Home » A Modern Desert-Meets-Sea Wedding in Cabo San Lucas

A Modern Desert-Meets-Sea Wedding in Cabo San Lucas

by Staff

Lauren Butler and Rich Ferreira’s first meeting was at Mammoth Mountain in January 2015—but they were predestined to meet long before that. Their mutual family friends thought they would make a good couple. “My sister actually met Rich through the same family friends a few months prior, and planted the seed that we might be a match!” Lauren remembers. “The anticipation up to meeting him was special because we had been introduced through close friends and I already knew there was some interest on his side,” she adds with a wink. 

Their family and friends’ instincts were correct, and a connection was formed. The duo dated for four years before taking the next big step in July 2018. “Rich proposed at the top of the winery Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo, overlooking the vineyards and river in the Douro Valley wine region of Portugal,” Lauren says. “He’s Portuguese and we spent two weeks on a magical tour of the country with my family and his. It was a picture-perfect European trip to experience and learn about his family and culture, all while celebrating our engagement.”

Upon returning home, they set to wedding planning. There was plenty of uncertainty throughout the pandemic planning process, but their destination was certain from the start. “Cabo San Lucas was an easy choice for me,” says Lauren, an LA native. “My family and I have been going down there for the last 20 years, so it feels like home. Rich loves it just as much—on our first trip down to Cabo years ago with my family, he understood why it was such a meaningful place to us.”

After booking a planner, florist, and décor vendor, “I scoured the internet, Instagram, and Pinterest for inspiration,” Lauren says. “We wanted our wedding to feel timeless and elegant. I sent over all of my inspo to [our vendors] Del Cabo, Pina Cate, and Amy Abbott Events, and they created a deck of options. Truly, they are all pros and it really was easy with the collaboration of these incredible artists and creators.”

And so on May 9, 2021, after one postponement, 90 guests finally gathered at The Cape, A Thompson Hotel on the very southern tip of Baja California Sur, for a wedding that fulfilled the couple’s wildest dreams. Read on to discover all the beautiful details, planned by Amy Abbott and Paola Franssen of Amy Abbott Events and photographed by Julieta Amezcua of By Julieta.

The destination—Cabo San Lucas—was set in stone, but the couple was prepared to visit a variety of venues. Turns out, that wasn’t necessary. “On the first day of wedding venue tours, The Cape was the first venue we visited. It immediately felt like the right choice—the view is impossible to top,” Lauren remembers. “The retro mid-century modern and Baja beach aesthetic of the hotel, coupled with the incomparable views of the Cabo Arch, were unbelievable. We always envisioned getting married at a smaller boutique hotel, where all of our guests could treat themselves to a little vacation.” The venue served as a jumping off point for decor, as well. “Its modern but cool aesthetic provided us with a classic base that we could make our own,” Lauren says.  

As Lauren and her wedding party primped—local makeup artist Olga Bustos Moreno and her team beautified the group—dog Jax relaxed in her lap, resting up for his big role later in the day.

I knew right when I put it on that it was perfect.

Lauren wore a stretch crepe gown by Ines Di Santo with a plunging neck and low back—and put her own twist on it by having her seamstress add gold pearls. “After scouring six or seven shops in Los Angeles, I found the one at The White Dress in Corona Del Mar,” Lauren says. “It was the last dress I ever tried on. I knew right when I put it on that it was perfect. It checked all the right boxes. I wanted a slightly sexy low back and minimally detailed dress. I wanted to look back on my wedding look and feel proud of it for years to come.”

Rich had a similar experience finding the perfect tux, a black wool tuxedo by Boglioli Milano. “The minute I tried it on, the fit was perfect and the slightly larger peak lapel added a little flair,” the groom says. “Formal, but the fabric was still very light, so it was perfect for a warm wedding.” He paired it with Paul Smith patent leather loafers.

The couple invited close family along for their first look, and it became one of the most special parts of their big day. “My favorite moment by far was our first look and exchange of vows with our family present,” Lauren says. “About four days before the wedding, we changed our minds about saying our vows at the ceremony in front of all our guests. We both felt it would be much more special and meaningful to do them with just us and our closest family members.” She goes on: “For me as the bride, seeing Rich’s weepy face during our first look made every day leading up to the wedding worth it beyond belief.”

Before walked down the aisle, Lauren donned a lace-edged veil by the same designer as her gown, Ines Di Santo. She accessorized with earrings by Child of Wild and Leigh Miller and a bracelet by Vram. “I also wore my mother’s vintage topaz ring from the ’70s for my ‘something old,’” the bride says. 

The views Lauren and Rich had fallen in love with when they first toured the property were put on full display at the ceremony, with a backdrop of endless ocean as far as the eye could see. “I wouldn’t say our wedding had a specific theme, but we were definitely picky about style, color, and overall aesthetic,” Lauren recalls. “It was ‘where the desert meets the sea.’”

