Real Weddings: Riley & Cooper

Where it all Started

It’s only fitting that Riley and Cooper decided on a destination wedding because the story of their love starts on a beach. One summer, while hanging out on the sand, Riley and Cooper were introduced by mutual friends. Riley, a woodworker, immediately noticed Cooper’s handsome blue eyes, and she immediately liked his passion for travel. Cooper, a car salesman, appreciated Riley’s love for travel and her enthusiasm for learning; he also liked her beautiful long dark hair.

One afternoon, while the couple was strolling through Toronto’s Casa Loma, they wandered into the stunning stained glass conservatory. When they passed by the elegant fountain, Cooper got down on one knee and proposed. Riley was so excited she couldn’t stand still. After Riley said yes, Cooper had one more surprise: He whisked her off in a limo to take a scenic drive on the way to see a musical. The couple moved on to celebratory dinner at a steakhouse and cheers to forever with champagne.

Planning the Wedding

Riley and Cooper were initially drawn to each other over a shared love of travel, so a destination wedding was the perfect choice. They decided on Barcelo Puerto Vallarta, an all inclusive resort next to the beautiful Playa de Mismaloya. The resort proved to be an inspiration for guests, too: One of Riley and Cooper’s guests hand-wrapped a wedding present using natural foliage and flowers collected around the property.

Day Details

Riley and Cooper exchanged vows on a white sand beach in front of fifty-eight guests. Their wedding colors of sand, light pink and ocean blue reflected the spectacular tropical scenery. Riley’s favorite moment was seeing Cooper tear up as she stepped onto the beach and began her walk down the aisle. Earlier that day, on the morning of their wedding, they came down to the beach and watched as wooden vines were chopped and twisted and put into perfect place to create a handmade huppa against the backdrop of a glittering blue ocean.

Riley found the whole day stunning, surreal and blissful. Cooper loved sitting at the head table next to his new wife at their wedding reception, watching friends and family laugh together and taking in the whole experience of the day. For their honeymoon, the couple decided to stay for an extra week at the Barcelo, taking part in a number of suitably romantic outings such as visiting the Le Kliff, a spectacular cliff-side restaurant, and taking a Rhythms of the Night tour, which included a cruise, a fire show and romantic dinner.

Wedding Day Wear

Riley’s gown: A flowing ivory gown with lace accents by Lucca Maxi from BHLDN.

Brides shoes: Shoes by Lola Cruz.

The groom’s attire: Cooper’s suit was from RW&CO, and he also wore a white linen shirt from Banana Republic. The outfit was finished with a sand-coloured linen tie and pocket square.

The bridesmaids wore: Light beige lace dresses from BHLDN.

The groomsmen wore: Dress pants from RW&CO and button-down from Top Shop.

Wedding band: Riley’s band is a rose gold willow ring by Brilliant Earth.

Small Details

Flowers: The bride’s bouquet was made of white roses and pink orchids, and the groom’s boutonnière was a matching pink orchid. Other arrangements included pink Gerber daisies, pink roses, white lilies and pink lilies. The aisle was also scattered with pink and white rose petals.

Music: Playlists were compiled by asking wedding guests for requests in advance.

Wedding Song: Tenerife Sea by Ed Sheeran

Signature drink: Sea Breeze – which the waiters brought out the moment Riley and Cooper were named husband and wife.

Gift Bags: Guests received handmade seed paper (that can be turned into plant that flowers), which had the map of the area and local attractions on it.

Favours: Riley and Cooper’s gave each guest a handmade, personalized journal by Etsy shop owner, Ashley Caitlin Crafts.

Old, New, Borrowed, Blue

New: Riley’s rose gold lace filigree earrings.

Borrowed: The headpiece from Riley’s mom, who had worn it thirty years earlier at her own wedding.

What was blue: Cooper’s eyes.

Tips for Brides and Grooms

o Don’t fret about the little details.

o Work with good people and it will all come together in the end.