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Beach Destination Wedding in Tulum

Beach Weddings

If there’s one thing beach weddings deserve, it’s a heavy dose of bright colors. That’s exactly what Laura and Jason did for their destination wedding in Tulum, Mexico, and they ended up with a vibrant and personalized day – exactly as they had envisioned. Ariel Renae Photography was the perfect choice to take control behind the camera, as these images will attest!

beach destination wedding in Tulum - photo by Ariel Renae Photography

From the bride, Laura: We wanted a stress-free environment to enjoy the time with each other and all of our loved ones that had traveled so far to be with us. We wanted the wedding to feel personalized and vibrant – a true celebration of where we’ve been as a couple and a reflection on the way in which we chose to live our lives. We wanted everybody to mingle and spend real time getting to know one another, which is why we loved having multiple days with everybody who came down to Tulum.

beach wedding welcome bags - photo by Ariel Renae Photography

wedding dress - photo by Ariel Renae Photography

red bridesmaid dresses - photo by Ariel Renae Photography

groom and groomsmen - photo by Ariel Renae Photography

bridal accessories - photo by Ariel Renae Photography

coral wedding bouquet - photo by Ariel Renae Photography

The vibrant, bright colors of Mexico and the tropical waters of Tulum were a source of inspiration. We steered clear of stereotypical “tropical beach” colors like beige and pastels and embraced the fully saturated palette of Mexico. Purple, navy, bright pink, turquoise, and orange played a big part. The color palette was really defined first in our website, which we used as a place to establish a look and feel that we carried through the whole wedding. We stayed true to this look and feel this through our DIY projects and kept everything in mind as we made decisions on the necessary rentals, etc.

beach wedding ceremony decor - photo by Ariel Renae Photography

beach wedding ceremony - photo by Ariel Renae Photography

beach destination wedding in Tulum - photo by Ariel Renae Photography

beach destination wedding in Tulum - photo by Ariel Renae Photography

Doing a destination wedding can be challenging since you can often be so disconnected from the location and many of the people that are involved in making your wedding come together. Since we weren’t able to interact with the location or people involved on a regular basis, we wanted to find a way to control what we could in order to make sure the experience still felt very personalized and hand-touched. The DIY projects became a way that we could put our stamp on a wedding where so many things were just out of our control. It allowed us to focus on the things that we really enjoyed and not stress about the less-controllable elements, while creating an experience for us and our guests that felt very true to who we are and personalized in a really special way. We found, in the end, that no one commented on the chairs, napkins, or plates (rentals that we opted not to go overboard on) but instead we found people drawn to, and remembering, the small touches that we put in made by our hand. That was, and is still, really rewarding.

unique wedding portraits - photo by Ariel Renae Photography

bride and groom - photo by Ariel Renae Photography

beach weddings - photo by Ariel Renae Photography

As for DIY, we brought rocks from the Brooklyn Bridge Park in our home borough, hand-painted numbers on them and used them as our table numbers, we designed, printed and hand-ripped the menus, we designed notecards on the Mexican loteria bingo cards for people to leave us words of wisdom/advice during the reception. We had Ahau Tulum make cornhole sets for our wedding. Cornhole is a game that we play in Indiana and played a lot at college, so knew that our friends and family would find this the perfect beach game. We had this out at our cocktail hour and into the evening on our wedding and were also able to use the cornhole set throughout our week on the beach with all of our friends and family following the wedding day. We also had a “bell”-shaped piñata made, which referenced our wedding tag “JLWeddingBell” and also my grandmother’s collection of bells given to her by grandchildren and family/friends over the years. They couldn’t make it to the wedding, so this was our nod to them.

