I am so excited and proud to present this fabulous wedding of Melissa & Cory to light the way for our Real Weddings. This wedding gives me goose bumps. It is amazing on so many levels where do I begin? Firstly, the location!!! Secondly, an unbelievably amazing church that I would get on a plane right now just to go to visit. Thirdly, a shaman blessing – this for me is such a wonderful inclusion – a spiritual blessing of the couple – ensuring the spirits are included and what better way to begin marriage together?! Melissa and Cory were married  at the Convent of San Antonio de Padua Izamal, Yucatán, Mexico. Feast your senses on this………I have seen alot of weddings!!! And this one is very special.       

 Melissa has kindly shared her intimate day with us and so in her own words ….my comments are in italics.    

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

  This awesome Day of the Dead statue was in the room where Melissa & her bridesmaids were getting ready. How kool is that!    

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

 Melissa’s vibrant colourful floral bouquet.  

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

 Melissa and her sister Stephanie doing make up touches.     

Melissa: I’ve always dreamt of having a wedding that was different and luckily my husband shared those same feelings as well.  Cory and I met at the University of Notre Dame in 2002 I was a senior, graduating in less than a month and he was in town as a producer’s assistant for a show performing on campus for the Latino Institute.  I originally didn’t want to attend the show but my friend kept insisting I attend and during intermission, she even came to get me from the computer lab to go.  At the end of the show I saw a cute guy walk by that I knew couldn’t be a student or I’d have noticed him LOL but I didn’t say anything.  Then my friend and I went to the Director of the Latino Institute’s house for a reception after the show.  I saw this same “cute guy” there and this time I wanted to say hi.  I approached him and introduced myself and when he responded I heard his Texas accent.  Being from Texas myself, we had a connection and talked for awhile about “home”.  We exchanged information and he returned to Los Angeles, a month later I graduated and moved to Washington D.C. and we maintained a friendship then started dating long distance.  After a year flying across the country every few months, I made the move to Los Angeles to be closer to him ad the rest is history :-) On September 25th, 2007 Cory proposed to me at the exact same spot I told him I remember seeing him for the first time after the show.  We married on April 18, 2009, 7 years to the date that we met :-) Because I’ve always been fascinated with the Mayan culture, I started seeking ceremonies that incorporated that culture and that’s when I was introduced to Evelyn Salas at Turitransmerida.  They arranged for my wedding to be even better than what I expected.     

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

  OMG have you ever seen a church as awesome as this???!! I have traveled the world and seen many a church but this one wins the prize for best church EVER!     

 Melissa: We began our wedding weekend, welcoming our guests to a cocktail party in Progresso.  Progresso has the world’s longest pier and is a beautiful beach.  The next day was our wedding ceremony in Izamal, Mexico, about 1 hour away from Merida where our guests had spent their first few days.  Izamal was an amazing city with all of its buildings in yellow, “the sacred color of corn”.  Izamal has cobblestone streets and the horse drawn carriages which are used by guests and locals.     

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

   ….and incredible interior and shrine too! Incredible! Incredible! Incredible!     

Melissa: The Convent of San Antonio de Padua, run by Franciscan priests and built between 1553 and 1562, is where our ceremony took place.  This church was built on the foundations of the large Maya temple of Popol-chac, which the Spaniards called the “Castle of the Kings” (Castillo de los Reyes).  The atrium is the largest in Latin America and the 2nd largest in the world, only beaten by St Peter’s Square in Rome. The altar was extremely large, gold, and amazing.  The mass was conducted in Spanish and throughout the ceremony it just felt magical because of the history of the area and church.    

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

   So beautiful.    

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

  I love this shot – Melissa looks so present and absorbed.       

 
 

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

 Melissa: At the end of the ceremony, we released butterflies and boarded a bus to our reception that was to be held at Mayaland Resort.  We chose that location because it’s the closest you can be to Chichen Itza, one of seven wonders of the world and one of the Mayan’s most famous temples.  Mayaland even has its own private entrance to Chichen Itza.  After we were greeted with Margaritas and our luggage checked in by the staff, we proceeded to Chichen Itza for a light and sound show.  The show included the telling of the story of Chichen Itza and its Mayan people.      

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

Melissa: If you look at my wedding pictures you’ll see the huge necklace I wore.  I actually purchased that piece in Venice Beach a few months after we were engaged.  Because I already knew I wanted to get married with a Mayan theme, I knew I had to have that necklace because it had a rustic, Mayan look to it, though that piece is actually from Pakistan.  So I actually worked backwards…rather than getting my dress then looking for accessories, I had my necklace and now needed a dress.  I went to dozens of bridal shops and even designer boutiques looking for a dress that complimented the necklace.  Everywhere I went, I always got the same “you want to wear that?” look.  I was beginning to feel discouraged when a friend suggested I go to Betsey Johnson.  Of course I should have!!!! They are fun!!! So I went to the store, showed them my necklace and they suggested the dress you see in my wedding pictures.  The dress is actually one that’s been on a cover of a magazine worn by Brittany Murphy here.  They even found a ribbon that best matched my necklace for me to wear.  It was perfect because it went well with my necklace, was classic, and perfect for the 100+ degree weather in Mexico.    

