Brittan and Charlie’s modern Cabo wedding was a grand slam when it came to guest experience. Not only did they usher in jaw-dropping coastal + desert vibes in the artisan blooms from Pina Cate, they threw an invigorating after party that would even have Jay Gatsby begging for an invitation. I’m talking water drums, LED saxophones, live mermaids and yes… fireworks! Amy Abbott Events was the master coordinator behind the affair, and we don’t know if we should be more impressed with the impeccable multi-day destination event they produced or the fact they made it look like a cinch! The incomparable beauty of Cabo San Lucas proved to be the perfect backdrop for the images from Julieta Amezcua, though the sage + olive green color palette, modern architecture and model-worthy couple were some pretty spectacular subjects too! If you find yourself pining for a tropical destination wedding not far from the US, you’ll definitely want to study this modern Cabo wedding in the days to come. I mean… we can classify this as “research” right?
Q&A With The Bride:
How did you meet, and how long did you date before getting engaged?
Charlie and Brittan both went to college together in Los Angeles but did not overlap socially. Upon graduation, both independently decided to move to San Francisco. Brittan was having a going away party in L.A. before the move and a mutual invited Charlie to attend. It was love at first sight and the two of them starting dating right after the move to San Francisco.
Who proposed? When and how?
Charlie proposed on October 16, 2020 at Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur. Charlie told Brittan they were spending a weekend in Carmel with a few friends. On the drive down, Charlie asked Brittan if she wanted to stop at The Post Ranch Inn for sunset cocktails. When they arrived, she was shocked to find that the entire hotel was “in” on the surprise and Charlie proposed during Sunset. It was perfect.
How did you choose your wedding venue?
After getting engaged in October, the couple knew that they wanted to get married in early 2022 and in a warm weather climate. After narrowing the location down to Cabo, the couple flew out to start looking at venues. Charlie and Brittan toured 10+ locations, but nothing felt quite right. After all the tours, the bride’s parents, Jeff and Melinda, recommended the couple look at Zadun. Jeff and Melinda visited Zadun in March 2020 shortly after the hotel opened and loved their experience. There was an issue, however, which was that Zadun had never hosted a large wedding before. Despite being a long shot, the couple was overcome by the stunning architecture and setting along the coast the moment they entered the hotel. Everything about Zadun felt right and they knew it was the ONLY place they wanted to get married.
Working closely with the wedding planner, Carena Trampe from Amy Abbott Events, and the accommodating Ritz Carlton staff, the couple and their families made their dreams become reality.
Did your wedding have a theme? If so, how did you choose it?
To say we had a theme would be a stretch, but we had a vision – one we wanted to incorporate flowers and lots of them and two – we wanted to create a certain vibe of elegant but fun. The couple wanted to have a black-tie wedding but also wanted to embrace the local culture. They were able to integrate both visions into the weekend by having a vibrant and festive welcome party on Friday and an elegant, formal wedding on Saturday.
Did you wear any other special jewelry or accessories? Yes, since the bride’s mother works in the jewelry industry, Brittan knew that she wanted to find a dress that was easy to accessorize. Brittan wore several pieces that were borrowed from Melinda’s which included the same necklace she wore to graduation at USC and a pair of earrings that Melinda had designed 5+ years ago and saved for Brittan’s weeding. Charlie surprised Brittan with the earrings the morning of the wedding as a wedding gift.
Did friends and family contribute to the ceremony in any way? If so, how? Yes, the couple asked Charlie’s maternal Grandfather, Bruce Atwater, to officiate the ceremony. Bruce has been an important part of Charlie and Brittan’s life and had a long and successful marriage to Martha Atwater. He was the perfect person to officiate the ceremony. We also had Charlie’s paternal Grandmother, Beverly James, to read a poem during the ceremony. The couple was incredibly blessed that the 85+ year old grandparents were not only able to travel internationally during a global pandemic but also were so involved in the weekend’s festivities.
How did you choose your table decor?
Brittan fell in love with the work of florist, Pina Cate, who is more of an artist than a florist. Brittan and Charlie put a lot of thought into the tablespace because they knew they wanted to use a white base to create an elegant feel, but they wanted pops of colors that meshed well with the hotel’s décor. Pulling from the desert landscape and ocean front oasis, the couple decided on yellow and green which worked well with the hotel’s architecture.
From there, it was all about working with the natural elements of the hotel, while bringing in white to create the feelings of elegance.
What flowers did you use in the bouquet and at the venue?
Mainly Ranunculus, Lisianthus, Roses and some extra blooms Pina added
Please describe your bouquets and any other flowers used to decorate: I wanted a big bouquet with some seasonal blooms in white, garden style. Pina added few yellow accents, and it was stunning. Since I love flowers, we had paper flowers for the seating chart and also floating lighted flowers in the pool.
What color scheme did you choose and why?
We chose white with accent colors of forest green and yellow. We wanted to use white as the base to maintain an elegant tone for the wedding day. Adding forest green and yellow worked well with the existing décor of the hotel and the blue ocean landscape.
What did you use as your escort cards and/or place cards?
We wanted to create something unique and special for our escort cards. Brittan knew she wanted to incorporate florals into the escort cards to continue to work with the flower theme. After talking to many vendors searching for the perfect paper flower, Bells and Whistles, a local Cabo vendor, sent through the perfect laser cut, hand crafted white floor. We then worked with Paper Refinery to print the guest’s names on green cardstock that tied back to the original wedding invitations.
For the place cards, we also drew from the original wedding invitations for inspiration. The incorporated the custom print from the inside of the envelops on the menus that also acted as the place cards. We also went a step further and used that same print on the dance floor. We loved the consistency throughout the entire process from end to end.
