Crazy Little Thing Called Love
La Boda! Mandy Kordal & Alex Bayer / Jan 13th 2018
With Valentine's Day approaching, it seemed like the perfect time to share some photos and memories from our wedding this past January 13th. It was the most incredible day, filled with love, family, friends, amazing food, volcanoes, the most epic dance party, plus a late night karaoke session to end the night!
Alex and I met seven years ago in Brooklyn at a Friends-giving, although according to Alex we met in college at a party, and he still teases me about the fact that I don't remember! We became fast friends, then roommates, and after a weekend trip out to Montauk we fell in love. We are each other's biggest supporters with our creative work and I honestly couldn't image starting Kordal without his constant positivity and encouragement.
As a designer and small business owner I've had the opportunity to befriend the sweetest and most creative individuals, and was so grateful to wear some of their beautiful creations during such a special week. I'm so excited to share this plus a few tips for anyone thinking about a destination wedding (I 100% recommend it!!), plus we were able to stay focused on what was most important to us like spending time with family and friends, playing good music, and creating a beautiful, go with the flow environment.
Huge thanks to our friends and family that traveled from all over to celebrate with us, and to Hotel Atitlan (Guillermo!) for making our wedding so beautiful and full of magic.
Day 1: Antigua ~ Hotel Santo Domingo
Alex and I arrived a few days early to settle in and prep a few last minute items before our family and friends arrived. TIP: Having a day to yourselves is really nice if you can manage it!
One of our first tasks was to prep the wedding gifts. We always order our coffee from this non-profit called De La Gente based in Guatemala, and you can read more about their incredible mission here. We wanted to make sure our gifts would be usable, easy to pack and bring home, and something our guests would really want. We made a custom stamp with our wedding date, ordered a box of brown coffee bags from uline and 40lbs of coffee from De La Gente. So our first day in Antigua we picked up our beans and made all of our weddings gifts.
Wearing: Kordal SS18 Knit Tank & Cardigan, Suzanne Rae Pants, and Vere Verto back pack.
Rest of the Week in Antigua ~ Friends and Family Arrive!
Tuesday through Friday we explored the city of Antigua with family and friends. We decided to rent a place for our wedding party for the few days we stayed in the city. It meant so much that everyone traveled to another country for our wedding and we wanted to treat them to a cool place to stay. Plus, it's really nice to have everyone in one place. The AirBNB we found had a courtyard surrounded by four smaller homes that could host up to 20 people in total, a shared pool and hot tub, plus fireplaces in each house. It was so much fun!
Wearing: Ajaie Alaie Red Top and matching Skirt, Vere Verto Hip Pack (seriously my favorite travel piece!), and Hat from the local market.
Chicken Bus to Hotel Atitlan ~ With a stop at the Iximche Mayan Ruins
We knew that arranging transport in another country would be the most challenging part of the planning. To keep things easy, we rented a chicken bus (a common mode of transportation in Guatemala) to take all of our wedding guests from Antigua to Hotel Atitlan, which is around a three hour drive. Not only was it super fun, but it made things much easier for our guests. We also surprised everyone with a stop at one of the Mayan Ruins, Iximche! It was the perfect stop, halfway through the trip, and an awesome opportunity to share some of the history of Guatemala with our friends and family.
A Few Outfit Highlights!
Okay! I wanted to highlight a few pieces from designers that I love and was honored to wear during our wedding week :)
- First Outfit: Elizabeth Suzann Petra Top in Linen (love this piece). Paired with our very own Kordal striped pants in cotton (so comfy!). Martiniano shoes, picked these beauties up at Gang of Early Birds this past winter! And once again the Vere Verto hip pack, which I seriously am obsessed with!
- Second Outfit: Family dinner night. Our parents hadn't met! We planned a small dinner with just our parents and sisters for everyone to meet. I wore a piece from my studio mate's beautiful collection, Ajaie Alaie, the Monologue Dress in Cream, it's so light and elegant, plus a Nettie Kent Hair Pin.
