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Colombia Wedding by efeunodos fotografia

We thought we would start off the week by whisking away to Cartagena, Colombia to this whimsical wedding captured by efeunodos fotografia.  How does a week long getaway in a charming colonial city sound?  Top it all off with one deliciously detailed wedding, a raging carnival and all-night extravaganza.  Can it really get much better than that?  The full gallery is packed with more inspiration from this adorable couple and their destination nuptials!

Click here for more inspiration in the full wedding gallery!

From the moment we decided to get married, Kuba and I knew we wanted to have a small and intimate wedding with the word FUN written all over it. Kuba is Polish (he grew up in Poland and Botswana, Africa and went to boarding school in England) and I am half Colombian, half Ecuadorian (lived in both countries). We met in Canada in 2002 at university and had the opportunity to live in different Canadian cities. After several years living like gypsies, we settled down in Toronto and had our son Mateusz. This particular lifestyle has allowed us to meet many wonderful people from around the world. Our wedding list included people from 32 different countries and we invited only 75 people! From these 75 guests, 50 made it to our wedding (from 15 different countries).

We chose to get married in Cartagena, Colombia because it is one of the most romantic and charming cities in the world. We knew all our guests would fall in love with it the moment they got off the plane. Cartagena is a city which maintains and its colonial roots very much alive and is unbelievably breathtaking. Its Caribbean warmth and its imposing architecture make it a very special setting to the small, unique and intimate wedding we had in mind. Our guests started arriving one week before the big day and we felt really lucky to have a wedding that lasted longer than most weddings (that is how it felt!). We celebrated each night of the week in a different venue of the city and counted down the days to the big day with our family and friends.  Having everyone we love with us for a week was the best wedding gift we could ask for and made for a beautiful wedding experience.

We had our wedding at a 500 year old colonial mansion in the old city called “Casa Don Sancho”. The house has a gorgeous salon on the second floor where we held our civil ceremony and a stunning pool area on the main floor where we had our reception.  The house is full of history and has an air of colonial romanticism throughout the space. Kuba and I are fans of The Beatles and feel many of their songs represent our life together and our dreams and hopes for the future. For that reason, The Beatles were a salient element throughout the wedding. Our first song was “And I love Her”, our tables were named after Beatles songs and our altar had a banner that read: “Stand By Me”.  These personal touches made us feel like our wedding was really ours, like we were making ourselves felt in sublet and delicate ways in every aspect of the ceremony and the reception.

Our wedding was a small, intimate and fun. Our main priority was to have as many of our friends and family that day with us. We wanted everyone to feel welcome and feel how much we appreciated all the effort they made to be there. That is why we came up with the idea of welcoming them with goodie bags.  The day of the wedding, we welcomed the ladies with some adorable paper fans (in turquoise and pale pink) which we decorated ourselves with stamps (fish and our initials in each fan). We also crafted the flags for the ceremony ourselves and put them together a couple of days before the wedding as well as the big banners. I designed them myself even though I have no background whatsoever in graphic design… let’s just say it took a lot of trial and error (and a lot of sleepless nights) before I got the desired results! We made the letters for the altar (“Stand by Me”) with gorgeous crafting paper we found at Michael’s and stringed the letters to form a banner. We had some paper hearts and circles hanging from the small bench we used during the ceremony. We bought these hand-punched hearts in Etsy (seller: theCandyShoppe) and they are from a 1920’s world atlas. They symbolized our love for travel and our dream of traveling the world as a family. They were also a way to express our gratitude for having people come from all over the world to be with us that day. We also made the cards that went in the frames at each table. I got the frames custom made by a designer I met in a design fair in Colombia’s capital, Bogota. All these little D.I.Y. details added a little bit of a personal touch to the whole day.

Wedding Photography: efeunodos / Flowers: Gladys /Event Design: William Banea / Event Planning: Caribe Cordial / Wedding Venue: Casa Don Sancho – La Heroica / Invitations: D.I.Y / Shoes: Forever21 / Dress: Tailor-made / Music (DJ, violinist and carnival): Grupo Manhattan / Hair and Makeup: Diego Moya / Wedding Suit: Paul Smith

Colombia Wedding by Efeunodos Photography

If this is the way that people celebrate life, love and all things wedding in Colombia…beam me up Scotty. This wedding was actually submitted by the bride’s best friend, Valeria, whose adorable wedding we featured a few months back. And who, along with her husband Juan Felipe Rubio, happened to be the photographers behind these unbelievably lovely images. And they are so unbelievable lovely, I can hardly stand it. But before you dive in, remember that we have even more romantic, amazing, make-you-fall-in-love-all-over-again photographs right here.

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{click here to see the full wedding}

The couple’s names are Andrés Montoya and Natalia Molina, they have been dating for 11 years, they were high school sweethearts!! Andrés works for Noel, a candy company managing international affairs, and Natalia is a graphic designer with a Masters in fashion marketing. They got married in an old colonial house near El Retiro, a small town near Medellín (the second largest city in Colombia) called Fizebad.

The decor was focused on origami cranes that we made ourselves. Natalia, Andrés and myself worked for months on them, making them all sizes and colors. Natalia has always been great at making origami animals (as teenagers she used to send me messages with the paper folded as a frog or a pig). We also loved the Japanese tradition of making 1000 paper cranes before the wedding meant to signify as much love, patience and tolerance as a marriage requires. We thought that was beautiful.

We also used lots of white lighting, so there were christmas lights tangled all over the place. For centerpieces, Natalia ordered the Ikea serving platters and in them she placed cupcakes made of different flavors: lemon, chocolate, strawberry, coffee (we are in Colombia after all) made by a local Medellín bakery called Como Pez en el agua.

Natalia also made the bouquet She bought the roses from one of the many exporters in our country and assembled it herself the day of the wedding. The bottoniers were comissioned by me as a surprise and were made by Paulina Valencia from Maria Fermina Accesorios who found a way to treat fabric in order to be able to fold it like origami.

The dress was designed by Natalia and a local tailor made it for her. The headpiece by made by local designer Carolina Malabet Tocados ( she has no website, you can see some of her works on my flickr) whom you can contact here. The shoes were custom made for Natalia by Tamara Bazdys also a local designer.

Perfect Wedding in Colombia, II

The bad news about today’s first featured affair is that it took place in Colombia, utilizing some of the best local vendors…which of course means that it might be hard to replicate the wedding. The good news is that many of the ideas are completely steal-able and could be done in just about any setting.

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Here are a few details from the AMAZING photographers behind the day, Valeria and Juan

The bride and groom are really good friends of ours, Carlos and Laura, both industrial designers. All of the decorations were handmade by the beautiful bride Laura: the center pieces, the flowers around the altar, the sugar mushrooms in the center pieces, the bouquet…you name it, all was carefully planned and designed by her. The beautiful groom prepared the candle sign in cursive type that you see on the pics as a surprise for Laura who was absolutely thrilled.

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The food was a Thai Stir fry, amazing, because once you picked your vegetables you went to a place where there were 4 cheffs each of them with 4 woks and they prepared your dinner with the exact ingredients you wanted: rice or pasta, curry and orange, pepper or tamarindo (a local fruit) sauce, peanuts or sesame. The wedding was catered by Banquetes Santa Mónica. The picture with the chalk board shows how the serving of the food was explained to the guests.

Don’t you agree that there is just something special about this affair? It’s thoughtful, it’s beautiful…and yet it seems so effortless. So lovely in it’s simplicity and style. Thank you so much to Valeria and Juan for introducing me to your work. I can’t wait to see more weddings from you!