Destination Rehearsal Dinner and Welcome Party in Sayulita, Mexico

Dana Hoffman and David Dunford

Photographed by: Carrie King PhotographerLocation: Mezcales, Nayarit, Mexico

Just two days before Dana Hoffman and David Dunford’s special day, 65 loved ones from all over the world gathered in Sayulita, Mexico for a picturesque evening by the shore. “Our guests were from six of the seven continents. Some of our dearest friends and family live more than 10,000 miles away,” Dana describes. The destination venue was a stunning collection of villas with unforgettable views of the Pacific Ocean and palm trees surrounding the entire estate. As attendees arrived, they checked into oceanfront villas and made their way to the highest villa for a fun and social occasion. “We designed the rehearsal cocktail dinner to be in a very open area where our guests were constantly meeting others throughout the evening,” confides the bride.

The alfresco soirée showcased an organic palette complemented with the beachy scenery. Attendees enjoyed salad, crêpes, pasta, salmon, and various desserts at two banquet tables dressed in white linens. The centerpieces were composed of lush florals arrangements that showcased greenery with burgundy- and cream-toned blooms fitting for the fall occasion. Bright lights and suspended star ornaments zigzagged above the entire party throughout the night. “Our style is sophisticated, but not pretentious. We wanted everything from the florals to the table runner to be elegant but not over-the-top,” describes the bride. Cocktails were shaken and served beneath a tropical hut aside the vintage fountain.

In addition to the delicious courses and libations, the evening included heartfelt speeches by Dana’s grandmother and other loved ones. “She gave one of the most entertaining wedding speeches, a tradition within the family. Our friends are also incredible public speakers and gave some wonderful accounts on our relationship,” Dana reflects. Among these included a speech that she will never forget. “The most memorable moment was when a close friend, Camille, spoke about our interaction while surfing in the Pacific Ocean. Camille did an impeccable job describing how perfectly in tune we are, from paddling out to the surf to our comparison of the height of the waves,” she illustrates.

From an international guest list to the sophisticated villas, the couple surely executed a one-of-a-kind celebration. “We wanted a unique and memorable experience," muses Dana of their destination fête that delighted attendees from across the globe.