I am so excited to share my first destination wedding of 2023 and it was definitely one for the books! I’ve definitely had the itch to travel for a bit since moving to Nashville and I can’t think of a better one to get the ball rolling again than in Cancun Mexico! I have traveled here multiple times in the past, but never for a wedding, and it was about time, as this location is definitely photo worthy! I connected with the bride, Sarah, through my second shooter, Lauren as Sarah is one of her best friends and she was going to be a bridesmaid in the wedding. Getting to spend this trip with her and all her friends was so fun! I spent the first couple days relaxing by the pool or ocean, and even got to experience the spa.. which I never get to do, because you know, mom life!! It was SO amazing and only a hint to all that was to come!
Russ and Sarah are frequent travelers so a destination wedding seemed to be exactly what they needed. Unlike some beach locations, the water here was an especially brilliant blue. From the ocean view to the wonderful food, and dream location, this coastal wedding was blissful, effortless and had a touch of class that is unmatched!
Finally, Saturday was here and even though my relaxation was coming to an end, photographing this wedding definitely didn’t feel like work! I started off the day with getting ready in the girls’ suite. Luckily their room connected to mine making it easy and perfect for capturing all of the bride’s stunning gold details! The room also had a balcony with the perfect ocean view for some getting ready photos. A friend of Sarah and Russ’s flew in from Wisconsin to do Sarah’s hair and makeup so that was special, and let’s just say she killed it! Her husband would later have a role in the day as a groomsman as he knew Russ through work. After her hair and makeup was done I had to get Sarah out on that balcony!! The girls all dawned champagne colored pj’s for the getting ready portion of the day and the pj photos were perfect on the outdoor overlook to the ocean and resort!!
After a sweet first look with her Dad it was time for Sarah’s first look with Russ and I knew this had to take place sea-side! The water was so stunning with the contrasting shades of blue from different depths, the bright aqua blue standing out the most! Once Russ saw Sarah and they had their moment, we went straight into portraits staying planted in the sand for several more… how could we not in such a dreamy spot?!! Then we continued, venturing around all the lovely architecture and options the resort offered. Sarah walked up a cascading staircase with palm trees and the light glistening in the reflection of the window making for one of my favorite spots!
All inclusive took on a whole new meaning as the resort did not slack with their florals and ceremony decor for the wedding either. Sarah’s bouquet featured neutral florals with hints of gold and coastal elements. Ceremony time quickly approached and had a stunning arch with flowing fabric set in front of the ocean just as the sun slipped behind the resort. A funny and sweet aspect was that while intended to be an intimate ceremony with only closest friends and family, there were actually well over 200 guests if you count everyone watching this union take place from the surrounding pool, hot tubs and nearby beach chairs. I was honestly kind of jealous of their seats!! The ceremony proceeded beautifully and Sarah and Russ shared the vows they had personally written with notes of how they complimented each other and all the life adventures they were about to embark on as Sarah begins Med School in Maryland.
As the ceremony ended, after a few more quick photos taking advantage of the dreamy light and cotton candy colored skies, we headed to a raised balcony that overlooked the ocean and pool with twinkle lights hanging overhead. Sarah and Russ went into their first dance followed by the other dances. Sarah and her Dad had been practicing and it showed in their beautiful, elegant father daughter dance. This part of the day also included excellent appetizers and drinks as a sort of cocktail hour! More dances and an impromptu tunnel with the bridal party ensued, but that was still not the most exciting event of the evening. Everyone was so hot in the Mexico heat and debating changing before dinner, when a bridesmaid suggested JUMPING IN THE POOL, wedding attire and all for a photo-op… this was much to my amusement of course!! I was practically running with excitement and getting my camera all set for this moment!! The guys opted out but Sarah and her bridesmaids ended the night in the best way– making a SPLASH, jumping hand in hand into the resort pool! After that everyone changed and headed to dinner at a nice restaurant adjacent to the resort. They invited me to tag along and everyone was so welcoming! Here the night concluded with speeches, AMAZING food and the drink presentations from our sweet bartender that was a show in itself.
I loved getting the opportunity to celebrate Russ and Sarah alongside their closest friends and family, as well as capture such a dream wedding in Cancun! Sarah and Russ I can not thank you enough for having me be apart of this perfect weekend! Please enjoy a few of my favorite photos from their day!
This amazing day would not have been possible without this wonderful team of vendors!
Photographer | Kendra R. Photography
Dress Store | Rebecca’s Bridal Boutique in Louisville, KY
Ceremony/ Reception Venue | Royal Sands Resort and Spa
Florist | Royal Sands Resort and Spa
Hair/ Makeup | Melissa White
Wedding Planner | Itzel with the Royal Sands Resort and Spa
Catering | Royal Sands Resort and Spa
Groom/ Groomsmen Attire | Men’s Wearhouse