The Wedding of Rumilda Ramos & Juan Carlos Escobar
By: Natalie Zisa
We tend to talk about the months of planning that come with the preparation of a wedding, but the wedding of Rumilda Ramos and Juan Carlos Escobar is proof that a beautiful day can be planned in just three weeks.
Rumilda and Juan actually attended high school together, but he didn’t catch her attention until their 10-year reunion where they spent time with mutual friends. Before the night ended, Juan gave her his business card, and while she wasn’t looking for any kind of relationship at the time, she hung the card up on her fridge. Months later, she finally got a call from Juan.
“I wasn’t interested at the time and I didn’t think he was my type,” Rumilda disclosed. “But we talked that night and soon after, started dating. We dated a year before he met my kids.”
Fast forward 11 years later to July 12th, 2016, when Juan took Rumilda to their favorite restaurant, Trovato’s in Oakland, to celebrate their anniversary. Over a romantic dinner, it was then that he asked Rumilda to spend the rest of her life with him.
At the time, a trip to Columbia to visit Juan’s father had already been planned. The couple considered getting married while on vacation, but it was important that Rumilda have her kids and parents and that Juan have his mother and step-father present. Once it became financially possible for all 8 of them to make the trip, the planning began.
Planning a wedding in a short time span, with thousands of miles separating you could potentially leave room for more error and more pressure, but Rumilda was sure of one thing, “It was a major event in my life and I didn’t want to become a bridezilla.”
She owes much of the wedding’s success to Juan’s cousin, Angela, who took on the role of wedding planner. Rumilda sent whatever ideas she had from Pinterest to her and from there, Angela set everything in motion. Even coming up with certain ideas that Rumilda didn’t think of herself.
Due to the short amount of time she had, Rumilda’s dress was ordered on line from David’s Bridal. But to everyone’s surprise, it fit like a glove, no alterations necessary, which is a rare find among wedding dresses. Juan, on the other hand, had a custom made suit and shirt from Sal Lauretta for Men, where Rumilda works as a stylist.
The wedding took place on August 11th in Periera, Columbia. Rumilda and Juan spent their time in Columbia in a quinta, which in Spanish translates to a farmhouse, but that’s not exactly the best way to describe it. A quinta is essentially a mansion with acres of land, a groundskeeper, and a maid. The mansion was big enough that on the day of the wedding, they each stayed at one end, unable to see each other getting ready. When asked why the wedding wasn’t held at the quinta, Rumilda explained that it’s best to have a start and an end time, “otherwise people would’ve stayed forever.” Days before, Juan surprised her with mariachis to serenade her, keeping with Columbian tradition.
While friends were disappointed they were unable to attend, Rumilda wanted a more low-key event after having been married once before. A total of 25 guests allowed for the wedding to be very intimate, as Rumilda described it. Naturally, family played important roles in the wedding. Her daughter, 13, was the maid of honor and her son, 20, a witness.
The ceremony took place at a Catholic church nearby where Rumilda and Juan exchanged traditional vows in Spanish. Live music was an important element to the wedding. The ceremony had a violinist and pianist, while the reception had a trio of guitarists and a saxophonist.
The wedding’s decorations were based off of the tropical theme that Rumilda had in mind. The Visus Boutique Hotel where the couple held the reception was decorated with birds of paradise flowers and palm trees. Blue was the main color, complemented by orange and green. Rumilda even wore blue shoes, while the men wore blue ties.
Rumilda was lucky in that the few weeks she had to plan were pretty stress free, but largely due to the fact that she wasn’t the one doing it. “Regardless, it was exactly the way I would’ve wanted it. I’m forever indebted to her,” Rumilda says of Angela’s help planning the wedding.
A smaller, destination wedding might have turned out to be the best decision. Rumilda explained that they planned the wedding under a budget of $20,000 and the most expensive part was actually the plane tickets. It was clear had they done things in New Jersey, that wouldn’t have been the case.
Now that the experience has passed, Rumilda shares her best advice for future brides. “Even if you are a perfectionist, what truly matters is the love you feel for each other, not the party. I didn’t worry about things going wrong. I concentrated on being happy.”
Wedding Planner: Angela Maria Palacios
Photography & Cinematography: John Palacio – Life Emotions Photography
Flowers: Orquideas Del Otun
Gown: David Bridal
Suit: Sal Lauretta for Men
Favors: Cookies – Reposteria Filomena
Hair & Makeup: Peluqueria Hugo
Honeymoon: On site in Pereira, Colombia