Brenda & Nando are Cabo locals, and as many locals they were not born here, he’s from Spain and she’s from the town of Nayarit in Mexico, but have been living in Cabo for many years. The couple decided to tie the knot in December of 2017. We know each other from dear mutual friends and being excited about my work they decided to have me as their wedding photographer.
Besides being a pretty great couple I knew they loved traveling and both are avid surfers who know Cabo like the back of their hands. I also knew they have a great group of friends in the area and adding to that both the bride and the groom's family and friends also came over from Spain and other parts of Mexico, as well as the US, this would be quite a cheerful occasion and a swell party.
The day was a little hazy and rain was romaging somewhere. But as we live in the desert, bride and groom took any rain as a sign of good luck since it’s unusual, especially at that time of the year. The rain never came, and by the time guests started to arrive the sun was peeking out from behind the clouds and a light breeze blew from across the Pacific Ocean.
Villa Santa Cruz is a lovely Spanish style vintage looking villa located on the beach right outside of the small magical pueblo of Todos Santos. Todos Santos itself is just 1 hour away from Los Cabos up north through the Pacific side on the road to the state’s capital, La Paz. It’s known for its mellow vibes, hippie types, American expats and its yearly festivals. It is a fantastic alternative to the beaten path of Los Cabos’ big resorts and it’s peppered with boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts.
Villa Santa Cruz is a quaint building and it’s easy to find the care and imagination in every detail of the house. From the checkered tiles, to the wrought iron stairs. The property is as beautiful inside as it is outside, sitting placidly with the Sierra de la Laguna on the back and the Pacific Ocean in the front surrounded by extensive gardens of desert vegetation and soft sands of La Pastora’s beach.
The Ceremony was set up by the Ocean and not too far is a big palapa also part of the Villa’s property. There guests started gathering for the ceremony, sipping beer and aguas frescas before moving to the beach.
The ceremony was very non-traditional, just like the couple. Instead of a formal ceremony bride and groom asked friends to come up and share words. With the groom’s cousin working as a master of ceremony, different friends from different places in the couple’s lives shared words of love and care as well advice and anecdotes. The couple exchanged rings and kissed in the midst of their loved ones, walking out through the aisle with expressions of joy.
The mother of the bride helped the bride get dressed. Brenda chose a cheerful dress with a variety of textures and with beautiful lace details and gorgeous open back, paired with a long veil. Her white wedge espadrilles and loose eucalyptus and white flower bouquet made her not only beautiful but fitted her laid back personality perfectly.
The groom wore a three piece suit with blue jacket, grey vest and pants. The couple had no wedding party, but friends of the groom helped him get ready which included a funny moment as they debated how to place his boutonniere.
A very important member of their family was also present early on. Their dog Cala, was all the wedding party they needed, coming in during their portraits on the beach wanting to play.
The night followed with toasts and tacos. La Lupita, one of the best gourmet tacos in Los Cabos, did the catering. Tables were simply and beautifully decorated with party favors, with loose leaves centerpieces and candles. The seating chart was displayed over a surfboard and each table was named after the couple’s favorite surf breaks placed in vintage metal frames.
At the end of dinner, bride and groom took the dance floor for their first dance to Kings of Convenience and at the end to the surprise of the guests, the groom’s brother gave a drum solo.
The party continued well into the night with one of the few moments the couple stuck with tradition, by bringing the Mariachis after midnight when everyone could drunkenly sing along every song.
Mid coverage, 6 hours
No second shooter
The venue was one great highlight, not only for the main building which was beautiful, but for the beautiful beach and surroundings. The atmosphere of the day was quite lovely and cheerful. A big highlight was when the bride’s brother and father came in her room before the ceremony and Brenda thanked her parents.
The way guests didn’t all sit down during the ceremony gave an organic feel to the proceedings, and knowing the couple, this was very “them”. The wedding portraits were so much fun with these two, they were not only happy but really having the best time.
Villa Santa Cruz
Anna Gomes Photo
Jose Manuel Mercado