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Citrus-Infused Guatemala Wedding

Captured by Stacy Able, this Guatemala wedding is chock-full of color and whimsy, with pretty little details everywhere you look (read: citrus chandeliers!) The day was planned by I Do, Guatemala who pulled off the Bride’s vision by ending the evening with late-night tacos and a paper lantern send-off. And as for the gallery? Well, it’s a total must.

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Hotel
Styles
Whimsical

From The Bride…As soon as we got engaged, I knew exactly where I wanted to have our wedding. We had visited Lake Atitlan in Guatemala the prior year and I had fallen head over heels for the land. I’ve always had an affinity for anything tropical, especially banana leaves, bright florals, and all things citrus. The thought of having a wedding with a blue lake and volcano back drop, amongst giant palms, green foliage, and every bright flower imaginable just seemed dreamy to me.

The gardens and grounds of Hotel Atitlan were perfect – they even had butterflies, parrots, and peacocks roaming around. Our wedding was a destination for all 50 of our guests, half coming from the US and half coming from Europe, and we wanted to show them all the special parts of Lake Atitlan that we fell in love with. The more I experienced Guatemala throughout our trips, the more I admired their details and local native craftsmanship. I had fun creating the welcome bags for our guests and was excited at the thought that this would be their first impression and glimpse of Guatemala and the wedding weekend. On one of our planning trips we visited the town of Santa Catarina Palopó and picked a beautiful selection of hand woven, brightly patterned textiles made by the local women. Back home, my mom cut and sewed these textiles into tote bags with handles. We filled the bags with some of our favorite products of Guatemala – locally made bottles of spicy green hot sauce, a bag of Guatemalan coffee beans, and a bottle of the countries Ron Zacapa rum – in addition to a “Just in Case” emergency kit and some snacks and treats.

Our wedding day scene was filled with overwhelming plants and flowers everywhere you looked, cobblestone paths leading to each tucked away area for the ceremony and reception, Spanish style architecture in the background, and a picturesque view of the lake and volcanoes. My love for oranges and citrus worked perfectly in this setting and created a consistent theme throughout the wedding day decor. During the ceremony we offered chilled bottles of orange and lemon San Pellegrino drinks with pink striped straws. A simple floral arch of pink and white flowers and green leaves framed the view of the lake while guests looked on. For our reception dinner, we planned it at sundown so our guests could enjoy the sunset; they sat at one long rustic wood table along the lake.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always envisioned a single long table for my wedding dinner as I always wanted it to feel more like a large and cheerful dinner party then anything else. White linen table runners ran down the center of the tables with white chiavari chairs lining either side. Different shades of pink roses, white lisianthus and green hydrangeas filled glass vases and bottles with lit candles placed in between. The details were important to me, even down to the salt and pepper dishes. I like simple and clean but still soft and pretty.

As I mentioned before, I also love anything citrus and I think this setting called for citrus all day long! Each place setting had a clean, crisp folded white napkin with printed menu cards tucked inside. As a name place card, we set vibrant, large oranges with green leafy stems at each seat – and nametags tied on with twine. My favorite and most anticipated of the details were the citrus chandeliers hanging over the table. Multiple circular chandeliers made of oranges and leafy greens with candles hung from long vines within the tent. These were the focal point of the tables, the feature that helped create a certain tropical-naturally beautiful-whimsical vibe to the setting; a setting which I wanted to be less formal and more pretty and fun.

With my husband being European, an after dinner espresso was a must and this was one of his few requests. We asked the owner from our favorite local café, a young and cool South Korean coffee lover, to set up an espresso and coffee bar, which was not only satisfying and delicious but entertaining too! Guests drank hand-dripped coffee out of brightly colored mini ceramic mugs that fit in with the décor perfectly.

We also had a French hipster DJ named Olivier keeping the music and dancing going throughout the night. It was a worldly and eclectic group of not only guests but vendors as well! We ended the night with a firework show that left an excited and awe-inspiring feeling for all who experienced it. Late night, we chowed down on what we’ve collectively agreed were “the best tacos ever” and sent off large paper lanterns into the night sky over the lake. This was the sign off to a beautiful and adventurous weekend in Guatemala for all our guests and us. Carlo and I felt so happy and fulfilled with our closest family and friends surrounding us in this beautiful place. It was simply perfect.

