Being into a more neutral colour palette, Sofia wanted to keep her wedding to Manny very classic, with some rustic touches. "The one thing I really wanted was a statement dance floor with hanging flowers, and my wedding team really delivered that wow factor." Captured by Southern California wedding photographer LUCY MUNOZ the couple knew they wanted a destination wedding because it probably would be the only time they would ever be able to vacation and spend an entire weekend with all of their friends and family. "We really wanted to provide everyone with a fun and relaxed weekend. We did not want to have our guests on a schedule and wanted a small resort where everyone could easily find each other. UNICO 2087 IN El Pueblito, Mayakoba had a good variety of restaurants and activities, while still being small. It was great running into everyone on the way to dinner, and at the end of the night everyone would gather at the lobby bar. It was exactly what we were looking for when venue shopping." With planning by XB WEDDINGS & EVENTS and florals by CANTEIRO the end result was a stunning celebration that encapsulated the couples vision perfectly.

HOW DID YOU MEET? Manny and I met on the Bumble dating app. He is nine years older than me and we probably would have never crossed paths otherwise. We spoke every day, all day, for three weeks before meeting. I was really nervous to go on our first date and had my friends tracking my every move through Find My Friends. After almost four hours, they checked in on me and were shocked to see we were still on our date. We never stopped speaking after that and the rest is history!

TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL: Manny proposed to me the day after I graduated with my doctorate in psychology. Manny had told me he had an entire day planned to celebrate my graduation. I often spoke to him about the school I attended my entire life and love dearly, Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart in Miami, FL. I often told him that my years at Carrollton were the best years of my life- my father was still alive and healthy, my family was happy, and my friends were all still living in Miami. It’s a beautiful historic mansion on the bay and I had always wanted to show him around and give him a tour. He told me that since I had just ended my academic career, he thought it would be nice to start our day where I began my academic career. During my tour of the campus, Manny seemed very uninterested and more concerns about texting (little did I know he was speaking to his brother who was setting up for our engagement). Manny proposed to me by the bay. We can’t give you many details about what he said because we were both so nervous and can’t remember much. We celebrated with my favorite bubbly, but the celebrations were cut short because Manny had another surprise for me, we were headed to New York! New York was the first trip we ever took together and our favorite weekend getaway. We went to a romantic dinner at the restaurant we ate at during that first trip. It was absolutely perfect!

TELL US ABOUT FINDING YOUR WEDDING DRESS/ATTIRE: I found my dress on the first day of shopping. It was the last bridal boutique I went to. They pulled out the dress and it was love at first sight. They warned me that they only had the sample available so I would have to fit into that size. The dress looked tiny, and I thought there was no way I would fit into it. I was shocked to see that the dress actually had to be taken in. It was definitely meant for me and very much my style.

DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING FLOWERS: Our wedding flowers were all white with a lot of greenery. I wanted something neutral, romantic, and classic.

FAVOURITE DETAIL OF THE DAY: It is hard for me to choose just one favourite detail from that day. I loved so many things about my wedding. I would have to say that the flowers hanging over the dance floor would have to be a favourite. That was the one thing I really wanted in my décor. When they opened the doors to the venue, my jaw dropped.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OUT TO A COUPLE PLANNING THEIR WEDDING? My advice would be to take it all in! We spent so much time planning our wedding and it goes by quickly. Manny and I were advised to stop throughout the wedding, look around and take mental snapshots/videos of our wedding day. We made it a point to do this and it was the best advise we received.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT? I find it difficult to find just one memorable moment. I think the entire wedding weekend was the best time of my life. If I had to pick out certain moments, I would say when the Church doors opened and I saw Manny for the first time at the end of the alter, when they opened the venue doors and I saw my vision come to life, and my mom’s surprise dedication and dance to “Wind Beneath My Wings” with me.

WHAT ASPECT OF THE WEDDING WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU BOTH? It was really important to us that we had a beautiful and meaningful wedding ceremony. My father passed away when I was 17 years old, and it was very important to me that he be included in the wedding in some way. Lastly, good music was a top priority for us. We really wanted our guests to have a great time.

ANY OTHER DETAILS THAT HELP TELL THE STORY OF YOUR DAY? My father passed away when I was 17 years old. We had a very close and beautiful relationship. The weeks leading up to the wedding were very difficult for my mom and I because I think the reality of him not physically being there with us started to set in. My father was the main breadwinner in our family. When he passed away my mom found herself in a very stressful situation, having to maintain everything my father left behind and raising their only daughter. I never in a million years thought my mother would be able to give me the wedding of my dreams. I am so proud of how strong and independent she has become. She has come such a long way and was able to give me everything and more all on her own!

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR HONEYMOON: We had to plan three different honeymoons. Our first two honeymoons to Europe were cancelled due to the pandemic. Looking back, I am so happy they got cancelled because we ended up planning a last minute honeymoon to South Africa. We traveled to Cape Town, the Cape Winelands and ended our honeymoon at a Safari in Kruger National Park. It was the most unreal experience!

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WOULD CHANGE OR DO DIFFERENTLY? I would not change anything about our wedding weekend! It met all my high expectations. It was everything I wanted it to be!

A huge thank you to Southern California wedding photographer LUCY MUNOZ for sharing this beautiful wedding with us. Lucy is a valued - and super talented - member of our VENDOR GUIDE. "From the moment I arrive at your wedding until the moment I leave, my goal is to capture your day so that you have an amazing mixture of candids, traditional poses, family formals and everything in between - all whilst delivering an incredible experience." Be sure to check out this Romantic sunrise bridal session underneath the Eiffel Tower.