Home » A Mexico Wedding Inspired by Modern Art, Frida Kahlo, and the Bride’s Wedding Dress

A Mexico Wedding Inspired by Modern Art, Frida Kahlo, and the Bride’s Wedding Dress

by Staff

Wylie Abbott and Kelso Stevens met in February of 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee during Wylie’s first year of law school at UT. When she stumbled across Kelso on Tinder, neither of them had to swipe right again. In November 2020, the pair were golfing in Charlotte, North Carolina when Kelso decided to pop a very important question. “We were on the ninth hole finishing up a putt and he had gotten down on his knee behind me,” Wylie remembers. “I thought he was trying to coach me—something I was not very happy about—but then I turned around and he had a ring out.” As soon as she said yes, the whole club erupted in cheers. “It was magical,” she says. 

As the daughter of San Jose del Cabo wedding planner Amy Abbott of Amy Abbott Events, Wylie dreamed of being married in the town where she grew up well before the engagement. “I always knew that I wanted to be married in the church I grew up in,” she says, “Aside from the historical beauty, Mission San Jose del Cabo embodies culture, faith, and respect, and serves as a place of gathering for members of our San Jose community.”

The couple worked with Claudia Palma and Carena Trampe of Amy Abbott Events to bring together their vision. “Given who my mother is, fortunately, the creative possibility was limitless. We had access to the best vendors in the world. On the day of the wedding, there seemed like an entire army,” says Wylie. “I loved having so much guidance and assistance along the way, and Claudia and Carena were like family to me by the end of the wedding weekend.”

For the reception, the couple wanted to find a space that had enough character on its own, but would also lend itself to their bold design vision and accommodate their 340 guests. They chose to host their reception at Goncanesco, a century-old event space where the couple’s planning team pulled off their vision of “MoMa meets Mexican Old Money meets full-blown rager”. “Everything came out even more spectacular than I imagined,” the bride reminisces.

Ahead, see all the bold details representative of Mexico, captured by Jimmy Bishop of Gideon Photography and planned by Claudia Palma and Carena Trampe of Amy Abbott Events.

Wylie and Kelso’s guests were invited to a full weekend of activities in Cabo, Mexico, starting with a taco fiesta on Thursday and a cocktail welcome party on Friday. Guests received vibrant invitation suites by Erica Howard of Ruthie and Oliver Letterpress that incorporated custom illustrations of the Kelso crest, as well as flowers, butterflies, and a musician on the envelope liners as a nod to the wedding day decor and traditions. “Despite the 300+ guest list, our goal was to ensure that every person attending our special weekend would feel the love for relationships and community that both of parents have so deeply instilled in Kelso and me,” Wylie says, “From day one, Kelso and I wanted each event to be just as fabulous as the next – all while honoring the culture and traditions of our lovely adopted country, Mexico.”

Wylie and Kelso’s rehearsal dinner took place at Flora Farm, where one long wooden table was set up for dinner underneath a row of hanging rattan lamps.  The bride-to-be wore a white Caroll by Watters dress with a corseted bodice and tulle skirt, while Kelso looked polished in a dark suit with an open jacket and loafers. They hired Luca Ravera of Aria Vera to create centerpiece arrangements using plants in blue and white vessels. “It took my breath away when we walked into the venue,” Wylie says.

Wylie sketched the design of her dream dress countless times, and one day while running errands, she saw her exact vision in the window of the Warren Barron store. She walked in without an appointment and tried on the flutter sleeved Monique Lhullier dress with a v-neckline and intricate butterfly and floral embroidery details right then and there. “It was a no-brainer,” she says, “Perfect and everything I had ever dreamed of. I said yes to that dress immediately.” She accessorized black Jimmy Choo shoes with oversized black bows, Marchesa earrings, and a diamond bracelet she borrowed from her Godmother, Nancy.

Wylie added extensions to her hair, and although she initially planned on going with long waves, she ended up with a long wavy ponytail in the end. “It was perfect with the bow and the veil,” she says. She kept her makeup look light and classic with shades of brown to accentuate her eyes and a blush pink lip. Wylie associates smells with memories, so picking a wedding day fragrance was important to her. She went with Dolce & Gabbana “The Only One”.

Kelso wore a Brooks Brothers tuxedo and velvet jacket paired with a flat front tux shirt and Magnanni velvet loafers. Wylie and her family gifted him her late grandfather’s Tiffany & Co. portfolio watch on their third dating anniversary, so he wore that as a sentimental touch. The week of the wedding, Kelso got a haircut at Leo’s Salon in San Jose del Cabo. He also got a touch-up throughout the wedding weekend by Juan Ignacio Zermeno from Piel Canela Makeup Studio. Juan was also on-hand for hair and make-up touch-ups for the bride and bridesmaids on the wedding day!

Between the stunning design and set up of the area, and seeing each other dressed up to do the thing, we were overwhelmed with emotion.

