Cenote Elopement and Trash the Dress – Cherise and Tom
“The images Del Sol produce showed a combination of passion, intimacy, and intensity that we had never seen before. Those are the qualities we wanted in our wedding.”
Everyone has a different vision of their wedding day. Cherise and Tom are definitely at the more adventurous end of the spectrum! traveling to Mexico to get married in a cenote with just Cherise’s parents as guests. Painted warriors drumming. A shaman who surprised them with a spiritual ceremony. Then jumping in the water for underwater wedding photography and even losing the wedding dress completely…! For sure theirs was anything but a cookie cutter wedding.
We asked Cherise and Tom to tell us more about what inspired them to travel to Mexico – get married in a cenote then do an Adam and Eve session!
Tom: “Travel is an integral part of the life that we’ve got planned together. It made perfect sense to travel for the wedding. Travel gives you the opportunity to learn so much about other cultures, ways of life, and about yourself. All while experiencing things that you could never experience at home. We want that to be a cornerstone of our marriage.”
“A wedding in a new and exciting location seemed a perfect way to start our married life together.” – Tom
Del Sol: Was there a part of each others’ vows that touched you?
Tom: “We wrote our vows separately so neither one would know what the other was going to say. What was perfect to me is that we both referred to the other as our “adventure buddy” during our vows. That was not planned but it certainly drove home the point that we are going to take on this world together and have as many adventures as we possibly can.”
Cherise: “I couldn’t believe out of all the things we both could have wrote about in our vows (I mean, twelve years provides you with a wealth of things to say) we managed to both reference our “adventure buddy”. It was just another reminder of how much we are in sync.”
Del Sol: One of the most amazing and touching moments of your ceremony was when Cherise’s mom started to sing…
Tom: The biggest surprise (apart from the fact that we had no idea what Del Sol had planned for us so, really, everything was a surprise) was when Lorena asked if Cherise’s parents had anything to say and Cherise’s mom chose to sing Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me”.
Cherise: “My mother loves to sing and while I was growing up she sang a lot of Celine Dion. One of the songs she would sing was Celine Dion’s version of “Because You Loved Me”. It was my favourite Celine Dion song when I was little. One day when I was 7 years old I asked her if she would sing that song on my wedding day. I wanted to walk down the aisle to it.”
“My mom responded that it might be a little hard for her as it would be her little girl’s big day. It made me sad at the time but eventually my request faded from my mind. Once we decided to go with Del Sol’s wedding I didn’t even really think of that long ago dream. It never entered my mind that my mom would even remember that exchange.”
“When she started to sing during her speech it all came flooding back to me and it was the most beautiful moment I think I have ever experienced with my mother. The fact that she remembered after all this time…words cannot express the depth of feeling that overcame me. Truly, it was the greatest gift she could have given me on my wedding day. I will treasure it till the day I die.” – Cherise
Del Sol: Talk to us about deciding to include UNDERWATER wedding photography in you wedding day! And going the extra mile and doing an Adam and Eve session!
“When we started planning our wedding we had heard of trash the dress photoshoots where the bride gets covered in paint/cake/dirt/etcetera. We thought that seemed interesting and creative. What’s the point of wearing a dress once and then putting it in a closet for 20 years? But we’d never gave it much serious thought. Then we came across Del Sol’s website and the underwater Trash the Dress sessions.”
“We decided we were doing a Trash the Dress after about two seconds of browsing Del Sol’s underwater wedding photography images. Those pictures were so original, innovative and beautiful. We instantly knew that we wanted something like that for our wedding.” – Tom
“Cherise found one of the Adam and Eve galleries. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t even a moment’s hesitation that this was what she wanted. I’ll admit that I was initially a bit more hesitant. But a quick browse through the gallery changed my mind.”
“Every couple wants something different from their wedding. We wanted a pure, simple, intense expression of our love for one another. We knew an Adam and Eve session would be the perfect way to immortalize this moment in our lives.” – Tom
Del Sol: What was the most amazing moment of your day?
Tom: “Uh… Wow. That’s a hard one. I don’t think it’s possible to single out one amazing moment as the whole day was completely filled with them. Walking down into the cenote for the first time and seeing how incredibly beautiful it was. The amazing candles artfully placed all about the cenote. The Mayan warriors and the sound of the shell as it was blown. Receiving my boutonniere and Cherise’s bouquet and crown of local Mexican flowers from Lorena along with the incredibly thoughtful and beautiful candle gift and hearing the amazing story of the Nikte’ha flower that inspired it.”
“Lorena leading us through a ceremony that was completely foreign to us and somehow felt more natural than any traditional wedding ceremony we could have done back home. Bonny surprising us by singing “Because You Loved Me”. The mot-mots. Stripping down for an Adam and Eve Trash the Dress session on our wedding day. Doing shots of Xtabentun to keep warm while in the water. Arriving in the van after having an absolutely shit start to our destination wedding vacation and meeting Matt, Polly, Arube, Lorena and Udi. You guys turned our whole trip around when we honestly didn’t think it was possible.”