colorful wedding menus - photo by Ariel Renae Photography

wedding tablescapes - photo by Ariel Renae Photography

beach wedding receptions - photo by Ariel Renae Photography

teal and purple weddings - photo by Ariel Renae Photography

unique table numbers - photo by Ariel Renae Photography

Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? It’s very helpful to work with someone (a wedding planner) that understands your vision and that you trust to accomplish what you want without you having to hand-hold each little thing. This is especially true for a destination wedding where you just can’t be there to meet with people and plan things in a way you might be able to if you were married where you live. Allowing this person to handle the things that you can’t control or don’t enjoy doing as much will allow you to focus on the elements that you can control and enjoy doing and let the rest of it go. For us, this meant thinking a lot about the little hand-touched details and the things that made our guests feel truly welcomed and excited to experience this with us but also with each other. I think it’s also important to have the wedding be a reflection of you as a couple – taking into account the things that make each person tick. I was lucky because I have a creative and artistic husband who enjoys doing projects, so we were able to do a lot of things together. It’s also important to divide and conquer for certain things – for example, I let Jason choose much of the music because he really enjoys that, while I dealt with much of the budget and logistic elements. Weddings can be expensive so think about what really matters to you and make choices that prioritize those things. Don’t get carried away worrying about every little thing because it all adds up quickly.

colorful place setting - photo by Ariel Renae Photography

beach wedding ideas - photo by Ariel Renae Photography

beach destination wedding in Tulum - photo by Ariel Renae Photography

beach wedding portraits - photo by Ariel Renae Photography

beach wedding portraits - photo by Ariel Renae Photography

beach destination wedding in Tulum - photo by Ariel Renae Photography

View all images from this wedding in the gallery

Wedding Music:
Processional: “Going to California,” Led Zeppelin (played on flamenco guitar)
Recessional: “Never Going Back Again,” Fleetwood Mack (played on flamenco guitar)
First Dance: “Green Eyes,” Coldplay
Father/Daughter Dance: “In My Life,” Dave Matthews cover of The Beatles
Mother/Son Dance: “Tequila Sunrise,” The Eagles into “Nothing but a G Thing,” Dr. Dre

Wedding Location: Tulum, Mexico / Photographer: Ariel Renae Photography / Florist: Laura Corrales of Premium Flores (premiumflores @ / Venue and Caterer: Ahau / Wedding Planner: Nisia Wasilewicz (works in-house at hotel) / Wedding Dress: Ivy & Aster “Lumiere” via Lovely Bride / Sash: Ivy & Aster “Skinnie Minnie” via Lovely Bride / Earrings: Custom Pearl Earrings (gift from groom) made by our friend and jeweler, Austin Schultz / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew “Arabelle” in Strawberry / Bridesmaids’ Gifts: Mary MacGill Jewelry / Groom’s Suit: J.Crew / Groom’s Tie: John Varvatos / Groomsmen Suits: J.Crew / Wedding Ceremony and Cocktail Hour: Camilo Nu / DJ: Lucas Walters / Wedding Invitations: We designed our own save the date which was distributed via mailchimp (we used this to send out an email blast with the website as well) With Jason as a designer, it was hard to cut corners on printed invitations. It was either all or nothing for him. We ended up deciding to put that piece of the budget towards photography and sent out digital invites via paperless post. A wise decision in the end. We did end up making some hand-printed thank you cards to mail out after the wedding.

Peach and Gold Georgia Wedding

Rustic Weddings

Photos by:

Ariel Renae

It’s just a fact, Ariel Renae and beautiful weddings just go together like peanut butter and jelly. Abby and Chris’ romantic wedding was hardly an exception, and took our breath away as soon as we saw Abby’s incredible long-sleeved Jenny Packham gown. Oh, and that peony and garden rose bouquet from Juli Vaughn Designs? Don’t even get me started.

rustic Georgia barn wedding -  Ariel Renae -

From the bride, Abby: I wanted our wedding to be romantic and slightly whimsical with a few rustic touches. We were married under a pergola, so I knew I wanted a beautiful installation on it. We wanted the centerpieces at the reception to look collected and to be different on each table. Aside from the specific decorations, I just wanted the day to be happy and fun and to have beautiful weather (which we got!). We wanted our day to be romantic, whimsical, rustic, not-too-serious, and happy, with a palette of mint, peach, and gold.

festive Georgia barn wedding -  Ariel Renae -

floral wedding invitations -  Ariel Renae -

bride getting ready -  Ariel Renae -

colorful wedding bouquets -  Ariel Renae -

newlyweds first looks -  Ariel Renae -

colorful grooms boutonnieres -  Ariel Renae -

peony wedding bouquets via
Bouquet recipe: Peonies, juliet garden roses, ranunculus, apricot stock, dusty miller, lamb’s ear, eucalyptus, sage.

