LILLY RED CREATIVE and Susanne from CHANTAL EVENTS traveled to Tulum, Mexico to go on a scouting spree. Both big fans of the COQUI COQUI RESIDENCES & SPAS it was was the perfect excuse to explore the several locations in the Tulum and Yucatán area. Over the course of a two-day road trip they visited the Coqui Coqui in Coba, Valladolid and Izamal. What makes the Coqui Coqui Residences so special, is that each one honours the authenticity of the city or town it is in. It embraces the cultural elements and the artisanal talents of the local artists. This destination elopement creates a powerful and memorable wedding experience. It is a story of love, the power of the heart and soul, a celebration of cultures and the beauty of people. There is so much richness in the Mexican culture, especially in its artists.

Destination weddings have become very popular and elopements have too. A destination elopement is perfect for the couple who wants to combine their wedding ritual with a cultural experience. It is a celebration of their love for each other and a symbol to embark on a new adventure together. This can be an experience just for them or for them to share with their family and closest friends. Intimate weddings are so special as you get to spend quality time with your loved ones. Plus, it’s a good excuse for anyone to travel to a place they have not visited before.

When you have an Italian photographer, a Mexican florist, a Curaçaoan event designer and an American videographer come together, the energy they ignite creates a magical experience. Known as the wedding travellers, this group of creatives is driven by curiosity and wanderlust. They are all travel enthusiasts and want to share the story of a destination and it’s cultural characteristics through their work. “We have seen a ton of beach weddings, forest weddings or weddings by the lake and wanted to showcase something different for a destination wedding or elopement. There are so many hidden gems in the world, that are waiting to be discovered and will make beautiful venues for your wedding day.

I'm pretty sure by the end of this post you'll be convinced you need to jet off to Mexico for your destination wedding!

The team tell us; “On arrival at each location our breaths were taken away. The architecture blends in well within the surroundings and you feel like you are at someone's home. Our minds just exploded with ideas at every location we visited. We could see the many possibilities each location offers for an elopement or intimate destination wedding. The feeling we both had when we walked into the Perfumeria in Valladolid was powerful. It only felt right to come back to this location for an editorial photoshoot. It was an opportunity to tell the story of Valladolid and to inspire couples for their destination weddings. 

Valladolid is about a two hour drive from Cancún. The fun part of the drive is to see all the stands with hand woven hammocks and dreamcatchers. It’s like walking through dreamcatcher heaven and you want to buy them all. There are some small towns you pass through as well, but for the majority of the drive it is just one long road with trees on each side, and that is as much of the sight seeing you can get. You know when you’re getting close to Valladolid when the scenery changes. Paved roads transition into cobble stone roads, accented with the colourful mix of pastel yellow and pink houses. It is in one of these streets where the Coqui Coqui Perfumeria is located. Built in the 16th century, this secluded one-room retreat, set atop their flagship Perfumeria is a gem. Rosas freesias welcome you in. It’s the perfumeria’s signature scent, powdery and feminine, with a subtle twist of fresh tobacco leaves. An array of their fifteen different scents are displayed under glass domes on a black table. When you exit the perfumeria in the back, you enter a small courtyard and garden. There are two small buildings here. The one you look onto is the Spa pool and Spa. It is here where you can enjoy a massage, soak in the pool or relax in one of the handwoven hammocks whilst reading a book. Walk up the stairs to enter your private residence with an outdoor plunge pool. The room is modern all white with black furniture and a beautiful stand alone bathtub in front of a gigantic mirror. Open up the doors and lay down on your daybed while soaking up the sun, or have breakfast outside your front patio by the plunge pool. Everything about this place screams luxury and it is a perfect retreat where you can spend time just the two of you.

Our design focus was to honour the look and feel of Valldolid and Coqui Coqui. We wanted to include as much of the artisan made goods as we could. The colour scheme was black, white, gold accents and a pop of red/pink hues to add softness to the overall design. For the stationery suite Suzie from TWIG AND FIG combined her calligraphy talents with woven papers. She also created vow booklets for the bride and groom. The combination of black, white and gold complimented the Coqui Coqui branding perfectly."

"The best part about destination weddings is to discover new places and emerge yourself in a new cultural experience. Upon arrival walk through the neighbourhood to get a better sense of your surroundings. It is then when you discover great locations for your photos, see what the natural beauty of the city is and get a true understanding of what it’s character is.

Bright and early on the morning before the shoot, LILLY and Benjamin were up before the sunrise. The quiet of the city was met with bird songs and the leaves of the trees dancing in the morning breeze. The streets are empty. This is the opportunity to take all the photo and video detail shots showcasing the city. 

MARIA explored the neighbourhoods to discover all the flora and fauna, foraging some to incorporate them into the bridal bouquet and table arrangements. For the floral arrangement María wanted to create a tropical look with an array of textures. 

SUSANNE visited the several artist shops in the area to search for artisanal pieces that could be incorporated in the table design. She found handwoven black placemats at Oficois Artesanos – a stunning boutique inside Mesón de Malleville, the former home of the Coqui Coqui founders, Nicolas Malleville and Francesca Bonato, now a four-room sanctuary open to the public. The artisan shop has beautiful handmade leather bags, handwoven hammacks, gorgeous candles and so much more. The placemats were incorporated in the table design.

The wedding dress was specifically made for this elopement shoot. Handmade by Italian Designer ANNA FUCA ATELIER, it flowed beautifully in the wind. The simplicity of the design, the silk fabric and the twisted back and hip details made for a stunning bridal look."