“You guys did what I did not think was possible.” – Tom
Tom: “Without getting into the details, the start of our trip was one we would love to forget. It was to the point that on the way to the cenote Cherise was in tears and I was wondering whether the whole adventure was a big mistake and perhaps we should have just got married in city hall instead.”
“The way you guys handled that was awesome. You didn’t tell us “Oh weddings are stressful, just try to enjoy it” or any clichés like that. Instead you listened, validated what we were going through and worked that shitty start of a trip into the themes and events of the day to somehow make it even more special.”
“Honestly, we can’t thank you enough. You treated us like so much more than clients, you welcomed us like old friends and gave us a wedding celebration that we could never have dreamed of. Matt, Polly, Arube, Lorena, Udi, thank you, thank you, thank you.”
“The idea that came out of our first conversation that day, that we can find perfection in life’s imperfections, is something that is going to define our marriage. It made the whole thing more poignant and inspiring. Out of the ashes of our perfectly dreamed day was birthed something more uniquely special than we ever could have imagined. You gave us not only a dream wedding experience but also the one we needed which will serve as inspiration in the years to come.”
Del Sol: Why did you choose something SO radical and unheard of and let del Sol PLAN everything?
Tom: “We didn’t think there was much point in traveling to a foreign destination to have a wedding that you can have in Canada. Why travel if you’re not eager to immerse yourself in the local culture and practices, at least to some degree? We agreed when we started looking at destination weddings that we would try to do things with as much local influence as possible.”
“The second thing was Del Sol itself. We had not even decided on what country to visit when Cherise found Del Sol’s website. We looked at those pictures and decided right then that we were going to have Del Sol photograph our wedding. That meant we would be traveling to the Riviera Maya, which was fine by us, but we didn’t know anything about planning weddings down there or even which resorts would be suitable for what we had in mind.”
“We contacted Del Sol to find out about photographing our wedding and if they had any advice about planning destination weddings. Matt was kind enough to set up a video call on Skype (which was truly great customer service as we hadn’t even discussed signing a contract.)
“We explained that we were looking to embrace the local culture and have a once in a lifetime experience.” – Tom
Tom: “Matt suggested that perhaps Del Sol could put together a wedding experience that was unlike anything done before. We were not expecting that at all but the more we thought about it the more it made sense. Del Sol obviously produces world class photographs. Letting them put their creative spin on our wedding could potentially create something amazing. We emailed back and forth over the next few weeks. It was obvious that Matt, Polly and everyone else at Del Sol were 100% invested in planning our wedding. It was a stark difference from the indifference and generic responses we got from a lot of the resorts we’d contacted.”
“We knew it would be a risk to hand over control of our wedding. We also knew what we would get by going with the more common all-inclusive resort route.”
“This was taking a chance to have something truly unique that embodied the spirit of the locale and that spoke to us as a couple. By the time we signed the contract we were convinced that Del Sol was going to provide us with a wedding we could never have imagined in our wildest dreams.”
Del Sol: How was your experience in Mexico – bearing in mind the current travel advisories against Mexico?
Tom: “Mexico is a vibrant country that offers a wealth of history, culture and soul. It also has something for any type of tourist/traveler. If you prefer, you can stay in a resort on the beach and while away the hours of your vacation. Delving into the local cuisine is a must, and there are a host of other exciting and adventurous things to do.”
“Honestly, I love Mexico. I tend to steer clear of the tourist traps and the so-called “safe” modes of travel. Like everywhere else in the world there is a dark side but if you employ common sense (the same common sense you employ at home to avoid getting into trouble) you will be perfectly safe. You can find a wealth of opportunity if you take a chance. Take a collectivo taxi! They are fun! You get to interact with locals who, for the most part, are more than happy to help and show you their world.”
“If you give Mexico the opportunity it will surprise you. Just remember that you are in a foreign country, that you are a visitor, and respect the fact that you are not at home and not everything is the same.” – Tom
Cherise: “If you are planning your wedding, really think about what you want. What would make you happy? Is it a wedding on the beach? A party at the resort surrounded by your friends and family? Mexico has a thriving wedding tourism industry. You can find anything you want to if you are willing to look for it. There is a ton of beautiful resorts to choose from if that is what you want but there is also so much more! Take a chance, you will not be disappointed!
“If you want more than the stereotypical resort wedding, then talk to the lovely people at Del Sol. They genuinely want to provide you with an incredible Mexico wedding experience…whether it’s providing incredible photography or curating a unique and personal wedding experience. I cannot recommend them enough!” – Cherise
Principal Photographer- Del Sol Photography Co-Founder Matt Adcock
AMAAAZING Candle Decoration: Candle boutique Weddings
Second Photographer: Polly
Wedding Dress: Kitty Chen
Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Bride’s Jewelry: All Things Tinsel
My wedding jewelry was custom designed by the incredible Alisa Hopper through her Etsy shop All Things Tinsel. I cannot thank her enough for bringing my dream into reality.
Bride’s Hairpiece: by Lynn from her Etsy shop A Goddess Divine
Engagement and wedding rings: My engagement ring and wedding band were custom designed by the fabulous Noam Carver with the amazing help of April MacDonald from GMG Jewellers who put us in contact with Noam and helped us realize our dream ring.
Hair + Makeup: Sara Tamargo