Casa China Blanca, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Shortly before Christmas in 2008, we got a call from a young Canadian photographer named Daniel saying he was going to propose to his girlfriend on Christmas Day. He said his girlfriend, Davina, had always had two crucial priorities for their future wedding day: 1) That they would first elope to Las Vegas and have a bigger wedding later and 2) that Ben Chrisman would be the photographer. Daniel already had plans in place to whisk Davina away to Vegas in January for their elopement. At the time, our schedule was pretty crazy and it was looking difficult to make it to Vegas to photograph the elopement. When we told Daniel this, he said “No, you don’t understand. I have to make this happen.” So we moved some things around, and Ben met Davina and Daniel in Vegas – just the three of them – for their sweet ceremony and portrait session that was just for them. When Ben came back from Vegas, he told me, “You’re really going to like this couple.”

Later in January they went on their honeymoon in Thailand, which was right around the time we were going to Thailand ourselves, for a vacation. As it happened, we ended up in Bangkok together, at the end of their trip and the beginning of ours. We met up and spent an evening soaking up the crazy Bangkok nightlife together. I fell in love with these two immediately. It’s hard not to be completely captivated by Davina’s one-of-a-kind, wide-eyed beauty and her huge, sparkling smile, and Daniel’s kind, gentle heart. Together, they share an insatiable curiosity and a hungry determination to see the world and experience as much of life as possible. They make the most of every day and every minute they have with one another – something that has been hugely inspiring to Ben and me.

Davina and Daniel had always said they wanted to have a bigger wedding a couple of years later, probably in Mexico, but it seemed so far away at the time. After Thailand, we saw more and more of them, and watched as they grew as photographers and as a couple. In the two years since we met them, they have become a force in the world of wedding photography, and have accumulated a devoted following of admirers and friends. We feel incredibly fortunate to be counted among those friends, and to count them among ours. We also seem to have been put on parallel paths. Davina and I both started as writers; and like Davina and Daniel, Ben and I also had our first wedding in Vegas and a bigger wedding later in Mexico (which Davina and Daniel attended).

Fast forward to April of this year. Upon arriving at the villa in Puerto Vallarta where 50 of their closest friends and family members had gathered for a week of celebration, we were greeted with huge hugs by Davina and Daniel. It was hard to believe the wedding was finally here, and we would get to witness the final puzzle piece of their marriage fall into place.

I guess it would be expected that such talented artists like Davina and Daniel would know how to throw the perfect party. But what we weren’t prepared for was just how wonderful all their family and friends are. We were completely overwhelmed by the warmth, kindness and love exhibited by everyone there. Davina and Daniel are very, very loved – fiercely so. And more importantly, they are loved as a couple. Accordingly, there was a plethora of emotion and tears on the wedding day, and we couldn’t help but be affected by it. Their wedding week was one of the most fun and fulfilling weeks of our lives.

Davina and Daniel love to do things their own way, and their wedding was one of the best examples of that. They completely rearranged the normal, traditional layout of a wedding day and structured it around light. The day started with cocktails and hors d’hoeuvres, then speeches, then the ceremony, then dancing. I think their timeline should be the new norm for wedding days! It was perfect seeing everyone get so emotional during the toasts, and then go straight into the ceremony. And literally straight from the ceremony to the dance floor. The energy level stayed high all day, and we were blessed with beautiful sunlight and the kind of magic that Mexico always seems to deliver.

Authored by: Photographed by: Ben & ErinCategory:  WeddingsTag:  destination wedding; sunset weddingDestination:  Puerto Vallarta, MexicoSetting:  Outdoor Wedding; Low-Light WeddingType:  Jewish WeddingVenue:  Casa China Blanca