ceremony altar decor - Ariel Renae -

flower girl crowns - Ariel Renae -

unique wedding ideas - Ariel Renae -

illustrated wedding programs -  Ariel Renae -

teal bridesmaids dresses -  Ariel Renae -

bride and groom -  Ariel Renae -

newlyweds during ceremony -  Ariel Renae -

ceremony first kisses -  Ariel Renae -

Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? All the time, effort, and energy you put into wedding planning will be worth it! Although I eventually got so sick of all the planning, our wedding day was absolutely my favorite day ever, and I love how it turned out! However, it still would have been my favorite day even if things did not go as planned or something went wrong with the music/decorations/food/etc. because, at the end of the day, I married my favorite person! So, try not to stress about getting all the details perfect. While you will certainly appreciate how your wedding planning finally comes together on the big day, you will not look back and remember whether all the details were perfect; you will remember how happy you were and how fun the day was!

oversized wedding bouquets -  Ariel Renae -

succulent wedding centerpieces -  Ariel Renae -

rustic wedding ideas -  Ariel Renae -

oversized wedding bouquets -  Ariel Renae -

gold glitter details -  Ariel Renae -

rustic glam decor -  Ariel Renae -

gold centerpiece ideas -  Ariel Renae -

cake dessert tables -  Ariel Renae -

nighttime wedding ideas -  Ariel Renae -

White Oaks Barn wedding -  Ariel Renae -

View all images from this wedding in the gallery

Wedding Music:
Bride’s Processional: Pachelbel’s Canon in D
Recessional: “I’m Yours,” Jason Mraz
Reception Entrance: “Good Time,” Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen
First Dance: “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
We told our DJ that we wanted current pop/hip-hop music, tons of 60s and 70s songs, a little 80s music, and a handful of 90s boy band songs that brought me back to my middle school days. It was SO FUN! Everyone was a fan of all the oldies, so our dance floor was full the entire reception–and we had a dry wedding!

Wedding Location: Dahlonega, GA / Photographer: Ariel Renae / Floral and Event Design: Juli Vaughn Designs / Wedding Venue and Caterer: White Oaks Barn / Wedding Dress: Jenny Packham via Kelly’s Closet / Hair: Bride’s sister, Kristy Ammons / Makeup: Aubrie Patrick / Groom’s Suit: Savvi Formalwear / Wedding Cakes: Memorable Creations Cake Shop / Ceremony Musician: The Armonico String Ensemble / Singer: Sarah Tollerson / DJ: Groomsman Entertainment / Wedding Invitations and Paper Goods: Consider The Lilies Paper / Videographer: Artworks Wedding Cinema

Multicultural Nashville Wedding

Elegant Weddings

Photos by:

Ariel Renae

Today’s wedding, sent to us by Ariel Renae Photography, has the sweetest story to go along with an equally sweet wedding. Jennifer and Morgan met in college when Morgan came from Paris to play tennis in America, and the rest was history for these two lovebirds. Every bit of their wedding at Nashville’s Historic Cedarwood is full of love and precious attention to detail, thanks to the wonders of Cedarwood Weddings!

multicultural nashville weddings

From the bride, Jennifer: Morgan is from Paris, France and came to the United States to play college tennis. We met in undergrad at Middle Tennessee State University in 2007. I was raised in a small town in west Tennessee. We met on April 14 at a tennis match, began dating shortly after and were together for a year before I moved to Memphis for pharmacy school. Once Morgan earned his bachelor’s degree, he joined me in Memphis before transferring within his company to work in his hometown of Paris, France. We logged quite a few frequent flier miles traveling back and forth from the US to France to see each other! In August of last year, I was in New York visiting my sisters when Morgan showed up with a surprise proposal! After my resounding YES, we began planning a spring wedding.

traditional wedding invitations


bride getting ready


ivory grooms boutonnieres

We wanted a small, intimate ceremony and reception where each guest felt special and involved. Because many of Morgan’s family and friends were visiting Tennessee for the first time, we also wanted to show the beauty of the southern countryside and a bit of history. We chose Cedarwood because it is a historic farm with gorgeous grounds, and it is also elegant but comfortable with a very romantic ambiance. The Cedarwood design team helped us style our celebration in a symphony of soft tones using cream, blush and peach. Candle chandeliers were everywhere and mason jars hanging from the trees around the property were truly magical.

