look guys! My red rose!

We had a chance to pass by our cocktail hour and took some awesome photos with our guests! Plus, we were starving so picked up some hor’dourves to go before we did our Bride and Groom portraits.

Here we go…My favorite part of the wedding day: Bride + Groom Portraits! We always recommend at least 45 minutes of Bride and Groom portraits because its a moment for the couple to take some time to breathe! Everything happens so quickly and there’s so many people hugging, kissing, congratulating you, that it can be overwhelming. Bride and Groom portraits give you a break to let everything sink in, leave the stress behind and enjoy your first few minutes as husband and wife! On our day, we scheduled 1hr and 15 minutes of portrait time by serving dinner before we arrived, this allowed us to gain more time without sacrificing portrait time or dancing time. It’s all about priorities and what is most important to you, for us, it was portraits.

My husband is the best train and veil adjuster, partly because he’s had plenty of practice with our brides! Thanks for fixing my train and veil every time bebe! You’re the best!

This is in one of the hotel’s restaurants, Freida. We passed by and I knew I had to have a photo here! Love these windows!

After our portraits, we headed straight to the reception and were ready to dance!

We danced to Celia Cruz’s “Cuando Estoy Contigo”

I had the pleasure of dancing with my uncle “Mi Niña Bonita” by Vicente Fernandez, sung by my sister. My dad has epilepsy and unfortunately was unable to dance with me due to the lights and vibration of the music in this indoor environment. This was one of the many reasons I wanted an outdoor reception, but I was so happy to be able to dance with my uncle because he has been very present in my life and has always been caring and just as dad, over protective of his little girl! My sister sang the song as we dances, she is an absolutely wonderful singer and was sweet enough to practice for weeks to delight us on this day.

David danced a Vallenato, a traditional Colombian rhythm, the song was “Canción para mi madre” by Rafael Orozco

It’s time for speeches! Rizwan and Ody, we love you both so much! Thank you for those sweet words!

I don’t know if you could tell, but for this part of the evening we were super nervous! We had been practicing for months at our dance academy Cali Salsa Miami to pull of this Salsa performance to the song “Mama Calugna” by Tromoboranga.

The performance was a way for us to start the Garter and Bouquet Toss, and everyone loved it!

We finished off the night with a last dance outdoors to the latin version of “Last Dance” by Lucy Grau

As I finish writing this blog post, I can’t help but mention that this is our fourth time at the resort and it is absolutely a pleasure each time! The service is amazing, the people are fun and friendly, and the staff is so sweet. During this and every trip, we have been greeted with happy faces and positive vibes. A Special Thank you to Renato, one of the managers, who has always been incredibly accommodating during each visit and has made sure to take care of our every need. Francisco, the GM is also a pleasure! He was so humble and caring during our stay and was ready to help any way he could. Bry, our wonderful coordinator, Carolina from Grupo Gama, the entire Floral team at Tulipania, DJ and MC duo from JSAV, and all the Hard Rock Staff! We highly recommend the Hard Rock Cancún!

XOXO, Meivys + David

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Venue + Catering: Hard Rock Hotel Cancún

Invitation Suite: Basic Invite

Hair + Makeup: Sol Beauty Salon

Jewelry: Mr. Diamonds Jewelers

Perfume: Coach Signature

Cologne: Calvin Klein Euphoria

Dress: Allure Bridals

Veil: Hayley Paige

Second outfit – white jumpsuit: New York & Company

Bridesmaids Dresses: Azazie

Flower Girl Dresses: Etsy

Flower Girl Headpieces: Aldo

Groom’s Attire: Perry Ellis

Groomsmen Attire: Mens Warehouse

Socks and Suspenders: Perry Ellis

Bow ties: Azazie

Florals: Tulipania

Rentals and Decor: Grupo Gama

Choreography: Cali Salsa Miami Dance Company

Dance Gear: The Ballroom Shop Ft Lauderdale

Photography/Video: Laura Memory Photography, Andres O’Campo Photography and we may have  edited the whole wedding and done some of our own details and getting ready images lol…

Entertainment: JSAV Mexico

Pyrotechnic: Pyrotech Mexico

Etsy: Barefoot Sandals Bridesmiads, Barefoot Sandals Flower Girls, Garter, Design for Children’s table books, Airplanes with our names, Bridesmaids Necklaces, Robes, Vow Books, Cake Topper, Cake Cutter

Vistaprint: Menus, Door Hangers, Thank you cards

DiscountMugs: Shot Glasses, Sunglasses, Custom Welcome Bags

DIY: Table numbers, Tumblers, Maraca tags, Bridesmaids Hats and tutus, Flower girl baskets, Save the Dates, Handkerchiefs and Gifts

Oriental Trading: Umbrellas, Custom Bubbles, Bridesmaids Gift Bags

Amazon: Sandals, Bridesmaids Earrings

 

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