There was a time before you. But that memory is fading. I want my heart to fill my head with every part of you. The way your hair floats in the wind, dances hand in hand with the clouds. Choreography that the sun and sea wrote while they formed your foreign shores. I have dreamed of days like this. I am an explorer caught in your peaks and coves.
– Benjamin Schaefer from Mann Frau
Destination weddings have become very popular and elopements have too. A destination elopement is perfect for the couple who wants to combine their wedding ritual with a cultural experience. It is a celebration of their love for each other and a symbol to embark on a new adventure together. This can be an experience just for them or to share with their family and closests friends. Intimate weddings are the best, especially because you get to spend quality time with your loved ones. It’s also a good excuse for anyone to travel to a place they have not visited before.
Both big fans of the Coqui Coqui Residences & Spas, it was no surprise that Lilly and Susanne explored several locations in the Tulum and Yucatán area. Over the course of a two-day roadtrip, we visited the Coqui Coqui in Coba, Valladolid and Izamal. What makes the Coqui Coqui Residences so special, is that each one honors the authenticity of the city or town it is in. It embraces the cultural elements and the artisanal talents of local artists.
At arrival at each location our breaths were taken away. The architecture blends in well within the surroundings and you feel like you are at someone’s home. Our minds just exploded with ideas at every location we visited. We could see the many possibilities each location offers for an elopement or intimate destination wedding.
The feeling that that we both has as we walked into the Perfumeria in Valladolid was powerful. It only felt right to come back to this location for an editorial photoshoot. It was an opportunity to tell the story of Valladolid and to inspire couples for their destination weddings.
When you have an Italian photographer, a Mexican florist, a Curaçaoan event designer and an American videographer come together, the energy they ignite creates a magical experience. Known as the wedding travelers, this group of creatives is driven by curiosity and wanderlust. They are all travel enthusiasts and want to share the story of a destination and its cultural characteristics through their work. “We have seen tons of beach weddings, forest weddings or weddings by the lake and wanted to showcase something different for a destination wedding or elopement. There are so many hidden gems in the world, that are waiting to be discovered and will make beautiful venues for your wedding day.”
Travel with us to the colorful city of Valladolid, Yucátan where you will experience all the beauty of the Coqui Coqui Perfumeria as part of the Coqui Coqui Residences & Spa. This destination elopement creates a powerful and memorable wedding experience. It is a story of love, the power of the heart and soul, a celebration of cultures and the beauty of people. There is so much richness in the Mexican culture, especially in its artists.
Valladolid is about a two hour drive from Cancún. The fun part of the drive is to see all the stands with hand woven hammocks and dreamcatchers. It’s like walking through dreamcatcher heaven and you want to buy them all. There are some small towns you pass through as well, but for the majority of the drive it is just one long road with trees on each side, and that is as much of the sight seeing you can get. You know when you’re getting close to Valladolid when the scenery changes. Paved roads transition into cobble stone roads, accented with the colorful mix of pastel yellow and pink houses. It is in one of these streets where the Coqui Coqui Perfumeria is located. Built in the 16th century, this secluded one-room retreat, set atop their flagship Perfumeria is a gem. Rosas frescas welcome you in. It’s the perfumeria’s signature scent, powdery and feminine, with a subtle twist of fresh tobacco leaves. An array of their fifteen different scents are displayed under glass domes on a black table. The traditional Mexican tile pops of vibrance and artisticness. When you exit the perfumeria in the back, you enter a small courtyard and garden. There are two small buildings here. The one you look onto is the Pool and Spa. It is here where you can enjoy a massage, soak in the pool or relax in one of the hand-woven hammocks while reading a book. Walk up the stairs to enter your private residence with an outdoor plunge pool. The room is modern, all white with black furniture and a beautiful stand alone bathtub in front of a gigantic mirror. Open up the doors and lay down on your daybed while soaking up the sun, or have breakfast outside your front patio by the plunge pool. Everything about this place screams luxury and it is a perfect retreat where you can spend time, just the two of you.
The design focus was to honor the look and feel of Valladolid and Coqui Coqui. We wanted to include as much of the artisan made goods. The color scheme was black, white, gold accents and a pop of red/pink hues to add softness to the overall design. For the stationery suite, Suzie from Twig N Fig combined her calligraphy talents with woven papers. She also created a vow booklets for the bride and groom. The combination of black, white and gold complimented the Coqui Coqui branding.
The wedding travelers share their insights on what makes any destination wedding or destination elopement a memorable experience. The best part about destination weddings is to discover new places and emerge yourself in a new cultural experience:
Upon arrival, walk through the neighborhood to get a better sense of your surroundings. It is only then can you discover great locations for your photos, see what the natural beauty of the city is and get a true understanding of what its character is.
Bright and early on the morning before the shoot, Lilly and Benjamin were up before sunrise. The quiet of the city was met with bird songs and the leaves of the trees dancing in the morning breeze. The streets are empty. This is the opportunity to take all the photo and video detail shots showcasing the city.
María explored the neighborhoods to discover all the flora and fauna, foraging some to incorporate them into the bridal bouquet and table arrangements. For the floral arrangement, María wanted to create a tropical look with an array of textures.
Susanne visited the several artist shops to search for artisinal pieces that can be incorporated in the table design. She found handwoven black placemats at Oficois Artesanos – a stunning boutique inside Mesón de Malleville, the former home of the Coqui Coqui founders, Nicolas Malleville and Francesca Bonato, now a four-room sanctuary open to the public. The artisan shop has beautiful handmade leather bags, handwoven hammacks, gorgeous candles and so much more. The placemats were incorporated in the table design.
Midday, the wedding travelers went on a mini road trip to one of the bigger dream catcher stands. This is on the way to Tulum. With so many different dreamcatchers to chose from, Susanne discovered dreamcatchers with leather tassles. These were mixed with more traditional woven dreamcatchers. The dreamcathcers were strung in between two trees to create the backdrop for the wedding ceremony.
The wedding dress was specifically made for this elopement shoot. Handmade by Italian Designer Anna Fucca Atelier. It flowed beautifully in the wind. The simplicity of the design, the silk fabric and the twisted back and hip details made this for a stunning look.
Photographer/Concept: Lilly Red Creative
Planner/Designer: Chantal Events
Venue: Coqui Coqui Valladolid Residence & Spa
Floral Designer: María Limón
Videographer: Mann Frau
Dress Designer: Anna Fucca Atelier
HMUA: Tania Tagle Make-up and Hair
Wedding Robe: Domenica Domenica
Invitation Designer: Twig N Fig
Dinnerware and Flatware Rentals: Hensley Event Resources
Furniture Rentals: Minimal Cuatro Cero
Ringbox: The Mrs. Box
Bracelet: Ylenia Deriu
Earrings: Habella Handcrafted Jewelries
Lingerie: Chantelle Paris