When Brittney, a professional matchmaker, and her fiance had to cancel their big wedding plans twice, they decided to re-think their initial vision for their wedding and focus on what really mattered to them. And it was a big change, from Rome to Tulum! They decided to make it just the two of them in an intimate beach ceremony and an extravagant six-course meal just for them! Brittney looked every bit the part of a boho bride in her gorgeous lace and shredded chiffon gown that trailed behind her as she wandered down the wide beach path through the deep green palms to her new husband.
With only a few weeks to plan, this couple leaned on their planner and designer, Angelina Cardenas, to help design and organize their big day. They still wanted it to feel like a real wedding even though it was just for the two of them. Maria Limon brought the drama with a stunning floral and wood geometric arch for the ceremony backdrop and a classic bouquet, each of which used both live and dried flowers to bring in the boho theme. Chris And Ruth, their photographers, became more like friends by the end of the day and The Brothers Martens were there to get it all on video for them so they can always look back and remember their intimate Tulum elopement. You can see even more from this gorgeous wedding in the full gallery. Read on to hear more from the bride, Brittney, about how their plans changed and evolved into a different version of their dream wedding.
My name is Brittney and I am a full-time matchmaker. While I spend my days helping others find love, my favorite love story will always be my own and that is why I am sharing it with you. My husband, Ryan, and I met in September of 2015 and have since been writing our story. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with him and I’ve only grown to love him more over the years. Our relationship really flourished in our first year when his work transferred him to Amsterdam. I was given the opportunity to work remotely and go with him. Our time abroad brought us closer together, but it’s also what established our love for traveling. When planning our wedding, we knew we wanted a destination wedding somewhere special to us. Our first choice was Rome. We were set to have 175 guests at a beautiful villa in the heart of the city. Unfortunately, we were forced to cancel our plans not once, but twice, due to COVID. After over a year of canceled plans, we ultimately decided that having a huge wedding wasn’t important and that what really mattered was the two of us being together in a place meaningful to us.
We decided to have an intimate legal ceremony at home in Chicago with our immediate family members and a few close friends and then set off to one of our favorite places to share our written vows, just the two of us. For me, the act of writing our vows and reasons for choosing one another was always one of the most important things. We chose Casa Malca as the location for our vow exchange as it is in a more private and secluded area of town. As we only had a few weeks to plan everything, we hired Angelina Cardena's Events to help us piece together all the logistics for our special day. Our suite at the hotel had two floors which made it perfect for us to both have privacy for getting ready. Zoë Elizabeth's hair and make-up team were wonderful and created the exact beachy/bohemian look I was hoping for.
When being alone on your wedding day, rather than having parents and bridesmaids to fill the quiet space, you have more of an opportunity to develop relationships with your vendors which was a very special experience for us. Chris And Ruth, an amazingly sweet couple from Spain, were our photographers. We had initially hired them for our wedding in Rome but when our plans fell through, they were very generous to offer to travel to Tulum to photograph our vow exchange instead. Ruth helped me into my gown while Chris provided Ryan company before the ceremony. I wore an Ines Di Santo gown, and Ryan wore a cream linen suit from Suit Supply. The Brothers Martens were our videographers, and much like Chris And Ruth, they felt more like friends, rather than vendors as they helped to provide laughter and support throughout the day.
Following our vow exchange at Casa Malca, we walked over to the restaurant, Wild, to have a 6-course dinner specially selected for the two of us. Our florist, Maria Limon, did an incredible job at creating the most beautiful and unique décor for both our ceremony and dinner. We wanted something different that would not only fit our personal styles but also the bohemian style of Tulum. The evening was filled with candlelight, palo santo, and most importantly, love. We ended our evening under the stars where we shared our first dance to Falling Like The Stars, by James Arthur. While it wasn’t what we had initially planned, it was absolutely everything we ever needed and more. My advice to future couples is to not feel as though you must stick to the traditional norms when planning your wedding. Rather than tradition, do what feels right and plan something special that you and your loved one will be able to look back and remember for years to come. Make it about the two of you, it is your love story after all, and no love story is as unique as that of your own.
The budget for this elopement was $30,000. Please note that prices do change, and this budget breakdown gives you an idea of how much a wedding like this might cost you.