From inside the stunning candlelit ruins of San Jose el Viejo, on the night of her wedding, Kristiaan told her guests that she and Lionel chose La Antigua, Guatemala because they wanted their guests to have an experience. I can't think of a better way of describing this wedding... what an experience it was. Daniel and I spent 3 whole weeks in Guatemala, first taking a Spanish class (y nuestro Espanol es mucho mejor ahora!) and then just taking in this incredible place. Slowly but surely, Kristiaan, Lionel and their wedding guests started to arrive. With every new arrival, the group got better and better; their families warm and welcoming, their friends an absolute blast. And Kristiaan and Lionel, well, we just adore them (they are also wedding photographers so they are obviously good people!). By the end of it, we had several sincere invitations to family dinners and one honorary adoption from Kristiaan's mom (hi mama Karen!).
To kick off their five day wedding experience, Kristiaan and Lionel organized The Amazing Race Antigua, a treasure hunt around the city. Daniel is proud to say that he led his team to victory (I'm still bitter about my team's loss...) and the event certainly brought everyone closer together, competitive spirits and all (I am perhaps referring to myself a little...). The eve of the wedding day began with an early morning volcano hike and ended with a salsa dance party with entertainment by Ignacio Perez Borrel, one of the original members of the legendary Buena Vista Social Club. After the wedding we followed Kristiaan, Lionel, and a few of their close friends to beautiful Lake Atitlan where we explored remote villages, feasted on homemade meals, and napped in hammocks overlooking the vast lake.
But also, of course, there was the wedding day. Filled to the brim with joy, love, and beauty, it was impossible not to get completely immersed in it all. We were spoiled with the magical combination of emotion and stunning location. La Antigua is, quite simply, one of the most beautiful places we have ever visited... so much so that I can't find the words to do it or this wedding justice, so have a glimpse at their full slideshow instead, by clicking HERE.