Spending the holidays at work and away from family doesn’t sound like too much fun. But when Cristin and Jon invited me to photograph their RIU Palace wedding in Mexico over Thanksgiving, I traded the turkey and stuffing for turquoise water and palm trees in a heartbeat.
Destination weddings always have a special dynamic. The shorter guest lists translate into a more personal, intimate feel. And since everyone is on holiday, the stress is minimized and the spirits are high. That was certainly the case with Cristin and Jon’s wedding at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya.
Since Cristin and Jon first met in Mexico, they chose the white sands of Playa del Carmen, overlooking Cozumel and the Caribbean Sea, as the perfect location for their ceremony. Cocktails and dinner followed footsteps away. And then the night concluded with the most happening destination wedding dance party I’ve ever seen. Most of the time, destination receptions are pretty quiet and laid-back. But Cristin & Jon’s guests had no interest in quietly sitting around. The celebration went late into the night, to several additional locations, putting to shame even the most lively local wedding receptions I’ve photographed.
Congratulations to Cristin and Jon, and thanks to all the folks who opened their hearts, shared Thanksgiving Dinner abroad with me, and helped me document such a special RIU Palace wedding.
Wedding Planning: Nancy Gonzalez ·
Photography: Justin Hankins Photography ·
Venue, Catering, Floral: Hotel Riu Palace, Riviera Maya ·
Hair & Makeup: Renova Spa ·
Gown: Bridal Extraordinaire (Shawnee, Kansas) ·
Shoes: Miz-Mooz ·
Wedding Invitations: Tiny Prints ·
Colors: Cobalt Blue & Orange