“You could say we danced in the rain,” Sydney Connor says of her wedding in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, with Stephen Plopper. “We prioritized love and joy and didn’t get caught up in the things that went wrong along the way.”
The Seattle-based couple had just the right attitude for their destination celebration, which spanned a week and included 44 friends and family. Sydney and Stephen loved that they could invite their guests to see what they love about Los Cabos, specifically Acre, a hotel and restaurant with an organic farm. It felt more “mojitos and fringe” than teal and ocean, says Sydney, which was just the vibe they wanted for a laid-back affair. To complement the venue’s natural beauty, Sydney put her DIY skills to use, sourcing custom nameplates from Etsy, macrame runners from Ikea, and faux palm leaves in glass vases from the dollar store. A mariachi band played during the cocktail hour as guests sipped margaritas to add a local flair.
We prioritized love and joy and didn’t get caught up in the things that went wrong along the way.
Not everything went as planned. It was raining on the wedding day, and just before the reception kicked off, the hurricane picked up. Acre’s team announced the venue needed to be evacuated for safety, so the newlyweds and their guests piled into shuttles headed for their accommodations, Cabo Azul Resort. There, they continued the food and dancing at Javier’s, the restaurant on the property.
The party didn’t stop until DJ Alex got everyone on the dance floor for the final song—Kanye’s “Black Skinhead”—and they all jumped into the pool. “Since the theme for the day had been flooding and being drenched, we took the plunge,” Sydney says with a laugh.
Read on for all the details of Sydney and Stephen’s destination wedding in Mexico, coordinated by Cabo Beach Weddings and photographed by Laurken Kendall.
“I knew a Mexico wedding called for something unique,” Sydney says of picking her Willowby by Watters gown with fringe and lace.
Sydney’s earrings were a last-minute decision, aided by the guidance of her photographer, who saw them on the dresser in the bridal suite. “They were $4 from Forever21 that I had owned for like two years, but never had worn,” she says. “I was always waiting for the right look, and it just so happened that my wedding dress was that look.”
Sydney admits she was very particular about her enormous bridal bouquet, but the resulting arrangement, she says, was perfect. It mixed ray seeded eucalyptus, anthuriums, burgundy ranunculus, gold chrysanthemum, burgundy amaranthus, red regular proteas, and coffee break roses.
It rained on the couple's big day, but Sydney and her 'maids made the most of it as they got ready—beach umbrellas in hand!
Sydney wanted as many of the details of the day to be white, with the colors coming from the flower arrangements. That included her bridesmaid’s dresses.
Stephen’s wedding party included one groomswoman, who wore a strapless black gown to coordinate with the groomsmen’s black tuxedos.
Stephen wore a Vera Wang tuxedo with gold accents and added more gold touches: gold cufflinks and gold-rimmed Blenders sunglasses.
When she finally tapped me on the shoulder, I turned around and almost lost my breath at how stunning she looked.
“I remember waiting for her to walk up to me, and I could hear my heart pounding in my chest,” Stephen says of their first look. “When she finally tapped me on the shoulder, I turned around and almost lost my breath at how stunning she looked.”
“We were finally able to be with one another to just laugh at the situation,” Stephen says of spending time with Sydney before the ceremony. The morning had been stressful due to Hurricane Raymond, which shuffled the plans and locations for their celebration.
Despite the rain, Sydney says that she’s glad she worked with her photographer. “I was never concerned with how I looked, because I knew that even on the rainiest of days, Laurken could get the shot,” she adds.
Parts of the venue began to flood even as the ceremony was set to begin. Guests helped one another across wooden plants to walk to the covered pavilion set for the ceremony. “We invited only people we knew would add to the joy of the weekend,” Sydney says. “I was so happy in this decision because when things did go wrong, we were surrounded by our favorite people, never once concerned about how the wedding was ‘ruined for them.’”
A diamond-shaped structure served as the backdrop for the ceremony, but otherwise, Sydney let the venue speak for itself.
Sydney’s father walked her down the aisle to “From This Moment” by Shania Twain.
Stephen’s groomswoman actually inspired the couple to share their own vows instead of traditional ones when she told Stephen that the vows are "the only reason why she goes to weddings."
The newlyweds recessed to “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” by Natalie Cole.
It’s not about the food, décor, drinks—it’s about the friends and family who are surrounding you and celebrating your love. I had the best wedding ever and nothing I originally planned worked out.
“It’s not about the food, décor, drinks—it’s about the friends and family who are surrounding you and celebrating your love,” Sydney says. “I had the best wedding ever and nothing I originally planned worked out.”
The couple’s reception tables included macrame runners from Ikea, custom nameplates from Etsy, and faux palm leaves in glass vases from the dollar store.
Sydney says she was really proud of how “frugal and beautiful” the tables were. Unfortunately, guests didn’t have an opportunity to enjoy them to the fullest thanks to the hurricane winds and rain.
As the storm picked up, the couple snuck a few traditions in before heading to Javier’s to "hopefully" continue the party, says Sydney. That included asking the mariachi band to play “something we would know” for a first dance (“Despacito”) and quickly cutting into the tres leches cake.
The couple and their guests did get to continue their dance party at Javiar’s, then stayed with their guests for a few days after the wedding. Then, they transitioned to Nobu Los Cabos, where Stephen says they “didn’t leave the pool/our room and only ate at the hotel/room service.” “It was so nice to share some alone time after the craziness of the week,” he says.
The day after the wedding, the newlyweds put their wedding attire back on for photos—with their hair down and in the sun! "The bride and groom kept their cool and smiled the entire way through and it made for some beautiful photos," adds photographer Laurken Kendall. "They are truly good humans."
Ceremony Venue Acre
Reception Venue Javier’s
Coordinator Cabo Beach Wedding
Officiant Ed Hoffman
Bridal Gown Willowby by Watters
Veil Nina Cherie Couture
Bridal Salon Honest in Ivory
Jewelry Forever 21
Hair & Makeup Los Cabos Makeup
Groom and Groomsmen Attire Men’s Wearhouse
Engagement Ring Yadav
Wedding Bands Etsy
Floral Design Emporio Arte Floral
Music Mariachi Cabo; DJ Alex
Cake Jany’s Cakes
Rentals Let It Be
Transportation Cabo Azul
Accommodations Cabo Azul
Photography Laurken Kendall