Re-defining the complicated task of organising a destination wedding, Cesar & Adriana created an extraordinarily styled ceremony, spilling with romance and elegance. Exchanging vows in an archaic monastery, an enchanting arbour of wildly rustic wood & organic blooms woven between twigs, created a woodland feel.
Intricate pearlescent beading paired with long feminine sleeves and a lace train, Adriana’s gown romantically trailed behind her soft frame. A future heirloom, the smoky labradorite inspired stone sat in an oxidised silver band, giving a classic feel. Soft mauve flowers and contrasting ghost chairs sat beneath archaic stone walls at the dusk reception. Lavender & Eucalyptus crept up weather worn pillars, leading to an open roof, a soiree set beneath moon & candlelight…
Beautifully photographed by A Fist Full Of Bolts..
Names / Adriana & Cesar
Wedding Date / February 20, 2016
Guest Numbers / 300
How we met…
Cesar and I went to high-school together. We were friends at an early age and share a group of friends. We hadn’t realised we were perfect for each other until after we both graduated from college in 2010– shortly after what was supposed to be a friendly backpacking trip after graduation in South America turned into the beginning of a life together.
Our Engagement Story…
We were living in New York at the time. It was winter and I had been offsite shooting for a couple of days working long hours at an event. I got home in the middle of the night and found Rafaeli- my other love and the sweetest dachshund in New York City, at my door step. Rafaeli is my sisters dog but Cesar knows I love her so much and had her over as a surprise. We opened a bottle of wine and had a cozy relaxing night together. The next morning, I wake up spooning Rafaeli and I see Cesar kneeling next to my bedside. I could see snow falling outside the window –I felt as though I was dreaming when he asked me to marry him. It was such an intimate and humble moment. I said yes!
Marriage to us means…
A lifetime of love, adventure, happiness and commitment. To grow together and always be there for each other.
Cesar and I are both from El Salvador and travel bugs. When we moved back from NY to plan the wedding, we traveled a lot to surrounding countries, one of them being Guatemala. We came across El Convento and fell in love with the magical place. We both felt at ease and never thought it twice. It was the perfect place to start a lifetime together with the people we love the most.
The wedding was very elegant and delicate with a minimalistic color palette. We had lavender accents that matched nicely with the Convent’s stone color.
We hired A Fist Full of Bolts, who were incredible. Since I am a professional photographer myself and have a background in design, this was one of the most important pieces of my wedding planning. It took me quite a while to find someone whose style I trusted. A Fist Full of Bolts & Dylan Howell (who assisted them) did such an amazing job, we’re thrilled with the outcome.
Cesar’s aunt, Francesca Miranda, is a renowned Colombian Fashion & Bridal Designer – I was very lucky to get such a personal experience like this. I worked hand in hand with Francesca on the design of my dress. Our initial design meeting was at her showroom in NYC and then my sisters and I flew to Barranquilla, Colombia to choose the fabrics and style. Francesca Miranda created a beautiful sketch which later turned out to be my dream wedding dress. Her designs carry such feminine elegance with a touch of Latin flair. I couldn’t be happier.
I chose a classic champagne Stuart Weitzman heel.
My three sister’s designed their own dresses – all complementing their styles. In terms of my other bridesmaids, I chose Reformation in Sycamore green. Bridesmaids were able to choose a style within that collection.
I trusted all my girls’ style and just asked them to wear beautiful simple strappy heels in black.
I had three beautiful flower girls, Emilia, Aimee and Cristina. I designed their dresses and bought the fabric in a unique store in Guatemala that carries beautiful embroideries and cream colored silks. I had them made with a seamstress I trust who does flower girl dresses in El Salvador – Carolina U.
Cesar couldn’t have been more special with my ring. Since we’re both very much into design, he thought nothing would be more special than to design my ring together. My ring is a custom piece by Monique Pean. We both love the designer’s unique style for her use in rare materials and also love her sustainable/ethical design principles. I fell in love with a beautiful grey diamond Monique had sourced for me. We chose a very thin platinum band with micro paves and oxidised the entire ring to give it a vintage feel. Cesar’s ring is a Rose Gold 2.5mm Forever Mark Band from Montica Jewelry. He went with 2.5mm because he wanted a very thin minimal band.
I wore a headpiece by Francesca Miranda and Forever Mark Earrings from Montica Jewelry. Cesar wore vintage cuffs and a Vacheron Constantin time piece that belonged to his late grandfather who had designed the watch himself in the 1960’s.
Custom Tuxedo by Francesca Miranda.
I wanted my hair to be feminine, loose and effortless. I chose Pamela Jagger, a talented hair stylist I found in Guatemala. I asked her to do a loose messy braided bun. She grasped the concept beautifully.
Glowy skin with neutral blush pigments on my eyes and nude lips.
