¡Feliz Aniversario Chiara & Chaz!

Chiara + Chaz Wedding - SDW photos - 12 of 18

When Chiara + Chaz first contacted me and sent the snapshot below as the inspiration image for their wedding, which they described as “Unique, festive, vibrant, personal and fun!”, I was pretty sure we’d be a perfect match.


I was lucky enough to meet them a year before the wedding on a visit to Sayulita and we immediately hit it off.  A fun-loving music-industry couple from Venice with a tattooed Groom?  Right up my alley.  But more importantly, I was super excited that they wanted to throw a COLORFUL and whimsical fiesta celebrating their love of Sayulita and all of Mexico, and go all out with everything FESTIVE!  Understated and natural is great, don’t get me wrong, but I do LOVE me some COLOR.   If you’ve ever visited our humble secret-cave abode, you could rightfully describe our personal aesthetic as “maximalist” (i.e. opposite of minimalist… as in: paint every wall a different color and cover every square inch of it in art, photos, books, records, instruments, cow skulls, devil masks…. it is its own beautiful magic, until you want to do yoga against a wall and there is no free space.  But I digress…).

Seriously, this was one of the most colorful weddings I’ve had the pleasure of designing (John & Adri, you are right up there with them!!!) and it was so much fun to have free reign to play with colors and textures, which for me is really the essence of Mexico’s beauty – the combination of any and all colors together, the more the merrier, the brighter the better.  From the altar to the photo booth to the papel picado and the multi-colored chairs, even the color-changing uplighting on the palm trees, it all created a magical environment that reflected this beautiful couples’ fun-loving personality and creativity.  Thank you Chiara & Chaz for trusting me with your vision and your most important day, and for being so FUN to work with!  Thanks to the amazing team that brought it all together and made this perfect day a beautiful reality (vendor credits below…)!  Most photos from Paul Andrew Dunker with a few snaps from my archaic iPhone iv.

xo, SDW


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¡Fabulous Vendor Credits!

Planning/Design/Lighting: Sayulita Dream Weddings

Venue: Teitiare Estate

Photography: Paul Andrew Dunker

Catering/Bar: Don Pedro’s

Bridal Styling: Rebecca D’Este, Bliss Sayulita

DJ: Jess Edmonson, Sayulita Musica

Florals: Flor Mimo

Ceremony Arch & Photo Booth: Flora Amor

Furniture: Mobva, MAC Event

Blankets, Pillows, & Ojo de Dios: Revolución del Sueño y Las Bayadas


Vendor Spotlight: Erica Maree Designs

erica maree

When I first moved to Sayulita some 8 1/2 years ago, it was definitely not yet the chic international shopping destination that our little pueblo has become today.  I remember when Cortney Bentz opened Rosemary Boutique in its original location on Calle Gaviotas – what a dream to have a shop with original looks and well-edited imports, right in the heart of town!  These days, Sayulita boasts boutiques around every corner with a huge range of styles to fit every taste and budget.  Rosemary, now located right on the town plaza a few doors from Chocobanana, is still one of my favorite spots when I need something new to wear or a great gift.  (you’ll definitely want to check out this adorable “Shopping at Rosemary” video if haven’t seen it…)  I always find something, so I have to keep myself from stopping by too often.  Earlier this summer, I had some rare time-to-kill while waiting for a meeting at a nearby cafe, so I popped in and spied the prettiest up-cycled Mexican embroidered dresses by Erica Maree.  I snapped up the Summer Mexican mini-dress in fuchsia, and it has been my vestido favorito ever since – perfect for day or night, dressing up or down, date night or client meeting.  Ultra flattering, and light enough to hold up in the sweltering heat of Sayulita summer.

