Technicolour Dreams: Amirah Kassem And Ross Harrow’s Multicolour Wedding In Mexico

The Flour Shop duo’s bold and bright wedding in Punta Mita. By Carrie Goldberg

Belathee Photography

His name may be Ross…but if he were one of the famous Friends, think of him more as Chandler. Ross Harrow met Amirah Kassem—she plays Monica in this love story—in Brooklyn. The two were neighbors and she whipped up a batch of her famous cake balls to welcome him to the neighborhood. Amirah thought Ross was dreamy; Ross thought Amirah was “out of his league,” and the two became fast friends, which quickly turned into more. “Ross would come play the guitar while I baked cakes, so it was either his voice or my cakes that sparked the magic,” recalls Amirah, who has since founded Flour Shop, a whimsical, pop-colored cakery in partnership with Ross.

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It was two and a half years into dating when Ross proposed in Los Angeles—but not before doing what all women wish their past, present or future fiancés would do before popping the question: “I was in LA for work, and he sent me off to get a manicure,” recalls Amirah. Yes, a manicure. Genius. “He surprised me with ‘the question,’ and he had brought both of our families out there for the most magical brunch with all my favorite foods, chicken and waffles included. I still cant believe he pulled it all off without any suspicion!”

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Obsessed with detail, color and creating a magical, vibrant and non-stop fun weekend for their family and friends, the couple planned an April Fool’s wedding in Punta Mita, Mexico. They landed on a 4-day fiesta at the St. Regis Punta Mita as an ode to Amirah’s Mexican heritage—and their joint love of the country, its food and its rich culture. The couple’s goal? To spend the days in the sun snacking on all their favorite Mexican foods with their loved ones, and nights dancing on the beach and enjoying even more Mexican food, margaritas, music and local musts; like fire dancers and mariachis. The guest list totaled 110, and together with their coordinator, Talbot Ross, the bride and groom aimed for a series of intimate events that would have all their friends and family feeling included and a part of their celebration. The entire string of events, which were decorated to-a-tee, required a photographer well-equipped to capture every detail. Enter Dorothee of Belathee; “I honestly couldn’t have dreamt of a better photographer,” said Amirah. “Dorothee and her team looked like they were having as much fun as we were on the dance floor—and her images reflect that.”

Belathee Photography

Belathee Photography

Belathee Photography

The fiesta extravaganza began with an oyster bar and cocktails on the beach. Appropriately, the colorful bride donned a rainbow sundress designed by her friend Stacey Bendet of Alice + Olivia, who gifted the dress to the bride for her shower. Amirah paired the look with a pair of Rebecca Minkoff pom pom earrings, kicking off the weekend in what would be one of many ample doses of bold hues. The groom followed suit, complementing Amirah’s look with a pink and pineapple ensemble, hinting to the couple’s tropical, food-forward wedding motif that would only appear in increasing doses as the wedding celebrations wore on.

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The next day was spent at the pool and on the beach—complete with oversized bright-colored pool floats, a Mexican juice bar and an elote bar, where guests could customize their own Mexican corn. Leave it to this bride to take care of every detail, like the chic and cheeky beach totes from Poolside Collective, one of countless details the couple put into place to make sure each moment was a surprise and delight for their guests.

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“I love surprises and details so I made sure that there was a little something in the guest rooms every night,” said the bride. “At check-in, the guests got Las Bayadas pom pom Mexican basket bags and beach towels, made locally in Sayulita, which included the long weekend’s itinerary, created by Two Paper Dolls, and Mexican snacks. Friday night was our pineapple-themed rehearsal dinner, so I wanted to continue the theme and had a mixture of our logo and tropical mini fruit candy made by PapaBubble in Mexico along with these beautiful gold and silver pineapple candles from H&M Home. Saturday night I had our wedding logo printed on chocolates along with our donkey emblem engraved on tequila bottles sent to each room [for a sweet nightcap!]”

Belathee Photography

Belathee Photography

On Friday evening, guests gathered for a pineapple-themed rehearsal dinner on the beach, to play into the tropical surroundings and enjoy dinner and entertainment with the sounds of the waves crashing as a backdrop—until Ross took the stage and serenaded his future wife which a personal, surprise song he wrote for her in the months leading up to the wedding. Ross wasn’t the only entertainment for the evening, though; the night started with a live Cuban band and wrapped up with a special fire performance from some of the world’s best jugglers—a hint at the otherworldly entertainment guests were likely to experience at the couple’s reception the following evening.

Belathee Photography

Belathee Photography

Belathee Photography

Everyone, including the bride and groom, wore white. Shoes were optional. Amirah donned a custom crop top and full skirt from family friend and designer, RMINE, along with Dylanlex jewelry paired with not one, but two Wilhelm flower crowns. In contrast, tables were decked in colorful pineapples with gold leaf tops, peppering the table with pops of hot pink, turquoise, yellow, lime green, royal purple and more. Palm leaf chargers were placed at each place setting, and real miniature pineapples served as place cards on the long, family-style tables.

Gold palm leaves and gold pineapples surrounded the area along the beach, creating an intimate enclave for the bride, groom and their guests. Guests dined on guacamole and chose from an array of grilling stations with fresh seafood, tacos and local fare for dinner. The bride, always focused on sweets, worked with the pastry chef of the resort on a series of dessert bites, like pineapple-shaped tres leches gold cakeballs; sprinkled, chocolate-dipped mini frozen bananas; and Mezcal and tequila sorbet served in lime shells.

