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“I started planning my wedding the first time I saw a Disney movie,” laughs Alex Powers. Six years after she started dating Jordan Thompson, she had the opportunity to make her dreams reality. Having studied broadcast journalism at University of Southern California – where the couple both played water polo – Alex thought she was doing an alumni feature for the student-run news show at her old high school.

She did an interview, and then the students called to say they loved the piece so much that they wanted her to present it live at the desk. The interviewer asked about her family – who suddenly appeared – and her boyfriend, who also made a surprise entrance. In shock, she screamed, “No!” when he pulled out the yellow-diamond engagement ring, but naturally said yes when the question was asked. “Next thing I knew, I was walking out with a new left-hand accessory and a whole new life chapter just waiting ahead!” the bride explains.

With exactly a year and a half until the big day, choosing a planner was an easy choice for Alex. “I have been a Mindy fan for years and knew there was no other option,” she says of the decision to hire Mindy Weiss Party Consultants. The expert planner even appeared on the bridal fitness blog Alex created, “I Can, I Will, I Do!”

Selecting a venue also did not prove difficult. The bride and groom had always loved Cabo San Lucas – particularly their vacation home in the locale. Even though they were yet to be engaged, “when we sold it, we had the new owner write it in the contract that we could get married there,” divulges Alex. “It’s truly my favorite place in the whole entire world and walking down the aisle felt like I was right back at home.”

The processional was over the pool, a nod to the bride and groom meeting during their water polo days. To honor Jordan’s heritage, the ceremony featured Greek traditions. Otherwise, the day was focused on being as unique as the couple it celebrated. The uncle of the bride officiated, and in addition to the sweet-but-pun-filled vows, the lovebirds also read the lyrics to “Your Song” by Elton John.

Following cocktail hour, the newlyweds truly made a grand entrance. “Alex and I skipped, bounded, and twirled into the reception through a tunnel of sparklers to the tune of ‘Be Our Guest’ [from Beauty and the Beast]” reveals Jordan. Their planner Mindy Weiss surprised the newlyweds with pyrotechnics as the two prepared for their first dance – a playful, choreographed performance to “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede.

To get into full party mode, the bride was able to unbutton the skirt of her A-line gown, transforming it into a chic high-low ensemble. In order to keep the focus on dancing, the only cake was a small design made exclusively for cutting, and a wall of donuts provided guests a dessert to have on the go. Dancing was such a priority that the couple completely forgot to do a bouquet and garter toss.

Above all else, the most important thing to the bride and groom was staying present and enjoying the moment. “Don’t waste a second on something that goes wrong – you only have a day,” advises Alex. After all, there is always time to reflect when the night is over. Remembers Jordan, “Following the after-party, our dog Balu was brought to the venue and I was able to sit back next to the crashing waves and recap the highlights of the day with my new wife while our dog frolicked in the sand.”