I’m often asked “what’s the craziest thing you’ve seen at a wedding?” Until Rachael and JP’s wedding I haven’t had anything that crazy to share. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
My wife, Jackie, and I traveled to Mexico for Rachael and JP’s destination wedding at Villa Del Palmar in Cancun. About half of my weddings each year are outside the Chicago area in other states like Michigan, Wisconsin or Minnesota. I love traveling, so I was thrilled when Rachael and JP asked me to document their day.
Jackie and I arrived several days before the wedding and had a great time hanging out with Rachael and JP’s friends and family all week. They invited us along to the family trip to Chichen Itza the day before the wedding and I got to go deep sea fishing the day after.
As for the wedding day itself, I started with Rachael and her bridesmaids getting ready. They were as laid back and a relaxed group as I’ve worked with. I think you can tell from all the laughing and smiling going on! Not even a little rain or the 90% humidity could bring them down. With everybody at the same resort, it was very easy to stop down to the guys room while they got prepped and put on their ties.
The beach ceremony was a beautiful, intimate setting with lots of emotion. Right after the ceremony, we made a few quick portraits then went straight into the reception. The toasts were beautiful and funny, with Rachael’s sister giving one of the best maid of honor speeches I’ve heard. The dancing started off sweet, with first dances then as the sun went down things got really crazy!
With a wedding at a resort setting, you’re bound to get some wedding crashers. I was just putting away some equipment I used to light the sunset portraits, when I saw everybody on the dance floor get really excited and start yelling for me.
Our wedding crashers were Mario Lopez and his family! He’d been spotted around the resort earlier in the week by several of the guests and Rachael actually saw him at the gym. His family was eating dinner in the restaurant indoors when he heard the music from the reception. So he decided to come down and get a photo with Rachael, then asked if he could dance with his daughter and nieces on the side. Rachael said of course, but they had to come out on the dance floor! They danced for two or three songs before saying congratulations and heading out.
I was happy to be part of such a random, and memorable moment. And I’m happy to have a story to share when somebody asks for it. So thanks Rachael and JP (and Mario) for giving me the story, I had a blast documenting your entire day!