Strictly Weddings is taking you south of the border with Ryan and Jesse for a gorgeous destination wedding in Mexico on the white-sand beaches of Tulum from our West Coast friends at Good Gracious! Events and photographer Michael Segal Photography.

For Ryan, it was love at first sight. When he first saw his beautiful new co-worker Jesse in May 2007, he could barely keep his eyes off her. However, Jesse was in a relationship at the time.The two worked side by side at a prominent boutique law firm specializing in Hollywood entertainment. During the first three years, Ryan and Jesse developed a fun-filled and meaningful friendship. Over time, Ryan realized that no one would ever measure up to his co-worker. Once their prior relationships ran their course and their hearts were open and available, Jesse and Ryan naturally fell in love. The rest, as they say, is history.

Ryan and Jesse dated for nearly three years before cementing their relationship with the bond of marriage. During that time they supported each other's careers, moved in together, shared their friends and families, and traveled to faraway places such as New Zealand and Australia. Then Ryan whisked Jesse away for a fabulously romantic weekend in New York City where he proposed, and the wedding plans began.

Ryan and Jesse chose Tulum, Mexico sight unseen. Located on the Yucatan peninsula in a stretch of coastline known as the Riviera Maya, Tulum is the site of one of the last great cities built by the Mayas. Famed for its natural beauty, endless stretches of white sand beaches, culinary delights and a Yoga-infused bohemian culture, the couple set out on a scouting trip to find the perfect spot for their nuptials.

It only took one visit to the Villa Las Estrellas hotel situated right upon the pristine miles-long white sand beaches of Tulum, for them to decide that this was the heavenly destination to ask all of their friends to travel to and witness their commitment to each other - and more than 50 friends and family members accepted! With the destination selected, Ryan and Jesse had one goal in mind for their wedding: throw the most ridiculously fun beach party that anybody had ever witnessed.

For the rehearsal dinner, the bride wore a fitted illusion lace gown by For Love and Lemons and no shoes, choosing to stay barefoot in the sand. With music by DJ Bobby French, the dinner turned into a stunning glow-in-the-dark show of lights, music and fire dancers.

The bride wore a flowing sheath dress by Jenny Packham with jeweled criss-cross straps and a low back. Melissa Rivera from MVP Hair and Makeup Artistry swept her hair up in a collection of knots and braids with a full crown to highlight her lovely neck and shoulders. She carried a cascading bouquet of orchids sprinkled with colorful roses from El Jardin Floreria to finish the look. And as with the rehearsal dinner, the bride remained barefoot on the beach. The groom wore a bespoke custom suit from Requisite Clothing in Beverly Hills.

The couple exchanged their vows on the beach under a fishnet canopy officiated by the groom's college friend, Brian Procel while their guest watched from benches with colorful maracas for the guests to shake afterwards. The drinks flowed during the reception while guests were serenaded by a mariachi band.

With the wonderful support of Good Gracious! Events, the staff at Villa Las Estrellas, Michael Segal Photography, and a whole host of other key players, including a saxophonist and mariachi band, Ryan and Jesse accomplished their goal of a beach party wedding and sending everybody home tired and happy.

When the celebrations were over, the bride and groom shared a special moment by paddle board and Jesse celebrated with a romantic trash-the-dress photo shoot in a private cenote at the hotel.


Photography: Michael Segal Photography / Wedding Planning: Lynn McGowan from Good Gracious! Events / Event Coordinator in Tulum: Susan de Lima from Uno Events / Venue: Villa Las Estrellas Hotel / Bride's rehearsal dress: For Love and Lemons / Bride's wedding dress: Jenny Packham / Groom's suit: tailored by Jericc Rivera from Requisite Clothing / Hair and Makeup by Melissa Rivera at MVP Hair and Makeup Artistry / Music by DJ Bobby French / Floral design: El Jardin Floreria