Dutch Still Life Inspired Xcaret Wedding

November 10, 2022 | justine

From the very beginning, Melissa and Chris had a clear vision of what they wanted for their big day. They drew inspiration from an unexpected source, combining the mystery of Dutch still-life paintings and the dramatic flair of the old world. Keeping that in mind, their pro team of experts helped pull their dream castle wedding with opulent florals, a rich color palette, and luxurious vintage decor. To say that the vibe of this Xcaret wedding is off the charts would definitely be an understatement!

With the magnificent stone galleries, staggering staircases, and iconic limestone caves, the pair chose the perfect location for an art-infused celebration. Both magical and mystical, the festivities began with ancient rituals followed by a traditional ceremony deep within the rocky observatory. The scene was set for a lavish reception as guests were greeted with lush tablescapes draped in velvet, adorned with candles and antique accents. To top it all off, the combination of the glittering ceiling and sparkling chandeliers added a soft glow to the space and amplified the romance.

Photographer and Junebug member Martin Wilk describes their special day as “a wedding like no other.” And one look at these images, we guarantee you’d agree. If you and your partner are searching for unique wedding ideas, then look no further.

The Couple:

Melissa and Christopher

The Wedding:

Xcaret, Playa de Carmen. Qroo, Mexico

Photographer and Junebug Member Martin Wilk’s Thoughts On This Xcaret Wedding

Christopher is a Broadway Stagehand, and Melissa is a distinguished New York-based graphic designer. They had a very clear idea of what the vision of their wedding was—baroque, elegant, and unique centerpieces for each of the tables. Emphasis on unique—each table was different from the other, and no two centerpieces were alike. And at the altar, for their Mayan ceremony, they built a tree made of various flowers and tree pieces from the Mayan Riviera area. Melissa and Christopher were very thorough in searching for their vendors, especially a planner and florist who could bring their vision to life. And a photographer who could capture everything as majestic and authentic as it was.

Why They Decided To Have A Dutch Still Life Xcaret Wedding

More than anything, we wanted our wedding to be a fun and unique experience for our guests. I dreamed of a wedding that looked like a 17th-century Dutch still life or Vanitas painting. Dark tables with dark florals, rich jewel tones, antique silverware, and glassware. We wanted it to feel like a lush banquet in an old castle hall. Because many people had to travel to attend our wedding, we wanted it to be someplace extraordinary.

Wedding Advice: Trust The Vendors You Hire

I run a business full-time and was planning from my home in NYC. Maggie of SOS Wedding Planners, made it all happen. I’m very proud of her, Dia Uno Florals, and Martin Wilk’s work. If you can hire professionals to help you, hire people you trust and let them do their job. Don’t get in the way too much.

A Traditional Mayan Marriage Ritual During Their Xcaret Wedding Ceremony

Alex of Dia Uno Florals made a beautiful ceiba tree out of flowers for us to have the ceremony under. Our ceremony was a Mayan marriage ritual dedicated to the goddess Ix Chel. It was one of the most memorable and genuinely mystical moments of our lives.

The Couple Wanted Their Guests To Experience Authentic Mexican Food

We had an elegant Mexican menu, with things like grasshopper salt, escamoles (ant eggs), and black mole. There were lots of unique Mexican dishes that I know many of our guests have never tried. I sneakily didn’t translate those items so they wouldn’t be put off.

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Martin Wilk
Event Planning – SOS Wedding Planners
Ceremony Venue + Catering – Xcaret
Floral Design – Dia Uno Events
Invitation Design – Open Sea Design Co.
Makeup Artist – Beatriz Cisneros
Wedding Dress – Spina Bride
Groom’s Apparel – Bergdorf Goodman
Rings – Anna Sheffield


Congratulations to Melissa and Chris on their Dutch Xcaret wedding. And a big thank you to Photographer and Junebug member Martin Wilk for capturing all the unique wedding ideas that unconventional couples can use as inspiration. To see more weddings like this one and get the creative juices flowing, check out his profile in our directory of photographers from around the world

There are many ways to achieve a celebration beyond your wildest dreams. And while hiring a superstar planner is the first step, you’ll need a rockstar vendor team to pull off a successful event. Kickstart the process with our planning and budget guides, and build your dream team by choosing from our list of expert and trusted vendors.

