Colorful Destination Wedding at El Careyes Resort & Spa in Mexico

Valerie and Tom

Photographed by: Tony Florez PhotographyLocation: Cihuatlán, Jalisco, Mexico

Formality and fun mixed at the nuptials of Valerie Klieman and Tom Grimstad. The excited bride and groom envisioned a week-long celebration set in a scene straight out of paradise, and they settled for nothing less. El Careyes Resort and Spa in Jalisco, Mexico, proved the ideal locale, where guests were treated to a casually elegant blend of sun, surf, and fun. Stunning vistas of the Pacific Ocean and endless beach activities made the resort locale perfect for the multi-day affair. Valerie and Tom brought in many vendors from Southern California, who worked along with other professionals from Puerto Vallarta and El Careyes, to create the wedding of their dreams. The collaboration meshed perfectly, and a festive party-on-the-beach theme tied together the entire event, from the setting to the décor to the many unique touches that gave the celebration its casual flair. Special touches included one-of-a-kind wedding invitations bearing an impression of a flip-flop, cocktail stirrers with an image of a flip-flop, and even the gift bags given to guests included the flip-flop icon to complete the picture. The festivities, spread over several days, perfectly captured a sense both of fun and formality, romance and class.

Timed to coincide with the sunset, the wedding ceremony radiated a vibrant range of hues. The bright colors of El Careyes, nestled along the Mexican Riviera, stunningly shone against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. Adorned in a formal, elegant gown, the glowing bride was perfectly complemented by her bridesmaids, who—for a charming touch—wore flip-flops that matched their bouquets.

Fitting the sultry locale, the reception was resplendent in flowers, exuding simplicity and elegance. A thousand Gerber daisies floated atop the surface of the resort’s pool, offering a gorgeous floral view. Outlining this sea of daisies were several luminaries, beautifully alit against the scenery of nightfall over the Pacific. The centerpieces consisted of three vases, nestled within a larger glass round vase, filled with water and floating orchids and illuminated by candles. Guests partook a plated dinner that included lobster ceviche, spinach salad, filet mignon with potatoes and fresh vegetables, and decadent goat cheese crêpes with caramel glaçe. The wedding cake was a lovely three-tiered confection consisting of carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, chocolate and banana cream, and vanilla cake with strawberry filling. Each layer of cake rested on a blanket of roses.

The merriment continued late into the night. The couple’s First Dance as husband and wife was to Neil Diamond’s “Forever in Blue Jeans” which perfectly relayed their relaxed, casual personalities and the spirit of their relationship. To everyone’s delight, the party was capped by a joyous display of fun as the guests ignited sparklers, formed two lines for the bride and groom to walk through which led down to the beach to view a surprise celebratory show of fireworks against the nighttime sky. Perfectly capturing the event’s ambience of formality and fun, the couple concluded the reception, and the week-long celebration, by throwing themselves into the Gerber-filled pool. After their beach wedding, the newlyweds began their lives together by honeymooning at the Four Seasons in Nevis, further continuing the beach paradise they created together at El Careyes.

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