Shabnam and Randal’s Destination Wedding in the Riviera Maya, Mexico


As a planner I see every type of wedding imaginable, from very small and intimate, to groups of 300+ guests and 7-course meals. New Yorkers, Shab and Randall, perhaps had the most perfect balance I’ve seen to date. Close friends and family flew out to The Tides Riviera Maya, a stunning boutique hotel in the Riviera Maya, that has the mystique of being in the nestled in the tropical jungle with palm-lined stone pathways and the sound of exotic birds, while at the same time maintains every luxury of personal villas with plunge pools, romantic outdoor showers, and that hard to capture “spa smell” around every corner. With just 30 villas, this property is the perfect place for a buy-out when bringing between 40-70 guests, which is exactly what Shab and Randall did.


No luxury was spared for their guests that travelled for their special day. Shab and Randall hosted a bonfire lit rehearsal beach BBQ the night before the wedding, complete with an open pit where guests could watch their food being cooked and a surprise of fire-dancers on the beach mid-way through the evening that lit up the beach tossing and dancing their fire-lit torches.

The wedding day itself brought the kind of luck every destination bride hopes for – perfect hot balmy weather with zero humidity, and blue skies in every direction. The florist got a bit excited and decided to throw in extra orchids, which for any other bride would be great. But through our conversations, I knew the type of flowers Shab liked and which ones she didn’t, so I did some last minute re-design for her bouquets and gazebo decor…. And the result was exactly what Shab and I had envisioned over these many months.emedina_blog_690_17

There is nothing better than seeing the smile on the bride’s face when they see their flowers and decorations for the first time and they’re perfect. What a great feeling!  We created an organic and rustic-chic look on her wedding gazebo using branches and fuschia orchids interspersed, and the ceremony was complimented by the sound of the shells on the white chandelier we had hung in the gazebo.


emedina_blog_690_22emedina_blog_690_23Another benefit of doing a resort buy-out is that the staff at The Tides was solely dedicated to making this wedding absolutely everything it could be. From the elaborately designed wedding cake, to the extra little details thrown in to make the night special, the staff really outdid themselves. During cocktails the wedding party and families took photos against a stunning pink and blue sunset sky, and anyone who was there can attest to how elegant Shabnam looked. emedina_blog_690_25emedina_blog_690_26emedina_blog_690_27After cocktails, the guests moved into the lit-up poolside dinner area with green and fuschia orchids, pink ginger lilies, and purple lisianthus. The pool was elaborately lined with candles and the dance floor was lit-up with specialty pink swirly lighting. emedina_blog_690_28

emedina_blog_690_30Photographer extraordinaire, Elizabeth Medina and her assistant Lindsey ran around capturing every moment and aspect of the wedding, and DJ Mike spun great tunes mixed with some Persian music, which got the women of Shab’s family really moving! emedina_blog_690_32emedina_blog_690_34Dinner was served, cake was cut, first dances danced and all-in-all the evening was a total wedding success. Best of luck to this wonderful couple!! Congratulations Shab and Randall!

All Photography by: Elizabeth Medina Photography

  1. Keith Proffitt says:

    I love this,THANKS.

  2. Ruby Swarey says:

    Keep up the good writing !!

  3. esq says:

    that’s a beautiful wedding!! Is this the Tides?
    I’d love to hear from you cuz I’m looking for a venue too…

  4. Sarah S says:

    Hi, I’m new on here and excited to be a part of the group.

  5. Joi Mader says:

    this is very good information

  6. MBT says:

    Magnificent stuff, will bookmark this and add your RSS to my feeds.

  7. What you do is great – but more frequent updates, please?

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