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A Latin Affair
March 16, 2007

Today's inspiration board is for Marisa, who is getting married in what sounds like a fabulous affair. The wedding is going to be held in her parent's backyard garden under two oak trees (um...jealous!) and the reception will follow at this incredible restaurant in her area. Although the ceremony will be sweet in tradition and elegance, Marisa really wants the reception to be a time of celebration...a down right party. With that said, she wants to make sure that the two environments translate and that the overall wedding style moves fluidly from one portion to the next.

Here is what I have come up with for Marisa...


Top Row: Narcisco Rodriguez dress at Neiman Marcus, Tie featured on the Knot, Drinks on the Knot; Center Row: flowers by Ariella Chezar, earrings by Yen Jewelry, place setting on the Knot; Bottom Row: Cake by Maisie Fantaisie, Gown by Monique Lhuillier, Flowers by Ariella Chezar

There are a couple of things that Marisa pointed out to me that I should tell you before I begin...first, her color palette. She loves bright colors like mango, fuschia and lime green. With that said, she is struggling to find bridal party attire that will translate from a garden ceremony to a full out party afterward. Secondly, Marisa really wants to incorporate Hispanic/Latin cultural touches into the wedding. Thus, the main issues are in making sure that the focus is on family, culture and color while still maintaining a sense of style and chic sophistication.

Since Marisa already has the general feel for what she wants, I am just going to highlight some ideas that might add a little flair and style to the wedding and bring in that cohesiveness that she is looking for...

-I love the color palette...it's young, fresh and vibrant. However, I think that although bright colors are really hot right now, you need to bring the hue down a shade...rather than fuchsia, mango and lime green I would go with berry, mango, and apple green. Just by adding a touch of softness to a bold palette will give you that elegance factor that you are looking for. Plus, it makes it a bit easier to transition the look from day to night.

-The bridesmaid's dress on the top left is an insanely expensive Narcisco Rodriguez dress at Neiman Marcus. I put it up there because this is a classic silhouette that you could have a great seamstress replicate. That way, you can scour fabric stores for the exact shade and texture that you want, rather than fishing around and finally settling on something that you don't really love.

-Because the Mexican and Latin culture is extremely family focused, I think that it would be really neat to include your parents, grandparents and/or godparents into the ceremony in some way...a simple note printed in the programs in both Spanish and English would be lovely. A small gift, a brief letter of thanks that you read aloud, even just a moment to walk over to them and tell them you love them, would be a really meaningful to all of your guests.

-Hire a Spanish guitarist to play while the guests are being seated...something soft & folksy would be a perfect welcome and will set the tone for the entire event.

-Since the ceremony will be outside, I definitely recommend placing some sort of fan on each seat. Bliss Market has some great ones that you can tie berry & mango colored satin ribbons to, which would be adorable.

-If you are busing people from the ceremony to the reception, it might be nice to put a pair of flip flops on every other seat (for the ladies) encouraging them to kick off their heals and get ready to dance the night away.

-Since you really want the reception to be a party, I would have a cocktail ready and waiting as the guests arrive...maybe a mango martini, or a margarita on the rocks. When all of your guests arrive, have one of your parents give a big, hearty welcome toast in the spirit of the event...happy, celebratory and ready to party!

-I love the idea of bringing in various cultural touches...Marisa mentioned that she will be having a Mariachi band play (perhaps during dinner or cocktail hour?). I also think that it would be fun to hire a group of flamenco or salsa dancers to entertain the guests while the are eating. Perhaps a cigar roller to add to the festivities.

You know, in her email Marisa mentioned that she is just feeling lost...that she loves a lot of different things, none of which seem to go together. I have to tell you, I think that Marisa is right on track. She is pulling together elements that she loves, not those that she thinks a wedding should have. When you approach any kind of style like this, bringing together pieces that mean something to you, you cannot go wrong. Sometimes, as a bride, you stare at your ideas so often that they start to become a jumbled mess. When you give yourself a day or two to have a breather...it will all start to make sense again.