Last week Marc and I celebrated our one-year anniversary back where our marriage began, in Mexico on the shores of Playa Mujeres. Our wedding was at Finest Playa Mujeres but for our anniversary we chose to stay just down the beach at the sister resort Beloved. Beloved is a smaller boutique adults-only experience and it was our second time staying at this resort.
Clearly, we have a special place in our hearts for Playa Mujeres!
It was just a quick five-day getaway but being able to take a break from New York City, enjoy a tropical cocktail (or 20!), and spend quality time with just each other was much needed. All-inclusive resorts can sometimes get a bad rap, but there’s something about stepping onto a beautiful resort and no longer having to worry about a thing that is incredibly appealing! Throw in the fact that Excellence resorts have top shelf liquor and very good food, and it ensures we just keep coming back.
And, no, this post is in no way sponsored by Excellence Resorts. We paid for our wedding and our anniversary trip completely on our own. I’m just sharing our honest experiences because we truly are big fans of their resorts and this region of Mexico.
But what does crack us up is how they handle our last name. This is our third time visiting an Excellence Resort in Playa Mujeres together and each time I have booked the trip. Since I kept my last name every one of those trips has been booked under Laura Behnke, with Marc Fowler being the additional guest. And each time we check in they refer to us as Mr. and Mrs. Behnke, which makes us laugh. But it seems to take them about 24 hours to realize that Marc’s last name is not Behnke, and by the second day they begin calling us Mr. and Mrs. Fowler. Which also makes us laugh! So, for four days I was, apparently, Laura Fowler. Hey, there are worse things to be called!
We arrived in Mexico on the day of our actual anniversary, May 18th. Since we weren’t staying at Finest, we decided to take a short walk up the beach from Beloved to the actual spot where we said I do. There was another wedding that was going on in the space and it was fun to see another couple on such a happy day.
We then took a little walk around the resort to reminisce about that incredibly special week one year ago. I said to Marc, wouldn’t it be funny if we saw our wedding planner, Estafania? Less than five minutes later we turned a corner and saw her coming toward us. I had barely gotten out the words, “there she is!”, before she stopped and said (from about 20 feet away), “Laura??”.
I have absolutely NO idea how she remembered me, let alone my name. I can’t even imagine how many brides she has had in the last year, and then to recognize us completely out of context, while working a wedding that night, was incredibly impressive. It totally made our night! I felt incredibly special as one of their brides a year ago, but this made me even more appreciative of the experience we had.
After that Marc and I toasted with a glass of champagne and I may or may not have cried. I think there was blowing sand or something… The year before I had been too busy worrying about the wedding to really allow myself to get emotional about the experience but being back one year later those emotions had nowhere to go but out.
The past year has had its ups and downs, but I continue to be so appreciative of the life we are fortunate enough to be building. Plus, I cry at the end of Paddington 2, so no one should be surprised by any of this!
As for what I wore, I decided not to go crazy buying all sorts of new things for this trip. That’s typically my M.O., but after No Buy February I’m really trying to be conscience about the ways I spend my money. I’m also trying to avoid excess clothes and things I don’t need cluttering my closet or, eventually, landfills.
So, like for our honeymoon, I went with Rent the Runway for (nearly) all of my evening looks. This post is also not sponsored by Rent the Runway however they did give me a free month of unlimited membership for attending an event recently. I think that free month was this month, but honestly, I’m not even sure!
Okay, back to the details! I went with this flowy yellow Derek Lam 10 Crosby dress, a dark floral printed maxi by Nanushka, and this dreamy white 3.1 Phillip Lim creation. My fourth dress was a re-wear from our wedding trip one year ago. Here is how I styled it then.
I love Rent the Runway for so many reasons, but top of that list is the fact that it means I’m not going out and buying outfits that I will likely only wear once and that will then sit in my closet forever. It also gives me the opportunity to try out higher end designers whose price tag I would not otherwise be able to afford.
Then as soon as I get home, I just return the dresses and make new selections to wear here in NYC. I’ve made it a soft goal to stop shopping at Zara, H&M, and other fast fashion retailers as much as I can. Full disclosure, I did buy two pairs of sandals from Zara for this trip, but I know I will wear them into the ground, so I didn’t feel too guilty about the purchase.
All in all, it was a wonderful and relaxing trip! We decided it should become a yearly thing, which didn’t require any arm twisting for either of us!
So, cheers to many more trips as “Mrs. Fowler”!
Do you have any favorite spots in Mexico that we should try one day. I’m always looking for new ideas. Let me know in the comments below!
Photos by Marc Fowler
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