Belathee Photography

Belathee Photography

The following day, after a night of fire dancers, dancing, singing and s’mores on the beach, the couple got ready with their respective bridal parties for the ceremony. Getting ready was a family affair: “Armine, the designer behind RMINE, is a long time family friend whose daughter was also my maid of honor,” said Amirah. “Since the day I met her about 10 years ago, I fell in love with not just her personality, style and talent– but also her process. As a bride you have to make lots of decisions, but RMINE was a no-brainer for me. I enjoyed the process of designing everything from scratch [with her], choosing fabrics, shapes and colors. I ended up having her make four custom outfits: my two-piece rehearsal dinner look, my wedding gown and veil, an after party dress and a two-piece look for my post-wedding brunch. She also created custom evening gowns for my bridesmaids, and even re-created my ceremony on a Barbie as a memorable gift!”

The bride’s close friend, pro hair stylist and makeup artist Jakob Sherwood, did her hair and makeup (as well as styling for the key players in the wedding) for the wedding weekend. “He is one of my best friends and the magic behind my curls for the past 8 years,” revealed Amirah. “His energy is calm and happy, I couldn’t think of anyone else to help me get ready during our special week!”

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Accessories by Jennifer Behr (left); Tabitha Simmons shoes (right). Belathee Photography

The bride, admittedly, almost skipped out on having bridesmaids altogether. “I haven’t seen many bridesmaids dresses I liked, but then I decided they don’t need matching ‘bridesmaids’ dresses—they can wear evening gowns! RMINE made the dream come true and I chose a floral lace in different colors and had Armine meet the girls and design a bodice to suit to each girl’s liking. Their gowns ended up being one of my favorite details of the wedding.”

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Amirah and Ross exchanged vows under a wide, slopping tree dripping with hot pink bougainvillea. “Both of us fell in love with those trees from our first visit,” explained Amirah. “They connect right where the beach sand meets the grass, so we thought it was the most beautiful, natural setting for the guests to watch the sun set during our ceremony.” Guests were seated in the round on white benches decked with colorful otomi pillows, facing the ocean as Amirah and Ross recited their vows.

Belathee Photography

Belathee Photography

Belathee Photography

After the two were pronounced husband and wife, a mariachi procession lead guests to the reception in the hotel’s motor lobby. Yes, that’s a fancy word for driveway. “Ross and I wanted an old colonial Mexican feel to the actual reception, without losing the perks of a beach-y, tropical weekend. We first fell in love with the St. Regis in Punta Mita for its tropical environment and authentic food, but we didn’t want a traditional beach ceremony. On our way out to dinner one night, Ross took a good look at the driveway and pointed out that it had the hacienda vibe we were looking for…I saw the whole night come together in those five minutes,” recalled the bride.

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Amirah and Ross focused on a “rustic Mexican” color palette of deep orange, vibrant yellows, deep reds and lots of blue and white for their wedding ceremony. The reception focused more on autumnal tones, with a mixture of terracotta pots, Mexican candles, bowls of limes mixed with local flowers and cacti adorning the tables. “I wanted it to feel like Frida Khalo—as a centerpiece,” explained Amirah, who had the custom dinner plates hand painted with three different patterns to achieve the feel of authentic talavera plates. Table numbers were talavera house tiles and tequila bottles, and guests found their seats by finding their name and table number on the rim of hand-blown shot glasses of tequila.

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Guests enjoyed a three-course seated dinner, followed by the most epic dessert display created by the couple in collaboration with Chef Manuel Peruyero of the St. Regis. “The cake moment was a real ‘moment,'” explained Amirah. As someone who’d designed many wedding cakes in her day, creating her own required ample use of her industry intel—and the utmost in creativity. “Something people don’t always know [about weddings] is that although the bride and groom cut a beautiful cake, what actually gets served is a sheet cake precut in the kitchen. As a cake person myself, I think each slice is as important visually as the cake itself, so I worked closely with the pastry team at the St. Regis to create mini colorful wedding cakes—110 wedding cakes to be exact!—plus our larger cake. We turned the hotel lobby into a cake room and had all the cakes displayed in the middle of the room that was revealed when we cut into our cake, so all of our guests could walk in and grab their very own mini cake.

Belathee Photography

Belathee Photography

Naturally, dessert didn’t stop at cake; the couple also had a churro cart making fresh churros for guests to enjoy as well. The couple hit the dance floor for the first time as a married couple to Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud,” which very quickly transitioned into Pharell’s “Happy” to welcome their guests on to the floor. Then, the performances began: “Hector Tirado Musicales put on the best show you can ever imagine! They had about 16 people on stage and about 20 outfit changes,” remembered Amirah. Rather than your standard wedding band, this was more of a spectacular-meets-music festival. Props, favors, confetti canons and giveaways for every other song made the mood lighthearted, over the top, and non-stop fun.

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The most incredible performances at the reception lead to an after party that lasted until 5am; or at least that’s when Amirah and Ross made their exit. “We continued the party in a silver metallic room with a DJ and a colorful photo booth,” said Amirah. As bakers do, the couple made sure to supply their guests with all the late night snacks they’d need to stick around and enjoy the party, from metallic macaroons and brownies to savory bites, like mini burgers and empanadas.

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Dancing until dawn with all the junk food you can imagine decked in party favors? Best Wedding Ever. After their epic celebrations, Ross surprised Amirah with a surprise honeymoon to Morocco. “We are in the process of opening up a bakery together so we weren’t sure we would have time to go on a honeymoon, but two days before we left, Ross surprised me with the trip! We started in Marrakech, followed by a trip to the Atlas Mountains and ending in the desert.”

The. End.

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