Wedding Spotlight: Michelle + Jay

Every couple has their own story, history, life goals, and dream wedding. Michelle is not the girl who dreamed of her wedding since she was a little girl. Michelle did not have a binder full of centerpieces that would make her wedding exactly how she always dreamed. There are four things that were needed for Michelle to have the perfect wedding day: Jay, family, friends and dancing. Although she could have had those four elements just about anywhere, Michelle and Jay chose an absolutely beautiful back drop for their wedding at Royalton Riviera Cancun in Riviera Maya, Mexico. Michelle and Jay had the ideal wedding week leading up to the big day, filled with many laughs and memories. Their story is unlike anyone else’s story, but their planning experience is much like most. By prioritizing what meant most to them, they were able to create a memorable wedding all while respecting their own budget, with the amazing support from Royalton’s wedding planners and their personal wedding concierge, Karmen.

Meet Michelle + Jay.

For a bride who’s biggest request was to have a beautiful and fun celebration for her family and friends, it can be a bit daunting of where to start. From guidance from Karmen, Michelle and Jay decided the best way to start was to visit the resort in person. Karmen set up a pre-wedding site inspection for the couple to visit the hotel and get a true feel for which venues would best fit their dream destination wedding. After visiting Royalton Riviera Cancun in person, the couple decided the wedding venue they had to have was the unique show stopper that is the sky deck, known for its gorgeous ocean vistas.

As soon as the couple returned home from their site visit, it was time to start putting the pieces of the wedding puzzle together. For a couple without a specific vision, Karmen had the privilege of assisting the couple to prioritize all of the wedding elements that were special to them, from most to least important. The top priority, as we see with many of our couples, was to make travel and hotel accommodations comfortable and affordable for all of their guests. Karmen quickly utilized Weddings by Funjet’s advantage of flagship brand, Funjet Vacations, and blocked exclusive nonstop flights from Milwaukee to Cancun, making it easy for guests to reserve their seats with as little of a $50 per person deposit. After securing the flights, Karmen set up a room block for the wedding group, which guarantees the rooms will be available at a specific rate up until 120 days prior to the departure date. Thanks to the partnership we have with Royalton Resorts, guests were easily able to plan and budget for their trip in advance without having to worry about prices fluctuating with the constantly changing travel market. To make the booking process even more simple, guests could choose between booking their reservation online independently through the couple’s complimentary customized booking engine or through their personal Accommodations Specialist, Carisha! Wedding guests confidently made their reservation, knowing they were getting the best price available at great value. The couple quickly realized the value of having a personal Accommodations Specialist to answer all of their guests specific booking questions and manage their hotel contract, which helped the couple avoid any stress assumed with any binding contract.

Now that the wedding locations were reserved, reasonable travel packages in place, the next piece of the wedding puzzle was to make sure Michelle and Jay had an entertaining, lively dance party! Priority number two was the focal point of the wedding celebration, and it was important to the couple to create an amazing party atmosphere. In order to have the dance reception on the sky deck, the couple had to decide to not host their wedding dinner there. The resort staff needed time to turn the ceremony decor into reception decor, and the transition simply could not be done with the private dinner reception in that location. With a variety of dinner preferences between the couple and their family, they decided it would be best to host a semi-private dinner at La Marche with a dance reception to follow. A unique order of events to accommodate all of their preferences brought up many logistical questions like: did La Marche have enough room for their wedding group of 44? What would the dinner reception look like? What would the menu be? What about the speeches? Royalton Riviera Cancun has an amazing glass enclosed room that can be reserved in La Marche that can hold up to 45 people. Additional decor is limited in restaurants for semi-private events at resorts throughout Mexico and the Caribbean, however Karmen made suggestions to spice up the layout and aesthetics by suggesting a U-shape table and glass vases on the head table to hold the bridesmaid bouquets. Special touches to the event space like this costed no more than $40! The couple was quite conflicted on the menu due to very picky eaters within the group, leading them to opt in to a buffet-style reception dinner for guests to pick exactly what they preferred. Luckily, Royalton Riviera Cancun has a massive, delicious buffet with something for everyone. By identifying early on that the dinner was not a top priority for the couple right away, Karmen was able to get creative and find cost-effective solutions which ultimately resulted to an unforgettable dance reception on the sky deck.

