If you’re the type of couple that shudders at words like ‘bridal waltz’ & ‘centrepieces’ – you’re probably going to love Ruth & Hunter.
For a love story that started over a shared cup of tea, these two celebrated their wedding with one heck of a party. Beautifully captured by Alex Motta of Motta Weddings, Hunter & Ruth’s destination wedding in Nicaragua was a celebration of love, friends, family, and being true to who you are as a couple.
How did you two meet?
Ruth: Hunter and I started dating basically after he made me a cup of tea one afternoon in 2011. I had just moved back into town– Park City, Utah (after a 6 month travel nurse job in Florida), and Hunter had taken note. I stopped by to see my good friend (Hunter’s roommate) who was absent, and Hunter casually offered me tea. I think he knew exactly what he was doing, but at that moment I knew he would always care for me in just the way I needed.
Hunter proposed on the 23rd of December 2014. We had traveled to his hometown in Tennessee for Christmas, and were heading to my hometown for the New Year. His proposal somehow caught me completely off guard, and I’m not even sure I said yes for a good 15-20 minutes afterward, sitting on the porch of this cabin. We had talked often about marriage and I was certainly ready, but somehow in the moment it was so surreal. I just stared in awe at the ring (an antique family ring that we unfortunately did not bring to Nicaragua for the wedding), and wept at his declaration of love.
What was important to you when figuring out what kind of ceremony you wanted?
I wanted it to be meaningful to both Hunter and I. Of course each person has their own set of traditions, beliefs, and personal baggage, but fundamentally, we are sharing in the joy of love and partnership. We wanted a simple ceremony that highlighted this, and then we wanted to CELEBRATE!
This is where I became completely overwhelmed. I am in school getting my masters (Family Nurse Practitioner degree) and have no time really to plan a wedding. Also, I am terribly disorganised, and have no idea where to begin. We had traveled to Nicaragua in the past, and somehow Hunter had heard of a place near where we had stayed called “Rancho Santana.” Hunter was the MVP in the planning and logistics department, and Ruth got to stick to “difficult” decisions like what signature cocktail to serve, and whether or not to have lobster (obviously yes).
Tell us about your dress and how you chose it?
I had tried on many dresses and really just did not like any of them. I wanted something simple, modern, and yet I was drawn to some of the interesting lace patterns. I stumbled upon this dress when I stopped at a shopping mall on my way home from the beach. I was covered in sunscreen and sand, and found this one on the sale rack. I almost talked myself out of it because it was well below budget (and I was by myself trying to send dressing room selfies to my sister), but it was honestly the best one I had tried on.
What was the vibe you were going for on the day and why?
We really just wanted a celebration at the beach. We knew that no matter what, we would be in beautiful surroundings (the beach in Nicaragua) and with people we love, so we just wanted to accentuate those things. We wanted a relaxed, almost casual feeling, so that people would feel comfortable. And I think everybody felt very uninhibited (see photos of everybody in the pool). Rancho Santana did this perfectly.
A favourite memory from the day?
Ruth: Hunter’s vows were so beautiful and absolutely floored me. It was a part of the ceremony that I did not anticipate he would spend so much time crafting, but the significance of this act is not lost on me.
Hunter: we had planned for fireworks after the cake cutting, but I had completely forgotten about it at the time. The fireworks were so great (as was every component of the wedding), and everything unfolded even better than we had imagined during the planning phase.
Any advice to couples planning their wedding now?
Don’t fret the small things! No matter what, you’ll be with the people you love, celebrating the most significant love of your life, likely with great food, drinks, and music. So people will have a blast, whether or not the centerpieces, veil or flowers are perfect. Relax and enjoy your day. Bask in the sea of love!
Thank you Ruth & Hunter for sharing your special day with us xx
Photos Motta Weddings Ceremony venue Playa Rosada beach at Rancho Santana Reception venue Playa Rosada clubhouse at Rancho Santana Celebrant Susan Hamlin Catering Rancho Santana Event planner / Stylist Erik Wetz Florist Rancho Santana Stationery Rancho Santana Signage Rancho Santana Cake Rancho Santana Entertainment El Groupo (based in Rivas, Nicaragua) Dress BCBG Veil Alta Moda in SLC, Utah (my best friend also wore it in her wedding 3 months later) Shoes Handmade by the bride’s father, Tim Kennedy Jewellery Grandmother’s necklace Hair Sister Beth & best friend Rachel Pepper (flowers in hair by Aunt Mary Gay) Makeup Sister Beth Suit Indochino Shirt J.Crew Suspenders handmade by my brother, Andrew Kennedy