A Romantic Oceanfront Wedding in Los Cabos, Mexico
Shayla, a beauty influencer and entrepreneur, and Lester, an industrial engineer, wanted guests to feel like they were on a tropical vacation at their celebration, which was filled with "lots of flowers, candles, and a few surprises."
Shayla remembers the exact moment when she met her future husband, down to his attire. The beauty influencer and entrepreneur was wrapping up an appointment in downtown Los Angeles, California, when she spotted Lester, an industrial engineer, in a red Polo shirt and the "freshest haircut" as he chatted with a colleague. Lester recalls looking up and immediately doing a double-take when he first saw her. They exchanged numbers that day after naturally crossing paths, but it took nearly two years to turn that lasting first impression into love. After visiting Los Angeles again for work, Lester reconnected with Shayla in person over a date, and the rest is history.
Lester had a thought-out plan when he prepared to ask for Shayla's hand in marriage at her uncle's house in December of 2019. He coordinated with her family, including the bride's father and sister, to ensure there would be several close family members in attendance when he gave a speech (to Shayla's surprise). He began by sharing his appreciation for her loved ones and then shifted his attention to Shayla as he expressed his devotion to her. Shayla says that "Les creased his sneakers without hesitation" as he got down on one knee, and she offered a happy and tearful yes to his proposal.
Tying the knot at Solaz in Los Cabos, Mexico, was a no brainer for the couple, as the destination venue was already one of their favorite vacation spots because of the great service, spacious layout, and stunning views of the ocean. At the end of the day, though, Shayla and Lester also wanted their celebration to look and feel romantic and personal to create an unforgettable experience for their 115 guests. They worked with Lauren Lemke of Amy Abbott Events to feature everything from salsa dancing and live saxophone performances to décor brimming with lush florals and soft candlelight for their big day. On April 16, 2021, exactly four years after they first met, Shayla and Lester's wedding vision came to life perfectly as they began their new chapter together as husband and wife.
Lauren Lemke of Amy Abbott Events helped Shayla and Lester host a full week of events in addition to their big day, which included personalized favors, bachelor and bachelorette parties on a yacht, and a welcome party. "They were so professional and experts at wedding planning," the bride says. "I was so pleased at how smooth the entire week was."
The couple designed their nuptials with their vision in mind, which included a few "nontraditional" touches—like opting not to have bridesmaids or groomsmen. The bride's advice for couple's planning their weddings? "Do what you want to do, and not what your friends and family want," she explains. "Not having a bridal party was the best decision I could have made, and I'm glad I followed my gut. This is your day, it's okay to not be traditional."
Shayla created her custom Leah Da Gloria wedding dress alongside the designer on Zoom. Leah's sketch came to life in the form of a handmade mermaid-style gown with beading, an overskirt, and detachable shoulder straps.
Dressed to the Nines
Breathtaking First Look
"We both felt excited to have that moment before we walked down the aisle," Shayla says of their first look, which took place between two walls that framed the "Sea of Cortez" at Solaz. "A little emotional, but mainly excited."
Set the Scene
While the bride and groom hosted their ceremony right on the beach, they added a white platform on top of the sand to make their guests as comfortable as possible.
Welcome for the Guests
The couple's loved ones faced the white flower- and greenery-filled altar (the largest ever built in Los Cabos) by Bella Flora Los Cabos during the "unplugged ceremony," free of phones and cameras.
Tears of Joy
Shayla held onto her cascading bouquet filled with white roses, orchids, and green leaves in one hand and her father's arm in the other as he walked her down the aisle (and cried most of the way, the bride shares).
Two Become One
The couple exchanged personal vows in their ceremony officiated by the bride's cousin. The moment Shayla and Lester said "I do" was surreal for the pair, as they explained that it gave them the space to share "a truly honest answer and commitment in just two words."
Husband and Wife
Los Mosquitos, a musical trio, sang "All of Me" by John Legend live as the couple tied the knot.
One of the couple's favorite parts of their venue? The large event deck, which was partially tented for more privacy.
Take Your Seats
Guests dressed in light yellow, olive green, blue, pink, nude, tan, and blush tones—to match the couple's pastel color palette—found their way to their seats with the help of a mirrored seating chart surrounded by flowers and candles.
Simple and Sophisticated
The couple decked out their space with crisp, white details, including curtains that were washed in pink during the sunset.
Time to Eat
In addition to personalized menus, a shot of tequila with lime awaited each of their loved ones at their place settings.
The Little Things
White flowers and mini candles completed the tabletops.
A large white flower and greenery garland accented the newlyweds' table.
Love Is in the Air
Shayla took off the overskirt and straps on her wedding dress during the party. She and Lester changed into sleek sneakers, too: The bride wore custom, crystal Jordan Ones and the groom sported Off-White Jordans. They showed off their footwear while being introduced as a married couple at the reception to T.I.'s "Bring Em Out."
Guests, along with the bride and groom, got a 15-minute salsa lesson from Cabo Inside professional dancers during the reception, which Shayla describes as "fun, and also a workout."
Saxophone player David Cantoni performed "Back at One" by Brian McKnight as the pair shared their first dance. "Before the dance was over, the floor was covered with fog and fireworks went off," Shayla adds.
The couple topped their three-tier floral cake (two tiers of red velvet and one tier of vanilla) with vanilla ice cream.
Lester and Shayla capped off the night with a light show as DJ Alex Events played "Love on Top" by Beyoncé in the background. "One of my favorite moments was watching the fireworks go off as my now-wife jumped in joy, and all I could do was smile," Lester recalls.
Photography, Julieta Amezcua
Wedding Planning and Event Design, Lauren Lemke of Amy Abbott Events
Videography, Elysium Productions
Florist, Lucy of Bella Flora Los Cabos
Paper Products, Bells & Whistles
Bride's Gown and Veil, Leah Da Gloria
Shoes, Amina Muaddi
Hair, Keeva Clark
Makeup, Steven Tabimba
Groom's Attire, Hugo Boss; Louis Vuitton
Ceremony Music, Los Mosquitos
Reception Music, DJ Alex Events; David Cantoni
Salsa Dancers, Cabo Inside
Catering and Cake, Solaz
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