Hi, my name is Jennifer and I am a shoe addict! Yes, I often buy shoes and then purchase outfits to go with them (instead of the other way around). I totally understand the new trend for a bride to wear flirty, fun and colorful shoes to be under her wedding gown. I love the photos I see of gorgeous Christian Loubitan pumps peeking out from under a flowing white gown where you get a glimpse of those candy apple colored soles. I am in complete agreement for a bride wanting to be a princess in her dreamy pair of strappy blue Jimmy Choo’s! So, when an equally shoe addicted destination wedding bride comes to me and says, “You won’t believe this, but although I told you that I envision a beach wedding, there is no way my Minolo Blahnik’s are touching sand,” I am completely sympathetic. Usually this announcement comes approximately 3 months before the wedding, and long after guests have made their travel arrangements. Changing to a church wedding at home, is simply not an option. However, as one who knows the importance of proper shoe care and realizes what sand will do to those stylish strappies, I have many suggestions to allow your destination wedding to still display the crystal ocean water as your backdrop and avert a shoe catastrophe.
There are many locations where the resorts are now advertising “Sky” or rooftop weddings. The Azul Sensatori (Riviera Maya) and the Beach Palace (Cancun) have been promoting their rooftop ceremony for years. Arches are created on these rooftops, aisle runners are used, and in a snap, the roof becomes one of the hippest locations to exchange vows. Plus being able to have a rooftop cocktail party on the roof immediately after the wedding is chic and very South Beach! Some other key benefits are that it is private, and it has unbelievable views for photos. One of my brides told me that she felt like a rock star celebrating on a roof with all her loved ones. Another really unique location is at one of the very traditional Spanish chapels located at several resorts in the Riviera Maya. One of my favorites, Dreams Tulum, has a fairytale Spanish chapel with stained glass, hand carved wooden pews and intimate in size as it only fits about 20 people. At sunset, the windows reflect different colored bands of light, and as the candles flicker, one can’t help but feel immersed in the romantic ambience this location provides. I have lost count of brides that I have sent to Dreams Tulum envisioning a beach wedding, only to see photos of their wedding in the Chapel. When I ask if the weather was bad, or why they ended up at the chapel, each one tells me that they fell in love with it and “when in Mexico”. . . The story of the origin of the small church at Sandals Montego Bay is also so romantic and heart wrenching, that it is no surprise to me how many couples decide to marry there. (if you want the story, just send me an email, oh and have tissues ready!) However, if the rooftop and the Chapel setting isn’t really what you had pictured, have a look at the Gazebo perfectly positioned at Sandals Negril or the Roman Gazebo at Beaches Negril. Both are steps from the sand, yet there is a paved pathway that leads right to the Gazebo steps. The covered Gazebo at Sandals Negril also provides protection for those who can’t handle the harsh direct Caribbean sun (think about elderly relatives, or anyone Irish) and the Roman Gazebo at Beaches Negril is elevated about 3 feet above the gardens, so not only do you see the Caribbean in the background, but you also get a gardenlike tropical setting.
My point is that you don’t have to choose between style and sand! The best resorts for destination weddings, have many options. You can have a beach wedding and not step foot in the sand at all! And if you too, are also a closet shoe addict, please send me your wedding pictures with your fashionable shoe choice—I would love to post them and share with other shoe conscious brides!