When it comes to destination weddings, location is everything! Tying the knot somewhere beautiful and unique is usually the key driver in making the decision to get married abroad.
If a one of a kind destination day is what your travel loving heart is set upon then a luxury wedding with Terrasenses and Etica Events in the Galapagos Islands or Ecuador would be the perfect match for you.
From blissful beach soirees to exceptional ceremonies held high in the cloud forest, Terrasenses and Etica Events deliver individually tailored and truly unique wedding experiences in this stunning part of the world.
Dying to know more? I thought you might be! So I interviewed the lovely Assyah from Terrasenses and Etica Events in order to bring you all of the inspiration and information you need to say ‘I Do’ in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, along with some of her top tips and destination wedding décor ideas….
Images: Juank Paredes Photography
Who is the team behind the scenes at Terrasenses and Etica Events?
- “We are a family business; my husband and I (José Luis and I’m Assyah, seen in the photo below) are behind the scenes of the company. We work with a really talented team of non-permanent experts on all of the destination weddings but my husband and I are the main point of contact for all of our couples.”
Image: Juan Pablo Velasco Photography
How long have you been planning weddings and how did you get started?
- “We’ve been planning weddings since early 2010, we started after planning our own wedding – I know this is the case of several wedding planners!”
- “After I planned our wedding in 2008 I was asked by friends, and friends of friends, if I could decorate or help them with their event (baby-shower or wedding etc) and I enjoyed it so much, that I decided to work on my skills and learn more.”
- “My husband and I were already working together and we began to promote the new destination wedding services via our small luxury tour operator. Couples began to contact us and from there we became the first Destination Wedding Agency in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. We are now recognised as the pioneer in Ecuador for destination weddings.”
Images: Juank Paredes Photography
What’s your favourite part of the job?
- “I really love to do research for the bride and groom, and coming up with design and handcraft ideas the best. But I love the whole process of the wedding planning, the amazing chats I have with the couples, meeting with all of the amazing providers that we work with and trying to perfect everything for the big day.”
How much involvement do you offer with the planning of the weddings?
- “We are 100% involved! We only take one wedding and one elopement per month, which means that we are quickly booked up but that you can be sure we are working on your wedding 100%.”
- “We are available any time you need to discuss anything by Skype and we answer your emails very quickly. I, personally, am always at the venue the day before the wedding to ensure all the providers are arriving and to organize everything. We are a unique team, we are used to working all together and we know the many, many details and the hard logistics that a destination wedding can require, so when it is your wedding time we are 100% there, wedding planner, assistants, the whole team, arriving early and doing the proofs.”
What are the key benefits to having a wedding planner when you’re getting married abroad?
- “I think you have all of the benefits. When we talk about countries such as Ecuador, we are not a destination wedding country like Mexico, we have unique places, sometimes with difficult access, but that is part of the romance of getting married in the cloud forest for instance, and not everyone is familiar with destination weddings and even with the English language.”
- “We usually see couples who have struggled before, then decide to go with our services to find someone speaking English or French, someone who knows well the tendencies in destination weddings and weddings in general and who is listening to what they want.”
- “We don’t do packages so it means that everything is 100% personalized, even the decorations, we mostly handcraft all the decorations ourselves, and so totally unique decorations are done for every event.”
- “We can also help couple to plan tours, find hotels and book their honeymoon, that’s the beauty of having a wedding planner. You can talk to us and we can take charge of everything for you, lodges and houses will not be able to offer this full service but we can and we are here to help you plan a unique destination wedding, fully tailored to your specific needs and requests.”
- “Most of the best venues in the world recommend hiring a planner, it is even cost-effective, because although there is a cost involved with having a wedding planner we can give you our discounts that we have with suppliers and you will receive a much better service.”
What sets Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands apart when it comes to destination weddings?
- “Our destination is absolutely unique, Ecuador is a small country but we have it all! The cloud-forest, rainforests, mountains, the natural beaches and of course the Galapagos Islands.”
- “We specialize in intimate weddings, meaning we do elopements and weddings of generally between 20 and 45 people. Ecuador is a really natural place and with Etica Events we create unique weddings in exceptional venues, we are always searching for unique venues and hidden nests for the couple and their guests and then we transform these places into wonderful sites for a destination wedding.”
- “Beach weddings are not at a resort but at small luxury venues, our beaches are still natural, and for Galapagos it is a national park, so you have nature and animals everywhere.”
Images: Juank Paredes Photography
When is the best time of year to get married there?
- “In the Galapagos Islands, all year long! For the pacific coast (which is less expensive), it would be from the end of October to May, in the Cloud forest from May to October. In the Rainforest we only do small wedding parties and elopements and the best time to get married is from July to January, and in the Andes, it could be all year long depending on the Andean region.”
What makes a dream destination wedding?
- “Before anything, you must choose your dream destination wedding place or country well. A place you will never forget. Secondly, great organization, you want to arrive and have nothing to do, zero stress, and it is important that your guests are taken in charge from the beginning, on their arrival.”
- “Events before the wedding day and after the wedding day make your destination wedding even more memorable for you and your guests. We can create adventure days for the groom and his groomsmen and spa and relaxation days for the bride and her bridesmaids, it is really something that helps a lot and ensures that to couple and their guests take time for themselves before the big day.”
- “I would also say that all the wedding details must represent who you are and it’s a nice idea to include gifts from the country where you are marrying.”
Image: Greg Finck
Tell us about any wedding ideas you’ve seen recently that you love or any wedding trends that you think will be popular.
- “Well in our case, brides who chose destination weddings and beach weddings love the boho-chic style a lot, I don’t know if it will change that much in 2016.”
- “I do love boho-chic because we can mix it with several other styles and it can be rustic or whimsical yet always elegant. We love neutral colors and coral for beach weddings. We did not have vintage styles so much this year, but it may come back. We also love the use of greeneries, it is beautiful, fresh and we can use it almost everywhere.”
- “People who want to marry in haciendas or small quintas in the Andes are keen on classical elegance styles, and we use a lot of Ecuadorian roses – you must know we are one of the leaders on the roses market and we have beautiful varieties! Recently people have been loving the darkest colors such as deep red (Marsala), even dark grey, but it is not for everyone, it looks more serious and glamorous when you use it for a forest wedding, it is gorgeous. I personally love nude colors or neutral, sometimes you don’t need colors at all and I think these shades go well everywhere, it makes a beautiful theme and can be adapted to every style.”
- “To end, I am not really into trends, I follow the tendencies for new ideas, and to keep updated, but your personality and the things you love will make you decide what is the best for you and what suits you the best. That is why it is important to deeply discuss your idea of marriage, your way of life and what is your idea of beautiful with your planner.”
Image: Juank Paredes Photography
If you could give any one piece of advice to brides and grooms-to-be, what would it be?
- “There is one piece of advice I would give to all couples and that is to enjoy the wedding planning process and of course, the wedding day. If you begin to stress about everything then you will not be able to relax on your wedding day thinking about all the details. Remember that the wedding is about the union between your fiancé and you; it must be about love, family and a unique orchestration of everything!”
Terrasenses & Etica Events are a wedding planning boutique specialising in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.
Tel: (+593) 2 344 1682 – (+ 593) 98 416 2329
Skype: firstname.lastname@example.org – email@example.com