Contact us to plan your Travel!
Our sister company Del Sol Travels is a full-service travel agency that specializes in planning destination weddings, honeymoons and special events. Their services are complimentary, and our team of travel experts is available to assist you with travel planning around the globe, not only for weddings and honeymoons but with all of your travel needs.
Del Sol: You guys were amazing to work with and so trusting in our vision of how your wedding could be!
Heather: “Del Sol co-founder Matt’s vision was the seed that started it all… from a Mayan Ceremony to a candle lit cenote ceremony site.”
“Had it not been for Matt, our beautiful ceremony would have never existed.”- Heather
“I still remember a year+ out from our chosen date stepping out each room in my house as we talked over the phone about the endless possibilities and the ideas he had for us. It was those first conversations that set the scene and the rest followed… still lots of time and effort by many to make it all come together, but truly it was Matt’s initial vision and everyone’s ideas from then on that made the whole day magical.”
Del Sol: It’s amazing LOVE brought you here! Why did you Travel for Love and Say YES to Mexico?!
Heather: “Akumal, Mexico has always been a special place for the Kissner family. First for Tyler’s aunt, Carol. She discovered the area in the 80s with her husband Claude. They were a wonderful add to our wedding guest list.”
“As Carol said, “Akumal did not disappoint. Yes things changed, but enough stayed the same that it was a joy in much the same way as the old days”.
“Tyler along with his family have visited the Akumal area on numerous family vacations since he was around the age ten. Tyler first introduced me to Akumal the winter of 2012 on a friend’s vacation to Cancun.”
“I instantly fell in love with Akumal and Half Moon Bay. It was the first place we visited that I lost myself in the love, sun, sand, and of course Lucy’s ice cream. We had nowhere to be but just be there together. A place I will always cherish.” – Heather
Del Sol: You had never seen the site before the ceremony. The site has pretty rustic elements including cats and dogs running around – certainly not your average wedding venue! There was certainly a whole lot of thought that went into the preparation and the design of your wedding experience taking advantage of Matt’s background in theatre set and lighting design.
“Having seen Sol, Matt and Del Sol’s previous work we knew we wouldn’t be disappointed.”
“There was a large appeal to try something far outside the box. Part of that experience was putting faith in our wedding team and letting them run with everything.” – Tyler
“The setting was surreal from the illumination of the candles to the thick haze in the air. It was incredibly unique and almost otherworldly while maintaining such a warm and welcoming experience.”
Heather: We had seen photos of the cenote so we had a rough idea of what to expect. Manda had also taken a lot of time to describe the place both in e-mail and again in person the Friday before the big day. I am a planner, so to let go of the little details was a challenge for me. I appreciated her attention to the details.
“Personally, I was taken away first by the entrance into the cenote… The rays of sun shining through. Then again by the deepest section closest to the cenote water, it had the beautiful grand appearance.”
Del Sol: One of the parts of the ceremony that stood out for us was that is was a MOVING ceremony. Sol made a decision when she saw the location that you and your guests should enter through the rays of light and go deeper into the earth as the ceremony progressed. We literally moved from “room” to room in the cenote – from the “Casa del Viento” where you had your vows to the “Casa del Agua” inside the earth giving blessings to the water.
Tyler: “The movement from each cavern to the next kept a more consistent engagement with each other as well as with our guests. Each room offering a fresh perspective and piece of the ceremony while feeding into the experience as a whole.”
“The caverns were very unique and in a way each more grand than the last, with the finale beyond anything imaginable. All the smaller pieces fit together to create the larger picture. I suppose there is a good analogy to marriage in there.”
“I thought it was a great idea to move locations throughout the ceremony. Thank you Sol! It allowed our guests to stay engaged as well as move about freely.” – Heather
“As a bride I was happy that we entered the Casa Del Agua first, as to fully take it all in as a couple… the beauty of such a place and all the emotions we were feeling all washing over us at once.
Del Sol: We loved the moment of the flower offering – what was in your hearts as you threw the flowers to the water?
Tyler: “It was a beautiful way to symbolize the mixings of 2 ideals/people/blessings into one joined offering. Many other ceremonies use candles or sand or some other medium but I found this to be perfect for us.”
