Joselyn & Michael
I met Joselyn and Michael at my favorite coffee shop in downtown Houston on a Fall day in 2017. Their vibes perfectly meshed with my style and we hit it off immediately. Since Joss and Mike are both artists (producer and designer, respectively) they made it very clear to me from the beginning that they wanted photographs that were uniquely my style. As a couple, their love for music had brought them together and they both wanted a more artistic (less traditional) approach in every aspect of their wedding—including photography! Joselyn wasn’t interested much in traditional wedding style or photos. She was designing her own wedding with the help of my friend and excellent florist, Beatrice of Addy Florales, and she wanted every detail of her wedding to reflect her personality and design style. I was elated to be working as her photographer!
For Joss and Mike, Antigua Guatemala was a no brainer as a wedding destination as Joselyn’s family is from Guatemala originally and some extended family still reside there. The wedding took place in San Jose El Viejo, a colonial era church around the corner from my studio in Central Antigua. The church is about as ancient as they come in this part of the world and is uniquely known for it’s service to designer weddings of artists and Hollywood’s elite. It is perhaps the most coveted wedding venue I have ever had the privilege of working in. The long and narrow, candle lit space is perfect for couples and their closest friends and family to celebrate intimate ceremonies and receptions. San Jose El Viejo’s stripped down interior allows couples to design their own experience without having to work around any permanent installations inside the venue. Being one of the few premium venues in Antigua with a covered roof, it is also perfect for rainy wedding days like that of Joss and Mike.
THE WEDDING DAY
Joselyn chose to work with the best when it came to her wedding day making every detail flawless. Not even a torrential downpour and one of the most catastrophic eruptions in Guatemala’s recent history could stop her day from being perfect. Our day started off in Camino Royal, where Joselyn and her family and close friends prepared for the big day. There, my team and I photographed the amazing details of her wedding day, including an amazingly unique bouquet and the bonnet from the day Michael was born. “I wanted my bouquet to look wild and imperfect, just like these flowers are found in nature. Too many bouquets are boring flowers forced into perfectly cut shapes. That’s not what I wanted.” Joselyn was very adamant that as a designer and self-proclaimed ‘plant lady’ she wanted a bouquet that was both unique and authentic—just like here and Mike’s love.
Meanwhile, Mike and his father, bother’s, and best friend were getting ready in and Airbnb at La Canada del Belen, a few blocks away, with my second shooter. Giancarlo captured some great shots of the guys getting ready and walking around the neighborhood. They finished just in time to get Mike inside of San Jose El Viejo just before the rain started.
As Joselyn slipped into her dress, her father awaited outside of her room in the courtyard for the first glimpse of his precious daughter fully wedding ready. As Joss made her way outside and down the corridor, her father turned around to embrace her. “She’s beautiful,” he exclaimed in Spanish as a single tear escaped his eyes and rolled down his cheek. It was a special moment.
As the rain began, Joselyn stepped into the vintage Volkswagen her grandfather provided for her wedding day. The mood of the raindrops on the window as she sat in the backseat inspired me, so I stuck my camera through the car door following her and quickly snapped a photo of the moment.
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. On Joss and Mike’s wedding day the weather was less than desirable. It started raining long before the ceremony was set to start, leaving us no time to get portraits of the couple using natural light. Thankfully, Joss and Mike took my advice during the planning stages and booked a day after session.
This session was one of the most unique days I have ever experienced in photography. After getting some photos in front of the bride’s favorite plant (did I mention she likes plants?) we headed into the ruins in Antigua Guatemala. We were just getting started in the ruins of Recoleccion when I heard a thunderous bang in the distance. At first, I thought perhaps another thunderstorm was starting, but then I realized it was much more serious than that. It was time for us to leave. Joselyn, Michael, and I all got into an Uber and drove directly to the house they were staying in. Once there we said our goodbye’s and I walked briskly to my studio around the corner.
I got inside just before the ash started to fall. Antigua Guatemala’s Volcan Fuego had erupted in one of the biggest explosions to rock the country in over a century. It would turn out to prove disastrous for Guatemalan’s and the Guatemalan economy. For more on the eruption, you can check out my blog here. In the end, we had enough time to get all of the photos the couple desired despite two days of bad weather. I can’t recommend booking a day after session enough!
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 Jose El Viejo — Venue
ADDY Florales — Florist
Amarantho — Coordinator
Casa Elena GT — Cake
Brickhouse bridal — Dress
Urban Rose Designs — Caligraphy
Giancarlo Gallardo — Second Shooter
To see more Antigua wedding photography or to find out about getting married in Guatemala, click the link below.