The chance to photograph a wedding in Antigua was a one of a kind experience. We are so thankful that Nick and Brittni invited us to be a part of their celebration.
Above image was taken during the “day after session” while we roamed around this magnificent city. But first…
Day one included a kick back welcome celebration complete with authentic Guatemalan grill.
Day two was dinner at the upscale Welten restaurant. Then it got crazy with the the celebration known as El Torito de Antigua. A man dons a “bull” costume made of wood and paper and loaded with explosives. He then proceeds to run through the street while fireworks shoot off and scatter everywhere. Seriously loco and so much fun!
The wedding ceremony was held at the incredible Convento de las Capuchinas. An ancient convent that was built in the 18th century!
It happened to be “Semana Santa” aka Holy Week. The streets of Antigua are lined with “alfombras” which are ornate carpets made of sawdust and flowers. Numerous processions wind their way through the city, men clad in robes carry floats and music floats through the air. It was definitely a special experience.
Venue: Convento de las Capuchinas
Coordinator: Diana Sciarillo, I Do, Guatemala
Jen, a down to earth California girl marries Paul, a fine fellow from Texas. The inspiration behind the day was rustic vintage and the focus was on family. Jen incorporated lots of DIY projects including the signs, favors, and seating assignments. Clos La Chance Winery is a gorgeous winery wedding venue in San Martin, California. The perfect spot for an outdoor wedding. To see a full list of vendors, scroll to the bottom of the post.
DJ: Elite Entertainment Caterer: The Cellar Door Venue: Clos La Chance Winery Florist: Flowers by Denise Cake: I Do Wedding Cakes Make-up: Stacie Dunn Hair: Julie at Robert Raymond Salon
WOW! Enough said. That’s it. Just WOW! Shooting this gorgeous wedding in Antigua was definitely the highlight of the year. Meagan and Peter are super genuine people and made us feel right at home. Below are some details from the bride herself.
How they met:
Meagan, originally from Chicago, began living and working in Guatemala as a missionary in 2008. She works for a foundation five hours from Guatemala City located in the jungles on the Atlantic Coast.
Luis Pedro, a city boy from Guatemala City, was a missionary to Brazil in 2007 for a year before returning to Guatemala to work in community development projects.
Although hours apart in the same country they had both been praying for each other even though they had not yet met. In March of 2009, they were introduced at a friend’s party in Guatemala City. A close friendship formed which eventually turned into a relationship that neither one of them had seen coming. After dating for a year and a half, Luis Pedro proposed to Meagan in a small French Bistro in the heart of Chicago.
Inspiration behind the Big Day:
We wanted to keep the wedding atmosphere very intimate even though there were 250 people in attendance. 150 of those guests came from various countries including the US, Lithuania, and Singapore! My mother and I carefully planned every detail of the decorating with an amazing local florist in Antigua, Hugo Mejicanos. We traveled to a orchid farm, in a town outside of Antigua, called Flora. Upon entering a greenhouse we were immediately enamored by a beautiful white moss, called Old Man’s Beard, which was hanging overhead. This became the main component for decorating the enormous sanctuary. The venue, ‘Las Capuchinas’ are ancient ruins of a Catholic Convent that date back to 1690..
We focused on combining both American and Guatemalan cultures to create our theme. During Holy Week in Guatemala, local Guatemalans make elaborate “rugs” out of colored sawdust. We incorporated this special touch at the entrance and also around the fountain where the reception took place.
We wanted to preserve the natural beauty and knew the simplicity of the moss hanging from the niches down both sides of the sanctuary would be perfectly set off by only using candles for lighting. We used 5,000 candles in the church and courtyard to illuminate the walls and moss in a simple yet serene way.
I knew immediately what dress to try first after seeing it in a magazine. The Amsale ‘Dhalia’ dress fit the Guatemalan décor perfectly. The heavy hand sewn embroidered flowers were on a café colored tafetta with a sweetheart styled neckline. The mid-length veil was ‘butterscotch’ and hung over the silk flower that held my hair up in a loosely styled bun.
The wedding favors were traditional Guatemalan crafts from the local market. For the men, a large pile of handmade straw hats met them at the entrance of the reception for them to choose from. The beautiful handmade shawls were hung on the chairs assigned to the women.
