Sometimes I lie in bed and dream that I’m back at Elyse & Chris’s incredible Azul Fives Wedding. We spend a week soaking in the Mayan Riviera sunshine with almost 70 wonderful humans who made the trek south to celebrate these two at their destination wedding. Elyse & Chris made us feel like part of the family from the moment we arrived at the airport and their families were equally welcoming. We couldn’t have asked for a better crew of travel companions and are so thankful to have been part of this special journey.
I can’t say enough about this resort, it is truly magical! I’ve been to several all-inclusives but The Fives truly tops them all. We made friends will all kinds of Mexican critters (iguanas, monkeys, and mosquitos to name a few) and fell in love with every person we met. Seriously, if you’re considering a destination wedding you can’t miss checking this place out! Azul Fives Weddings are the bomb!!!
I asked Elyse & Chris about their story, their wedding inspiration, and their experience so that I could share it with you. Scroll through the images to view their big day and read about it in their own words!
We met when we were in University/College working as summer students for the City in the Parks department. Elyse was driven to and from work every day by a friend of her dads but soon after meeting Chris and learning they lived so close to each other, he began driving her home. The joke became that she “came to work with the old guy, but left with the young guy”. Elyse had a boyfriend so they developed a friendship but didn’t start dating for another year after.
We bought a house a few months before in pre-construction nearby Chris’ sister and her husband. Chris and his sister conspired to get Elyse to the area which is surrounded by a lot of wineries on her birthday and for a girls winery day. On our way home to have dinner with his family to celebrate his sisters birthday, his sister wanted to stop and see the land where we bought and if they had started construction. When we pulled up, Chris was waiting there and got down on one knee where our house would some day be built. When we got back to his sisters house, he had another surprise waiting for…which was Elyse’s parents, hiding in the basement and waiting to celebrate our engagement with us along with his parents! Chris had asked for Elyse’s parents blessing earlier that week, and they were thrilled and excited!
Since well before we were engaged, we knew we wanted to do a destination wedding. We wanted a trip with all those nearest and dearest to us and to really just have a great week with everyone to celebrate us with them in such a beautiful and relaxed setting. We wanted a party and for the party to last a whole week! Picking the resort was the hardest part, but when we found The Fives Azul Beach Resort we knew it was the one. The emphasis on great cuisine, the sheer number of pools and restaurants/bars and the beautiful ceremony location on the rooftop had us sold!
Elyse’s bridesmaids were all either family or friends she has known since she was 5 at the oldest so that was a really easy decision.
Chris has so many really close friends that he wanted to share in our day, but as he said “If I am choosing a best man, my dad is the best man I know, so that’s who my best man is.” So his dad was his best man, with his 6 close friends as groomsmen.
Our friend Phil (who Chris and Elyse both met at the same time while working for the city) was our MC, and he got 4 job offers to MC other peoples wedding shortly following the wedding reception. He was an absolute superstar! And who better to chose than the guy who has been with our relationship since its infancy!
Highlights from Our Wedding Day Included:
-Watching the thunder clouds roll in before and during the ceremony
-Seeing each other for the first time that day as Elyse walked up the aisle and her oldest friend sang “Feels like Home” along to the instrumental music.
-Being announced HUSBAND and WIFE!!
-Our tequila shot seating chart
-Our epic dance party
-Our incredible MC and the heartfelt speeches from our parents and Elyse’s sister
-Chris getting stung by a scorpion the night BEFORE the wedding and asking the front lobby whether this was a lethal one or not! What a memory!!
The biggest piece of advice we could give to help others in the wedding and planning process, is to remember that they day is just about the two of you and that’s really all that matters. With a destination wedding, you know that you run the risk that some people close to you might not be able to make it, but it still feels disappointing to hear they can’t all the same. But the important thing is that the two of you are there, and that’s all that matters. It doesn’t matter if there is drama leading up to it or if the grooms suit gets lost on the plane or it rains through the ceremony, what matters is that the two of you love each other and are there to vow to love each other and support each other for the rest of your lives. That’s what it’s all about!
Dress: My dress is very near and dear to my heart as it was purchased from the Bride’s Project
in Toronto. The Bride’s Project is a second hand wedding gown shop that takes previously loved gowns from past brides or sample dresses from bridal salons and sells them for a fraction of the price to new brides with 100% of the proceeds going to breast cancer research and awareness.
Venue: The Azul Fives Beach Resort, Playa Del Carmen
Brides flowers: Silk flowers by Chi Tran at Raindrops on Roses
Azul Fives Wedding | Playa Del Carmen | Mexico Destination Wedding | Toronto Wedding Photographer