A Bright, Multicultural Celebration in the Mountains of Baja California

This couple brought friends and family from two continents together to celebrate their history and future.

Grace and Amren celebrating during their recessional

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

Grace and Amren were transatlantic colleagues in 2017—he worked in their company’s London office, while she had been hired for a spot in Seattle. The organization’s annual team building summit brought them together for a week in Grace’s city. Amren and his UK co-workers hoped to take a few days after the summit to visit Vancouver, and Grace, who dreamed of transferring to their team, volunteered to drive. “Little did we know, that weekend was one that changed our lives forever,” they say. “Nothing like a road trip and a new group of people who barely know each other to spark a relationship you never knew you needed.”

Grace moved to London the next year, and in October 2019, Amren proposed over drinks at The Shard. Though a suspicious Grace thought he might have a ring in his pocket, she wasn’t exactly right: Grace’s parents were out of sight in the building, and when Amren told Grace he was using the restroom, her father slipped him the ring. “After many happy tears, and finally being able to get the ring on her finger, Grace felt a tap on her shoulder where she turned around to her family who flew in from Seattle, and Amren’s parents and best friends,” says the couple. “It was a magical moment she’ll never forget.”

Grace and Amren knew finding a wedding location convenient for their friends and family in both the United Kingdom and United States would be impossible, so they opted for a destination wedding in San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico, where Grace’s family has vacationed for more than two decades. Their venue, Flora Farms, was a “dream destination” for the bride. “Most people think of a beach wedding when they think of Mexico, but to me, Flora Farms encapsulates the true beauty of Baja: mountains in the skylight, lush and bright color foliage, and a family feel from the amazing people that run it,” she says. “It could incorporate everything we wanted in a wedding–in Mexico, warm weather, beautiful setting, good food, and lots of space for the people we love.”

The couple worked with Vivid Occasions to create a weekend events for their 190 guests that honored the cultures, locations, and people that had influenced them. The celebrations included a rehearsal lunch at the bride’s parents’ villa, and a Barrat and Milni ceremony the night before their wedding. After postponing their wedding a full year to April 23, 2022, due to COVID-19, the couple were more than ready to say goodbye to the planning process and relish their celebration. “Two years is too long to think about every detail!” they say. “Other than that, the process was great. It was so important to us that we made the trip worthwhile for everyone.”

Ahead, see all the beautiful details from their wedding weekend, as planned by Vivid Occasions and photographed by Sarah Anne Photography.

Grace and Amren's stationery suite with envelope lining of fruit trees

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

The couple’s invitation suite from Swell Press previewed the color scheme and overall aesthetic of their weekend with sandy neutrals, citrus-toned accents, and hints of flora and fauna. “We didn’t stick to a hardcore color scheme,” says Grace. “I started at earthy sunset tones, which then morphed into shades of orange and pink. We didn’t hold back on color and everything ended up working together around the linens and floral we chose.”

Grace's red embellished lehenga for Indian cereony

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

Grace and Amren wanted their wedding weekend to highlight the varied cultures that influenced them individually and as a couple, including Amren’s Indian heritage and the years Grace’s family had spent in Baja. On Friday night, they hosted an Indian Milni ceremony that served to officially unite their families. The groom’s parents gifted Grace with a traditional Indian bridal lengha—which weighed 15 pounds—to wear for the ceremony.

Amren arriving on a horse during the baraat

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

Grace and Amren putting on leis during Indian ceremony

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

Amren wore a light pink achkahn, also a gift from his parents, for the Milni ceremony—which he entered on horseback. “We closed the main street in the Arts District of San Jose del Cabo to hold the traditional Indian Barrat parade of the groom’s family down the street into the venue,” says the bride. “Amren rode a white horse adorned with red decor, and his friends and family members played traditional Indian instruments. He had never ridden a horse in his life before that moment, so it was a little nerve wracking.”

The rest of the guests met Amren at the end of the street, where high-backed chairs were set up in front of the restaurant Habeneros. “The Milni consists of the equivalent family member from each side greeting each other and placing a garland around their neck,” explains Grace. “Then, the men try to lift each other up to see who can lift the other first!”

Grace and Amren sharing a kiss during portraits

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

After the ceremony, the couple and their guests celebrated at a reception modeled after a Mexican market, complete with signature cocktails, music from Guitarras Magicas, and food stations from San Jose Chef Tadd Chapman—including a popsicle and churro cart that was one of Grace’s favorite additions. “Near the end of the night, Indian music was put through the speakers and everyone was dancing and singing,” shares Grace. “It was a beautiful mix of cultures.” 

Grace putting on her strapless wedding dress with the mother of the bride

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

The bride describes the vision for her wedding day beauty as “natural glam.” “It was important to me that my makeup looked natural enough that I still looked like myself,” she notes. “My eyes are extremely dark brown, so I wanted to be sure my eye shadow allowed for my eyes to pop, while still looking like me. Nothing of my makeup was very dramatic. I kept the attention to the dress!”

