Molly and Nathan's Destination Wedding in Punta Mita
Molly Bechert and Nathan Kipp met online, but when it came to tying the knot, they wanted something offline. They opted for a destination wedding in laid-back Punta Mita, Mexico. Guests from all over joined the Brooklyn-based couple for a weekend of fun in the sun, spending lots of time together, and exploring the area. Molly and Nate celebrated their union on December 7, 2013, with an outdoor ceremony at Casa China Blanca and fiesta south of the border.
The Stationery Suite
Ladyfingers Letterpress masterminded the bespoke stationery suite. The invitation was an oversized poster featuring a map of Mexico on one side and a letterpressed request for guests to "fly away with us to Mexico!" for the marriage ceremony and the "cocktails, dinner, cigars, hoopla, and dance-offs" to follow.
A coral card read, "Take a vacation, soak in the sun, relax by the pool, swim and have fun. We'll sip margaritas, won't it be great? Come south of the border with Molly and Nate!" That card and an RSVP card were tucked inside a lemon yellow envelope. That collection, along with a folded itinerary outlining the weekend's activities, were in turn gathered into a shimmery gold envelope lined with a pink-and-mint patterned paper.
Welcome to Mexico
Molly and Nate wanted to create a vacation experience for their guests and make them feel truly welcomed. They hosted a few prewedding events, including an all-day catamaran ride to the Marieta Islands for some whale watching. They also treated and greeted guests with festive welcome bags.
Inside each bag was a collection of items sourced by the bride, such as an oversized Turkish towel wrapped in custom ribbon that read "La Playa." Small muslin bags rubber-stamped with various Spanish sayings were also included. The "El Sol" muslin pouch held sunscreen, aloe, and custom "Molly and Nate" lip balm. The "Aye Dios Mio" housed a first-aid kit of Band-Aids, ibuprofen, and antacids. Lastly, there was a "Cerveza" bag with two bottles of Corona and a bottle opener.
The bridesmaids wore aqua BCBG gowns.
The Bridal Bouquet
Molly carried a bouquet of ranunculus, roses, craspedia, and succulents, in the day's color palette of mint green, pale pink, and deep yellow.
Molly adorned her updo with a blush-pink fabric flower, sequin, and lace headpiece from Kleinfeld Bridal, where she also found her drop earrings.
Working with Fossil Letterpress, Molly customized letterpressed boxes to hold the accordion-style programs.
Bear Prints screen-printed hankies with a favorite Maya Angelou quote chosen by the bride. The bride's mom folded and pressed them, and then tucked them into each program box, which had a thank-you from the couple on the back. "They were actually used much more than I thought they'd be," Molly says. "So I'm glad we took the time to create them."
A Ceremony Backdrop
A twist on an altar was created using a dresser, arched window frame, crystal chandelier, simple vases of flowers, a couple of classic romance novels (like Romeo and Juliet), and an iron cross.
Small wood boxes of colorful blooms and succulents hung from shepherd's hooks along the aisle.
To Have and to Hold
Though Molly only had her sister, sister-in-law, and best friend in her bridal party, she wanted to honor her other close friends. She dubbed her pals her "Something Blue," and gifted the girls necklaces and her guy friend monogrammed (navy) cufflinks. She also asked them to don something blue on the big day. A special row at the ceremony was set aside for them to sit together, and each pal was identified with a fun fact or memory in the ceremony program.
The Bride's Entrance
Molly walked down the aisle, which had been decorated with a pattern of ivory petals, on the arm of her father.
The minister began the ceremony with an explanation of the ring-warming tradition. The wedding rings were then circulated among the 60 guests so each could spend a special moment imparting a wish or prayer for the couple upon them.
The late-afternoon service, which took place at Casa China Blanca overlooking Banderas Bay, included readings ("The Sun Never Says" by Hafiz and a piece based on the "Tao Te Ching" by Lao Tzu) and songs (Adele's version of "Make You Feel My Love" and "Ave Maria"). Elizabeth Rivera, a friend and opera vocalist, performed the musical additions. The latter song was incorporated into the ceremony to honor both sets of parents, who have been married for nearly four decades.
In lieu of gifts to each other, Molly and Nate spent time writing their own vows. "I truly didn't know they'd elicit such emotional reactions from our guests," Molly says. "Our minister, whom we'd not met until that day, even began to cry and had to take a moment to compose herself. The vows are my favorite memory and better than any gift we could have given each other."
Modern lounge furniture, wood crate coffee tables, and vintage-inspired chandeliers were set up to the side of the pool.
The First Dance
The newlyweds took a spin on the dance floor to "Here You Are" by the Greencards. "No one's ever heard of it, but the lyrics are beautiful," Molly says.
The Reception Tables
Rustic, whimsical, and vintage elements all interacted on the long wood tables, where guests dined family-style under the open sky. Mint green fabric runners ran down the center of each table, with simple blooms adding a pop of color. Scallop-edged round table number cards were attached to the necks of glass water bottles.
The Place Settings
With a loose style principle of old meets new (to juxtapose the venue's modern look with some softness and vintage touches), calligraphed paper doilies and blush pink menus topped each dinner napkin.
Guests dined on a six-course meal with wine pairings created by Plush Catering. The Spanish-tinged feast began with a Mexican cheese board and ended with a dessert trio in lieu of traditional wedding cake.
Later in the night, after dancing, guests enjoyed cigar-rolling, churros, and a dip in the pool.
Photography: Jillian Mitchell Photography
Location: Casa China Blanca
Event Coordination, Design, Flowers, and Day-Of Paper Goods: The Dazzling Details
Catering: Plush Catering
Videography: Mango Tree Project
Officiant: Tamara Bradley with Puerto Vallarta Wedding Officiants
Stationery and Calligraphy: Ladyfingers Letterpress
Hair and Makeup: Sebastian Salon
Hotel and Welcome Dinner: The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort
Chivari Chair Rental: MAC Events