Destination Wedding Inside the Hidden Ruins of Antigua Guatemala

Andreana & Christopher

Andreana & Christopher embrace in the ruins of San Fransisco el Grande after exchanging wedding vows in the church.



When Christopher reached out to me to be his an Andreana’s wedding photographer, he made one thing clear: he didn’t like being in photographs and he hated being the center of attention. Over the course of our first conversation he asked me several really great questions that not many people consider when booking a wedding photographer, such as, “Do you use strobes, hot boxes, other unnatural light sources?” “How does your experience as a film photographer influence your approach to wedding photography?” “What is your style of photography” and finally “What about you makes you different from all of the other photographers offering wedding photography in Antigua Guatemala?” It was important to Christopher that I didn’t bring along a lot of lights and flashes, that I could capture beautiful moments without having to pose him and Andreana the entire wedding day, and that I beautifully documented sincere moments rather than constructing a false narrative of their wedding day. Towards the end of our conversation I knew that Chris’s desire for minimalizing the equipment that my team brought as well as keeping a photojournalistic approach to the day fit in perfectly with my team’s strengths. We were going to be able to capture real moments of one of the biggest weddings of the year. Chris and Andreana’s wedding was going to be one of the most beautiful of 2018.

Andreana and Christopher reached out to me with one goal: to make their dream wedding a reality. They told me that they were looking to book one of the top coordinators and the most creative florist in Guatemala and that they needed me to make incredible images of their wedding day. I knew that it was a big task, but we got together at my favorite tea shop in Antigua Guatemala to go over their desires for wedding photography and I couldn’t have been happier with what they described to me. The plan was to get married in the church Andreana had been brought up in, San Fransisco el Grande, and to celebrate the reception in Ruinas Santa Clara. Then Andreana told me that she planned to receive permission to photograph the romantic portraits after the ceremony in the ruins behind San Fransisco el Grand, where photography of any kind is strictly prohibited. Just the thought of being able to photograph such an amazing couple inside of my favorite ruins in Antigua Guatemala gave me butterflies. We were all so excited about the possibility.

Andreana & Christopher see their reception decorations by Addy Florales for the first time.


The day of the wedding, my team and I showed up early to document Chris and Andreana getting ready. We were faced with harsh lighting conditions that were going to complicate our journalistic approach to the wedding day. We started at the house Christopher’s family was staying at to capture the guys around the property and get some detail photos. With minimal direction my team and I captured some memories that morning that would become beautiful reminders for Chris and his brothers of that morning before the ceremony.

We then met Andreana at her parents home across Antigua. When I first arrived she was having her hair done and writing her vows on a balcony overlooking the garden. It was one of those scenes out of a book: beautiful and sincere. My team and I set about to document the bridesmaids, family, and preparation of the bride. The garden of the house was the perfect backdrop to capture Andreana slipping into her dress and shoes with her mom and best friends close by to help.

We made our way together to San Fransisco el Grande where the families celebrated the marriage with mass. After the ceremony Andreana & Chris exited the church and danced through bubbles as a mariachi band played in the background. From there we went into the ruins behind the church for photographs of the bridal party and a romantic session with the bride and groom. Andreana was stunning in her dress and I wanted to get a photograph that captured just that, so I had my assistants set her up on the stairs while I set up the shot from a distance. We then moved to the roof where I worked with the videographers to capture a few moments of the couple alone together. The whole moment was like something out of a fairytale.

Fireworks over Santa Clara during the reception.

When we arrived together at Santa Clara for the couple’s grand entrance, I had the luck of capturing Andreana’s reaction to first seeing the design of the reception hall by Addy Florales. She was moved to tears by the beauty of Santa Clara and the floral design. It was a beautiful moment. From there dinner was served, emotional speeches were given, the couple’s favorite band played lived in the ruins, and everyone danced the night away under the open sky. Towards the end the couple had fireworks and a sparkler exit. It was the most beautiful and elaborate wedding reception I have experienced to date.

THE Day After Session

The day after session is something that I recommend to all couples who are planning a destination wedding. The reasoning is simple: weather is unpredictable and you don’t get a second chance for photos with a destination wedding. Even when the weather is good on the wedding day, the day after session gives couples a chance to extend their romantic portrait session in a ruin of their choice and get some great photographs around the streets of Antigua Guatemala that there usually is not sufficient time for on the day of the wedding. Andreana and Chris took full advantage of the day after session and we were able to get some amazing photographs in Santa Clara as we had the ruin all to ourselves.

Keep scrolling to see photographs from this amazing wedding!

Click on any of the thumbnails below to see the full size image. To see the video from this wedding, click here.

Special Thanks To:

San Fransisco el Grande — Church

Santa Clara Ruinas — Venue

Saguzo Eventos — Wedding Coordinator

Addy Florales — Floral and Decorations

Paola Alvarado — Hair

Annette Jimenez — Makeup

Sunday Funday — Live Band

Luz y Muebles — Lighting

On the Road Media — Videographers

Zsanka Kovacs — Second Shooter

To see more Antigua wedding photography or to find out about getting married in Guatemala, click the link below.