A Beach Destination Wedding in Shades of Blue in Mexico

Olivia and Peter


Olivia and Peter were watching the sun dip into the Caribbean when he mused, "This would be a beautiful place to get married." Two years later, he proposed during another getaway to Mexico's Riviera Maya, and the couple decided to lure their friends and family down to Tulum, the spot that had jump-started their wedding visions.

The pair wanted to host an intimate fete with a house party feel. But for nearly all of their guests, Tulum was unknown territory. To help everyone get to know their favorite beach town, they arranged a five-day event with nightly cocktail parties and nearby activities, such as exploring the clifftop Mayan ruins.

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The Location


And the boutique hotel Be Tulum was the perfect wedding spot for Olivia and Petere. They loved its bohemian decor -- a mix of Eames chairs and hammocks, marble and palm fronds -- and that the entire venue could accommodate most of their 48 guests. (Another bonus: The property has both air conditioning and steady electricity, rare amenities in this village.)

The hotel keeps this vintage trunk at the ready for guests. It's a trove of lounging essentials, such as paperback novels, sunscreen, and inflatable floats.

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Welcome Gifts

Mel & Co.

The bride bought bright mesh totes at local markets, then filled them with tequila, bottle openers, and personalized booklets suggesting Tulum must-sees.

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Her Look


Bright lipstick is one of Olivia's everyday style signatures. While she kept her makeup palette soft for the ceremony, she applied a hibiscus-red hue for the photo session that followed.

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The Procession


Peter, a Britpop fan, was determined to play an acoustic cover of the Zombies song "This Will Be Our Year" as processional music. Shortly before the wedding, he pounced on a folk version sung by Rose Melberg. "When he found it, it was like hitting the jackpot," says Olivia.

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The Vows


The pair made their promises at the water's edge, with Olivia holding a bouquet of white peonies. "Once I started saying the words, I had to do an impromptu little dance to keep from crying," Peter recalls.

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Post-Ceremony Entertainment


A mariachi ensemble entertained guests while the bride and groom took postceremony photos.

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Just Married


After their recessional to "This Will Be Our Year" by the Zombies, Olivia and Peter shared their first moments together as Mr. and Mrs. with a surfside stroll.

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An Unplanned Guest


While the couple were having their pictures taken, a pup they recognized from previous visits ran up to greet them. "The beach dogs are a big part of what makes Tulum so awesome," Olivia explains. "We're dog lovers, so we thought it would be nice to include her [in the shot]."

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The Reception


Olivia made sure that shades of blue, Peter's favorite color, were worked into the decor. To create minimalist flower vases, her planners dipped glass bottles in white paint and wrapped twine around the necks.

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Festive Settings


Finding plain wood maracas proved to be a challenge -- so Olivia's planners dipped decorated rattles in paint thinner to reveal the natural finish.

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Local Cuisine


Dinner began with a sampling of ceviche, Be Tulum's signature dish, seasoned with cilantro and chiles.

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Local Props


Vibrantly colored sombreros, picked up in local markets, became fun props for the photo station.

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The Cake


Peter and Olivia, who changed into a Marc Jacobs dress later in the evening, cut their wedding cake in a hurry, since it was languishing in the heat. "As soon as they took it out, it just melted away," says Olivia. "In hindsight, I wish we had done individual cakes or flan instead."

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Guests wrote notes on slips of paper and stuffed them into a pinata, which the newlyweds plan to smash open on their fifth anniversary.

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Location and Catering: Be Tulum

Event Planning and Design: Alison Events

Flowers, Rentals, and Lighting: Planner 1 Events

Stationery: Sesame Letterpress (invitations); Olive-Route Press (day-of paper goods)

Photography: Mel Barlow and Allan Zepeda for Mel & Co.

Bride's Gown: 3.1 Phillip Lim

Cocktail Music: Mariachi Alma de Mexico

DJ: Plug In Audiovisual

Officiant: Mariana O. Park

Groom's Attire: suit, J.Crew; tie, The Hill-Side; shoes, Florsheim by Duckie Brown

Makeup: Nam Vo

Transportation: Amstar

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