Photography: Stacy Able Photography | Wedding Planner: Diana | Wedding Gown: Jenny Packham | Brides Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J Crew | Grooms Attire: Dries Van Noten | Grooms Shoes: Paul Smith | Coffee Station: Cafe Loco | Headpiece: Untamed Petals | Invitation Suite: Lucky Penny Paperie | Wedding Gown Shop: Panache Bridals | Wedding Venue: Hotel Atitlan

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DIY Destination Wedding in Antigua, Guatemala at Las Capuchinas Templo

This wedding is pure magic. And I don’t say that lightly. Intimate and elegant, the images from Julie Comfort paint the picture of a wedding that played out like a dream. With the romantic Las Capuchinas Templo setting the scene and one seriously gorgeous couple tying the knot, this gallery is a destination dream come true. See even more here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer

From The Bride…My husband and I live to travel, taking every spare moment to explore and see a new place or part of the world. (He more than I, I must admit as his country count is over 90!) I had fallen in love with Guatemala and its raw beauty when I taught there a few years back and introduced its splendor and charm to Rishi just before we were engaged. (BTW, he popped the question on stage at the end of a concert of my absolute favorite singer in the world…Anthony Hamilton …a surprise is an understatement and it was a dream to say the least!) If I were asked to describe Antigua in one word, it would be “Magical”…

When we were trying to decide where to get married, we pondered the simplicity of a small wedding in our home city, thought about cruises or all-inclusive type destination weddings, but nothing seemed to stick or excite us. It was not until Rishi simply suggested, “Why not Guatemala?”…and that was it. We immediately jumped on the idea that night without even putting much thought into it (well, 5 minutes worth) we sent an email out to our closest friends and family that night which sealed the deal. Rishi’s family lives in Trinidad and mine in Toronto…both families don’t travel often. It was important to us that we provide everyone with an “adventure” where friends and family would have time to grow true relationships and see a place they would not have otherwise.

I found the most gorgeous group of houses (6 in total…which we called “Melrose” because they surrounded a pool just like the show) which we rented for a week to accommodate our guests and family. It was cost friendly, allowed everyone to be close, and provided the perfect “get to know you” atmosphere. Each room was stocked with a welcome bag filled with goodies and necessities like a hangover kit (with emergency meds, earplugs, and an eye mask), snacks, sweets, personalized lip balm, water and more.

The days before the wedding were filled with events for guests to choose to participate in (or not). We had a meet and greet day filled with a hop-on/hop-off tour of the city, followed by a night around the pool with catered traditional Guatemala food, music, and drinks. After the rehearsal dinner we had a salsa night out with salsa lessons, music, drinks and fun.
The day of the wedding was just the icing on the cake to the whole week we got to enjoy with the closest people in our lives.

Our venues (being built over 300 years ago) matched our theme…magical. We loved the simplicity of both venues. I would not have called myself crafty before the wedding, but I kicked up my inner craftiness and became a DIY guru. I made (and discovered I loved making) a ton of personlized paper products and decor and we brought literally suitcases full of DIY to add to the decor.

The ceremony was held at San Jose el Viejo; a smaller, more intimate ruin, followed by a cocktail hour with our signature “Flirtini” drink and apps. The sound of thunder and heavy rain added a warm feel to this already magical venue. As part of the ceremony, we held a “Sand and Soil” ceremony. Rishi used sand from Trinidad where he grew up and I used soil from the backyard of my childhood home in Toronto. We exchanged personalized vows and our wedding bands made from aircraft titanium (adding a special meaning because of our travels) and sealed the deal with a smooch.

Shuttles whisked guests off to the reception held in the temple of Las Capuchinas where we had a Cuban band, Ignacio (he’s the grandson of one of the original members of the Buena Vista Social Club) playing for their entrance. By that point, everyone was relaxed, happy, ready to celebrate and enjoy a few drinks made by our flare bartenders. A delicious meal, followed by mini desserts, a candy station and s’mores were there to satisfy everyone’s sweet spot. The atmosphere was fun and full of joy and having guests come from all over (Canada, US, Trinidad, Guatemala, and as far as Scotland and Nigeria!) made for the best night and week of our lives.

