Spring festival season in New Orleans is always a great time to casually meet friends of friends, which is exactly what happened when Gracia Maria Zaccaro Chavarria and Jean Paul Perrilliat met through mutual friends at Wednesday at the Square. When Jean Paul learned that Gracia was from Honduras, they immediately began talking about the country’s landscape and culture. They enjoyed themselves so much that they made plans to attend Greek Fest, followed by Jean’s Paul’s cousin’s 30th birthday party. After that first date, they soon became a couple.

Two years later, during Christmas 2018, the two finally had the chance to visit Gracia’s home country together. They began the trip on the Caribbean island of Roatan and made their way to Tela, Gracia’s hometown on the north coast of Honduras. Unbeknownst to Gracia, Jean Paul planned to propose while in Tela and had enlisted the help of her younger brother, Roberto, to capture the moment. On the second to last day of the trip, the couple set off for the beach resort of La Ensenada. Roberto, hiding behind a palm tree, took some wonderful photographs as they made their way to the resort’s main pier overlooking the Bay of Tela. The sunset reflecting off the bay set the scene for the perfect proposal, and as Jean Paul and Gracia enjoyed the view Roberto got in place and set up for the perfect shot. He captured the moment when Jean Paul pulled the ring out of his jeans pocket and asked Gracia to be his wife, as well as the moment when she joyfully said yes!

Hotel Casa Santo Domingo, which was bedecked with white roses and eucalyptus, created a delectable menu, and guests enjoyed dancing until 3 a.m. to the sounds of Los Engañosos. Guests were touched by the couple’s decision to donate to Mier Callejas, a nursing home in Tela, in lieu of wedding favors.

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Gracia had grown up vacationing in Antigua, Guatamala, with her late grandmother, and she had always wanted to get married in a place that had such special memories. The couple began planning a destination wedding inspired by the flavors and culture of Antigua. The celebration began Thursday, December 5, 2019, with welcome cocktails on the rooftop terrace of a former Spanish colonial home. The candlelit rehearsal dinner took place on Friday at the 18th-century Convento las Capuchinas, where guests enjoyed authentic Guatemalan specialties while a Marimba band played in the background. The next day, December 7, 2019, Gracia walked down the aisle of Capilla Nuestra Señora del Rosario, which is situated on the ruins of a 16th century Dominican monastery. There they were married in a nuptial mass celebrated by Padre Luis Fernando Rios. The Capilla (chapel) is part of Hotel Casa Santo Domingo, where guests stayed and where the reception also took place.

Gracia and Jean Paul, who had seen the Rolling Stones in New Orleans a few months before the wedding, walked into their reception to the band’s “Let’s Spend the Night Together.” That upbeat song set the tone for a festive evening made all the more merry by the evening’s signature cocktail, Zacapa on the rocks. Hotel Casa Santo Domingo, which was bedecked with white roses and eucalyptus, created a delectable menu, and guests enjoyed dancing until 3 a.m. to the sounds of Los Engañosos. Guests were touched by the couple’s decision to donate to Mier Callejas, a nursing home in Tela, in lieu of wedding favors.

After an unforgettable wedding, the newlyweds took a honeymoon trip to the island of Guadeloupe in the French West Indies. They chose Guadeloupe because it reminded them of home – its Creole culture, architecture and history bear striking similarities to New Orleans. They then returned to New Orleans, were both are employed by Tulane University.

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VENDORS
Coordinator: Muckay Ixcamparij
Ceremony Music: String quartet
Bride’s Wedding Band: Family heirloom
Groom’s Wedding Band: Allianz ring
Florist: Antonio Valle. Hotel Santo Domingo’s exclusive florists
Invitation: GEM printing
Caterer: Hotel Casa Santo Domingo
Wedding Cake: Sofia Cobian
Photographer & Videographer: Auguro Weddings
Hair: Sharon Gaitan
Makeup: Sofia Villagran

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