In Real Wedding Stories

Secret Jewel Celebrations Wedding

Sarah & Juan

Best Wedding Photographers Tulum

Saturday, 11th May 2018 - Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo.

Sarah & Juan hosted their energetic Mexican Destination Wedding at Secret Jewel Playa del Carmen. A beautiful wedding where 2 cultures merged together.

How did you meet?

We are a modern couple and met online on okcupid.com in June 2015.

What was your first date?

After Sarah cancelled on Juan 3 times, Juan took one last shot by asking her out on a Saturday night dinner date. Juan took Sarah out for sushi in Santa Monica.

The conversation and date were going well, so Sarah suggested they continue the date by walking down the street to grab another drink at Bar Chloe.

How and where did your partner ask you to marry them?

Juan was pretty insistent that he and Sarah go hiking on a Saturday morning - the same hike they went on during their 2nd date. Sarah was not very interested in hiking on a Saturday morning because she didn’t want to miss her yoga class.

Juan convinced her that it was important for them to be outdoors and hiking on Earth Day. Sarah agreed to go Earth Day hiking.

When they reached the top, as they were overlooking the ocean and Malibu, Juan surprised Sarah and proposed to her at the top of one of their favourite hiking spots.

When they reached the bottom of the hike, Sarah was surprised yet again to be greeted with her parents, sister, and friends who all came to help celebrate their engagement with balloons and champagne!

What was the most memorable moment the day of your wedding?

This a tough question- the whole night was so incredible!

The most memorable moment was the ceremony. It was very special to reflect on the symbolism behind each of the elements on the Sofreh Aghd, and to have the Persian ceremony officiated by Sarah’s aunt, Mali Evans.

As we sat at the sofreh aghd, we were able to look into the mirror together as a symbolic reflection of our life together.

However, the most touching part was to look beyond our own reflections, and to look out into the loving faces of our guests.

For our guests, are the ones who helped shape us both as individuals and as a couple culminating in this special union.

That moment was filled with an incredible sense of love, support, and encouragement beaming from the people we love and respect the most.

What was the most funny moment the day of your wedding in Playa del Carmen?

The funniest moment was when Sarah’s dad, Ahmad, was sandwiched in between the 2 Batucada dancers.

Why did you choose your wedding venue in Playa del Carmen?

We chose the Secret Jewel because we wanted to offer our guests a space that was reflective of who we are. We both love the beach and outdoors and wanted to create a fun, beach party that was relaxed and comfortable for everyone.

Secret Jewel Playa del Carmen was perfect because it offered us a private beach location with so much natural beauty! Not only was it a gorgeous and comfortable Mexico Destination venue, they allowed us to bring our own preferred vendors, and we were able to party late into the night!

Give us a summary of your destination wedding day in Playa del Carmen

Our wedding day turned out to be a beautiful and fun mix of our cultures and families joining together.

Our wedding was held at the Secret Jewel Playa del Carmen where guests were greeted with the stunning natural beauty of the venue, a cerveza, boozy popsicle or water upon arrival. We then hosted a Persian ceremony where Sarah’s aunt, Mali, officiated the ceremony. The ceremony was a modern take on a traditional Iranian wedding custom. Mali performed the entire ceremony in English and Spanish and at the end she spoke Farsi (tri-lingual wedding).

The Persian wedding ceremony is an ancient Zoroastrian tradition that can be traced as far back as 2500 years ago. For Iranians marriage is an event, which must be celebrated not quietly but with glory and distinction.

One of the centrepieces of the ceremony is the Sofreh aghd (symbolic table); it is the spread containing many items symbolizing important elements of the couple’s new life and marriage together.

During the ceremony, two sugar cones (kaleh ghand) are ground together to shower upon the couple sweetness and happiness.

While a fine fabric (tooreh ghand) is held over the couple’s head by happily married female relatives and friends. For Sarah and Juan, it was incredibly special to be surrounded by so much joy and love with so many family and friends.

The ceremony was a fun and memorable experience for everyone as most of our American and Venezuelan guests had never witnessed a Persian ceremony before.

Immediately after the ceremony, we asked all of our guest to move to the beach for a group photo. This is one of the most fun photos to see how happy everyone looks. Following the group photo, guests were treated with appetizers and alcohol to help get the party started. While guests enjoyed cocktail hour/dance party, Sarah and Juan had the chance to take some beautiful photos on the water.

The dance party basically started immediately after the ceremony and did not stop until the end. Our DJ’s did an amazing job of keeping the energy up and mixing an incredibly diverse song list which included music from all over the world- Persian, Arab, Latin, Kurdish, African, American, etc.

The music and dancing were a highlight for everyone! We had the chance to watch everyone let loose and have a blast on the dance floor!

Sarah & Juan’s first dance was a group dance to Shut Up and Dance. Guests were then very quickly introduced to Persian and Latin dancing.

One of the crowd favorites was the Persian napkin dance (which our family made up) and it was immediately followed by Venezuelan Tambores dancing.

Shortly after, Sarah and her dad, Ahmad, shared a fun dance to Stevie Wonder’s You Are My Sunshine, which was immediately followed by their favorite dance song Shakira Waka Waka

We then surprised our guests with two performances. The first was a Batucada performance which included Brazilian drummers and dancers. Many of our guests had never seen Batucada so it was incredibly fun for them to watch them perform and have the chance to learn some Batucada moves of their own.

In true Venezuelan tradition, we hosted an incredibly memorable hora loca where we surprised guests with another performance. Our hora loca performance included LED water drums, stilt walkers, dancers, costume and all-around madness!!

Our wedding day was well beyond our expectations. We are incredibly grateful to have experienced it with so many loving guests and amazing vendors who helped make it one of the most fun and special days of our lives!!!

Wedding Planner: Mango Weddings
Venue: Secret Jewel Celebrations Venue
Catering: Chef Christian Morales
Photography: Gareth Davies
DJ: DJ Luca Zannelli

We were honored to be chosen as Sarah & Juan´s Playa del Carmen Photographer for their destination wedding. If you would are seeking a Playa del Carmen Wedding photographer to cover your destination wedding in Mexico, feel free to get in touch for a casual chat about how we can manage your expectations.

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