When Anna Stuffco and Evan Duffy started planning their wedding, they knew exactly where they would not be tying the knot: Close to home! “We live in northern Canada, and thought it would be cruel to ask people to travel all the way up there in the dead of winter,” says Anna. Thankfully, another location immediately sprung to mind. The bride’s cousins had rented three villas at Hacienda Antigua at Rancho Escondido for their wedding in Sayulita, Mexico the year before, and Evan and Anna knew their loved ones would be more than happy to return for another celebration.
“Rancho Escondido is ultra private and has gorgeous views, plus there was plenty of room for our 52 guests,” the bride describes.
The couple had a simple, chic vision, and didn’t have any time to veer from the course. In fact, they selected a wedding date just eight weeks from the day Evan proposed! “We didn’t have time to dawdle about making decisions,” Anna explains. The bride and groom are both lawyers, so being decision-oriented came naturally—though they say having planner Yas Gizeh of Sea of Dreams on board definitely helped. “We didn’t taste our food or meet our planner or photographer until we arrived for our wedding," Anna recalls.
"It was a huge leap of faith!” But, they put their faith in the right people, and as snow swirled in Canada, Anna and Evan said “I do” in the Mexican sun. Keep reading for a look at Jillian Michell's photos and all the details, below!
Anna’s simple Catherine Quin silk shift was the only dress she tried on. “My girlfriend runs a boutique and called me when she saw it," she explains. "We ordered it right away, and that was that!” Her flowers were just as chic and simple—Anna skipped an ornate bouquet in favor of an ethereal bunch of baby’s breath.
The bride paired her gown with platform sandals that were perfect for wandering the hotel’s rocky paths. Meanwhile, the groom donned a Canali suit, a Hugo Boss shirt, and Paul Smith shoes.
The ceremony was a family affair: Anna’s nephews served as ring bearers, while her uncle officiated the outdoor ceremony.
Rows of rustic wooden benches led to a chuppah draped in white fabric, topped in roses, and surrounded by urns filled with baby’s breath and greenery.
“As litigators, we’re used to being overly articulate, but, on our wedding day, we wanted to, for once, stick to someone else’s script," Anna says of their decision to recite traditional vows.
After their first kiss, a mariachi band led guests to cocktail hour on the lawn, where they enjoyed ample margaritas (the unofficial signature drink) and toasted to the couple.
Dinner was a casual-yet-beautiful affair. Metal star lanterns lit long dinner tables topped with white runners and small arrangements of spray roses and greenery, while the bride and groom’s seats were draped in arrangements of garden roses, baby’s breath, dusty miller, and more spray roses. “We let Yas take the lead on the design, but one thing we did know we wanted was bottles of tequila and hot sauce as favors,” says the bride.
The night's menu was as fresh and local as possible, and included salt water-steamed white fish, grilled vegetables, late-night fish tacos, and a churro cart instead of a wedding cake.
After speeches and toasts, the couple surprised their guests with a fireworks display before dancing began. “We decided the morning of our wedding to go for it, and it was worth the splurge,” says Anna. “It was insane, and definitely something that would have been illegal in Canada!”
So how did these Canadians celebrate in such style less than two months after getting engaged? Says Anna, “We let go of expectations that things would be perfect, and trusted our team. Things will go wrong, but once you accept that and know things will be ok, the fun really begins!”
Wedding Planner: Sea of Dreams || Venue: Hacienda Antigua at Rancho Escondido || Bride's Dress: Catherine Quin || Bride's Shoes: Ports 1961, Sacai Luck || Bride's Jewelry: Judith Jack || Hair & Makeup: Jenn Chivers || Groom's Attire: Canali, Hugo Boss || Engagement Ring: Van Den Bergs Fine Jewellers || Paper Products: Paperless Post || Catering: Hacienda Antigua at Rancho Escondido || Music: Jex Opolis || Photography: Jillian Mitchell