Ella & Arturo’s Wedding at St. Mary’s in Iowa City and the Coralville Marriott

A [Chess] Match Made In Heaven

Ella came strutting into a freshly built cocktail bar in Arizona and immediately caught Arturo’s attention. What happened next took Arturo by surprise, considering he looked like “Albert Einstein taking a vacation at a beach, with hair wild and unkempt while wearing swim trunks and flip flops.” Ella came over to Arturo where he was playing chess. From there the two hit it off as they strategically played multiple games of chess, and bonded over their love for neuroscience.

Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

After spending some time together and becoming a strong team, illness caused Ella and Arturo to move back to Iowa. The couple had been talking about getting married for some time, but knew that big life decisions were needed to be done before settling down. Arturo left Iowa to pursue a life for the two in Washington. While now trying to make a long-distance relationship work, family illness left Ella to keep her family’s local business up and running. In those rather trying times, one night Ella and Arturo were talking on the phone. Arturo couldn’t wait any longer and popped the question. Arturo then returned to Iowa so that he and Ella could start building their life together.

“Mates” Through Sickness & Health

Ella knew Arturo was her mate when he stood by her side time and time again in sickness and in health. Ella has severe food allergies and bad asthma that can flare up if certain circumstances arise. She has a service dog named Logan, who helps detect dangerous food and cope with her syncope disorder. What’s even more remarkable is that Logan was trained to alert Ella by licking her hand when any red flags appear. With being such a crucial part of Ella’s health and safety, it was without question that this pup be a major part of the wedding day!

The Experience Package Making Unique Requests Possible

With Ella being from a small town in Iowa and Arturo being 1st-generation Mexican who was born and raised in Southern California, they wanted to make sure that they held a wedding both families would love and appreciate. We did full planning and design for the wedding and worked very closely with Ella and Arturo to ensure that Mexican wedding traditions were incorporated into the traditional American ceremony as well as making it bilingual! All of the stationery: invitations, programs, signs, and other information was also written in both English and Spanish so all of the guests would feel included.

COVID-19 Complications

Covid-19 turned the world upside down, and a wedding planned with hundreds of people was no exception. Due to travel bans, most of Arturo’s extended family also could not make the wedding as they reside in Mexico. Friends and family members who initially played huge roles in the couple’s wedding could no longer attend. They made the difficult decision to cut the guest list by roughly 73%. We re-worked a majority of the wedding plans though to ensure the BEST day for Ella and Arturo, despite the pandemic. Socially distanced seating, sanitizer everywhere, and mask requirements were some of just a few revisions made.

Wedded Bliss

Ella and Arturo ended up having a beautiful wedding day. We conquered planning and designing a bilingual, bicultural, socially-distanced, COVID wedding and we could not be happier for the wonderful couple. Congrats to you, Ella and Arturo!

Special Thanks to their Vendors:

Photography: The Locket Wedding Photography
Videography: Travis + Joni Films
Planning & Design: Soirée Wedding Planning
Venue: Coralville Marriott
Church: St. Mary’s Iowa City
Musicians: Marion Chamber Trio
Makeup: Melissa Votroubek
DJ: ProSound of Iowa City
Floral: Beno’s Flowers
Cake: Tip Top Cakes
Rentals: Unique Events of Iowa
Suits: Skeffington’s Formal Wear
Bridal Gown: Brides by Jessa
Alterations: Clothworks
Bridesmaids Dresses: Azazie
Stationery: Allegra Iowa City