Ashley and Roberto met in college through a mutual friend and began dating almost immediately. Afterwards, she received an offer from Texas State for grad school, and he moved with her. To celebrate her graduation, they journeyed on their first backpacking trip through Europe, which ignited their passion for traveling together as a couple.
Ashley has always loved Halloween and especially wanted to visit New Orleans around the holiday to celebrate. One year Roberto told her to pack ball gowns along with warm clothes and surprised her with tickets there. On a carriage ride around the French Quarter, he had them stop in front of a historical building and pretended to ask a tourist to take their photo. It just so happened she turned out to be a photographer Roberto had hired, and he got down on one knee and proposed to her as she captured it all. Ashley was completely surprised, but her family wasn’t, as Roberto had visited her father a month earlier to ask permission for her hand in marriage.
They both were already leaning toward a destination wedding, mainly because it utilized their interest in traveling. They also saw it as a way to share this passion with their friends and family, perhaps even to get them out of their comfort zones and experience something new. Working with Candyce, of Destify, they were able to figure out the perfect all-inclusive resort for their wedding, Sandos Caracol Eco Resort in Mexico. They chose the resort because it accommodated all of the attributes they sought. It could be an easy-going beach resort for guests of any age, and it was surrounded by jungle and had plenty of adventure should any of their guests pursue it. They also loved the tiered-room system which allowed their guests to choose the room type that worked for them, from lavish to economical.
Ashley said the resort did an excellent job of coordinating the wedding. She initially had anxiety about it, as the planning process for decor and events started about 3 months before the actual ceremony, something the wedding department made apparent from the start. This is typical for a destination wedding but not so for a traditional wedding, where every last detail has to be thought of from further out. Ashley said, “The resort was incredibly responsive by email, they were quick to answer every question.” She found comfort in the fact Sandos had strong relationships with their vendors and services, from the photographer they used to the minister.
The couple chose to get married on the resort’s cenote deck, a beautiful venue located at the resort ground’s natural spring, enclosed by tropical fauna all around. The ceremony location is a stand-out feature of Sandos Caracol, one that truly draws on the traditional Mayan culture of the area.
For a unique twist, they used a custom Snapchat filter for the resort, where guests could share their experience with everyone at the wedding, and even those who couldn’t make it. They also booked a catamaran excursion for everyone to go on, which was the first time some had ever been on a boat ride on the ocean.
Ashley reflects on the importance of not stressing too much. The couple certainly gave their guests the chance to try something new. In fact, a few of their guests got passports for the very first time thanks to being invited. Plus, Ashley said that it turned out that being on a vacation already relieved much of the pressure of a wedding, as everyone is already in the mindset to have the best time possible.