Tania Kottoor, wedding stylist and co-founder of bespoke digital clothing brand WESTxEAST, first met Jacob Kottoor at a mutual friend’s birthday party in New York City. After dating for three years, he proposed while on a “glamping” trip on Governor’s Island. Jacob slipped the ring on Tania’s finger, while she was asleep, so she woke up happily engaged.
The two began planning their February 2020 multi-day wedding and decided on hosting all the events in Guatemala with planner Saguzo Eventos. To kick off the festivities, they booked Pensativo House Hotel for the welcome party, where salsa dancers performed and gave lessons to guests. And for the “Lost in Paradise”-themed Chantham Charthu and Mylanchi, the couple decided on UNESCO-protected World Heritage Site Las Capuchinas. Finally, the Knanaya wedding ceremony and reception were set up at Nuestra Señora de Belén and Convento de Santa Clara.
For all the wedding events, Tania custom-designed 75 outfits with WESTxEAST for herself, bridal party, future-husband, and family. “I set the color palettes for each event, created vision boards based on those, and then mood boards along with 2D sketches for the outfits and the jewelry pieces,” the bride explains. She also got ready for each day with Jocelyn Biga, who perfected her bridal beauty looks.
The day before the wedding, both families came together to beautify and celebrate the couple in Knanaya traditional ceremonies—the Chantham Charthu and Mylanchi. After the formalities, the bride, groom, their cousins, parents, and bridal party performed a theatrical dance to entertain everyone before a Latin BBQ by Roberto de la Fuente was served for dinner.
And the next day, on February 2, 2020, the Catholic ceremony incorporated several Knanaya Catholic traditions. “Our wedding felt like something out of an ancient storybook, blending our Indian roots with the charming and historic beauty of Antigua, Guatemala,” Tania says. As the newlyweds exited the church, the Nada Vili—a ritualistic cheer given to the bride and groom after they are officially married by the uncles and the male cousins—took place.
At the reception, the tablescapes had a “Victorian meets Last Supper” aesthetic with jewel-toned colors, velvet emerald green chairs, and florals by Expressions Artes Florales. Then Tania and Jacob performed a Latin ballroom rumba to “Help Me Make It Through The Night” by Michael Bublé for their first dance that ended with surprise fireworks.
The after-party was held at Porta Hotel Antigua, where late night bites and more drinks were enjoyed. Their DJ kept things lively, and the festivities ended with vivacious singalongs.
In lieu of a conventional honeymoon, the new Mr. and Mrs. invited their closest friend and family to join them on a “buddy-moon” in Lake Atitlan. Tania explains, “We chose this location because we had heard it has a very spiritual and relaxing environment, which made it the perfect place to decompress after a long week of wedding celebrations.”