After many years photographing for Rancho La Puerta's marketing materials, I was thrilled to be asked to photograph long-time RLP fitness instructor Maya's wedding this past March. Rancho La Puerta, in case you didn't know, is consistently rated one of the best destination wellness and fitness spas in the world. Founded in the mid 1940s it was also one of the first.
Over the years, they have added into the 4.000 acre property a huge organic garden (Estrellas Organic Farm) and fabulous cooking school (La Cocina Que Canta) and are now offering that gorgeous piece of the property for weddings, special events and vow renewals. A destination wedding in Tecate Mexico? Why not!? Tecate is a safe and festive town and RIGHT over the border at a super easy border crossing. When I go down to "The Ranch", I fly into San Diego and it's really just a little over an hour to the border!
The staff at La Cocina Que Canta is incredibly talented and provides everything you need. From event design and planning to florals, cake and an incredible organic meal most of which comes right from the garden. Your guests can wander through the organic garden without even being a Rancho La Puerta guest (although that would certainly be fun for them to have a few days or week at the spa added on to their experience). Guests CAN stay in the town instead but still get to experience a little taste of this world renown spa property plus experience the wedding of someone they love on top of it all.
I LOVED photographing this wedding. The staff at "The Ranch" really consider themselves la familia (family!). Most of the staff at RLP stay for years (and why wouldn't you - it's an incredible property) and Maya has been a fitness instructor there for as long as I've been shooting there. All day I was calling her the pixie fairy bride because she's so lovely and petite. When I was at The Ranch last December I had lunch with Maya to discuss wedding details and asked her about how she and her groom, Jerome met. Out came the pixie fairy and she told me she was just really finally ready to find her partner and started "putting it out to the universe" as often as she could. Not long after she started this practice she met Jerome thought the RLP founder! Jerome is the founder's personal pilates instructor. How perfect is THAT? I think the universe was listening and knew Maya deserved her perfect partner.
And that they ARE. Watching them on their wedding day and then seeing their pure joy throughout the time it took me to edit the wedding, I kept thinking "this couple is truly meant to be together". They are true soulmates. The Ranch means a lot to Maya since she lives part time on the property and I loved that she got to get married on such sacred ground in a place she loves. The day was sunny and the evening was warm for that time of the year. The branches on the trees and bushes were just starting to bud and the garden was producing luscious looking produce. Standing in front of the statue of St. Francis at the top of stone steps with little bursts of flowers, Maya and Jerome said their vows and read a poem they created together. Surrounded by family and friends everything was just bursting with love and hope. They were great sports for me as I traipsed them through the garden for photos and then they ate and danced the night away under the starry sky. Totally perfect.
If you are considering a destination wedding, this is a pretty darned special place. Congratulations to Maya and Jerome and THANK you for letting me share in an incredible day!