Colorful La Casa de la Ruina Wedding Full of Small Personal Touches

June 10, 2024 | justine

Jamie and Sami fell in love with Antigua when they got engaged there. As they planned their wedding, they wanted to capture the adventure, excitement, and love they felt during their first trip. They knew they had to share the beauty of Guatemala with their loved ones. Set in a luxurious historic venue, their La Casa de la Ruina wedding featured a vibrant color palette, showstopping florals, and festive decor that perfectly complemented the old-world atmosphere of their unique location.

A standout moment of the wedding was the ceremony location. The stunning courtyard ruins provided an enchanting backdrop for the couple’s heartfelt vows. And that’s not all. A Mariachi band serenaded and led the entire wedding party through the quaint streets to the garden reception. The tables were meticulously adorned with vibrant centerpieces, each adding a pop of color to the already picturesque setting. However, stealing the show was the unique and vibrant dance floor, where the newlyweds and their guests had a blast all night long.

Even though it was a destination wedding, the pair were determined to infuse it with the cozy familiarity of home and the vibrant spirit of Antigua and Central America. They wanted their guests to feel like they were stepping into their backyard for a relaxed and intimate celebration, and they succeeded brilliantly. Thankfully, Manuel Aldana was there to capture every moment, ensuring that the essence of their special day would be beautifully preserved for all to see.

The Couple:

Jamie and Sami

The Wedding:

La Casa de la Ruina, Antigua, Guatemala

Recommended Reading: Everything You Need To Know About Wedding Dress Shopping

Crafting a Meaningful La Casa de la Ruina Wedding Ceremony Through Personal Touches and Emotional Surprises 

For the ceremony, we opted for a short, non-traditional approach. My uncle officiated, incorporating a brief meditation, poetry readings, and a unique passing of the rings ceremony, where each guest blessed the rings with well wishes. We exchanged heartfelt speeches and custom vows, adding a personal touch to the moment. With the help of our planner and our vendors, I surprised Sami during the ceremony, executing the plan flawlessly. We had the talented local violinist Mariana Bustamente play a playlist we curated together, covering everything from Harry Styles to beloved Harry Potter soundtracks. As a nod to Sami’s love for Lord of the Rings, I suggested incorporating “Concerning Hobbits” into our walk down the aisle, a moment that moved Sami to tears, as expected.

Honoring Roots and Adding Extra Flair Throughout Their Big Day

We had a lot of favorite moments throughout the day. As we walked from the ceremony to the reception venue, a Mariachi band serenaded and led the entire wedding party through the streets—a nod to Jamie’s time in New Orleans, famous for its Second Line celebrations. Stepping into the reception venue for the first time filled us with awe, seeing all the small details we’d discussed come to life. We laughed our way through but successfully nailed our choreographed first dance—a huge triumph. After that, the wedding party let loose on the amazing dancefloor for the rest of the night, having an absolute blast. We especially enjoyed joining in with the belly dancers we brought in, paying homage to Sami’s Middle Eastern roots and adding an extra touch of fun to the celebration.

Destination Wedding Essentials: Why You Need a Wedding Planner

If you’re planning a destination wedding, hiring a wedding planner is a must! I Do, Guatemala were instrumental in making our weekend unforgettable. They helped us connect with local artists and vendors we would have needed help finding. Remember, it’s your day, so there are no rules. 

How They Made Their La Casa de la Ruina Wedding Truly Theirs

Our favorite wedding moments always revolve around speeches, so we spread them throughout the events, giving each one value and importance without overwhelming guests. Instead of traditional Father-Daughter/Mother-Son dances, we invited our families onto the dancefloor, creating unforgettable moments. Later in the night, we had belly dancers, and our DJ seamlessly integrated traditional Middle Eastern music into the playlist. Our menu was eclectic: ceviche, Thai food, a ravioli bar, steak, and a taco station. Groomsmen wore their own suits, and bridesmaids picked their own dresses. By focusing on what mattered most to us, we created a day that was uniquely ours, ignoring many traditions to stay true to ourselves.

Crafting La Casa de la Ruina Wedding Luxury Within Limits

We weren’t aiming for a million-dollar wedding, and we ensured our wedding planner knew our budget and expectations. Despite that, our day felt like pure luxury, both in the moment and looking back at the photos. Before meeting with our planner, we researched wedding budgets and read blogs from weddings we admired to set realistic expectations. We found it helpful to break down our budget into specific items rather than seeing it as one big expense, which helped us stay on track while choosing vendors and details. Though I spent more on my wedding dress than planned, I saw it as a special treat for myself. Setting up payment plans for big expenses was a lifesaver, with our wedding planner handling 75% of the payments. We were incredibly fortunate to receive help from both sets of parents, which we hadn’t expected when we decided on a “big” wedding. Throughout the year leading up to our wedding, we saved and budgeted our personal finances to cover most of the costs, making our dream day a reality.

