Sam + Dean’s Grand Palladium Vallarta Mexico Destination Wedding was our first wedding of 2016! Not a bad way to start off our year! Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort is an amazing venue located outside the city of Puerta Vallarta on the Pacific side of Mexico. We love this resort and it has been our personal surf getaway for the last two (now three) years. The nature, landscape and wildlife is amazing. There is surfing, snorkeling, boogie boarding, great food and more, without ever having to leave the resort! The last time we were there, we actually scouted out the entire resort and dreamt about how it would be an awesome venue to photograph a wedding. Then Sam and Dean came along! They were having their destination wedding at that very resort, and I guess our enthusiasm and knowledge of the hotel (and maybe our photos and good looks) won them over! We were going to Mexico!
A lot of Dean’s family is from Winnipeg, so the couple decided instead of having everyone fly to Vancouver, it would be a great idea to have an actual vacation with both sides of the family in an all inclusive resort. There ended up being about 50 family and friends that flew out for their wedding, and they partied all week long! On the day of their wedding, Sam and her bridesmaids were getting ready at Zentropia spa in the resort. Since there was a lot of close family with her in the morning, there was a lot of emotional moments between the family. Meanwhile, Dean and his groomsmen were practically dressed when I arrived, so we decided to wander around Grand Palladium getting photos of them hanging out, drinking, going to the zoo, playing pool and more. At one point, we witnessed a wild iguana fall out of a tree while the guys were in the forest! Luckily, he was alright, and I managed to capture a photo of him on his way back up another tree. They had a very private ceremony on a terrace overlooking the beach, ocean and mountains. It was stunning! During the portrait session, we took them all around the resort to all of our favourite spots. We spent some time in the quiet rainforest then down to the breathtaking rocky beach. The reception was very beautiful and intimate. A lot of hugs and tears and laughter, then lots of dancing! The night was not complete without a Ukrainian tradition where the men lift the groom in the air to empty his pockets of change, which got the whole wedding involved. We wanted to hang out with the wedding guests at the after party, but as soon as we got back to the room to drop off our equipment, we collapsed on the bed and didn’t wake up until the morning! Oops! Sam and Dean, you were amazing to work with, and so relaxed on the day of your wedding. We had so much fun, and are so lucky that you gave us the opportunity to photograph your perfect destination wedding in Mexico! It was such a fun adventure! – Lauren