neutral bridesmaids dresses


rustic wedding signs


outdoor bridal processional


elegant bridal parties

We also wanted to offer our guests a variety of settings, and used Cedarwood’s vintage barn for cocktail hour and had our ceremony on the expansive open meadow, before inviting guests to the pavilion for a grilled feast and dancing. Personal tributes to our relationship and our families were everywhere, from the US and France flags greeting guests from the historic house, to our Eiffel Tower dessert table, and treasured family photographs. We made sure to include a bit of southern food, and served BBQ sliders and mini biscuits with country ham and peach jam at cocktail hour before offering a more international menu for dinner. Vintage medicine bottles were incorporated into some of the décor as a nod to my profession as a pharmacist.

multicultural nashville weddings


rustic wedding receptions


vintage wedding portraits

Morgan and I decided not to see each other before the ceremony, and I was touched that he became emotional when I joined him at the altar. The beautiful green hills surrounded us and the natural beauty of the setting added an element of enchantment to the wedding. It was also fun to hear the intermingling of English and French languages throughout the day and to see everyone having a great time – a perfect reminder that happiness and love transcend any barrier.

hanging wedding signs


white ruffled cakes


unique bridal portraits


outdoor sparkler getaways

View all images from this wedding in the gallery

Wedding Location: Nashville, TN / Photographer: Ariel Renae Photography / Event Design, Styling, Flowers and Decor: Cedarwood Weddings / Venue: Historic Cedarwood / Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero “Juliette” / Hair and Makeup: Fallon Erwin / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: BCBGMaxAzria / Groom’s Attire: Smuggler / Wedding Caterer: Chef Christopher / Wedding Cake: Patty Cakes / Ceremony Music: Rob Higginbotham and Rebecca Baumbach / Reception Music: Jace Aaron Entertainment / Officiant: David DeRocher / Transportation: Grand Avenue / Wedding Invitations: Cassie Castellaw

Tennessee Summer Camp Wedding

Rustic Weddings

Intimate and down to earth, this Tennessee summer camp wedding photographed by Ariel Renae Photography suits the beautiful bride and groom perfectly. The sun may not have been present for their special day, but love certainly was… even in the pouring rain.


From the photographer, Ariel Renae Photography: A sweet spring wedding located at a summer camp, just south of Nashville, Tennessee. This day was truly laid back, intimate and completely true to who this couple is. It was loaded with southern, beautiful and personal details. The bride wore a cuff custom made out of pieces of her great grandmother’s wedding (the pink, raggedy dress, hanging in the window in a few photos!) They used quilts made from their grandmother’s, throughout the reception area, as decor! The wedding programs were brown paper bags, filled with popcorn so that their guests could snack while waiting on the wedding to start. Jon and Liz walked down the aisle hand-in-hand, and although the rain held off until the ceremony was almost over, it started to pour down rain for most of our portrait time. We ran with it and had an amazing few minutes shooting in the rain. It was a beautiful wedding day.

Tennessee Wedding // via

Tennessee Wedding // via

Tennessee Wedding // via

From the groom, Jon: We fell in love with the rustic, woodsy vibe of Camp Marymount, especially the outdoor chapel nestled deep in the forest. So we used that as our canvas for the wedding. A very natural, woodsy, summer-camp feel. Maybe with a bit of “Moonrise Kingdom” influence thrown in there for good measure.

Tennessee Wedding // via

Tennessee Wedding // via

Tennessee Wedding // via

Tennessee Wedding // via

Tennessee Wedding // via

Tennessee Wedding // via

Tennessee Wedding // via

Misty, folky, indie, woodsy, endearing, homemade, charming, creative, rustic, Southern, cozy, vintage. We didn’t really have a color scheme, just natural wood and white. Aside from catering and lighting, everything was DIY. For example, I did all the graphic design for the invitations (camp brochures), and designed the cookbooks that we gave to all our guests as favors. Liz printed out all the programs on brown paper lunch bags that we stuffed with kettle corn. The cuff that Liz wore was made from her great grandmother Adelle’s wedding dress from 1914.

