From Minnesota to Mexico

What happens when a wedding planner from Minnesota decides to get married? One fun travelogue of wedding related festivities, that’s what! Kari & Brad had a small ceremony in their hometown and then headed off to the tropics for another fun bash that was filled with photo ops and dancing! Check out their lovely story below! We start with their Minnesota wedding on a snowy day followed by a cozy family meal at a local diner!

from the photographer: “What happens when a wedding planner gets married? ALL OF THIS and so much more!! Not only did we get to document this incredibly FUN destination wedding in Cancun, Mexico, we had… a Minimony in Minnesota, a Welcome Dinner, A rainy Grooms dinner on the rooftop, Some beach fun and an adventure to the cenotes. Kari and Brad started their wedding celebrations back in Minnesota on 1-22-22 where they were legally married in their hometown church. It was the most perfect, snowy winter day. They were surrounded by immediate family and a handful of extended family members. It provided the perfect opportunity for guests who were unable to attend their Cancun wedding later scheduled for 2-2-22. Kari likes numbers!!

Then off to Cancun we went with approximately 100 guests, all ready for some much needed sunshine and a whole lot of partying!!

Talk about a dream wedding from beginning to end!! It really doesn’t get much more spectacular than this. There was a Welcome Dinner when guests arrived at The Grand at Moon Palace Resort. Then a Groomsdinner, followed by the wedding and day after brunch. Not to mention the fun we had the following day as we adventured to the Cenotes.

My personal favorite part was the Light Show put on by the resort. It was the perfect way to end the evening. Everyone just kicked back on the sand with their drinks, gave their dancing legs a rest, and enjoyed the show.”

from the bride: “As a Twin Cities wedding planner, I knew my wedding would feel like ‘work’ if I got married at a venue in Minnesota, so Brad and I started brainstorming. I have always felt so alive and my absolute happiest at the ocean and Brad’s always down for my wild ideas, so beach it was! While enjoying the sun in Jamaica for Brad’s birthday trip last year, we came up with the idea to get married at a resort. We loved the all-inclusive aspect and the ease that would give us and our guests. We had heard so many great things about The Grand at Moon Palace and knew this was the place during our first visit. 

We started our wedding week by hosting a welcome dinner for all our guests to come together, greet everyone and thank them for coming. It was also a good opportunity for our guests to get to know each other. This took off so much pressure for the day-of, so we instead were able to sit back, relax and enjoy our day without feeling guilty to go chat with everyone. We wanted our day to be just that, about us! It’s true when they say your wedding day will fly by but by having a destination wedding we were able to turn our wedding day into a wedding week and I am so thankful for that extra time.

Our wedding day was everything I could have hoped for, from the rose petal rain at ‘I Do’s’ to the tent of lights, I knew I wanted this to be more of an experience than your traditional wedding. When asking Brad the next morning at breakfast what his favorite part was, he replied “seeing everyone’s reactions to the next thing” and I agree. We had sparkler cannons set off during our first dance, a fire & water show in between band sets and of course fireworks at midnight. Seeing everyone the following days, being able to chat about how much fun was had, made all the planning hardships worth it knowing they had a great experience and memories to take with them. People won’t remember what florals or decor you had but they will remember how they felt at the time, and that’s what you should prioritize.”

How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another?

Brad and I grew up in the same small town of Wanamingo, MN and have known of each other forever! My older sister is the same age as Brad and was always hanging out with him and their friends so I was just the weird and annoying younger sister until I wasn’t, ha!

Tell us a funny story relating to your wedding day or relationship!

This is hilarious but my sister and Brad actually dated when they were younger!

Describe a hurdle you had to overcome in your relationship or during your wedding planning.

The biggest hurdle we had to overcome is letting go of some of the planning control. We got married in Cancun, Mexico and had some trouble with planning and coordinating our wedding while we were in Minnesota but we just had to let go and trust that everything would be perfect and it was!

Any special ways you incorporated your family or family history into your wedding day?

We had all of our family members at our wedding but the most special tie to my family during my wedding was my grandmothers jewelry. My grandma wore the same strand of pearls for my mom and sisters wedding and also wore them to mine! It was such a special touch for us girls.

What part of your wedding day was/is most important to you?

The most important part of our day was our first dance! This was the one time where we truly felt like we had a moment to ourselves and absolutely danced our hearts out to Johnny and June! This is also a moment we recreate quite often in our kitchen!

What is the best thing you’ve learned from one another?

I think the best thing we’ve learned from each other is to take a step back and actually listen to + take each others advice.

What is your favorite thing about each other?

Growing up down the road from each other and having our grandma’s be best friends has been so special for us. We enjoying having both of our families over for meals and spending time together!

What was your favorite part about planning your wedding?

I think my favorite part about planning my wedding was knowing that it was actually mine this time and that I was going to be the bride enjoying all of the hard work! I plan weddings for a living so planning mine was extra special.

If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be?

Never forget about what you love most about your partner and never stop dating each other! Never underestimate the power of a romantic date night.

What is the most honest thing you can say about love?

Love is patient.


Minnesota Wedding Credits:

photography: Xsperience Photography
hair: Michelle Dunlap Design
makeup: Cristina Ziemer Beauty
dress: Annika Bridal
flowers: Green Goddess Floral

Mexico Wedding Credits:
photography + video: Xsperience Photography
resort: The Grand at Moon Palace, Cancun Mexico
dress: Annika Bridal
planner: White Loon Events and Romina from The Grand Moon Palace Resorts
HMUA: Styling Trio from Palace Resort
Florals: Palace Resorts

Publisher at The White Wren | + posts

Publisher at The White Wren and Bajan Wed, Award Winning Photography + Videographer at Live View Studios, Dad, 80s music lover, crunchy health advocate

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