Crystal Ochoa, an illustrator and director of Latin-American fashion and lifestyle collective Sí Collective, first met Tijn Jansen, an allocator at Suitsupply, when he was an exchange student at her high school in Salem, Oregon. “We knew of each other but weren’t really friends. Years later, when I moved to New York, he reached out and [mentioned] that he was taking a trip to the U.S. and was stopping [by the city.]” After dating for two years, long-distance from the East Coast and Amsterdam, he surprised her with a proposal in front of their favorite restaurant, Freemans.
Crystal was going to brunch with her childhood best friend, and the Uber mysteriously missed their destination and dropped them off in front of the Lower East Side spot. Freemans is where her and Tijn had their first date, and whenever he would come into the city, they would always eat their first meal there—it became a tradition. “As I walked down the alley, there were candles, flowers, and pictures of us hung up on the graffiti walls,” she says. “He then came out of the restaurant and got down on one knee.”
A few months later, they had their civil ceremony and also went to Freemans for brunch. But for their bigger wedding, they wanted to embrace Crystal’s Mexican culture and hold their destination event at Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende. “We wanted it to be colorful and festive, but not in a loud way, and I think we really nailed it with my wonderful florist, MariGold Florals—who is also my super talented aunt!” Crystal says. For their late summer wedding, the couple did a lot of planning with the bride’s mom and family and hired Julia Prieto as their coordinator.
For her wedding dress, one of Crystal’s many aunts suggested she check out Brides for a Cause in Portland, which is a non-profit that sells donated dresses and raises money for women-focused charities. The bride actually found a Lili Hod two-piece set there, and chose another top to change into after the ceremony. As for jewelry, with Beck Jewels, Crystal took pearl embellishments from her mother’s wedding dress and made them into dainty earrings that she wore down the aisle.
On the morning-of, the bride got ready with Elle Vee Beauty, and her bridesmaids put on their choice of Reformation dress. Then, they all headed to the pink Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel in the heart of the city for the ceremony.
The bride walked down the aisle with her parents and met Tijn and their officiant, who performed the ceremony in English, at the altar. “For being in such a big church, I felt like we were the only people in the room,” Crystal says. “We felt very connected to each other in the moment.”
After being finally announced as a married couple, the newlyweds led everyone with a Callejoneada and Mariachi to the cocktail hour. For the seated reception dinner, they served the traditional wedding dish of Mole family-style, while loved-ones made heartfelt speeches.
The party kicked off with another wedding tradition—the money dance, where people pinned money on the couple to dance with them. “My family also does this crazy tradition—which I thought was quite normal growing up—where they undress the groom and make him wear an apron and make him sweep,” the bride explains. “A certain song is played, which pretty much states he has lost his freedom as a single man.”
Then the two had their first dance to “Golden Hour” by Kacey Musgraves, and by the end of the night, the crowd managed to break the dance floor from having so much fun. At around 3:00 a.m., the bride was so hungry and found a taco truck on the street to cap off the best day.