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The Bride Wore Markarian and Monique Lhuillier During Her Oceanside Wedding Weekend at One&Only Palmilla

By Cathleen Freedman | Photography by 

Olivia Rae James

|Planning by 

Alison Events

Before Cece Soto entered the fashion industry and started Claire Sloan Styles, her first foray into the professional world was as a credit analyst. Marc Soto sat right across from her at the bank. Five years of dating later, Marc completely surprised Cece on her 27th birthday with a trip to Post Ranch Inn and an engagement ring. She laughs, “While the career path wasn’t for me, I did get a husband out of it!”

Years earlier, Cece and Marc had visited the One&Only Palmilla in Cabo. “We absolutely fell in love with the people and the overall vibe, and it quickly became our favorite place to go together,” she shares. But what Cece truly remembered was the onsite chapel. The first time she saw it, she knew she would one day marry Marc there—even though they had only been dating for six months.

While their wedding would be a destination event, they still dreamed of a classic aesthetic with wooden tables, lanterns, and greenery that complemented the seaside elements. Their florist Pina masterfully arranged the bougainvillea to achieve this vision. “While embracing the space we were in, we made sure the guests were comfortable by building a wooden platform, so they didn’t have to worry about stepping in sand in their beach chic!” Cece adds. Alison Events planned the perfect weekend, and the couple enlisted Olivia Rae James to photograph the vibrant nuptials.

For the oceanside rehearsal dinner on the sand, Cece fell in love with the Forget Me Not Gown at the Markarian atelier. “I knew the gold accents on the dress and the white whimsical trim on the train would be perfect for our beachside rehearsal dinner,” she recalls.

It was only when Cece’s friend shared one of Monique Lhuillier’s Instagram posts that Cece knew what she’d be wearing on her wedding day. Cece called the atelier and was informed there was a very small window of time the dress would be in New York City. Without a moment’s hesitation, Cece’s mom booked a plane ticket, and she and Cece made the occasion a weekend trip at The Mark Hotel.

The bride’s wedding dress search ended once she put on a particular gown with a detachable jacket that would give a more traditional look for the ceremony. She notes, “We love a two-for-one deal!” Blanc Bridal Salon styled her glowing beauty look.

Cece’s sisters served as the maid and matron of honor with complementary dresses that also showed off their personalities. Olivia donned a Markarian dress from The RealReal, and Meredith sported Bambah, a Dubai-based brand. Both dresses tied in nicely with her mother’s bright pink Rebecca Vallance gown.

Marc wore a custom Ralph Lauren Purple Label tuxedo. A last-minute switch to a white jacket made all the difference in the world and went seamlessly with the white chapel setting.

On November 6, 2021, musicians strummed Pachelbels’s “Canon in D” as the wedding party processed. Diego Vidal officiated and led a beautiful and meaningful ceremony. “He really placed us all in the moment, where we were, what we were surrounded by, and of course the true meaning of why we were bought together that day,” Cece recalls. Her eldest sister began the ceremony with a prayer, while her other sister read “Touched by An Angel” by Maya Angelou. An excerpt from The Alchemist about the true meaning of two souls finding one another followed the vows. Sealed with a kiss, the newlyweds proceeded to “Hornpipe” from Water Music while guests tossed rose petals.

Then, the real fun began. A mariachi band serenaded the crowd as the sun set over cocktail hour. The first dance to Ray LaMontagne’s “You Are The Best Thing” kicked off an evening of dancing with an intimate dinner party on the side. Guests dined on jicama mango stacked salad and their choice of fish, chocolate orange–scented braised short rib, or mushroom enchiladas, while the father of the bride thanked them for coming.

The Atomic Funk Project band launched into a singalong of Olivia Rodrigo’s “Driver’s License,” propelling the party into nonstop revelry and endless spicy margaritas. Cece and Marc covertly slipped away to cut the cake without pulling anyone off of the dance floor. The grooving only momentarily lulled for a firework interlude. The newlyweds finished the party by jumping off the stage and crowd-surfing through the room. “While I looked the opposite of graceful floating in a ballgown wedding dress,” Cece notes, “I wouldn’t want to end the night any other way.”

Everyone hopped into golf carts and continued celebrating at the after-party with a soundtrack of early 2000s hits and a feast of al pastor tacos and churros.