Derek and Barb met through an online dating website, striking up a close rapport and officially becoming a couple while on a local beer and wine crawl in November 2016. After a few years of softball games together Derek proposed to Barb during the opening ceremonies of the 2018 Softball World Series, with help from USA Softball Olympic center fielder Hailey McClenney. Before the tournament kicked off, a softball was flown in on a medic helicopter and delivered to the couple on the pitcher’s mound, where Derek then knelt on a knee and asked for Barb’s hand in marriage.
Shortly after getting engaged, Derek and Barb ignited their destination wedding research, setting their sights on Mexico and the Caribbean. Desiring a more laid back, tranquil location for their festivities, the couple centered the search on the foliage and beach region of Riviera Maya. With the help of their Destify agent, Chelsea, they discovered the secluded oceanfront gem Secrets Riviera Cancun.
Derek and Barb agreed that the process before connecting with Chelsea was slightly hectic; a process that even sent Barb to a wedding bridal expo in Dallas. The couple was exceptionally impressed with Chelsea’s streamlined services, noting her calming presence and attention to detail when it came to accommodating their requirements and necessities. Barb said, “It was going to be my first trip out of the country and in turn also it being my wedding which made it all that more stressful.” But with Chelsea’s assistance and consistent resort brainstorms she successfully guided her and Derek through the process.
Staying at the resort for 8 days and 7 nights, Derek and Barb were able to leverage the resort’s world-class restaurants, instantly elevating their collective destination wedding experience. Before the day of their ceremony, the couple hosted an intimate rehearsal dinner at Himitsu, a delectable pan-Asian eatery with stunning views of the Caribbean. Throughout the week, Derek and Barb immersed themselves in a collection of off-site tropical excursions. From snorkeling in crystal clear waters to touring the North Shore, the couple fell in love with Riviera Maya and continued to witness their dream destination wedding turn into a reality.
The couple tied the knot under a white arbor in the resort’s Garden venue while taking in a magical rain sprinkle filled backdrop. After the ceremony, Derek and Barb continued taking wedding photos while the wedding party and guests enjoyed a cocktail hour filled with an abundance of food and inviting mariachi band tunes. As the sun set, the wedding party enjoyed a gorgeous reception in the grand garden with a 5-course meal and a breathtakingly beautiful wedding cake.
Citing the resort’s impeccable service and inviting demeanor, Barb excitedly praised the on-site wedding department’s stellar performance. Perhaps a minute, yet meaningful gesture, the couple reflected on a defining moment from their wedding week, “Even though it was overcast, the sun illuminated a collection of sparse rain droplets that made the entire ceremony quite enchanting.”
Barb maintained her love for destination weddings and her extraordinary experience when she offered the 2 following pieces of advice for newly engaged couples: