Photography by
Raynner Alba, William Castellanos, Manuela Ruiz, Adriana & Christian and Andres Zanipattini

María Emilia Uribe & Juan Xavier Arias

April 27, 2018. Quito Tenis y Golf Club El Condado in Quito, Ecuador

María Emilia Uribe and Juan Xavier Arias met 18 years ago, when Emilia changed schools. “We became very good friends since the beginning, but never imagined ending up being husband and wife,” Emilia shares. “We started dating after coincidentally stumbling upon each other in Washington DC. I went to school in Uva and Juan Xavier went to Bryant, and we both had decided to spend our fall breaks with our friends in DC. We fell madly in love and did long distance for four years. We graduated from school together as friends but graduated from university as a couple!”
Juan Xavier proposed in front of the Palacio de Cristal in the Parque Del Retiro in Madrid, Spain. It was a perfect fall afternoon, and the couple had just landed in Madrid after a ten-hour flight from Quito; but Juan Xavier insisted on taking a walk in the park. “Once we got there, there was the most exquisite picnic I’ve ever seen,” Emilia describes. “He told me the most beautiful speech ever, after which I burst into tears. The most memorable part was the 30 minutes we spent hugging, laughing, crying, dreaming about our future life together, knowing that in that exact moment, we were the only two people in the world who knew we were engaged. It was the most magical afternoon in our lives.”
“I am the luckiest bride alive,” she continues. “My wedding planner and amazing decorator was the person that knows me best – my best friend and the person I admire the most – my dad. He is the founder, along with my aunt, of the most successful event decoration company in Ecuador, Cayetano y Monica Decoraciones. For me, the entire process of designing my own wedding and working hand in hand with my dad was a dream come true.”
The wedding day began with a ceremony held at the Iglesia La Compañia de Jesus in Quito – a world heritage site brimming with overwhelming beauty and gold leaf baroque features. Afterwards, the bride and groom hosted a country club reception for 700 of their friends and family. A dark wood event space was gorgeously transformed into a world of pastels filled with peach garden roses, gypsophilia, rosewood fabric, silver and crystal chandelliers, and French lace tablecloths. The entire room radiated with romance.
Throughout the evening, guests enjoyed treats like a coffee and tea area featuring Fortnum and Mason biscuits and exotic flavored teas. There was also an elaborate cake scape displaying seven baroque-inspired cakes with gold and pastel details – all designed by the bride’s father.
>Written By: Lauren Malamala
“We will never forget how loved we felt that night,” the bride reflects. “We are extremely lucky to have amazing families that made our dream wedding possible, and to have incredible friends to celebrate life with. The party lasted until 8 a.m.”
For their honeymoon, the newlyweds traveled to Turkey, Greece, and Spain.
>Written by: Lauren Malamala
Wedding Dress: Marchesa ; Bridal Salon: Chernaya Bridal House Miami, FL; Engagement Ring: Tiffany & Co.;

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María Emilia Uribe & Juan Xavier Arias