Featured in MunaLuchi Bride Issue 25, this intimate destination micro wedding in Cozumel, Mexico brought loved ones together during the pandemic.
Juan and Katrina got engaged in November of 2020 and decided within two days that they wanted a destination wedding in Mexico. With 36 guests attending, they exchanged vows on April 10, 2021, in a gazebo, on a cliff overlooking the breathtaking Gulf of Mexico. The entire vibe of their wedding was enchanting from the private cocktail hour featuring a Spanish guitar player to the candlelit-inspired pool reception.
Katrina shares, “The reception was so much fun. I hired my hometown DJ and some of my guests jumped in the pool with their clothes on. We had 36 guests in total in Mexico and it was such an intimate experience. Whether 300 people show up or 5 – the day will be amazing, and you will feel loved.”
Keep scrolling for more sweet details from their micro wedding in Mexico!
- Couple: Juan & Katrina DeCosta
- Location of Wedding: Secrets Aura Cozumel, Mexico
- Wedding Date: 4.10.21
- Photographer for Wedding: Cesar Guillen
- Wedding flowers:I am unsure of the names of different flowers that were used. However, all of the bouquets and centerpieces had lots of ivory, greenery, and touches of soft blue in the arrangements. All of my flowers were real and included in my wedding package. My suggestion is to pic arrangements off Pinterest and see which florist can recreate the look for you.
- Favorite item on menu:The coconut cold soup and steak; it was delicious!
- Bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts: We bought our groomsmen their shoes and bowties. The bridesmaids received free makeup, partial payment for their hair, a portable perfume fan, jewelry, robes, customizable cups, sanitizer, bags, and a plethora of other gifts to accommodate having to cancel my bachelorette party. In addition, we paid for a private rehearsal dinner for our entire wedding party, their spouses, and our parents.
- First dance song: John Legend “I Do”
- Advice for brides: Have fun and don’t stress. The day will fly by. Your vision will be made clear and you’ll marvel at knowing you can accomplish anything.
How they met…
Juan and Katrina met in Washington, DC in 2016 at a workout class. After exchanging contact information, seven months went by when Juan randomly asked Katrina if she wanted to go for a walk around the monuments. After agreeing to meet up, they walked and talked for over three hours on their first outing and began to date exclusively in 2017.
Juan and Katrina got engaged on 11/9/19 in the Hyattsville, MD Arts District. Juan scheduled a photoshoot for their podcast and asked his friend to take the photos. The Hyattsville Arts District is known for graffiti and cool vibrant colors, so it was the perfect location for a photoshoot.
To Katrina’s surprise, he got down on one knee, in the middle of taking photos, and asked the question – “will you marry me.” Katrina of course said yes. After leaving the photoshoot, full of excitement of being engaged, Juan had all of Katrina’s family and friends waiting for them to provide an extra element of surprise. Katrina described the day as “overwhelmed with love.”
“To see all my family and friends, some of which traveled from outside the state, to support me on this journey, it’s a feeling I can’t even put into words. It was one of the happiest days of my life.”
How they knew they found “the one”…
Juan and Katrina both agree their first date – talking and walking around the monuments, was a great introduction to each other. In that moment, and others, they realized they had so many commonalities. They both were raised in two parent households, had a passion for social justice, and enjoyed traveling.
Katrina says she knew Juan was the one when she got injured and fractured three metatarsal bones – Juan took care of her. He grocery shopped for her, took her on dates, and ensured she made it to every single appointment since she wasn’t allowed to drive.
Juan said he knew Katrina was the one because everything felt organic, and Katrina stood by him during his highs and lows and always encouraged him despite his circumstances. He remembers a time where he and Katrina were out shopping looking at single solitaire wedding rings and Katrina suggested that they think about an heirloom option instead to save money.
Juan said, in that moment, he knew Katrina was for him because she was willing to put her personal desires aside to be fiscally responsible to benefit him. Due to her continual kindness, empathy, and unconditional love, Juan said “he went and bought her the ring of her dreams because she was deserving, and he wanted to ensure it brought a smile to her face.”
Why they decided to have a destination wedding in Mexico…
We were being thoughtful about keeping the pandemic at bay – minimizing the potential of those who could get sick. And we wanted our special moment to be sacred with the intentionality of sharing a once-in-a-lifetime moment with our closest family and friends. The journey of getting married and traveling during a pandemic presented so many challenges so to be able to have a beautiful wedding on the originally planned date – was a magical experience.
We jumped the broom and had Jamaican rum cake for our guests during our stateside reception in Cleveland, Ohio on 5.29.21.
Jumping the broom honored the legacy of African Americans and the Jamaican rum cake also known as “black cake” paid homage to Katrina’s Jamaican heritage.
Our wedding was classy, elegant, soft, loving, and detailed. Everything about #LoveDeCostaThing2021 represented warm environment for our guests which was needed since the wedding took place during a time where travel and human connection was lessened. The wedding colors represented spring happiness. The dusty sage green, ivory, and tan blended so well next to the water and palm trees in Mexico. Guests commented on feeling special having left with customized gifts, and experiencing food, and an exclusive candle-lit reception.
Describe your wedding dress and your favorite wedding accessory…
I wore a Martina Liana wedding dress. It had lace, beading, and a great silhouette. In a place like Mexico where it’s hot, it was important for me to feel sexy while being mindful of the environment. A mermaid style dress was perfect for that location and weather.
My reception was a candle-lit theme. I had hologram initials K & J in the pool with candles floating in the water. In addition, I had Chinese bulbs strung across, with an all-white bulb-lit canopy for my husband and I. My centerpieces were lanterns with candles inside and flowers surrounding it on a mirror. The reception also included a four-course meal. Guests commented on how aesthetically gorgeous the reception was because it coupled well with the natural elements.
Best wedding day memory…
The first dance and reception were the best memories because we had cold fireworks during our first dance. And the reception was so much fun. I hired my hometown DJ and some of my guests jumped in the pool with their clothes on. I also enjoyed that fact that my father got to walk me down the aisle and facilitate our wedding. As a minster’s kid, these are the moments you cherish.
Wedding advice for other engaged couples…
Continue to press forward despite the opinions of others. Do what works best for you and your significant other. And invite people who you know care about you. We have 36 guests in total in Mexico and it was such an intimate experience. Whether 300 people show up or 5 – the day will be amazing, and you will feel loved.
Looking for more inspiration like this destination wedding in Mexico?
- Photography: Cesar from Adventure Photos
- Dress: Liana Martina
- Bride’s Headpiece And/Or Veil: Sophia Tolli
- Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo
- Bridesmaids Dresses: Jj House & Azazie
- Cakes/Desserts: Secrets Aura Cozumel
- Catering: Secrets Aura Cozumel
- Ceremony Venue: Gazebo Secrets Aura Cozumel
- Event Decor/Design: Secrets Aura Cozumel
- Entertainment: Dj Lowkey Entertainment (Dj Lokey)
- Event Planner: Katia Verde From Secrets Aura Cozumel
- Groom’s Attire: Indochino
- Groomsmen Attire: Indochino
- Hair: E’mai J
- Makeup: Blushing Britt
- Videography: Adventure Photos
- Travel Agent: Dawn ScadLock