Start Slideshow View Grid Start Slideshow 60

A Memorable Destination Wedding Weekend in Cartagena

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Omar Ali Primo

|Planning by 

Eleganza Weddings and Event

Alexa Nicole Abril and Ronald Jimmy Rojas always knew they wanted a destination wedding—they loved the idea of a full weekend of festivities. The pair ultimately chose Cartagena, Colombia, and with help from Eleganza Weddings and Events, they booked Movich Cartagena De Indias for the welcome party, Blue Apple Beach House for another celebration, Catedral de Santa Catalina de Alejandría for the ceremony, and Casa 1537 for the reception.

As Alexa works in fashion, she carefully planned her wedding weekend wardrobe. For the welcome party, she chose Zimmermann’s Suraya dress, Stuart Weitzman’s Merinda sandals, and a nude Chanel crossbody. And for the beach party, she wore a bejeweled Alexis two-piece set with gold Ulla Johnson sandals and later changed into a Zimmermann bikini.

When it came to finding her wedding gown, Alexa spent months searching. “I must have tried on more than 100 dresses before finally choosing a massive, strapless Marchesa ballgown from Chernaya Bridal House in Miami,” she says. To complete her look, she also wore Jimmy Choo Sacora sandals and Dannijo earrings.

On the day-of, Alexa got ready with Lutz Karpf, who did her beauty throughout the weekend. Her ceremony hairstyle was influenced by Erin Foster’s wedding look. And Jimmy got “I do”-ready in a custom, black Hugo Boss tuxedo.

Then Alexa and her brother hopped into an antique convertible to head to the cathedral. “It was such a special ride reminiscing on stories of our late father,” she remarks. And once they reached the checkered, candlelit aisle, they walked down, hand-in-hand.

The priest performed a quick 35-minute ceremony, and before the newlyweds knew it, they were being led by Colombian dancers and drummers to the reception venue. Casa 1537 was transformed into a tropical oasis filled with greenery and romantic white florals at every turn. And the party kicked off with a first dance to “My Boo” by Alicia Keys and Usher, followed by a set from a local band.

Dinner was a typical Colombian meal catered by Chef Juan Felipe Camacho, from the well-known restaurant Don Juan, and accompanied by a Colombian coffee station. And later in the night, Alexa changed into a dark nude, beaded, mermaid gown by Inbal Dror.

The Hora Loca hit at around 1:00 a.m. and came complete with an electric band, giant LED balloons, and delicious mini cheeseburgers. “We partied with our closest family and friends until five in the morning!” Alexa remembers. “At the time, we didn’t know it, but it was everyone’s last hoorah before Covid-19 took over. We got so lucky with the timing of our wedding and left on our incredible honeymoon to South Africa a day later.”