Phil & Rhett’s Destination Wedding
April 04, 2016
Phil Cooper of Kehoe Design and Rhett Lindsay of the Aids Foundation of Chicago have been traveling together to Puerto Vallarta for the past two years. It has been a great escape for them, allowing them to relax and detach from work. It’s also where they decided to get married. Phil and Rhett really wanted a casual feeling for their wedding. Something intimate, where they could spend time with their friends and family. The Bay of Banderas in Mexico was the perfect setting.
Last year, Phil approached me at an event here in Chicago where both Kehoe and I were vendors. He asked me if I would be interested in shooting their wedding. Of course I was!
I myself have been traveling to Puerto Vallarta for many years, and have always imagined what it would be like to photograph someone’s wedding there, against the colorful backdrop of Mexico. I know the city very well, and immediately started imagining all the best, most picturesque settings for photographs. It was easy to identify multiple picturesque settings throughout the “Zona Romantica.”
When I asked them how they chose me, they said they wanted someone they could trust, they knew that I had been there numerous times, and they were sure I already knew the best places to take amazing photos. And Phil also mentioned that some of the photography in Phil’s portfolio for Kehoe were shot by me.
Phil and Rhett’s proposal happened at Puerto Vallarta’s famous beach, La Playa de los Muertos, under the iconic sculpture “Boy on a Seahorse” by Raphael Zamarripa. So of course we had to go there to photograph them on their wedding day!
The venue they chose for their sunset wedding was the Sapphire Ocean Club. Rhett’s close friend Heather officiated the wedding. She was a perfect choice, since she is ordained, and as an actress, they knew she would be able to project her voice against the crash of the waves behind them.
The couple’s biggest challenge prior to the wedding was shopping for linen suits in the middle of a Chicago winter, they were thrilled to find vibrant patterns and colors at Suit Supply.
The rings they chose were a combination of engagement and wedding bands fused together. Phil’s is white gold with a sapphire stone, and an added thin gold wedding band. Rhett’s is white gold, with a diamond stone and also an added thin gold wedding band.
The food was fantastic. Appetizers included fresh guacamole and chips and tuna tartar. Guests were offered the choice of short rib, chicken or fresh grouper fish. Each entree was paired with roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes and/or risotto. Dessert was chocolate lava cake with fresh berries and raspberry swirl.
Phil described the wedding setting this way: “We wanted the sunset as our backdrop, and we framed the ceremony spot with a simple collection of lanterns with accents of local tropical foliage and blossoms. Talbot Ross Events has a great selection of lanterns and accessories for rental in addition to the French country chairs and beautiful farm tables. Since our guest count was small, we wanted a single, long table so everyone could socialize. A stunning collection of driftwood with local antherium, succulents, protea, orchids, air plants and interesting tropical foliages rolled down the tabletop. Additionally, lanterns and votives added a warm glow with the help of suspended cafe lights. The club also moved a small lounge grouping onto the beach which was a great place for guests to relax following dinner.”
I asked Phil and Rhett what the biggest surprise of the wedding was, and they told me they that because they were having so much fun with their guests, it went by so quickly! They’re grateful I captured all their perfect moments and use their photos to reminisce about them often.
I asked them to describe their favorite photos. Rhett’s favorite is one of the photos of them with hats, where Phil is being silly. Phil loves the candid shot of the two of them, and Rhett is laughing hard. Both of them capture the fun of their relationship.
Thank you guys so much for letting me be part of this amazing wedding!