My Dream Venue

Posted by on Nov 10, 2011 in Venues & Locations | 5 Comments

This weekend I was fortunate enough to have two of the world’s best wedding planners: my bestie/business partner Xochitl and my amazing friend Marcy Blum, host an amazing engagement party in my honor. My fiancee and I are still riding high from the amazing day, and almost 4 days later, we have finally recovered.

I must admit that prior to this glorious day I had been having a very hard time with the engagement process. Xochitl wrote a blog post (inspired by my bad mood around the office) and hit the nail on the head when she said that it is hard when your wedding dreams meet your wedding reality. Even though I live in the world of wedding, I was not prepared for the emotions and opinions that came with my lovely ring. Luckily, the love and excitement of the engagement party put me back on track and focused on the reason that this is all happening.

Now that I am in a better place, I feel okay to share what was “my dream wedding”. Frankly, I’d been hoarding this information, but since it doesn’t look like it will work for me, but I want someone else to enjoy this amazing venue. Now I am determined to have my 40th birthday party here!

The set up: A few months ago, Xochitl and I were fortunate enough to take a trip with the Mexican Department of Tourism. The week long trip included stops to the lovely states of Michoacan and Queretaro. Michoacan is the state where my mother was born and I still take yearly trips there. However, this was a chance to experience the wonders of the state as a tourist. It was here that I met my dream venue!

Welcome to Hacienda Ucazanaztacua. It literally was like we had been transported to a magical land. This 6 room hacienda is the perfect venue for an intimate wedding. Situated on Lake Pazcuaro, this property makes you feel like you have totally disconnected from the world. Relaxing and peaceful, it is the kind of place that you wish you could stay at just one more day.

The exteriors and views are not the only things that blew me away. The rooms are amazing, and each are different and have a distinct charm. If you are interested in a larger wedding and simply want your closest friends and family staying here, then they are in for a treat. There is literally no bad room. The room below blew me away and I decided that it is the best place for a bride to get ready and relax on her wedding day. Can you imagine taking a bath in this tub and enjoying that view. I can feel the nerves washing away just by looking at a photo.

The best part about this venue, is that even though you feel secluded, you are actually a stone’s throw away from the Island of Janitzio and the colonial city of Pazcuaro. You can walk the streets of Pazcuaro and see artisans at work, taste award winning food, and feel like you literally stepped back in time.

Now, my family is very traditionally Mexican and a ceremony out on the lovely lawn is something that they would never go for. Luckily the hotels owner arranged for us to take a canoe over to the neighboring island to see the Catholic church on that island. An accordion player was the perfect touch for our ride over. If this is an option that you think might work for you, the lovely people on property would be able to help you arrange all of this for you and all of your guests. If you wanted to have a slightly larger wedding, there are multiple canoes, that get decorated for the special day, that are available for you.

Look at the look of happiness on my face! Even if this also won’t work for your wedding, add it to your list of places to visit. It will certainly not disappoint!



Mexican Holiday

Posted by on Jul 7, 2010 in Venues & Locations | 4 Comments

I was invited as a guest to a destination wedding in the Mexican Riviera this past month. It happened to be on my birthday weekend, so I decided to extend the trip a bit, celebrate my two wonderful friends, celebrate one more awesome year in the life of Mayra, AND squeeze in some site visits. Hey, what can I say? We’ve got workaholic blood here at AAB!

I decided that I wanted to see a little more of the area while I was down there. I’d been to the Cancun/Playa Del Carmen area a few times and wanted to see a property that was a little more off the beaten path. I chose a property in the heart of the Yucatan, Hacienda San Jose in Tixococob. I honestly don’t have words for it. It was breathtaking! As soon as we turned into the driveway , I started to plan a wedding!


A short ride from the Merida Airport, you are transported to old Mexico as soon as you enter through the property. I loved that the property was intimate (only 15 rooms total) and that it felt more like you were at a VERY large home than a hotel. My room was gorgeous and spacious, but every room has a special charm, so no one would feel like they got the “bad rooms”. I mean, one of the smaller rooms has a tree growing in the center of the bathroom. How cool is that?

Hacienda San Jose rooms

The property is actually so large that you can use different areas and create different looks if you are looking to host different events on site. I imagined a Welcome Cocktail party by the pool, a cocktail reception by the outdoor bar, a long dinner between the palm trees. Believe me, the possibilities are endless.

cocktail hour

This property was magical. It took my breathe away…especially the chapel on site. It was so small and intimate that seemed PERFECT for a destination wedding ceremony.


If you are at all interested in destination, you MUST take a look at this venue! One of the greatest venues I have seen in a LONG time!

Next stop: Playa Del Carmen!

Wow, Another Photo Contest!

Posted by on Oct 22, 2008 in Practical Planning | No Comments


CECI for Everybody!

Posted by on Oct 15, 2008 in Blog | 2 Comments

I’m terribly excited (and not just because of the Martha Stewart Show taping, which I will write more about later) to share with you some of the designs from CECI’s new White Label Collection.  For those of you who stalk wedding style, you’ll be familiar with Ceci’s custom invitations which have been featured in countless, countless magazines.  Gorgeous, but custom isn’t always for everyone.    So I was delighted to hear that Lisa Hoffman, the founder and designer there, has launched a line of ready to order invitations and accessories for all kinds of brides: the Destination Bride, Ornate (or Vintage) Bride, Botanical Bride and the Classic Bride. There are more than 30 looks in the line, but for now, here are six of the fabulous designs!  For right now, you should contact CECI directly at


Post Destination Receptions

Posted by on Aug 11, 2008 in Blog | One Comment

The Q: I am having a small destination wedding, but want to have a big formal reception when I return to New York. Should I still wear my wedding dress, and how could the wording on the invitation go?

The A: First, YES, you can TOTALLY wear your wedding dress again.  In fact, it will give everyone a chance to see how great you looked. Obviously, if it’s very beachy and your post-wedding reception is very formal, it may not be totally appropriate, but assuming it’s in line with your other affair, it should be great and you should not feel weird at all!

For the wording try something like (if you are hosting yourself):

Deborah and Steven Nolan
request the honor of your presence
at a
celebration of their marriage
Saturday, the Twenty-second of August
at seven
o’ clock in the evening
Location, Location, Location