Simply Personal

Simply Personal

A Riviera Maya wedding appeals to all ages, and gives the bride the day of her dreams.

When Lisa Kossiski got engaged to Tom Iwanski in May 2015, she couldn’t quite envision what her wedding day might look like. She knew she wanted to get married in Mexico, but beyond that, the picture was unclear. She was embarking on her second marriage, and planning this wedding proved to be an entirely new experience for a different time of life.

“I wasn’t a 20-something, wanting very specific things,” she reflects. “It’s not that my expectations weren’t high. I always knew it would be a destination wedding, but I just didn’t know what that might look like. And I couldn’t imagine doing it on my own.”

Lisa approached Weddings by Funjet, advising director Kristin Godfrey and concierge Katie Brierton that she wanted to keep things simple.

“I didn’t want to overdo it, and to be honest, I was thinking, ‘So we’ll have our ceremony in Spanish, have some great food and call it good,’” she says with a laugh. “No, no, no. There are so many things you wouldn’t even think of, like your decor, your photos, and especially what everyone is going to do. We had invited a significant number of guests, and I really wanted to make it special. They would be investing a lot to come.”

One last photo before Lisa memorably "trashed the dress" in a cenote at Rancho Bonanza.

One last photo before Lisa memorably “trashed the dress” in a cenote at Rancho Bonanza.

With more than 100 people expected for the weeklong wedding festivities, the team worked hard to select just the right resort property, one that would appeal to all ages. They found it with Generations Riviera Maya, an elegant all-inclusive resort known for the Karisma Gourmet Inclusive experience with oversized, oceanfront, all-suite accommodations.

The concierges also worked closely with Lisa to pinpoint those extra personal touches that would make her wedding day truly her own.

“The best thing about a destination wedding is that you have so many different options,” Lisa observes. “And with all their expertise, the concierges really can help you think outside the box. Not only did I want to keep things simple, some personalization was important to me, and they gave me ideas I’d never considered.”

Lisa, Tom and their guests flew to Mexico on Tuesday, Aug. 2. They had plenty of time to enjoy the resort before the first major wedding-related activity, the Thursday rehearsal, followed by an evening catamaran ride.

“We didn’t want to overplan, but we did want to do the catamaran,” Lisa says. “After all, who doesn’t want to go on a boat ride?”

She walked down the aisle at 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, at the resort’s beachfront chapel. The sounds of a string quartet filled the air. “The music was fun, uplifting, with songs you’d never expect from a string quartet,” she recalls. “And the wooden chapel was so beautiful. It was the simplicity I wanted. It moves me still, remembering how I stood there, listening to my husband say his vows.”

Afterward, the group convened upstairs at the Sky Lounge Bar for cocktails. It was a beautiful location to watch the sunset and start the celebration.

The resort's pier was ready for a memorable night of dinner and dancing.

The resort’s pier was ready for a memorable night of dinner and dancing.

“We had someone there drawing caricatures,” Lisa remembers. “That was a huge hit with the children, and again, I wouldn’t have even thought of it without the help of a Weddings by Funjet concierge.”

Then it was time for dinner, and dancing on the pier. All ages enjoyed the revelry. “The DJ really was able to keep things moving,” Lisa says. “My husband and I are both from Wisconsin, and we both have Polish heritage, so he played a polka! It was an interesting group, from little kids to older people, and I loved seeing my little niece and an elderly relative on the dance floor at the same time,” she continues. “It was a large crowd, but a personal crowd. Everyone there was very important to us.”

The next day, Weddings by Funjet arranged a day trip to Punta Maroma for interested guests. And, although some guests chose to leave Sunday, at least 30 elected to stay through Tuesday, Aug. 9 and return home with the newlyweds—who then jetted off to Italy for a honeymoon tour through Rome, Florence and the Mediterranean coast.

“Weddings by Funjet made sure everything was set up perfectly,” Lisa says of her destination wedding experience. “They truly went above and beyond for us.”

The bride saw her vision of a simple, elegant wedding day come to life.

The bride saw her vision of a simple, elegant wedding day come to life.

Heather Steinberger

Heather Steinberger is a Contributing Writer for Here & Beyond, where she writes feature stories, interviews experts for in-depth Q&As and insider articles, and covers a variety of news items and vacation trends. Heather holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and she has been a professional magazine editor/writer for nearly 20 years, with articles appearing in nationally circulated titles such as Backpacker, Boating, Cabo Living, Islands, Sailing and Sport Diver. Her work has taken her from the United Kingdom and Germany, to the Mexican Caribbean and the Sea of Cortez, to Fiji and the Kingdom of Tonga.