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This Wedding in Guatemala Had a Loose Theme of “James Bond in the Jungle”

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Brogen Jessup

|Planning by 

Saguzo Eventos

Timmy Hall was the boy next door, or at least a few houses away, when Chelsie Corbett and her family moved to his hometown. They would bump into each other while walking their dogs, but only got to know each other once they were both in college and home for the summers. They shared their first kiss 10 years ago and started dating after they bumped into each other at a local high school play. “We’ve always had crushes on each other, since we were 15!” Chelsie says.

After four years together, they got engaged at The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina. “Timmy and I live a rather adventurous life, and we really wanted to give the people who we love the adventure of a lifetime,” Chelsie says of their summer wedding plans in Antigua, Guatemala. “We hiked a volcano together, held a tropical pool party, brought in a professional salsa teacher to teach a class of 100 of us how to move, and had several quite serious nights of going out on the town! We also took some time to give back to the community and went to some local schools, where we were able to get to know some local kids and practice our Spanish.”

To help plan their multi-day wedding, they hired Gladys and Olga of Saguzo Eventos. Zoja Décor set up a beautiful rehearsal dinner at Pensativo House Hotel, and the couple booked Porta Hotel Antigua for their reception. Timmy’s sister, who is a painter, and Chelsie’s sister, who is an artist, set the tone with illustrations and a custom crest. 

On her first shopping trip with her mother and sister, Chelsie found her Berta wedding dress. “It wasn’t what I’d always imagined,” she says. “But it felt like it really fit the old world feel of Antigua in a beautiful way.” To dance on the cobblestone streets, she paired the gown with Loeffler Randall slides, and Bea of Addy Florales made floral headbands for the bride and her bridesmaids.

Chelsie’s second look consisted of a top that her grandmother had made. “She was a genius seamstress and had been making a silk, beaded dress and this was the top half,” she explains. “She passed away years ago and never finished it, but I found it in my closet a few months before the wedding. I started crying and just knew I had to incorporate the top into the day—it was like she was there partying the night away. She was a party animal, so she would have wanted to have been late to the wedding and the center of attention at the party, anyhow!”

Timmy wore a custom suit by Abbeydale and custom black leather boots made in Italy for the ceremony. “My favorite part of his suit may have been his [suit jacket’s] floral lining with my new initials monogrammed inside,” Chelsie states. “He looked amazing.” And their favorite accessories were the tattoos of a blackbird that they got at Bang Bang as a nod to the bride’s maiden name.

On August 24th, 2019 at the chapel in San Jose El Viejo, the two were married in a beautiful religious ceremony. Since Chelsie’s father is a pastor, the officiant was close to the family and baptized the bride when she was only one month old. “Seeing Chelsie walk through that door was an incredible experience,” Timmy remembers. “I felt like I had never felt before. Holding Chelsie’s hand during the ceremony was my favorite part. We felt so much love, and there was so much built up to the best part—the kiss!”

After walking out as a married couple, a parade, with a Guatemalan Mariachi, puppets, and smoke bombs, led everyone around the block to the cocktail hour in the plaza of Porta Hotel, where everyone was staying. The newlyweds poured their champagne tower, and then there was a romantic, candlelit reception dinner of traditional Guatemalan food. For dessert, the couple’s multi-tiered wedding cake with sugar flowers and sugar models of Chelsie and Timmy, made by Sofia Cobian, was served. 

To help get everyone dancing, there was a live salsa band, and the espresso bar kept everyone energized. As Timmy’s aunt was in the original cast of Cats and is a Broadway choreographer, she created the moves for the first dance to “You’re All I Need to Get By” by Aretha Franklin and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The couple’s families joined in as the song went on, and they ended the song with a dramatic dip. 

At the end of the night, a fireworks display was lit above the night sky as a surprise for their guests. “The fireworks at the end were a remarkable reminder that this was our launch into a lifetime of awe, wonder, and celebration,” Chelsie says. Timmy adds, “My wife is incredible and was such a driving force putting that week together.”