DESTINATION WEDDINGS | 5 of My Favorite Knockout Wedding Venues for an Intimate Beach Wedding

I don’t know about you but I’m a HUGE FAN of a little thing called the destination wedding, for so many reasons.  Usually it involves a location that has sand and warm water nearby.  Usually it means you don’t have to invite as many people as your mom and in-laws would like you to invite.  And usually it means backdrops that will make your pictures more mind-blowing than you ever could have imagined in your wildest dreams.

A destination wedding is my personal favorite type of wedding, mainly because I haven’t had a vacation in way too long and I want anyone reading this to have one and invite me.  Just kidding, not really.  But anyway – today I’m sharing five intimate destination wedding locations that are so eye-poppingly gorgeous they’ll make your eyes bleed (in a good way) (ok I don’t think eyes bleeding can ever be a good thing but YOU GET ME).

(Quick note: you can check out a ton of intimate wedding setups over at right now, if you’d rather just get on with it.  They let you browse resorts by inspiration categories!)

El Dorado Maroma – Riviera Maya, Mexico

Maroma Beach is where it’s at.  If you don’t trust me just ask the Travel Channel, which ranked it one of the top ten best in the world.  For your wedding it’s quite perfect because it’s got these super unique thatched huts (read: palapas) where you can have a wonderfully intimate beach ceremony that everyone you know will likely want to replicate the moment they get engaged.  Only reason to avoid this location is if you don’t want to deal with jealousy and copycat weddings in your family. :)

Did I mention the suites at this resort have SWIM-UP ACCESS and a little something called INFINITY POOLS???  I believe I’ve sold you on this location, moving along…


Gran Caribe Real – Cancun, Mexico

Tell me, do floor to ceiling windows offering unobstructed views of the Mexican Caribbean appeal to you, when you imagine your wedding ceremony?  Then you’ll love the “Our Lady of Guadalupe” Oceanfront Catholic Chapel.  Obviously this spot is right on point for the couple seeking a lovely religious ceremony.  The religious among us deserve a gorgeous setting (and backdrop for photos) on their wedding day, and that can be hard to find for this set.  That’s why I love this location.


Isla Mujeres Palace – Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Isla Mujeres Palace is for you if what you desire is a small and private occasion.  It’s not touristy here; there’s a really amazing small town vibe going on and many of the beaches are untouched.  Who doesn’t LOVE THAT?

I’d like to note that the setup at Isla Mujeres Palace was literally made for your intimate beach wedding – it was custom built for just these types of occasions – and the pictures you’ll get, exchanging vows under a gauzy canopy pocketed by palm trees, will be the kinds of pictures you return to again and again for years to come.  You guys know how I feel – pictures are everything.  (Aside from the love you share of course.)


Couples Tower Isle – Ocho Rios, Jamaica

First of all, Jamaica.  Second of all, WE’RE TALKING JAMAICA, PEOPLE.  But I’ll try to be more specific about why I think you should have your wedding there – privacy.  If privacy is important to you as a couple, then you should very seriously consider this location for your wedding.  You and your honey can wed on the property’s secluded island – and it can be as private as just the two of you, or you can throw in some close friends/relatives.  One thing I can tell you for sure is I’ve never heard a couple complain that they regretted having a really private wedding.  So there’s some food for thought.


Dreams Los Cabos – Los Cabos, Mexico

So I can’t say enough good things about Los Cabos, that’s the honest truth.  I was there recently and my goodness the weather was perfection. <== this is very important to me, and usually determines my like/dislike for a place.  So there’s that.

Los Cabos is pretty well known for things like its celebrity crowd, its breathtaking mountain views and its killer spas.  But what I’d like to make you more aware of is its truly lovely gazebo beach garden setup – the thing is so perfect for an intimate sunset ceremony, you guys.  I cannot recommend it enough.



What do you think of the concept of a destination wedding?  Any of you had one, or are planning to have one?  Lemme hear your thoughts :)


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DIY RUSTIC WOODLAND WEDDING | Apple Cake or Peach Pie, Anyone? | Sara Adams Photography

Sometimes I’ll wanna complain about something, and then I’ll remember that I write about weddings and sometimes reality tv on a blog whose mascot is my frenchie and I’ll immediately shut up.

