After 9 years together, it only seemed fitting that Meg and Sarah got ready together on their wedding day, and walked down the aisle hand in hand.
Why did you choose to elope to Mexico?
Bucerias is a small town about 30 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. We celebrated Meg’s 30th birthday in Bucerías in March 2019 with her college friends. We both fell in love with the area instantly, so Meg casually looked up wedding venues and found Martoca Beach Garden, which looked perfect. It was the only place we considered.
Talk to us about your experience finding the perfect outfits.
Meg has been following Duchess Clothier, a queer tailor in Portland, OR, for years and knew she wanted her suit from there. So they created her beautiful custom suit and helped her pick out the perfect shade of pink.
Sarah’s not a fan of lace or beading or anything fussy. She wanted something simple, clean, and comfortable, and Lola Varma’s aesthetic is just that. The Val blouse with the Spencer skirt was the most comfortable thing she tried on. She loved the draping of the back and the fact that it would be easy to go to the bathroom in and wouldn’t show sweat!
Talk to us about the wedding day.
We got ready together in our Airbnb with our closest friends. Meg’s cousin is a professional hairstylist and did our hair and makeup. It was fun and relaxing to get ready together – neither of us was particularly interested in the charade of staying separate or doing “a first look.” We like spending time together!
We got to the venue, put on our outfits, and took photos before guests arrived. Our ceremony was short and sweet, just like we wanted it to be. The DJ cued up “You’re the One for Me” by Great Good Fine OK, the first song Meg sent Sarah when they started dating and remains a favorite. Our officiant, Zach, walked down the aisle, and we followed him by walking in together. Fifteen minutes later, our ceremony was done, and we got to hang out with our guests and have some margaritas! Martoca supplied an adorable donkey named Chocolate wearing a small barrel on his back that dispensed extra añejo tequila. We sat down to dinner, heard toasts over dessert, and started the dance party as soon as possible.
What are your favorite moments?
We created custom playlists for the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, and dance party that matched the easygoing vibe we were hoping for. The DJ figured out how to order and mix them seamlessly together. We loved watching others enjoy and dance to our favorite songs alongside us.
Walking down the aisle together. Meg hates being the center of attention and, at first, didn’t want to have a ceremony at all, but Sarah convinced her to have one they could design together. Neither of us loves the tradition of parents walking their children down the aisle and “giving them away.” Sarah’s parents are limited by religious fundamentalism and chose not to attend the wedding. So we decided to walk in together, which we loved! Everyone stood up and cheered when we entered, which set a joyful, relaxed tone for the rest of the evening. Our longtime friend Zach officiated the fifteen-minute ceremony, and his words brought so much levity and warmth.
The speeches. We chose five close family members and friends to give speeches. Each one was heartfelt, funny, and beautifully constructed.
The dance party! We handpicked every single song on the playlist – all bangers, no slow songs. We only left the dance floor to go to the bathroom a couple of times. We were having so much fun and couldn’t stop dancing – the excellent Martoca staff kept bringing drinks and water bottles to the dance floor for us!
Late-night snacks! Martoca vendors doled out freshly-made Tacos Al Pastor and churros. Our guests said they were the best tacos and churros they had ever had in Mexico, and we agreed. I ate about ten churros that night, and my only regret is not eating more.
Did you incorporate any family or religious traditions into the day?
Not really. Sarah has a difficult family situation; her parents are limited by their own religious and cultural beliefs and chose not to attend the wedding. But we found smaller ways to incorporate some of her upbringings into the event. For example, Sarah’s cousin read a beautiful poem during the ceremony by Syrian-American poet Lahab Assef Al-Jundi, who is a longtime friend of Sarah’s family. Sarah also wore a turquoise ring that once belonged to her beloved aunt.
What does marriage mean to you?
We’ve been together for nearly nine years and have lived together for seven. In some ways, marriage has changed absolutely nothing about our lives; at the same time, marriage has somehow changed absolutely everything. I’m so happy we had this opportunity to make our partnership official in front of our family and friends and mark this new phase of our life together with a ritual we’ll never forget.
Advice for other couples planning a wedding?
Be true to yourselves. Pick things you love, like music or activities, and share them with your community. Then, if old traditions don’t suit you, walk down the aisle together and skip the first dances to head straight into the dance party!
Anything you are glad you did? Or wish you didn’t do?
We are so glad we chose a destination wedding, and in particular, chose Martoca Beach Garden as our venue. We booked Martoca before the pandemic started, and at times we worried we shouldn’t go through with it as we realized Covid’s “end” just wasn’t on the horizon. But it was perfect. We took reasonable precautions to keep attendees safe. Everyone was so excited and energized to be in Bucerías, and we got to share with all of our family and friends a place that we love. The venue was spectacular, the food and drinks were delicious, and the service was impeccable.
Photography by Luis Romero
Catering, Design Elements & Venue Martoca Beach Garden
Dress Boutique The Dress Theory
Dress Designer Lola Varma Bridal
Engagement Rings Everling Jewelry
Planner | Stylist Mar Ibarra
Shoes Thursday Boots, Loeffler Randall
Suit Designer Duchess Clothier
Wedding Rings ARTEMER