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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

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Colorful Costa Rica Beach Elopement

This adorable duo is out to prove that a wedding for two can be every bit as stylish as a full-blown soiree. They traveled to the beaches of Costa Rica with Chloe Murdoch in tow, and the result is one of the coolest tropical elopements we’ve ever come across. Pretty lovers unite in the gallery right here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Beach
Styles
Whimsical

From Chloe Murdoch Photography… The Bride Erika and Groom Giedrius (both from Lithuania) eloped to Costa Rica and wanted to have a wedding that really reflected the style of weddings they had seen on many of SMP’s posts!

Erika wanted to have her wedding and photos feel “natural, cozy, artistic, bohemian and a little bit vintage” and I really worked with her to make that a reality. My husband and I helped her do everything from floral design, and prop coordination to the officiant and selection of venue location. It was really a one stop deal for them and was truly a blessing to be a part of making their elopement dreams a reality.

Photography: Chloe Murdoch Photography | Floral Design: Stylos Y Flores | Wedding Dress: Toma Accessories | Wedding Dress: Toma Accessories | Shoes : H&M | Venue: Tulemar Bungalows & Villas

Intimate Belize Wedding

Smaller, intimate weddings are always some of my favorites.  And when that intimate shindig happens to take place in the lovely little locale known as Belize, well… even better.  Because what could possibly be more romantic than tying the knot, toes in the sand style, with only your closest friends and family?  See every heartwarming moment captured by Alea Lovely in the full gallery.

Colors
Seasons
Winter
Settings
Beach Resort
Styles
Romantic

From the Bride… After knowing each other for over half of our lives, we decided it was the perfect time to make our relationship and commitment to one another official. With having our family on the West Coast, friends on the East Coast and others abroad, we knew that most of our guests would have to travel across the country one way or the other, so we wanted to make it worth their while to travel. I have a very large family and Kyle has a very small family, so we didn’t want to overshadow the day being about the two of us. We decided on an intimate destination wedding and a reception at home later to celebrate.

After flipping through the book “501 Must See Destinations” our eyes landed on the Blue Hole in Belize. We read that Belize hosted the largest coral reef in the Western Hemisphere (second in the world to Great Barrier Reef), it was English speaking, accepted US currency and was an easy flight. We decided to escape the snowy weather in February and head south to the warmer climate.

For our twenty-two guests, we rented a cluster of villas “family style” on the beach of Ambergris Caye and planned adventures of snorkeling, fishing, and sailing mixed with sipping on cocktails and relaxing on the beach. Once the morning of the wedding arrived, we were in full “vacay mode.”  We started with breakfast and delicious smoothies poolside while guests took in massages, manis and pedis. After taking a swim in the pool and sipping on the local Belikin Beer, the guys and gals parted ways to get ready for the main event.

Before getting my make-up done, Kyle smartly sent over a wedding gift to me knowing tears were inevitable. It was a gorgeous gold locket laser etched with a photo of me and my recently departed grandma with a lovely message inside (“She may be gone, but this special day, she walks down the aisle with you”) and the wedding date. It hung off of a vintage bow pin so that I was able to wear it on her dress. In addition, our friend, Vonnett, loaned her own grandmother’s diamond and sapphire wedding ring for my something borrowed, something old and something blue.

In return, I sent Kyle a gift of “something old, new, borrowed and blue” in a small leather chest. The something old was represented by notes scratched on binder paper that were saved from high school and attached to a bottle of Kyle’s favorite Balvenie scotch, aged 17 years, the same amount of time we had known each other. The something new was a tie clip stamped with the coordinates of the wedding venue in Belize, which was also secretly engraved on the inside of his wedding band. The something borrowed was probably the most special to Kyle. Being that both of our grandfathers and fathers served in the military, I “borrowed” each of their dog tags. The something blue was a blue silk-screened tie with Kyle’s favorite B-17 bomber printed on it.

Since we weren’t having an official wedding party, Kyle gave the guys Beers Not Bombs “Wingman” bottle openers which were made from reclaimed copper from nuclear wiring. This was symbolic to us since we met in high school and our mascot was the “Bombers”, named for the nearby Hanford nuclear plant that helped create the WW2 atomic bombs and where Kyle’s dad is was an engineer. Also, the proceeds went to Doctors Without Borders and nuclear cleanup. For the ladies, I thanked them for coming to help me “tie the knot” with sterling silver love knot earrings from Cate & Chloe.

Once I slipped into my Candy blush Monique Lhuillier gown and Vonnett placed on my veil, we were ready to roll. The ladies walked on the beach together a quarter mile to the wedding venue where Kyle and the guys were waiting. Before walking down the aisle, I was escorted by my mom and sister to have a “first look” with my dad and brother. After many tears and hugs, my brother walked my sister and mom to their seats before I walked hand in hand with my dad to meet Kyle. We were married by our good friend, Denis, who hosted a perfect ceremony of love, symbolism and full-heartedness.

After the ceremony, we enjoyed a cocktail hour with delicious appetizers, a bar stocked with rum drinks and Belikin Beer while listening to the Cuban guitarist jam on. Sitting on the beach we dined on snapper, rib-eye and seafood stew for dinner followed by bananas foster and key lime pie for dessert. Both of our dads and brothers gave “unscripted” toasts that we followed up with music and some dancing. As everyone has told us, the day went by too quickly, but we took every moment in as much as we could, we thankfully have wonderful photos and video to help us remember and reflect.

Photography: Alea Lovely | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Accommodations : La Perla Del Caribe | Ceremony/ Reception Venue: Portofino Beach Resort | Earrings: Swarovski | Head Piece: Twigs And Honey

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