Elegant Beachside Destination Wedding in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Olivia and JW

Photographed by: Stephen KarlischLocation: Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Olivia Muñoz has been vacationing with her family in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, for as long as she can remember. So it seemed only fitting to marry her college sweetheart, JW Mulkin, in a place full of so many wonderful memories. Moreover, since her family is from Mexico and his from Alabama, the couple thought it would be an excellent destination to bring everyone together for their wedding. “It gave an opportunity for both families to take a deeper dive into each other’s cultures and traditions, in such a special and beautiful environment,” says Olivia.

For the traditional Catholic ceremony, loved ones gathered in lovely church with high ceilings and an abundance of windows that filled the creamy space with sunlight. Clouds of baby’s breath adorned the altar. Escorted by her father, the beautiful bride donned a fit-and-flare lace gown with an off-the-shoulder jacket. As a sentimental touch, she wore her mother’s cathedral-length veil. Olivia carried a draping bouquet of peach garden roses, white tulips, and amaranthus. The groom was attired in a black tuxedo with an ivory rose at his lapel. “During the ceremony we used the pearl lasso [from] my parents’ wedding. In the Hispanic culture, the lasso signifies the married couple becoming one,” explains Olivia.

An elegant beach reception at a luxury resort followed the vow exchange. Guests were welcomed to the festivities by a mariachi band playing during the cocktail hour. The sit-down dinner was served in a magnificent open-sided tent, accented with champagne drapery, that was constructed on the sand in view of the gently lapping waves. Grand gilded chandeliers with crystals and faux taper candles were suspended overhead.

The bride wanted the reception flowers to have an air of whimsy. As such, the head table was embellished with a trailing floral runner that included white, pink, and pastel orange roses, ivory hydrangeas, and greenery. The cascading blooms and foliage decorating the vanilla Chantilly cream cake with a berry filling that attendees enjoyed for dessert echoed this effect.

For their first dance, the bride and groom delighted loved ones with an upbeat cha-cha to Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.” “It was definitely cheesy, but it was the highlight of the evening because it just showed how much fun we were having and set the tone for the [celebration],” says Olivia with a smile. Besides the buzzing dance floor, other forms of entertainment included a cigar bar and fire dancers.

From logistics to décor, the couple’s “awesome team at DFW Events – Mary-Frances Hurt, Alison Baker, and Laura Arredondo” were there to provide assistance and guidance. Olivia also shares something else she found helpful during the trying times encountered along the process with other engaged couples: “Wedding planning is extremely stressful, so make sure that you both set aside time for each other, even if that means drinking wine and watching Netflix on the couch together.”