Riviera Maya Cenote and Beach Trash the Dress – Amanda and Shaun

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“Both Shaun and I seem to only feel complete by the ocean. We feel spiritual, emotional & physical contentment while being next to it and hearing the waves, we couldn’t imagine joining our lives together without involving that mutual love for the sea.”

“We actually had planned an entire wedding back home in Canada due to the limitations of potential guests being able to join us. Although it would have been beautiful, it just never felt 100% right. We cancelled everything, losing all deposits and switched to Mexico with no regrets!” #TravelForLove

Amanda and Shaun won us over from the get go with their “follow your heart” philosophy! Amanda first got in touch with us because they were dreaming about underwater wedding photos, but Amanda was very uncomfortable in the water as she can’t swim very well. We are SO happy that we persuaded her that their dream was completely possible because as it turns out they were GREAT in the water! It goes to show that with the right guidance where there is a will there is always a way – bravo Amanda and Shawn!

Del Sol: Why did you decide to do a Trash the Dress?

“We were Google image searching for Mexican destination weddings to get some ideas and came across some of the underwater photography. We were in awe with how beautiful, artistic and just plain different they were. Shaun fell in love with the idea immediately being the fish that he is. We knew we had to look into it.”

“We didn’t really tell a lot of people. The ones we did tell had never heard of it and were very interested in seeing some examples.”

“Amanda’s mother was very worried, she knows Amanda doesn’t swim very well. She was scared that the added weight of the dress might pull her down. We had to assure her that there would be safety measures in place.”

Del Sol: So… how was your TTD experience?

“To prepare for this shoot, about 6 months before the trip we started going to the local pool. We practiced getting Amanda used to being under water and swimming. It was a disaster from the start!”

“The moment she went underwater, as water went up her nose she would freak out. Not to mention that she doesn’t sink very well. Shaun could literally go down and sit at the bottom of the pool but try and try as she might Amanda never did master sinking. Shaun would have to pull her down to get her below the surface. So we were not fully sure how well this was going to go.”

“The actual day turned out better than we could have hoped! Polly’s energy and attitude right from the start on route to the cenote helped calm nerves of what was to come. You couldn’t help but get excited with her, it was infectious.”

“The cenote was so clean that Amanda had no problem at all going underwater and opening her eyes. The shoot was a lot of fun! We really enjoyed watching Polly climb trees, sit on the ground, and get dirty – all to get the perfect shot.”

“It was definitely harder work than we thought it would be! Particularly the moment of climbing the ladder out of the cenote in the big soaking wet princess dress. It must have been at least 50lbs! When Amanda got to the top of the ladder the locals & tourists around actually cheered!”

“By the end of the day we were both exhausted but so excited to see what the final results were. We just knew it was going to be amazing!”

“Amanda would say her most memorable moment was putting our feet in the cenote. The fish in the cenote would come and nibble on our legs and feet all while she shrieked and giggled like a little girl.”

“The most memorable moment for me would seeing Amanda’s dress, train and veil billowing up around her underwater. It was a very beautiful & surreal moment.” – Shaun

Del Sol: How was your experience with the Del Sol team?

“When we first decided we wanted to do a TTD shoot, we started looking at galleries of photographers in the area to find one that spoke to us. There were a couple that we really liked to be honest. Amanda sent emails to both companies inquiring about the shoot, explaining her limitations in swimming. She asked about how it would work and if they would recommend we just forget it. The one company emailed back a quick 2 sentence response with a “yeah it will be fine, please refer to our quotes attached” kind of response.”

“Del Sol’s response came from Polly, if I were to print it out it would have literally been on 3 pages! She outlined the entire process for us, gave links to other shoots they had done where one of the ‘models’ couldn’t swim to give us examples. She advised going to the pool and practicing going underwater and gave us some techniques to try.”

“Del Sol’s response was 100% personalized to us and our questions. It was not some standard email template they just send out to everyone. We were so impressed and happy that she took that time to put us at ease and make us comfortable with the decision, that we just knew that this was exactly the kind of person that we wanted!”

“Polly and her team were amazing right from the start! Arube was always right close by, which helped make us feel safe in those couple moments when Amanda went a little deeper than she meant to. We loved watching all of the techniques that they used to get the perfect shot, like incense smoke to highlight the sun rays! So cool! They kept the day fun and were so encouraging that we were set up for success from the start!”

A HUGE thank you to Amanda and Shaun for their wonderful words and their great attitude (even tired at the end of the day!). We had an amazing time with you!


Pricipal Photographer: Polly

Assistant photographer and aquaman: Arube

Video Awesomeness: Karla