Kat & Bryan, what an adventure this was! I first met with Kat back in April, 2019. When Kat made her destination wedding info session appointment, I knew I liked her right away. Kat is level-headed, has a great sense of humor and knew exactly what she wanted. She and Bryan shy away from attention, so they really wanted the focus of their event to be celebrating with their closest friends and family.
Right away, Kat mentioned that she didn't want "just another beach wedding." Growing up in Florida, she had seen it all. Our goal was to find something unique without sacrificing quality and style. No chairs in the sand and no cookie cutter wedding!
I proposed a few places and Kat & Bryan ultimately fell in love with UNICO 20°87° Hotel Riviera Maya in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico. We set a date for June 2020. Little did we know what was in store... LOL!
If you're playing along at home, you know what happened next! COVID struck and Kat and Bryan were forced to postpone their dream wedding. We dried our tears and rescheduled their entire event - 40+ guests - to June 2021.
Fast forward 12 months later and they did it! Kat and Bryan celebrated a beautiful event with their closest friends and family. They also lived out "experiences over things" to the fullest, chartering a private yacht as a goodbye party for those who made the trip. It was a perfect end to celebrate a perfect week.
Kat & Bryan - it was a pleasure to work with you! And to our dear readers, scroll past these beautiful photos to see a great destination wedding Q&A with this awesome couple.
DESTINATION WEDDING q&a WITH KAT & bRYAN
- What were your biggest fears when planning a destination wedding? Making decisions without ever visiting the property was tough. Not being in control of the situation - not choosing every single detail (florist, DJ, etc)....but this was also a huge selling point for us. I NEED to be forced to just go with the simplest option sometimes.
- Is there anything about the actual destination wedding experience that surprised you? More affordable than we would have expected.
- What is your favorite memory of your destination wedding? Going early (before our guests arrived) and having time to relax and explore Mexico before the wedding craziness started was awesome. Day of - reading the vows we'd written, walking around the resort to take photos and being congratulated by everyone we passed, dancing with our guests, and hanging out in someone's swim-up pool after the reception ended. And renting a yacht for the evening after, being able to treat all our guests to last night out, and jumping off the boat into the Caribbean was a great way to end the week.
- Did you splurge on anything travel or wedding related? If so, what was it and was it worth it? Renting the yacht instead of doing party favors was 100% the right choice. Upgrading our room turned out to be perfect as well - we had the BEST view and were a bit separate from all our guests, which gave us a little extra privacy.
- Did you attempt to *save* on anything travel or wedding related? If so, what was it and was it worth it? Not hiring an MC for our reception - as you put it, we didn't need a hype man. The DJ was plenty, idk what an MC would have added to the evening. We also didn't go all out with decor, and I feel like that worked because Unico is SO beautiful that we didn't need to cover it up with lots of extras. #NoRegrets
- If you could change anything with your wedding (planning, the day itself, the location, resort, ANYTHING) - what would you change? ....we'd try not to plan it during a pandemic? Lol. Genuinely the only thing that comes to mind is make sure to clarify with your officiant ahead of time what you DON'T want them to say - i.e. don't ask "who gives this woman's hand in marriage" if that's not your style, and don't mention "many future children" if you're maybe not sure about that part....
- Now that you've been through it, what is your #1 best piece of advice for wedding couples entering the planning process? Bryan: "Just do it. Do what you want to do and don't do what you don't want to do." Katelyn: "Decide early on what's important: food, music, flowers, outfits, guest list. whatever. And then don't sweat all the details so much. And OUTSOURCE whenever possible."
- In what ways did Alpaca Your Bags Travel make this less stressful for you? Being the "bad cop" so we didn't have to be was HUGE. Handling the repetitive questions from guests, chasing down flight info, rescheduling the whole damn thing....we would have legit cancelled it all and lost $$$$ when Covid hit if it weren't for you.