Wylie and Kelso chose to have a first look before the ceremony to have a moment for themselves and read each other private letters. “Our first look felt like magic,” Wylie says, “Between the stunning design and set up of the area, and seeing each other dressed up to do the thing, we were overwhelmed with emotion.” They were sure to snag a few photos in front of a butterfly installation made up of 5,000 handmade butterflies inspired by Wylie’s wedding dress. Wylie’s bridal bouquet was a mix of garden roses, lisianthus, and greenery. 

The couple’s wedding party consisted of Wylie’s two sisters, Kelso’s brother, and more of their loved ones. The ladies wore black gowns of their choosing and held bouquets of baby’s breath, while the men kept it classic in black tuxedos. The couple also had flower girls dressed in tulle dresses in varying shades of pink and a ring bearer in a black tuxedo like the rest of the guys.

Guests gathered at the church for the ceremony, where the couple chose to incorporate red, yellow, and blue as much as possible as a nod to Mexico. “We chose to keep the ceremony very simple as the church already had a lot going on, so we asked Pina to do something simple and elegant,” Wylie says. The couple’s florist, Pina Cate, created vibrant flower arrangements at the altar. 

I felt like a princess when I walked down the aisle.

Wylie’s dad, Tez, accompanied her down the aisle while a singer set the tone with songs including Andre Rieu’ “The Rose,” Kary Maldonado’s “Nadie Te Ama Como Yo,” and Beyonce’s “Halo.” “I felt like a princess when I walked down the aisle,” Wylie says.  

The festivities kicked off with a traditional “Callejoneada”, where the bride and groom are paraded down the cobblestone streets with a 20-piece mariachi band, dancers, and props. Kelso surprised his bride during the Callejoneada with a serenade of a song by Vicente Fernandez. “Vicente passed away a few weeks later, so it became even more meaningful,” Wylie says. Wylie and Kelso’s celebration even included oversized puppets of the bride and groom; complete with the details of Wylie’s dress!

As guests arrived for the reception at Goncanesco, a 150-year refurbished venue, they were greeted by an arched entrance decorated with vibrant red florals and dyed blue baby’s breath arrangements crawling up the walls. The couple commissioned a custom painting of the Virgin Mary from artist Serendipity and surrounded it with hundreds of candles to create a unique photo opportunity for guests as they entered the space.

Wylie and Kelso’s escort card display was decorated with pillar candles and asymmetrical flower arrangements. Each escort card was a piece of take-home custom art symbolizing the matching table the guest was assigned to sit at. The couple later created a small gallery in their home with the original pieces as a way to celebrate their wedding day over and over again.

In the reception space, round tables were paired with a mix of chairs, including ghost chairs with decals of blue butterflies to match the butterfly installation. The 150-year old venue’s exposed brick walls created a unique contrast to the vibrant red, blue, and marigold centerpiece arrangements and blue goblet glassware. Blue taper candles and small tea lights added ambiance. Each place setting had white linen napkins with a blue trim and a custom menu that matched the guests’ custom art escort card.

Wylie and Kelso were escorted into the reception by an electric violin and cello duet called Cabo Strings along with dancers painted in butterfly patterns who later posed as statues. They walked down the stairs as sparklers surrounded them. Wylie changed into a second look for the evening—a Danielle Frankel gown with a square neckline and tiered long sleeves.

Wylie and Kelso shared their first dance to Matisse and Reik’s “Eres Tu.” The electric duo Caly and Juan learned the song especially for the couple. Following, Wylie danced with her dad to Krisal Keith’s “Daddy Dance with Me” and Kelso danced with his mom to the Rascal Flatts’ “My Wish.”

As a special surprise for Wylie’s mom Amy Abbott, the musicians also played Leann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance,” and the entire family went up on stage to join in and dance to it. “Lots of tears and hugging, and mid-song we started calling up all our friends,” Wylie says, “It was super special!”

Along with passed appetizers, a sushi station, and a five layered charcuterie board shaped like a cheese cake, Wylie and Kelso served an organic salad, shrimp, a filet, and bottomless french fries for dinner. They also served signature cocktails made of spicy tamarind vodka with soda, whiskey, and lemonade. For dessert, the couple’s five tiered wedding cake featured both vanilla and chocolate cake and was embellished with cascading flowers. “It was a great moment cutting that and the cake was as delicious as it was beautiful,” Wylie says.

After dinner, a late-night location where the ceiling was covered in disco balls and flowers was opened up for guests. A long-time friend of the couple, ALEX DJ kept the party going. “We also had the Saxophone and neon drums,” Wylie says, “It was all so much fun and the dance floor was crowded the whole night.”

To couples who are planning their weddings right now, Wylie and Kelso say, “Value your planners and trust their advice, it does wonders for stress relieving.” They also remind you, “Say thank you!” Although they have not planned their honeymoon in South Africa just yet, they spent a trip post-wedding to Hotel San Cristobal in Todos Santos, BCS. “It was a perfect spot to relax and just be with my new hubby,” Wylie says.

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