El Careyes Club Destination Wedding - Elena and AJ

This is the second El Careyes Club Wedding that I've had the privilege to witness and photography. Now, I've said it before, and I'll say it again - El Careyes is a magical place that has the power to transport you to a world of peace and romance that you won't soon forget. I had the pleasure of returning there this past weekend for the wedding of Elena and AJ and the weekend was so incredible it is impossible to sum it up briefly, if at all.

The evening before the wedding day, we all ventured over to another part of El Careyes called 'Playa Rosa'. It was a rehearsal dinner fiesta with great food, an amazing mariachi band, and wonderful people. That night I learned that AJ's mother had passed away and I heard him share how important she was in his life. He also told us that even though she was allergic to the sun she was the one who had taught him to surf - one of his greatest joys. Maybe it's no surprise then that on the day of his wedding AJ woke up early in the morning to go surfing. The boat couldn't really get close enough for me to get photos of him on a 'real' wave, but on the way back AJ actually surfed behind the boat with a rope! (In the background you can see 'Copa del Sol'.)

Around noon it was time to get ready! And before the ceremony we spent some time getting photos of the groomsmen and the Bridesmaids. While the Bridesmaids were standing there, one of them had their bouquet fall apart in their hands. I think they were able to fix it so that she didn't have to walk down the aisle holding just a stick. :)

I LOVE it when Brides and Grooms choose a 'First Look' before the ceremony - it gives us so much more time for photos and relieves so much of the stress of the day. Below you'll see AJ seeing Elena for the first time...

I'm sure you could find countless threads to tell you all about the plusses and minuses of having a destination wedding vs. a local wedding if you wanted - and so I won't go into it all here. But one thing about a destination wedding that stands out so clear to me... This group of family and friends who would travel to a whole other country to spend the better part of a week together, centered around your wedding day - these are people to be treasured. And these are memories to last a lifetime. Ah - beautiful!

And to make just one more memory before my time there was through, we met on the beach at sunrise the morning after the wedding for some photos with a friend.