Exactly four years after asking Dana Gilbert Hoffmann out, David Harvey Dunford popped the question on the same Lake Tahoe chairlift they were first acquainted. He surprised her with a stunning sapphire engagement ring as an ode the lake’s beautiful blue water. The duo then began organizing their tropical weekend wedding.

Lovers of travel and adventure, Dana and David decided to host a destination wedding in Mexico. “Some of our dearest friends and family traveled more than 10,000 miles. We selected a destination where not a single guest called it home, fostering an environment to meet new friends on a more personal level,” the bride explains. Picturing a natural yet sophisticated beach theme, the couple showcased clean white and natural wooden elements complemented with a pop of local greenery as seen in the arrangements. “The floral arrangements fit our theme of natural, sophisticated, and not pretentious. The nine bridesmaid bouquets cascaded down to their knees and my bouquet cascaded to the ground. We used all local palm leaves and florals,” the bride describes.

Upon checking into their rooms, guests received welcome boxes and koozies prior to Dana and David's rehearsal dinner on the first night. All gathered by the shore the next day for the ceremony and later celebrated a fun and festive reception underneath the palm trees. Catching Dana by surprise, David and his fellow Stanford University swim teammates serenaded her with the Righteous Brothers' classic tune, “You've Lost That Loving Feeling.” Another unforgettable moment was the couple’s first dance that concluded with beautiful fireworks. “During our final move, we had an incredible fireworks show that lasted about five minutes,” Dana remembers. This paired perfectly with the suspended lights over tables and incredible fire-twirling show. Loved ones from all over the world came together to celebrate the couple, mingling, making new friends, dancing, and enjoying a midnight taco stand.

Though wedding planning is inevitably hectic and busy and the day itself flies by, the couple encourages other brides and grooms to focus on enjoying and remembering their special day. “We recommend that you make your wedding the most memorable day of your life, a day that you want to relive over and over again. This advice means that you should not stress about the small details. You will remember how you felt on that day, but you won’t remember whether the napkins were folded a certain way.”