Tlaquepaque Wedding

Gaby & Andres are a very special couple indeed, they are family. Andres and my husband, Gus, go way back. They have been close through their young and adult lives in multiple cities and countries. It was easy to befriend Gaby. Her energy is kinetic and I have so much respect for this girl. She’s a go-getter, sensible soul who is wicked smart and a role model for pursuing her dreams and achieving plans she sets out for herself.

At that time of their engagement, the couple was living in Guadalajara for a short stint and Gaby couldn’t think of anywhere else she would rather get married then her beloved hometown of Tlaquepaque. Pronounced tlah-keh-pah-keh this uber picturesque city is part of Guadalajara surrounding metropolitan area.

Guadalajara is the third largest city in Mexico. It’s the capital of the state of Jalisco It’s the birthplace of many cultural staples we love about Mexico, namely the mariachis and tequila. It also the home of some of the best Mexican dishes like the torta ahogada (bathed sandwich), a pork sandwich that is traditionally dunked in super hot salsa (although I certainly need to get that salsa on the side), it’s a notorious hang-over food, it can only be called the real deal if the bread used is the real bolillo made in Guadalajara. Seriously, if you eat a true torta ahogada outside of Guadalajara you can bet the bread has been flown there.

Everytime I visit Guadalajara I know the best part will be the food (sorry all of our dear friends and family who live there!). I swear, somehow everything there is super flavored. Maybe it’s the magic that makes the bolillo so special, the altitude some say, that makes every fruit, vegetable, dairy so damn delicious. With such a flavourful base you can only imagine how Mexican cuisine shines in that place.

Tlaquepaque is south of Guadalajara. Walk the cobblestone streets under papel picado until you reach the plaza to find street vendors selling arts and crafts, delicious street food and see mariachis play live music. Arts are a huge part of Tlaquepaque’s culture, visiting you’ll find yourself surrounded by art galleries and handmade furniture shops.

Gaby was born and raised here and knowing the place like the back of her hand made her experience planning her wedding that much better. I had the honor to be their wedding photographer. Like everything about their wedding, the photography reflected the couple’s personalities and alternative approach to the concept of a wedding, marriage and romance. Especially in a traditional place like Guadalajara and Tlaquepaque, the mix of long-established and unconventional, was a true breath of fresh air.

The couple didn’t hire a wedding planner and worked together using their creativity to find ways to make their limited budget stretch to incredible lengths. Aside from DIYing the heck of the decorations, the couple was incredibly resourceful with their choices. 

Gaby opted to have her wedding dress made by hand by a local seamstress. She brought the beautiful lace from France and chose a flowy fabric for a simple long skirt. The french lace was used on the bodice which had an open back.

Andres wore a dark gray suit with a black tie paired with black New Balances.

The couple chose _______, a local art gallery for her wedding venue. The ceremony was held in the main room, an open space where ____ of their guests surrounded the couple as they signed their names in front of a judge. The space displayed art and didn’t need any decorations to evoque the Tlaquepaque artsy vibes.

Gaby chose not to walk down the aisle. The coupe did a first look and photo shoot before it all started, allowing themselves to relax once they arrived at the gallery. Once there they mingled with guests before the judge asked everyone to take their places. Just like that bride and groom stood in front of the judge.

After the I dos, guests were invited for cocktail hour at the gardens on the back of the gallery. The space was tented as Guadalajara is prone to big storms. From the tented ceiling large golden diamond shaped piñatas decorated the space. White linen tables had centerpieces with white and pink roses and baby’s breath, along with mini golden cages with other golden accents.

At the garden where cocktail hour was happening trees had little golden Eiffle towers ornaments hanging, a call back to Gaby’s love of France where she lived for a few years before meeting Andres and where she would go back to several times with him. 

Instead of a formal sit down dinner the couple chose to bring a local taquero to make fresh tacos to order. Guests had no problem mingling while they waited for their turn and chose from the delicious salsas. Simple food with great flavour and no fuss is very much in tandem with the couple’s style as well as their friends and family. 

After toasts the couple’s friends from the prestigious electronic group Telefunka played DJ sets that made everyone dance. As the night progressed the music eventually made its inevitable way to all the classic Mexican hits and traditional music that makes it impossible not to dance to, especially after a few shots of tequila. Around midnight, as customary in Mexican weddings, the mariachis arrived and had everyone singing along. Further down the night the couple had another surprise, a firework show that kept guests distracted from the idea of going home.

Eventually and very late that night, after the rain came and went a few times never dampening the party mood, although some of the guests left the large majority stayed on until 4 am when the venue closed making it a truly epic night.

Here’s what Gaby wrote about her experience:

“Creating, planning and designing our own wedding was an amazing experience and made our day even more special! It was a challenge but it was totally worth it! The whole process included deciding the wedding guest list up to going in person to the flower market to pick the right flowers for the wedding. Every detail was decided by us, bride and groom, we worked together having ideas and making them better.

I really wanted the wedding to be a celebration for everyone involved, not just us. So my mom, sister, aunts, friends from the US and France contributed to the wedding planning process until the last moment. We made all the centerpieces ourselves. We used to have these meetings in my apartment where we could gather and do it together. There was a design theme of course but everyone was welcome to give their opinions and just do it!  Basically 90% of the decorations were handmade by us, even by the groom!!

We got married in my hometown Tlaquepaque which is super special for me as my parents and myself grew up there. Tlaquepaque is a very colorful, beautiful traditional mexican town with a lot of culture and handcrafts everywhere.  

Our wedding was relaxed and cool, I didn’t want to be stressed or anything, I just wanted us to enjoy our day. So we had one speech to thank everyone who came, as we had guests coming from Cabo, Los Angeles, London, France, Seattle, New York, Colorado, Barcelona and of course Guadalajara. We had two more friends who gave toasts too and talked about our love story and that was it! We said “thank you all for coming, this is a party for everyone so let’s enjoy it!” And we danced and danced and danced until 4am. 

Anna made it even more special with the photographs. We had our photo session around the town, in its streets! It couldn’t be better, we had so much fun doing it. People were around us and I felt so happy it was the perfect scenario. She captured the essence of us, of course, but also the spirit of the town and the emotional attachment we have for it. The ceremony was filled with emotions and happiness. Anna did perfect shots of everyone, bride & groom, family and friends, it was this kind of “once in lifetime moment” and she captured every one of them. 

Everytime I see my wedding photos, again and again, a big hearted smile is on my face, it’s just beautiful!”

Many of the couples who work with me get to know Andres. A few years back he came to one of my weddings to give me a helping hand and since then I have the privilege of working with someone not only trustworthy but a super talented second shooter and assistant.