We love engagement parties, and so does Carla Duell. She works as a Concierge with Agave Villas Mexico, a local villa rental agency in Puerto Vallarta. If you are looking to plan out your perfect engagement party, you’ll appreciate her story!
As a local concierge in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, I undoubtedly have an interesting and fulfilling job. I work for a private luxury villa rental company that offers full staff in every villa. Guests are accustomed to having someone cook and clean for them while vacationing but they don’t always seem to understand what role I play as a concierge. I begin communicating with them about 2 months prior to their arrival and that’s where it all begins.
What is a concierge, you may ask? In my words a concierge is like the “destinational” best friend that you didn’t know you had! I know, “destinational” isn’t a real word….but I’m going to use it anyway!
You know, the kind of friend that makes sure you get to and from the airport. The kind of friend that you can call at 3am to ask for guidance, sober or not. The kind of friend that will recommend the best that they have to offer. The kind of friend that will share whatever experience they have to help guide your decisions. The kind of friend that considers your situation to the fullest and offers anything they can to make you more comfortable. Ok, I’ll stop there before my eyes flood.
This brings me to one of my more memorable and touching experiences that I have had the pleasure of being a part of. The surprise marriage proposal of Alex to Jayde. I remember the day my bosses told me that they had assigned me this reservation, they said they think I would really enjoy it. They were right.
I reached out to Alex via email and sent him our general villa information and then we got the ball rolling for an unforgettable experience. He explained his plans to me and gave me a general direction through a series of questions and chatting. He swore he would deny that he involved Pinterest in the planning and that joke bonded me to him quite a bit.
We were able to have friendly emails with humor included and a lot of healthy feedback. Concierge could be viewed like a sporting event at times. My job is to keep everyone moving together, from the villa staff and outside services to the guests. Coordinate all hands on deck and be ready to flex at any point. Sometimes I swear I need to wear a cape. It is all beyond worth it when I see my guests pull up to the villa screaming like they had just won a gameshow. Or the arrival day they look excited but a little road weary and then the next time I see them they look like a million pounds fell from their shoulders and their imaginary hair is waving in the wind like a supermodel. I love it so much! A lot of hugs usually get shared between the guests and their new Vallarta friends. Sometimes I cry at the door with the cooks as the guests drive off. It’s all marvelous. It’s great to be an unofficial ambassador of this beautiful paradise called Puerto Vallarta.
Preparing the surprise
Now, getting to the good part! Alex and Jayde arrived with 4 other friends and instantly fell in love with the place. They had a few days before what was to be Alex’s birthday and also the day of the big question. Seemed like a normal awesome vacation to Jayde and she was thrilled to be in one of her favorite countries. Meanwhile everyone else had known for around 6 months! I don’t know how they played it cool, but I suspect the excitement of being in paradise made it easier. When they first arrived I wanted to jump up and down because I had already felt such a bond to them, especially Alex and Jayde…….but thankfully I’m a real good amateur actress?!!!
The plan was that they had a photo shoot down at the beach for sunset, supposedly a gift from a best friend. While they were out, the cooks and I ran like sweaty race ants and changed the scene at the villa. Lots of flower petals and candles in the shape of a huge heart that they had to walk through led to a simply decorated romantic palapa in the jungle. Knowing that Jayde loved all things Mexico I tried to incorporate souvenirs in the decoration of the palapa so she could easily take them home with her to enjoy forever. So I put 2 little felted Mexican hearts on each paper globe. Alex and I also had a custom painted vase made with their names painted on it ahead of time for them to take home. Lots of bubble wrap and tape were left in their closet, don’t worry.
Jayde was truly speechless and she felt the love for sure. Alex was thinking he had just got the best birthday present ever, the confirmation to live out his life with his lovely lady. Yep, it was a total tear jerker. The evening ended with them all being whisked off to dinner at a gorgeous restaurant in the heart of Vallarta and then celebrating back at the villa around the pool terrace. When they left for dinner, the cooks and I rearranged for late night celebrations and decorated the master suite, of course!
Obviously I could share more stories about the preparations and little “equivocas” that we overcame or the friends waiting at the villa all excited for the couple to return for the big event. The icing on the cake is that there was an excellent photographer there to capture those moments that are just a bit more precious and anticipated than daily life. I would like to give a big thank you out to Julien Leveau and his Studio Manager Guillaume for great communication through the whole event from initial planning through to the final and beautiful finished product. These photos will be a treasured memento for generations. Congratulations also to Jayde and Alex, we all wish you the best.
Who’s ready to be the next fairytale?! On behalf of myself and my great team at Agave Villas Mexico, we welcome you the chance.
Organizing an engagement of your own?
Drop us a line
Concierge at Agave Villas Mexico
Photos by Julien Leveau.
Photo session on the beach, before the proposal
The actual proposal