Michel and Matt’s Beachfront Mexico Wedding

As a wedding photographer, Michel saw first-hand how easy it is to get carried away when planning a wedding. When she and Matt started planning their own nuptials, they both agreed that they wanted to keep the focus on their love for each other. An intimate, destination in Mexico allowed them to do just that.

On a little stretch of beach they had discovered a few years earlier, with sand between their toes and their family and friends lovingly encircling them, the couple exchanged their vows in beautiful and heartfelt ceremony. It was – in the words of the bride – a perfect little’ lovefest!’

Special thanks to Jasmine of Let’s Frolic Together for sharing all that love with us!

mexico intimate wedding


Michel, 37 & Matt, 40

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Wedding Date: April 24, 2014

Number of Guests: 24 including us

Wedding Cost: ~ $18,000   

Wedding Ceremony Location: Las Caletas

Wedding Reception Location: Las Caletas

Puerto Vallarta Puerto Vallarta postcard old boat in Puerto Vallarta black and white bride portrait wedding thank you card bride and groom climbing stone stairs bride and groom footprints in the sand

Why did you have an intimate wedding? 

Matt and I both believed in just having our closest friends and family with us on our day, mostly because I know how easy things can get carried away when it comes to planning a wedding. I didn’t want any of the added stress of having a ‘ginormous’ guest list and we didn’t want to get carried away with the things that don’t matter. We wanted to instead focus our day on us, love, and the awesome people that came all that way to celebrate with us.

bride in floral robe wedding dress hanging on resort balcony mint green wedding shoes bride getting her dress on groomsmen getting ready groom portrait

What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

We didn’t really face many challenges when it came to keeping the wedding small; instead, the issues fell around planning a wedding away from home. Part of the reason we were able to plan a small wedding was that we chose to do a destination wedding. That way, the most important people in our lives chose to come and we were able to really focus on what was important to us – our small little lovefest!

bride's with bridesmaids in green

groomsmen in white

bridal party portrait

bride and groom excited to see each other

bride and groom portrait in Mexico

Black and white weddingportrait

bride and groom waking on the beach

bride and groom portrait by the ocean

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

It wasn’t really, not for us. I understand that sometimes people feel obligated to invite friends and feel pressure from parents to invite distant family members, but our family understood what we wanted. We didn’t send out formal invitations, we just called each person then got them set up with our travel planner and went from there. Once all of our super important people were signed up, we opened it up to some closer friends.

wedding guests arriving by boat mexico intimate wedding emotional bride walking to meet her father emotional bride with her father groom watching his bride walking down the aisle beach wedding ceremony

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

The ceremony was my favorite moment of all time. Matt and I had visited the beach area out at Las Caletas a few years ago on a trip and I just loved the spot. So when he suggested it for our wedding I just knew it was perfection. That beach, in a little cove surrounded by trees and the sweet smell of the ocean nearby was an absolute dream for us. Because I am a wedding photographer, I see amazing moments nearly every weekend and the best heart-tugging moments for me are the ones that are true to the couple and authentic to their love story. When Matt and I first started talking about our wedding, I always knew I’d be barefoot somewhere with sand between my toes.

laughing bride during ceremony wedding guests holding hands during ceremony bride and groom exchanging rings bride and groom first kiss

What were the highlights of the reception?

After the beach ceremony, we headed up to dinner in the open air restaurant that looks out over the ocean. The people at Las Caletas then transformed the beach for the reception. They built the dance floor, set up beach seating and lit the tiki torches. It was so perfect. We packed the dance floor the entire night.

resort sign bottles full of colored liquid resort wedding venue hanging bird cages bride and groom signs on backs of chairs place setting brid cage wedding decor wedding guests at reception dinner cocktail making wedding guests at reception dinner on resort porch

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

My first vision of our day was Matt and I, in the middle of a circle, our friends and family standing around us holding hands. Although I tried to look out into the faces of all those amazing people as many times and I could, to be honest, I couldn’t take my eyes off Matt. And that’s why our photos from Jasmine are so insanely special to me. I also think having a small guest list allowed us time with each of our guests that night. We didn’t feel overwhelmed with a large crowd and were able to be present and soak it all in.


