I started this business because when I was planning my wedding, I was shocked at the time, expense and effort it took to get the right favours for our wedding. In the end, I wanted to create a magical experience for our friends and family, and having the right wedding favours were an integral part of creating our event.
Taken from my StyleMePretty wedding feature:
From Diane… My husband and I live to travel, taking every spare moment to explore and see a new place or part of the world. (He more than I, I must admit as his country count is over 90!) I had fallen in love with Guatemala and its raw beauty when I taught there a few years back and introduced its splendor and charm to Rishi just before we were engaged. (BTW, he popped the question on stage at the end of a concert of my absolute favorite singer in the world…Anthony Hamilton …a surprise is an understatement and it was a dream to say the least!) If I were asked to describe Antigua in one word, it would be “Magical”…
When we were trying to decide where to get married, we pondered the simplicity of a small wedding in our home city, thought about cruises or all-inclusive type destination weddings, but nothing seemed to stick or excite us. It was not until Rishi simply suggested, “Why not Guatemala?”…and that was it. We immediately jumped on the idea that night without even putting much thought into it (well, 5 minutes worth) we sent an email out to our closest friends and family that night which sealed the deal. Rishi’s family lives in Trinidad and mine in Toronto…both families don’t travel often. It was important to us that we provide everyone with an “adventure” where friends and family would have time to grow true relationships and see a place they would not have otherwise.
I found the most gorgeous group of houses (6 in total…which we called “Melrose Place” because they surrounded a pool just like the show) which we rented for a week to accommodate our guests and family. It was cost friendly, allowed everyone to be close, and provided the perfect “get to know you” atmosphere. Each room was stocked with a welcome bag filled with goodies and necessities like a hangover kit (with emergency meds, earplugs, and an eye mask), snacks, sweets, personalized lip balm, water and more.
The days before the wedding were filled with events for guests to choose to participate in (or not). We had a meet and greet day filled with a hop-on/hop-off tour of the city, followed by a night around the pool with catered traditional Guatemala food, music, and drinks. After the rehearsal dinner we had a salsa night out with salsa lessons, music, drinks and fun.
The day of the wedding was just the icing on the cake to the whole week we got to enjoy with the closest people in our lives.
Our venues (being built over 300 years ago) matched our theme…magical. We loved the simplicity of both venues. I would not have called myself crafty before the wedding, but I kicked up my inner craftiness and became a DIY guru. I made (and discovered I loved making) a ton of personlized paper products and decor and we brought literally suitcases full of DIY to add to the decor.
The ceremony was held at San Jose el Viejo; a smaller, more intimate ruin, followed by a cocktail hour with our signature “Flirtini” drink and apps. The sound of thunder and heavy rain added a warm feel to this already magical venue. As part of the ceremony, we held a “Sand and Soil” ceremony. Rishi used sand from Trinidad where he grew up and I used soil from the backyard of my childhood home in Toronto. We exchanged personalized vows and our wedding bands made from aircraft titanium (adding a special meaning because of our travels) and sealed the deal with a smooch.
Shuttles whisked guests off to the reception held in the temple of Las Capuchinas where we had a Cuban band, Ignacio (he’s the grandson of one of the original members of the Buena Vista Social Club) playing for their entrance. By that point, everyone was relaxed, happy, ready to celebrate and enjoy a few drinks made by our flare bartenders. A delicious meal, followed by mini desserts, a candy station and s’mores were there to satisfy everyone’s sweet spot. The atmosphere was fun and full of joy and having guests come from all over (Canada, US, Trinidad, Guatemala, and as far as Scotland and Nigeria!) made for the best night and week of our lives.