- Third Outfit: Our Welcome Dinner! The evening before we left for the wedding venue, we had a welcome dinner at Cafe Sky in Antigua. I was so excited to wear this beautiful custom Indigo Dyed Dress from Aurora Vestita, every piece from her collection makes you feel like a goddess! The way it moves and drapes is just so incredibly dreamy.
And We've Arrived! Hotel Atitlan, Panajachel
Friday afternoon we arrived at Hotel Atitlan, one of the most breathtaking places I've ever been. The hotel grounds are a Botanic Garden, situated right on the lake with views of the volcanoes. It feels like you're in a dream.
We spent the first night settling in and taking in the beauty. Alex and his friends went into town to find straw hats, while my crew and I relaxed at the hotel bar by the fireplace. The next morning our guests relaxed by the pool, did some early morning kayaking, and soaked up the sunshine.
My wedding party woke up early to gather the flowers for the wedding at the local market. This was one of my favorite parts of the wedding, I loved spending some one-on-one time with my friends and I loved that all of our flowers were local. TIP: Go with the flow, the more laid back you are the better time you'll have!
AND Finally! La Boda!!
Our wedding photos,by Matt Agan. There are kinda a lot, sorry!
Words can't describe the beauty of Lake Atitlan, I couldn't have imagined a more perfect place for our ceremony. Alex's sister Ellen was our officiant, and she did such a beautiful job. Both of our moms cleansed the garden by burning sage before the ceremony. Alex's dad and our family friend Bruce played music while I walked down the aisle, and had everyone join in to sing "Eight Days a Week" as we walked out. We decided to write our own vows, which I highly encourage, it was truly special to read those words to one another in front of all of our loved ones.
My dress was made by my dear friend Ena Topalovic. I loved collaborating with her and can't get over how perfectly it turned out. It felt so light and easy to dance in, it had a slight 70's vibe which I love, and a little drama with the open back and flowing lace. It was just perfect.
I also can't express how much we both loved our rings! My engagement band was made by my longtime friend Nettie Kent using recycled gold and an ethically sourced diamond. I then worked with the lovely Stvdio Brooklyn to make the wedding band. The band is made to fit with the engagement ring, and together they are the most beautiful piece of jewelry I own. I seriously love it! It was really amazing to have such an important piece of jewelry made by my dear friends. For Alex's band I worked with Naturaleza, a company that specializes in sustainably made gold and wooden rings, and made a gold band with a strip of walnut.
For my wedding party I brought everyone back some berets from our Paris trip, plus a vintage kimono (Etsy find). Each one was different and reminded me of that particular friend.
For the table scapes our incredible friend Genevieve, with help from our wedding crew, put together the most gorgeous arrangements with flowers sourced from that morning's market run. We purchased a batch of brass candle sticks from Ebay and our studio mate Good Candle generously gifted us Beeswax tapers and glass jar candles as a wedding gift. We also added some fruit and other greens to the table to make it look more wild and natural.
For our guest book, we ordered a custom book from Etsy and bought a polaroid camera and film. Each guest then took a photo and signed our book. This was hands down one of my favorite things we did, and getting to read everyones notes the next morning was really special. We also had some childhood and family photos framed around the guest book!
After dinner we had the most EPIC dance party! Our playlist was something we really labored over, and getting to slow dance to Beach House and boogie to Os Mutantes was very important. The night ended with all of our guests forming a conga line to Harry Belafonte Shake Senora! For those who wanted to keep the party going, we hopped in some tuk-tuks and sped over to La Palapa, a bar we had rented out for some private karaoke.
Last but not least ~ Court House Official!
So, we got married in Guatemala, but legally we needed to get hitched at the courthouse in NY for things to be official. On a Friday afternoon after returning from Guatemala, we went over to the Brooklyn Municipal Building with our good friend and studio mate John, owner of Good Candle, as our witness.
I took the opportunity to wear some more wedding-esque outfits! It was still freezing outside so of course it was the perfect chance to rock some Kordal knits. I chose a cream knit jumpsuit, cream textured cardigan, my great grandmothers hand knit angora shawl, and my About Arianne boots.
Afterwards we treated ourselves to a Peter Luger lunch and happy hour drinks. I couldn't think of a more perfect day.