While Julia and Jonah grew up in the same town in the Bay Area, it took them moving to San Francisco after college to finally meet. "We were coworkers first, and then friends," reflect the couple. "But, love slowly blossomed over GChat, awkward hallway encounters, hazy happy hours, and summer music festivals." The pair spent a few years together in California before moving out together to New York City.
In September 2020, the couple agreed to take the next big step in their relationship. "We had been together for six years, and gotten through the worst of the pandemic together—cocooned in our Brooklyn brownstone, where our backyard was ours (and our friends) saving grace that summer," Julia reflects. Before heading to her grandparents beach house in Maine for the weekend, Julia had an inkling that Jonah was going to pop the question on the trip. However, Jonah had a surprise in store.
"That night, we had 'plans' with friends for dinner since it was our last night in the city for a bit. While I was downstairs getting ready, Jonah was sneakily gussying up the backyard," shares Julia. "When I came outside, he had cocktails and my favorite Bossa Nova playlist going. I didn’t suspect anything, because he regularly does this kind of thing, but then our song came on the speaker and he got down on one knee. I was completely shocked as he pulled the ring loose from his pocket. It was just the two of us, in our home, and I don’t even remember what he said but it was perfect. Our friends came over after and surprised us with champagne and flowers, and we left the next morning for a blissful engagement-moon in Maine."
With a shared love for travel, the newly engaged duo decided a destination wedding was the perfect fit for them. "We wanted somewhere where everyone could stay together on-site, we could curate unique and different experiences across multiple days of events, and it would feel like a true vacation for our friends and family," Julia and Jonah explain. They chose to host their festivities in Mexico, a place they visit each year together. "Mexico has become a special place for us. We're drawn to its natural beauty, food, culture, and warm hospitality."
After scouting around the country, they found their perfect venue for the weekend that checked all their boxes. "Careyes is a private community on the Costalegre coast, nestled into the tropical jungle," the couple share. "We were struck by the stunning architecture of its colorful hillside villas, unspoiled beaches and rock formations, and a thoughtful approach to development, care for the environment, and sustainability."
"We wanted the whole weekend to feel unique to the destination and to us as a couple," they explain. "We focused on highlighting our love for nature, food and drinks made from fresh and local ingredients, Mexican music and entertainment, design featuring craftsmanship of local artisans, and a balance of wellness experiences and fiesta-ing." To help bring together the celebration, they hired local planner Gaby of Marweddings. "Literally, we could not have done it without her. Beyond just the language barrier, she was instrumental in coordinating the highly complex logistics of having an event there, putting together a local vendor team, and bringing our vision to life!"
The festivities began with an intimate dinner on Wednesday, cocktail hour on Thursday for arriving guests, and a colorful rehearsal dinner on Friday. "Our vision was to host a Mexican fiesta on the beach to welcome everyone to Careyes and set the tone for the rest of the weekend," the couple share. "All the guests wore white, which I love how that looks on a beach, and served as a stark contrast to the colorful Mexican decor. " Ahead, see all the details from the fun event, planned by Marweddings and photographed by Lauren Fair Photography.
Sombreros atop cacti and woven rugs led the pathway down to the celebration on the beach. "When we were being serenaded by the mariachi band and handed our welcome cocktails, it was our first time seeing the venue and décor fully setup," recalls Julia. "I was blown away. I literally couldn’t believe how incredible everything looked and how perfectly it brought our vision to life. Everyone kept saying they couldn’t believe this night wasn’t the wedding and didn’t know how we were going to top it."
While all their guests were asked to wear white, the bride and groom stood out in their floral-adorned ensembles. "I was specifically looking for something that was a colorful print on a white background, so I would go with the theme of white party, but stand out in a non-ostentatious way, since I don’t love being the center of attention," shares Julia. She chose a design by Latin American designer Johanna Ortiz for the soirée. "I fell in love with the embroidered strap details, the tropical print, and the way it made me look and feel," she says.
Jonah kept to the all-white palette in a style crafted just for him by Bode in NYC. "We worked with their team to source a unique white lace textile, and created contrasting stitch details," notes Julia. "I think it’s the most complimented thing he’s ever worn."
We wanted to celebrate Mexican artisans and craftsmanship.
The celebration on the sand was vibrant affair with hues of pink, yellow, orange, and green interwoven throughout the décor. "For the rehearsal dinner, we wanted to celebrate Mexican artisans and craftsmanship: we had custom papel picado strung between the palm trees, the floral and fresh fruit centerpieces by Ophelia Florist, painted terracotta pottery and plates, Oaxacan hand-carved floral candles, and seating areas with otomi embroidered pillows."
On the menu for the evening? Guests enjoyed tacos made on an open-air grill, complete with handmade tortillas and an open-air grill decorated with hanging pineapples and vegetable. Terracotta pottery brought warmth to the bar.
The cocktails were also on palette at the rehearsal dinner fiesta. Guests could choose either a mango mezcal margarita and strawberry margarita to sip on.
While the couple would have their real first dance the next night, Julia and Jonah swayed on the sand to a live set by the mariachi band that played throughout the night.
Since Careyas is a remote town, wedding planning did come with its challenges. "I don’t think anything was easy, but we had a lot of fun making all the playlists, curating the menus and drinks, putting together fashion, and creating design vision boards," reflects Julia. "I’m fortunate that my sister, Gabrielle Hurwitz, is in the wedding industry as a luxury bridal stylist so she helped me in putting together the design vision (and obviously all of the fashion) for the weekend, and connected me to my photographer, Lauren Fair. For every other vendor, we wanted to support local Mexican businesses and Gaby, our planner, helped us find them."
After dining at the beautifully set tables, the party really got into full swing. "There was a small beach pavilion that we had initially set up as a lounge area, but at the end of night, we pushed all of the couches to the edges, and turned it into a dance party," remembers the couple. "Everyone stole the sombreros off the cacti, and I think we played Pepas' by Farruko at least four times in a row."
While planning a multi-day destination affair comes with an investment and hard work, the newlyweds share it was well worth it. "We debated over whether or not to even have a wedding, or if we should just use the money to elope and buy a house. Looking back, I’m so grateful we had the wedding, because it’s truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to have everyone that matters in your life come together in one place, celebrating and showering you and your partner with love as you embark on your future together," says Julia. "The money and the house will come, but we’ll never get this moment or experience back."