tiki torches on beach lighting a wish lantern on the beach couples dancing wedding guests dancing

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

My advice to anyone planning any wedding is do what is right in your heart. It’s easy to get caught up in things that don’t matter but if you constantly think back to what you are going to remember in 50 years when you look back on the photos, it helps stay true to yourself and your fiancé. From the start, I knew I was going to bring a photographer with us on our adventure. Being a wedding photographer myself, clearly this is an important aspect to me. When choosing a photographer I didn’t have to go very far. Jasmine’s work has spoke to me for years, when viewing her work I pictured myself in it, and I’d never felt that way looking at anyone else’s work. but it really boiled down to her personality for us. Even more so for an intimate wedding, your photographer is a big part of your day and he or she must fit into the dynamic of the day. So my advice for choosing the right photographer is after you see their are competent in delivering work you love, choose the person with your heart.

bride and groom dancing


Photography: Let’s Frolic Together

Wedding Coordination: Alexandra at Luxe Destination Weddings & Dennise with Vallarta Adventures

Flowers: The venue provided small florals around the dinner table. I didn’t have a bouquet. 

Hair: The day of, I got my hair done at Now Amber Resort Spa – but I did a hair trial with Irene Nikolopoulos from Anna Rianou Salon & Spa in Edmonton before we left and having those photo to show the ladies there, was the only way I could convey exactly what I wanted. 

Makeup: Now Amber Resort Spa

Wedding Dress: Etsy 

Groom’s Suit: Le Chateau

Bride’s Shoes:  I went barefoot most of the day / ModCloth 

Custom Designed Necklace: Hunt Amor 

Bridesmaids’ Robes: Etsy  

Bridesmaids’ Clutches: Etsy

Our Wedding Bands: Etsy

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Sarah and Richard’s $5,000 Pennsylvania Inn Wedding

It’s a well known fact that planning a wedding can be stressful and tedious at times, so we’re sure it will come as no surprise when we tell you that many couples really don’t enjoy the whole planning process. Sarah and Richard, however, loved every minute of it, finding it to be a completely stress-free affair – definitely not something you hear every day!

If their worry-less planning process doesn’t have you green with envy, their small budget certainly will. For only $5,000, these two pulled off a stylish and elegant outdoor ceremony, and an intimate and romantic wine cellar reception complete with awesome gifts of wine and Crate & Barrel carafes for all their guests.

We’re so thankful that Sarah and Richard’s lovely photographer Nicole chose to share their envy-worthy big day with us!


Sarah, 26 & Richard, 29

Kimberton, PA

Wedding Date: October 11, 2014

Number of Guests: 18

Wedding Cost: $5,000

Wedding Ceremony Location: The Kimberton Inn

Wedding Reception Location: The Kimberton Inn

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Why did you have an intimate wedding?

We went back and forth whether we should do a wedding in Illinois (where I am from) or in Pennsylvania (where Rick is from). We both have very large families and could not cut anyone out. It was an all or none type of decision. We decided to keep it small and have it in PA since that is where we were living. One of our favorite places to go for dinner is at the Kimberton Inn. When we discovered they did weddings and were told we could have the reception in their Private Wine Cellar we knew it was the perfect place.



073A0932 What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

Honestly, minus breaking the news to our family and friends we did not face any true challenges.

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Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

Absolutely! We did not want to hurt anyone’s feelings so we decided to invite our immediate family members and the individuals we would have asked to be in our bridal party (had we went for the large traditional wedding).

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Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?

We did. Rick and I are very close with our family and friends. There was disappointment because they wanted to be able to share the moment with us. After explaining our debate on location and then setting, everyone was very understanding.

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What were the highlights of the ceremony?

The ceremony took place outside the Inn and their property includes a beautiful pond. Mid-ceremony there must have been a disruption in the water and hundreds of geese abruptly took flight and circled above us for what seemed like an eternity. They were so loud the Pastor stopped talking and everyone burst into laughter gazing at them circling miles above us (luckily there were no accidents).




