February was one for the books!
I started my February traveling cross country to work with my filmmaker friend, Keoni Kaloi (Kaloi Filmmaking Studio, https://www.kaloifilmmakingstudio.com based out of Washington). We worked together to film and photograph a beautiful wedding in San Diego, California for one of his couples. I spent a few days out there, did some sight seeing, got a new passport, visited some friends. San Diego is on my bucket list to return to, and maybe book a few more weddings in the future!
After San Diego and a few short days home, I set off for 2 weeks down to Mexico. I am very familiar with Mexico, and visit multiple times each year. This same time last year I joined Alexander Ma and Filmmaker Mastery group down in Cabo San Lucas. This year, my trip included Isla Mujeres, Riviera Maya, and Cancun. This was the first trip in Mexico that I participated in one of the excursions. It was a neat experience and I can still say without a doubt, I do NOT like tequila.
Keoni and his wife, Sierra, joined me in Mexico to help me with the video side of my wedding packages for 2 of my destination couples. This was their first experience in Mexico so we made the most of it! Started in Isla Mujeres, visiting the statue for Goddess Ixchel at Punta Sur and trying some shots at the Ice Bar. Our second part of the stay had us on an ATV, Cenote, and Tequila tasting excursion. I had never driven a 4 wheeler by myself prior to this, so it was interesting. My thighs paid for it for days after! The cenote was just beautiful and tranquil and very refreshing to swim in. Again, still not a fan of tequila, lol. Not even the "real stuff". Here are some memories!
ATV, CENOTE, TEQUILA TOUR (Click Here to link) - Extreme Adventure Cancun (Puerto Morelos, MX)
Blue Venado, Private Paradise
I met Nicole + Kyle on facebook through a group for couples that booked their destination weddings with Blue Venado. At the time of meeting them, I was also planning a Mexico destination wedding with Blue Venado for March 23, 2023 (unfortunately for some, that plan was cancelled). They were going to book the new Seaside venue and planned for a beach wedding.
I will say from my own experience, planning a destination wedding in a foreign country when you don't fluently speak their language is no easy task. There is a lack of communication, a language barrier, and let's face it -- the planners aren't always 100% into dedicating time to you or your day. These venues have multiple locations, few employees, and weddings 7 days a week, nonstop. They simply don't have time or the organization skills required to pull off your wedding plans accurately, timely, or without some faults. If you know and prepare for this ahead of time, they can still be affordable, romantic, beautiful, and a good time. Just plan on a few bumps and headaches along the way. These weddings were no exception. There was much chaos, confusion, mix ups, and more. But one thing for certain, it was beautiful. Nicole and Kyle are a stunning couple and they were surrounded by their closest loved ones that enjoyed celebrating their love and union in this beautiful location. I would say Blue Venado has some pretty decor, good stylists, friendly bartenders. With their glitches, I might not suggest them to future couples but I wouldn't turn down an opportunity to shoot another wedding there, now that I know.
Planet Hollywood, Cancun
I have missed all inclusive resorts! It's been a little while since I've stayed all inclusive. I spend most of my time in Mexico on the island at local boutique hotels. It was nice being catered to with unlimited food and drinks for a few days!
Jessica + Kevin were an absolute DREAM couple to work with. I have never in my 12 years had a couple who made sure at all times that I had everything I wanted, needed, and more. They were sure to provide a good time, a great meal, and life long new friends. I was taken in and treated like family, and not only by them but by their guests, wedding party, and family members. They all went above and beyond for us, and it was so appreciated.
Jessica and Kevin spent their wedding week surrounded by a large group of loved ones. Pool days, Wedding festivities, Parties, Catamaran, and more! Their destination wedding is exactly how one should be!! While the resort had a few minor hiccups, everyone surely had an amazing time and won't forget their wedding. From getting shit on by a seagull flying over me, drunken guests by the pool, maid of honor broken ankle, bridesmaid falling up stairs, and bride and groom sleeping in and missing a morning photo op (wink wink lol) it was quite the adventure all around. I don't know if another wedding can top this one this year!!!
I love destination weddings. I love teaming up with others to create combination photo and video packages. I really just love my career. Sure there may be a problem here or there, we are all human and run into bumps along the way, but the important thing with weddings is that we take a moment to step back and breathe it in, because the day goes by so fast. Cherish the moments, soak it all up, and feel all the positive energy around.