When creating the overall wedding timeline, the couple was a bit stumped on what to do for cocktail hour. However, it seemed necessary since they had already scheduled this time with their photographer. After reviewing the priorities, they decided guests could utilize the resort bars during “cocktail hour” and meet Michelle and Jay at 6:30 for dinner. This worked perfectly. Michelle and Jay were busy with their photographer capturing their forever photos while guests visited the resort bar at leisure. Some guests walked back to their room to change their shoes or freshen up, some went straight to the bar and stayed there until dinner, and some even took a nice stroll on the beach and enjoyed a cocktail before dinner.

Like many brides, Michelle was unsure of what to do about flowers. She considered bringing artificial bouquets to save money, and after much consideration she went with natural flowers for the bouquets, Jay’s boutonniere, and artificial flower boutonnieres for the groomsmen. Saving $10 per groomsmen while still highlighting the natural flowers in the bouquets, the couple was able to order four gorgeous blush pink and white floral arrangements for the ceremony that were later transferred to the reception, adding subtle romantic decor to the events. Michelle picked simple, yet elegant centerpieces for the cocktail tables at the dance reception for a bit of warmth.

Royalton’s in-house DJ was professional, fun, and kept the party going all night long. We recommend couples to send a list prior to the big day outlining favorite songs, a do not playlist, as well as a list of requests for special dances. To ensure guests were happy and well hydrated, Michelle and Jay purchased a private open bar with wait staff for the dance party. A true highlight of the party, bartenders were absolutely amazing and kept drinks full throughout the night. By the end of the wedding everyone knew each bartender by name and gave farewells with hugs and gratitude. The combination of amazing music and top of the line service kept the dance floor packed all night long. Guests were treated with an amazing late night snack station later on in the night to help keep the energy going for the dance floor!


Michelle and Jay decided early on they didn’t need to have everything to have the wedding of their dreams. A laid back approach to wedding events allowed them to make smart decisions to spend more on impactful elements of the wedding. The music, breathtaking wedding locations, a casual dinner, late night snacks, and fun photography and videography, Michelle and Jay found ways to make their wedding distinctly their own and incorporated special touches that were a true representation of them. They were surrounded by their closest friends and family and celebrated in a way that felt most authentic to them. In the end, that’s a perfect wedding.

Congratulations to the newlyweds, Mr. and Mrs. Szpiszar!

From the concierge…

What was your favorite memory in the days leading up to the wedding at Royalton? Michelle and Jay hosted a welcome party on the beach with cocktail tables and tiki torches, with a stunning sunset to compliment the couple’s excitement to greet their guests. Bruce, Michelle’s dad, kicked off the party with a toast to the happy couple and asked each guest to introduce themselves with their name, where they were from, and how they knew the couple. This idea morphed into a beautiful and memorable collection of people sharing stories, telling jokes and wishing the couple well all combined with an outpouring of love and appreciation for the couple. It was a touching and sweet event for all of the guests and the couple.

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Thanks to our outstanding partners and wedding professionals.

Color Palette: Mauve, blush pink + white | Style: Romantic + Entertaining | Season: Winter | Destination: Riviera Maya, Mexico | Hotel: Royalton Riviera Cancun | Ceremony: Opa | Cocktail Hour: Lobby Bar | Dinner: La Marche | Dance Party: Sky Deck | Wedding Decor: Euforia | Royalton Pre-Planner: Randi Weingarten | Venue Coordinator: Brenda Peregrino Rivera | Photography: Photo Pro | DJ/Entertainment: Encore

This post was written by Weddings by Funjet

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