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I designed and kept all the stationary very simple and produced them I worked with a great printmaker in El Salvador called Creativa. I chose a cream mushroom color palette and textured /porous paper and had letterpress and calligraphy for the type which resonated with the color, texture and mood of the venue and style of the wedding.
We gave local Guatemalan candy and travel toiletry bags with seasoned fresh fruit in a woven basket.
Flowers & Bouquet
We visited a beautiful flower market in Guatemala City and fell in love with these pale lilac roses, creamy white wild flowers and dark foliage. I also used a lot of lavender and eucalyptus in my arrangements since I love them & their scent. All by Nestor Gamez.
Maleta Films. I wanted the film to be a strong reflection of the wedding and trusted the videographers. I also asked them if they had any suggestions on how to do something very personalized and we worked on a great concept.
Ceremony & Reception Décor
We drew most of our inspiration from the venue, the Convent dates back to 1736 and has such a simple, elegant authentic beauty. Since we already had the mood, texture and color with our environment we decided to keep everything else very minimalistic.
We had a three-layer semi-naked white cake by Sofia Cobian. Cesar and I couldn’t decide on one or two flavors so we chose 3 layers with the following flavors: banana with caramel, blueberry with lemon and poppy seeds and orange with vanilla and almonds. It was garnished with lavender and lilac roses. We received lots of compliments on the cake .. it was delicious!
Food & Beverage
Since our wedding reception started at around sunset – we started it off with champagne followed by cocktails such as tamarind margaritas, mojitos and gin & tonics. For dinner, we had mini chef stations with meats, pastas and delicious garden salads. Our favorite dish was the truffled wild mushroom raviolis. We hired Tikal Futura from Guatemala City to do our catering who did a phenomenal job.
I walked in with my dad with The Four Seasons: Spring 1 recomposed by Max Richter. The rest of the ceremony was composed by Clásico Instrumental a symphony in Guatemala. The cocktail music was done by Luke Humphries Band, which I highly recommend. We met twice before the wedding to discuss the vibe / playlist. Luke’s band does some of the best cover’s I’ve ever heard. Our first dance was “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young, and I danced with my dad “God Only Knows” covered by She & Him. Luis Pedro Yang was the DJ, which I also highly recommended if you’re planning a destination wedding in Guatemala. Both musicians had a musical style that was very inline with ours, but we still gave them a playlist they could draw inspiration from.
Cesar and I are very adventurous and as I mentioned before, we’re both travel bugs. We wanted to explore a couple of different places. First, we spent a day in Zürichduring a long layover and had lunch at a delicious spot called, Bindella. Then we headed to a Safari called Vlei Lodge at Phina Game Reserve in South Africa and operated by &Beyond. From the Game Reserve we traveled to Seychelles and stayed at the Banyan Tree. Lastly, we traveled to Cape Town where we stayed at The Bay Hotel. We spent one night in the Wine lands at La Residence, it felt like heaven on earth. The whole trip was magical but we definitely want to explore more Africa and do another Safari operated by &Beyond.
Pastor Alfonso Bocache. He has a gift with words, he brought us to happy tears at various points in the ceremony.
Source of Inspiration
I drew most of my inspiration from the venue itself. I’m from El Salvador and moved back to the Country mid-last year from New York City. Since I was so close to Guatemala I would go a lot and asked friends I had in Guatemala for contacts and wedding vendors. My wedding planner was also a get contact for connecting me with vendors.
A memorable moment…
The whole process was very beautiful. But when those 1800’s wooden doors opened and I saw so many people I loved at the ceremony smiling and cheering for us, it just brought me to tears.
One thing I wish I knew before I started my wedding plans…
Destination weddings are always difficult. You need to travel a lot prior to the wedding. It took me about 10 months to comfortably plan the wedding. It’s a beautiful experience but at some times, very stressful. Patience is key.
If I could give Brides-To-Be one piece of advice…
Relax and enjoy every single bit of the process, engagement and wedding day…it passes by so fast! It’s your day, rock your heart out, be creative, bold and authentic. Make it a true reflection of who you both are, don’t let vendors take over the style. Get very involved in the creative process. Have comfortable shoes you can switch into for dancing all night long and remember it’s all in the details!
Bride’s Dress / Francesca Miranda
Bride’s Shoes / Stuart Weitzman
Bridesmaids’ Dresses / Reformation
Flowergirl’s & Pageboy’s Outfits / Carylu
Groom’s Formal Wear / Francesca Miranda
Wedding Rings / Monique Pean
Jewelry & Accessories / Forever Mark, Montica
Hair / Pamela Jagger
Makeup / Marilyn for Petra Makeup
Florist / Nestor Gamez
Cake / Sofia Cobian
Catering / Tikal Futura
Wedding Stylist / Bride & Nestor Gamez
Wedding Planner / Pamela Morales
Celebrant / Alfonso Bochache
Wedding Venue / El Convento Las Capuchinas
Transport / Antigua Tours
Videographer / Maleta Films
Other / Adriana Rivera