Rachel & Bryan's island-chic destination wedding at Royalton CHIC Suites Cancun
Rachel Lindsay and Bryan Abasolo’s love story began on season 13 of ABC’s hit reality show, The Bachelorette. Following their televised engagement, the happy couple spent two years building a life together in the real world. On August 24th, 2019, Rachel and Bryan tied the knot with a dreamy destination wedding at Royalton CHIC Suites Cancun Resort and Spa.
We sat down with the newlyweds to get the inside scoop on their glamorous tropical nuptials, from the reason they chose to get married in Cancun to decorating their chic rooftop venue and their thoughts on married life.
You met in an unconventional setting on The Bachelorette, a show you go on with the intention of getting married – Bryan, when you joined the show did you really believe it could lead to an engagement?
When I decided to go on the show, I was open-minded. It’s hard to go into this experience with the confidence that you’ll be chosen out of many other great guys and that you’ll fall in love, but I’m a positive person and was always hopeful.
Rachel, could you tell us about the moment you knew that Bryan was the one for you?
I always had an inkling about Bryan, which is why I gave him my first impression rose. We connected instantly and I knew he would be an important person in my life, as my best friend, lover or both. We spent a few weeks getting to know each other but after our second date in Geneva, I knew in my gut that Bryan was the one for me.
What was it like transitioning from dating on The Bachelorette to dating in real-life? What were some of the challenges you faced?
Adjusting to being together in the real world was a lot easier for us privately than it was publicly. Between us, we had to figure out how we would blend our lives together and function as a couple but the public was not as easy going.
The transition was tough because we had to deal with many people and media outlets scrutinizing every aspect of our relationship. Ultimately, we knew what we had and decided the best thing for us was to take a short break from being in the public eye to focus on building a solid foundation for our relationship.
Rachel and Bryan – what was going through your mind during the proposal?
Rachel: Initially I was frustrated with the weather and wind but the moment I saw Bryan all of my worries whisked away– I just couldn’t wait to tell him that he was the one. I was a bit scared about what he would say and hoped that he would reciprocate my feelings.
Bryan’s proposal was a real life fairy tale and I couldn’t believe that I was starring in it. I remember feeling so in love with Bryan and blessed that he believed in our love and future as much as I did. I couldn’t believe I found true love on TV and that this crazy thing worked.
Bryan: I just kept thinking about how much I loved Rachel. I mostly felt confident because I knew that we had something special, but I was still nervous knowing that there was a chance she might not choose me; you never know. The one thing I did know is that I had given Rachel my all and had no regrets.
During my proposal I poured my heart out to Rachel, and even though she tried to trick me, I knew in my heart that she felt the same. Hearing how she felt about the journey and finding her way to me was incredible. I could hardly wait to get down on one knee to make an official promise and commitment to her so we could start the next chapter of our lives together.
How did you decide that you wanted to have a destination wedding? Is this something you’ve always wanted?
The decision to have a destination wedding was simple. We both have big families and lots of friends and a destination wedding helped us limit our guestlist to the people we wanted to celebrate with the most – which still ended up being 180 people.
We also wanted our wedding to be an experience for our guests. With family living across the country, travel would always be involved. Getting married at a resort allowed our guests to relax and enjoy a vacation in addition to celebrating our wedding festivities.
What made you decide to get married in Cancun?
We chose Cancun for its beauty and location. We loved that it was centrally located, since most of our family was travelling from Miami, Texas and Colombia.
How did you decide to tie the knot at Royalton CHIC Suites Cancun Resort and Spa?
We visited several resorts but as soon as we toured Royalton CHIC Suites Cancun Resort and Spa, we were sold. It had everything we wanted for our destination wedding and more, from friendly staff and a beautiful beachfront location to elegant accommodations and an incredible rooftop lounge.
Not only is it a beautiful resort, but it also offers a variety of amenities which helped our family and friends to relax and feel comfortable during their vacation.
Can you tell us a bit about the wedding planning process?
We were very blessed to have a smooth wedding planning process thanks to our amazing wedding planner, Michael “Mikie” Russo. He worked with the wedding planners at the resort to make our big day come to life. All we had to do was make decisions and the team took care of everything else. Our destination wedding was truly effortless and more incredible than we could have ever dreamt thanks to Mikie and the team
Can you tell us about your destination wedding day?
We got married on August 24th, 2019 at the Level 18 Rooftop Cabana Lounge. We’d describe the vibe of our destination wedding as ‘island chic wrapped in love’.
Since I always dreamt about having a faith-based wedding, we had my pastor from Dallas, Texas officiate the ceremony. We decided not to have a wedding party and instead stood beneath our lush tropical altar joined by only our pastor to share our heartfelt vows – which was one of our favourite moments of the day. We also had a sand ceremony to symbolize the unity of our two lives coming together as one.
Our reception was a party. We had a giant white wedding cake with lush décor and spent the entire evening on the dancefloor with our family and friends. There were so many special touches that made our day special, from personalized R&B emblems to tearing up the dancefloor with our guests all night.
As for décor, we incorporated the essence of our tropical destination through our colour scheme which was green, champagne/gold and white and our décor, with fun accent pieces such as palm tree centrepieces and an aisle runner with a palm leaf print.
Rachel, can you describe each of your wedding outfits including any special details?
For my ceremony, I wore a two-piece Randi Rahm couture original gown with a hand-beaded top and a voluminous tulle skirt with an elegant train. I paired my look with beautiful Brevani earrings, Louboutin heels and hair jewellery designed by Lindsay Marie Design.
It was important for me to get married wearing Randi Rahm, not only because she’s a close friend, but also because she designed the gowns I wore when I met Bryan in and when he proposed. It was meant to be!
I wanted to wear a more dancefloor-friendly bridal look for the reception, so I swapped my skirt for a pair of white satin shorts.
What were some of your favourite moments from your wedding day?
We both really loved exchanging our vows overlooking the ocean and our first dance to Fortunate by Maxwell.
Did you plan any additional events during your wedding vacation?
Prior to our wedding, we made sure to experience Cancun’s vibrant culture. We hosted a welcome party for all of our guests which featured a local Mariachi band and delicious Mexican and Colombian dishes. We also explored the area’s natural beauty and visited a cenote.
What advice would you offer to couples planning a destination wedding?
Destination weddings are the way to go. Getting married in the tropics allows your guests to enjoy your wedding festivities as well as have a vacation. Plus, in our experience, planning a destination wedding is truly a stress-free process as your planner and resort can help coordinate all of the details for your big day.
You’ve been married for almost three months so far... what’s your favourite part about married life?
We love being official. We already felt married but now it’s nice to call each other husband and wife. We also love wearing our rings and just knowing that we have made a commitment to one another in front of our closest family and friends.
Before your destination wedding, you hosted a chic bachelorette party at Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica, can you tell us about this pre-wedding celebration?
I had been planning my bachelorette party for years. I knew I wanted to spend my single sendoff surrounded by my closest girlfriends in a safe and beautiful place where we could just let loose and have fun. My bachelorette party at Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica was everything I wanted and more!