“I said “Yes” to Tyler on a beach in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, so it only seemed natural that we say “I Do” with our toes in the sand. After Tyler and I got engaged, we started researching local venues in Minnesota and also places in Mexico. After price comparing, we quickly realized several venues back home were more expensive than having our wedding in a tropical paradise. Being that Tyler and I both love traveling, the thought of a destination wedding was sounding like the perfect idea after all.

It didn’t take us long to decide that we wanted to continue our theme of getting engaged on the beach, to getting married on the beach.
A destination wedding suited our love of travel and desire for a more laid back wedding experience. We chose to have our wedding in Playa del Carmen, Mexico at the incredible Azul The Fives resort. Tyler and I have been to Mexico several times, and fell in love with the crystal blue waters, the food, the people and the culture and knew it would be a wonderful place to tie the knot.

We also wanted to share the experience of a vacation and wedding week with our families and friends. I would hear brides say how their wedding day went by too fast and they wished it had lasted longer. With a destination wedding, we were able to turn those few precious hours with your guests into one memorable week.

The resort had a phenomenal team of event coordinators and staff that took care of every detail and more for our wedding day. It was such a relief not having to worry about the little things the day of our wedding and knowing our guests could relax and enjoy the day as well.

Being able to have our photographers with us was the best decision we made (next to having a destination wedding). Xsperience Photography has such a unique and talented way of capturing the special moments, emotions and magic of not only our day, but our week. Even though our “big day” is over, we are fortunate to be able to look back and relive those moments through the beautiful story they captured for us.

There truly was something magical about walking barefoot down the aisle in the sand next to the ocean, with the waves and palm trees swaying in the breeze as we said our vows. We dined and danced the night away on the beach, under the palm trees and stars, surrounded by love and wouldn’t have had it any other way. It was a day we will cherish for all time.” – Erin & Tyler

What were some special traditions you incorporated into your wedding day? 

“The day I found my wedding dress, I knew I wanted to incorporate some elements of “something old” from both of my grandmothers (both of whom, have passed away). I was able to use the buttons from one of my grandmother’s wedding dress to replace my buttons on my dress. I also used a beautiful handkerchief of my grandmothers that had pink peony flowers on it, which always remind me of her.

All of our bouquets and boutonnieres were made by Tyler’s grandmother and was especially sentimental because she was not able to make the trip to Mexico. Having the beautiful flowers she arranged made it feel like a part of her was there with us.

When we started talking about our wedding day photos, Tyler and I had a conversation on “the first look”, and to my surprise, Tyler wanted his first look to be me walking down the aisle. We both thought this moment of seeing each other before we entered into our marriage would be more meaningful and special to us this way. It was a moment that we will never forget. There was much emotion and anticipation leading up to seeing the each other, that when the time came to walk down the aisle it felt so surreal.

Music was another important aspect of our wedding day to us. We knew we wanted Tyler’s mom to sing and play ukulele for our ceremony. Tyler has a very musical family and it is a way that we all have been able to connect and create special memories together. Having not only his mom, but also both of his sisters, sing and perform on our wedding day was very sentimental and something we will always cherish. We chose very specific songs that reflected our relationship during our ceremony and throughout the evening into our reception. We created a unique play list of all of our favorite genres, artists and songs for the ultimate beach party.

For our guests, we wanted everyone to be able to experience one of our favorite activities when we travel to tropical destinations, a catamaran ride. We rented a private catamaran charter for all of our guests and sailed to Isle Mujeres to explore the island and sailed back. It was so special being able to share that experience with our guests.

The morning of our wedding, my sister (who was my maid of honor) presented me with a scrapbook of letters from my mom, bridesmaids and other very special women in my life. They had all written me unique letters of memories shared and advice on love and marriage. It was a wonderful surprise and so special to me! We chose to write each other a letter on the morning of our wedding day and sealed our messages in a bottle to read on our one year anniversary.

Our wedding day and anniversary is Cinco de Mayo, which we chose to serve as a reminder of where we were married.

So many times throughout our wedding day, we would find ourselves asking each other if this day was a dream. There would be moments we would look around us and be in complete awe of how we managed to get our loved ones, family members and closest friends all together in one place, which just so happened to be in a tropical paradise. It was one of the most special experiences we have ever had and we would re-live the day over and over again.”

Photographer: Xsperience Photography / Venue: The Fives Azul Beach Resort, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico /  Dress: Posh Bridal Couture Wayzata Minnesota / Invites: Morgan Philippi / HMUA: Vassa Spa, Azul the Fives / Rings: J.F. Kruse Jewelers / Suits: Knight’s Chamber Clothier / Travel Agent | Hillary Ogle: Paradise Wedding and Travel /

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