Not surprisingly, our hotel in Mexico hosts a lot of weddings. Intimate affairs, where the wedding party and guests assume control over the entire exquisite property. While there are no events planned while we’re here, we have discovered that the hotel is also a top location for wedding photos.
I’m not talking about your typical wedding photos—round up the wedding party and everyone take 1-2 hours after the ceremony to smile until your cheeks hurt. I’m talking about wedding photos resembling a magazine shoot taken a week before your big day in a private, professional, and likely high dollar, session.
Our first experience with this was Tuesday. We thought they were models and it was a promotional shoot for Traveler or Bride’s. Nope. Just a couple getting married on Friday who was shooting their wedding pics at our hotel.
This isn’t a Mexico thing. The photographer, an Atlanta boy (coincidence?) who moved down here to marry his wife and start Del Sol photography, explained the genre to us—Trash the Dress. The idea is to create non-traditional photos of your memorable day, often involving water, sand and getting dirty. The bride wears another wedding dress (imagine having to buy two!), the groom a tux (usually open with the bow tie hanging because you know, it’s sexy) and off they go.
They shot a scene on the edge of the pool in sunglasses, they shot in the pool. They shot on the beach, in the ocean, on the hammocks and in the guest rooms. They spent about two hours on the property and by the end her dress was the weight of another person with all that sand and water. And the next day? One more couple, this time in the evening, who went so far as to stage dinner on the beach, complete with tiki torches, white canopies and champagne.
Last night, we sat on the beach sipping wine (yes, had to throw that in there), watching them wrap up this second shoot and naturally we discussed this experience.
Here’s the thing.
I am certain those pics will be beautiful and it was probably a lot of fun, if you’re a narcissist. But why would you shoot wedding pictures at a hotel where a) you didn’t get married, and b) you aren’t staying? Yes, it’s a fabulous location but it’s entirely staged and has nada to do with your big day. Maybe I’m missing the point. I know I missed it with the Gucci ad-style shot (sunglasses, back to back on the edge of the infinity pool, looking up at the sky)—it was so the first couple’s idea and I can see it hanging above their fireplace now.
We, on the other hand, are actually staying at the hotel. Eating at the fabulous open-air restaurant (ceviche, naturally), lounging in the pool (sans dress), napping on the beach, and counting the stars from our private terrace. For real.
Seems we have the location and the photographer. Now we just need a ring.