I love destination weddings. You and your loved ones travel to a beautiful and exotic place and celebrate life, love, and commitment in the biggest way possible. Megan and Benjie did just that!
Megan and Benjie were married on March 2, 2013 in Tulum, Mexico.
Here are some lovely details from our bride Megan!
How did you meet?
Benjie and I met on a teen tour to Israel when I was 14 and he was 16, and have been friends ever since. Until 5 years ago when we finally got over ourselves enough to admit we liked each other more than just friends and started dating.
Fast forward to a winter day when Benjie asked me whether I wanted to ever get married…. fast forward another year till I finally decided I did.
We wanted a wedding that would be a reflection of us and who we are as individuals and a couple. We are avid travelers, who love adventure, warm weather, street food, and taking a risk for a great story. We knew that we wanted to be on a casual, fun, holiday with friends and family. So we chose a country we’d never been… that’s known for beaches, culture, great food, and tequila. Tulum Mexico seemed convenient enough for our guests, and laid back enough for us.
Due to crazy work schedules, we never had time to scout the location in advance. A friend of mine had been to Tulum, and suggested we look into Cabanas La Luna. As my aunt put it so poetically: We’d found Paradise Personified.
We went a week early, and encouraged guests to come for as long as they wished! It was great to be on vacation with family and friends-
and not be rushed in 2 days for a wedding. We got some real quality time with people. Our 60 guests that attended traveled from London, Cambridge, Johannesburg SA, NYC, Cleveland, St. Louis, Denver, San Francisco, Miami, Chicago, Baltimore and Mexico City…
We wanted ALL our guests to participate and be included in the event. There was no wedding party, everyone had a role.
One of my best friends Sara, is lucky enough to be married to Russel Whitmore who owns Erie Basin in Red Hook Brooklyn. Both our wedding bands, and my victorian belt buckle broach are from his store. My earrings were lent to me the day before from Benjie’s mom. They were an anniversary gift from his grandfather to his grandmother. A beautiful surprise, and was honored to wear them.
Another good friend from high school is the talented photographer Julie Saad, who I was lucky enough to have document the event.
My family is South African. Due to the distance, many of them were unable to come. I wanted to have a King Protea (South Africa’s national flower) in my bouquet to represent them.
I wanted flowers in my hair, like a backwards crown. My hairstylist/make up artist was awesome. She chose each flower with purpose ” this one is for love ” “this one is for passion” “this one is for your dog Sunny”… I was so lucky to have had such sweet and talented people helping me!
I loved my dress from Saja. It was so simple and classic, and comfy to wear. I loved that the designer owns the store and also sold the dress to me.
I really love to craft…and I really intended to craft some cute stuff for our wedding. So much so that we brought a ton of supplies. We made the place cards and table numbers. And printed out the programs. I also attempted to make some paper flowers…. Word of wise for crafty brides: don’t bother assembling something Thursday before wedding at 11PM in your cabana under a mosquito net… you’ll winde up frustrated and covered in glue. Needless to say, the flowers didn’t make the cut.
Music: I walked down the aisle to Wildflowers by Tom Petty. My friend Heather who I’ve been friends with since we were 3 sang, and our good friend Colin Steel played the guitar. (We borrowed the guitar from the snorkel guide at the hotel. “Music is meant for sharing” he responded with a smile when I asked..)
Chuppah: One of my closest friends, Meg, designed made the chuppah cover for us with the help of her mom Sally. They weren’t able to attend, and this was an amazing gift.
We wanted our friend Shayna- who we also met on that fated trip to the homeland in the 90s- to marry us. She is a cantor, and as we all met on the same bus, we figured it would only make sense. Unable to attend, she helped us craft a secular Jewish ceremony. We asked my good friend Mina to MC, and several other people to officiate each part of the ceremony. My good friend Ashly chose the quote to go on the program. A reading was selected by another friend unable to come…. we only heard it for the first time when it was read at the ceremony. On the back of the program we printed interpretations of the traditional Jewish 7 Blessings. We asked the guests to read a blessing that was indicated on their program. I think everyone read them all! It was amazing to have blessings showered at us. Benjie broke a glass with a flip flop hidden in the sand. (We were bare foot after all)
As for legalities…. Shayna married us in a guerrilla style Civil Ceremony in NYC a few weeks prior to Mexico. Location… the Metropolitan Museum of Art… but that’s a story for another day.
Recessional was a 6 piece meriachI band! Benjie made a play list that also featured our first dance song, which we found the day before our wedding on some random best of Motown compilation. “Heaven Must Have Sent You”.
2 weeks before our wedding I told benjie it was time to delegate some wedding details. We just couldn’t do everything ourselves. We had to re-assign the piñata. Our friends, not knowing what the piñata market was like in Tulum, decided it would be more efficient to import it from NY.
My friend Caroline hosts something called crafty Christmas (you craft Christmas gifts for friends). This year’s crafty Christmas gift to me was a cake topper- of Me, Benjie and our dog. She didn’t realize we’d decided to use it till the cake came out.
1. I realized I never looked in the mirror at all- the entire day. I just saw my reflection in everyone’s eyes and faces. And it was amazing. Who needs glass when you can see the real thing.
2. I’m married to an incredibly special person. And I appreciate him. A lot.
3. My favorite part of our wedding was being able to share it with as many of our friends and family as possible. There was no wedding small talk, just people exchanging stories about visiting ruines, and where to get the best tacos, and funny people they encountered. It was a reprieve from winter, a fun holiday, an adventure with friends, and an introduction to the idea that we can live our lives to be a reflection of the people we are.
We ended the evening skinny dipping with a bunch of guests in the moonlight. Not a bad ending a perfect day!
Megan and Benjie are now living happily ever after in Brooklyn NY. <3
Congrats to the happy couple! Also a warm thanks to Julie Saad Photography.
Photographer: Julie Saad Photography || Dress Designer: Saja || DIY or Handmade Goods Designer: Artesanias de Papel || Hair and Makeup: Nora Grey || Jewelry: Erie Basin || Favors and Gifts: FlutterFETTI LLC || Tuxedo and Mens Attire: J. Crew || Floral Designer: Pentaflor || Bridesmaid Dresses: Saja