What were the highlights of the reception?

The highlights of the reception were being able to enjoy good conversation with everyone who attended during a private cocktail hour at the bar and dinner at a family style table. The best thing about keeping it small was that Rick and I were able to have everyone close together for great conversation, speeches and toasts. A special moment with Rick and his mother was the promised celebratory shot of Jack Daniels on his wedding day (which was quite the exciting moment for his mom who had never taken a shot, ever!).

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What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

We thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the planning. During the entire experience, from the start of planning to the actual wedding day, there was no stress or worry. We set up the wine cellar ourselves for the reception and I made all the floral arrangements including the bouquets for me and my maid of honor. Given the small number of people, we were able to get unique wedding gifts for everyone who was able to make it, which included a bottle of wine with a personalized label, and Crate & Barrel wine carafes (to enhance the theme of the wine cellar).

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What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

Stand firm in your decision to capture the feeling of the intimate setting. It is the one day that gets to be all about you and your husband and getting to share the romantic and magical moments with everyone around you. The next day Rick and I talked about how we couldn’t have imagined having our day any other way!




Venue: The Kimberton Inn

Photography: Nicole Marie Photography

Make-up Artist: Glam by Ashley Marie

Brides Dress: Rent the Runway

Groom’s Suit: Nordstrom

Dessert: Groom’s mother and aunts

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Dip Your Decor

Give your wedding some oomph with the addition of dipped details. This is a great way to go for a two-toned or metallic effect and also adds some color. There’s no limit to what can be dipped; napkins, food, dresses and flatware can all get the treatment. You can transform many thrift store finds with the help of some glitter and paint.

Glass bottles and jars look lovely enough as they are, but glitter-dipped bottles and jars look really stunning. You can use the bottles for table numbers too. Feathers are great additions to bouquets, or scattered on the table. Dipping them in gold glitter makes them a little more festive. White tapered candles are inexpensive and easy to find but a metallic makeover is always welcome.

http-::theflairexchange.com:customer-party-engagement-brunch-balloon-tassels: http-::www.boho-weddings.com:2013:11:25:diy-tutorial-gold-dipped-feathers: http-::www.oleanderandpalm.com:2014:11:diy-metallic-dipped-taper-candles

These pears are an easy DIY wedding dessert. They will work well on a dessert table or even used as an edible decoration. All you need to do is dip them in some delicious caramel and roll in sugar or nuts. Likewise, color dipped marshmallows make for cute favors or additions to a candy bar.

http-::freshnewengland.com:fresh:2009:09:dried-hydrangeas-caramel-pears-apple-tarts http-::idlewife.blogspot.ca:2013:02:friday-fixation-colour-dipped

If you’re looking for ways to repurpose antique or tarnished flatware, this is just the thing. You can either dip the ends in the paint of your choice or dip the entire thing in a matte gold paint too. Balloons are not reserved for children’s birthday parties alone; brushed paint gives them a distinctly grown-up look. Your guests will appreciate a steaming mug of hot chocolate during a winter wedding. These chocolate stirrers with edible glitter are a nice decorative touch.

http-::ruffledblog.com:ruffled_galleries:hot-pink-and-blue-wedding-ideas:hot-pink-blue-shoot-14-2: http-::www.balloontime.com:PartyIdeas:Holidays:the-ultimate-new-years-eve-party.aspx http-::ruffledblog.com:ruffled_galleries:midwestern-winter-wedding-ideas:midwest-winter-wedding-040:

We love the vibrancy of the flatware here, showing that you can really experiment with the color paint that you use. If you’re a fan of color, a dip-dyed wedding dress is a real statement. How gorgeous would this dress look for a destination wedding?

http-::ruffledblog.com:ruffled_galleries:mod-valentines-day-wedding-ideas:mod-valentines-day-shoot-057: http-::greenweddingshoes.com:retro-tropical-wedding-inspiration:

White chocolate and cherries are a winning duo, and a delicious sweet treat for your guests to nibble on. If you’re having a small crowd and have a bunch of plain white napkins, dip them in some blue dye instead of buying new ones.

http-::simpleprovisions.com.au:2012:12:19:cherries-dipped-in-white-chocolate: http-::www.abeautifulmess.com:2013:04:double-dip-dyed-napkin-set-1

Floral arrangements and centerpieces don’t have to be extravagant. You can fit them into your budget and style by making a few adjustments to inexpensive decorations. Recycle your glass bottles and jars by dipping them into gold paint in a variety of ways. Add a few fresh blooms and there you go!


