Wedding in Akumal, Mexico
When I heard Lindsay asked me to shoot her wedding in Mexico, I was thrilled! Not only do I love Mexico, I had never photographed a wedding on a beach before. This opportunity doesn't present itself often so I knew I had to make the most of it.
Once I landed and arrived two hours later at the wonderful Grand Serenis Riviera Maya resort, I was eager to feel the sand on my feet and grab some sunset photos. After a complimentary margarita, I headed toward the beach and started shooting.
Later that night, I met with Lindsay's friends and extended family over food and drinks at one of the four restaurants the resort had to offer. It was great to see how people act when everyone in the family gets around each other. Laughs and tales of embarrassing moments filled the rest of the night.
On my way back to my room, I was greeted by a furry fellow that helped himself to my neighbor's left over dinner plate placed just outside his door. I had heard not to feed raccoons but that rule held no weight at all.
I woke from the sounds of exotic chirps and whistles from the birds of the jungle. I'll admit, it wasn't the worst way to wake up. First was swimming with the dolphins, then go up to Playa Del Carmen and rent some scooters to see what the city has to offer. The resort had their own dolphins, training staff, and photographers :( I was a bit frustrated when I found out I couldn't have poolside access to capture all the action. I was forced to shoot long the whole time, but I made due. I'd imagine the dolphins wished they could jump over the glass wall into the open ocean where other dolphins live, naturally. After the dolphin swim, we hopped in a taxi and headed to town to rent some scooters. Inside the scooter rental store, I found a puppy to play with as Jeff filled out the paper work. Skittles, the pup, had no fear of the lens in his face; He loved the camera.
Driving around Playa Del Carmen is a hustle-and-bustle type of tourist town. Every corner has a story and every street could write a book. Children's smile filled the school yard, wild dogs claimed random sidewalks, bells from churches echoed across the beach; it was a lot to take in rolling around on a moped. The resort was a good 45 minute drive away from town. We jumped on the highway, on the scooters, full throttle. Smiles all around :)
There lies a hidden gem a few hours south of Akumal called Punta Allen. In order to reach this remote location, you have to have a vehicle with 4x4 because of the road conditions. A single dirt road is the only way in and out of the town. The road winds through the dense jungle of the Yucatan Peninsula. Driving down this dirt road felt like we were riding on a 1950's roller coaster-very, very bumpy. After almost four hours of bouncing around like a bobble head, Jeff and I arrive. The town of Punta Allen is quite small-maybe 100 residents. We were greeted with smiles from some, and negative gazes from others. I'd imagine they don't care for tourists, being as we were the only foreigners around. We made quickly for the tip of the town, where the water holds shades of blue that I didn't know existed. It was quite a sight to behold.
Heading back to towards Akumal, we stopped at a local restaurant along the dirt road that had a sign that read "Best Pizza on Earth". We decided that we had to put the claim to the test. Jeff and I each ordered a margarita and a pizza they recommended. I took some pictures of the man preparing our pizza. You could tell this man was a master of his craft. Right as we were finished our glasses, as well as some conversation with the waiter, our pies arrived, sizzling with deliciousness. It was delicious, perhaps the best in Mexico, but certainly not on Earth. Granted, I haven't sampled every pizza on the planet, but it was a solid 8/10. Shortly after the pizza, we headed back to the resort, a good hour and a half away. I was looking forward to getting some quality sleep in because the next day was the big day!
The wedding day was perfect! Everything ran smoothly, the light, the weather, the atmosphere were all spot on. It was a wild wedding that's for sure! Granted my head hurt the next morning, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. After breakfast, I took the newly weds out to the beach to do a "trash the dress" session where we basically get the bride dirty in her dress. It's a new thing that some brides are doing now instead of enduring the long and arduous task of preserving it for years and years. It was my first time shooting a session like this, and I cannot wait for the next bride that wants to trash her dress.
My time spent in Mexico last December was nothing short of amazing. I'm honored that Lindsay and Travis chose me to document their spectacular wedding in Akumal, Mexico. It was a trip that combined a few of my favorite things: exploring new places with my camera, capturing special moments in people's lives, and spending quality time with friends.
To see more of Lindsay and Travis, click the wedding folder.