Getting Ready with Natalia

Join Natalia as she reminisces on her pre-pandemic wedding in her hometown of Miami. She shares how she felt the moments leading up to her wedding, recounts her love story, and shares advice for future brides.

Bridesmaids in Half Asleep Sleepwear - Ruffle Robe


Where did you get ready and why did you choose that location?

I got ready at my sister’s house. Ana Mari is my greatest ally, and on the most important day of my life I couldn’t think of anywhere I would rather be.


Half Asleep Brides - Natalia - Ruffle Robe Cloud


What did you wear to get ready for your big day?

I wore a yummy silk jammy set that my best friends purchased for me a few months earlier. I topped it with the Half Asleep Cloud Ruffle Robe, which I had embroidered with my wedding date on it. Good vibes all around.

 Half Asleep - Brides - Natalia - Bridesmaid and Mother of the Bride


How did you feel in the moments leading up to the wedding?

As someone who spends more days than not feeling worried or stressed, I was surprised to find that on the day of my wedding I felt calm. I did, and do, feel certain that my wife Erica is the best partner for me and that we are both committed to weathering whatever life has in store for us, together. On my wedding day, I was confident in the decision we had made and excited to express my commitment to her publicly among those who love us most.


Bridesmaids in Half Asleep Ruffle Robe

Half Asleep - Brides - Natalia


How did you meet Erica and when did you know she was the one?

Erica and I have known one another since the 90s, as we attended the same elementary and high schools. Erica swears we were friends back then, but I claim we were merely acquaintances. You can refer to the photo below (taken on a trip to Spain which our families coordinated together) and draw your own conclusions. We reconnected in 2014 and shortly thereafter I was smitten. As crazy as it sounds, I knew she was the one almost immediately...I even referred to her as “my future wife” to those who didn’t know her personally. I just knew that if we were to start dating, that would be it for me. And, well, I was right.


Half Asleep - Brides - Natalia


Half Asleep - Brides - Natalia


Tell us more about your wedding location and why you chose it.

We got married at the Coral Gables Congregational Church (CGCC) with Pastor Laurie. We were introduced to the church by a friend three years prior, and I was enamored by it immediately. The church is the most inclusive, joyful faith community I have ever been a part of. Throughout our engagement (a time filled with cross-country moves and career changes), it was a place I turned to for support and discernment. Having grown up in a faith community that does not recognize same-sex marriages, CGCC was a breath of fresh air. Getting married there just felt right.


Half Asleep - Brides - Natalia


What was the highlight of your wedding day?

In the car on the way from the ceremony to the reception, Erica and I got a few minutes alone. We sat close to one another and held hands. As we approached my parents’ house (where the reception was held) we saw two huge beams of light illuminating the sky. Erica whispered excitedly, “Is that our party?!” I thought silently “Well...that wasn’t in the budget.” It turns out our production team suped-up the light show, and that was only the first of many surprises in store for us. Though the rest of the evening was a blast, this moment of stillness, our first as a married couple, is one I will always remember.

Looking back, what advice would you give future brides?

Don’t sweat the small stuff. To my wife’s dismay, I sweat everything and it was completely unnecessary. Your vendors are professionals and know how to do their job better than you do. Prioritize a few things that really matter to both of you, and don’t agonize over the rest. Chances are, you won’t even notice those things on the day of!


Half Asleep - Brides - Natalia & Erica


What advice do you have for brides that may have had to change their plans or move their wedding date due to COVID-19? 

I can’t imagine how heartbreaking it is postpone your plans after putting so much energy into planning your big day. So, though I am entirely unqualified to answer this question, I would remind brides that there is a difference between a party, a wedding, and a marriage. The three do not need to happen at the same time. If you are eager to begin your marriage, have a wedding. If you don’t care for the party, ditch it. If you want to rage, save the big party for your first or second anniversary so you can have it the way you want it! And remember, the marriage part should be the most fun of all and all you need for that is your spouse.


Half Asleep - Brides - Natalia

Photography by Arévalo & Co
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