I love the bright colors and the traditional Mexican embroidery – Erica takes this amazing raw material and re-constructs it into of-the-moment silhouettes and boho-hip bags.  Her bags would make fabulous Maids’ gifts, and the dresses would be perfect to outfit the Bridal party for a Sayulita Wedding, or for a Bride to wear at the Welcome Fiesta or Rehearsal Dinner.  Erica’s online shop will ship your order to the US, or you can check her extensive international retailer list here.  If you’re lucky enough to be in Sayulita, find Erica’s designs at Rosemary Clothing Boutique, Chelow Boutique, or the Old Town Vallarta Farmers’ Market.

xo, SDW

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My favorite dress and my favorite one-of-a-kind accessory.  Photo by Julieta Amezcua (www.byjulieta.com)
My favorite dress and my favorite one-of-a-kind accessory. Photo by Julieta Amezcua (www.byjulieta.com)

¡Feliz Aniversario Krissy + Mike!

I have a visual feast (another Evrim Icoz stunner) of an anniversary post for you today, as Krissy & Mike of Colorado celebrate 2 years of wedded bliss.  Another couple very dear to my (our) heart(s), they were so amazing to work with and had such a fun, truly heartfelt and original wedding full of love, family, friends, and a million little details that brought it all together in one stunning package, as beautifully documented by the ever-talented Evrim Icoz Photography.  Memorable moments from the week included a bluegrass jam session by Mike “Banjo” Fritz and his pals around the bonfire at the La Terrazola welcome party, and the highly anticipated arrival to town of the couples’ friend Harry, who actually rode his bicycle all the way from Colorado to Sayulita.  By himself.  To raise money for cancer.  Awesome.

Krissy & Mike’s Brisa Mar Palapa wedding was bursting with brilliant Mexican color, from the hand-sewn day-of-the-dead patterned napkins that each guest received as a favor, to maracas, to tequila bottles naming each table, to our favorite kids’ play area ever, to the photo wall, and on and on and on.  Their Moms chipped in on the DIY front, with Mike’s artist mom painting 2 large canvases that they rolled up and shipped to Mexico where we had them re-stretched for hanging in the Palapa entryway.  Krissy’s mom hand-sewed pillows echo-ing the theme of the paintings, “All You Need Is Love.”  Krissy sourced Etsy for tons of adorable details like a mini “All You Need Is Love” banner to drape across the front of the cake table, and the cute wooden cake topper complete with the couples’ beloved pup.

I’ll let the plethora of gorgeous images (sorry, it was hard to narrow it down – too much beauty to share!) speak for themselves, and you can also check out Evrim’s original blog post here.  All photos ©Evrim Icoz Photography, 2010.  Flowers by Gloria Rodriguez of Concepto Floral; Cakes by Naef Cuisine; Bridal Styling by Funky Diva Hair Design; Catering, Bar & Venue by Don Pedro’s.

Beautiful Bride, Beautiful Bay

Setting up the Group Shot

Dream Team!

Buenas Noches, Sayulita

Happy Anniversary Krissy + Mike!!  Hope to see you in Sayulita again soon!

xo, Andrea, Gabbi & Maximo

Dia + Patrick’s D-I-Y-filled Love Fest

We first met Dia & Patrick back in November 2008, when they flew in from the Bay Area to photograph Julie & Andrew’s wedding at the Brisa Mar Palapa. I liked them immediately – what can I say, I have a thing for couples that work together – and when I saw the gorgeous photos of the wedding, I added them to my photographer list in hopes we’d get to work together again. Two years later they were back in Sayulita to photograph Monique & Steve’s Villa del Oso wedding, and were also in the early stages of planning for their own Sayulita nuptials – which they hired us to plan the next fall.

They picked the cosmic and auspicious wedding date of 11.11.11, the lovely location of Flor de la Playa on the north end beach, and let the details flow into place from there. And did they ever flow! Dia was a D-I-Y powerhouse, even down to hand-crafting her and her Bridesmaids’ bouquets and Patrick’s adorable boutonniere. The wedding was filled with tons of fun and meaningful details, like the lighting of a wish lantern during the ceremony, a jenga “guest book” for well wishes and advice, a photo booth, a foot bath for de-sanding after the ceremony on the beach, and Mexican wedding cookies and fireside s’mores for dessert.

The welcome cocktails were held on the rooftop level of Calypso on the plaza, where guests sipped margaritas and downed plates of tacos al pastor while “Endless Summer” projected on the outside wall. Photos of Dia & Patrick were strung across the wall for guests to peruse as the entered the party.

