Real Wedding | Margaux & Jorge

This is one of the weddings that I just can’t wait to post.  One that I’m literally drooling over as I prepare.  And one that I can’t imagine how totally amazing it would be to attend. Feast your eyes on this fabulous event.

Margaux  & Jorge | January 16, 2010 | Cartagena, Colombia

How he proposed
We had just moved in together and Jorge insisted that we celebrate with a romantic dinner.  We went to Baleen’s which is one of our favorite restaurants in Miami.  We sat outside and talked about how far we have come in our relationship over the years.  He then insisted that we drive to his parents’ house to pick up a bottle of wine that we brought back from Argentina in 2005 and had been saving for a special occasion.  On our way he stopped by the University of Miami intramural fields.  This was the place we had met 10 years ago as freshmen during UM Orientation. I found it odd, but I decided to go with it.  He brought a portable speaker and played some of our favorite songs.  We danced on the field and he told me how much I meant to him.  He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.  Of course I said yes!  After many hugs and kisses, we got back in the car and Jorge still insisted that we pick up the wine.  I immediately wanted to call my mom but Jorge kept telling me stories about the ring and distracting me until we pulled up to his parents’ house.  When we arrived, we were greeted by both sides of the family who were awaiting us with champagne!  We toasted with our family and finally ended up back at our apartment.  Jorge has his friends decorate out apartment with 200 red roses.  It was an amazing way to end the evening!

The wedding
We knew we wanted a destination wedding.  That was the easiest decision of all!  The question was where did we want to have it.  We decided the Caribbean would be a good place to start because it was exotic yet still close enough to home. We check out many islands but all of them were the same . . .  beautiful beaches with a fancy hotel. While this would be sufficient for anyone else, the fact that we lived on Miami Beach made us want something more and different.  One of our friends had just gotten back from Cartagena, Colombia and suggested that explore that as an option. The more research we did, the more we fell in love with it.  It was in Colombia where my side of the family is from yet it is an old Spanish port city and closely resembles Havana, Cuba where Jorge’s family is from.  It was the perfect marriage of our two families.  We knew it was where we wanted to get married.

We got married at the Cathedral.  It is majestic and will leave you speechless.

It was built in the 1600 and has that old Spanish feel. We had 130 guests but in reality the whole city stopped for our wedding.  There were many people crowded outside the church and even came inside to see our wedding.  We had a traditional Catholic wedding in both English and Spanish that began at 4pm.

I arrived in a horse and carriage which is the preferred mode of transportation in Cartagena’s old city.

After the ceremony, Jorge and I took a tour of the old city and took pictures at majors spots.

The Reception was at the Hotel Santa Clara.  It is located next door to Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s house and was an old monastery.  “La Capilla” was where our reception was and was previously used by nuns to practice their singing.  We arrived in our house and carriage and were greeted with Colombian dancers and drummers.  The cocktail was held in the grotto and began at 5pm.  At the beginning of our reception, monks came out and surrounded our table and did a toasting asking God to forever protect this union that he had created.

Our guests were served a 6 course meal.  Our brother (best man) and sister (maid of honor) gave the speeches followed by our dance to “De Pies a Cabeza” which was the song that was playing when we had out first kiss. Our 18 person band started the night and everyone was on their feet. At midnight, we incorporated a South American tradition of “Hora Loca” or “Crazy Hour”.  We had 15 carnival dancers and musicians come out and start dancing with the crowd.  They passed out masks, hats and other carnival giveaways for our guests. They got everyone moving and at the peek of the craziness, cannons of confetti exploited from the ceiling.  The dancing did not stop.  We had a second round of Colombian food served at 1am.  The party did not stop until 4am.  It was wonderful!

The moment Margaux will never forget

The moment I will never forget was when the cannons of confetti exploded  . . . I was having so much fun dancing with my husband and our family and friends, I thought it could not get any better.  Then the confetti began to fall and I felt like it was in slow motion.  It was so unreal and so fun.  It was absolutely my favorite part of the reception.

The theme
Our wedding theme was “Caribbean Nostalgia”.  We tried to incorporate as many Colombian and Cuban traditions as possible. We had 5 days of events surrounding our wedding.  On Wednesday, we had a welcome cocktail at the house we had rented for the bridal party.  We had traditional Colombian dancers perform there.  On  Thursday, we arranged for 70 of our guests to take a trip to a private island. We served a typical Caribbean fish fry and played dominoes in the pool.  At our rehearsal dinner that night, we had our guest wear Cuban guayaberas and Colombian hats. The night culminated by taking a tour of the city in the traditional Colombian Party bus called “La Chiva”.  At our wedding, the favors at the church were Spanish fans engraved with our names and our wedding date.  We created a logo that we incorporated into every detail (welcome bags, tshirts, wedding invitations, bridesmaid earrings, menu cards, etc) that includes a “quadrifolio” or “four leaf clover” which is typical of Spanish Colonial architecture. We also included orchids wherever possible (wedding invitations, place cards, bridal bouquet, reception flowers, etc) since it is the national flower of Colombia.

What made her wedding dress “The One”

I knew what dress I wanted, Monique Lhullier’s Katarina dress.  The problem was I was unsure if I wanted to spend that much on a dress.  I had seen Ali Landry wear it to her Mexican wedding.  I thought it was beautiful, romantic, a bit traditional but still modern.  I tried on other dresses at an attempt to tell myself I would be happy with any dress. But as soon as I tried on the Katarina dress, I knew it was the one. I thought the dress was extremely flattering to me and went perfectly with our Spanish Caribbean wedding.

Her advice for other brides
Have fun with your wedding.  Do not take yourself too seriously. It will go so fast so be sure to savor every moment of it.

Margaux’s wedding dress: Monique Lhuillier Katarina