By Rob Smentek
While no one would argue that the woodland landscapes and pristine lakes of New Hampshire are among the most beautiful in the country, when it comes to throwing a winter wedding, one might favor a place with a bit more sun and warmth than New England.
At least that was the thinking of newlywed couple, Mike and Jenna Campbell, when they planned their January 25 wedding.
“Frankly, the weather in the Northeast is lousy at this time of year,” confesses Mike, the owner and CEO of Grace Limousine in Manchester, N.H. “We definitely wanted to have our wedding someplace a little sunnier.”
As such, the couple planned a beachfront ceremony at Riviera Maya in Mexico, where an intimate group of 43 guests made the trek to witness their special day. The opulent locale provided a fitting backdrop to the couple’s two-year romance. In fact, Mike knew almost immediately that he’d marry Jenna.
“I knew right away that she was the girl for me. On our second date, I was already making plans to propose. I just knew,” he admits.
Held at an all-inclusive resort just south of Cancun, the destination wedding allowed Jenna and Mike’s friends and family to mingle and relax for a better part of the week in tropical surroundings.
“We had everyone come down on Wednesday, and planned events for the group, including an ocean cruise on a private yacht. We took extra care to make sure that the venue was perfect because I know how demanding about service my friends in the limo industry can be,” laughs Mike.
He needn’t have worried; the accommodations and activities were spectacular, and the couple’s friends, families, and industry pals all got along like old mates, even though many had never met before.
“We had 16 people from the industry attend. It was great because it was really the first time that my “real” family got to meet my “limo” family. My friends and family know what I do, and know that I travel to shows and events frequently, but they never get to see that side of my life. It was nice having them all together and to see them eat, drink, dance, and sing like they’d been close forever,” says Mike.
It was similar to the manner in which Jenna was accepted into the luxury ground transportation world. She became a familiar face at industry events, and soon was part of the group. Mike says that as a social person, Jenna loves that aspect of the industry and fit right in with his professional colleagues.
Among the chauffeured ground transportation operators in attendance were Mo Garkani of The COTS Group, Evan and Vanessa Blanchette of VIP Global, Matt Assolin and Xochitl Huerta of Nikko’s Worldwide, Jorge and Rocio Sanchez of Hermes Worldwide, Melissa Woodruff of Majestic Limo, and Dana Slaybe of Destination MCO. But it was a somewhat conspicuous collective that included Sami and Simo Elotmani of Destination MCO, Scott Woodruff of Majestic Limo, AJ Thurber of Grech Motors, Matthew Strack of Strack Transportation, and Chuck Sutton of Sutton Luxury Limousine all making a splash. They all chose to wear matching beach shirts adorned with sperm whales, which captured not only the environment but also the unity of the industry.
“It was the brainchild of Melissa Woodruff,” says Strack. “She mentioned that she saw these great beach shirts and that we should get a group together to wear them. She drew parallel that sperm whales had one of the most stable populations on earth and that Mike was a stable man himself. Plus, the beach scene also fit the atmosphere of the beach wedding. We all obliged thinking it would be fun.”
However, Mike and Jenna have another person in their life who intersects both “families”: Kristen Carroll of The LMC Group. As she’s been friends with Mike since high school, there was “never a doubt” that Kristen would be a key part of the wedding, and so the couple asked her to officiate the ceremony on the beach.
“I was delighted to be there with them and sharing in their life-changing occasion,” says Carroll. “I had the honor of having a ringside seat to their relationship, and from the beginning of their time together, they invested in building a solid foundation to their partnership. It has been a joy to watch them grow together, and fall more and more in love every day.” [CD0319]