We wanted to keep the reception very intimate and special. When the guests entered the convent courtyard, they were greeted by waiters who offered them a variety of drinks including a frozen mint lemonade, strawberry daquiri, and pina coladas. To entertain the guest there was a photo booth and a live jazz band. In addition, Indigenous Maya women were weaving in the traditional way and showing typical dress and craft. The 5-course dinner included a Guatemalan squash soup, wild mushroom risotto, salad caprese, steak tenderloin with various sauces, and a lemon caper sea bass wrapped in banana leaf. Because Guatemala is famous for their coffee, we had an espresso coffee station with local coffee from Antigua. Each cappuccino was topped with heart-shaped froth. The desserts we chose for our dessert table were from one of our favorite bakeries in Guatemala City, Le Cafe. The desserts included mini banana pies with white chocolate, mini pecan pies with caramel, and mini key lime pies. In addition, a very special friend of the family, Whitney Dineen, sent down her famous macaroons from Los Angeles wrapped in cellophane bags with our monogram!
The ceremony was our favorite part of the wedding because we were surrounded by our dearest friends and family as we were united in the presence of God.
The 250 guests were seated when the huge wooden doors closed behind the last entrance of the wedding party. Luis Pedro says that for a moment, the world stopped as all eyes turned toward the door to await the entrance of the bride. The music changed my favorite song, the theme from ‘Bright Star’, and after a short guitar solo, the violin came in and the doors opened. The sun was going down at that very moment behind my father and I leaving only our silhouettes. The silence was broken when the pastor, Luis Pedro’s father, asked “Who delivers this beautiful bride?” and my father replied, “My wife and I”.
There were two moments that were a surprise to everyone, especially me! My father had planned to dance with me to the song ‘Edelweiss’ from the musical ‘The Sound of Music’. He used to sing that lullaby to me when I was a little girl. After announcing the song and the story behind it, we danced together and had everyone crying. Immediately following, Luis Pedro picked up his guitar and sang a song that he had written especially for me!
To see a complete list of vendors scroll to the bottom of the post.
Catering: El Convento
Florist: Hugo Mejicanos
Calligrapher: Monica Garcia Echeverria
Dress: Amsale via Belle Vie Bridal Chicago
Shoes: Kate Spade
Suit: Saul E. Mendez
Venue: Las Capuchinas
Desserts: Le Cafe and Whitney Dineen
Cake: Casa Pastel
These two lovely people met through a friend on a skiing trip in Tahoe. A conversation about favorite music and movie choices began and Ji-ea mentioned her running list of “need to see” movies. Stephen asked her what was on that list…and one of the movies mentioned was “Cool Hand Luke.” Oddly enough Stephan had just purchased this particular film to watch at the cabin on this trip! Fate? I think yes. Of course a viewing of the movie ensued and soon after a romantic relationship evolved.
Stephen and Ji-ea were married on April 28, 2012. They chose the breathtaking Pema Osel Ling Ampitheatre of the Redwoods as their venue. The natural beauty of the area made for an amazing backdrop! The inspiration behind their big day was California summers and the great outdoors. The ceremony took place in the midst of the towering redwood trees and the reception had a laid back camping feel complete with bonfires and s’mores! So great!
The couple took the DIY approach. They made the decorations and programs and did a lot of the set up themselves. The table décor included moss and wicker balls, succulents, and lots of greenery. Stephen set up the music and some up-lighting in the trees, They chose all of the music which varied from oldies for the parents, indie for their friends, and old school rap for Ji-ea.
Ji-ea’s bride advice: Be organized. Search wedding forums. There are tons of ways to save money. The biggest tip is to have friends and family help with set up and tear down. Rent your lighting, speakers, etc. from a theater company servicing your area. DIY is doable and makes the event more you.
Scroll to the bottom of the post to see a list of vendors for this event.
Venue-Pema Osel Ling Santa Cruz
Korean Ceremony- Bok Shin Hanbok
Wedding Gown-Vera Wang
Wedding Jacket: McGinn
Wedding Accessories (hair piece and bracelet): Jenny Packham
Cake: Edith Meyer Wedding Cakes Santa Cruz
Letterpress Wedding Invitations: Moogoo Prints
When Jillian and Cody met in 2007 there was an instant connection. They share a similar sense of humor, a love of adventure, and a quest for knowledge. They make each other laugh, challenge each other, and are each other’s number one supporters.
