This couple proves that no distance is too far for two people in love. They first met in the Fall of 2009 when Kelsey decided to take a semester hiatus from the University of Texas & study abroad in Santiago, Chile. She met Jaime at a house party his brother threw & whom she shared a common friend with. And although their blooming romance was cut short when Kelsey had to return to Texas in December, they still stayed well connected. She returned in Santiago May 2010 to see if the magic was still there…& it felt like nothing ever changed.
Moving forward to July 2011, after graduating from University, she went back to Santiago where she taught English & developed a foundation with Jaime. Unfortunately, all good things sometimes have an expiry & she had to go back to the US once again. She moved back to Florida to pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at the University of Miami. But it didn’t take long enough when Jaime finally joined her in October of 2013. And you could say that the rest of story was history!
Here we are, gazing upon their romantic engagement session by Blackbird Foto. We can’t help but feel how their love for each other is magnified in each photo. You can see how evident their connection is. And how they are the perfect pair. We hope their story inspires all of you as much as it did to us. Happy Monday Folks!
What is your story as a couple, how did you meet & fall in love?
In the Fall of 2009, I decided to take a semester hiatus from the University of Texas and study abroad in Santiago, Chile. Little did I know how much my life was about to change! I met Jaime at a house party put on by his brother who shared a mutual friend with me. I immediately developed a crush on him and though there was a couple week lapse between us meeting, we quickly became inseparable for the remainder of my time abroad. Unfortunately, I had to return to Austin, TX in December and we decided to take a break (being hemispheres apart will do that to you). We kept in touch and I returned to Santiago in May 2010 to see if the chemistry was still there…which it absolutely was! Fast forward to July 2011 (after a handful of trips back and forth to see each other); I graduated from UT and made the move back to Santiago to teach English for a year and finally develop a foundation with my love. After my year was up and we were 100% invested in each other, I moved to Miami, FL to pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at the University of Miami. Jaime and I endured a little more distance and he finally joined me in October of 2013. The rest is history!
What was the best advice you received when you were planning your wedding?
“Remember-the real fun starts after the wedding.” A few people told me this and I kept coming back to it every time I felt stressed out. I think too many people (women, especially) get so caught up in planning the perfect party that and reveling so much in that day that they forget how EXCITING it will be to share the rest of your life with that person! Really, that is what it’s all about. That advice reminded me not to care so much and definitely to try and not take things out on my fiance. Our planning process was pretty smooth and I like to think I wasn’t too much of a bridezilla!
What makes the two of you a perfect match?
We are so different…sooo very different. But it really works out perfectly! I’m the ‘idealist dreamer-mildly disorganized-social butterfly-early morning riser’ kind of girl. He is the ‘realist-extremely organized-has few but GREAT friends-night owl’ kind of guy. Where I falter, he stands strong and vice versa. Our hobbies are similar though-we both love to travel, camp, climb and explore via bicycle!
What inspired your wedding decor? Why did you choose the things that you did?
Having the wedding in Miami, we wanted it to be a beachy, breezy kind of theme without being too cheesy. I’m a sucker for all things bohemian inspired, so that was an underlying theme as well, with big garden bouquets and mix-matched vases. Given that we both love to travel and it was such an integral part in us ending up together, we decided to place maps and globes around as accent decor.
Do you have advice for couples still in the planning process?
I did a lot of DIY things and I tried to plan as much as I could by myself, but at the end of the day I ended up hiring a planner to help me. For me, it was the best decision and really helped ease all my worries. Also, when you find yourself getting too stressed out and frustrated with each other-go out on a date and talk about anything BUT the wedding.
What were some challenges you faced planning your wedding & what would you have done differently to avoid them?
We had our reception at a venue that was fairly cheap and oceanfront and beautiful, but they only rented out the space and no other services. It became pretty stressful to think of all the tiny details since the venue didn’t include table/chair rentals, linens, etc. There were a lot of things that I didn’t think of that if I hadn’t had a planner probably would’ve been overlooked. I think if I were to do it differently I would probably try to condense the amount of vendors I was using so as to limit the number of people that need to be held responsible for things.
