Jacqueline and Eli jetted off to Mexico for their destination wedding at the famed Banyan Tree Mayakoba. This blending of two families was also the blending of two cultures – with two wedding ceremonies to celebrate! Jacqueline told us a bit about their story and how the venue was the perfect blend of those families. “Part of the reason we selected the Banyan Tree Mayakoba had to do with the property’s wonderful Asian influences. The reason we selected Riveria Maya, Mexico is because most of my family lives on the West Coast, but we live in New York City, and most of Eli’s family, and a lot of our friends, are on the East Coast. Banyan Tree was the perfect central location for all of our family and friends. We also knew that we would be having a winter wedding, and the weather in Riviera Maya, Mexico is perfect during the winter months.”
As you might expect, this destination wedding called for a beautiful beach wedding. But there was more in store for these wedding guests! “We hosted two ceremonies because while Eli and I are both American, my family is from Vietnam, and I wanted to honor my family by having a traditional Vietnamese Ceremony. Both of the ceremonies were held at the Banyan Tree Mayakoba on the same day. We did the Vietnamese Ceremony early in the morning, followed by the American Ceremony in the evening on the beach.”
This very diverse property had more than one way to celebrate! “Part of the reason why we chose the Banyan Tree Mayakoba was because of the amazing Asian influences, and the way they had infused the property with so many rich Asian traditions, including the waterways. Arriving by boat was perfect for the Vietnamese Ceremony because the place where the ceremony was to be held was right on the water, so it made for a very dramatic and inspiring entrance.”
We often ask couples what advice they would give future destination brides and grooms. Here’s what these savvy newlyweds had to say! “Make sure you choose a location that will give your guests an amazing vacation experience. Your guests will be there for more than the wedding, so it’s good to have a host venue and location with lots to do and great amenities. The Banyan Tree Mayakoba and Riveria Maya, Mexico had that and more.”
“Have a contingency plan for rain. We made it through most of our wedding day with only light sprinkles, but the plan was to have an outdoor reception under the stars overlooking the ocean. It started pouring rain just before the reception started, and all of our tables got soaked. We should have had the indoor area on standby just in case.”
What stood out as the most amazing moments of the day? “Arriving by boat for the Vietnamese Ceremony, the first look in the courtyard of our Villa surrounded by family & friends, and the amazing fire dancers who performed at the reception.” Clearly a great experience for all in attendance!
And who could forget the fabulous fireworks at the end of the evening?!? A great way to go out with a bang at a destination wedding in Mexico!
Congratulations to the newlyweds!
Destination Wedding Photographer: Joy Marie Smallwood, Joy Marie