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Rebecca & Ejiofor
Though they both attended the same college, Rebecca, a pediatric nurse practitioner, and Ejiofor, a healthcare management consultant, did not cross paths until they were later introduced in New York City by mutual friends. After three years of dating, the East Coasters yearned for a change and moved to San Francisco.
Over the Christmas holidays, Ejiofor had been planning to surprise Rebecca with a New Year's Eve proposal. Rebecca, who had been back home visiting family on the East Coast, was flying into San Francisco for a small house party with Ejiofor to celebrate their first New Year's as California residents. What she didn't know was that he had rallied their friends and family to turn the holiday soiree into an engagement party. After Rebecca's flight was delayed (with her landing closer to midnight) Ejiofor acted quickly and took her to Turtle Hill, a lookout point with vistas of the city and bay. "When we climbed the many steps in the cold and got to the top, we looked out over the city and took in the beautiful view before I got down and asked her to be my darling wife," Ejiofor shares, "She said yes, and we ran down the stairs to the heated car and drove home in time to toast the engagement and the New Year."
While planning the wedding, the pair debated which coast to pick for their big day, when it occurred to them that a destination wedding would be the best choice. Rebecca and Ejiofor decided on Sayulita, Mexico, for their wedding adventure, even though they had never been before. "There was something really magical about our loved ones traveling from all around the world to meet up in the most charming beach town and celebrate for a whole weekend in a new place," says Rebecca. And so, on January 2, 2016, Rebecca and Ejiofor exchanged vows in front of 49 guests at the Villa Amor Hotel. They embraced Mexican culture and incorporated local vendors into their celebrations, treating their guests to a unique and memorable vacation, and a great start to the new year.
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The Stationery Suite
Dear Little Darling created the couple's invitations, incorporating natural colors and Mexican plants into the design.
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Villa Amor, an oceanfront resort comprised of luxurious villas and lush jungle was the picturesque backdrop for the couple's festivities. Wanting their wedding to double as a vacation, Sayulita provided a relaxing, beach town vibe with charming cobblestone streets, local shops and restaurants, and breathtaking nature.
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Rebecca wore a gown by Rue de Seine from LOHO Bride. "I loved that the dress was romantic but also lightweight and no-fuss for international travel. When I saw it, I could immediately picture us dancing on the cobblestones," says the bride. Topping off her look was a floral crown by Flor Mimo. Her jewelry included vintage diamond earrings from her grandmother, a diamond bracelet from her aunt, and two little stacking rings that she wears everyday. "I was lucky enough my friend told me to keep my rings on for the wedding, because they are a part of me. So glad I listened!"
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Rebecca stayed comfortable throughout the day in her Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers, which she customized by sewing cactus patches over the logos to tie into the cacti theme and colors of the wedding.
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The Bridal Bouquet
Local florist Mireya Quintero from Flor Mimo created Rebecca's colorful bridal bouquet using native flowers including roses, stock, chrysanthemum, and silver dollar eucalyptus.
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For their first look, Ejiofor closed his eyes, waiting to have Rebecca surprise him—which he was thrilled about. "Rebecca looked like an absolute angel in her white dress and flower crown," he says.
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The Bride's Entrance
Rebecca's father walked her down the aisle to Johann Pachelbel's "Canon in D", while the rest of the couple's family walked to "Comptine D'un Autre Ete" by Yann Tiersen.
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With a fresh ocean breeze helping to keep guests comfortable, the couple exchanged their vows. Standing next to them during the ceremony were both Rebecca and Ejiofor's younger brothers. Their closest childhood friends also prepared special speeches for the service.
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Rebecca and Ejiofor handwrote their vows into opposite ends of a little yellow book, ensuring that neither would see what the other wrote. "I can still remember every vivid detail from the moment we said our vows," says the bride. "The excitement was palpable, and being able to share our love in front of our friends and family in the most beautiful place was one of the best moments of our life."
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The newlyweds walked up the aisle, hand in hand, to "Higher and Higher" by Jackie Wilson, which set the mood for the fun evening ahead. "It was all a happy blur at this point," Ejiofor says of the recessional, "I was just extremely excited that we were married and our friends and family were there to support us—everything was even more magical than I ever expected."
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The Cocktail Hour
Light appetizers, including guacamole and chips, quesadillas, and tacos were served during cocktail hour, along with classic drinks, like lime margaritas and mojitos.
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Spanish guitarists performed on the patio, next to a display created by the bride, featuring photographs of family and friends glazed onto tiles.
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Karen Ruezga and her team at Villa Amor created an elegant reception space, set with two long tables decorated with gold-striped runners, small floral centerpieces, and candles. Hanging overhead were swags of bistro bulbs and delicate papel picado (Mexican paper cut) flags. The color palette was based off of nature—using plants, flowers, sand, and sunsets as the main inspiration.
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"Everything finally started to hit me when we had our first dance. Even though we were surrounded by friends and family, it felt like we were alone dancing in our living room," Ejiofor says. The couple swayed to "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green as guests swirled around sparklers enthusiastically.
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Inspired by Mexican culture, Rebecca and Ejiofor opted for handmade churros from a local vendor instead of wedding cake.
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Personalized, vintage airplane bottle openers were given out to guests as party favors, with the tagline "let's get this adventure going."
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The couple both sported their Converse shoes by the end of the night. Following their time in Sayulita, Rebecca and Ejiofor traveled to Punta Mita for a few days to unwind from all the wedding festivities and fun.
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Photography, Jillian Mitchell
Location and Catering, Hotel Villa Amor
Event planning, Karen Ruezga with Mexico Weddings
Flowers, Flor Mimo
Stationery, Dear Little Darling
Wedding bands, Derco Fine Jewelers; Pave Fine Jewelry
Bride's gown, Rue de Seine
Bride's shoes, Converse Chuck Taylor
Hair and Makeup, Irene from Makeup Vallarta
Groom's suit, Emile Lafaurie for Sean
Groom's accessories, Ted Baker (shirt); Todd Snyder (tie); Cole Haan (shoes & tie clip)