A Once in a lifetime celebration with all of their closest family and friends in the Riviera Maya

Stan and Kristie Celebrated their Destination Wedding in the incredible Riviera Maya, Mexico with 21 of their closest friends and family “We thought a destination wedding was a perfect opportunity to take a once in a lifetime vacation with all of our closest family and friends.   Before you read their story, please enjoy their short wedding video:

How It All Began

destination weddings in Riviera Maya Mexico

Stan and Kristie met in college at Michigan State University in 2010. They both worked at the same place on campus and worked together for almost an entire year before they even became friends! Once they got to know each other, they quickly became best friends and fell in love. Kristie wrote in her vows: “We did not fall in love at first sight, we fell in love at the right time.” Pretty Awesome!!

The Proposal:

Stan had discovered that there was a winter festival going on where Kristie lived. He researched all of the romantic options available to him, horse-drawn carriage rides, ice skating, he figured that he would have no problem popping the question in a romantic setting. Unfortunately the skating rinks were full of kids, and the carriage rides had about 10 other people along for the ride. He tried to get Kristie to take a walk with him on a frozen lake, but right before he was going to ask, Kristie said she was cold and needed to go inside. Stan was getting worried! Later that night, as they were driving to the store for supplies to make chocolate covered strawberries, Stan noticed that the skating rink was empty, and he quickly U turned into the rink. He begged Kristie to come out on the ice with him for just a few minutes and she reluctantly agreed. While on the ice, he told her to pose the other direction for an artistic photo shot, and while she was doing that, he got down on one knee and asked Kristie to marry him. 

Why a Destination Wedding?

destination weddings in Riviera Maya Mexico

A Vacation and Wedding All in One

Kristie’s parents had never been on a tropical getaway before in 29 years of marriage, as well as the fact that her brother had gotten married while in the Navy, and he and his wife had never had a chance to have a real honeymoon. “So we just gave them an excuse to take the vacation that they deserved!” Kristie said. 

destination weddings in the Riviera Maya Mexico

A Great Option For Their Long Distance Guests

Many of Kristie’s extended family live in Vancouver, Canada, almost 2,000 miles away, so traveling to Mexico, to attend the wedding was not only more affordable than coming to the wedding locally, but was also a great vacation for them as well. Many were able to attend that she hadn’t seen in years. 

Celebrating for a week instead of a Day

Stan and Kristie also loved the idea of enjoying a more intimate celebration of their wedding for an entire week, instead of celebrating for only a day. I find that many destination wedding couples share this sentiment when choosing a destination wedding. 


Pulling It All Together

Once Stan and Krisite decided on having a destination wedding, they began to do their research. But they soon realized that it was an overwhelming process, and as Kristie says: “We were completely lost and had hit almost one too many road blocks “ and were considering giving up on the idea. Then Kristie discovered Tami Santini, the owner and lead Destination Wedding Designer of Paradise Getaways. In Kristie’s words: “Tami made the process of booking accommodations at the resort so easy. She helped us with all of the logistics of the actual wedding part and made sure the wedding coordinator at the resort had all of the information that they needed. “

A Gorgeous Dress:

Kristie's dress was specially designed as a destination wedding gown.  It was mostly made of chiffon and had little tule underneath, so that it was very, very lightweight and she could move easily in it.  The sweetheart neck was lined in crystal rhinestones as was the lace up back.  Kristie said "The rhinestones caught so much sunlight,  It was the MOST perfect dress for a destination wedding."

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destination wedding dress
destination wedding dress

The Magic Room

Kristie purchased her wedding dress at Becker's Bridal in Fowler, MI. Kristie says. "They are a family owned shop and have been in the wedding dress business since 1934. One really cool part about getting my dress from Becker's was that they have this famous room lined in mirrors called The Magic Room.You can see yourself in your perfect dress to infinity! It was a really neat experience. This photo shows Kristie in the Magic Room.

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The Theme: Gold Wedding

Kristie chose the Gold Wedding package at the Excellence Riviera Cancun, because it included so many great amenities at a reasonable price. The package gave them a lot of freedom when it came to picking the décor. They also wanted to have a resort that didn’t churn out multiple weddings all day. They wanted their wedding to be unique and special. 

The Décor:

Kristie and her mom made chair ribbons using blue ribbon and starfishes that the staff at Excellence set up on the ceremony chairs and then moved and set up again at the reception! The aisle was lined with conch shells and starfish. 

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Destination Weddings in the Riviera Maya

The Colors:

Kristie and Stan chose a bright coral "tropical punch" color for her bridesmaid's dresses, and also for the groomsmen's ties.  They also added a bright, tropical aqua blue as the complementary color.  I think the colors were phenomenal, and worked beautifully together. Stan wore the blue color for his tie, as well as a sand colored tux that all of the groomsmen wore as well.  

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destination weddings in Cancun

The Bouquet

Kristie said. “We chose tropical flowers for my bouquet that they were able to match perfectly to the bright punch color of my bridesmaid’s dresses and even the ribbon they wrapped it with was the exact blue color of Stan’s tie and our chair ribbons. 

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destination wedding bouquets
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The Ceremony: Simple and Beautiful

Kristie says, “Our ceremony was beautiful. It was so simple and when you have the ocean as the backdrop you really don’t need much more than that.” Kristie’s highlight was when she and Stan shared their vows to each other. The sun was perfectly shining on them and there was a Caribbean breeze that kept them cool while rustling through the papers in their hands. 

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destination weddings in the Riviera Maya Mexico
destination weddings in the Riviera Maya Mexico
destination weddings in the Riviera Maya Mexico
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The Reception: Relaxed and Spontaneous

Kristie says: Our reception was a lot of fun, it was very relaxed and spontaneous, which is exactly what we were going for. During the first dance, Kristie picked the Brad Pasley song, “Then” and when it came on, it made Stan cry, because that was the song he had hoped would be their first dance. It stormed during the reception, so they moved the reception off of the beach and into an open air foyer. Kristie said “We had a spectacular lightning back drop, and once it rained, a cool breeze flowed throughout the night."

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destination wedding reception decor
destination wedding reception decor
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The Greatest Memory:

Kristie and Stan’s greatest memory of having their destination wedding was the indescribable feeling of excitement and joy they got when they arrived at the resort and opened the door to their room for the first time. Kristie said “ We were so excited and couldn’t believe it was real life! We were literally jumping up and down. When we walked in the room, there was a bucket of champagne, a beautiful flower arrangement, flowers on the bed, fresh fruit, and a welcome letter addressed to the future “Mr. and Mrs. Baugh”. We were just so overwhelmed by how beautiful the resort was, how beautiful the room was, how nice the staff were and the fact that we would be getting married in this amazing place!"

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A Special Salute to Stan and Kristie

I want to congratulate Stan and Kristie on their wonderful destination wedding.  I pray that God will bless them with a successful, healthy, and prosperous life together. 


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Special Thanks to All of the Vendors Who Helped Make Stan and Kristie’s Special Day Possible:

1. Photographer: Jena Mc Shane, McShane Photography 

2. Resort Photos and Video, Beach Wedding Studio
2. Tami Santini: Destination Wedding Designer, Paradise Getaways
3. The Wedding Staff at Excellence Riviera Cancun

Are You Thinking About A Destination Wedding?

If you are considering having a destination wedding, then you will want to watch my free video report on the 4 insider secrets to having a destination wedding or honeymoon without the stress or overwhelm.  Just answer a quick question below to start watching!



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