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VINTAGE WOODLAND WEDDING | Vera Wang Dress, J.Crew Jewels, Generally Amazing. | Duchess and the Rabbit

Second post of the day WHOOO!

You guys.  YOU GUYS.  I am in love with this wedding.  Lisa and Brian’s wedding was a true family affair, and I can’t wait for you to see it/read about it below.  In fact I’d say it’s kind of the dream DIY wedding, if you’re someone who likes working closely with family members for extreme lengths of time in increasingly stressful situations, I mean.  But something tells me this family has no qualms about quality time.  I’m so big on the QT- it’s so f’ing key in our lives.  But so yeah- wanna know what came of all that QT?  Everyone happily chipped in their part in the couple’s  big day, and with stunning results.

For example: her sister handmade their cake AND all the goodies you’ll see on their dessert table.   {Continue reading…}

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PEEKS, LOLS & COOKIE CUPS | Suggested Blogs + Have You Noticed This Odd Trend in Weddings?

It’s Friday.

And a lot of people are going to be asking you if you’re planning on “getting down.”   {Continue reading…}

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PERSONAL POST | My little big life announcement…

Hey everybody, happy number two post of Saturday, March 3rd!  Ok I’m crazy excited and don’t exactly know what to do with myself, and therefore I don’t know what to do with this post.  The gist is, 2012 is shaping up to be one of the most intense, exciting, neurotic, rewarding, busy, bringing-out-of-all-insecurities-known-and-yet-to-be-happened-upon-at-inopportune-times, fun, exhausting and joyful years of my life, for many wonderful reasons related to work and play, but the most important one being this next one:

{Continue reading…}

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RUSTIC BOHEMIAN PICNIC WEDDING | A Veritable Where’s Waldo for Cat Lovers! Plus, Muscle-Bound Bambino. | By Love Light Images

Happy Friday eeeeeeeeevuhningk, munchkinos!  Before you start reading i just wanna make sure I note here that things got really out of hand in this post and I apologize.  I think the no heat/no hot water situation forced my body into survival mode and resources that are typically so in abundance, instead became luxuries.  Like for example, a sufficient quantity of blood, getting pumped like clockwork into my brain.  Ok WE BEGIN, armed with that knowledge.

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DIY RUSTIC FARM WEDDING WITH RUFFLE CAKE, MINT GOWNS, SUCCULENTS & PIGLETS | Also: Bambino Outsmarts Me, and One Mega Embarrassing Fashion Fail. | Photography by Amanda of Boro Creative Visions

Happy Friday afternoon, bubelahs!  Welcome to post number two today.

Now, I know you’re looking at those mint dresses and the ruffly shoes and everything and you’re probably thinking, “whoa, this wedding is Alison’s baaaag.  She is probably freaking. out. over this wedding.  Crap, I bet this is going to be the longest post in the history of Alison posts!”

And yes normally that is how I would react to a wedding like this, and you are right to think I should have a lot of loving words to say about it.  But the problem is, I find it incredibly hard to write and to orgasm at the same time, so I’m actually going to be keeping it quite brief, as posts go.

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For Japan With Love | Day of Silence | It’s midnight on Thursday, which means we’ve got a special message to bring to you regarding Friday. Thanks ahead of time for reading.

Hello, dears.

As all of you know, some very unfortunate recent events are currently taking their toll on Japan, and it’s only getting worse.  The fallout is intense, multifaceted and widespread.

… That’s why it’s sooo important to throw all the love and support we can muster to those who need it most right now.

We’re very happy to play our part in Bloggers Day of Silence, a day of recognition and giving for those affected by the tragedy, organized by our remarkable friends Utterly Engaged and Ever Ours.

We’re sending copious amounts of love and hope to everyone who could use a bit of that right now, and we hope that you’ll join us in donating whatever you can to this important cause.  If that sounds good to you, mosey on over here and give a little monetary love to your sisters and brothers from other mothers.

If you decide to donate, or if you’ve donated already this past week, feel free to let us know below, so we can thank you personally for being so rad.

Thanks, everyone.  We hope your Friday is a warm, safe and happy one.

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WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY | Editor’s notes on black and white photography. Also, I watched Bridalplasty again.

I watched Bridalplasty last night.


