Elyssa Canales and Eduardo Villarreal met in a theatre arts class in high school while Eddie was a senior and Elyssa a freshman. During that term, they had to act and read lines together. They also attend a local presentation of “Anne Frank” where they held hands for the first time during that show. It may have not been the most romantic setting but it ignited the spark and they continued to date. Their relationship fizzled when Eddie went off to college while Elyssa stayed behind to graduate.
“I’d like to credit Mark Zuckerberg for bringing Eddie and I back together” laughs Elyssa. “We had been long term friends via Facebook and that was the real catalyst behind our re-encounter.” Eddie who works in finance had been living and working abroad in Africa. Elyssa worked as a Creative Director in the United States. After eleven years without communication, they began to exchange emails and share frequent, long phone calls for about two months before Eddie came to visit.
“I’D LIKE TO CREDIT MARK ZUCKERBERG FOR BRINGING EDDIE AND I BACK TOGETHER” ELYSSA CANALES
They went to dinner on their first date and then drove around for hours and just talked. Elyssa realized that they shared the same goals for their relationship and in later conversations Eddie mentioned that his first impression was exactly same. “Our likes may not always coincide” says Elyssa “but our goals are always in sync, and that is what draws us close.”
Their goal from the very beginning was that they both wanted to be together and were willing to set forth the efforts to make a long distance relationship work. Although marriage was a topic they often spoke about, Elyssa had no idea of when, where, and how. On Christmas day of 2013, as they were sitting around the dinner table, Eddie brought out her engagement ring and proposed in front of their friends and family. There were hugs, kisses, and a handful of hopeless romantic women in happy tears.
Living in Asia at the time, the ongoing joke among their families was not when, but rather where, the wedding would take place. They initially planned for a wedding in Paris. However, they soon realized that many important guests would not be able to make the trip. Bringing the festivities to San Antonio, Texas felt more natural since they had both attended college and lived there for some time.
For the planning process Elyssa felt she needed a wedding planner who could execute her vision and aesthetic. She stumbled on a very chíc photo of a wedding at the San Antonio Zoo organized by Statue of Design. She reached out to Ramon Montoya and they spent most of 2014 on several Skype conversations planning. Invitations, table-scapes and every detail in between were chosen via Skype. “Having a wedding planner who is not only ‘on it’ but shares your taste level, takes the guess work out and removes the risk factor” says Elyssa.
On the wedding day Elyssa spent the morning getting ready in the bridal suite over mimosas with her best girls, mother, and grandmother. Her seven year-old twins were so sweet and wanted mommy to feel like a princess. And she did. “I was so happy and it only reaffirmed our decision to bring our wedding home. Our day was gorgeous, over the top and went off without a hitch. I felt appreciative and blessed” remarks Elyssa.
The couple chose to have their ceremony and reception at the St. Anthony Hotel. The venue set the tone for a Parisian vintage theme with a modern twist. Built in 1909, it is San Antonio’s first luxury hotel and has hosted a wide range of movie stars and royalty.
Cherry blossom trees could be seen throughout from the ceremony and reception area. The centerpiece for the reception was a beautiful Modani chair that showcased a seven- tiered cake surrounded by displays of crème brioche, pink and gold macaroons and a speckled gold ombrè groom’s cake.
A sweet heart table was placed on stage allowing the couple a full view of all their guests. Sheer curtains were draped and pulled back in front of them to create a dramatic cozy feel. The food was exceptional and guests went home with monogrammed favor boxes filled with macaroons.
“Although, we came away with many memories,” says Elyssa “my personal favorite was walking down the aisle towards Eddie. His reaction was beautiful and even now, when I look back at our wedding video, I always get teary-eyed. I can honestly say we threw a great party.”
To the couple’s delight, guests raved over the beautiful location, décor, Elyssa’s gowns and down to every last detail. Their desire was to host a beautiful party but as Elyssa notes “it was even more important that guests felt our love and knew our story, and I’d like to think we achieved that.”
Location: The St. Anthony Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Antonio San Antonio, TX; Cake: Cake Art, San Antonio, TX; Floral and Event Design, Planner: Statue of Design, San Antonio, TX; Linen, Chairs and Chargers: Luxe Event Décor, San Antonio, TX; Rentals: Great Events, San Antonio, TX; Lighting: Event Ignition, San Antonio, TX; Honeymoon: Spain