This tablecloth has a subtle amount of color to add some more interest without taking the attention away from the flowers.


Photo one: theflairexchange.com; Photo two: boho-weddings.com; Photo three: oleanderandpalm.com; Photo four: freshnewengland.com; Photo five: idlewife.blogspot.ca; Photo six: leoevidente.com; Photo seven: balloontime.com; Photo eight: ashleydru.com; Photo nine: ruffledblog.com; Photo ten: greenweddingshoes.com; Photo eleven: simpleprovisions.com.au; Photo twelve: abeautifulmess.com; Photo thirteen: 100layercake.com; Photo fourteen: paigejones.co



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What color perfectly epitomizes winter for you? For us, it absolutely has to be Pantone’s aptly named winter white. Other shades of white can be cold and austere, but with just a hint of warmth and slight grey undertones, winter white evokes a cozy feeling that makes us want to bundle up under a wool blanket with our sweetie and snuggle in front of the fireplace – perfect for a romantic winter wedding, don’t you think? We’ve put together 5 winter white palettes to inspire you, because after all, in the words of Billy Idol, it’s a nice day for a (winter) white wedding.

We happen to think all-white weddings are perfect for winter. It might sound a little boring, but this all-white wedding palette uses 3 different shades of white to add variety and interest to the monochromatic color scheme.

Winter White color palette

Also perfect for winter are icy blues and steely grays which happen to pair beautifully with the slightly warmer winter white without overshadowing it.

Winter White color palette

Pink isn’t a color we usually associate with winter weddings, but this pale shade blends in beautifully with the wintery white and grey tones of this palette.

Winter white color palette

Earth tones are perfect for rustic winter wedding, but can feel a little drab at times. Adding lots of winter white, however, gives them a much needed pick me up and makes for a sophisticated palette.

Winter White color palette

Now, if all these muted tones just aren’t your thing, this high contrast white, gold, and charcoal color scheme is the perfect way to glam up your wedding day and banish those winter doldrums for good.

Winter White color palette

Photo one: hello-naomi.blogspot.ca; Photo two: weddingsunveiledmagazine.com; Photo three: nikoleramsay.com; Photo four: stylemepretty.com; Photo five: ruffledblog.com

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Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe: DIY Favors

pumpkin spice latte syrup

I tried my first Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte the other day and that’s what inspired me to hunt down this amazing l’il recipe.

I love pumpkin (any time of year!) and I love Starbucks coffee, so I was greatly anticipating my first Pumpkin Spice Latte. After all the hype about this Starbucks treat, I was sorta expecting to be blown away. Well, my friends, it fell short. I was completely underwhelmed. But I’m grateful; Pumpkin Spice Lattes could be an expensive habit! Unless, of course, you make your own – and that’s exactly what I did.

Not only does the homemade latte taste much better than the Starbucks version, it’s made with natural ingredients. You won’t find caramel color or artificial flavor in this syrup! But you will find real pumpkin!

If you are getting married, make up a batch of syrup and bottle it up to give to your guests as favors.


pumpkin spice latte

Here’s how to make Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup Favors: (Adapted from Good Housekeeping)

Ingredients: (Makes 4 cups syrup)

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 pure pumpkin (we used organic canned pumpkin)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice


pumpkin spice latte

In saucepan, simmer ingredients, whisking 10 minutes. Strain mixture with cheesecloth twice.

pumpkin spice latte diy

Pour syrup into small bottles and add tag if giving as favors.

pumpkin spice latte recipe

Mix 2-3 tablespoons with coffee and warm milk to taste. Top with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice. Yum!

pumpkin spice latte syrups
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