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blush + gold beach wedding in mayan riviera

May 8, 2016

A few years ago I met Mike through shooting his brother Chris’ wedding. I have the extreme pleasure of often meeting clients this way and by default, developing a relationship with them before their wedding even approaches.

Mike and Shawna wanted their wedding outdoors and surrounded by a backdrop that they couldn’t get in Toronto; and that was a stunning beach! With the help of Luxe Weddings, the couple chose to stay at the intimate resort Azul Beach and have their wedding off-site at Marina Maroma in Playa del Carmen to be certain that their guests would have an exclusive and private wedding experience.

The day started off relaxed as Shawna and Mike enjoyed the beach in the morning and got ready in the afternoon. As Mike got a massage, Shawna did her own makeup and she looked flawless!

The day was perfect and typical Mexican weather other than an intense wind that got stronger as the day progressed. A high of 34 degrees, deep blue skies and a humid heat. I was thankful for the wind!

The groomsmen wore navy blue suits and the bridesmaids blush pink dresses. Shawna’s gorgeous and form-fitting lace gown by Paloma Blanca was a perfect selection for the tropical and hot climate. At the last moment she chose to have her hair down but partially pulled back because of the wind, and it couldn’t have been a better choice. She looked absolutely stunning and her hair stayed perfect all night!

The couple started with a first look in-between matching doorways which the couple say was the most romantic moment of the day. We then took family portraits, bridal party and couple shots and made our way to the venue for the evening beach ceremony.

The resort was absolutely beautiful and provided the perfect backdrop to photograph Shawna and Mike and capture the laid back, beach-y  vibe they were going for.

I mean…come on. Does it get much better than that view?

The ceremony was lightly decorated since the scenery spoke for itself but it did include gold charivari chairs, white lanterns, and a beautiful arch with blush and white floral and branches weaved through the top. The ceremony was short and sweet and led by the couple’s cherished family friend Laddie Haines. Moments after walking down the aisle together, Shawna and Mike twirled and kissed in private bliss. They were finally married!

I just love these starfish place cards. So cute and simple…and so fitting for a wedding reception at the beach.

The beautiful mother of the bride…patiently waiting to see her daughter finally walk down the aisle.

Ahhh…the moment they’ve been waiting for…finally married!

After the ceremony, Shawna wisely changed out of her high heels and into a pair of more practical but still chic, wedge sandals.

A cocktail hour ensued at the Dolphinarium and although not planned, the dolphins did a show for the guests as they enjoyed the couple’s signature Raspberry Mojito cocktail.

Guests then made their way to the reception set up on the beach for sunset. The wind had progressed to a level so high that the planner, Meghan got the venue to install a fabric wall to block the sand and wind from the tables. Luckily it helped! Although the wind prevented some decor details from being set up, it was really a Godsend to help keep it cool for guests. No one ever noticed either, as the setting was certainly stunning on its own.

Before entering the reception area, guests collected their star fish tag including their name and table number. At their table they found their name hand written on sand dollars placed on their menus. A sparkler was also attached to be used for the couple’s first dance.

Having dinner right by the ocean…now that’s how you do a beach wedding!

The table decor was clean, elegant and simple….perfect for a casual beach wedding reception.

The moonlight and custom love sign shined on the dance-floor as the couple entered the reception and went straight into their first dance. It was dreamy, as all the guests swayed with sparklers and Shawna and Mike danced to “Lost Together” by Blue Rodeo. This song is loved by the couple and symbolizes their love and life together. Near the end of the song, Mike picked up Shawna and twirled her around and around which got guests teary eyed and made for a great shot!

Shawna couldn’t help getting a bit emotional as the couple listened to speeches from family and friends. 

The wedding guests were a great group of people who really knew how to have a good time and keep the party going!

Shawna and Mike were so gracious to have such a huge turnout for their destination wedding. Many of their family and friends were able to attend and danced the night away with them.

Shawna and Mike; you were an extreme pleasure to work with and an even bigger pleasure to photograph. I wish you all the very best in your new adventure as husband and wife.

xx – april



ceremony + reception: Marina Maroma, Mexico // hotel: Azul Beach // officiant: Family Friend // wedding planner: Meghan Jakumowski from Luxe // cake: Lomas // decor + rentals: Lomas // diy projects: Star Fish tags for seating chart; Sand dollar place setting with calligraphy; Minted Menus; Welcome Bags; Custom Sunglasses @ Deal Cardinal; cocktail napkins @ Napkin Niche; welcome bags – @ Poppy Crate; travel mugs – @ Factory21; Gold tags for star fish – @ Karli Boutique // dress: Paloma Blanca // shoes: Jimmy Choo // bridal party gifts: Swarovski Crystal Heart necklaces, Harry Rosen ties and socks // stationary: Paper + Poste and Minted // music: Lomas // number of guests: 80


Olive Studio is a documentary based photography studio, specializing in unique, intimate and off-the-beaten track weddings. Our candid shooting style allows for couples to...
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