See Inside Influencer Carobi Parada's Destination Wedding at a Historic Villa in Guatemala
We love a romance where paths cross a second, third or fourth time before cupid truly strikes. This was the case for Carobi Parada and Maxwell McCoy. Though they attended the same high school, they rarely encountered one another, as Carobi was a grade above Maxwell. It wasn’t until after graduation that fate played its hand at a mutual friend’s birthday dinner, where a chance encounter ignited a spark. Their story took a dramatic turn when Maxwell, seizing an opportunity against the backdrop of a California sunset, popped the question. Unbeknownst to the bride, amidst the beauty of their surroundings and the simplicity of the moment, Maxwell had been holding onto a family ring, waiting for the perfect moment. “I was so surprised and shocked, I was very stiff and started crying, of course, after hearing him say, ‘I thought it would be the best to end our last day in LA on a good note. So, Carobi Parada, will you marry me?’” Carobi recalls.
The bride and groom set out to create a day that was a true reflection of their love story: unique, timeless and deeply personal. Carobi’s vision led the way. “If I could put a name to my theme, it would be classic,” she explains. “I didn’t want to go with the current theme or style trends.” The classic, sophisticated vibe came to life with an elegant palette of whites, greens and subtle touches of black and gold, a nod to Carobi’s love for hue neutrality.
The couple entrusted their dream to The Eventeur—an international wedding planner who understood their vision and found the perfect setting in Guatemala’s Villa Bokeh. The bride fondly recalled the twist of fate that led them there: “We really wanted to get married in the Dominican Republic, but by the time we were getting ready to pay and sign the contracts, the policies changed.” The pair decided to make the switch to their second-choice location: Guatemala. The decision was quite serendipitous for Maxwell’s family. “I mentioned it to Max’s mom, and she told us that her parents (who passed away very young due to Alzheimer’s) used to visit Guatemala every year, bringing her little worry dolls as souvenirs. That immediately seemed like a sign that this was the place we were meant to be married.” The Knot had also recently hosted an influencer trip in Guatemala that inspired the couple along their wedding journey.
As guests arrived for the ceremony, they were welcomed into a setting that was a “true embodiment of timeless elegance and romance,” as Carobi envisioned. The couple chose to forgo the traditional first look, preferring the tradition of the groom seeing the bride for the first time as she walked down the aisle, escorted by her father. Carobi, desiring a sophisticated show-stopper as a wedding dress, wore an Isabella Talya gown and complemented it with enchanting Betsey Johnson shoes. Not to be outdone, Maxwell donned a classicly sleek suit from The Black Tux. Their wedding party, a close-knit circle of friends, was dressed to the nines. The bridesmaids, including a maid of honor, wore dresses from diverse designers like Deme By Gabriella and LoveShackFancy, while the groomsmen presented a unified front in suits from Men’s Wearhouse.
The ceremony was a blend of personal beliefs and traditions. While both are religious, they chose not to have a religious figure officiate, opting for a reading incorporating Biblical scriptures. “This was very important for us because we do believe in God and are religious in some sense, but didn’t want to commit to the whole ceremony being around a specific religion,” shares the bride. Their vows were a testament to their resilience and love, with Carobi sharing a snippet: “As we stand here today in this beautiful ruin that survived not one but multiple earthquakes over 100 years ago and is still standing today—I see it as a testament to our love story.”
The cocktail hour was a feast for the senses. Guests gathered on a beautiful terrace, enveloped in awe of Guatemala’s natural beauty, including breathtaking volcano views. In a unique twist, a colorfully decorated Tuk Tuk, commonly used in Guatemala as a quick mode of transport, was transformed into a whimsical photo booth for guests, adding a playful and local touch to the festivities. The air was filled with the aroma of delicious offerings such as shrimp ceviche with avocado mousse and patacones, roasted chicken empanada with pineapple chutney and lemon tea and croquetas, tantalizing the taste buds and offering a culinary journey through the heart of Guatemala.
The reception unfolded into a splendid affair as the evening progressed, held under the stars and amidst the historic ruins. The decor was a perfect blend of the venue’s natural charm and the couple’s elevated theme, with tables adorned in whites, greens and gold accents. Organic-style floral arrangements and candles created an enchanting dinner ambiance, inviting guests to dine and celebrate in a magical setting. “I especially loved when Max and his three brothers performed a dance for me. Max showed off his amazing moves; he also did a bit of a naughty dance, which my family surprisedly loved and enjoyed,” the bride laughs.
Carobi and Maxwell’s wedding was a beautiful tapestry of love, culture and personal touches, a vivid reminder that at the heart of every wedding is a unique story. Their advice to other couples planning their special day resonates with wisdom and authenticity: cherish the journey, embrace the imperfections and above all, let love be the guiding light in every decision.