The Red Dress Wedding, Sayulita Nayarit Mexico

The 2016 wedding season was by far the busiest year i've ever had. With over 80 weddings, including 4 far away destinations I was running on Redbull fumes and hope by the end. From local overnights to Leavenworth, Chelan and The San Juan Islands to logging 40k flight miles on Alaska Airlines to reach brides in Hawaii, Boston and Phoenix I was everywhere and my Zuca looks like a beat up old chevy!

The dress photo credit Mandee Rae

The dress

photo credit Mandee Rae

Which brings me to La Gran Final, the wedding of Jessica and Ross (not Rachael and Ross)  aka my end game wedding of the season in Sayulita Nayarit Mexico. I met Jessica when she booked me for a commercial shoot and we quickly got to talking about her wedding... AND when a bride says to you "I am getting married in Sayulita Mexico this fall, I bought a red Vera Wang dress and its over Dia De Los Muertos can you go?" Hello, why YES I can! and there was a heavy emphasis that this was going to be one big party, how could I not? and then she books one of my favorite Seattle photographers to shoot the adventure, Mandee Rae

 

Before I go on, I always say planning a wedding is like writing, financing, directing, producing and starring in your own Broadway musical..now planning a destination wedding is like taking that show on tour. My small roll takes a lot of planning and some luck, especially when your'e trying to guess how humid is 90% really? how much frizz in the hair and shine on the face are we talking? 

Fast forward to 7am Sunday October 30th, it was one of those typical dark cold rainy Seattle mornings but who cares we were off to the land of tacos and tequila!

 

 

We arrived in Sayulita after spending a couple of quiet days in Puerto Vallarta getting our rusty Spanish tuned up, landing on the first night of Dia De Los Muertos and it was pure magic!

We arrived in Sayulita after spending a couple of quiet days in Puerto Vallarta getting our rusty Spanish tuned up, landing on the first night of Dia De Los Muertos and it was pure magic!

Destination weddings are not without their own little surprises, like the bumpy rustic streets all over town (not a lick of pavement) Quaint and rustic but my kit on wheels was not a fan, note to self travel with a backpack from now on! and if you go to Sayulita I highly recommend staying at La Esquina, it is right on the beach and the studio apartments are perfect for a casual yet stylish trip! 

Destination weddings are not without their own little surprises, like the bumpy rustic streets all over town (not a lick of pavement) Quaint and rustic but my kit on wheels was not a fan, note to self travel with a backpack from now on! and if you go to Sayulita I highly recommend staying at La Esquina, it is right on the beach and the studio apartments are perfect for a casual yet stylish trip! 

My first bartering experience was with some local farmers selling 'tres piñas para cincuenta pesos" off the back of a truck... probably a little too much piña for me and Mandee but I was proud to own them!

My first bartering experience was with some local farmers selling 'tres piñas para cincuenta pesos" off the back of a truck... probably a little too much piña for me and Mandee but I was proud to own them!

It has been a dream of mine to experience Dia De Los Muertos in Mexico ever since I lost my own brother. I was living in Phoenix AZ when I lost my brother Ian 9 year ago and through some amazing friends I learned to celebrate the life he had instead of focusing on the grief. I was brought to the happiest of tears as we wandered around the small town square looking at all the alters and tributes to so many loved people who had passed

It has been a dream of mine to experience Dia De Los Muertos in Mexico ever since I lost my own brother. I was living in Phoenix AZ when I lost my brother Ian 9 year ago and through some amazing friends I learned to celebrate the life he had instead of focusing on the grief. I was brought to the happiest of tears as we wandered around the small town square looking at all the alters and tributes to so many loved people who had passed

One of the many alters around town, created by hand over days and made with colored sawdust, candles and fresh veggies

One of the many alters around town, created by hand over days and made with colored sawdust, candles and fresh veggies

My rule of travel is 'get local' skip the chain restaurants and the tourist traps..ok I mean, some tourist spots are classic and must be experienced like the Eiffel Tower and surf on the North Shore of Oahu but when you can try to get as local as possible especially with food. Here is Mandee getting ready to dig in to her first bite (ever) of elote- SO GOOD!

My rule of travel is 'get local' skip the chain restaurants and the tourist traps..ok I mean, some tourist spots are classic and must be experienced like the Eiffel Tower and surf on the North Shore of Oahu but when you can try to get as local as possible especially with food. Here is Mandee getting ready to dig in to her first bite (ever) of elote- SO GOOD!

The town was lit up until midnight then everyone and I mean the entire town, followed the path of the colorful flags that led to the cemetery where the party when on until dawn

The town was lit up until midnight then everyone and I mean the entire town, followed the path of the colorful flags that led to the cemetery where the party when on until dawn

When a makeup artist with a full kit and a photographer who can hold her own as a model find a little down time, photoshoots happen! This was my Francois Nars moment, styled and shot by me  

When a makeup artist with a full kit and a photographer who can hold her own as a model find a little down time, photoshoots happen!

This was my Francois Nars moment, styled and shot by me

 

Look at this food!! For real, this was the freshest avocado, fruit and tastiest chilaquiles ever! So this was how I started off the wedding day, with a big yummy Mexican breakfast...again, eat local! slap your own hand if you try to order a burger or anything remotely familiar

Look at this food!! For real, this was the freshest avocado, fruit and tastiest chilaquiles ever! So this was how I started off the wedding day, with a big yummy Mexican breakfast...again, eat local! slap your own hand if you try to order a burger or anything remotely familiar

The bride and groom rented out Casablanca Sayulita and hosted their wedding party, if you're going to do destination then make it count!  Photo Mandee Rae

The bride and groom rented out Casablanca Sayulita and hosted their wedding party, if you're going to do destination then make it count! 

Photo Mandee Rae

Compete with your own private pool and unicorns! Photo Mandee Rae 

Compete with your own private pool and unicorns!

Photo Mandee Rae 

Time for that hair to happen! So humidity was not my friend, but thanks to Oribe Dry Texture and Shine Light sprays and I won that fight Photo Mandee Rae

Time for that hair to happen! So humidity was not my friend, but thanks to Oribe Dry Texture and Shine Light sprays and I won that fight

Photo Mandee Rae

All ready for that first look Photo Mandee Rae 

All ready for that first look

Photo Mandee Rae 

Find your style as a bride because this is YOUR Broadway show and the curtain doesn't raise until you are ready to take the aisle Photo Mandee Rae

Find your style as a bride because this is YOUR Broadway show and the curtain doesn't raise until you are ready to take the aisle

Photo Mandee Rae

First looks Photo Mandee Rae If you find yourself lucky to travel for work, take some time for yourself and enjoy the journey. Do a little research before you go to a new city, I love Lonely Planet guides they are a gold mine of little gems most people miss. Hang with locals, step off the beaten path and just get in to it. Mandee and I spend a week in Mexico, it was an experience that I will never forget, we became better friends and just wait!! we have so much more planned to share with you all XOXO Anne

First looks

Photo Mandee Rae

If you find yourself lucky to travel for work, take some time for yourself and enjoy the journey. Do a little research before you go to a new city, I love Lonely Planet guides they are a gold mine of little gems most people miss. Hang with locals, step off the beaten path and just get in to it. Mandee and I spend a week in Mexico, it was an experience that I will never forget, we became better friends and just wait!! we have so much more planned to share with you all

XOXO

Anne