By Louise Baltruschat Hollis
Photos by Michelle Agurto
Goodness, I have the most beautiful Ecuador wedding to share with you. María Paz and Felipe are here to share their romantic barn chic wedding, with earthy tones and simple decor.
You’re going to adore the stylish outfits, fun hats, pretty florals and the sweet treats. You can just feel the warmth, love and happiness oozing from these beautiful images all day long. Plus I urge you to read their advice regarding their wedding planning journey and date change. Very inspiring!
Michelle Agurto, thank you so much for sharing these utterly beautiful images of a very special wedding indeed.
We got engaged on June 26th of 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, in the city of Ibarra, province of Imbabura, Ecuador. Luis Felipe had planned to propose to me in March 2020 but COVID surprised us, so he had to wait until May of that year to buy the ring.
We went for a picnic at a friend’s Hacienda, located in the town of Zuleta, a few minutes from the city of Ibarra. The place is beautiful, very green, surrounded by forests and mountains. So I said YES.
I always knew that the wedding had to convey our essence, romantic, fresh, bohemian, and simple. So barn weddings with lots of flowers, lights, candles, and raw earth colours were always my wedding inspiration.
The wedding was celebrated at Ibarra, where I was born and raised, a two-hour drive from Quito, perfect for our families who live in both cities.
We chose Hacienda Chorlaví, because 32 years ago my parents got married in that same place, so I had a special connection and I knew that I wanted to celebrate my wedding there. Luis Felipe was also delighted with the idea.
Chorlaví is an old Hacienda, which was transformed into a Hostería, it is on the outskirts of Ibarra and two minutes drive from San Antonio’s Church, where we had the ecclesiastical ceremony.
The Hacienda was perfect for the style of wedding I wanted, rustic, bohemian, full of trees and gardens, with a very romantic atmosphere.
The owners of the Hacienda are the Tobar sisters, Carolina and Andrea, with whom I met to talk about what I wanted to do for the wedding. They are great and made me feel like I was in excellent hands. They were committed to everything, they have wonderful taste, and were able to capture all the ideas we had in mind.
I bought my wedding dress at the Ecuadorian store Tules y Novias. It was the first dress I tried on that I ended up buying, after having tried on a hundred dresses, in my heart, it was always the first. The dress was the complete opposite of what I had in mind when I started the search, I wanted something sexy, attached with straps and lace.
And I ended up with a princess type dress but with a sexy touch on the top, a beautiful neckline on the chest and back. I felt like a real bride.
Luis Felipe’s suit was a black Hugo Boss tuxedo. He kept it a secret, I didn’t know about his suit until the day I saw him at the altar, he looked so handsome.
The ceremony was Catholic, I come from a very traditional family, I am very devoted to my faith. So we chose the Church of San Antonio de Ibarra, the altar is one of the most beautiful I have seen in all of Ecuador, with details in gold and wood.
So we decorate the church as simply as possible because it is already beautiful. The altar arrangements were made by Chorlaví and the flowers on the benches were made by my mother. The Church Choir was spectacular, with 4 all-female voices and a piano. Luis Felipe and I carefully selected each song, the readings, the gospel, and we also wrote the prayers for our brothers and best friends to read at the ceremony.
For dinner time music, we chose Carlos Falconí, who is a musician and singer who specialized in Spanish flamenco music. I have always felt that the guitar is the most romantic and bohemian instrument and that it would be the perfect complement to set the scene for dinner.
For the party, we decided that the DJ was the best option, we aren’t really into bands. So we chose the genres of music we wanted for that day and left it all to the DJ.
All the planning of the wedding started after we had chosen Michelle as our photographer, it was the first step we took, even before looking for my dress. I am a fan of photography and Michelle’s style was perfect for the type of wedding I had in mind.
The initial date for the wedding was May 22nd, but Ecuador returned to confinement and we had to change the date. Michelle was always the best and the most understandable of that situation that was out of hand for all of us. I was heartbroken just thinking about not being able to have Michelle at our wedding, so after some discussion, we agreed to find the next available date and moved everything to September 4th.
