Matt and Laura have a love story that is incredibly romantic and practically Shakespearean; filled with drama, love at first sight and travel over long distances. The abridged version, however, is that they met over a Thanksgiving celebration while serving in the Peace Corps in Peru. Both were working in different cities and would take bus rides over the Andes to meet in a city in Northern Peru called Cajamarca. Given the importance that Peru had in their relationship and the large number of friends and “family” in Peru, they decided to return to the country where they fell in love to celebrate their wedding. Incredibly, about 60 people from around the world made the trek to Cajamarca, and combined with the Peruvians from across the country that came to Cajamarca, it became one of the biggest international destination weddings I’ve ever seen! After getting to know Matt and Laura better, however, it is no surprise that so many people came to witness their marriage. Both have devoted their lives to serving others, and are obviously so beloved by their friends and family.

This destination wedding was held at a converted hacienda and bullfighting ring resort in a little town outside of Cajamarca called Banos del Inca, an area that is filled with hot springs, where Atahualpa himself used to spend time. As the town is in the Andes, the temperature shifts dramatically over the course of the day, and in the early morning when it is still very cold, the hot springs create an incredible, surreal fog that covers everything. It was incredibly beautiful and unlike anywhere I’ve ever been! The lovely wedding was completely bilingual and incorporated both American and Peruvian wedding traditions, including Peruvian “dancing horses,” a huge spread of cuy, and a suprise marinera dance by Matt and Laura. It was such a unique and sweet wedding, and I could not have been more honored to get to return to Latin America for such a special celebration.

And also an enormous thank you to my dear Joel; I cannot imagine doing this trip without you, and to Miss Megan for the wonderful referral.

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