Valle de Guadalupe has been coming up again and again in travel magazines and blogs that follow all things travel trends. With its abundance of great wineries, delicious and foodie-centric restaurants, gorgeous scenery, charming hotels and ease to travel to, this northwest corner of our beloved Mexico may just be the next hot spot.
Nestled among the uncharted territory, there’s a venue-in-the-making from the crew behind One Bunk (this one dubbed One Bunk Valle). As the venue is not yet complete, we were lucky to get in on a little of the action by scoring this photo shoot from the talented team at Luna Wild. Sit back and enjoy the inspo as we chat with the group of designers behind this styled elopement.
Photography by Jamie English
Tell us a little bit about this styled elopement.
Aly: All of us vendors have a special affinity for Mexico and specifically the wine country in Mexico/Valle de Guadalupe and we were set on doing a shoot there. Valle de Guadalupe is so cool because it's such a mix of run down/dusty desert and super modern architecture + incredible wine. It's up + coming and it's the perfect spot to stun guests for a destination wedding or elopement.
Give us a little background on the inspiration.
Aly: We wanted to mix traditional Mexican influences with more modern pieces to reflect the fun mix of rustic + modern in the Valle de Guadalupe. We played with traditional Otemi and wanted to mix it with playful poms and some indigo dyed napkins. We've always been drawn to Mexican influences, but we wanted to think of a new way to interpret such fun patterns and elements. Truly, the existing landscapes and building in Valle were our biggest inspiration.
Why did you choose this location & venue?
Aly: The Valle has a special place in all of our hearts. It's such a quick trip from San Diego and so easy to get to for a short weekend or even just a day trip. It's the perfect place to feel like you're truly away + relaxed but at the same time it's so accessible + close. The land we used will eventually become a venue + hot spot, and has a few fun structures on it already. But for the most part, the land speaks for itself and is just so stunning. The views are unreal and there are so many fun wild plants and tumbleweeds inhabiting the property currently. It was the perfect spot for what we were looking for.
Lorna: We were fortunate enough to access the property before construction for One Bunk Valle begins, so working with the land was an adventure for sure. We scheduled the shoot on the perfect day and had so much greenery to work with. We can't wait for this location to open after the One Bunk team brings their creativeness to the property.
What made each backdrop ideal for what you wanted to capture on film on such a beautiful photoshoot?
Jamie: For many of us on the vendor team, driving across the border into Mexico brings an instant sigh of relief; a feeling of being unencumbered, more relaxed, a little freer. It’s a beautiful commonality that couples who choose to elope are often desiring the same simplicity, escape, and freedom, and the location we chose in the Valle de Guadalupe was the perfect landscape to represent this! The undeveloped valley where we were felt a little wild—we had to play by its rules more than once, but that only added to the experience as it brought us a lot of laughter and vivid memories. We can only imagine how free-spirited and joyful a couple would feel to spend their wedding day in such a unique location!
Lorna: It was raw, organic, the colors were incredibly reflective of the season and time of day, and moreover-that sky was lit up wonderfully with a full moon! It was ideal because it was real and effortless, and really captured Valle in a way that reminded us of why we love it so much; we fell in love all over again. It was meditative to disconnect and really focus on the authenticity of the grounds surrounding us, and we think Jamie did an incredible job highlighting this.
Are there any standout features of the location that are can't miss photo ops?
Jamie: Although there is a lot of wonderful things about the Valle de Guadalupe, there are two aspects of it that truly standout form a photographer’s perspective: one is its ruggedness, its touch of wild that hasn’t yet been (and hopefully never will be) fully tamed. It still feels like what I imagine the far west used to feel like, in some sense, with hazy dirt roads, cowboys on horseback, and mountain ridge lines on the horizon. It would also be a shame to miss the hour leading up to sunset. This is when the beauty of this place really shines through, and golden light spreads across the valley so thick you could swim in it. It’s the best time for photos, or the best time just to sit and soak it all in.
Is there anything special you incorporated from the surrounding area into the day?
Aly: We wanted to incorporate of course the landscape + florals but we also needed to include the area's wine. Even though only our team knew + enjoyed the wine at the shoot, it was a must to buy some bottles to pour + enjoy during the shoot.
Any fun stories or moments that stand out from the day?
Aly: This shoot was truly so much fun. The vendor crew was the best mix of laid back people and we all meshed so well! One funny thing that happened was that the van that brought the table + chairs got stuck in the wet mud while we were backing it onto the property. It had rained a lot recently, which made the land so green and beautiful but also so incredibly wet + muddy. After trying for a while, we couldn't get the car out, so we decided to give it a rest and just unload the tables + chairs and start setting up. We finished the entire set up and then decided to go back to the van to see if we could get it unstuck. The van was a good 50-60 yards from our table, but it was sooo stuck that when we hit the gas to get the car out, the wheels started spinning violently and it shot loads + loads of mud all over and the sticky mud even shot the 60 yards and splattered allllll over the table. It was hysterical. Thankfully, we all had time to clean the mess before our couple arrived and we laughed the whole time. Can you imagine this beautiful table with dots and globs of mud all over it? We realized after cleaning up that we didn't get any shots of our muddy table, but that image and that moment will forever be engrained into my brain. It made us realize nothing is a guarantee and stuff like this happens when you have to just laugh it off + readjust.