 The wedding and festivities were beautifully captured by Ed Fladung of Elizabeth Lloyd Photography.

yes, the Bride actually made that bouquet.

photo by guest Lauren Franz

 Over the past few years we have been lucky enough to get to know Dia & Patrick and are honored to now call them our friends. Today I just got confirmation they will be shooting Amanda & Dave’s Villa del Oso wedding with us in November, and are planning to spend next winter shooting and filming weddings in the Sayulita area – so exciting! Be sure to check out their new listing on Sayulita Life.

Congratulations on a beautiful wedding, Dia & Patrick!

xo, SDW

¡Feliz Aniversario Adriana + John!

This anniversary post is going to be a good one! We’ve been anxiously waiting to share this lovely fête full of gorgeous, color-saturated, super fun Mexican details featuring some of our favorite clients and more importantly, wonderful friends, John & Adriana. Adriana is surely our most avid facebook follower and fan and has expressed her high hopes for their anniversary post so I can only hope to measure up! In fact, in anticipation of this big event, she even sent me some after-hours photos of the wedding-reception-turned-pool-party-mayhem, featuring probably the Best. Hora-dance. Of all time. [evidence below]

John & Adriana, already friends – and really, honorary extended family – of ours, came to us with a vision for their wedding. They wanted to share with their friends and family all of the things that they loved most about Sayulita. And what they love about Sayulita isn’t fancy restaurants or big stately villas – it’s great food eaten on the street, vivid colors, festive music, surfing, the beach, candy, spicy banana chips, the “nieve, nieve!” guy, and a million other little details that on their own may not mean much, but together form the eclectic crazy awesome patchwork whole that is our very own, one-of-a-kind, strange little Sayulita.

Aside from showcasing what they love about Sayulita, this had to be a kick-ass, original, super fun PARTY, one that would live up to their own track record of throwing multiple kick-ass, original, super fun major events all year long through their junker-car racing company 24 Hours of LeMons, [yes, this link really is worth clicking on – watch the video, these guys are awesome] of which John is the founder. So after setting some pretty high expectations and laying down their awesome vision, they pretty much turned the reins over to us and let us go at it without much micro-managing on their parts, which made it one of the more fun weddings we’ve worked on because we got to let our creativity flow and really have fun with it.

The result was truly one of our “Best. Weddings. Ever.” And it is still lauded as such by J+A’s pals. For me it was the best because I had the freedom to run with their vision while incorporating lots of little touches and details along the way so that as their day unfolded, they got to experience many of the little surprises in the same fun way the guests did, which is a rarity in the world of hyper-planned weddings these days. Plus I felt like I knew them well enough as my friends to “get” what they wanted, but also in the process, I really “got” them more through the planning of their wedding and felt closer to them than ever.

The lovely day was perfectly captured by Photographer Donna Day, and I can’t imagine a more fitting and perfect match between wedding and photographer than this saturated color-fest and Donna’s trademark color-saturated photo-style.

Okay, enough yapping – now for some pretty pictures!

The Welcome Wagon: Igor the burro greeting guests with ice-cold Coronitas
piñata love

the guest "book" - a frame-able photo matte
gift bags (and wheelbarrow) filled with local treats

my favorite aisle runner of all time
kids' and grown-ups' piñatas
the photo booth
tequila tasting and aguas frescas
festive + fun table settings
street vendor signage by Father-of-the-Bride and Sayulita resident Ed Schwartz

a couple of good looking guys
and a beautiful happy couple

pool-side dance floor

John & Adri – Happy 2-year Anniversary, Amigos! We love you, and your wedding will always live on in infamy!

xo, SDW

p.s. As promised, after party photos from the Bride, and with a parting “day after” beach shot:

Inspiration: Baskets

Digging these cute, simple baskets from the Sunday market.  Would make great vessels for aisle flowers to hang from chairs, or be perfect as a not-so-prissy flower girl basket.

Oh-So-Fabulous Mexican Tile Cake