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Nickie Paul weds Ryan Friedman on February 20, 2011

P h o t o g r a p h y b y J a c K l y n G r e e n b e r g & C h r i s B r o w n o f J AG s t u d i o s

tulum, mexico

the details

i do, i do

Convenience was a top priority in a wedding destination for West Hartford, Connecticut, couple Nickie and Ryan, who dreamed of escaping to a peaceful natural setting with their closest loved ones. “After researching locations all over the world, we settled on Mexico because of its general proximity and ease of coordination,” says the bride. From there, Tulum was a no-brainer, thanks to its rich culture, adventure and beauty. On arrival at small eco-lodge Zulum, the 22 guests were greeted with welcome packages that included a Mexican blanket, local candy, tequila and a schedule of optional activities, from exploring cenotes (freshwater sinkholes) to snorkeling at Sian Kaan bioreserve. The big day commenced with pure relaxation (the boys golfed; the girls visited nearby Ana y Jose spa). Then the pair walked together, barefoot, down the aisle on Zulum’s secluded beach. A local shaman led the traditional Maya service, in which the couple dug a hole in the sand and buried seeds as an offering to Mother Earth. “During the ceremony, I truly felt grateful for everything and everyone I have in my life,” muses Nickie. Afterward, the party walked down the beach to El Tabano restaurant, where head chef Laura Brea masterminded a family-style feast of homemade bread, guacamole, chaya salad with black beans and fresh cheese, red chicken, and grouper in pipián sauce. “The menu Laura created was beyond delicious,” gushes Nickie. “We trusted her so much that we planned the dinner only a few nights before the wedding, rather than agonizing over it for months like we did with the menu for our hometown reception!” — Sarah Larson

Bride’s Dress: Jenny Packham Groom’s Attire: Harryfashion Hair & Makeup: DIY Cake: El Tabano Flowers: Zulum Music: Fabian Rios Machado Planner: Yelitza Fajardo
1, 2. Fabian Rios Machado, a local shaman, officiated the beach ceremony, announcing the couple’s union by playing traditional Maya music on a preHispanic flute, as well as purifying the pair and their guests with copal smoke. 3. A steamy fire-dancing performance entertained guests after the beach ceremony. 4. The bride having a blast and enjoying a tamarind margarita. 5. The reception was held at El Tabano restaurant, featuring an extensive menu on a chalkboard and rustic mismatched tables pushed together to form a communal table for guests. 6. Nickie and Ryan sharing a private moment at Zulum.

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groom’s tip
“If you get a chance, visit your destination before the wedding date to learn more about the area. Then try to arrive at least a day before guests do to allow time for last-minute planning.”

wedding color palette

58 destination weddings & honeymoons

january/february 2012 59