Del Sol: Ashley – you’re a bride yourself AND a wedding expert in the travel industry! What is your advice for other brides about planning a destination wedding?
Ashley: “As a destination wedding specialist I’m fortunate to have insider knowledge of planning a destination wedding. There’s definitely some items I learned from going through this process myself. Here are some of my top tips:
“Early on in the planning process, determine your top three priorities for your wedding. Budget the most money towards these items. For us, photography was #1 so we budgeted the most towards this item and booked Del Sol before confirming anything else.” – Ashley
“I definitely recommend working with a destination wedding specialist to help plan your trip.”- Ashley
“There’s so many confusing & complicated details involved in planning a wedding. Working with a specialist will help point you in the right direction. They will help you choose the perfect wedding venue to best suit your needs and help you navigate through all the confusing details. A destination wedding specialist handles all of the important items regarding your trip such as wedding and room contracts, payments, as well as coordinate and book all of your guests travel needs.”
“Consider doing a pre-wedding shoot to help prepare or “practice” for your wedding day photos. We chose to do an indoor and outdoor couples boudoir session with Del Sol at the Hyatt Ziva the day before our wedding. It was the best decision ever, and so incredibly romantic!” – Ashley
“We had so much fun playing in the ocean and rolling around in the sand; it was the perfect way to spend the eve of our wedding. I’d also consider a trash the dress shoot after the wedding. It’s a great way to celebrate your new marriage together as newlyweds. It also gives you the opportunity to get more relaxed photos in your wedding attire and to capture your love in a different setting.”
Del Sol: Was there any part of each others’ vows that touched you?
Ashley: We both really loved our vows to each other, we decided to write our own. We kept them a surprise from each other and they were so special so us.”
“From the moment I met you – the very instant our eyes found each other – I was in love with you. I knew this was the girl for me. It really was before I knew you all… but I just knew. So, here we are, to officially celebrate “always” and it’s just as true now as its always been. There’s no coming back from that moment, and I never want to. You’ve got a lifetime companion.” – excerpt from Ryson’s vows
“From the moment I met you, you’ve surprised me, challenged me, and made me happier than any other human ever has. You’ve taught me so much about myself. You’re often my voice of reason, and the logical one. I’m a very indecisive person but you’re the one thing in my life I am certain about. You are the best thing in my life, you are my favorite person, you are the one I want to fall asleep every night with, always holding your hand, and waking up with you by my side. Being with you is my “Happy Place.” – excerpt from Ashley’s vows
Del Sol: What was the most amazing moment of your day?
Ashley: “I have two actually. The first was seeing Ryson for the first time while I was getting ready from the penthouse suite. I happened to glance down to our ceremony location on the beach and saw him waiting for the ceremony to begin. The pre-ceremony music was playing and he was looking so handsome in his suit.”
“I nearly lost it and desperately fought to hold back the tears. Oh my goodness this was about to happen, in only a few moments I would be heading down to marry the love of my life!” – Ashley
“We opted not to do a first look, so the moment we locked eyes during the ceremony as I walked down the aisle, was a moment I will never forget.”
“It was such an amazing day but another moment that stands out is our first dance. We went non-traditional and started with the parent dances after dinner. At the end of the father daughter dance, Ryson walked onto the dancefloor and my dad handed me off to him.”
“We chose a very special song to us, again not a traditional first dance song by any means, and the moment the song started we held each other and it was like no one else was there. Our first dance climaxed with surprise fireworks, it was magical and unforgettable.”
Del Sol: How was your experience with the del Sol team?
“I’m not sure we can express in writing how amazing it was to work with Sol and the Del Sol team. Sol Tamargo is a true artist. She oozes enthusiasm and experience, and she’s so incredibly passionate about her work. We really cannot say enough good things about her.”
“All of our wedding guests loved Sol and David, they were never too invasive and gave direction when needed. They took the time to get to know us as a couple and our love story, always made us feel special. We felt comfortable around them right away. I can say without a doubt that we would definitely love to work with them again and plan to hire them for any future destination shoots.”
You have seen so many weddings in Mexico can you give us a top list of your favorite wedding destinations?
“In Mexico, my top three favorite wedding destinations are Cancun and the Mayan Riviera, Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos. Each destination offers its own charm and has many incredible wedding venue options to choose from.”
Del Sol: Why did you choose a Puerto Vallarta wedding at Hyatt Ziva?
Ashley: “We chose the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta as we’ve visited that hotel before and loved the vibe, tropical setting and really love the Hyatt brand.”
“The Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta is located on a private beach, has great wedding venue options, and has some of the best service you will find in the area.” – Ashley
“During the wedding planning process, I worked closely with the onsite wedding coordinator Esman Mora who really helped to bring our wedding vision to life. Many of the items we included for our wedding were custom and not standard package options. Having someone in destination to help sort out the details was immensely helpful.”
Del Sol: What’s your top destination wedding advice?
Ashley: “Take frequent Wedding Planning “breaks” during the time leading up to your wedding. Schedule at least one week each month where you put a pause on any wedding planning, as well as schedule in date nights where you don’t discuss anything to do with the wedding.”
“Your wedding day is really about celebrating you as a couple, it’s about celebrating your love, so don’t forget to incorporate special elements into your day that represent the both of you as a couple.”- Ashley
“If opting not to do a first look, consider starting the ceremony a bit earlier in the day to give extra time for couples and group photos, to have some alone time with your new husband and wife, and for time to freshen up before the ceremony.”
“Arrange to get ready in a bright area with lots of great lighting. You will also want to make sure to have the rooms where you will each be getting ready in cleaned before your photographer arrives.”
“If possible, try to re-use as much décor and flowers used for your ceremony towards your reception.”
“Invest in lighting – lighting can completely transform any space and can affect the mood of your guests. For example, adding a few up-lights, hanging chandeliers, and/or a lighted dance floor can create more flattering lighting for photos.”
“A good rule of thumb, think about what areas of your day will be photographed the most (ie. ceremony alter, head table/sweetheart table, cake table) – and spend more money in these areas. Keep in mind that the head table or sweetheart table will be photographed more than any other table, and you will spend more time here. Not all tables have to match, and things like linens and lighting make a big impact on the room. ”