300 Days: The Perfect Imperfect Caribbean Beach Wedding

What a first week and a half… it was absolutely crazy!

We boarded flight QF7 from Sydney to Dallas on Wednesday the 8th of March. Luckily, our request to upgrade to business class on points was granted, making the 15-hour journey very enjoyable. Brooke even managed to sleep for 10 hours on the flight! I could not, so instead I took full advantage of the silver service from the lovely Qantas staff.

After a long 7-hour layover in Dallas, we arrived in Cancun late at night and managed to find our transfer to our AirBNB in Playa Del Carmen. Our AirBNB was stunning; great value for money, awesome location and a perfect base for our wedding week.

The next day we met our wedding planner to finalise some last minute details. We visited the wedding venue and paid for the flowers (in a way so the florist could avoid paying tax). It was hot, sunny and very windy at the wedding venue, so we became a little concerned about how comfortable it would be on the actual wedding day.

The few days that followed were honestly a happy blur. We were picking people up from the airport, delivering welcome bags to everyone, finalising wedding details and catching up with friends and family that we had not seen in a very long time.

Come Sunday, it was time for the first organised wedding activity – The Welcome Catamaran Sail. To be honest, we were not expecting much but it turned out to be fantastic. After a short bus ride, everyone made it to Puerto Aventuras to board our private catamaran. The crew were professional, but also very fun and entertaining – they even gave us a rose and cracked open a bottle of champagne to celebrate our wedding. Our first stop was a snorkel stop, where everyone seemed to spot turtles and stingrays – apart from me. I thought I was cool by snorkelling away from the main group but ended up missing out – I have learnt my lesson now. We then had a couple hours of sailing and drinking – not always the best combination – but it turned out to be a great day where everyone got to know each other a little better… cocktails on a catamaran, in the middle of the ocean, the sun beating down, with an awesome playlist tends to have that affect!

After the Catamaran sail we all went back to our accommodation to prepare for the hens / stags nights. Brooke had dinner with the girls at Sur Steakhouse followed by pecker toss at our place (apparently, photos will not be shared)! The boys and I dined at Plank followed by a number of drinks and several obligatory tequila shots at The Roof Bar.

The Big Day

Brooke And Stephen Say I Do
Brooke And Stephen Say I Do

Tuesday the 14th of March 2017 was our wedding day. It was also our 5th year anniversary. Brooke and our Mum’s spent the day at our place getting their hair and make-up done, whilst I went over to Dad’s place to have a few drinks and get ready myself.

We decided to do some first look photos before the wedding and after I saw Brooke for the first time, the photographer then told me I had to act as if I have seen Brooke for the first time… three more times, as they wanted to get more shots!

It was forecast to rain up until the evening so we were expecting the worst, but the weather turned out to be amazing. It was overcast, but the clouds looked very dramatic for the photos. It was not too hot or windy and the sea was eerily still. Perfect conditions for a beach wedding!

We had the ceremony on the beach. Brooke and I both wrote our own vows and we struggled to get through them without crying. We even had a drone throughout the ceremony buzzing around the venue like a monster mosquito. We were finally pronounced husband and wife and I got to kiss my beautiful bride.

After the ceremony, we had a cocktail hour with a great Mariachi band playing. During this time however, Brooke and I were busy with another fun photoshoot. Those photo’s better be worth it!

We entered into the reception area to all our friends and family applauding. After an entertaining welcome speech and wonderful toast from our MC (and great friend) Hannah, we started our meals and we finally got to relax. Brooke’s Dad, Mel, gave a very heartfelt yet funny speech about Brooke. Brooke’s Mum, Anne, delivered a beautiful poem that will definitely have a place on a wall in our home whenever we decide to settle down. And my Mum, Lucy, did an awesome job delivering a few words about me. The mains came and went and then I finally stumbled onto the stage to deliver my speech. There was some laughter and some shock, but overall I think it went well.

For the rest of the night we danced like no one was watching, sung like no one was listening and drank like no one was paying. It was a wonderful occasion and we are so glad to have planned it the way we did.

In saying that, there were a lot of little things that did not go our way. Some details were not what we asked for, but in the end it does not matter. It was always going to be difficult planning a destination wedding in Mexico, and we are both very pleased with the end result. It was the perfect imperfect Caribbean beach wedding!

Many years from now when we look back upon our life, love and this day, we will remember that it was not the flowers, the music nor the food that made our day so special; it is the memories of everyone, our family and friends, helping to celebrate us becoming husband and wife that we will cherish most. Having everyone here for our celebration made our wedding truly wonderful and we thank you for sharing in one of our happiest moments.

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