What were your wedding favors?
We wanted to use local vendors to create the welcome bags so we worked with Bells and Whistles to create custom bags that guests could use as beach bags for the weekend. Inside the bags, we included Topo Chico, Pacifico, tortilla chips, a Mexican cookies called Obleas, eye masks, and custom hats that had the same flower that was created on the wedding invitations, the dance floor, and menu. We also used Paper Refinery to custom to create welcome notes which included a custom watercolor of Zadun, itinerary and thank you note.
What was your biggest splurge of the day?
Two things – the flowers and the after party. We wanted to incorporate flowers into multiple aspects of the wedding. From the hand-crafted paper floral escort cards, to the floating candle lit water flowers, to the dance floor, to Pina’s insanely unique centerpieces – we really tried to bring the floral theme throughout the entire weekend.
When it came to the after party, we knew this was somewhere we could allocate a little extra to have a big impact and we incorporated a lot of things that represented us as a couple. To kick off the after party, we hired a saxophone player. Charlie loves the saxophone and grew up listening to the saxophone while stuck in traffic in LA. When we found a fire saxophone player – we knew we could not say no. We then hired DJ Alex, water drums and 2 real life mermaids to keep the energy going and our guests guessing what would be next.
Please describe some of the personal touches you incorporated throughout the day:
- The Ceremony – Charlie’s 90-year-old grandfather, Bruce, officiated the wedding and worked very closely with the couple for over six months leading up to the wedding. The ceremony was entirely unique and the three of them developed every aspect from scratch. Charlie and Brittan each wrote their own vows and shared them exclusively with Bruce so the ceremony was the first time that either of them heard any aspect of the other’s vows.
- Bow Ties – The wedding was a formal, black-tie event but Charlie surprised his groomsman with colorful, vintage Hermes bow ties on the day of the wedding. The couple wanted a colorful aspect incorporated into the wedding to help celebrate the fun and unique culture of Mexico. Charlie worked closely with Brittan’s mother, Melinda, to find 12 vintage bow ties with unique patterns and colors and the couple hand selected each bow tie to match each groomsman’s personality.
- The Mermaids – As a child, Brittan always had a fascination – okay, obsession – with mermaids. When we started laying out the plans for the after party and we saw that the pool would be right next to the dance floor an idea popped into Brittan’s mind that we NEEDED to incorporate mermaids into the party. What started as a pipedream, the couple was able to find two mermaids and even created their custom costumes to match the afterparty theme of iridescent.
Please describe some of your favorite moments:
- It’s easy to get caught up in all the energy and excitement on the wedding day and forget why everyone is here together. So, it was important for us to find 15 -20 minutes to just be alone – as husband and wife. Right after the ceremony and before the photos, we spent 15 minutes sipping a Chargarita and a Brittini, reflecting on the ceremony and enjoying each other’s company as newlyweds. It was a really special moment to share and something we’ll remember for the rest of our lives.
- We spent hours learning and then rehearsing for our first dance to Tina Turner’s Proud Mary. In the middle of the dance, Charlie got so excited he forgot the entire last part and ushered his groomsmen onto the dancefloor. Seeing 12 grown men rush the dance floor and the look on Brittan’s face was priceless.
- Brittan’s older sister, Lauren, and co-maid of honor suffered from a bad stroke and caused significant aphasia – which means it is very difficult for her to formulate language. Hearing Lauren’s MOH speech and realizing how much time and energy she spent to be prepare left us speechless. We were so touched.
- Watching our guests faces when the water drums started to usher guests to the welcome party. We knew we wanted to do something different that would carry the energy for the rest of the night and we achieved just that – the energy was electric!
What did you learn from the experience?
When you get married, you are shocked by the effort that your friends and family display. From our 90 year old grandparents flying across country during a pandemic, to watching Brittan’s sister learning new words and speaking in front of nearly 200 people you learn just how much people care about celebrating your love.
If you could sum up your wedding day in one sentence, how would you describe it?
You can plan every detail and make sure everything is perfect, but what really makes a wedding special is the love that the guests bring with them to celebrate you.
Brittan and Charlie’s modern Cabo wedding will probably dominate our thoughts for months, and will we regret it? Not one bit. Their story. The location. The VIBES. It’s all so good! If you’re still on the epic wedding entertainment high like us, head to this tropical disco wedding that happened in Bali next!
Invitation Suite: Paper Refinery
Bridal Stylist: The Bold and Bridal
Jewelry: Fine Lines Jewelry, Melinda Hawken
Wedding Coordinator: Carena Trampe from Amy Abbott Events
Minister: Bruster Atwater (Charlie`s Grandfather)
Rental Co: Del Cabo Events and Baja Boutique Rental
Production Co: Stage Pro Cabo
Lightning: Encore Onsite Company
Floral Design: Pina Cate
Hair and Makeup: Los Cabos Makeup
Photographer: Julieta Amezcua
Videographer: Ana and Jerome
Ceremony Entertainment: Cabo Strings
Cocktail Entertainment: Mariachi
Reception Entertainment and Lighting: Gramusik Band / DJ Alex
Printed Material: Paper Refinery / Bells and Whistles
Floating Flowers: Sweet Concept by Male
Fireworks: Edson Contreras
Water Drums: Cabo Entertainment
Mermaids and LED Sax: Cabo Inside
Wedding Dress: Custom Reem Acra
After Party Dress: Rasario
Ceremony Shoes: Jimmy Choo
After Party Heels: Gianvito Rossi
Sage Green Bridemaid Dresses: Bec and Bridge