Hair and makeup artists from Los Cabos Makeup also helped her decide on a low-updo that complemented her gown’s neckline. “I wanted something simple that wouldn’t distract from the dress, something classic that was ‘Mexico meets Old Hollywood,’ and something that didn’t make my hair too big for my frame,” she says. “I wanted it to allow me to move effortlessly throughout the night and not worry my hair would get in the way of dancing!”

Grace putting on her garter

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

Embellished Badgley Mischka heels added a subtle sparkle, while the bride’s grandmother’s garter—from Grace’s grandparents’ wedding more than 70 years before—served as something old and something blue. 

Grace posing in her strapless wedding dress with a veil

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

I was looking for something timeless.

Grace holding her bouquet in tones of pink, yellow, white, and peach

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

Grace had tried on more than 40 wedding gowns, both in England and Seattle, without finding her dream dress—until she and her best friend made a last-minute appointment during a girls’ weekend. “I didn’t want sparkly and I didn’t want too plain,” she says. “I was looking for something timeless, but that had a point of interest on it.” When she put on an Ines Di Santo gown with a sheer back and removable bow, she wasn’t the only one who loved it: the boutique owner’s dog immediately trotted over and lay down on the train. “The owner told us that the dog has a sixth sense when it comes to dresses, and she can sense a bride’s calm demeanor when she finally finds the dress of her dreams,” says Grace. “So we’re not sure who chose the dress first!”

The bride credits her regimen of Ren and Goop skincare and sunscreen, topped off by a spray tan from Baja Bronzed, for her glowing skin. “I spent two weeks in Mexico prior to the wedding and I didn’t get one tan line, which was critical for my backless dress!” says Grace.

Grace's bouquet in tones of pink, yellow, white, and peach

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

The bride’s medium-sized bouquet from La Musa de las Flores included blooms in pale shades of pink, yellow, white, and peach arranged in an organic garden style. 

Grace's bridesmaids in peach and champagne shades for their BHLDN dresses

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

The bride worked with each of her bridesmaids to choose BHLDN gowns in varying lengths and in one of three colors: Sedona, Sedona sunset, and oyster. “I never wanted the bridesmaids to look uniform, and it was very important to me that they chose something that they felt beautiful in on the day,” shares Grace. “There’s nothing worse than wearing something you’re uncomfortable in, then walking down an aisle with 200 people staring at you!” Each bridesmaid chose her own neutral shoe, gold jewelry, hairstyle, and makeup. “The vision came together naturally as each girl developed her own look and style for the day,” says Grace.

Amren in a turquoise silk-wool suit and his groomsmen in black suits

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

Outfitting eight groomsmen, all living in the United Kingdom and traveling overseas for the wedding, ended up presenting more of a challenge than sorting out the bridesmaids’ dresses, says the couple. “We were looking for a high quality suit at a good price that was made to measure,” they say. They opted for navy suits from Indochino, which allowed Amren’s turquoise silk-wool blend Canali suit to stand out.

All of the men wore tan linen ties from OTAA, while the groom also donned a white T.M. Lewin dress shirt, a brown belt and shoes from Allen Edmonds, Blue Nile cufflinks engraved with the couple’s favorite number, 44, and his late grandfather’s Indian kara bracelet and watch. “Amren hired a barber to come to the hotel and give all the groomsmen haircuts before the big day,” says Grace. “The day-of, all the boys collected in his parents’ suite and pressed their suits together, shared some beers, and put on any finishing touches.”

Grace and Amren doing their first look

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

Amren looking surprised during his first look with Grace

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

Amren cried, and we both took in the moment from the balcony of the hotel looking over the ocean.

Amren kissing Grace on the cheek

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

While Grace and Amren chose to have a first look for practical timeline reasons, but spending a quiet moment together before the ceremony proved an emotional and memorable experience. “After anticipating something for two years, you can only dream what it’s going to be like. For us, it was surreal to think we had finally made it,” says Grace. “We got through the pandemic and a cross-Atlantic move from London to Seattle. All the people we loved were in our favorite place in the world, and we were ready to finally get married. Amren cried, and we both took in the moment from the balcony of the hotel looking over the ocean.”

Grace and Amren's asymmetrical floral arch

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

Grace and Amren's floral installations at the beginning of their aisle

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

The venue’s narrow ceremony space allowed for just four seats on each side of the aisle. Grace shares, “That allowed for a really long aisle—almost 20 rows back! It was important for us that people even in the 20th row felt like they weren’t a million miles away.” An asymmetrical broken floral arch, covered with pink peonies, stood atop a wooden platform that let every guest see the bride and groom exchange vows. “We wanted the ceremony decor to feel very organic, like it could have grown from the ground on the farm itself,” says the bride.

Grace walking down the aisle with both parents

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

Grace and Amren holding hands at the altar

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

After the bride was escorted down the aisle to a recording of Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic,” she and Amren exchanged their own vows in a ceremony officiated by their friend John Collins. “It was important to us that the ceremony had meaning to it,” says the couple. “A lot of couples are in it for the party (which, don’t get us wrong we were looking forward to that too), but we wanted to ensure we demonstrated how important the institution of marriage was to us. Amren had his vows written about a year before we were actually married, Grace [took] only about a week; both talked about our ability to work as a team and support each other through anything.”

