Bride Mariana shares her bright, fun, and fabulous San Antonio wedding!
I’m delighted to introduce you to today’s bride, Mariana! While her pretty pink and red wedding is the perfect Valentine’s Day inspiration, she and Mac’s big day was actually inspired by another celebration: “Fiesta!” According to Mariana, Fiesta is an annual event in San Antonio where the whole city comes together for a week of parades and parties. She said, “The bright colors, the parties, and the feelings of overall happiness and fun: we really wanted to channel that for our wedding.” How fun!
To see more of this gorgeous day, pick up a copy of our Tenth-Anniversary Issue!
Thanks to Jen Dillender for capturing this fabulous day!
We were married at 7 o’clock in the evening at the San Fernando Cathedral in downtown San Antonio with our reception at the Southwest School of Art. Only I am Catholic, but it was important to both of us to be married in the church. We wanted our wedding to have a classic San Antonio feel so we really focused on a downtown wedding at historic venues. We picked the cathedral because it was so beautiful and historic and just felt like the right church for us. The Southwest School of Art was a great fit because it was another historic location and we fell in love with the gorgeous patio that backed up to the River Walk (an iconic attraction!).
We described the fiesta theme we were aiming for with our wedding, and our florist brought us some ideas. When she showed us bougainvillea, my mom and I were sold. My mom is from Peru and we always see bougainvillea there. It felt like a way to incorporate my heritage into the wedding and it’s so gorgeous! Mac also felt like it perfectly fit the fiesta theme.
What songs did you use for your ceremony? We had the Ave Maria sung as the families were seated. I love hearing the Ave Maria at Catholic weddings and so I really wanted it incorporated into ours. I walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of “The Servant Song” which I’ve sung in church for years and always found to be so beautiful.
Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. The most special part of the ceremony was the second reading, which was done by our friend Emily. It’s hard to describe, but she read the passage so beautifully that everyone was very moved. The priest even commented at the end of our ceremony how she had really brought the passage to life!
What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Our inspiration was centered around a “Fiesta” theme. Fiesta is an annual event in San Antonio where the whole city comes together for a week of parades and parties. Growing up in San Antonio, I love fiesta! The bright colors, the parties, and the feelings of overall happiness and fun: we really wanted to channel that for our wedding. Our wedding planner, Melanie, did an amazing job of making our inspiration come to life with her designs and creative vision.
What was your favorite detail of the wedding? (Mariana:) The mariachi band during the cocktail hour. Our out-of-town guests were especially delighted by the band, and it was definitely a San Antonio touch! (Mac:) The sombreros and coronas that were handed out on the dance floor. There’s nothing like a lively dance floor full of Fiesta colors.
Tell us your love story. We were surreptitiously set up by a mutual friend. She invited us both to a party where she introduced us. A few weeks later, Mac worked up the courage to ask me out, and we’ve been together ever since.
Describe the proposal! (From Mac) It was a surprise trip to Cancun, Mexico. Mariana is the trip planner in the family, so it was my first time to handle the entire process on my own – all while keeping it a secret. Somehow, despite my best efforts to ruin the surprise (There was a text with the full details intended for her sister that went to Mariana. Luckily, the text was deleted before she could read it.), I was able to book the entire trip and make it a Christmas surprise. The rest of the trip was sun, fun and near-constant anxiety as I had planned the big moment for our last day there. (Pro tip, fellas: If you propose on a trip, do it the first day. Trust me). On that fateful day, unbeknownst to Mariana, a photographer was waiting on the beach ready to capture the moment. It only took a bit of cajoling to talk her into take a stroll on the chosen spot. And, in a what is still a blur today, I got down on one knee and asked the most important question of our lives.
How did you prepare for marriage while planning your wedding? This might make us seem a bit odd, but we did a lot of our “wedding prep” during the four years before we were engaged. Early on we discussed the less romantic details of lifelong courtship: finances, kids, etc. We did make sure to talk about our hopes and dreams, but we were almost painfully pragmatic. It was worth it though. Having those conversations early on helped us develop the communication skills needed to survive wedding planning. Otherwise, I think we would still be deciding on tablecloths.
How many guests attended your wedding? 120.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I actually ended up finding my dress at Nordstrom. I had popped in with my mom and sister, and we just happened to see it on a mannequin in the bridal suite. An appointment had been cancelled, so they let me try it on then and there. It was a happy accident! My favorite thing about it was the lace. We even ordered extra lace to add to my veil so it would match.
Photographer: Jen Dillender Photography | Film processing: Photovision Prints | Planner and designer: Mayhar Design | Ceremony venue: San Fernando Cathedral | Reception venue: The Southwest School of Art | Florals: Clementine Botanical Art | Caterer: Page Barteau Catering | Wedding cake: Bakery Lorraine | Monogram cookies: Campbell Cookies | Bride’s Gown: “Vanderbilt” from the Blue Willow Collection by Anne Barge | Bridal salon and veil: Nordstrom | Bride’s shoes: Sam Edelman | Bride’s jewelry: Banana Republic | Bridesmaid dresses: “Aria” in Crimson by Jenny Yoo | Hair stylist: Vanessa Rios | Makeup artist: Mistique | Paper goods and calligraphy: Whitney Farnsworth | Band: The Royal Dukes | Linens: Marquee Event Group and La Tavola Linen | Mariachis: Mariachi Espuelas de Plata