There are many things about that show that evidence the demise of humankind, such as {Continue reading…}

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REAL WEDDING | Sarah + Jason | New Hampshire Mountain Farm Wedding, Part II | Ode to the bicycle.

First and foremost, before we get into the scrumptious wedding goodness of Part II (of this 3 part wedding!), I have something to tell you.

We’re announcing the FOUR FINALISTS OF {Continue reading…}

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Smörgåsbord | What procrastination gets you, a taste of holiday life and a sweet sneak peek at what’s coming up…

Guess what?  We just got a tree yesterday.  OMGIKNOWIT’STERRIBLE.  WTF, us?  How did we let the tree-buying aspect of Christmastime elude us for so long?  I don’t want to make excuses, but it probably has something to do with how freaking busy we’ve been.  I think you guys know how redonkulously busy yours truly has been, but believe it or not, my other half has been even busier.  If that’s possible.  So yeah, the tree took a back seat this year.  But, as with most things, we happily discovered a silver lining in our procrastination: my baby niece and nephew, who recently came from Albuquerque to spend the holidays with us, were able to come along and pick it out!  You guys, you should have seen it; two babies in car seats, flanking a massive tree shoved in between them.  The scene = MAXIMUM ADORABLENESS.  This Christmas I have discovered that there is officially nothing better than shopping for a tree with little babies.

Now, I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but Christmas is, like, two days away.  TWO DAYS.  I truly hope you’ve wrapped up all of your shopping, because I have not, and I’m going to need my space as I sprint up and down the aisles for the last couple of gifts I still need to grab for some members of my family who have only *recently* decided what they want to see under the tree on Saturday.  (The babies, it’s the babies.  They’re a bit fickle.)

Anyway, I’ve been shoving a lot of holiday awesomeness in your faces recently, so I thought it would be a fun little change-up to give you a glorious sneak peek into the gorgeous outdoor wedding I’ll be bringing your way quite soon…

Wait until you see this wedding.  I’m telling you, it’s very likely that this one will go down in history as one of my all-time favorites.  WHOA.  I know, that’s big.

I’ll leave you with a lovely little quote that I find to be pretty well-suited to me and my honey… and I’m sure it’ll resonate with many of you wonderful readers out there. :)

We all are a little weird and life’s a little weird and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutual weirdness and call it “love.”

(… Did Dr. Seuss say that?  I have this vague recollection of it being a Dr. Seuss quote, but I’m not sure.  Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?)

And finally, I’d like to send you off into your day with a taste of one of my favorite artists, Quadron.  Hope you enjoy :)

Wishing you the happiest of holiday seasons!

xoxo!  – Alison

P.S. – Emily of Gem Photo and I are on the brink of selecting the four finalists for the photography giveaway.  OMGWE’RESOCLOSETOANNOUNCINGTHEM.  I can’t take it.

P.P.S – I’m working with another special friend on a DIY free printable, as mentioned.  You are gonna LOVE.  And it’ll be just in time for the New Year… hint hint nudge nudge.

P.P.P.S. – I hope you’re ready, because we’ve got more giveaways than we can handle, coming pretty soon.  Just thought I’d remind you.  :)

P.P.P.P.S. – I found a ridiculously funny site that I just have to share with you guys.  It’s called When Parents Text, and it’s an innocent riot.  Click here to check it out.  Almost every single one of those texts remarkably resembles something one of my parents would text to me.  Parents are simply too adorable sometimes.

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VENDOR LOVE™ TINY SNEAK PEEK | In a world where tushie-less pantyhose exist, integrity and a commitment to quality are paramount…

↑ More on that in a moment… {Continue reading…}

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RUFFLED DRESS LOVE | My favorite ruffled wonders from Bridal Market… {THIS IS A HUGE POST!}

SHUT UP, PRONOVIAS. {Continue reading…}

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REAL WEDDING | Melissa + Eddie | A gorgeous, fun-filled Southern California barn wedding with absolutely NO COLOR SCHEME!

Ok, here’s how this post is going to begin: yesterday, my Dad called me up to ask me a question, for he was writing an email to a friend and he needed to know something pronto: {Continue reading…}

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RUSTIC WEDDING IDEAS | Anthropologie centerpiece mugs | Those details you wanted from my Style Me Pretty guest post! (+ my MacBook Pro review)

Hmm.  My titles are getting too long.

