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Olivia and Peter
Olivia and Peter were watching the sun dip into the Caribbean when he mused, "This would be a beautiful place to get married." Two years later, he proposed during another getaway to Mexico's Riviera Maya, and the couple decided to lure their friends and family down to Tulum, the spot that had jump-started their wedding visions.
The pair wanted to host an intimate fete with a house party feel. But for nearly all of their guests, Tulum was unknown territory. To help everyone get to know their favorite beach town, they arranged a five-day event with nightly cocktail parties and nearby activities, such as exploring the clifftop Mayan ruins.
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And the boutique hotel Be Tulum was the perfect wedding spot for Olivia and Petere. They loved its bohemian decor -- a mix of Eames chairs and hammocks, marble and palm fronds -- and that the entire venue could accommodate most of their 48 guests. (Another bonus: The property has both air conditioning and steady electricity, rare amenities in this village.)
The hotel keeps this vintage trunk at the ready for guests. It's a trove of lounging essentials, such as paperback novels, sunscreen, and inflatable floats.
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The bride bought bright mesh totes at local markets, then filled them with tequila, bottle openers, and personalized booklets suggesting Tulum must-sees.
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Bright lipstick is one of Olivia's everyday style signatures. While she kept her makeup palette soft for the ceremony, she applied a hibiscus-red hue for the photo session that followed.
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Peter, a Britpop fan, was determined to play an acoustic cover of the Zombies song "This Will Be Our Year" as processional music. Shortly before the wedding, he pounced on a folk version sung by Rose Melberg. "When he found it, it was like hitting the jackpot," says Olivia.
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The pair made their promises at the water's edge, with Olivia holding a bouquet of white peonies. "Once I started saying the words, I had to do an impromptu little dance to keep from crying," Peter recalls.
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A mariachi ensemble entertained guests while the bride and groom took postceremony photos.
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After their recessional to "This Will Be Our Year" by the Zombies, Olivia and Peter shared their first moments together as Mr. and Mrs. with a surfside stroll.
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An Unplanned Guest
While the couple were having their pictures taken, a pup they recognized from previous visits ran up to greet them. "The beach dogs are a big part of what makes Tulum so awesome," Olivia explains. "We’re dog lovers, so we thought it would be nice to include her [in the shot]."
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Olivia made sure that shades of blue, Peter's favorite color, were worked into the decor. To create minimalist flower vases, her planners dipped glass bottles in white paint and wrapped twine around the necks.
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Finding plain wood maracas proved to be a challenge -- so Olivia's planners dipped decorated rattles in paint thinner to reveal the natural finish.
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Dinner began with a sampling of ceviche, Be Tulum's signature dish, seasoned with cilantro and chiles.
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Vibrantly colored sombreros, picked up in local markets, became fun props for the photo station.
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Peter and Olivia, who changed into a Marc Jacobs dress later in the evening, cut their wedding cake in a hurry, since it was languishing in the heat. "As soon as they took it out, it just melted away," says Olivia. "In hindsight, I wish we had done individual cakes or flan instead."
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Guests wrote notes on slips of paper and stuffed them into a pinata, which the newlyweds plan to smash open on their fifth anniversary.
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Location and Catering: Be Tulum
Event Planning and Design: Alison Events
Flowers, Rentals, and Lighting: Planner 1 Events
Photography: Mel Barlow and Allan Zepeda for Mel & Co.
Bride's Gown: 3.1 Phillip Lim
Cocktail Music: Mariachi Alma de Mexico
Officiant: Mariana O. Park
Makeup: Nam Vo