Maria Cadena & Tomas Elias
Hometowns: Del Rio & San Antonio
How did you meet? We met December 2013 through a mutual friend. On our first date, went to dinner and a Jay Z concert. As if that wasn't fun enough, we kept the good times rolling with dancing at Tuckers. From that night on, we dated for a year-and-a-half before getting engaged on May 8, 2015.
Tell us about the proposal. I (Tomas) proposed to Maria at the J.W. Marriott by surprising her with a room full of balloons, flowers, chocolate, and wine. From that moment, we started planning our "big day" for April 30, 2016.
What inspired the design or theme of your wedding day? We wanted a wedding that was timeless and classic. So we chose colors, decorations, and attire that inspired that look.
How did you choose your venue and vendors? The venue (Rio Plaza) offered a beautiful venue at an affordable price that included food, alcohol, tables, chairs, linens, and an event coordinator. Rio Plaza is essentially a one-stop shop that took a lot of the burden off our shoulders with planning/coordinating the reception.
What was the most trying part of the planning process? Trying to condense a lot of activities into a window of time. We had to determine which activities were essential (e.g. mother-son dance) and which ones we could pass on (e.g. dollar dance, garter toss). Considering the size of both of our families we experienced difficulty in condensing our invitation list to 115 people (including the wedding party). This process alone delayed the progression of our wedding a couple of months.
What were some of the most unique elements of your wedding? Our first dance was a salsa dance routine in full costume! Prior to our dance routine, the wedding party was introduced, one couple at a time, and danced approximately 30 seconds to a song of their choosing. Each of the dances were choreographed in a way that brought excitement and energy to the room. After the wedding party was introduced and did their dances, we were introduced to perform our first dance as bride and groom.
Did anything about your wedding exceed your expectations? Melanie Planas (the reception coordinator) was able to manage everything in an effortless way, from vendors, timing, food, and decorations.
What are your favorite memories from the day? Having our closest family and friends help us celebrate and embrace our love! In addition, we made a point to be near each other throughout the entire reception so we could enjoy and seize the precious moments that only lasted a few minutes.
What advice do you have for couples planning a San Antonio wedding? Start planning as soon as you can! Anytime you have an opportunity to cross out some items off the to-do checklist the better. Plus, take at least two days off from work prior to the wedding to tie up any loose ends that might pop up last minute. This helps prevent an accumulation of stress on the day of the wedding.
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