Grace and Amren sharing their first kiss

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

Grace and Amren holding hands during their portraits

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

The newlyweds chose “Best of My Love” for their recessional, and then joined their guests for part of the cocktail hour where Musica Le Cabo mariachi band performed. Flora Farms provided the farm-to-table menu, which included passed spinach crostini with crispy onions, shrimp with cilantro aioli, and fried chicken bites made especially for the couple. Bartenders served four signature cocktails, including a smoky mezcal hibiscus margarita and the venue’s custom take on an old fashioned. 

Grace and Amren's maraca escort cards on a wooden sign

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

For the couple’s escort wall, their planner sourced a vintage door, topped it with an acrylic header, and hung locally made maracas tied with stitched ribbon. “It turned out better than I could have ever imagined,” says Grace. “The maracas made for a very cute favor, and everyone shook them to have us kiss instead of the traditional glass tapping. It was really a cute touch to the day.”

Grace and Amren's wooden reception tables and chairs beneath string lights

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

A mix of round and rectangular tables were arranged around the venue’s outdoor dance floor, where overhead string lights and rattan lanterns created a warm glow as the sun set. Beige linen runners and tablecloths complemented the wooden tables and the wishbone chairs–a detail Grace set her mind on when she first started planning. “Strangely, that was the one decor piece that never changed!” she says. “When I saw those chairs three years ago, I knew I wanted them to be our reception chair, no matter what.”

Grace and Amren's place set with rattan placemats and terracotta napkins, glassware, and plates

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

Low centerpiece vessels were filled with understated blooms in sunny shades, while fresh fruit and tall taper candles added to the al fresco aesthetic. Grace shares, “The plate was the anchor of the entire place setting—a terracotta Mexican design clay plate on top of a light woven charger.”

Grace and Amren making their reception entrance

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

Grace and Amren laughing during speeches

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

After their grand entrance to the reception, the newlyweds and their guests enjoyed a menu of heirloom tomato salad, burrata, a choice of roasted chicken or the catch of the day, and roasted vegetables.

Grace and Amren sharing a first dance

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

Grace and Amren's guests listening to the live band

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

The Manhattan Band, part of the The Jordan Kahn Music Company, kept guests dancing—and even inspired the groomsmen to hoist the father of the groom onto their shoulders during one especially energetic song. Grace’s father had his own standout moment, too: “My dad joined the band on his guitar for two songs, playing ‘Brown Eyed Girl,’ a song that’s always been special for my family, and ‘All Night Long’ by the Mavericks, another fam favorite,” says Grace. “It was such an awesome surprise and everyone got on the dance floor.”

Grace and Amren dancing together

Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

As the evening continued, the couple treated their guests to a dessert buffet of individual chocolate pie, chocolate chip cookies, and eclairs while celebrating until midnight. There even was wood-fired pizza as a late-night snack.

“We knew that there was never going to be another time in our lives that all these people would be in our favorite place,” says Grace, reflecting on the day. “Many girls are probably like me, where you are in every detail, so for the actual day it’s hard to let go. Be confident in the people you hired, the world of weddings is their world, and you’ve hired them for a reason. Relax, sit back, and be confident that you know everything will work out as it’s supposed to.”

Wedding Team

Rehearsal Dinner Venue Habeneros

Rehearsal Dinner Signs and Printing Serendipity Cabo

Rehearsal Dinner Rentals Del Cabo Rentals

Rehearsal Dinner Floral Design Vivid Occasions

Rehearsal Dinner Barratt Dhol Player, Taka Dum Drumming Experiences 

Rehearsal Dinner Music Guitarras Magicas

Wedding Venue Flora Farms

Planner Vivid Occassions 

Officiant John Collins

Bridal Gown Ines Di Santo 

Veil Julia Groznova of Nyanza Bridal

Bridal Salon Nyanza Bridal
Earrings Nyanza Bridal

Necklace Porcello Jewelers

Shoes Badgley Mischka   

Hair Los Cabos Makeup
Makeup Los Cabos Makeup

Spray Tan Baja Bronzed

Bridesmaids’ Dresses BHLDN 

Mother of the Bride’s Dress Dillard’s

Groom’s Attire Canali 

Groomsmen’s Attire Indochino 

Engagement Ring James Allen band; Blue Nile diamond 

Bride’s Wedding Band Marrow Fine Jewelry

Groom’s Wedding Band Halberstadts Eftf. A/S

Floral Design La Musa de las Flores   

Invitations and Paper Products Swell Press

Guest book Paper Source

Music Cabo Strings; Musica Le Cabo; The Manhattan Band from The Jordan Kahn Music Company 

Catering Flora Farms

Dessert Flora Farms

Rentals Warehouse Rentals

Transportation Impala Cabo

Accommodations Cabo Azul

Photography Sarah Anne Photography

Videography Hart Cinema

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