Frida Gown – Elís & Cory
Elís & Cory
12 October 2019
Tulum, Mexico. We chose Tulum because Cory traveled there in 2013 by himself and thought it was such a gorgeous place that he wanted to take me back there. Tulum has a different vibe than other Mexico destinations. It is more boho than other vacation spots in Mexico, is off the beaten path, and you won’t find many all-inclusive resorts. We really liked the vibe of the boutique hotels, which is where we chose to have all of our activities.
50. We always wanted a small wedding, and a guest count of 50 was perfect for us.
The company that shot our wedding is called Arte Visual MF. We chose this photographer first because it was really important for us to have someone who was local to Mexico. And second, because we loved their artistic style. The way they shoot is a little moodier and more dramatic than most photographers we looked at, and we were really drawn to that.
My wedding dress was the gorgeous FRIDA gown. When I first saw the dress on the Bo & Luca website I fell in love. And then when I tried it on, I cried. Up until that point, I thought the “bridal moment” was a myth because I had tried on many dresses, all that was nice, but none that made me feel particularly special. I felt incredibly special in this dress. It was so unique, a little quirky, and perfect for me. The silk fabric made the dress extremely comfortable to wear and that was really important to me as well. I didn’t want to feel stuffed, plucked, or shoved into the dress I ended up wearing. The FRIDA is a two-piece gown that has absolutely gorgeous hand-beaded details along the flowy top and the waist. The skirt has layers of ruffles that I felt were perfect for the Latin vibe of our wedding, and the top is slightly see-through which lent to an overall look that was modest yet still sexy.
The theme of the bridesmaid dresses was “Boho Rainbow”. They were all different designers, different styles, and different colors. The unifying feature of each dress was ruffled, again to highlight the Latin theme. All the bridesmaids wore nude heels and fringe earrings to complete the look.
The overall aesthetic was Latin meets boho. I am afro Latina so I knew that I wanted the wedding to be in the Caribbean and include important aspects of my heritage. And my overall style for the wedding matched my style at home: boho minimalism.
We both wanted something simple and I’m glad that we stuck to this and didn’t spend a lot of money on rings. One thing that brides can learn from the recent pandemic and lockdown is how to focus on items that will be most important to them. Since the lockdown, my husband and I rarely wear our wedding rings because we are always home together. Even though we don’t wear them that much anymore, we both absolutely love the styles we picked. His wedding band is all wood. It is truly a unique piece and he wanted something that would capture his outdoor adventure spirit. My engagement ring is minimal yet elegant. I loved the simplicity of the two gray diamonds as a symbol of the two of us. We also wanted simple rings so that they could grow with us. I also never bought a wedding band. The truth is that I never found one I absolutely loved, so instead, I bought this gorgeous gold garland band accent ring that I wore on my index finger for our special day.
Since we had a destination wedding, the main guest gifts were provided at the welcome party a few days before the wedding. We gave gift bags with a few essentials for all of our guests to enjoy Mexico. The gift bags included a small survival kit with bandaids, sunscreen, aloe vera, etc, as well as snacks, coconut water, and the weekend itinerary. For the bridal party, we added colorful socks for the groomsmen and a mesh tote bag for all the bridesmaids. The bridesmaids also received earrings which they all wore for the wedding day. At the wedding, guests received a favor bag to collect candy from the piñata.
FLOWERS & BOUQUETS
Our flowers represented two moods. One mood was dark and moody, so the florist included some black accents of pampas grass. And the other mood embodies the boho vibes. I love dried flowers, so all of the florals were dried. This is actually a great idea for brides who are looking to keep their bouquet. Dried flowers last longer so you can keep them for years.
Our wedding cake was a traditional Panamanian/Caribbean cake. The traditional cake is a rum cake with candied fruit that is soaked in rum for weeks. Our guests loved the cake and enjoyed learning about my culture.
Our first dance was to “Don’t worry ’bout a thing” originally by Stevie Wonder, but we played the John Legend version. Overall, the DJ played a mix of top 40, classic party dance hits, including Whitney Houston’s “I wanna dance with somebody”, and of course all the group dances: the cha-cha slide, electric slide, and the wobble. There was also a lot of Latin music, including salsa, merengue, and bachata.
FOOD & DRINKS
At the reception, we had a full sit down dinner with three courses. There was a choice of tuna sashimi or portobello confit for starters. For the main dish, our guests were able to choose between a Caribbean lobster and Roquefort steak. There was also a dessert course of either hazelnut cream pie or chocolate cake, even though we also had the wedding cake. We didn’t have a signature cocktail, but this was great because some of our guests made one up. It was a tequila-based cocktail that was the perfect mix of spicy and sweet. One person ordered it, and then it became the drink of the wedding!
We went to Bali for our honeymoon. There is no wrong place to go in Bali, but in general, we like to stay off the beaten path which can be hard to do in some of Bali’s more popular destinations. For couples who also like more quiet spots, I would recommend the Gili Islands. They are small, quiet, non-party islands where you can bike or walk around the entire circumference of the island in a few hours.
Our first-look was very memorable. The groom was “blown away”. It was so special to have those few moments just the two of us before the chaos of the wedding hit us. It reminded us of how much we cared about each other and why we had organized the day for our friends and family.
ADVICE FOR BRIDES-TO-BE
Be true to thyself. It sounds like such a platitude but it will be a mantra that you will need to constantly rehearse to yourself. For any wedding there will be A LOT of opinions. Everyone had a lot of opinions about what dress I wanted to wear, and honestly at times it made me doubt my choice. But now, seeing the photos and remembering how I felt, I have zero regrets about my choices. The wedding, and the dress, reflected my husband and I, and I think that is really important. The Frida dress is quirky, fun, chic, and adventurous, and so am I.