Tennessee Wedding // via

Tennessee Wedding // via

Tennessee Wedding // via

Tennessee Wedding // via


Tennessee Wedding // via

Tennessee Wedding // via

Summer Camp Wedding // via

Liz planned the whole vision of the wedding, and we carefully hunted down all of the decorations, tablecloths, mix-match flatware, plates, etc. The day before the wedding, our family and friends came to help us decorate the whole campground. It was amazing seeing all of our visions come to life, and we couldn’t have done it without their help.

Summer Camp Wedding // via

Summer Camp Wedding // via

Tennessee Summer Camp Wedding // via

Tennessee Summer Camp Wedding // via

Tennessee Summer Camp Wedding // via

Tennessee Summer Camp Wedding // via

Also – it’s worth noting that we’re both professional musicians, and it’s probably safe to say that almost everyone at the wedding was a musician. Not only was it easy to put together amazing music for the ceremony and reception, but there was even a bluegrass jam on the porch at the end of the night.

Tennessee Summer Camp Wedding // via

Tennessee Summer Camp Wedding // via

Tennessee Summer Camp Wedding // via

Tennessee Summer Camp Wedding // via

Tennessee Summer Camp Wedding // via

Tennessee Summer Camp Wedding // via

Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Do whatever it takes to get a great photographer.

Tennessee Summer Camp Wedding // via

View all images from this wedding in the gallery

Location: Fairview, Tennessee / Photographer: Ariel Renae Photography / Venue: Camp Marymount / Bride’s Dress: Sarah Seven / Cuff: Made by Pattie Talbot at Seam / Groom’s Suit: Hugo Boss / Tie: J Crew / Shoes: Johnson & Murphy / Catering: Bacon and Caviar / Lighting: Nashville Event Lighting / Flowers: Import Flowers / Wedding Music: Bethany Olds (fiddle), Jennifer Niceley (singer/songwriter) / Cocktail Hour Music: Steve Pardo (sax), Jonathan Wires (upright bass) / DJ: Brian Hickman

Woodsy Tennessee Wedding

Rustic Weddings

Photos by:

We’re wrapping up the day with this lovely ceremony + reception from Ariel Renae Photography, full of handcrafted wooden details, the majority of which were made by the groom and his father. We always love seeing what different couples do with the incredible Southall Eden venue in Tennessee!

newlyweds in field

From the Bride, Katie: The arbor, barnwood M’s, and cake stand were made by Jared’s dad out of the wood off an old barn we found out by our house. Bill, Jared’s dad, LOVES to do woodworking and he can make anything. I’m always asking him to make random things for me. So as a surprise, he and Jared handmade the arbor for us to get married under.

rustic wedding sign

white toms shoesbouquets in jars

white script invitations

white bridal bouquetsvintage inspired boutonnieres

bride praying before wedding

pink white bouquetspink white bouquets

newlyweds in barn

The planner and coordinator had told me that we would get married under the tree and they were going to hang mercury glass lanterns for decor, but instead, when we were going to take pictures I was totally surprised when I saw it and teared up a bit! Instead of a guest book, since we are moving to Boston I wanted to incorporate a suitcase. I had the guests write messages and “Send Some Love” on Tennessee postcards. Then place them in the suitcase. It turned out perfectly!

newlyweds under arbor

framed postcards sign

groom black suitromantic bridal beauty

rustic barn arbor

barnwood monograms decoroutdoor newlyweds hugging

pink white bouquets

tennessee postcards basket

ringbearer vintage attireflower paper centerpieces

gray pink bridesmaids

groom with dognewlyweds laughing

pink rustic receptions

As for my colors, I love the rustic elements of the farm and barn setting (wood texture, burlap, etc.) but wanted to soften it with light, airy colors of the taupe, blush, ivory, and silvery gray. And I am a fan of anything glam! That’s where the mercury glass came in. And I also love that it throws in a vintage vibe too. To top everything off, our getaway car was a vintage 1940 Ford that my best friend’s father has. I’m kind of like his other daughter so he was elated to let us use it for our exit!

couple walking through field

pink floral centerpiecestypography reception menu

reception sweethearts table

pink vintage decor

cake menuwhite tiered cake

vintage maroon ford

sparkler wedding exit

View all images from this wedding in the gallery

Wedding Location: Franklin, TN / Wedding Venue: Southall Eden / Wedding Photographer: Ariel Renae Photography / Event Planner: Bridal Blueprints / Wedding Flowers: BellesFleurs / Wedding Cake: Dessert Designs