Discovering Antigua’s Charm: How They Found Their Dream Wedding Venues

We selected our venues after exploring Antigua on a scouting trip with our planner. Over three days, we toured various locations, from city streets to mountainsides, all meticulously prepared by Diana based on our preferences. We envisioned a natural, outdoor setting that embodied the unique charm of Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage city known for its preserved ruins and gardens. Among the many ruin sites available, we sought lush vegetation and symmetry for our ceremony—a traditional aisle. Eventually, we settled on two venues: La Casa de la Ruina Santa Rosa for the ceremony, where Sami instantly fell in love during our scouting trip. Its allure was further enhanced by the option to rent the entire property for the weekend, providing accommodations for our loved ones. For the reception, we took a leap of faith with Jardin Real de Santiago, a chosen sight unseen due to Antigua’s in-person reservation process. Despite initial reservations, the space exceeded our expectations with its expansive, private setting enveloped by beautiful trees and verdant foliage. This strategic choice allowed us to allocate less of our budget to florals, freeing up resources to focus on other decor elements.

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Manuel Aldana
Second Shooter – Javier Piedrasanta
Assistant + Drone Pilot – Abner Piedrasanta
Event Planning – I Do, Guatemala
Ceremony Venue – La Casa de la Ruina
Reception Venue – Jardin Real de Santiago
Floral Design – Fileas
Catering – Fresh & Local Catering + Evelyn de Batres
Cake – Diamond Cakes
DJ – Project Vibez
Live Music – Mariana Bustamente
Videography – Gaston Bevaqua
Makeup Artist + Hair Styling – Gaby Aguilar
Wedding Dress – Pronovias via White Magnolia Bridal
Bridal Accessories – CBG Designs
Rings – Jewelry Studio of Wellfleet
Rentals – Relaxed Lounge Service + Vla Fabric + Art Deco Eventos Guatemala
Lighting – Erick Trujillo
Dance Floor – Imagen
Belly Dancers – Rashida
Tour Guides – Trips and Tips Guatemala
Hotel – Los Pasos Boutique Hotel


Congratulations to Jamie and Sami on their vibrant La Casa de la Ruina wedding, brimming with heartfelt personal touches! A sincere thank you goes out to Manuel Aldana for skillfully capturing the beauty of every moment and the intricacies of this joyous celebration.

Make your wedding truly special by embracing what makes you and your partner unique. The key to tying all of those elements together into a cohesive theme? A reliable team to bring your vision to life seamlessly. With careful attention to detail and a touch of creativity, your wedding will create unforgettable memories for both you and your guests.

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Colorful Summer Brunch Micro Wedding in the Dolomites

Ashlyn and Alex were well aware that opting for a destination celebration would narrow down their guest list. Despite the challenge, they made a conscious decision to prioritize intimacy over numbers. With only 20 cherished loved ones in attendance, they ensured that each guest shared in the joy of their special day. Dreaming of a mountain setting, they chose the picturesque Dolomites as their backdrop. Surrounded by vibrant wildflowers, they tied the knot in a heartwarming summer brunch micro wedding, shared only with their closest circle. Though small, their big day was simply perfect, filled to the brim with love and joy.

The couple selected the most breathtaking backdrop for their special day. With the majestic peaks as their witness, they exchanged heartfelt vows, surrounded by nature’s grandeur. Their outdoor reception was equally enchanting, with the same awe-inspiring backdrop setting the scene. As guests gathered around a long table adorned with colorful wild blooms, they savored every moment of this picturesque celebration with brunch and a wine tasting.

Excited for some intimate wedding inspiration? Check out these beautiful photos by Junebug vendor Christin Eide. They’re proof that all you need for a memorable day is a beautiful location and your loved ones around you.

The Couple:

Ashlyn and Alex

The Wedding:

Como Alpina Dolomites, Italy

The Journey to a Summer Brunch Micro Wedding in the Dolomites

We wanted our wedding to be intimate with our closest family and friends. We chose the Dolomites and a venue with a view of Seceda as the focal point. The vibe of the wedding was a summer brunch. Our florist used wildflowers from the Dolomites, pulling the whole look together. Nothing looked out of place. It was like we were having a beautiful picnic in the Dolomites.

Tips for a Stress-Free Wedding Day

Wedding advice to other couples: Go with the flow! Things will not always go according to plan, and there is so much outside of our control. To truly enjoy your wedding day, you have to go with the flow and enjoy all the perfect moments.

How Their Destination Brunch Micro Wedding Became the Ultimate Vacation

Our guests say my wedding was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and one of the best vacations of their life. It was challenging to decide to have a wedding out of the country, knowing we would have to cut the guest list to about 20 people and that many people wouldn’t be able to make it. Many people had opinions about us having our wedding so far away, but at the end of the day, we did what we wanted to do and made the day truly about us. It ended up paying off for everyone that was able to attend.

Finding Perfection in a Venue Amongst the Dolomites

We spent so much time looking for the perfect venue. We knew we wanted to get married on the mountain, but we also wanted a beautiful view of the Dolomites for our reception. We found the perfect venue, which had both an indoor and outdoor venue with plenty of space for music, apps, brunch, dancing, mingling, etc. I first saw Seceda walking down the “aisle” to my husband. It completely took my breath away. It was such a fantastic moment to experience beauty while walking down the aisle to get married.

