If you’re one of my Instagram followers (@brentcalis), you may already know that I spent last week in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for Lindsay and Darren’s destination wedding (aaaand those of you in wintery climates may have hated me for it, too). I love destination weddings because it gives me a chance to think a bit differently. They always have their own challenges as well.
Luxuriating in a tropical climate was pretty sweet on its own, but these two are also really great friends of mine. Getting to be there for one of the most memorable weeks of their lives just added another layer of awesome.
It also doesn’t hurt that Mexico is one of my favourite countries. I’ve travelled there many times but somehow I’d never experienced Puerto Vallarta before. I’m so glad I did – I was totally blown away by the atmosphere in this town. The people were so beautiful and welcoming. It truly felt like home. A much hotter version of it. Lots and lots of sweat in places I would not prefer. But well worth it. Completely worth it.
The bride and groom. Gems. Absolute legends.
Now, onto the bride and groom! Darren is the kind of guy that makes you feel like you are the most important person in the room, no matter what. His laugh is genuine and his words are always so kind… when he can speak, that is.(Let’s just say he lost his voice a couple times on the trip. Especially the day after the bachelor party.) (Now that was a good night! But I digress…)
As for Lindsay, she’s someone you could trust with absolutely anything in the world. She possesses a fierce internal calm and presence. She is the kind of bride that people dream of working with – poised, prepared, never flustered.
The two of their personalities together made for a week that I’ll never forget. They worked to create a blend of planned events and downtime that hit the perfect note of chilling out without ever being bored. There was an excursion to a tequila farm in the mountains around Puerto Vallarta, a food tour in the old town, games of basketball in the pool at the Marival Resort, and much, much more.
The wedding at a private venue vs. on resort
The wedding itself took place off resort at an incredible venue called the Martoca Beach Garden . I will definitely blog that incredible day, so stay tuned for that. I will also give my two cents on the differences between doing your wedding at a resort vs. private venues at your destination.
Cuban bars and cigars and Mexican beer
But, true to form, the adventures didn’t stop with their wedding day. A couple of days after the wedding, I joined the newlyweds as they explored the streets of the old town in Puerto Vallarta. We met at (my now favourite) Columbian restaurant in Mexico, La Bodeguita del Medio, on the famous Malecon walkway.
The restaurant has a live band that plays a set or two during the day. At night, it turns into a wicked place for some salsa, bachata, cumbia, and other great dances. We were there for a part of the bachelor party a few nights before, and the boys had to drag me out of there to go to the next bar. That’s when I decided I had to use the bar for our couples shoot. It was then that Darren inked his name along with Lindsay’s on the famous walls of the restaurant. It’s hard to find a spot to sign!
After leaving La Bodeguita, Darren and Lindsay asked if they could spend the rest of the shoot doing their favourite things: Drinking beer, smoking cigars, and exploring. I don’t know if cigars are always part of the equation, but on this trip, they were, so that’s what we did! Watching a couple naturally follow their hearts and discovering a new town as newlyweds was just incredible, and photos are proof.
I hope these photos can help you fill in the rest of our adventures. Stay tuned for when I post their wedding shots!