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The OTM-Styled Bride Wore Danielle Frankel Down The Aisle at Her Wedding in San José del Cabo

By Cathleen Freedman | Photography by 

Norman & Blake

|Planning by 

Alison Bryan Destinations

After an incredible—yet exhausting—day exploring Tanzania’s Serengeti, Joanna Rejebian and Andrew McDonald returned to their tent and prepared for bed. Off-handedly, Andrew asked Joanna to marry her without any pretense, pomp, or circumstance. “His delivery was so unexpected and casual—quintessential Andrew,” she recalls. “It was perfect.”

While the proposal was effortless, planning the wedding was anything but. The couple originally organized a Southern California wedding—three different times. They even had to switch venues and create a new design twice due to the pandemic. In this case, the third time was the charm, and their extraordinary planners, Alison and Bryan of Alison Bryan Destinations, suggested the couple pivot. They recommended hosting a wedding weekend in San José del Cabo, Mexico. The One&Only Palmilla fit the easy elegance of the initial California aesthetic, combined with incredible service. Alison also had the perfect rehearsal dinner location in mind: Flora Farm. Andrew and Joanna now live in Hawaii, so the welcome party had a Hawaii-meets-Mexico theme.

Alison introduced Joanna to Over The Moon Head Stylist Anny Choi, who curated the bride’s multiple looks. She expertly assembled Joanna’s rehearsal dinner outfit: a Happy Isles dress, Jennifer Behr headpiece and earrings, House of Harlow shoes, and an Edie Parker purse. For the after-party, Anny acquired a vintage fringe Happy Isles mini-dress. At first, Anny picked out everything except the wedding gown. “I had purchased a wedding dress shortly after we got engaged,” Joanna says. But two-and-a-half years later, she changed her mind upon seeing a stunning heirloom-worthy Monvieve veil Anny sourced. The first dress could not compete with the veil’s grandeur, so Anny found a silky Danielle Frankel masterpiece with a dramatic back just two months before the wedding. Joanna wore Jennifer Behr earrings and slid into Jimmy Choo heels for the big day. Neysa from Blanc Bridal Salon Cabo applied her timeless makeup.

On January 8, 2022, the flower girls in custom Isabel Garretón dresses walked in L’amour shoes all the way down the aisle, leading the way for the bride and her father. On the steps of the Palmilla’s chapel, Joanna met her groom in his Tom Ford tuxedo. Andrew’s father officiated the ceremony, which was so remarkably special. Joanna was so overwhelmed with a range of emotions and focused on Andrew and trying not to cry, she did not even take in the flowers and music. It was only after the ceremony that she returned to the chapel steps to see the breathtaking Pina Cate florals for herself.

Guests followed musicians from Elan Artists to the oceanfront cocktail hour. A candlelit path led the way to dinner in the Bahia courtyard underneath a canopy of lanterns and lights. “We had to be super strategic with the space as it could only fit a certain amount of people with long tables, but we made it happen,” Joanna victoriously notes. While the band strummed and sang, Andrew and the father of the bride delivered wonderful speeches. The groom’s sweet words brought Joanna to happy tears.

The newlyweds shared a first dance to Coldplay’s “Something Just Like This.” Watching all of their friends and family let loose, dance, and enjoy the music was not only a highlight—it was magic. Norman & Blake photographed the beautiful, alchemical experience before the happy couple went straight to sleep. “So boring,” Joanna laughs, “But exactly us.”