Ok, so, as many of you know, I recently purchased a hella expensive, hella worth it MacBook Pro.  Yup, all 17″ of it – worth it.  Except for one thing.  {Continue reading…}

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STAY ORGANIZED | The best way to keep track of your RSVP cards… for your eyes only.

If you’re about to release your RSVP cards into the wild, drop what you’re doing!  Before you make another move, think about this: what are you going to do if you get a few unidentifiable replies?  Well, here’s a quick and easy solution that’ll put your mind at ease.

You’ve undoubtedly put a lot of effort into selecting and/or creating your invitations, and the last thing you want to do is mark them up with numbers or characters that will help you to identify who’s who.  But the fact remains that it’s not unusual for the occasional reply to come back nameless.  Here’s a super fun way to keep things in order as they start to come back to you:

An invisible ink pen!

All you have to do is assign numbers to your guests, and then write these numbers in invisible ink on the backs of each reply card.  Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.

By the way, at an extremely low price of $1.33, I instinctively start to doubt its quality.  That price screams “I’m going to arrive dry, but you’ll be out $1.33 and change, so you won’t complain.”  So I checked the reviews.  They’re practically all positive!  So I’m going to take a risk and recommend this, sight unseen.  (That’s typically VERY hard for me.)

Note: the post on Weddingbee is from 2007, so, understandably, the link is no longer relevant.  I found the pen here, however, and the reviews are very much up to snuff.

Found via Big Mouth Bride, source: Weddingbee

xoxo!  – Alison


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WEDDING PROP LOVE | pastel mustaches!!! | Smitten Sticks from Le Papier Studio

Found these little gems on Etsy in a shop called Le Papier Studio.  How ADORABLE are these?!  Designed by the very creative Vana Chupp, they’re a girlified version of what has become quite the popular prop in wedding photography across the country.  Just add a little pastel to anything, and look what you get.  Heck, even mustaches can look feminine!

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RUFFLED WEDDING SHOES | Badgley Mischka | Ruffled, High Heeled Gorgeousness

It’s Badgley Mischka… and I’m in love.   {Continue reading…}

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“THE NEW MONOGAMY” | Wonder What Your Partner Is Thinking? | Also, “The New Wedding Cake!”

Update from the Editor (that’s me!)…

This post has garnered a lot of attention, as one might expect.  It’s quite a digression from what I typically post (well, save for the cuppie-cake aspect).  However, as we plan one of the most exciting and personal days of our lives, we can’t allow ourselves to ignore one very important thing.  How do we – as a couple – define our relationship?  It’s likely the most critical conversation to have with your significant other… whether or not you think you know how s/he feels.

The concept of monogamy is one that affects each and every one of us on a highly personal level, and the very thought that its traditional definition is being threatened can shake us to our cores.  Your comments on the topic have been so deeply thought out and so incredibly serious that I decided to give this post another day of life above the fold.  Let’s keep the conversation going…

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Ok, so yesterday I randomly came upon quite the blog-worthy item.  It has little to do with wedding planning, but it has everything to do with love and relationships, which is of equal importance… some might even say greater importance.  Let’s begin.

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LIGHT UP YOUR WEDDING | Creative ways to decorate your setting with light…

I came down to get some coffee, but before I could open the door, my three-year-old nephew swung it out in my direction.  He looked me dead in the eye, held out a closed fist, and then opened it to release a single doggy bone puzzle piece… which fell at my feet.  No words were expressed.  He then retreated behind the door from whence he came.

Do you think he’s trying to tell me something?

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I love light.  And I adore finding unique and gorgeous ways to bring it into my life.  {Continue reading…}

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VIVIENNE WESTWOOD | {Lady Dragon Heart} | The ultimate wedding shoe for the ultimate wedding photos…

Some of you might remember me tweeting about some special pictures I was going to acquire this weekend.  {Continue reading…}

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS™ | July 16 | A free printable, DIY place cards, DIY pastel glass floral arrangements, honeyed tea spoons, ice cream photo shoot, and my favorite bride of the week!

↑ Love that?  Yeah, me too.  A LOT.  Read on for details...

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