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

Melissa: For my bridesmaids, I wanted them to wear colorful colors because when I think of Mexico, I always think of vibrant colors.  One thing that has always bothered me are how expensive bridesmaid dresses are and how they are usually never worn again, so I wanted to keep the cost low.  I found the perfect dress with an array of colors available to choose, from Delia’s. My 1 year old nephew and ring bearer even wore a guayabera too and my flower girl wore a bright orange dress to also go with the colorfulness of the wedding.

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

Melissa: My husband wanted to keep with the Mexican culture and wear a Guayabera.  He had one tailored for him here in Los Angeles and funny enough he didn’t know it was actually being made in Merida (where we stayed for a few days in Mexico for the wedding weekend) and being shipped back to LA.  He asked the groomsmen to also wear a guayabera, any color they wanted except white or black, with linen pants.  It was pretty exciting seeing how creative some of the groomsmen were with selecting theirs.  One had the Virgin of Guadalupe, another had Dia de Los Muertos.     

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

Great shot! Everyone looks uber cool.    

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

Melissa:  the guests all received was a white and blue netted box with a white butterfly inside.  The inscription on the boxes said in Spanish: Release the butterfly, in gratitude she will fly so high into the sky until she encounters God…she’ll tell Him your message and your wish will come true.    

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

One of the butterflies landed on the grooms shirt, and check out the day of the dead shirt!!!!! Buzzing!! And the Virgin below…   

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

  Melissa looking like a Mayan Goddess.    

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

Melissa: After the show, Cory and I were escorted to a horse drawn carriage and our guests followed down the tiki lit path to our reception area.  As we approached the area, Yucatecan dancers were welcoming us and dancing around the lit pool which centered the reception area.  After they danced, Mayan dancers proceeded with their traditional dances as well as a re-enactment of a virgin sacrifice which back then was a sign of a blessing.  Then mini fireworks went off and our names were lit up on top of a hill nearby.  Entertainment continued with a trio, mariachis, and then a DJ.      

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

 Melissa: For the reception I just went with something simple & comfortable, it was actually meant for a quincineara. The necklace is made from abalone and was purchased in Catalina Island and I loved the way it looked and also reminded me of the Mayan culture.     

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

Melissa: The next day, we had a 2nd ceremony which was led by a Mayan shaman.  I was told there aren’t very many true Mayan shamans.  He only spoke Mayan and we had a Spanish translator.  Even before I was told of the translations, I was very moved by his words, as hearing him speak in his native Mayan tongue, the culture I’ve always been fascinated about, was so spiritual and I could feel the energy.  He asked our guests to line up in a single line and he asked for each person’s name and incorporated it into his prayer as he performed a cleanse on them.  At one time when he lifted up the when he ended the cleanse on everyone, the wind all of a sudden picked up and the animals in the area made noises.  Call it a coincidence but I’d like to think it was the energy in the ritual.  Then he went down the line again and this time with oil was blessing each one of my guests individually.  He then came to my husband and I and performed a wedding ceremony and blessing for us.  I was so moved by the experience I remember tears running down my face.  I could feel the energy in his words though I didn’t understand them.  At the end of the ceremony, it was nice to hear from my guests that they too felt moved by the experience.  In the area it had been months since it had rained, and the next day it rained for about half an hour.  Locals told me that it’s typical for it to rain after a blessing like the one we experienced.  Overall the wedding was magical and I loved that my guests were able to share in the experience and also feel touched by it as well.      

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

The shaman blessed Melissa’s nephew Christian who became totally quiet and calm during the blessing.     

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

 Tina-Louise the photographer managed to capture some images of Melissa and Cory at the pyramid before the Mexican policia came and made her delete the few photos! Luckily she was able to retrieve some!!
 

May Melisa & Cory and their new addition to the family be blessed and have a long life and happy marriage and thank you both for sharing such a wonderful wedding!   

www.tinalouisephotographer.com

Many Thanks: www.tinalouisephotographer.com    

 

6 Responses so far.

  1. Samantha says:

    Wow, I am totally jealous – this wedding is AMAZING!! I am so glad I found this blog because it’s different from the others and has a deeper meaning. Thank you Melissa for sharing – you were a beautiful bride!! :-)

  2. Iris Medina says:

    Wow, Melissa your wedding was so amazing. Thank you so much for sharing. It looks like you married your bestfriend. :0) So happy for the both of you. May your blessings continue. -Iris

  3. Suki says:

    I like this wedding very much. I like the shirts. She look very pretty and happy.

  4. Casey says:

    I find this wedding very touching. Thank you for sharing and reminding me of what’s important.

  5. sarah says:

    What a beautiful wedding. The colours and setting are fantastic. And that necklace…wow!!!! Also love the first photo of the groom and his groomsmen all standing around…very cool.

  6. Loved the Mayan Blessing by the Shaman, and the fact that his blessing coincidentally brought much needed rain to the area – fortunately the day after the wedding though! I love all unusual weddings. As a wedding photographer I get my share of unique experiences too so enjoyed seeing these through Tina-Louise’s eyes. (in the last 4 months had another wedding at the Ice Hotel in Sweden and one at the other extreme -a tropical one in the Seychelles – so am very lucky too!) xx