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How To Hire A Photographer For Your Proposal

November 9, 2022 | riley

The time has come. You’re ready to get down on one knee and surprise the love of your life with the most important question of your life. First off, congratulations! This is such an exciting chapter, so shake off those nerves and take a moment to soak in the feeling of this once-in-a-lifetime joy.

Now, when it comes to planning the perfect proposal, there are so many moving parts that go into it. One aspect that has become increasingly popular is having a photographer shoot engagements. And we understand why. Those are memories you will want to look back on for years to come. If this is something you want to include in your special day, we’re here to help. 

From finding the best photographer for your needs to figuring out the perfect location, we’re breaking down how to hire a photographer for your proposal (and why we think it’s 100% worth it).

Tips On How To Hire A Photographer For Your Proposal

Find The Best Photographer For You

When it comes time to find the best photographer for you and your needs, there are a couple of things to consider. Two of the most important are experience and location. Don’t be afraid to check out their website and social media profiles to ensure that their style aligns with your vision. We suggest making sure that they keep their profiles up to date with current work and checking if they have testimonials on their site from previous clients.

If you find that the photographer you have in mind has a lot of wedding photos that you like but aren’t seeing many proposal photos, reach out and ask if they have any experience in it, if it’s something they’re interested in, and if they have a gallery that you can look at. Often times they do but keep their social media and site tailored to weddings.

We know that searching for the perfect photographer can be overwhelming, to say the least. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our directory of wedding photographers from around the world.

Discuss Budget

Before hiring the photographer, it’s important to discuss pricing. Once you begin your research, you’ll likely find photographers have different packages. Some may have you pay a flat hourly rate, while others may have an engagement package that includes the proposal and a photo session after. Is this something you are interested in? If so, it’s crucial to find a photographer that offers this.

Hire Them ASAP

It’s no secret that photographers book up quickly in the wedding world. Although a proposal takes up far less time than a wedding, reaching out to them ASAP will ensure that you book the photographer you want. It also gives you time to plan out the proposal. 

While it may seem like something you can quickly put together, this isn’t ideal–especially for the photographer. They’re going to want to scout out the location, figure out the perfect hiding spots, create a timeline for the day, etc. 

Figure Out A Location

Speaking of the location, it’s ideal to have the location sorted out before you hire your photographer. However, this isn’t necessary. Many photographers know beautiful spots that make for stunning proposals

If you’re unsure of how you want to pop the question, ask your photographer for help. Using them as an aid during the planning will help ensure that you have the proposal of your dreams and that they’ll know exactly where to be while photographing it.

Have A Plan B

There is no such thing as being too prepared. And just like with everything else in life, sometimes things don’t go according to plan–which is alright! That’s why a plan B will help relieve some of the stress. If someone ends up in your planned proposal spot on the day of, you won’t even have to worry because you’ll have a backup plan. Just be sure to discuss this backup plan with your photographer plan ahead of time.

Image by Natasha Shapiro

Why You Should Hire A Photographer For Your Proposal

Still on the fence about hiring a photographer for your proposal? We understand it can seem like an unnecessary expense. But we’re giving you a few reasons why we think it’s worth every penny.

Capture One Of The Most Important Days Of Your Life

Life goes by too quickly, and your proposal is going to be over in a blink of an eye. One minute you’re getting down on one knee, and the next, it’s your wedding day. Hiring a photographer to capture one of the most important days of your life will help those memories last for years to come. You’ll be able to look back and experience every single emotion felt on that day.

Photos Can Be Used For Engagement Announcements

Engagement photos can be used for quite a few things. From the initial social media announcement letting all of your friends and family know about your news to your save-the-dates and wedding website, the photos will come in handy more than you think.

Create A Relationship With A Photographer

For many couples, the photographer they choose for their proposal also ends up being the photographer who shoots their engagement photos and their wedding. This gives you a chance to become familiar with them as a person and as a photographer–especially if you end up shooting your engagement photos on the same day. And the more comfortable you are with them, the more it shows in your photos.

If you discover that it’s not quite the look you’re going for when it comes to your wedding day, you’ll have figured that out sooner rather than later, which is also a win.

Now that you’ve figured out how to hire a photographer for your proposal, it’s time to think about how you’re going to ask. If you haven’t pinned down an idea yet, you’re in luck. We’ve rounded up 15 proposal ideas that are as sweet as they are creative!