When it came to planning, “the easiest thing for me to pick was probably the flowers,” Lauren says. “I don’t like roses so I knew before our first meeting what I wanted our flowers to look like.” The couple enlisted Pina Cate to bring their vision to life and she delivered with natural pampas grass arrangements bursting from baskets and seasonal blooms. Wicker lanterns lined the aisle, and midcentury wishbone chairs kept to the neutral color palette. “We wanted a timeless and modern feel to our wedding,” the bride adds. “I wanted to look back at our memories and photos and not feel like any of the design or style elements were trendy and kitschy.”

Lauren’s father walked her down the aisle—to the tune of “Cold Little Heart” by Michael Kiwanuka—in one of the bride’s favorite moments of the day. “Seeing my handsome husband standing there at the end waiting for me was pure bliss,” she says. “The magnitude of that moment will stay with me for the rest of life.” Preceding her? “No flower girls, but the handsome and dashing ring bearer was my fur baby, Jax,” Lauren says with a laugh. “We ordered him a custom doggie tux on Etsy. Everyone loved it when he walked down the aisle.”

Seeing my handsome husband standing there at the end waiting for me was pure bliss.

Though they ultimately decided to recite them in private before the ceremony, the couple did write their own vows. “My husband is Portuguese, so I added a bit of the language to my vows,” Lauren says. “Rich was able to swing a little Pablo Neruda into his wedding vows!” After sealing the marriage with a kiss, they recessed out to “You Were Right” by Rüfüs Du Sol.

After the ceremony, the couple got together with their wedding party. Lauren’s bridesmaids wore tan and nude dresses of their own choosing. “Call me crazy, but there’s something so strange to me to see all of the most important ladies in your life being forced to wear the exact same dress,” the bride says. “Everyone has their own style and I wanted everyone to feel comfortable and confident in their own way.” Being in fashion, though, she provided a little direction. “To make it easier for them, I put together a giant Excel sheet of options from different websites and shops around the country. I also made sure I provided them with higher-end and sharper-priced options,” she shares.

The groomsmen looked sharp in black tuxedos. “The mid-century modern vibe of the hotel was quite masculine and paired well with a more formal look for the guys,” Lauren says of the style choice. 

Our wedding weekend was so reflective of who we are as a couple.

“Our wedding weekend was so reflective of who we are as a couple,” the bride says. “It was modern but timeless. It was sophisticated but sexy. It was loud but so fun. Our neutral and earthy color palette is reflective of our home together in Los Angeles. The food and drinks, the fireworks, and the energy at The Cape hotel—it all feels like the life we have built together.”

Guests drifted to cocktail hour and hit the bar—a chic, natural wood setup complete with wicker lanterns and more pampas grass arrangements. Two signature cocktails—a spicy margarita with tajin-salt garnish and a sunset spritz—fueled the party.

The Rooftop at The Cape set a stellar scene for the reception. “I was incredibly proud of the decor we created for the reception area,” Lauren remembers. “Disco balls, lights, cozy lounge areas—all under the night sky.” A “fairy light” installation served as backdrop for the head table, and centerpieces featured seasonal blooms and palms. Shells and candles also adorned the tables. 

The duo customized the space with special elements, all of which fit into the natural theme. A wooden seating chart directed guests to tables and an oversized neon sign bearing their new last name illuminated a stunning wall of greenery and pampas grass, serving as a fun photo backdrop. 

Upon entering the reception, the couple took up their first dance to “Mad About You” by Son Little. Later, Lauren and her dad danced to Etta James’ “At Last,” while Rich and his mother selected “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison. Music was a huge part of the party, and the bride took the task of curating it seriously. “I created a playlist and [the DJ] mixed all of the songs together. It was the wedding disco party of my dreams,” she shares.

Speeches were the perfect pairing to the reception dinner, which featured a menu including salad with seasonal fruit and goat cheese, followed by braised short rib with sweet corn and poblano pepper risotto and broiled local catch with black bean puree. There were vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free options, so all guests could indulge. 

After dinner, a decadent spread of desserts featured everything from chocolate sponge cake with cocoa crumble and tamarind coulis to matcha ice cream with sweet corn cake and caramel sauce. A cigar bar was another treat for guests to enjoy throughout the night.

The hotel’s culinary team designed the cake, a simple two-tier red velvet confection with white icing adorned with flowers. 

Finally, the party was underway—and a party it was. ”Dancing the night away with all of our friends” was Lauren’s favorite moment, she says. “DJ Alex was absolutely perfect. He played a mix of disco and house music and all of our guests still talk about how much fun they had. My 68-year-old dad said he was sore for days from dancing so much!”

But, the night wasn’t over. Capping it all off was a stunning fireworks display. “It was just spectacular,” Lauren says. Overall, It was the wedding of their dreams—and they’ll be able to relive it again and again on future trips to the now extra-special destination of Cabo San Lucas.

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