This Couple’s Latin-Infused Wedding Perfectly Captured Their Fun and Tropical Essence

Natasha and Jose transformed a black and white, blank canvas, airport hangar into a tropical, Mexican and Cuban-inspired “Club Babalu” that represented their favorite travel vibes, groom Jose’s Cuban heritage, and sprinkled it with their own Mexican flare. The ceremony and reception took place at Hangar 21 South in Fullerton, CA and was truly one for the books!

Bride Natasha shared with us some elements from their big day that made it even more special:

“We honored loved ones that we’ve lost with some Dia de los Muertos inspiration by having our flower girls line our aisle with cempasĂșchil flowers to welcome them back to be with us. The orange flowers tied in perfectly with our Central Perk orange couch, which was our must-have because we watch Friends every night before bed. We shared framed fun facts with our guests, which sat beside Cuban cigar boxes and tropical florals at our cocktail hour tables, and our his and hers mojitos and palomas, tied into our theme as well. Besides the moment where we both said “I Do” and sealed our union with our first kiss, my favorite memory of the day was walking down the aisle to Beyonce’s “Dangerously in Love 2″ and feeling every lyric wholeheartedly, while our friends and family clapped and cheered, as I walked towards my husband. All of our music selections were curated by the two of us because we wanted our music to set the tone for our day and we wanted the lyrics to all mean something extra special to us.”

Gina and Ryan Photography teamed with Home Run Events to bring this special day to life, and we can’t wait for you guys to see!

All About the Details

Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding Stationery
Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding Nikes

This stylish couple is totally going to rock these sneakers! Thinking about also wearing sneakers for your wedding? Check out our favorite wedding sneakers.

Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding

We asked Natasha to share with us her experience while she was shopping for her dress!

“Finding my dress was quick and easy. I took my mom and sister-in-law shopping with me and we found it at the second bridal salon, Love and Lace Bridal. I’m not somebody who dreamed about what my dress would look like, all I knew is I didn’t want anything too traditional and I wanted to be comfortable.  I tried on maybe a dozen or so at each salon and was quick to take each off but when I put on my Rish Rita dress, I just kept looking at myself and debating in my head but I wasn’t having THE moment and clarity I expected I would have. Finally, when my sister-in-law, Annie, told me that it was a dress that my Grandma Irene would have loved (she loved and collected lace doilies), I knew it was the perfect way to honor her. Because my mom and I like to always be a little different, we changed the lining from nude to ivory, added lots of beading and pearls, and added a cap sleeve.”

First Looks

Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding First Look

The sweetest first look! Look at those smiles!

Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding
Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding Black and White Photography

N + J met while in college at the University of Southern California in 2006 and didn’t start dating until 13 years later. The two were always friend-adjacent and their paths crossed again in 2019. They knew within a month of dating that it was meant to be.

“Our wedding was filled with more love than either of us could have ever imagined.”

Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding

We asked the couple to share with us their inspiration for the day and how they made their wedding unique to them as a couple:

We both love reggaeton music, tropical destinations, and we wanted our day to reflect our culture – Mexican for me and Mexican/Cuban for him. When we think of where our families are from, where we like to go, and what we listen to, we think tropical, we think party, we think fun. We wanted our wedding ceremony to honor our love, to pay tribute to our parents’ love, and to visibly represent the uniting of both our families. We chose for our flower girls to drop marigolds down the aisle instead of rose petals in a Dia de los Muertos tribute to honor my late father. We used my parent’s lasso that they used at their wedding in 1976 and we chose for each of our sisters-in-law to place it on our shoulders to display our family’s uniting together. We wrote our own vows, wrote our own ceremony, and we spent hours curating the music for our whole day, especially our ceremony songs, because we wanted all the lyrics to have meaning.”

Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding

We love all these sentimental personal touches the bride and groom incorporated into their wedding.

The Bridal Party

Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding
Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding Bridesmaids
Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding Groomsmen
Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding
Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding Ceremony
Our Musical Choices

Processional: His - Best Part by Daniel Caesar feat. H.E.R. | Hers - Dangerously in Love 2 by Beyonce

Recessional: Aloha by Maluma

First Dance: So High by John Legend

Moments to Remember Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding Ceremony

Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding
Our Favorite Memory From The Wedding

The most memorable moment of the day for me was when I locked eyes with Jose as I turned down the aisle. I was escorted by my older brother and I held on to his arm so tightly as Beyonce's "Dangerously in Love 2" played in the background and everyone clapped and cheered. I've never felt so much love and excitement and seeing my future husband waiting for me was one of the most overwhelmingly emotional and happy moments I've ever experienced.

Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding

“We were so thankful to be married by our close family friend, Ron Rios. He had our friends and family crying, laughing, and everything in between and it was so special how he maneuvered through our ceremony to make it the most heartfelt 30 minutes ever.” 

Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding Ceremony Exit

Kevin Reender with Orange County Wedding Flowers is to thank for this beautiful floral design.

Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding
Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding
Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding

The groom is dressed in Kenneth Cole and looks so charming!

Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding
Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding

Looks like this happy couple can hardly wait to hit the dance floor!

The Reception

Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding

Both the ceremony and reception were held at the same indoor/outdoor venue. While the ceremony was held on the side patio, cocktail hour was on the tarmac, and the reception to follow was inside the hangar!

Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding
Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding Telephone Guest Book

The couple said that hiring an audio guestbook company was one of their favorite splurges, as the voicemails left are so fun to listen to and will be something to look forward to reliving every year on their anniversary. Adorable!

Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding
Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding Reception Decor
Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding Reception Bar

“We wanted our cocktail hour and ceremony to feel comfortable for all. We selected a latin-inspired menu, latin-inspired cocktails, and had a mix of everything from cumbias and reggaeton to 90’s R&B and hip hop.”

Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding

How cute are these “fun-facts” that were sporadically placed throughout the venue? Such a sweet and personal touch!

Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding Seating Chart

The bride shares that their escort wall was “I Love Lucy” inspired because she joke that Jose is my ‘Ricky’ since he’s half Cuban!

Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding Cake
Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding Cake

This double layered cake is from Hapa Bakery and Natasha shares with us:

“We also included little touches of us throughout like – the Central Perk couch because we watch Friends every night before bed. We’re also big baseball and “The Sandlot” fans so our welcome sign and cake topper were nods to that.”

Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding Reception
Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding Reception Neon Sign
Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding Reception Neon Sign
Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding Reception Table Setting

The lively pops of orange help to brighten up the deep green decor, and we are simply obsessed!

Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding Disco Ball

Celebrating Forever

Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding Reception Venue

Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding First Dance

It looks like N + J’s guests are enjoying the first dance as much as the newlyweds!

Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding Reception Neon Sign
Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding Desserts Display

Cookies and cupcakes…rejoice! This is sweets wall is any dessert-lovers fantasy!

Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding
Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding

 

Our Advice To Those Planning Now

Don't feel obligated to do things the way they've always been done. Make your day unique and all about you and your partner and include your partner in the planning. Most importantly, find vendors you can trust so that you can focus all of your day-of energy on the real meaning of your day. All of our vendors executed so perfectly but I really can't imagine everything turning out the way it did without our floral team, photographers, DJ/MC, and amazing coordinator.

 Tropical Mexican Cuban Inspired Southern California Wedding

Congratulations to Natasha and Jose from the team here at GWS! We wish you endless love and laughter!

photography: Gina & Ryan Photography // venue name: Hangar 21 South, Fullerton, CA, USA // planning: Home Run Events // florals: Kevin Reeder // wedding dress: Rish (Style - Rita) // wedding dress boutique: Love & Lace Bridal Salon // hairpiece: Untamed Petals (earrings) // bride's shoes: Margaux (Style - City Sandal) // bride's ring: Hearts on Fire - Van Gundy Jewelers // hair stylist: Veronica Lara // makeup artist: Jessica Duran // groom attire: Kenneth Cole // groom's shoes: Nike AIR GRIFFEY MAX 1 'FRESHWATER' 2021 // groom's ring: Van Gundy Jewelers // videography: Mark Chapman Films // calligraphy: What the Fiesta // catering: Jay's Catering // cake: Hapa Bakery // desserts: Hapa Cupcakes & Bakery // furniture rentals: Sundrop Vintage // specialty rentals: Found Rental Co. // music: Dj Fuze // photo booth: Desert Luna Photobooths // Audio Guestbook: After the Tone // MC: DJ Baeb // Plant Rentals: CPR Plant Rentals // Dance Floor & Lighting: Team Impulse Events // Neon Sign : Sketch & Etch

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