June 20, 2016

Destination Of The Week: Sayulita

I’m sure you have heard of Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, and Tulum… but I bet you haven’t heard of Sayulita. I hadn’t either until Melissa Fuller asked me to shoot her wedding there. As far as shooting weddings goes, this is not something I would normally agree to do. However Melissa and her now husband Josh Gustafson wrote me saying that they have been long time fans of my work and that it would mean the world to them if I shot their wedding. Plus it was a destination wedding to a place I had never been, and I tend to jump on any opportunity to travel.

Digs at Villas Sayulita

My boyfriend, Tyler Wells, and I decided to fly down a few days before the wedding so that we could experience the area before I had to shoot the big day. I booked the penthouse at Villas Sayulita for our 5 days there. This place was amazing… our 2-story room was fully equipped with a kitchen, hammock, private patio, and comfortable bed under a grass roof. The property of the hotel was amazing, featuring a pool, smoothie bar, and an amazing grass common area to hang out day and night.

Quaint streets of Sayulita

The town of Sayulita itself has yet to be tainted by commercialism… everything about it is authentic. You’ll find people riding horses and motorcycles through the bustling yet quaint streets, amazing Mexican cuisine, great nightlife, and friendly people. This little street taco spot called Tacos El Ivan puts any taco truck in LA to shame… their Al Pastor tacos were mind blowing. I got by with the little Spanish I know, but most people working in hospitality there speak English.

Bridal Party

Shooting weddings scare me. You are capturing what could potentially be the most important day of this couple’s life. The pressure of missing an important moment in a wedding, to me outweighs the pressuring of working on the large commercial shoots I normally do. And to add to that pressure, the bride, Melissa Fuller, is primarily a wedding photographer herself… so the idea of shooting a wedding for someone who does it all the time was quite intimidating. However Melissa and Josh made me feel completely at ease, emphasizing that they wanted me to shoot it in my own way, and not as if I was a wedding photographer.

Cliff jumping spot that I am going to keep secret for now.

After the wedding, Tyler and I spent the next day or so jumping off giant rocks into the ocean, consuming as many tacos and margaritas as we could, and soaking in the sun and culture. For anyone thinking about traveling to Mexico… I highly suggest you check out the lovely town of Sayulita before it gets taken over by tourism.

The lovely bride... Melissa Fuller.
The groomsmen relaxing before the wedding in their insane jungle abode.
Pool view from the wedding location.
Private beach the ceremony was held on.
Groom and his men.
Tee-pee the ceremony was held under.
Me looking so happy about my chocolate-covered banana.