Photography: Julie Comfort | Cinematography: Jonathan Yonkers | Videographer: Jonathan Yonkers | Wedding Cake: Cake Company | Ceremony Location: San Jose El Viejo | Reception Location: Las Capuchinas Templo | Engagement Ring: Tacori | Wedding Bands: Jon Pollack | Catering: Camino Real Antigua | Accomodations: Philippa Myers | Antigua Accommodations : Philippa Myers | Birdcage Veil: Melinda Rose Designs | Birdie Logo/Wedding Stamp: Paper Sushi | Bride's Dress: Pronovias | Ceremony Programs: HandStampOlogy | Event Design/Floral: Mario Ayala-Escencia | Event Design/Florals: Mario Ayala | Father of the Bride gift-Personalized Handkerchief: Inspired Stitches | Favors/Paper Product/DIY Decor: Handstampology | Hair flower worn at reception: Rainwater Studios | Hair/Makeup : Melissa Wood

Romantic Guatemala Wedding at San Jose El Viejo

If I’m being honest, Guatemala has never really been on my radar as a vacation destination.  But this beautiful wedding made me realize that, well… I’m basically crazy.  Because any locale as stunning as this is one I need to visit sooner, rather than later.  And tying the knot with my honey amongst the breathtaking backdrops and amazing ruins?  Even better.  See it all captured by Stacy Able right here.

And an amazing film from Katie Destry?  Yes, please.

Colors
Seasons
Winter

From the Bride… I knew that I wanted to have our wedding in San Jose el Viejo when Chris and I first drove by the ruins together. An event was going on there and it was so beautiful. After we got engaged we went for a site visit to reserve it. Addy’s Florales was there doing an event that day. We met Beatriz, the florist and decided to go with them after seeing their designs and creativity within the ruins. I wanted really simple and elegant colors to not distract from the beauty of the ruins. I chose cream and gold with accents of purple. Beatriz from Addy’s Florales and Maya from Hotel Antigua were both awesome with seeing the vision of simple elegance.

One of my favorite moments was my dad’s speech followed by our dance. Chris and I also both loved that Ignacio from Buena vista social club was able to play. We love his music and have enjoyed getting to know him and hear stories about Cuba and his past. He is so talented and we were really blessed to have him share in our day. I loved riding to the ceremony in Tuk Tuks. I think the bridesmaids loved it as well.

From Stacy Able Photography… When Kamille and Chris emailed me about shooting their wedding I was ecstatic. Being the adorable pair met in the Peace Corps in Guatemala, it was only fitting their wedding was to take place in Guatemala. Thankfully, with me shooting digital and Katie filming we were able to be a part of their celebration and were super excited.

Chris and Kamille’s wedding day was a mild 70-degree day with a few clouds hovering over the volcano which overlooks Antigua. The Porta Hotel near the San Jose el Viejo was the perfect backdrop for the bridesmaids and bride to get ready. A Tuk Tuk (mini Guatemalan taxi) ride away was the ceremony, where Chris and groomsman and guests were playing corn holl. After the I do’s, Katie and I had the bridal party and newlyweds stroll through the cobblestone 15th century streets for photos and such. Then, the sun set and it was time for the reception at the San Jose el Viejo which was elegantly lit with candles.

Believe me, this Destination wedding at San Jose el Viego in Antigua, Gutemala wedding was as awesome as it sounds! Chris and Kamille, it was so much fun and thank for putting up with Katie and I’s exuberance in photo/video taking. It was so wonderful getting to know you both and we look forward to seeing you guys again in the future.

Photographer: Stacy Able Photography | Videographer: Katie Destry | Floral Design: Beatriz With Addy's Florales | Wedding Gown: Maggie Sottero | Invitations: Minted | Ceremony Location: Jardín Doña María | Reception Venue: San Jose El Viejo | Bride's Shoes: Via Spiga | Catering: Hotel Antigua | Groom's Attire: Indochino | Bridal Shop: Wedding Treasures | Getting Ready Location: Hotel Antigua | Ice Cream: Sobremesa | Men's Suits: Jos A. Bank

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For membership information, click here