Today’s real wedding is pretty epic.

Wander-lusting couple, Lindsay & Brent’s destination wedding in Guatemala was something of an otherworldly affair, with mist coming down over Lake Atitlán for their intimate Mayan wedding ceremony.

And capturing it, in all its atmospheric beauty, were Daniel and Melissa of Daniel Lopez Perez Photography.

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With the dream of celebrating their wedding with a day no one would forget, Laguna Lodge Eco-Resort & Nature Reserve was the perfect backdrop for Lindsay and Brent’s big day.

Lindsay made an utterly gorgeous bride, in her Katie May backless wedding dress (as you know, we’re big fans of the designer), and the couple were adorned in local blooms.

After their breath-taking lakeside ceremony, they and their 30 guests, partied the night away with great food, karaoke, dancing and fireworks.

Weddings don’t get much more individual than this one, we know you’re going to love it!

Wedding Snapshot

Stunning Mayan Wedding | Daniel Lopez Perez Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog

Our Love Story

We met in the summer of 2008 while I was studying for the NY State Bar exam. Brent was working in a nearby restaurant (Edwards) in Tribeca, NYC. During my three years at law school, my friends and I would go to Edwards often.

This particular evening, it was a rainy night and we spent all day studying. My friend Stephanie and I decided to go for one drink and a snack at Edwards, and Brent charmed me to stay and spend time with him.

It was that Fourth of July where we sat on a bench on the East River talking that we both realized we were falling in love.

Fast forward 6-plus years to a Thursday afternoon when Brent and I were sitting in bed and decided to take an impromptu trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico (the first place we had ever traveled together).

A few years prior, we had traveled to Guatemala. We started our trip in Lake Atitlan at Laguna Lodge—and I thought (and said) THIS IS WHERE WE ARE GETTING MARRIED.

Then, we went to Tikal and our tour guide made us rings and said a blessing in front of a temple and said we were “Mayan married:”; We told everyone for a few years we were getting married in Guatemala one day and I don’t think anyone really thought we would!

When we arrived in San Juan, we had one of those amazingly beautiful days and dinners where everything was just clicking.

I will have Brent send a little note about the engagement story because he tells it far better than I do!

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Our Wedding

Our wedding was a big adventure, and we really wanted it to be more than just a wedding day for our family and guests.

The idea of bringing people to an entirely different country gives them a much more memorable experience and creates a lot of fun memories for everyone involved, which is really what we were hoping for.

Plus, our closest friends and family get to know a country that really means something to us and they get to realize how incredible Guatemala is.

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The Venue

When we first came to Laguna Lodge, I really connected with the

owners and felt that their hospitality and gorgeous location would be the perfect place to marry Brent.

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The Music

We had an acoustic guitar playing for my entrance and then he continued on after the ceremony during the cocktail hour and even during dinner.

It was beautiful to have some soft, nice music to create a nice ambience for everyone.

Then a DJ for the party who played ‘She’s a Rainbow’ by the Rolling Stones as our first dance. A bit non-traditional, but there weren’t too many parts of this wedding that were traditional.

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The Ceremony

We had Mayan Ceremony, which was very meaningful because the Mayan culture is still very prominent on the lake (and in many other parts of Guatemala).

Lake Atitlan is actually a holy place in the Mayan religion, so to have the Shaman and his Nana (woman helper), made the energy and feel of the day very special.

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The Flowers

I had mostly daisies, which were also used in the Mayan Ceremony as my crown and Brent’s flower lei.

The idea was to accommodate the Shaman with everything that he needed, since he was graciously sharing his ancient, sacred knowledge and tradition with us.

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Favourite Moments

The Mayan ceremony was truly special for us. The beauty of the lake along with the words from the Shaman and his ancient culture really made our wedding have an incredible energy and feel that we´ll never forget.

The end of the ceremony requires every guest to bless us by dropping flower petals on our heads and then symbolically throw flowers into the lake as an offering, which was a beautiful way to finish off the ceremony and share our first kiss as husband and wife.

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The Photography

I found Daniel’s website on Google and was immediately drawn to his natural, photojournalistic style.

He also seemed very approachable and was great about keeping an open dialogue with me about what I wanted and even helped with recommending some vendors in the area.

He and Melissa blended in so nicely with my small-sized wedding party, we even forgot that they were the photographers sometimes!

Finally, Melissa did an impromptu translation for the ceremony, as most of my guests don’t speak Spanish, which really helped everyone follow along during the whole thing.

In the end, they did a beautiful job and we feel like we made new friends of  them through the whole experience!

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The Reception

We had a sit down dinner, and the cake was delicious. Laguna Lodge is known for having an entirely vegetarian menu, so it was delicious and healthy food!

Later on in the evening, we did some karaoke that started with Brent and I singing Home by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros for our whole family, which was really fun and got everyone into party mode.

The venue is already so beautiful, and the backdrop was the lake, so extra decoration wasn´t really necessary!

We made tote bags that included welcome information and other history about the lake and Guatemala in general, the tote bags were designed by Brent and also served as favors for the guests.

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The Budget

We spent the most on travel and accommodations. Getting folks to and from the airport and to the hotel and planning activities, hikes etc. was a lot of work.

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Advice for Other Couples

Keep it small! It provides for a much more personal, unique and memorable experience.

For our honeymoon, we went to Mukul in Nicaragua. It is beautiful and the perfect place to decompress after the wedding.

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It’s just so special, isn’t it! I’m in love with Lindsay’s dress, but that Mayan ceremony is just spectacular- so meaningful and intimate.

Thanks so much to Daniel Lopez Perez Photography, and of course Lindsay and Brent for sharing their incredible Mayan wedding with us.

Be inspired by more Unique + Destination Weddings. 

Photographer: Daniel Lopez Perez Photography / Bride’s Dress: Katie May / Venue, Catering, Flowers & Fireworks: Laguna Lodge Eco-Resort & Nature Reserve / Rings: Greenwich Jewelers / Music: Carlos Rangel Pombal