When I told my close homies that I'm making a Shop Latinx wedding guide, they all asked, “how can you write a wedding guide when you're always talking about how lonely you are."
Yes this is true--I am perpetually single. But in the past three years, pretty much all of my close friends, classmates, and extended family have been either engaged or married. I've even been a bridesmaid in three weddings in the past 3 years. I like to think of myself as a slightly less bitter Brown version of Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses.
So if you have any doubts, just know this guide is coming from a seasoned bridesmaid. Here are some tips, must-have items and services for your wedding-- all from Latinx owned businesses.
Must Have Service
The photography of your wedding is crucial. It's more than just a reminder for you, its documenting your family history for future generations. Unfortunately, gathering your wedding party and close family to smile for various poses is like trying to herd cats after taking tequila shots. Everyone is pissed and a little drunk.
Make your discomfort worth it with Lupe Juarez Photography. Her photos are beautiful and timeless for your wedding day. You can book her here.
PRO TIP: Whenever you have photos during your wedding, make sure to have a designated snack person. Taking the photos is probably the most grueling and exhausting experience of the wedding day; having snacks really helps calm everyone down.
Because Pictures Aren't Enough
Along with a photographer, a videographer is also super necessary. I know these types of services can be very expensive, but it is really an investment. Flowers only last a week, but a video lasts as long as you remember the password to your iCloud. Documenting your loved ones in a high quality is really invaluable. I am so glad my aunt paid for a videographer at her wedding in the 90s. Seeing my great grandmother talk and enjoy her family now that she has passed is really amazing and touching.
Buster Brown Productions is company that makes high quality wedding videos. They focus on telling the story of your wedding and have options to satisfy all your needs. You can find them here.
Essential for Large Weddings
In the age of Pinterest, the do-it-yourself wedding has become more and more popular. I do implore you,as a former maid of honor: please for the love of God if you are having a large wedding, PLEASE hire a wedding planner. You don't realize how many little accoutrements go into a wedding until you start planning one.
From save-the-dates to whether you want a buffet or plated meals or even if you want all your bridesmaids to have the same nail color, wedding planning is awful. I know a planner may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it really comes in handy to relieve the stress. Especially if you're going to have a destination wedding, a planner can help coordinate with all your loved ones.
Boda Maestra is a wedding planning service based in the Washington DC,Virginia, and Maryland area. Boda Maestra focusing on maximizing each couple’s budget and catering especially to Latinx Americans. You can check them out here.
If You Do Anything: Please Hire a Day-of Coordinator
Maybe you are having a smaller wedding or really just don't have the budget to hire full-time planner for the year. I do beg on the behalf of your wedding party please at least hire a day-of coordinator. The day of your wedding you and your bridal party are going to be way too busy getting ready to focus on the minutia you’ve been planning for months. If you're relying on your mom or abuela, trust me they’re going to be chatting up with all your relatives that came in from out of town for your wedding.
Hiring a day of coordinator can make all the difference in keeping your wedding running smoothly. Avelas Events is a event planning business that offers day-of coordination. From weddings to baby showers, Avelas Events make sure every event is impeccably pulled together. You can find them here.
Mix Up the Dessert Options
Most modern couples are trying to do something unique to set their wedding apart. A lot of people choose to have cupcakes or macarons for their guests to choose from aside from the traditional wedding cake.
Why settle for just the basic choices,when you can have freaking churros at your wedding! Postrique is catering company that specializes in Pan Dulce and Churros. You can check out their instagram here.
Photo booths are more popular than ever especially at weddings. It keeps your guests entertained while your wedding party take photos and the times between dancing and food.
Interactive Digital Entertainment Kiosk(IDEKiosk) is one of a kind photo booth.The IDEKiosk actually emails or text messages the selfie to your guests, so there is no potential for unwanted paper waste. You can find them here.
Choosing Your Wedding Party
Just as much as your wedding is going to be take a toll on your relationship, it equally takes as much on who you choose as your wedding party. From my experience, it is emotionally and financially taxing on your friends and family that choose to participate with you.
These are the people that love and support you the most and should understood the responsibilities that comes with being a part of a wedding. It is nice however to show your appreciation. Paper Art Scissors creates the cutest party favor bags for all your bridal party needs. I suggest filling them with airplane bottles or (if you want to be classy) a small piece of jewelry for all them to wear on your big day.
PRO TIP: You and your partner should have a clear and open discussion about how many people you want in your wedding party. In my experience, there is always one partner that wants to ask every person they ever met to be in their wedding. While the other partner has to scramble to find the same amount. This is going to avoid awkward convos in the future when discussing wedding planning.
Como La Flor...al Arrangements
Flowers are one of the most traditional things in a wedding. From bouquets to centerpieces, there are so many places that flowers can add color and style into the theme of your wedding.
Flores de Bosquez is a floral designer based in Pasadena, California. I am in love with their large and unconventional floral arrangements. You can book them here.
Upgrade Your Candy Bar
The classic of any pinterest perfect wedding is a “candy bar” or a special table during the reception filled with all kinds of treats and goodies. Add some variety and ditch the jordan almonds and offer your guests something spicy and sweet.
So Sweet Candy Buffets creates gourmet chili gummies and other desserts. This a great option for your guests who love spice. You can find them here.
The Most Overhyped... I mean Important
I feel like shows like “Say Yes to the Dress” have really put high expectations of what wedding dress shopping should be. Your personality really determines more than anything how your experience will be. I have had brides know exactly what kind of dress they want and be satisfied with the first shopping trip, and others search for months and still be unhappy with their final decision.
Angel Sanchez is Venezuelan fashion designer that makes dramatic and feminine wedding gowns. He is very inspired by architecture as well as traditional timelessness. You can find his designs here.
The Go to Bachelorette Accessory
Planning the bachelorette party can be challenging, particularly arranging all the different personalities and logistics. It can be a nightmare dealing with the demands of the bride and hyped up expectations. Whether you're going on a lavish vacation or just a nice dinner, accessories are critical to any type of event.
Papeleria Y Muchomas is a paper goods company that makes the cutest party accessories.Impress the bride with this custom-made bridal veil for their bachelorette. You can find them here.
Cake Cake Cake
The piece de resistance in any wedding is the cake. There are so many options available it can be overwhelming. The most important part is that it is memorable and of course taste delicious.
Chubby Girl Cupcakes is a cake artist and baker. They make beautifully decorated cupcakes and wedding cakes that can fit just about any theme.You can check out their instagram here.
Don't Bother Trying to Lose or Gain Weight
Alterations of any dress or suit is something we forgot about until we actually purchase our items. Not only does the couple have to go through this, so does everyone in your wedding party. If you are bridesmaid (like I've been multiple times) a word of advice: don't try to lose or gain any weight.
During the first wedding I was in, I was little fluffier and the dressmaker charged me an extra fee because of my plus-size. My dumb a** self then decided to lose some weight for the wedding. Once the bridal party went in for the final fitting months after ordering ,I had lost so much weight my alterations cost at least twice as much as the other bridesmaids. The dress the bride had chosen was relatively inexpensive for all the other bridesmaids,but because I had paid extra to make it larger and extra to make it smaller I paid three times the original cost of the dress.
Save yourself the trouble and just stay the size you are. Fran’s Tailor Shop is located in Los Angeles and make sure your garments fit perfectly for your wedding. You can find them here.