Cody proposed during a trip to Europe…in Venice! What a Romeo!
The inspiration behind the day was country chic with reflections of family heritage. I asked Jillian share some special details about the day.
“We performed a tree planting ceremony to symbolize the combining of our two families. The focal pieces of the ceremony were two larger Ginkgo Bilobas symbolizing each of our families and the tree we planted was a 4′ Ginkgo. After the ceremony we gave one tree to my parents and one to Cody’s parents, and we took the newly planted tree. It was important for us to incorporate our family and relatives as much as possible during our big day.”
Numerous small, but special, details were integrated into this momentous occasion. Cody’s family owns Clark Farms, the gorgeous property where the wedding took place. They grow pecans, walnuts, oranges, and mandarins, all of which were incorporated into the food choices for the wedding. Portuguese sweet bread home made by some cousins was served with dinner to commemorate Jillian’s heritage. Family photos resembling couples from each family tree were positioned on a table welcoming guests.
Jillian wore a rosary given to her by her grandmother and wrapped a crocheted doily made by her around the stem of her bouquet. Cody wore his grandfather’s Army Air Corps bombardier wings.
The couple also took a moment to capture photos of themselves with treasures given to them by their late grandparents Air Force jacket from Jillian’s grandfather, fishing vest from Jillian’s grandfather, and hat from Cody’s grandfather.
What an absolutely beautiful setting and an amazing couple. Best to you Cody and Jillian!
Scroll to the bottom of this post for more info about their wedding.
–Venue: Clark Farms (owned by Cody’s family)
-Gown: Maggie Sottero “Miri”
-Bridal Boutique: Mia’s Bridal
– Shoes: Barefoot Tess
-Grooms suit: Indochino “Vincero”
-Bridal Attendant dresses: J Crew
-Hair (bride)–Mandy Cleary (Bride’s cousin and bridesmaid)
-Hair (bridesmaids and mothers)–Devon from Renaissance Day Spa
-Makeup-Geneva Pacheco at Renaissance Day Spa
-Caterer: Elaine’s Table at Tres Bien
-Cake: Doreen at All about the Cake
-Florist: Christa Falk of Christa Rose
-Officiant: Chris Goodwin (Friend of Bride and Groom)
-DJ: Mike O’neil
-Rental Company: Details
No amount of rain could stop the downpour of love felt at this wedding. Big props to Flo and Rob for remaining a cheerful bride and blissful groom despite the weather and for shivering in the wind as we captured some amazing shots. Flo looked stunning in her exquisite Lazaro gown which she purchased at Mia Bella Bridal in Fresno, Ca. The details of the gown were simply striking, and the way Flo donned it was breathtaking. To incorporate “something old” and “something borrowed” Flo wore her mother’s veil, earrings borrowed from one grandmother, and a bracelet from her other grandmother. Rob sent over a “something new” gift to the bridal suite to add to her collection of adornments. A delicate ring in the shape of a bow…because in his words “we’re tying the knot today.” Adorable.
This elegant soiree was held at the luxurious Wolf Lakes Park in Sanger, Ca. The aesthetic was refined and classy with lots of ornate details. The gorgeous flower arrangements were done by Shelley at Sweet Memories Flowers based in Visalia, Ca. I especially fancied the candelabra arrangements which added height and interest to the tablescape. On each chair a fleece blanket was provided for guests to keep snug. The blankets were embroidered by Smith Promotions with the word “gezillig”. Flo is a Dutch gal, you see, and this is a very important word in that culture. There really is no exact English translation but the closest meaning is “a cozy, warm, enjoyable time.” Well, the reception was a “gezellig” time indeed. Wolf Lakes served up a delicious meal of filet mignon and coconut shrimp. Champagne flowed as the bridal attendants took turns toasting the lovely couple. I believe the most impressionable toast was the maid of honor’s rap tribute to the bride and groom! Guests relaxed in the lounge area which was furnished and set up by Lounge Essence. Sweet treats included a beautifully decorated cake by Gourmet Desserts and late night donuts and coffee. The dance floor was pumping with jams provided by Dj Todd Henry of AMS Entertainment. The bride and groom were sent off with a sparkler farewell and took off in a 1961 Jaguar Limo which was rented from Royal Coach Limousine Company.
Thank you Rob and Flo for being so easygoing and adorable and for letting us document your special day. Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Smith!