One of my favorite, favorite things about spending my days with gorgeous weddings is that no matter where I’m sitting, what I’m wearing, or who I am listening to, I can instantly be transported into a romantic fairy tale wedding, wearing a stunning gown, and listening to a bride & groom make promises for forever. And when the wedding is as phenomenal as this, planned and designed by DM Events Planning and Design, and captured magically by Carols Andres Varela Photography, it’s easy. So don your imaginary formal wear, pick up your imaginary champagne and toast this very real couple in the gallery with me!
Michael and I first met six years ago. I was working in the music industry and Michael and his partner had a music label with offices in the Woolworth Building in NYC. Michael sublet excess office space to the company I worked for and he and I met shortly thereafter; thus setting off a close to six-year pursuit that, according to Michael “culminated in victory”. Over those six years, despite having been in and out of each other’s lives, Michael and I became very special friends and ultimately best friends. Then, in February 2009, after having been asked many, many, many times I finally succumbed (or as Michael likes to say “she hit her head”) to his charm and I agreed to be his girlfriend. We then got engaged in March 2011 and we decided almost immediately that, having been best friends for almost six years there was no need for a long engagement. And, we both can’t think of a better way to get through life than with your best friend. It’s a place where the loving feelings that we have can be nurtured and can flower and bloom. You see, when friends become lovers and then husbands and wives, the two is infinitely better than the one, to each other and to the world.
The Woolworth Building is a beautiful skyscraper that was once the tallest building in the world. It’s a New York City landmark and it’s also a personal landmark as it is the place where we met. Each time we see it we make sure to embrace and trade kisses. This beautiful building will forever hold a special place in our hearts not only because it’s where we met but also because it’s where we got engaged!
After getting engaged, we decided on not just one but two wedding celebrations! We were first married in Bogota on the 27th day of August. It was a grand celebration in a private club in the heart of Bogota. No, it was an event! We had mimes, jugglers, cirque du soleil type performers, a saxophonist, a bolero singer, a Latin band and a troupe of 30 performers in full Carnival de Barranquilla costumes. We had some of the musicians of the Bogota’s symphony play at the church ceremony in one of the most beautiful churches in Bogota. The wedding cake was probably 5 foot tall! It was quite a celebration – it was over the top fun and truly a memorable day. It was our dream!
For our New York celebration, we decided on the Trump Soho Hotel. We both really appreciate the modern yet warm style and the downtown chic of the Trump Soho so it was an easy decision for us. We worked with Dawn and Melina, the best planners in the city, to create a modern yet warm environment for our celebration. I love orchids because they are the national flower of my beautiful country and Michael and I love the color purple so that was our primary inspiration. To celebrate my Colombian heritage, we used purple orquids in tall clear cylinders filled with water. We surrounded them with white flowers and candles and beautiful place settings using metallic chargers and very modern purple champagne glasses.
We had a meaningful wedding blessing ceremony in front our family and friends. We also had a very special candle lighting ceremony that our family participated in because we wanted to signify that not only were two becoming one but also that we were now one larger family. Family is precious to us so we wanted to make sure we incorporated them into our ceremony.
In Bogota, Michael has a favorite story about how he was standing near the altar waiting for me to enter the church. He remembers how the very tall church doors that had been closed slowly started to open. I was driven to the church an old Model T automobile and, he apparently was able to see my car pull up and he was able to watch me get out. Not supposed to happen but glad it did! He vividly recalls the setting sun and how he was mesmerized by the reflective glow of sunlight all around me. He describes how he watched me “walk so gracefully to the church and WOW was that I was a vision of beauty”. Michael says that he felt his legs shake for a moment but then he stood up tall to greet me – his bride. He is also so grateful to share a very special moment with my father as he first gave Michael a warm embrace and then a firm handshake before he presented me, his only daughter to him. Michael says he felt like the luckiest man alive.
Having had a grand celebration in Bogota, the NY celebration was all about having fun. We wanted to have a really great party so we enlisted the services of an amazing DJ and a really great Latin band. We danced our first dance to “The Hustle” and then to salsa by Marc Anthony (Valio la Pena – It was worth it). It was fantastic; so much fun and everyone loved it. I know Michael didn’t appreciate the four weeks of dance lessons but we got the job done in great style! For Colombia I wore a sequined gown by Monique Lhuillier and for New York I wore a Jenny Packman gown with Jimmy Choo glitter shoes and Tejani accessories. My handsome husband sported a velvet blue tuxedo by Dolce & Gabbana and custom made velvet shoes. So much fun!
For New York, we gave fresh Colombian Coffee in a custom designed and personalized coffee bag that recited the grooms’ speech and that had our wedding photos from our Bogota wedding. It gave us an opportunity to share something authentic from Colombia while sharing bits of our Bogota wedding with the New York guests. The coffee bags were a big hit and we continue to get calls from friends asking how they can get more of that delicious Colombian Coffee. For the Bogota celebration, we gave Marie Belle exotic teas in beautiful tins. We wanted all our Bogota guests to enjoy a little bit of elegance from our favorite tea shop in New York City.
Event Design & Planning: DM Events Planning and Design / Photography: Carlos Andres Varela Photography / Venue: Trump SoHo / Flowers: Flora NY / Cake: Nine Cakes / DJ: DJ Kev Sakoda of Scratch Weddings / Jewelry & Accessories: Tejani / Stationery: Ceci New York / Gown: Jenny Packman / Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Groom’s Tuxedo: Dolce & Gabbana