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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.

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: Ryan Seacrest Distinction | Catering: Hotel Antigua | Groom's Attire: Indochino | Men's Suits: Jos. A. Bank | Bridal Shop: Wedding Treasures | Getting Ready Location: Hotel Antigua | Ice Cream: Sobremesa

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Guatemalan Wedding at San Jose El Viejo by davina + daniel

This picturesque wedding at San Jose El Viejo is no photo shoot: it only looks that way because the bride and groom are both wedding photographers, and SMP junkies! Don’t worry, they didn’t attempt to photograph their own wedding. Davina + Daniel shot every antique lantern, glass globe, and sepia stained stucco wall with perfection as the couple married and partied among Spanish Colonial ruins. You simply must see the breathtaking sunset setting and the bride’s almond tinged Amsale gown in the full gallery!

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From the Bride… Lionel and I are wedding photographers, so naturally, an incredibly picturesque location was a high priority. We found our “holy grail” in Antigua, Guatemala – a Spanish colonial town filled with brightly painted buildings, cobblestone streets, remarkable ruins, and surrounded by volcanoes. 41 guests joined us for the charm, beauty, adventure, love and laughter that was our wedding week. My family is from California and Lionel’s is from Maryland. It was important to us that our loved ones connect and get to know each other. To that end, we organized “The Amazing Race: Antigua” and sent them to our favorite spots in town to complete tasks. They salsa danced, made chocolate bars, tasted strange ice cream flavors, learned a Spanish phrase and negotiated in the market. The race ended at our welcome reception where everyone bonded over stories of their adventures.  It really set the tone for a fun-filled and relaxed time together. Over the remaining days, we enjoyed first class cuisine (truly!), a volcano hike, live Cuban music, lots of shopping and walking.

Our wedding ceremony, set in the garden of an old ruined convent, was both breathtaking and meaningful. Afterwards, guests rode a chicken bus (brightly painted school bus) to the ruins of an old church where we celebrated the night away. I am a big Style Me Pretty follower and a DIY girl, but I had to settle on just a few items to bring and a limited number of craft projects. It was difficult to hand over the reins to a local, but with a destination wedding, I knew I had to. I sent the decorator screenshots from Style Me Pretty to give him a sense of what I wanted — neutral colors (peach, gray, cream, tans, and browns), lots of wood, burlap, rustic elements, vintage items, a hand-crafted look that wasn’t too perfect or matchy. He was brilliant — I was blown away by the results!  Everything was even better than I had imagined.

One of our most frequently asked questions was, “Who is going to photograph your wedding?!” We found Davina + Daniel on Style Me Pretty, and we are over the moon about our choice. Not only did they rock our portraits – extraordinary pieces of art! – but they also captured the most precious and outrageous moments in a way that brought us to tears and then had us laughing out loud. They managed to create the perfect blend of arty and meaningful imagery that takes us right back to our beautiful day and beyond. To top it off, our families adopted them, they provided invaluable advice and support, and they even completed one of my craft projects for me! Truly outstanding human beings. We could not have imagined or asked for more.

Wedding Photography: davina + daniel / Ceremony: El Convento de las Capuchinas in Antigua, Guatemala / Reception: San Jose El Viejo in Antigua, Guatemala / Floral Design + Decor: Mario Ayala of Escenica / Wedding Planning: Diana Sciarrillo of I Do, Guatemala / Catering: El Convento Boutique Hotel / Gelato Bar: Primo de Roma / Wedding Cake + Camera Cake Pops: Granny Gail / Wedding Dress: Amsale “Dahlia” via Hitched Salon / Bride’s Shoes: Matiko + DIY Ribbon / Bride’s Earrings: Kanupriya Jewelry via Sassanova / Bride’s Bracelet: DIY by Her Mother / Groom’s Custom Suit: Indochino / Groom’s Shoes: To Boot New York / Groom’s Tie: Wood Thumb / Antigua Accomodations: El Convento Boutique Hotel + Casa Capuchinas / Lake Atitlan (Post-Wedding) Accomodation: La Casa Colibri

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Antigua, Guatemala Wedding by Corbin Gurkin

What afternoon would be complete without a total fairy tale shot by the fabulous Corbin Gurkin? These Antigua nuptials are the definition of dream wedding where 17th century ruins played backdrop and the coolest Guatemalan traditions were lovingly woven into this destination affair. Talk about one heck of a gorgeous city. See all the dreamy details in the gallery.

see the rest of this destination beauty here!

James and I love to travel. He proposed to me in Eze, a little medieval village on the French Rivera. So we knew we wanted a destination wedding. We were also working with a limited budget and although we wanted a small intimate group, we still wanted the location to be close enough that flight times or costs would not inhibit our guests. We also wanted it to be a place that would be a real change, an adventure to a place our friends and family might not otherwise venture. Our search first began with Mexico but the places were either too expensive or americanized. Then it was Nicaragua. However, the logistics proved a little too daunting and the options were very limited. Finally, while randomly surfing the Internet I stumbled upon the UNSECO World Heritage Site of Antigua Guatemala. The exquisite Spanish colonial architecture of this little town nestled in a beautiful valley beneath three volcanoes took my breath away. The next thing you know we had booked our trip for, of all times, Semana Santa (Easter/holy week).

James and I spent the week enjoying the festival and the city. The colorful alfombras that each house lovingly creates for the procession are something to be seen at least once in your life (we had one created at the entrance of our reception). In a few short days we met many friends who have been close to us ever since. One very special friend, Anne Thornton, threw our rehearsal dinner for us at her wonderful home in Antigua. We spent the summer before our wedding there planning, studying Spanish, and making even more friends. It has become our second home. We can not wait to go back for our first anniversary.

Photography: Corbin Gurkin Photography / Venue: Casa Blancas and San Jose El Viejo / Wedding Planner: Catherine Doctor / Florals: Edgar Chay / Caterer: Hotel Grand Tikal Futura / Welcome Package: D.I.Y by the bride

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