Nizuc Resort & Spa, Cancun, Mexico

There was no question it would be a destination wedding. But choosing that destination became its own adventure for this New York couple. On a trip to Italy, Barbie and Jonathan began to envision themselves getting married in Capri and had their coordinator Paula begin contacting venues there. Shortly after that trip, they attended a wedding in Barcelona and decided it would be amazing to get married at a castle there.

“Turks and Caicos, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Anguilla and Bermuda were the other places we drove Paula crazy with as well,” Barbie said. “After giving it a lot of thought, we realized it would’ve been silly not to get married in Mexico which is where Jonathan and I fell in love, not to mention our favorite country, culture and food.”

On a visit to Cancun to sign the contract for their wedding venue, Barbie and Jonathan stopped into a different hotel, Nizuc, to take a look, as it was the new hotel in town and had recently been featured in Vogue. “As soon as we walked into the modern Zen lobby we instantly fell in love,” Barbie said. “It had everything we wanted for our wedding weekend and to also offer our guests.” They told Nizuc right there on the spot that they were getting married there, and to go ahead and reserve their date.

Destination weddings are really just vacations with a wedding as the main event, and Barbie and Jonathan made the most of their extra time with their family and friends, hosting sunset cocktails, a catamaran boat day for Barbie’s birthday, a rehearsal dinner, and a Mayan beach ceremony. The Mayan ceremony was performed by shamans and remains one of Barbie and Jonathan’s favorite memories.

“Just looking around and seeing our smiling family and closest friends all dressed in white with the sun setting – it was a surreal moment I will never ever forget. I’m literally crying from just thinking about it.  The shamans explained that all of our loved ones had formed a circle around us to trap all of the love inside and surround us with it.”

Rain on the main wedding day pushed their ceremony under cover, which only made the closeness and intimacy of the ceremony that much more palpable. Barbie and Jonathan went with the flow and smiled through it all. The obvious happiness in their ceremony photos proves that nothing was going to put a blemish on their day. To cap it all off, the reception was a blast of raucous dancing and celebration, fueled by love and margaritas.

Some background for all the brides out there who are undoubtedly drooling over Barbie’s wedding wardrobe (as I have been since first seeing these photos): Barbie has worked in the fashion industry for the past five years, so she has formed some close connections with designers and vendors. Her go-to wedding designer was ALEXIS, based in Miami. Alexis created almost every one of Barbie’s wedding ensembles except for the main wedding gown, which Barbie designed herself and worked with a New York designer to bring to life.

Barbie’s amazing side braid from the Mayan ceremony (I’ve never seen anything like it!) was created by her Playa del Carmen hairstylist Alexandre Corbanezi. “The braid was so much fun! All the flower girls were freaking out because they thought I was Elsa from Frozen,” Barbie said. “I knew I wanted to do a side braid for the rehearsal dinner, but Alex really did such an awesome job. A lot of the inspiration pictures I showed him were just messy side braids and he basically came up with that one. He’s so talented!” 

One last note, because it must be said. Although Barbie and Jonathan are some of the most physically beautiful people we’ve ever met, they are equally as beautiful on the inside. Ben and I met them at another Mexico wedding just two months before their own, when Barbie was a bridesmaid in Regina and Brandon’s Rosewood Mayakoba wedding.  We were instantly under the spell of their sweet smiles, kindness and warmth. Fortunately for us, they chose Chrisman Studios for their wedding photos, and now we get to show these two wonderful people off to the world.