A beautiful and elegantly luxurious wedding in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. This tropical feeling wedding was dotted with twinkling lights, chandeliers, and very couture attire making it feel like the luxury destination it was!
from the photographer: “Taking place all the way in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, Mara + Marcelo’s spectacular day unfolded in the tropics with glittering sunlight and luscious greenery, only found in the heart of South America. Mara wanted her wedding day to feel like an old Audrey Hepburn film and I believe her vision was brought to life beautifully with the help of her amazing vendor team. They got ready at Los Tajibos, a five star hotel surrounded by peacocks and Palm Trees and continued their celebrations at Casa Jardin, a luxury garden party inspired venue with avocado trees and twinkling lights and chandeliers. Needless to say, the whole wedding weekend was exceptional!”
How did you both meet?
We met at a birthday party of a mutual friend! Initially we became friends and later started dating, but we were very fond of each other from the very beginning! We chose Santa Cruz, Bolivia, for our wedding location after much thought and support from our family and friends. I have many family ties to the Midwest, and now much of our family lives on the East Coast. Marcelo grew up in Maryland with his family. We now live in Washington, DC. We thought of the many cities we could have our wedding in and wanted it to be special. After thinking it over we decided to do it in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, which is near the city where Marcelo’s grandparents live (La Paz). This way we could make it an experience and a trip for our family and friends to Bolivia while enjoying the wedding festivities. This also allowed us to be present to celebrate Marcelo’s grandfather’s 90th birthday the Sunday before.
What was your wedding day inspiration?
Our wedding day inspiration was an Italian garden style wedding. In searching for wedding ideas, I was in awe of beautiful pictures from English designer, Emilia Wickstead’s wedding and drew inspiration from that, as well as others with a garden theme. Our venue was a beautiful tropical garden in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. We wanted to showcase the beauty of the garden in Santa Cruz, while also reflecting our style with an elegant garden theme with gold and white. We also wanted to create an experience for our family and friends in which we could spend precious time together and they could enjoy themselves throughout the week. We hosted festivities before our wedding day to include a welcome party and our rehearsal dinner.
Were there any special moments that stood out to you during your day?
There were so many special moments of the day, it would be very hard to name just one! Our entire week in Santa Cruz with our family and friends was absolutely magical, and our wedding dreams coming true the day of was the icing on the cake. We had a Christian ceremony with a blessing by a Priest at the beginning, honoring both the Christian and Catholic faiths of our families. This was extremely special for us. Following the ceremony, everyone enjoyed a cocktail hour on a grassy lawn on the property featuring a champagne glass wall, as well as curated cocktails chosen by us made with fruits specifically from Santa Cruz, all while having music by Frank Sinatra playing in the background. Our families were a big part of the reception participating in traditional speeches and first dances. We of course incorporated Bolivian traditions into our wedding to include us dancing with Marcelo’s grandparents as part of our first dances. During dinner we had an amazing musical performance of classical and opera singers so that our guests and family could enjoy the ambiance of our wedding. Soon after dinner, my father gave his father of the bride speech and we cut the cake! After we cut the cake, our family and friends joined us on the dance floor to great music by our DJ and we quite literally danced the night away in the garden!
How was family part of your day?
Our families were of course a big part of our wedding day! We both spent the morning getting ready with our immediate family and soon to be in-laws at the hotel resort (Los Tajibos) and then spent time taking in the moment with our friends, before everyone left for the wedding venue. My father was our officiant so he walked me down the aisle as the father of the bride, and then officiated our wedding! We are so grateful my father could be a part of our wedding in this way. My two sisters were my Matrons of Honor and Marcelo’s brother was his Best Man. My brothers did a reading for our ceremony. Both of our nieces were our flower girls and my nephew was our ring bearer.
Our vision for our wedding was brought to life at our beautiful venue (Casa Jardin) by our wedding planner and her team, our decorator, musical artists, DJ, drink service company, catering company, bakery, and the wonderful staff, all captured by our amazing photographer. Because of them we were able to celebrate this special moment of our lives with our loved ones and will cherish these memories forever.
Wedding planner: Michelle Villar Eventos
Wedding Planner Assistant: Nataly Rojas
Wedding Designer + Florist: Jennifer Suárez Decoraciones
Wedding Photographer: Jaymi Nichole Visuals
Wedding Gowns: Rebecca Vallance (for the ceremony) / Jenny Yoo (for the reception), obtained with BHLDN
Wedding Venue: Casa Jardín
Ceremony and Dinner Music: Enarmonia
Wedding DJ: DJ Nico
Crafted Cocktail Service: Drinks in Motion
Bakery: Musa Desserts