Melinique and Cesar have been in love almost their entire lives, having met in kindergarten. But it wasn’t until high school that they officially starting dating.
Mel was always entertained by Cesar’s wit and sense of humor, and he was captivated by her beautiful eyes and warm demeanor. They became an official couple on March 9, 2012 (yes, they remember the exact date) and seven years later they were married in a beautiful outdoor ceremony.
Their décor and florals mixed burgundy, pink and blue tones in a gorgeous ode to fall. They also made sure to pay homage to Mel’s African American and Cesar’s Mexican cultures throughout the day. Mel shares, “We had family from CA, CO, Mexico, England, and Denmark to celebrate with us. We did a dollar dance at the reception, where guests bless the couple with a gift in exchange for a dance with the bride. Our DJ did a fantastic job playing music in English and Spanish, and everyone had a great time. It is also common in Mexican culture for the party to go on through the night, so we had a tornaboda (afterparty) with close family following our reception at the venue.”
See all of the emotional, serene, and touching details from their beautiful multicultural wedding below.
- Couple: Melinique & Cesar Castellanos
- Occupations: Medical Student (Melinique) and IT Professional (Cesar)
- Wedding date: 10/4/2019
- Wedding location: Cedar Hall (Evergrove Estates) – Bartlett, TN
- What gifts did you give to your bridesmaids and groomsmen: I got my bridesmaids gifts to use the day of the wedding. I gave each of them a gift box with a button-down shirt and shorts to wear for photos, champagne glasses, and earrings. We got flasks and cufflinks for the groomsmen.
- Ceremony entrance song: I came down the aisle to “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” covered by Kina Grannis.
- First dance song: First dance was to “All Over Again” by Leela James. We dated for 7.5 years before getting married, and we continue to fall more in love with each other every day. This song was perfect for both of us, and now we still dance around the living room to this song and remember the best day of both of our lives so far.
How did you meet?
Our story started in high school. We had known of each other for most of our lives, having gone to school together since kindergarten, but we didn’t really know each other until sophomore year. We finally had a class together. Mel was always entertained by Cesar’s wit and sense of humor, and he was captivated by her beautiful eyes and warm demeanor.
It was February 10, 2012 when Cesar made his first move-sliding into the DMs. We became official on March 9, 2012, hours before Mel left for a spring break trip to Spain. When she got back, Cesar gave her a 50th-anniversary card saying “I hope I’m as lucky to reach that milestone with someone like you.” Do you smell the cheese just reading that? But it worked! Within one week, those two teenagers were pretty much smitten.
Tell us about the proposal.
One week after our 6th anniversary, we took a trip to New York, and Cesar proposed overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge. We had talked about marriage for years but he was so insistent that it wasn’t happening on this trip, I didn’t think twice when he changed his outfit three times that morning. After a day of exploring the city, we went to the Brooklyn Bridge Park, where he surprised me with a proposal at sunset, captured by a friend.
Describe your wedding style?
I wanted my dress to fit with the classic and elegant theme, but I ended up choosing something completely different from what I thought I would choose. I thought I would get an A-line dress with long sleeves, but when I tried on a beautiful Eddy K mermaid dress with lace details and a sweetheart neckline, I was in love! I wore my mom’s pearl bracelet, earrings borrowed from my sister, and a beautiful pair of Louise et cie heels to finish the look He wore a navy tux with black lapels to compliment the beautiful fall colors of the garden ceremony and the merlot of the bridesmaids’ dresses. He finished the look with a patterned merlot pocket square and cognac shoes.
What was the wedding shopping experience like for you?
I had a fantastic time shopping at Low’s Bridal in Brinkley, AR. I went with my mom, grandma, sister and MOH. After trying on 6 or 7 dresses, I was about to give up for the day when my consultant, Jessica, found a beautiful dress on display that fit like a glove. I was in love!
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding?
I’m Black and my husband is Latino, so it was really important for us that both of our families be represented at our wedding. We had family from CA, CO, Mexico, England, and Denmark to celebrate with us. We did a dollar dance at the reception, where guests bless the couple with a gift in exchange for a dance with the bride. Our DJ from DeepBluEntertainment did a fantastic job playing music in English and Spanish, and everyone had a great time. It is also common in Mexican culture for the party to go on through the night, so we had a tornaboda (afterparty) with close family following our reception at the venue.
What is your best memory from your wedding?
We were most looking forward to the moments right after our guests left the reception. After months and months of planning every detail of the day, it was finally over, everything had gone perfectly, and we could just be together and revel in the joy we felt being surrounded by our closest friends and family. We did one last dance alone, and this was the most precious moment of the day! Two other moments that stand out: We wanted to make sure that our first dance was memorable for all the right reasons so we took dance lessons for two months before our big day. We danced to “All Over Again” by Lelah James, and it was perfect! And another one of my favorite parts of the day were the first looks I did with my bridesmaids, my dad, and my groom. Seeing the looks on their faces was priceless.
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples?
Your dream wedding vision should be yours and your partner’s alone. Do whatever will make your day magical and special for you. If that is a courthouse wedding with two witnesses or a big, fat community wedding with a guest list of 1,500 do that! No one else’s opinion matters, as long as you fondly remember the happiest day of your life.
- Venue, Planning & Catering: Cedar Hall / Evergrove Estates – www.evergroveestates.com (@cedarhallweddings)
- Photographer: Incredibly Wee – www.incrediblywee.com (@incrediblywee)
- Videographer: Outland Stories – www.outlandstories.com (@outland.stories)
- Florist: John Mark Enterprises – (@johnmarkenterprises)
- DJ/Band: DeepBlu Entertainment www.deepbluentertainment.com (@deepbluweddings)
- Vintage Car: www.memphisweddingcar.com
- Bakery: Frost Bake Shop www.frostbakeshop.com (@frostbakeshop)
- Hair: Monique Evans of Diva Designs Hair and Makeup Artistry www.divadesignsmua.com (@divadesignsmua)
- Makeup: Imani Nathaniel (imanizhanemua)
- Dress: Low’s Bridal www.lowsbridal.com (@lowbridal)
- Invitations: Zazzle www.zazzle.com
- 2nd Shooter: Keashundrea Donald (@photosandphases)