“The water was an important component that I loved. There is a certain peace that I gain from wading in rivers and streams(along with the ocean when I get the chance). Knowing they all feed together eventually to form one body. Where we begin and where we end.”
“I felt truly connected to everyone at the time of the flower offering. It was a moment to highlight each guests’ hopes, wishes and prayers for Tyler and I as a couple. I loved being in the water… it completed the moment as I listened and then heard and felt what Sofia was saying.” – Heather
“I also thought the second flower re-casting requested by Sol was improv and I loved it!”
Del Sol: We loved the word that your Shaman Sofia used in your ceremony: “co-collaborators.” That was certainly the case for your wedding as the were many people involved – each with their artistic vision – and it all came together amazingly. We were super happy to work with Manda, Jen and the Turtle Bay team because they are ultimate “co-collaborators” – super open to our ideas and creative direction but available with their own ideas – like the awesome cenote location. As you know we visited the site several times with Manda before the wedding to discuss the ceremony design. We’re so lucky to work with such open, willing and fun coordinator!!
Tyler: “Although we are familiar with the area it still requires a large amount of knowledge and coordination to bring everything together and have things run smoothly. I think everyone did a wonderful job doing just that.”
Everything went not only smoothly but beautifully. So many elements came together to form the overall experience that will last our lifetime.
Heather: “Overall my experience working with everyone was great, few bumps in the road but only minor. A lot of coordinating between multiple people. Everyone played a part and the day was amazing!”
“Special thank to Del Sol, especially Polly for her always upbeat emails even when I became repetitive or had a rather dumb request or question. I also felt that all monetary transactions went smooth and were presented well. An additional thank you for taking the time to meet with Manda and seek out the new cenote location.”
“The extra time from all of you made the whole ceremony that much more exotic and beautiful.”
Del Sol: Another really important element was the CANDLES which is a BIG investment – but – WOW! Marcus from Candle Boutique is a personal friend of Matt and we always recommend his incredible work.
“It was really a breathtaking sight to walk into the last area and see the sheer quantity and glow that the candles produced. It would have been a gorgeous space either way but the candles created such a unique scene that no one was familiar with.” – Tyler
“It would have been a disservice to have gone cheap on such a huge element to the space. Very beautiful.”
Heather: “I’d hoped that the candles and lighting would be the element to bring the wow factor. It did not disappoint. I was very touched that a personal candle was made for us, the perfect personal touch.”
Del Sol: The place you chose to stay is really special – Akumal + Media Luna is one of our faves! We also love the ViIla that you got ready in – super colorful and Mexican style! Can you talk to us about the effect that location had on your vacation and wedding experience? Those vibrant yellow walls and of course the blue Caribbean ocean really set the mood!
Tyler: “Villa Valhalla offered such a great central point for our wedding party. We were able to have people flow in and out but still maintain a personal space to have alone time.”
“Villa Valhalla and the atmosphere it created with our closest friends and family is something that can’t be easily replicated. We were very happy to have went big and made it such a memorable experience.” – Tyler
Heather: “The Villa we stayed in was amazing and just perfect for our event. It was spacious enough to allow everyone personal space and it incorporated all the fun common areas a group could ask for. The views were amazing and the memories created, priceless.”
Del Sol: We love that your first look ended up being a little informal in that many of your guests were in the house and you mixed with them before heading to the ceremony – so much love!
“I thought it was perfect to allow them the experience to see our first look first hand. So many only get to relive it with a picture or videos and this was such a close group it just felt right.” – Tyler
Heather: “So I must say that I was a bit lost in everything going on… as I lost track of time quickly. Heck, I almost forgot to remove my panties from under my dress till I was given a friendly reminder!”
“I was not expecting or planning for our guest to be inside the house and present during the first look, but really I didn’t mind at all as it added to the moment. All I could think about was what Tyler would think when he saw me.
“I wasn’t sure how it would be done or where exactly, but I’d thought about how that moment would feel for a long time. To finally be the one in white… and his first look did not disappoint, he cried and Tyler doesn’t cry.”
Del Sol: Heather – Sol has some beautiful portraits of you in the house – she really makes it her mission to SEE her brides and show them at their most beautiful! How did you feel in front of her lens?
