Earthy Arcadia Hidden Arches Wedding With Dia De Los Muertos Touches

December 8, 2023 | justine

Gina and Christopher dreamed of a wedding that would capture the essence of their unique personalities and special bond. They wanted a  one-of-a-kind celebration that showcased their love but also included the cherished people in their lives. This desire inspired them to infuse elements of their love story into the very fabric of their Arcadia Hidden Arches wedding. To pay homage to their loved ones and cultural roots, they incorporated touches of Dia de los Muertos, adding a meaningful and personal touch to their special day.

Their special day aligns with one of the two important Dia De Los Muertos celebrations. Even though this time is usually known for bright oranges and lively colors, the couple opted for earthy tones inspired by nature and their heritage. They carefully included wood, clay, stone, metal, glass, and marigolds in their decor and around the venue. A touching moment unfolded with the ofrenda, a beautifully adorned altar. This became a deeply emotional experience as they honored and included their beloved family members who were no longer with them on this important day. 

 From the captivating full skeleton makeup to their stunning attire, we’re absolutely in love with it all! Each moment marked a genuine celebration of love and life, and Beatatum Photography brilliantly captured every intricate detail. Keep scrolling to learn about their journey and discover unique ideas to add a personal touch to your big day.

The Couple:

Gina and Christopher

The Wedding:

Arcadia Hidden Arches, Tulum, Mexico

A Dia De Los Muertos Tribute of Marigolds at Their Arcadia Hidden Arches Wedding

At our Arcadia Hidden Arches wedding, we embraced Dia De Los Muertos traditions with marigolds, known as cempasúchil, featured throughout. A stunning display of floating marigold blossoms adorned a long pool behind our ofrenda. Our choice of flowers, a mix of preserved and fresh blooms, symbolized the beautiful fusion of the living and departed. Despite our jungle setting, we aimed for an elevated experience using lace and silk materials, seamlessly blending with our celebration’s natural and bohemian essence. The result? A cohesive wedding that paid homage to tradition and celebrated our deep connection to nature and heritage.

A Heartfelt and Beautiful Ofrenda Honoring Departed Loved Ones

The most memorable part of our big day was when we stood before our ofrenda, trying not to cry. It was an emotional experience to remember and include all our beloved family members who couldn’t be with us on this important day. In case you’re unfamiliar, an ofrenda is a beautifully decorated altar with pictures, food, flowers, toys, and other meaningful items. These things are meant to welcome back the spirits of our loved ones once a year so we can celebrate their lives. To make it even more incredible, we asked guests to bring pictures of their loved ones for our ofrenda. It was heartwarming to see our guests approach the altar, share stories, laughter, and tears, and celebrate the beautiful lives of those they cared about.

Fun Wedding Planning Advice

Turn wedding planning into a party that plays to your strengths! Sure, it can be a crazy whirlwind of decisions and details, but finding joy is necessary. Here’s a tip that worked wonders for us: create your own charming tradition! We made the months leading up to our November 1st wedding extra special with a monthly wedding countdown date night. Picture this—dining out, reviewing our planning wins, and sharing some good laughs about the never-ending to-do list. It was like our secret recipe for turning wedding stress into shared excitement and love. So, go ahead and make planning a blast!

Crafting Wedding Magic: The Pride in Finer Details

What I love most about my wedding is the little things that make it unique. I’m all about paying attention to details; for me, these details were fun and meaningful. Using my background in landscape architecture, where spaces are designed to create specific feelings, I treated every part of our wedding like a unique and immersive experience. For example, during dinner, we paid attention to things like how tall the flowers were on the tables so that guests could see and talk easily. We also ensured the tables weren’t too crowded since we served family-style. We hung flowers from above in some places, making cool backgrounds for photos and beautiful focal points. Another noteworthy thing was that our wedding happened on my godmother’s birthday. We took a moment to sing “Happy Birthday” and surprised her with a cake, adding even more love and celebration to our unforgettable day.

