Five years after Marleny Ruiz and Esbith Andaya lost touch, they randomly met to “catch up, and well, the rest is history!” confirms Marleny. A few years later, Esbith proposed to his beloved while wine tasting in Georgia and the pair soon began planning their wedding

Three months before they arranged to wed in Charlotte, North Carolina, where they reside, Marleny and Esbith had to change their wedding location to Atlanta, Georgia, due to Covid restrictions. “We wanted to make sure that we could count on our vendors since we didn’t know much about the area and were crunched on time,” the bride explains. “We basically planned two different weddings.” 

Though there were certainly some stressful moments along the way, postponing their celebration and changing wedding locations turned out to work in the couple’s favor. “It gave me the opportunity to find my true style and design for the wedding that I really wanted,” affirms Marleny. “I had always imagined an all-white wedding, which was the original plan for the wedding in Charlotte… Then one day, I was looking through magazines and saw a design with emerald green drapes and a black-and-white dance floor, and my heart literally fluttered!” 

“I had always imagined an all-white wedding… Then one day, I was looking through magazines and saw a design with emerald green drapes and a black-and-white dance floor, and my heart literally fluttered!”

Before the awe-inspiring reception, friends and family witnessed the pair’s traditional Catholic wedding at a church that didn’t require many decorations. “We are both Mexican and I am Catholic, so it was very important to me to get married in a Catholic church and have all the traditional rituals that go along with that,” adds the bride, who was stunning in an embellished ball gown with long sleeves and a cathedral-length train. 

When guests entered the reception ballroom at a luxury hotel nearby, they were wowed by the glamorous, classic décor. In keeping with the bride’s new vision, emerald drapery surrounded the space, a black-and-white dance floor became a focal point, and ebony tables were adorned with all-white florals and plenty of greenery. 

“We had four different arrangements throughout the tables in order to add uniqueness,” shares Marleny of the orchids, roses, tulips, and hydrangeas paired with verdure. “I think our favorite tablescapes were those with massive white trees in the center. Those added the most impact!” 

Following a sit-down dinner service, friends and family enjoyed slices of a seven-layer wedding cake with sugar peonies dividing each tier. “The cake was a story in itself! We had to get a friend to bring the cake from our original cake vendor in Charlotte,” Marleny notes. The rest of the night was spent on the dance floor, with guests enjoying live music performed by one of the couple’s favorite bands from Mexico. “Our goal was to have a reception that we and our guests would remember forever… We had the time of our lives!” she smiles.