Working with Michelle has been the best decision we have made to take our wedding photos. Her work is exceptional, she is an excellent professional and she is the best at what she does.
What I liked the most about Michelle is that she thinks of EVERYTHING, she is an excellent guide and support on that day when everything can be or feel a bit chaotic. She knew exactly what photos she wanted to take so she led the wedding session like a pro. I would trust her and I would always choose her.
After the ceremony, the guests arrived for a welcome cocktail outside the hall where they could have craft beer, appetisers, and gin, all the decoration elements were made by Carolina and Andrea from Hacienda Chorlaví.
All flower arrangements were made by Carolina and Andrea from Hacienda Chorlaví, the flowers they used were (Sigse, eucalyptus, wallflower, ruscus, white aster, mini white roses, and orange roses). The set of these flowers, for me, reflected the style of the wedding, bohemian, romantic, and warm.
My bridal bouquet, also made by Carolina and Andrea, had a bit of all the flowers from the decoration but they added Senecios and Anemones to make it more special. My mother made the bouquets for my bridesmaids, which were completely white, with Alelís and Gipsofilias flowers, tied with satin ribbons, the same colours from the dresses.
As decoration elements for the cocktail space, we chose a photobooth with wood, fabric, the words BETTER TOGETHER with and flowers. The bar had a few barrels of beer as a base and had the word BAR in lights. At 6:00 p.m., the guests went to the reception that was in the hall, which had a capacity for 300 guests but due to COVID, we could only have 110.
The living room is very rustic with huge windows, so it was important to have lots of flowers (Sigse, eucalyptus, alali, ruscus, white asters, mini white roses, and orange roses) hanging from the main wooden beams. Fabrics and lights were placed to decorate the columns and the ceiling to make the place much cozier.
The empty spaces of the hall were filled with small rooms with antique furniture from the Hacienda and the sweets table. The guests’ tables had many flowers and candles. I took care of buying small bottles and filling them with alcohol for hand disinfection which was placed at each table and I also bought craft paper envelopes to place on each plate so guests could store their masks.
I printed the car license plate with our names and date, and we painted cans with black and white designs to tie them with rope so they would be hanging out of the back of the car that was going to take us from the ceremony to the reception.
We haven’t gone on our honeymoon yet, we are still planning it ☺
The entrance of the two to the Reception Hall, because for the first time we saw everything we had planned for our wedding reflected in one place, everything looked so beautiful with the lights, so magical, so romantic, so warm.
We felt so much love and the beautiful energy of all the guests who were waiting for us standing, shouting, whistling, raising, and waving napkins, while the song Mi Persona Favorita by Alejandro Sanz and Camila Cabello played in the background.
Enjoy every moment of your wedding planning, even the setbacks you may have because everything happens and your wedding day is like the blink of an eye, so it is only worth enjoying it to the fullest.
If you have a very small budget, take into account the restrictions that your country has due to COVID to make the guest list. Having the people closest to you makes that day special and you can enjoy it much more with the people you love the most.
When planning your wedding it is very easy to get carried away by all the nice ideas that suppliers offer you, but you have to keep your priorities in mind and stick to the budget. Thinking about the things that people are really going to remember that day helped me focus a lot when making decisions.
When we chose the first date to celebrate the wedding, I thought that this would be the date no matter what happens, but you have to understand and learn to let go when things get out of hand and have the flexibility to adapt to any changes that you have to do.
María Paz and Felipe thank you so much for sharing your incredible wedding in Ecuador with us.
Credit where credit is due
Photography Michelle Agurto
Venue Decoration Catering Hacienda Chorlaví
Invitations Dominique Lepoutre
Groom's Suit Hugo Boss
Dress Tules y Novias
Hairpiece Dareth Colburn
Bride Accessories Swarovski
Bride Shoes Anamá Shoes
Makeup & Hair Andrea Giler
Musician Carlos Alberto Falconi
Coffee Station & Barista Cosecha Roja Café
Sweets Maria Elena Proaño
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