Heather: “I felt comfortable with Sol from the beginning. I wasn’t always sure about my positioning but rather it was more about having fun for me. Especially when veil dancing, I did a veil for I knew Sol would incorporate it in so many exciting ways.”
“I’m not perfect but in her lens I felt beautiful and confident!”” – Heather
Del Sol: We have a really lovely photo of you two and Tyler’s mom looking at the photo of Tyler’s day on Heather’s bouquet before you went to the ceremony – talk to us about that moment.
Tyler: “With all the joy of the day there was also some great difficulty. Dad was a very special person to us all and knowing how much it meant for him to be there with us, Heather found a small pendant and had his picture put on it to carry with her.”
“It was a beautiful way to incorporate him and was a surprise to my Mother. We all took a moment together to think of him before we progressed to the ceremony.”
Del Sol: Of course we have to mention the wonderful Buena Vida – talk to us about why you chose that location for your reception.
Tyler: “As a kid on vacation staying in half moon bay there was nothing cooler that going to the “swing bar” on the beach with the crows nests and fun music. Not much has changed going into adulthood in that I still love it as much.
“The Buena Vida has such a fun atmosphere in a beautiful setting.”
“I also liked having the reception open to other patrons. It was a great way to grow the party and have fun.”
Tyler: “Akumal as a whole was/is such an engrained part of me today. So many fond memories of family vacations that I hope to continue as our family grows and changes. I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything.”
Del Sol: How was your experience with the del Sol team?!
Tyler: I’ve been such a huge fan of your work probably since your Instagram account was created.
“Everything Del Sol does is so unique and individualistic which is such a refreshing change from the more traditional photography.”
Heather + Tyler: “Sol and Polly were both so easy flowing and fast at their work. In the few shots we’ve seen its already evident that they have an amazing eye and are extraordinarily creative.”
Del Sol: You are really PIONEERS in having a wedding many would consider ” out-there!”
Heather + Tyler: “When we first thought out the concept based on what we saw from Del Sol online it didn’t seem likely. The more we thought on it and went to other traditional weddings the more the idea took hold and it soon became evident that it was the right style for us.”
“We actively try to stay outside of the box as much as possible. It’s not always the easiest or fastest route but I think it is by far the most rewarding.”
Del Sol: You have been coming to Mexico for so many years – what would you say to the people who are afraid to come!
Heather + Tyler: “For the first time we had reservations on coming down after seeing more activity on crime flare up along with issues in Akumal regarding the beach wall. Once we arrived we were pleasantly surprised it was very close to the same old Mexico we fell in love with so many years back.”
“Just like most major cities you should use caution and common sense but the people and places we interacted with are so far above and beyond what you would find most places.”
“The canned “all inclusive” experience is just that. Mexico has so much culture and flavor it would be a waste to never leave the resort walls. You could spend a lifetime and never scratch the surface so it seems like such a waste to beat down the same resort path.”
“Akumal is such an unspoiled gem.”
“It has developed more than I’d prefer but hardly enough to complain. The roads are all safe and walkable. The food venues are all fantastic and reasonably priced and the condo/villa choices offer many unique lodging experiences based on amenities and budget.”
“Several of our friends do all-inclusive trips and I think it exposed the options they have for future trips – hopefully they bring us along!”
See the full wedding slideshow:
Contact us to plan your Travel!
Our sister company Del Sol Travels is a full-service travel agency that specializes in planning destination weddings, honeymoons and special events. Their experience includes planning over 800 destination weddings throughout Mexico and the Caribbean as well as extensive personal knowledge of dozens of resorts and destinations. Del Sol Travels services are complimentary, and their expertise is not limited to weddings. Our team is available to assist you with travel planning around the globe!
Akumal Cave Wedding Photographer: Sol Tamargo
Second Photographer: Polly
Cave Wedding getting ready location: Half Moon Bay, Villa Valhalla
Wedding reception location: La Buena Vida Restaurant
Akumal Cave Wedding coordinator: Manda Harman – Turtle Bay Weddings
Hair and Makeup artist: BeSo Brides
Bridal Gown: Alvina Valenta
Florist artist: White Garden’s
Candle designer artist Team : Candle Boutique Weddings
TAGS: CENOTE, CENOTE WEDDING, RIVIERA MAYA, WEDDING, AKUMAL