And of course, once they say “yes!” (which they definitely will), it’s time to start thinking about your engagement party. We know that feels like a lot to think about right away. That’s why we’ve rounded up 16 engagement party ideas so you have one less thing to worry about.

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This Mexico Backyard Wedding Was Complete With Vintage Cars

November 7, 2022 | justine

Andrea and Pedro initially took a laid-back approach when planning their wedding. But after meeting with their visionary vendor team, they were set on bringing to life a Mexico backyard wedding filled with personal style, creativity, and the perfect visual of transforming a cherished space into a dreamy wedding venue

With the groom being an avid vintage car enthusiast, it was fitting that the pair said their “I do’s” at the showroom showcasing their car collection. They softened the space and added a romantic feel to it using sculptural floral pillars. Talk about a statement-making backdrop! For the reception that followed, their backyard was turned into a whimsical garden complete with a potted floral wall and a stone fountain filled with blooms.

If you and your partner have been searching for backyard wedding ideas to draw inspiration from, then look no further. Scroll through these captivating images by photographer and Junebug member Rosalinda Olivares to see exactly what we mean.

Photographer and Junebug Member Rosalinda Olivares’ Thoughts On This Mexico Backyard Wedding

Andrea and Pedro are a very relaxed couple with an incredible vibe. The groom and his dad have an amazing vintage and race car collection and a space on the property dedicated to them. When they told me that’s where the wedding ceremony would be, I was intrigued! Celebrating your wedding in your backyard means you can always return to your wedding day. This wedding can inspire couples to consider tying the knot at home.

The Couple:

Andrea and Pedro

The Wedding:


How Their Mexico Backyard Wedding Came To Be

We have always been fans of the outdoors and enjoy outdoor activities and nature. We had never been excited about “the wedding” but more about getting married and living together. One afternoon as we walked by Pedro’s house, we thought it would be nice to have our wedding there. We wanted something small and intimate. When we met with our wedding planner, we had a meeting at Pedro’s house. As soon as they arrived, they had the vision of how to set everything up, and everything was born there. We went from not caring about the wedding to being very excited. The wedding project started to feel ours.

Weaving Their Love Story Into The Ceremony By Including Their Loved Ones

We wanted our legal ceremony to be emotional and beautiful. So we chose Christian Cortés as our master of ceremonies–someone who had an eloquent way of telling stories and has redefined the experience of wedding ceremonies in our city. We turned our wedding into an event to remember. The five witnesses who signed during the ceremony are essential to our relationship. Two of them are our best friends, the third was the one who introduced us at a party, and the fourth friend was very close to both of us long before we met at that party. We asked him to say a few words that made us cry. The fifth witness was our four-legged best friend, who came into our relationship to teach us unconditional love in its purest form.

Making Wedding Planning Decisions Together

Your wedding belongs to your partner and you. And everything requires teamwork. We divided all the tasks and always touched base to confirm that we agreed on the other’s decision. Don’t let any social rule tell you what protocol you have or don’t have to follow. Only invite the people you want to share that day with. You will enjoy them all and get excited to see each guest. Stop worrying about feeling obligated to invite. 

Starting The Party By Dancing To Their Favorite Song

Pedro and I had always danced a ska-cumbia in the kitchen when we were dating. We joked that it was going to be our wedding waltz. At the wedding dinner, he asked me, “Andrea, what do you think if we open the dance floor with this song? Should I ask for it?” And I said yes! We enjoyed dancing to the song “A Mi No Me Importa El Dinero” by a band from Argentina, Los Autenticos Decadentes.

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Rosalinda Olivares
Event Planning – Buma Monterrey
Floral Design – Garden Studio
Catering – AB Catering
Cake – Farmacia Internacional
Officiant – Christian Cortes
DJ – Mr Rodriguez
Wedding Dress – Karah


Congratulations to Andrea and Pedro on their Mexico backyard wedding that was complete with vintage cars. And a big thank you to photographer and Junebug member Rosalinda Olivares for capturing their special day full of memories and stunning details. Be inspired by more unique weddings like this one by checking out her profile in our directory of photographers from around the world.

A backyard bash can be stunning when done right. Not only can you and your partner personalize every detail, but you also have the freedom to be creative. Looking for unique backyard wedding decor? Then check out our guide to the best Amazon wedding decor!

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