By Nicole Cordier
Most wedding videos don't feature a "taco cam" or capture the bridesmaids frolicking on the beach in pasties. The video documenting Portland couple Michelle Clabby and Justin Lewis' Mexican destination wedding---shot by Seattle videographer Eric Becker---however, features both of those things and much more.
[vimeo 66195550 w=712 h=400]
For Michelle, the decision to host a destination wedding was an easy one. She grew up spending time each year in Mexico visiting a vagabond surfer-dude uncle. When she met Justin, she invited him to join in her travels south of the border, and the trip became an annual tradition for the couple. After Justin proposed, the duo decided that they wanted to host their wedding in San Jose Del Cabo—a special place they've shared together.
With the location chosen, Michelle got down to business planning her wedding. She used Pinterest, mood boards, and print resources like Portland Bride & Groom (shameless, but true, plug) to hone in her vision for the wedding.
"We wanted this Southwest, baja, bohemian vibe," she says, "Luckily, my friends are pretty fashionable and they were able to help by styling themselves and sending inspiration my way."
Michelle hired wedding coordinator Maria Boehme, of the Los Cabos based Amy Abbott Weddings and Events, to help bring her vision to life. Boehme connected Michelle to hotels and venues in Mexico as well as Portland vendors like Divine Designs, where she purchased her Monique Lhuilier gown.
Michelle wanted to look natural and relaxed on her wedding day. To help achieve the carefree style she desired, she teamed up with the owner of Portland-based New Vintage Beauty Lounge to receive makeup and hair-styling lessons. After a few appointments, Michelle dialed in her vision and learned how to recreate the look for herself in Mexico.
Most of the destination wedding guests booked rooms at the Cabo Surf Hotel, but the couple provided their guests with options to make their own lodging arrangements.
The couple had originally planned to host the wedding ceremony at the hotel. But a last-minute visit to Flora Farm to scout destinations for the rehearsal dinner led Michelle and Justin to have a change of heart.
"They'd only hosted a few weddings there," says Michelle of the organic farm. "But when I stood on their altar I knew I couldn't have my wedding anywhere else."
With the planning complete, all that was left for the couple and their guests to do was celebrate! On April 20, 2013, the wedding party sat outdoors on hay bales during the wedding ceremony and gathered around a long wooden table lit with gently glowing string lights for dinner. They sipped Mexican-inspired cocktails like "farmaritas" and "farm juleps" out of mason jars. The couple shared their first dance on a lush green lawn and cut their cake under the twinkling south-of-the-border stars.
"Justin and I did everything we wanted, and that's what made our wedding special," says Michelle.
If this beautiful Mexican celebration has inspired you to plan your own destination wedding, stay tuned for a blog post later this week featuring Michelle's tips for planning an out-of-town party!
[Video: Eric Becker]