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Christin Eide
Event Planning – Makeda Wedding Planner
Venue – Como Alpina Dolomites
Floral Design – Florale Werkstatt
Cake – Garage Patisserie
Officiant – Giuliano Bonelli


Congratulations to Ashlyn and Alex on their colorful summer brunch wedding in the Dolomites. Their small and cozy celebration allowed them to enjoy every moment, focusing on what truly mattered—their connection. Thank you to Junebug vendor Christin Eide for beautifully capturing their happiest memories. Check out more of Christin’s work by visiting her profile in our directory of wedding photographers from around the world!

Choosing a micro wedding creates a more intimate and heartfelt experience for you, your partner, and your loved ones. Whether it’s about the venue or decor, our guide is filled with ideas and tips to make your big day truly special and personal.

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Colorful and Tropical Casa Risa Intimate Wedding

June 8, 2024 | justine

Afonso and Ron picked their cozy boutique hotel as the spot for their wedding. It’s where their love story began, so saying “I do” there felt just right. Their intimate Casa Risa wedding was cozy, with only 30 of their nearest and dearest. The place had a chill, natural vibe that mixed perfectly with the lush garden surroundings. It felt like a tropical paradise right in their backyard, and amazingly, they planned everything in just one month.

With their trusted team of vendors, the pair transformed the poolside area into a cozy ceremony venue. Surrounded by lush tropical greenery, they shared sweet vows that melted guests’ hearts. Then, it was time to party! The garden reception was filled with laughter, dancing, and joy that lasted all night long.

With guests arriving from all over the world to share in their joy, the couple added their own special touch to their intimate celebration. Junebug vendor Pedro Filipe Fotografia captured their love and happiness perfectly. If you want fresh ideas for your own big day, check out their magical celebration!

The Couple:

Afonso and Ron

The Wedding:

Casa Risa, Portugal

Embracing a Relaxed Atmosphere at Their Casa Risa Intimate Wedding

We wanted to honor the mood of our venue by having a ceremony and reception that matched it. When we invited only our closest family and friends, we wanted them to feel relaxed and at home. Our planner suggested a relaxed and natural style that perfectly fit Casa Risa and us. It was like a tropical vibe that seamlessly blended with the garden. Since Casa Risa brought us together, it felt only right to get married there.

Making the Most of Rainy Moments

The wedding took place on October 28, and the weather was uncertain. We knew it might rain but decided to take the risk anyway. After enjoying a wonderful sunny day, the rain unexpectedly arrived during the garden party. However, nobody let it spoil the fun, and those five minutes under the light rain actually helped to cool down the temperature. It added a memorable and refreshing touch to the celebration.

Wedding Wisdom: Start with a Planner

The best advice we can give is to find a wedding planner as soon as possible. Our planner helped us plan our entire wedding in just a month, and they guided us through everything, from budgeting to vendor research.

Keeping It Intimate with a Thoughtful Guest Selection

Since most of our guests are from abroad, coming from the US, Brazil, and France, we decided to limit the guest list to our closest friends and immediate family. We wanted everyone to feel truly welcome and at home, not just as observers but as part of our love and celebration.

Customized Wedding Keepsakes That Doubled as Name Cards

We gave our guests personalized Portuguese tiles with their names on them, which doubled as name tags. It was a special touch that added a unique and meaningful element to our wedding celebration.

Keeping It Real with Comfortable Wedding Attire

We wanted to feel true to ourselves and be comfortable on our big day. Afonso rocked a stylish blue suit, a crisp white shirt, a bolo tie, and a pair of sharp shoes. As for me, I opted for a more relaxed look, sporting jeans, a smart blazer, a bolo tie, some classic Cowboy boots, and topping it off with a leather hat (a true Missouri touch).

Creating a Personalized Ceremony by Honoring Their Love Story

The ceremony was the most unforgettable part of our day. Our officiant, Mafalda, worked closely with us to craft a ceremony that truly reflected who we are. We focused on our vows, the special moments of the day, and the heartfelt words shared by our witnesses. It was a deeply meaningful and personal experience that we’ll cherish forever.

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Pedro Filipe Fotografia
Event Planning – Mio Oliveiraa Wedding Planner
Ceremony + Reception Venue – Casa Risa
Floral Design – Ely Flowers Weddings
Catering – Algarve Fine Food 
Cake – Adoçar Atelier
DJ – DJ Dhanny 
Videography – Rendez Vous 
Makeup Artist + Hair Styling – Mariana Felizberto
Rentals – BC Planning
Favors – Tile Passion


Congratulations to Afonso and Ron on their colorful and tropical Casa Risa intimate wedding. Many thanks to Junebug vendor Pedro Filipe Fotografia for capturing every moment of their special day. To see more of his talent, be sure to check out his profile in our directory of the world’s best wedding photographers.

If you’re thinking about having a small celebration instead of a big wedding, many others feel the same way. With a trustworthy team supporting you, you and your partner can shape your wedding day exactly how you’ve always imagined, and maybe even better!

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