Real Wedding | Kristiaan + Lionel

This destination wedding in Antigua, Guatemala is not just romantic but what I imagine rustic and majestic wedding heaven looks like… And talk about vision and impeccable taste, depth and flare from this day – which all made sense once I learned that today’s featured bride and groom are a wedding photography duo (no wonder this wedding is so incredibly textured and downright idyllic, right?!).  This is an exquisite celebration of love & unity amidst centuries old scenery, vintage decor accents, a champagne and neutral colored palette, lantern centerpieces and a beautifully ornate and flattering Amsale Dahlia gown…just perfect! Congrats Kristiaan + Lionel and thank you for sharing!

Kristiaan + Lionel | February 19, 2012 | Antigua, Guatemala 

The Ceremony
Our wedding ceremony was set in the garden of an old ruined convent right across the street from our hotel.  For décor, we chose mismatched chairs and a few tall displays since the background was so majestic.  We loved that the officiant included our parents in the ceremony.  It was both breathtaking and meaningful. 

The Reception
Afterwards, we moved to the ruins of an old church where we celebrated the night away. I am a big DIY girl, but I had to settle on just a few items to bring and a limited number of craft projects. It was difficult to hand over the reins to someone local, but with a destination wedding, I knew I had to. I sent the decorator screenshots to give him a sense of what I wanted — neutral colors (peach, gray, cream, tans, and browns), lots of wood, burlap, rustic elements, vintage items, a hand-crafted look that wasn’t too perfect or matchy. He was brilliant — I was blown away by the results!  Everything was even better than I had imagined.  We had a gelato bar and a coffee bar, which our guests raved about.  Our signature drink was a hit too, French 75:  champagne, gin, simple syrup, lime juice!

Kristiaan’s Dress Search
I didn’t have a particular style in mind when I started my long search for the perfect dress.  My husband and I are wedding photographers so we both see a lot of wedding dresses.  I think it’s easy to wow most grooms because they aren’t very well versed in the world of wedding gowns.  To really wow him (and me too!) I knew I needed something extraordinary…couture, modern feel that is not over the top – still classic enough to stand the test of time.  The way the dress would photograph was a big factor too.  I am not big on ‘bling’ but I certainly didn’t want anything plain.  The texture in this dress is so gorgeous I can’t even stand it!  It has the modern feel but it’s also completely classic and simple.  Heaven!

How Kristiaan Felt in Her Wedding Dress
Stunning, Privileged & Emotional

Why Kristiaan Decided to Sell Her Wedding Dress
I went WAY over my budget to get my dream gown.  The compromise I made with myself is that I would sell it afterwards.  I would have been thrilled to buy a used one, but the only ones available were size 2, for 5-foot tall women.  It is not easy to part with, but this dress does not belong in a box, it belongs on a gorgeous, happy bride, wowing her groom and all her guests!

Wedding Dress: Amsale Dahlia | Photography: Davina + Daniel, Montreal, Canada | Ceremony Venue:  El Convento de las Capuchinas | Reception Venue:  San Jose el Viejo | Event Planning:  I Do, Guatemala | Floral Design: Mario Ayala of Escenica | Caterer + Cake: El Convento Boutique Hotel