This love story is sponsored by: PARADISECOAST.COM/WEDDINGS
A COLORFUL DESTINATION WEDDING IN MEXICO CITY
Summer Galitz and John Schamy’s destination wedding in Mexico City was the perfect “happily ever after” to a love story that began when the two were just teenagers. John was a sophomore in high school and enjoyed playing sports during his free period. Summer, who was a freshman, had gym class at the same time, so they would see each other regularly. The two high school sweethearts made it official on Valentine’s Day, when John asked Summer to be his girlfriend. They’ve been together ever since.
After dating for 13 years, John arranged for a surprise proposal on a boat. He tricked Summer into thinking they were going to meet his business partner and charter a yacht for the day, using their AMEX points. Right before boarding, his business partner suddenly “had to cancel” because his wife was pregnant and couldn’t go. John’s plan unfolded seamlessly as he and Summer went on the boat alone, with music playing and Summer’s favorite wine being served.
“Everything was so beautiful and perfect, but I still wasn’t catching on,” Summer recalls. “I was still shocked, even though we’ve been dating a million years. He asked me out with a poem in high school – so to propose, he also wrote me a poem.”
“We said some of the same things in our vows, just coincidentally, and it was beautiful.”
Before their engagement, the couple had traveled to Mexico City and completely fell in love with the local culture. When it came time to plan their wedding, they knew they wanted to have a destination wedding in Mexico City – especially since their friends are such a lively group who would thoroughly enjoy a weekend getaway.
“The wedding planning process was so easy and amazing,” Summer shares. “Our wedding planner was literally perfect. He doesn’t make you do anything, it’s crazy. The customer service and hospitality industry in Mexico is really unparalleled. It was a great experience.”
Summer and John’s original wedding date was set for April 2020 and had a guest list of 220 people. Like countless other couples, however, they had to postpone the celebration several times while whittling down the guest list. By the time they had a final wedding date secured – December 18, 2021 – their wedding had become a more intimate party of about 90 close friends and family members.
The events of their destination wedding in Mexico City kicked off with a Friday night welcome party and shabbat dinner, followed by the wedding on Saturday, and a casual post-wedding brunch at the Four Seasons on Sunday.
“Because we were in Mexico, we knew we wanted to do something colorful,” says Summer, describing the décor. “The venue itself was a very old mansion that has crumbling paint and lots of ivy growing everywhere. It has an Old European feel, so we wanted something that was not too modern.
We had lanterns, Persian rugs, and flowers everywhere. There were flowers hanging from the ceiling over the entire reception, and tendrils of flowers over the tables with lanterns interspersed. Cocktail hour was outside, so in that space we went a little more glam with beautiful purple flowers and big centerpieces.”
Prior to the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom had a first look photo session at the Four Seasons, where everyone stayed during the wedding weekend. Afterwards, the party moved to the wedding venue, where the couple had a private signing of the Ketubah with their rabbi and a few loved ones before the wedding ceremony.
In contrast to the colorful wedding décor for the cocktail hour and reception, the couple’s ceremony consisted of an abundance of all-white flowers. Charcoal gray drapery and white carpeting made the small room feel warm and inviting, and the fragrance from all the fresh flowers was heavenly. It was the bride’s favorite moment of the entire wedding celebration.
“Because our wedding had to become smaller, it was our immediate friends and family – the people who are most special to us – who were there,” she says. “It was young, and it wasn’t stuffy or overly religious.
John and I wanted to read our vows out loud. It was really cute and special. We said some of the same things in our vows, just coincidentally, and it was beautiful. We took a minute after just for ourselves, just to have a drink.”
By the time the newlyweds joined their guests at cocktail hour, the party had begun. Since their reception was an American-style party, the couple wanted to be sure to honor Mexico’s culture while giving their guests a true sense of place. A group of four female Mexican folk singers performed, wearing purple outfits that matched the décor perfectly. Above all, the food was incredible.
“I really wanted to lean into Mexico,” Summer explains. “We did Mexican street food, a quesadilla station, hand-rolled flour and corn tortillas, a fruit stand with fruit juices, a Mexican candy cart – everything was very authentic.
We flew to Mexico for a taste testing before the wedding and chose the menu. The caterers and their presentation were amazing. We chose the menu, but we definitely took their advice, and they helped narrow it down.”
Instead of a traditional wedding cake, guests were served indulgent plated desserts, which included fresh cookie skillets. This provided ample fuel for the newlyweds and their guests, who were more than ready for a late-night celebration.
A room next to the dance floor was dubbed “the disco room,” and was transformed into a swanky lounge space with blue velvet drapes and furniture. After the bride made an outfit change into a feathered sequin jumpsuit, the reception transitioned into a VIP club that set the stage for an unforgettable afterparty.
>Written By: Lauren Malamala
Ceremony & Reception Location: Proyecto Publico Prim-General Prim, Mexico City, Mexico; Planner, Event & Floral Design: Gonzalez & Helfon, Mexico City, Mexico; Wedding Dress: Berta; Bridal Salon: Chic Parisien, Coral Gables, FL; Photography: PS Photography & Films, Coral Gables, FL