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Multicultural Magic in Guatemela for Gabe & Mariel

Gabe and Mariel incorporated different customs and traditions into one beautiful, charming ceremony in Guatemala...

Planned by I Do Guatemala

The traditional, colonial-style architecture and rustic décor of Casa Santo Domingo was glowing in the candlelight of Mariel and Gabe’s dreamy wedding day. Basking in Guatemala’s late summer heat, and surrounded by rich, fairy-light adorned vegetation, the couple honoured their special day in one of the most romantic, stunning places around. Accompanied by exactly 100 guests, comprised of their closest family and friends, their special day was shared with those who care about them most. “Almost everyone we invited was able to attend, aside from a few who were unable to get visas in time,” explains the bride. “Our friends and family flew in from all over to celebrate with us, including from the U.S., Africa, Europe, and Australia.”

I Do Guatemala

Spending quality time with their guests was extremely important to the bride and groom due to the rarity of everyone being in the same place all at once. So, leading up to the wedding, they planned activities for their guests to choose from, such as volcano-hiking, chocolate-making, and zip-lining! Their guests travelling from various countries to join them at their wedding was only one of the many multicultural aspects of Mariel and Gabe’s beautiful day.

Many different cultural and personal elements from their Nigerian, Jamaican and American backgrounds were incorporated - notably, a certain gift for the bride from her new family... “Midway through the reception, I changed into a traditional Nigerian dress, which my mother-in-law brought with her all the way to Guatemala.” The pair looked regal and vibrant in their matching ensembles - bright blues, pinks and corals harmonising with the deep jewel tones of the ceremony décor, and the bride’s gorgeous gele adding an additional pop of fun colour to their outfits. Before the change, the bride stunned in an ivory Vera Wang gown, and the groom in his navy bespoke tuxedo with dark lapel. There was no doubt about it that the couple looked as classy and radiant as their surroundings.

I Do Guatemala

Nerves were running high on the morning of their special day... even the ground was trembling! “I woke up that morning to an earthquake,” laughs the bride. “Luckily, it was mild!” Getting ready in the bridal suite at Casa Santo Domingo, the bride could hear her friends and family laughing by the pool, and see them admiring the candles scattered over the venue. “It was fun to hear everyone's reactions, but I was anxious to get the evening started by the time we headed to the hotel.” The groom himself woke up to his favourite film on the TV, "Coming to America", having not even noticed the earthquake! He then spent the day talking with his friends, and reading through Mariel's gift to him: dozens of letters and photographs from all of their guests. “It was incredible to read through all of their well-wishes for me and our marriage.”

Following their memorable wedding day, the bride and groom spent two weeks in the Philippines... Underestimating the warning of typhoon season! “We were thinking the storms couldn't be that bad, which wasn’t a great idea,” the bride jokes. “We had to be rescued by the Philippine Navy!”

I Do Guatemala


PLANNER: I Do, Guatemala by Diana Sciarrillo VENUE: Casa Santo Domingo DRESS: Kaitlin by Vera Wang PHOTOS/VIDEO: Carlos Lopez Averdi CATERERS: Casa Santo Domingo Hotel DJ: Max Piha SEATING PLACE CARDS: Polaroid Foto Bar JEWELLERY: Haniken Jewelers GROOMSMEN SUITS: Combat Gent BRIDESMAID GOWNS: BCBG CAKE: Sofia Cobian

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