An elegant destination wedding in Mexico City, Mexico
In a true hallmark moment, Katrina Oluremi Bello Debela and Samson Mazengia Debela met on Valentine’s Day in 2015. She was out with two girlfriends, he was with four friends, and at the end of the night they shared slices of NY on the Lower East Side. After a few months of texting – to this day, not knowing who was to blame – they had their first date in April and, as Katrina puts it, “hardly ever stopped dating after that.” .
âWe had a lot in common in our upbringing as first generation children and we realized that we had lived in all of the same towns from college to today,â she says. âWe have said times that we were definitely in the same room without realizing it. In due course, our paths finally crossed and we haven’t looked back since.
They got engaged in South Africa in 2018, and after realizing that a wedding in upstate New York was slightly out of budget, they began to consider a destination overseas. Their first choice? Mexico! âWe love the food, the culture, and it would be an appropriate flight for our families who live on the opposite coasts of the country,â says the bride. But the real question was or? Samson and Katrina, a “very obsessive reviewer,” began their research, researching sites ranging from beach resorts in Puerto Vallarta to boutique hotels in Cabo, before realizing that “something was still missing.”
At this point, Samson, who had visited Mexico City on vacation the previous year, made a suggestion: What about a wedding there? They then stumbled across Proyecto Publico Prim online and fell in love âalmost immediately,â Katrina said. “It was just like us – the greenery, the beauty in the crumbling walls, the natural light pouring in. It was unique and open enough to create our own special celebration.” A trip and site visit later, it has been booked for a date of February 20, 2020.
Read on to see Katrina and Samson’s wedding, which they say happened just before the pandemic, as predicted by Lum Eventos and Kelly Giarrocco’s photography.
The couple created their own invitation suite, which featured photos of Christopher Nechodom, and was printed by The Copy Specialist. They also created wedding products (tote bags and t-shirts) featuring a custom wedding logo, inspired by the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, which Katrina said “was a total hit.”
Katrina’s bridesmaids all wore pink dresses as they got ready together. The bride’s shoes, which were eventually tucked under her dress, coordinated with the color scheme. âMy shoes were nude pink Nike Cortez,â Katrina says. “I had the Nike swoosh embellished and dazzled and it was always one of my favorite decisions – comfort first, always!” Her earrings were Kate Spade pearls and her tennis bracelet was her mother’s. ”
Katrina’s ball gown was from Viero Bridal. “I felt it as soon as I put it on,” she said of finding it. âI tried on a lot of dresses and I had just told myself that the ‘you know when you know’ feeling was a myth, but I felt it with this one. I felt classic and modern and most of all beautiful! made me feel royal! ”
âI was wearing a birdcage veil headband from Pronovias. I didn’t want a long veil, so this beaded headband was perfect for me,â the bride said.
âI had a great time with my mom and sister just before the ceremony started in an upstairs room where I finished / bound my vows,â recalls the bride. “My mother prayed for me and blessed my marriage and that was the start of my emotions and my tears of joy flowing.”
Samson wore a burgundy three-piece wool suit that was custom-made by Suit Supply Made-To-Measure in Soho, New York.
âDetermine what you want, what is most important to you and execute those things. Everything else, just let it flow,â the couple advise. “You can’t afford to be too caught up in the details.”
âWe both have an affinity for hosting, so the planning process was actually quite fun and seamless for us,â Katrina explains. âWe wanted to do our best to make the wedding a reflection of us as a couple. Every decision we made was for the venue, the ceremony, the dress code, the decor, the food, the music, the gifts. wedding and even an impromptu karaoke at the end of the wedding night was in our image. ”
Katrina’s bridesmaids wore shades of pink and red. âI wanted to be aware that everyone’s body and what they love is different,â she explains. “I wanted my daughters to be able to show themselves.” The groomsmen, meanwhile, wore matching black suits and black ties and even accessorized with burgundy pouches and gold tie clips.
The father of the bride, dressed in a full Nigerian agbada, accompanied her down the aisle. âWe used the music from the ‘If Beale Street Could Speak’ soundtrack for the procession,â she says. “The film is a portrayal of the classic James Baldwin book and such a fine example of Black Love.”
âThe music made me so emotional because it almost swells in its dynamics,â Katrina recalls. âI was a teary-eyed happy bride as I walked down the aisle with my dad. That moment when the doors opened and we started to walk will be forever etched in my memory. such a moment. ” Once at the altar, Samson gently wiped away his tears before they exchanged vows.
âWe chose to write our own vows and wait to share them with each other until the ceremony,â says Katrina. “We both included ‘always, in any way’ in our vows.”
The ceremony took place indoors, in a room with textured teal walls and floor-to-ceiling windows at the front of the room. A natural focal point, they decided to use the wood-framed glass panes as an altar and added green and white flowers around the window borders.
The newlyweds danced together down the aisle to Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together”.
A seating plan directed guests to the dining room, which was located in a square with string lights above. The staircase leading to the space was the bride’s favorite design element.
The wooden tables were dressed in palm leaves and neutral flowers. âWe wanted it to feel like there were these beautiful lush green plants that had grown naturally in harmony with this beautifully designed, aged and classic place,â says Katrina.
The couple danced to Daniel Ceaser’s âGet Youâ for their first tour as husband and wife. Neither of them likes cakes, they ended the evening with treats and churros on the dance floor, a perfect end to their weekend in Mexico!