Was there a theme for the ceremony and reception?
Since the ceremony was in a pretty, wooden church, we didn’t feel the need to decorate too much. There were some mason jars lining the aisles, but that was about all. We did however splurge on renting a vintage Rolls Royce to pick us up and take us to the party! The reception had an oceanside bohemian theme to it with a touch of vintage travel.
What was the wedding budget?
What were the highlights from the ceremony & reception?
My favorite part of the ceremony was when the cantor sang Pescador de Hombres. My grandpa recently passed away and that was his favorite song; my grandma told me she felt like he was still there with us and that it meant so much to her. Some very memorable parts of the reception included my extremely talented cousin singing “Brown Eyed Girl” for the father-daughter dance. I surprised my dad with both the song and the live performance and he loved it! Also, the speeches from Jaime’s best friends, my sister, and our fathers were so beautiful and heart-felt. It was truly amazing to see people from all over the world come together and dance and celebrate with us. Finally, I think the late night food truck we surprised our guests with was pretty great. Both Jaime and I like to party so we had an 8 hour reception! Late night munchies were definitely a must.
Where did you save the most money?
Alcohol, definitely. The venue allowed us to provide our own alcohol so we got to control that aspect of the party. I also did several DIY projects for the decor and the florals I got helped pretty up the place a lot.
Was there any Do it Yourself (DIY) projects? If so, can you describe them in detail?
Yes-the guest favors were small linen bags of coffee beans and I stenciled the word “cafe” on them. I made the piñata the day before because I thought it would add to the fun! My friends helped me make ribbon wands with aqua, coral and gold tones that guests used instead during the “send-off”. I ordered mason jars in bulk and decorated them with ribbons and straws. I also bought a shelf from a thrift store and white washed it. We put the mason jars, drink dispensers and globe (also a thrift store-buy) on there. I collected wine bottles, spray painted them aqua and stenciled numbers on them for each table.
Can you share some tips or tricks that you learned along the way leading up to the wedding or after?
Definitely shop around for your vendors. I had a few quote me prices at the beginning that were astronomical. They told me that it was the going rate for the Miami area, but I decided to keep looking at more options. My vendor team worked in my budget and they were absolutely AMAZING. All of them did just as good if not better work than other vendors that were charging way more.
What was your favorite part of the day?
Too many to choose from! To name a few-my sister’s speech, dancing with my father to “Brown Eyed Girl” sung by my talented cousin, dancing with EVERYONE. Oh, and we made a piñata that was full of mini alcohol bottles and candy. That was definitely a big hit once we cracked it open!
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Since I had to return to school and Jaime just started a job, we actually weren’t able to honeymoon right away. However, we are currently planning a lengthy trip to Southeast Asia in May of 2015 for our one year anniversary and a belated honeymoon!
What inspired the wedding day outfits?
I’m a very sentimental person, so my dress was the exact same wedding dress my mother wore. My grandmother sewed it and the quality of the material still held up beautifully. Jaime had a clean, sleak style and his grey suit reflected that. We both had accents of aqua and coral and I wore a flower crown to give it a bohemian feel since I identify with that style a little more.
What are you most excited about for the future?
Traveling the world with my best friend and love of my life. Of course, one day we would love to have a familybut for now, we are looking forward to being a selfish young couple with many adventurous plans!
What songs did you use during the ceremony?
We got married in St. Augustine Catholic Church so we used some beautiful traditional hymns.
- Processional: Canon in D
- Brides Entrance: Meditation Thais
- Offering: Ave Maria
- Communion: Pescador de hombres
- Meditation: His Eye is on the Sparrow
- Recessional: Trumpet Voluntary
How many guests were invited in your wedding and what was the final guest count?
Ours isn’t a super accurate portrayal of how most weddings are since EVERYONE had to travel (and many of them from Chile). We both come from huge families, so we invited about 250 with the knowledge that most of them wouldn’t be able to come-especially the elderly Chileans. Our final count was 125 which I think was the perfect number.
Photographer: Blackbird Foto
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