Jacqueline and Chris
DJ | DJ Alexis Alanis
Jacqueline and Chris
DJ | DJ Alexis Alanis
Generally we wanted our wedding to be classically beautiful and fun, as well as inspired by the beach and ocean throughout, without the beach theme being too in your face. For colors, we used a lot of dusty blues, greys, white and seafoam. We did want to incorporate some cultural flavor as well. I (Jackie) grew up in San Diego, and Mexican food was always my favorite, so we had all Mexican food stations and desserts.
We also incorporated Mexican culture into the reception gifts for our guests. We wanted them to be representative of us, as well as our beautiful destination wedding location of Cabo, Mexico. And we wanted to represent the location from both a beach and cultural perspective. So we had special blown glass hearts in sea glass colors hand made in Guadalajara. (Thanks Bonnie for your help with idea and getting them made). We had seen many blown glass hearts hanging in trees and windows in Mexico, and Bonnie taught us that it is a Mexican tradition and they are a sign of friendship and hospitality. At the same time, we love to collect Christmas ornaments from every country we visit, so we can be reminded of our precious memories from each trip every year when we decorate the tree. So, especially since we got married in December, we thought these glass blown hearts were a perfect mix of inspiration from us, the beach, and Mexican culture.
We completely customized our ceremony. We had a dear friend officiate, personalized how we walked down the aisle (explained further in question 7), picked out all of our own readings and had our brothers and matron of honor read them, and wrote our own vows together as well. We really enjoyed choosing it all together, and loved how it turned out.
We also personalized our welcome gifts and reception gifts. For the reception gifts we wanted it to be representative of us, as well as the culture of Mexico, to represent our destination location of Cabo. So we decided to have special blown glass hearts made in sea glass colors (Thanks Bonnie for your help with idea and getting them made). We had seen blown glass hearts hanging in trees and windows in Mexico, and Bonnie taught us that they are a Mexican tradition and sign of friendship and hospitality. At the same time, we love to collect Christmas ornaments from every country we visit, so we can be reminded of our precious memories from each trip every year when we decorate the tree. So, especially since we got married in December, we thought these glass blown hearts were a perfect mix of inspiration from us, the beach, and Mexican culture.
For the welcome bags we wanted them to include practical things people would actually want and use, as well as be cute, thoughtful and customized in every way. So we included personalized koozies, sunblock, chapstick, his and hers favorite RX bar snacks, tequila, a hangover kit with Advil, antacids and emergen-C, welcome letter and more.
I wore an Augusta Jones organza strapless drop waist/mermaid dress. It was one of the first dresses I tried on, at the first store I went to, and I just fell in love with it. For my veil, I had it custom made from my dress tailor, actually the day before I left for Cabo. I originally wasn’t going to have one, but am so glad I did. I and just loved it! I bought my pearl drop earring in Hawaii a couple weeks before the wedding on our pre-moon (we did a pre-moon instead of honeymoon due to my work schedule), which made them feel extra special.
One other piece to note was that my sister bought me a special heart shaped urn necklace pendant in my birth stone, so a part of my dad could be with me on our special day, and we attached it to my bouquet. For Chris, he had a suit custom made for him in a handsome blue grey. We had never seen a suit quite that color, and I was originally skeptical from just the swatch of fabric, but it turned out amazing!!! We both really loved it, and he looked amazing in it!
We actually met in Las Vegas, of all places. So it seems, what happens in Vegas, does not always stay in Vegas. It was Chris’s brother’s bachelor party, and my (Jackie’s) good friend Nicole’s bachelorette party. We were at the Cosmopolitan pool party, and both saw each other from afar, and luckily our groups meshed well, so we spent the whole day together. At the time I (Jackie) lived in Los Angeles, and Chris lived in Chicago, so we never really expected to see each other again. But as fate should have it, a couple months later I (Jackie) had to go to Chicago for work, at the same time as my friend Sara (who was also there in Vegas that day). And she played a perfect match maker, and asked me to come in with her the weekend early so we could see Chicago, and that that tall and handsome guy Chris could show us around. Well, we really hit it off that week, and Chris made plans to visit me in LA for a Spartan run. We did distance for a while until I moved to Chicago, and the rest is history!
As for the proposal, Chris knew how much I love the ocean, and so he took me back to Hermosa Beach, where I lived before moving to Chicago, and he proposed to me there in our hotel overlooking the beach and pier before our morning run. Was very intimate and special, just the two of us.
We couldn’t decide, so picked 3 moments. One is how we walked down the aisle. My (Jackie’s) father passed away 7 years ago, so he could not walk me down the aisle. So instead we wanted to do something special that represented just us, as two grown adults, who love and chose each other on our own. We didn’t feel I should be given away, instead we wanted to show that we chose each other. So I walked down the aisle alone, and then stopped in the middle. Then Chris walked down from the other end to join me in the middle, took my hand, and we walked the rest of the way down the aisle together. We really loved this idea, and felt it was symbolic of us choose to walk this life together.
The second moment we really looked forward to was our vows. We wrote them together, and each repeated the same vows, as we felt it was important to make the same promises to each other. The third very special moment was in honor of my father, Mark Brabyn, who passed away. In place of the father-daughter dance, my sister sang a song from “The Wedding Singer.” This was meaningful because watching movies was a big part of our growing up, and my dad loved watching them with us every week. This was one movie we had loved and watched dozens of times together. While I knew about the song, I did not know her plan for after the song. Once it was finished, she then played a recording of my Dad’s voice saying to me, “I loved the experience of being your father, and I wouldn’t change anything for the world.” It was very emotional and special, and I think my Dad would have really loved it.
Planning a destination wedding is hard, but so worth it! One of my favorite things was that we got to actually spend quality time with everyone that came, instead of feeling rushed. We also loved seeing true friendships made amongst guests who had never met each other before, and in some cases lived across the country from one another. I don’t think those bonds would have been made quite so well at just a reception, but having a whole weekend together really helped.
Secondly, I would say, especially for a destination wedding in a country where you don’t speak the language, it was very helpful to have a planner to help with securing great vendors etc. I loved my planner, and especially on the day of the wedding, having her removed a lot of stress, enabling me to truly enjoy the day.
Thirdly, I would say, while you know all the little details of your wedding, your guests don’t, so even if something doesn’t go quite as planned, likely nobody will notice, so try not to sweat it and just enjoy. And finally, I was given this tip, and I thought it was really helpful. On the day of your wedding, everything goes by so quickly. Make sure to take a minute with your new husband/wife on your own to step aside and just sit and purposefully take it all in and cherish the moment together.