This Couple's Wedding Weekend Captured the Old-World Spirit of Mexico
It's fairly common for couples to meet at weddings. Ellery and Trace, however, actually re-met at a wedding—and their reconnection was a long time in the making. Their parents had, in fact, been friends for years: Trace's first memory of Ellery and her family was her older sister's birthday party, when he learned that they had a pet potbelly pig! Naturally, he would always ask his parents when he could go back to see the pig. After years of childhood run-ins, many of which included Rambo (said pig), the duo ended up attending the same high school. But they didn't start dating until that fated wedding run-in years later.
Around the six year mark of their relationship, the couple was at Ellery's childhood home on Christmas Eve when Trace stopped Ellery on her way to get ready for bed, claiming that he had a surprise. She was somewhat confused—they'd promised not to exchange gifts that year since they were taking a New Year's ski trip. At Trace's insistence to meet him outside for a Christmas toast, off she went to the driveway. Once there, she found it completely lined with candles; the trees had also been lit up with fairy lights. Trace's face lit up like his surroundings when his future bride said "Yes!" to his proposal.
Ellery, the CEO of bra company, Fruutfull, and Trace, an account manager for a Caterpillar dealer, opted to host a tropical destination wedding, complete with celestial touches, in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. The festivities kicked off with a rehearsal dinner at Casa CeCe
one of many historic homes in the town. On April 7, 2018, the Florida-based pair were married at the local church, Iglesia Anglicana de San Pablo before celebrating at Casa Chorro, another historic home, which hosted their 115 guests. The team from event planning company Penzi helped ensure that every detail was picture-perfect during the enchanting wedding weekend.
The couple's floral stationery suite was finished with calligraphy by Trout Designs, a company owned by the bride's cousin. San Miguel's colors and vibe were the inspiration behind the suite—as was the duo's home state of Florida.
The Welcome Bags
Upon arrival, guests were gifted colorful bags which referenced the traditional weaving methods used by Mayan women (they were also a nod to the Mayan goddess of the moon and textile arts, Ixchel). Inside were several San Miguel specialities, including soap from a local lavender farm, Mexican loteria matchboxes purchased from the city's street vendors, and star ornaments. Each bag also included a welcome note made by Trout Designs.
Ellery and Trace first fell in love with San Miguel while vacationing there to celebrate Ellery's mother's birthday. They appreciated the old-European feel of the small colonial town, which is actually a UNESCO World Heritage site. The cobblestone streets, colorful facades, fuchsia bougainvillea, and intricate wooden doors were just a few of the things that kept the couple coming back to San Miguel during their venue search.
The Rehearsal Dinner Location
Everyone gathered on the terrace of Casa CeCe to kick off the bride and groom's rehearsal dinner with a sunset cocktail hour.
Rehearsal Dinner Attire
Guests were serenaded by a mariachi band, which played throughout the cocktail hour.
A Special Guest
Benito the donkey made an appearance during the pre-wedding festivities; guests enjoyed snapping photos with him.
The Dinner Setup
Since the jacaranda trees and bougainvillea were in bloom throughout the property, the rehearsal dinner's décor was kept quite simple with round tables and tiny overhead string lights. The centerpieces were constructed using a variety of greenery and palm fronds, while the blue and white Talavera pottery (a traditional Mexican ceramic style) added a pop of color.
Echoing the street food vendors that are so common in San Miguel, Penzi set up multiple food stations, one of which offered fresh corn tortillas. A guacamole and salsa station was a big hit, as were tacos al pastor and esquites (Mexican street corn salad). For dessert, heart-shaped churros with spicy chocolate and dulce de leche were served.
Fiesta Wedding Style
Ellery had fun trying on wedding dresses with her sisters, mom, and aunt before finally landing on this Naeem Khan style, a classic strapless design with a unique pattern. Raffia that had been hand-woven in Italy was used to embellish the gown. The bride proudly wore her mother's emerald and diamond earrings, a gift from Ellery's father when the pair was first married, to complete her look. Trace sported a custom black tuxedo, a bow tie from Brackish Bow Ties, and Hugo Boss shoes.
First Look with Dad
Ellery and Trace decided that they wanted to see each other for the first time as Ellery walked down the aisle. Instead, the bride opted for a first look with her father, which made for a special photo-op. "I am one of three girls, and the first to get married, so I knew it would be an emotional moment," she recalls. "Those moments with my dad are some of my favorite pictures from the entire weekend."
The couple stuck to only siblings for their wedding parties. Ellery's two sisters made a shimmery statement in silk charmeuse dresses, which were custom designed by a childhood friend of the bride's, Olivia Gray. The rich copper color of the dresses ultimately served as inspiration for the wedding invitations' envelopes.
Ellery and Trace were married at Iglesia Anglicana de San Pablo in a traditional Episcopalian ceremony. Penzi marked the building's entrance with baby's breath, which lined the archway. A cellist and violinist played classical music as guests entered the church before Ellery's father walked her down the aisle to the sounds of "Ave Maria" by Johann Sebastian Bach and Charles Gounod.
The Cocktail Hour
Guests took in sunset views of San Miguel from the main terrace at Casa Chorro while sipping on mojitos and margaritas. The appetizers were similarly fiesta-inspired, including chorizo and manchego quesadillas, plantains stuffed with marinated chicken, cream and poblano rajas mini sopes, and shrimp wrapped in bacon with serrano pepper.
The Reception Setup
Everyone moved inside Casa Chorro for the reception, where two long tables were set up with candles and low floral arrangements. To the sides of the tables, long strands of lights hung down from the trees in the garden. Stunning star-shaped installations, inspired by Moravian stars the couple had seen around town, were arranged overhead—guests felt as though they were dining under the stars.
The Place Settings
In order to not compete with the venue's natural beauty, the couple opted for simple place settings, which included white ceramic plates with minimal patterns and silver flatware. Trout Designs created the menus with the couple's wedding crest; the green leaf place cards were the work of a local calligrapher. Some of the highlights from the dinner, catered by Penzi, included huitlacoche crepes, beef tenderloin with huitlacoche in creamy corn sauce, and mole poblano chicken.
The speeches at the reception were both emotional and humorous. After the pair's siblings shared some words, Ellery's father gave a particularly touching speech. "He shared a story that has become a tradition at our family weddings imparting advice for a long and happy marriage," says the bride. "It was truly the highlight of our evening and a moment we will never forget."
The Dessert Bar
Penzi served an impressive dessert spread, including mango tarts and mini tres leches cakes.
The Champagne Tower
In an effort to do something a little more unexpected than cake (that would also allow them to involve their guests), Ellery and Trace set up a Champagne tower. Attendees loved it, says Trace: "Popping the Champagne was a great way to get the party started out on the dance floor!"
Photography, Sylvie Gil Photography
Event planning, catering, flowers, music, rentals, lighting, transportation, and hair, Penzi
Videography, Simone Luca Cinematography
Calligraphy, Trout Designs
Bridesmaids' dresses, Olivia Gray
Menswear, Vera Wang