We both walked down the aisle to our favorite artist John Mayer
Our Galia Lahav brides understand how to pick a wedding dress destination. No really, from villas within the Spanish countryside, lakeside within the Italian Alps, Mediterranean vistas cliffside in Mallorca…somewhere across the lines the heralded bridal fashion house said, “We’re likely to design gowns for that bride with impeccable travel taste.”
Today, our Galia Lahav bride Amiee and her groom Joshua generously invite us for their very intimate, practically exclusive, big day on the Mexican Riviera. Located around the Caribbean shores between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, their venue Hotel Esencia is really a far cry from the typical big resort wedding space. The gorgeous Mexican boutique hotel is really a tropical paradise. Hidden between the palms, the five-star estate is the best space for couples trying to find luxury and privacy. No holidaying onlookers with this fabulous affair.
And Amiee and Joshua did their finest to take benefit of every second at Hotel Esencia. The destination wedding included 72 hours of events – the very best excuse to don an additional sparkling wedding party dress that we’ll be drooling over for a long time.
On Monday, July 17th, 2022, our way of life intersected. It was an unassuming, warm, rainy, summer day. Josh had picked the area, Murphy’s within the Virginia Highlands.
Like all great modern love stories, we'd never met before. Technically our way of life crossed paths per month earlier because of Instagram’s algorithm. Josh was non-committal to some full dinner because he had gotten stuck on a single too many Bumble dates. That night, I was to ease into the waters with drinks. As he patiently waited in the bar, I arrived, late, per usual, running quickly to get away from the rain. I vividly remember walking in and seeing him for the first time. Josh has the old Hollywood superstar kind of beauty, full dark hair, bright blue eyes along with a welcoming smile. To know him would be to love him, and Monday, was my first day of an eternity spent loving him. Quite literally sparks flew.
Our quick happy hour plans converted into being the final to leave at closing time. From that point on, it had been obvious to us, and everyone within our orbit, this love was special. We spent five years building upon that night. Countless moments were spent together, growing, refining, and cherishing our love. We were so excited to finally excited to commit our way of life to one another through marriage.
With bi-coastal roots, we knew we wanted a destination wedding to increase the time spent celebrating with this family and friends. In our relationship, we value the significance of creating and making memories most of all. With an intimate guest listing of only 45, I was looking for that perfect destination. With destination wedding search, the planet is quite literally your oyster. We not just looked at several countries, and climates, and lastly found the perfect location.
Hotel Esencia is really a majestic 50- acre estate in the midpoint between Tulum and Playa del Carmen. A luxury boutique hotel, originally the non-public home built as the non-public home of the Italian Duchess, the home is pure magic, an aura of European charm meets lush jungle. The 2022 Forbes Travel Guide rated Hotel Esencia among the few Five Star Hotels in the world, and also the first and just independent Five Star Forbes hotel in most of Mexico.
The property is really a true hidden gem, a really special hideaway noted for its refined charm. Hosting a three-day event, we wanted our guests to feel connected, comfortable, and completely relaxed. We chose Esencia because all you have to do is step foot around the property, and all sorts of your worries are going to be subsided. The decor, service, food, and beach are truly unmatched within the region. It is really a stunning property right down to the smallest detail, and also the staff goes far above. This allowed all of us and our guests to pay attention to each other without ever having to depart the property. We find the venue because our main concern was creating intimate unique moments with no distraction or stress from a big cookie-cutter resort.
I should have tried on over 100 dresses, easily. I knew what I was searching for but I just couldn’t think it is until I tried on my small Galia Lahav dress. The fabric and construction of GL dresses are true what sets them apart. My seamstress explained, “the dress is made for my soul.” The dress only agreed to be, refined, natural, and romantic with feminine beauty. The fitted bodice enhanced my natural curves, as the floral lace pattern using the sheer layers, made the gown dynamic yet perfect for that venue. Many people say “don’t try on a lot of wedding dresses”, I couldn’t disagree more. Wait, an ideal one is available.
We wanted our vintage wedding dresses aesthetically to complement the spirit of the home. Timeless, refined, natural, and romantic beauty. Pulling inspiration from Devon Windsor’s St. Barths wedding. Our wedding coordinator Julia Salinas and wedding stylist Daniela Parra worked together to produce a masterpiece. Our ceremony was around the steps prior to the mansion with lush natural greenery lining the aisles, we made a timeless romantic archway filled with white flowers with natural greenery. The lace floral pattern of my dress was adopted as inspiration for any seamless vision.
We both walked down the aisle to our favorite artist John Mayer. We had the bride’s 90-year-old grandfather open the ceremony in prayer. We exchanged our very own written vows while holding our newly engraved family bible.
I won't ever forget standing around the steps, holding hands with my groom, and exchanging vows, before all our dearest friends and family. His face, the smell of the flowers, that memory will forever be stamped into my memory.
Our guests were greeted into the cocktail hour within the garden lawn having a live saxophone artist. Our reception was one long romantic table with alternating candlelight and mixed-height florals. The reception was kicked up a notch using the groom’s only non-negotiable disco balls along with a live saxophone player. Partying underneath the disco lights within the jungle to mixed versions of rap and EDM music, the party was incredible. We finished the night having a private pool party in the private villa on property Yum-Ha. A hacienda-style villa with Spanish tiles along with a large courtyard.