XOCHITL, REAL BRIDE
Hacienda de San Antonio | Colima, Mexico
Real Bride Advice: My biggest style tip is to be true to yourself. My grandparents immigrated to the United States over 50 years ago in search of a better life. Some of my fondest memories growing up were the times spent with my grandparents and traveling throughout Mexico. My husband Mark, who is of Scottish descent, shares my love for Latin America. It was really important to incorporate the customs, flavors, and sounds of Mexico into our wedding. I did most of the planning myself. I knew that planning a destination wedding would be difficult. So I researched blogs and read several books. I found myself overwhelmed by the amount of information available. I focused on who Mark and I are as a couple. I knew that we wanted a very intimate wedding that would allow people to fall in love with Mexico – and introduce them to this culture that is so special to the two of us. The Hacienda de San Antonio is such a magical place, nestled in the "Valley of the Gods," with an organic ranch, coffee plantation and cheese factory. The Hacienda’s team – Joaquin, Maggie, and Oscar - were amazing. They were able to provide guidance in terms of local vendors and how to incorporate seasonal local flavors and flowers. Although the Hacienda is much more luxurious than the haciendas I visited with my grandparents in my youth, I really felt like they were with us and would be proud. And in a way they were, as my mother brought my grandfather’s sombrero and my aunt provided a blessing that my grandmother traditionally gave during the wedding reception. Mark and I have been fortunate enough to have been successful in life. But many others aren’t. In lieu of gifts we asked guests to make donations to Sacred Heart Nativity School and The Lavender Project. This not only allowed us to incorporate Latin culture, but also helped us give back as well.
What It’s Like to Be a Ceci Bride: I spent what seemed like days researching stationery companies to find one that would incorporate the art of Mexico. Many of the companies I researched were disappointing as they incorporated the same Mexican elements, and I knew I wanted something truly spectacular. I stumbled upon Ceci New York on a wedding blog – and I knew that I had to ask Ceci Johnson to design the invitations. I was a bit nervous as she is based in New York. But working with Ceci Johnson and the team was a pleasure – they are so organized and by far the most professional group of people I have encountered both in and out of the wedding planning process. I shared a vision of who Mark and I are, what we were looking for and how important it was to incorporate Mexican art. I also shared a few photographs that Mark and I had taken during a recent trip to Mexico – photos of Otomi fabric and candelabra ironwork – and the Ceci team did the rest. It was really amazing to see the sketches she initially drew come to life during the design process.