A Rustic Destination Wedding at a Historic Estate in Cartagena, Colombia

Sara Villegas met Ryan Keech at Penn State University, and they eventually moved Portland, Oregon, together. The couple decided on a destination wedding in Cartagena, a historic port city in Sara’s home country of Colombia in South America. The ceremony took place at Parroquia de San Pedro Claver (the Church of Saint Peter Claver). Before walking down the aisle, Sara gifted her father personalized cuff links with the inscription “I will always be your little princess” on one of them. “We had a traditional Catholic wedding with lots of greenery and white flowers adorning the church,” Sara says. As the newlyweds left the venue, they were greeted by drummers and dancers dressed in white. The musicians escorted them to the reception venue—a historic bed-and-breakfast that the couple rented out for their guests. “For the reception, we went for a rustic-chic vibe that was comfortable and inviting,” Sara says. “We used lots of eucalyptus and white flowers. The eucalyptus ran the entire length of our tables and served to join everybody together.”  The distressed walls of the venue were accented with hanging string lights, natural greenery and rustic place settings. The end result was an enchanting outdoor venue that evoked feelings of the past. After eating a naked wedding cake with white flower decorations, guests had a great time on the outdoor dance floor.

Our favorite #MakeTradition Moment: “The couple had a birthday calendar guest book so they could always thank guests on their birthdays. It would always be a memento from their day and the people that were there with them,” the wedding planner says.