“Black tie on the beach” was the inspiration behind Nicole Davidson and Hans Christian’s formal wedding at Esperanza, an Auberge Resorts Collection property, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. With Nicole in Oscar de la Renta and Hans in a classic black tuxedo, the pair exchanged vows in front of the crashing waves of the Pacific and 69 guests. “I very much wanted an intimate black-tie wedding, where every detail spoke to my sense of design, and where my family and friends would be surprised by thoughtful touches,” says Nicole, an interior designer. “I wanted it to feel like a beautiful dinner party under the stars.”
The couple says picking a location in Mexico was fun—and easy!—but admit that planning a destination wedding in another country had its challenging moments. Nicole leaned heavily on planner David Pressman Events to coordinate vendors and ideas to pull off a formal affair far away from home in Los Angeles. “I can’t believe David stuck with me through 15-plus months of planning and over 500 emails,” Nicole admits. “You put a lot of trust in your team when you’re designing a destination event. David was a lifesaver.”
What resulted was a sophisticated fete that pulled a color palette from the hotel’s chambray-hued interior design, touches of Mexican culture, and nods to the couple’s love story. Guests sipped plenty of tequila—including ice shots—and dug into ceviche tostaditas, while the couple relished the time with everyone in one place. “Our friends had a spectacular time, the service was exceptional, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky all week,” she adds of her celebration with Hans.
“It was an incredibly involved and creative process, a real labor of love,” Nicole says of collaborating with Cecile’s Paper Company. The invitations included touches of chambray, inspired by the hotel’s interior design.
Nicole grew up vacationing in Cabo San Lucas, and Hans fell in love with the destination when the couple took a scouting trip to the area. They chose Esperanza for its "design, high level of service, and delicious food."
Many of the couple’s guests flew to Mexico from Los Angeles, so they wanted to show off the best of the area with tequila drinks by the beach.
Fittingly, the beach has played a critical role in the couple’s story. Not only did they meet at a lake, but Hans proposed during a sunset cocktail on the beach in Hawaii.
While the vibrant welcome party had a more casual feel, every detail of the wedding day was formal and elegant—starting with Nicole's wedding dress! She first saw “the dress” in Bridal Fashion Week coverage online, and ultimately said "yes" to the strapless Oscar de la Renta lace trumpet gown featuring floral Guipure and a statement silk faille obi bow.
The couple said “I do” right on the sand, framed by a rustic floral arch. They built a wooden runner for the aisle, making it easier for Nicole to enter in heels, escorted by her father, to an acoustic version of “Think of Me” by Andrew Lloyd Weber.
The couple wrote their personalized vows on the morning of the big day. “For some reason I kept putting it off,” Nicole says of the bit of procrastination to find the perfect words.
The Cabo Strings played Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day” as the newlyweds walked up the aisle as husband and wife.
The pair hosted a “Salud” table, where tequila shots with lime wedges served as escort cards.
The reception took place in the resort’s ballroom and terrace, where a mix of round and rectangular tables provided “variety but remained tone-on-tone.” The couple stuck with neutral hues accented with chambray fabrics and white floral arrangements.
Each place setting included a clear glass heart tied with a chambray ribbon to the linen napkins. “We wanted the hearts to be a memento of our wedding for guests to keep,” Nicole says.
The couple’s three-tiered cake included classic flavors like red velvet, vanilla, and chocolate.
“Our initials were also drawn in the sand in a chambray color,” Nicole says. “You could see this from the reception.”
At the end of the night, a firework show of all white fireworks made one final statement. “Our guests enjoyed that our wedding was such a vacation for them,” Nicole says. “It took a lot of pressure off.” After the celebration, Nicole and Hans “spent a few days relaxing, horseback riding, and wine tasting” in Santa Ynez, California, with their dog Montana.
Wedding Venue, Catering, Cake, & Accommodations: Esperanza, Auberge Resort Collection
Wedding Planner: David Pressman Events
Officiant: Los Cabos Minister
Bride's Dress & Veil: Oscar de la Renta
Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Hair & Makeup: Los Cabos Makeup
Bridesmaid Dresses: Reformation
Mother of the Bride Dress: Oscar de la Renta
Groom’s Attire: Caravelli, Friar Tux Co.
Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux
Floral Design: Elena Damy
Stationery: Cecile’s Paper Co.
Ceremony Music: Cabo Strings
Reception Music: Teeven
Mariachi Band: Mariachi Raymundo Diaz
Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen
Fireworks: Pirotecnia Los Cabos Herrera
Photography: Ana & Jerome