Elegance in Tulum: Chic Getting Ready at the Bardo Hotel

Choosing the Bardo Hotel in Tulum for our getting-ready spot was like stepping into a fancy Architectural Digest magazine. It was elegant and matched the natural and bohemian style we wanted. The groomsmen’s outfits had some cool details, too. They rocked leather suspenders with their last names engraved, and their socks had cute sugar skull designs. Even the getting-ready shirts had cards from the Mexican game “Loteria,” making a special connection to my husband’s heritage. Every choice we made had a lot of thought and meaning behind it.

A Wedding That’s More Than Just A Day

When planning our wedding, our top priority was creating an unforgettable experience for our loved ones. We recognized that asking people to take time off work and travel to a different country for our wedding was a big request. We were determined to do more than plan a “wedding.” We aimed to design a remarkable “event” to leave everyone with lifelong memories. We extended our focus beyond the wedding day and meticulously researched a resort that would cater to the diverse interests of our guests during their entire trip.

Personalizing Their Vows and Sand Ceremony

We personalized our ceremony by inviting our family and friends to witness our marriage without prior paperwork or licenses. We wanted this to be a uniquely special moment for everyone who tried to join us. Leading up to our ceremony, we had to undergo a series of medical tests, which meant flying out three business days before our wedding to meet the legal requirements for marriage in Mexico. During the ceremony, we incorporated a sand ceremony. While this is a common ritual, it held great significance for us as we’ve been collecting sand and rocks (peep the geode ring boxes) from around the world. As a chemical engineer, my husband gifted me with test tubes to store our sand from our travels, and I must admit, this addition from the wedding has become my favorite!

Making Every Guest Feel Special at Their Arcadia Hidden Arches Wedding Reception

At the reception, my husband delivered a very personal speech. He included everyone who attended our wedding, sharing heartwarming stories about them and their connection to us. It was an incredibly thoughtful gesture that left a lasting impact. Nearly everyone at the wedding expressed how loved and appreciated they felt as part of his speech, making it a genuinely touching moment in the evening.

Skipping Favors with Sugar Skulls and Beach Photos

We chose to skip physical favors for our guests. Instead, we brought our makeup artist and her team, back to our event to paint traditional sugar skulls on our faces, allowing us to fully embrace Mexican culture and celebrate the Dia de los Muertos. In a fun twist, I offered my bridesmaids a unique gift. Rather than traditional gifts, I surprised them with a beach photo session with our photographers, an opportunity to capture special moments with their significant others. Since all of my bridesmaids were planning to get married within the next two years, it felt like the perfect way to celebrate their love. Some of these photos even made their way into engagement announcements!

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Beatatum
Event Planning – Luna Mía Events
Ceremony Venue – Arcadia Hidden Arches
Floral Design – Velvet Event Design
Catering – Ginger
Charcuterie – Catering Mole Negro Tulum
Cake – Los Pockets
Custom Cookies – Rosarina
DJ – Cue&Play Audiovisual
Makeup Artist + Hair styling – Eloisa Gomez
Wedding Dress – Madeline Gardner
Rings – Noral Jewelers
Rentals – Luna Mia Events
Lighting – Yesido


Congratulations to Gina and Christopher on their earthy Arcadia Hidden Arches wedding with Dia de los Muertos touch. And a big thank you to Beatatum Photography for brilliantly capturing every stunning detail. 

The key takeaway from their big day is the importance of infusing personal touches into your wedding to create a truly unique and memorable experience. From thoughtful traditions and unconventional ceremonies to DIY surprises, the journey of planning and executing a wedding reflects the couple’s love story and individuality. Let your wedding be a celebration that authentically represents you and your partner, making it an event to cherish for a lifetime.

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One Comment

  1. I had the pleasure of photographing the All Souls Procession in Tucson and it got me thinking about how amazing a Dia De Los Muertos-themed wedding would be. Love this so much!

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