Mexi-Gras Fundraiser for Costa Verde International School



IMG_8648This was my fourth year helping to organize and produce the Annual Scholarship Drive for Costa Verde International School, where my son Maximo Lobo attends first grade.  Our theme was “Mexi-Gras” as our date coincided with Mardi Gras (finally!).  This is always such an off-the-charts fun event, the first big fundraiser of the season for our little village, a time to bring everyone together in celebration of an amazing cause and to support the school that has really changed the makeup of our community from a town of retirees and young singles to a viable place to live and raise a family.  I love being a part of this event as it’s near and dear to my heart, but also because I get to collaborate with an amazing group of (mostly usually) women to pull it off, and we have a lot of fun with the theme, throwing a kick-ass party on the beach for our town and our school.  And it’s fun to do something a little wilder than the average wedding every now and then… I mean, those colors!  I love the purple and gold!  Don Pedro’s (our fave wedding partners and the most awesome supporters of every good cause in Sayulita!) GENEROUSLY provides the location, food, bar, and staff to make it all happen (along with yummy eats from Organic Select, Teitiare Estate, and desserts and a custom designed cake from Naef Cuisine), and my rentals providers Eventos Elegantes and Trendy kicked down some deep discounts on the furniture and linens to make it all come to life.  Kike Salazar of Dos Veinte Designs created our stellar poster and then applied his design to the larger-than-life dance floor, as well as painting the fabulous street signs above.  My amazing, dynamic and super-sexy Man Gabbi Villarrubia reprised his role as MC for the fourth year, rocking the mic and keeping the event running smooth, and our good friend Yogi Kirst stepped up as Auctioneer.  Nick Challed (aka “DJ Nico”, also a CVIS parent) set the mood with sweet New Orleans Jazz followed by pumping dance beats that kept the crowd shaking into the night.  Spencer Harris & Cherry Bombs clicked the night away to bring you these fab snaps of the fun.  To top it all off we raised a record-breaking amount of funds this year including 5 “adopt-a-scholar” pledges for full year scholarships.  Ha-ZA!

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Vendor Spotlight: Erica Maree Designs

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

¡Feliz Aniversario Kate + Matt!

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I’m stoked to kick off another round of anniversary posts with the lovely Kate and Matt of Toronto, who are celebrating their 1 year anniversary today!  Kate + Matt are two beautiful people, madly in love.  When Kate wrote me, she described Matt as her dream guy – a gorgeous tattooed rock star.  They wanted a fun, rock ‘n’ roll wedding that would be a kick-ass party for their best friends, most of whom were musicians or singers.  We set up a stage and hired Sayulita’s awesome Los Tikkilyches to be the host band for this music-oriented reception.  The first dance song was performed by close family, the Groom’s band played a set, and the Groom sang and played a song that he wrote for his Bride – a very special and tearful moment for all.  Los Tikkilyches kept the crowd rockin’ and dancing into the night.

The awesome Jillian Mitchell was the magic behind the lens.  Gloria of Concepto Floral designed the flowers, and the girls got beautified in the skillful hands of Kori Walker (Kolor by Kori) and Karina Perez (Raphaella Salon)

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All photos ©Jillian Mitchell Photography, 2012

Happy Anniversary Kate + Matt!

xo, SDW

¡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

¡Feliz Aniversario Karine + Dave!

Happy 4-year Anniversary to Karine & Dave of San Francisco!  Karine & Dave had a gorgeous and colorful spring fiesta at the lovely Villa del Oso, with a sweet palette of pink and green to set off the Bride-designed Mexican Loteria escort cards and table names (she also designed the gorgeous invitation suite – photo below). Theirs was our first wedding at Villa del Oso, and our first Jewish Interfaith wedding (we have since done 2 more Jewish Interfaith weddings also at Villa del Oso – one was for Julie & Jon, friends of Karine & Dave, and we were lucky to have K+D back in Sayulita to attend the wedding with their sweet son Ben). I loved the format of their wedding, which incorporated the traditional Jewish wedding timing of getting everyone up on the dance floor before dinner and then in between courses.  It makes for a late ending to the meal, but it really keeps the energy flowing all night long and gives people a chance to get up and move around instead of being seated for what is often 90 minutes or more for dinner service and speeches.  Karine & Dave’s traditional wedding ceremony chuppah was topped by an amazing quilt constructed of panels that each of their guests had hand-crafted for them, which were then sewn together by Dave’s mom.  What an amazing and meaningful momento to have from your wedding!

Guests danced the night away to Cuban band “Los Hombres del Negro,” and then kept the floor filled ’till the wee hours with music Dave & Karine had programmed on their iPod.  Don Pedro’s provided the always excellent food and bar, and the beautiful flowers were designed by Francisco Salazar of Vodax Detalle in Vallarta.  Elizabeth Lloyd beautifully documented the day.

Photos ©Elizabeth Lloyd Photography, 2008.

Thanks to Karine & Dave for being great clients and friends and for sending so many other clients our way!  Happy Anniversary, Lovebirds!

xo, SDW

For The Truly Adventurous

Fake moustaches, photo booths, beer-carting donkeys, piñatas, taco carts… surely you’ve been to at least two weddings with one or more of these fun, trendy elements.  But a Mechanical Bull?  Now THAT’S a one-of-a-kind addition to your Mexican Wedding Fiesta.  [and I thought blind-folded drunk people swinging at piñatas were dangerous…]  Can’t wait to see who will be our first taker on this sweet offering.  I’ve got my money on one particularly fun-loving couple from San Francisco who will wed this November.  I mean, Villa del Oso really needs a mechanical bull on their lawn.  Giddy up!

xo, SDW

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