I can’t tell y’all enough how I miss Virginia and love it so much. My heart soars when I get submissions from there it makes me so happy. And of course this wedding from Petronella Photography is no different. She does an amazing job making this gorgeous plus size bride look even more fabulous than she is.
Iliana & Franklin
How did you meet, and when?: During a cold day in January of 2013, Iliana was studying for her master’s and grading papers at a Barnes and Noble in Towson, MD. Frank was in Baltimore and stumbled across the Barnes and Noble. Without knowing each other, both shared the love of reading and academic excellence. Frank, also known as Frankie, glanced at Iliana and built the courage to “chit chat,” with her. One conversational piece let to another, and Iliana finally agreed to let Frankie buy her some coffee– except she wanted tea. They walked around the bookstore for about two hours sharing stories of school, work, and traveling. Finally, Frankie asked for Iliana’s number and the rest is history.
Bride/partner 1: First impressions?: Frankie smiled a lot and I really liked that– he was so personable.
Groom/partner 2: First impressions?: Iliana was really kind and seemed so ambitious with her studies and work.
First date details: Frankie had no idea Iliana’s history with Old Town, Alexandria. Frankie just set up a dinner at a local restaurant, La Bergerie and hoped for the best. He was very detailed and did not even tell Iliana which restaurant he was taking her too. Upon Iliana’s arrival, she realized they were walking towards La Bergerie, a french restaurant her father, a native Salvadorean, worked for over 20 years. Iliana’s excitement and awe grew as she reminisced about her childhood Christmas parties at La Bergerie. The dinner of course, was lovely, and the two shared many familiar similarities. At one point, Frankie asked about Iliana ever going to California (she had not) and even joked saying “oh, we have to go!” Iliana, thinking this was too good to be true, was actually in a plane to California with Frank five months later!
Describe the proposal: “I love New York, even though it isn’t mine, the way something has to be, a tree or a street or a house, something, anyway, that belongs to me because I belong to it.” ? Truman Capote On a brisk November day, Frank and Iliana descended upon the city of New York for a well deserved break from the hustle and bustle of DC. Filled with a day of walking around the city, visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art , and shopping at the Times Square Macy’s store, a magical night in their relationship was about to start. The festivities began with a delightful dinner at Il Tinello followed by a stroll through the heart of midtown Manhattan and into the famed Central Park. Under the serene beauty of New York’s glamour, Frank got down on his knee and opened the box that he had been carefully guarding the entire day. The journey that had begun in Towson, MD reached its most beautiful moment when Iliana said “YES!”
The hardest thing we’ve ever had to do as a couple was ______:
Maintain the relationship while Iliana was still teaching and studying in Baltimore
The place in the world that means the most to us is ______:
San Diego, California, where our love grew and we knew this was something substantial and beautiful.
What makes you special as a couple?: We come from two very hard working latino families. Franklin is from the Bolivian descent and Iliana is from the Salvadorean decent. Both parents pushed and had the highest expectations for the two to grow and continue their studies to be able to become self-sufficient. Both spent a lot of time at the library when they were kids and still do as adults, together. With their parents guidance, Franklin became a Mechanical Engineer, is currently a grad student at George Washington University and Iliana became a high school teacher, has a master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins University and is currently a doctoral student at George Mason University. We believe we give hope to those people who are working hard to try to make a difference in this world and we are showing them that all the sacrifice they do to become contributing citizens is totally worth it. Plus, finding the love of your life at a bookstore just builds hope for those single people who are currently going through academic struggles.
What’s the most unique aspect of your wedding?: It will be at Iliana’s parent’s restaurant in Martinsville, VA. Also, the bridal party has four different ethnic representations (White, Black, Asian, and Latino).
Will the ceremony have a religious component? If so, what?: Spanish Catholic Mass
Vendor Love: Photographer: Petronella Photography // Dress Store: Alfred Angelo // Dress Designer: Allure // Shoes: Burberry // Second Shooter: Chad Bowles Photography // Dress Store: Curvaceous Couture // DJ:DJ Rommel // Makeup Artist:Epode’s Hair & Makeup // Shoes: Kate Spade // Musicians: Live Dinner Piano Music by Jay Stafford // Cinema and Video: Mae B. Films // Veils and headpieces: MARIELL // Bakery: Maxie B’s Bakery // Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Men’s Wearhouse // Jewelry: Mervis Diamonds // Dress Designer: Pronovias // Restaurant:Rania’s Restaurant // Floral Designer: Simply the Best Flowers & Gifts // Jewelry: Swarovski // Invitation Designer: The Dandelion Patch //Hair Stylist: UPDO’s studio