Bridal Bliss: Courtney And Michael Pulled Off A Stunning Destination Wedding With An Ocean Side Ceremony In Mexico
Gisselle Gonzalez and Alex Rojas

When Courtney, a travel agent owner and Michael, a barber who owns a shop in their home of West Columbia, South Carolina first became acquainted, it was through Twitter. The year was 2011 and the day of her 25th birthday. They followed each other on Twitter because they shared a mutual friend, and when she posed a question to her followers to see if they were going to be at the club her party was being thrown at that evening, he said he would make the effort to be there. He showed up after all, and when he did, he made quite the impression on her.

“From the moment I laid eyes on him, I told my friends that ‘he would be mine,'” Courtney says. “We have been in contact literally every day since that night.”

They would go on to date for nine years, build a life together and have a daughter, Zoe Alani. As the time passed, they realized the ways in which they bettered each other and the important place they hold in each other’s lives.

“Courtney and I work well together,” Michael says. “Where or when one of us is lacking, the other excels. We balance each other.”

Michael would eventually ask for Courtney’s hand in marriage in 2019, doing so in an innovative way. The couple traveled to South Africa and he planned to propose during a hike up Table Mountain. But when weather altered his plans, he opted for a flawless Plan B.

“One evening we had [an] authentic African dinner while visiting the township of Khayamundi. The host asked for a volunteer and I volunteered. She proceeded to dress me in African garments and explained their marriage traditions,” Courtney says. “As the host finished, she asked me, ‘Are you married?’ I replied, ‘No.’ She then asks, ‘Why not?’ and before I could reply, Mike was kneeling with a beautiful ring and asked me to marry him. None of this was planned but it was perfect.”

As the couple started putting together plans for their big day, the hodophiles (people who love to travel) knew that a destination wedding was in the cards. And while the Covid-19 pandemic would make things complicated in the months leading up to the wedding, it wouldn’t keep their celebration from being one to remember. On January 16, 2021, at the family-friendly and beautiful Hard Rock Riviera Maya in Mexico, Courtney and Michael said “I do” in front of 53 close friends and family.

“For a few days, we were able to escape the worries of Covid and relax a little and have fun celebrating not only our marriage but life itself,” Courtney says.

See all the charming images of the couple’s celebration of love and life, how they pulled off a safe and successful destination wedding and learn how married life is going for them so far.

Vendors

Travel Agency – Wishful Escapes, LLC

Resort – Hard Rock Riviera Maya

Dj – DJ Louivee

Groom Concierge Service – Beyond the Tie

Bride Hair Stylist – Jonathan Stewart

Groom’s Barber – Natural Imaje Grooming Lounge

Makeup – Styling Trio

Loading the player...

Photographer – Gisselle Gonzalez and Alex Rojas

Videographer – Love Rocks Wedding Films

Want your wedding to be considered for feature in Bridal Bliss? Email us a few wedding photos and the story of your big day at bridalbliss@essence.com.

TOPICS: