A Bridal Designer Made 15 Dresses for Her Wedding in Culiacán, Mexico

Take a look at Nadia Manjarrez's multi-day celebration.

Nadia Manjarrez and Adrian Murillo wedding in Mexico

Photo by Ivan & Lucrecia

Nadia Manjarrez and Adrian Murillo first met, of all places, at Nadia’s New York City apartment. Adrian was in town from Mexico City on a work trip; Nadia was working for Badgley Mischka with his friend from high school, Marisol. “Marisol invited Adrian to join us going out, and we met at my apartment,” Nadia remembers. “Adrian showed up in his lawyer suit and I thought he was incredibly handsome. We went out that night and the following in the East Village, and everything that weekend was unpretentious. We had an immediate click.” She even called her mother the next day to declare that she’d met her future husband. 

Though they kept in touch when Adrian returned to Mexico, it would be nearly three years before they saw each other again. In 2016, Marisol facilitated another meet-up. “She was now living in Mexico City, and she and her boyfriend invited us to a Coldplay concert. It was the perfect excuse to meet again,” Nadia shares. “The four of us had the best time and Adrian confessed he had never clicked with anyone like he had with me, three years back.” The timing, however, still wasn’t right. 

Finally, one year later and still gushing about Adrian to her friends, Nadia texted to invite him, impromptu, to a friend’s destination wedding. “He replied right away and said, ‘I’d love to, I'll book my flight tomorrow.’” It was the tipping point for their relationship: A few months later, Adrian would move to New York to be with Nadia. 

The couple returned to Mexico at the start of the pandemic to be with their families for what they thought would be a few short weeks. But as time wore on, they began to establish a life there. “After the sudden death of my father and Adrian's very close uncle in 2021, we realized life is too short and decided to get married,” Nadia recalls. And, she had just made a major career shift: “At the same time, I had begun to formalize my bridal collection and studio in Culiacán, Mexico.” Nadia Manjarrez Bridal launched in fall 2021.

Adrian got down on one knee back in New York, right after the debut of Nadia’s first bridal collection. “He proposed on our friend Raul’s rooftop in lower Manhattan, and organized a small dinner party right after,” Nadia remembers. “We were left alone on the rooftop and taking selfies with the sunset when he pulled out the ring and asked if I wanted to marry him. Raul, who is a photographer, was at a distance taking pictures.” 

They began planning a wedding back home in Culiacán, at the Botanical Garden. Every element was to be symbolic: The color palette was inspired by a piece of art the couple had commissioned, hummingbirds were a nod to their deceased loved ones, cacti represented Adrian’s desert hometown. Even with a stellar vendor team enlisted, Nadia took on a heavy load. “I designed the invitations, the website, menus, and QR codes,” she says. “The invitations were printed at my family’s printing company, and we added gold leaf to a mini art piece inside the envelope so people could frame it.” But her biggest DIY, of course, was the gowns: Nadia and her design team not only made her own three wedding gowns, but dresses for the mothers of the bride and groom, two sisters, three sisters-in-law, and five flower girls as well. 

Keep scrolling to see all the unique looks and gorgeous details of the April 2, 2022, wedding, planned by Maria Elena Estrella of SES Event Planner and photographed by Raul Tovar and Iván & Lucrecia.

bride gets makeup done

Photo by Ivan & Lucrecia

The day began serenely. “We had our trainer come at 5 a.m. for a family stretch session along with a quick massage. It was really the best start to the day,” Nadia says. “For my makeup, I wanted to be in a place where glamour meets nature, and feel like my authentic self.” Makeup artist Cynthia Hinojosa used newly released products from Phoenix & Crown, which were sweatproof. “I teared up and danced the night away without any worries my makeup was going to smudge,” Nadia adds. She opted for soft waves in her hair, and completed the look with a crystal halo headpiece. 

designer Nadia Manjarrez in a gown of her own creation

Photo by Raul Tovar

I brought the fabric roll out and started adding fabric until I was happy with the drama.

Nadia Manjarrez gown and gloves

Photo by Ivan & Lucrecia

“I designed this dress back in our apartment in Brooklyn long before we were engaged, and as soon as I made the sketch ,I knew it was how I envisioned myself walking down the aisle,” Nadia shares. The Spanish lace gown featured maxi florals, a trumpet skirt, Italian tulle straps, and fingerless gloves. “As the fittings went on, we incorporated elements to make it more dramatic than originally planned. I originally had the base dress with no lace train, but when I first tried it on, I felt like something was missing. I brought the fabric roll out and started adding until I was happy with the drama.” 

At the last moment, she added one more detail. “A couple days before the wedding and with all the emotions running, my mom said she would like to walk me down the aisle on my left side so that we left a space for my Dad to ‘walk’ with us on the right,” Nadia shares. “With that in mind, I embroidered a symbol of infinity and my father’s initials on the right side of both of our dresses, so he could be on our right side all night.” 

groom gets suit on

Photo by Ivan & Lucrecia

groom in wedding suit

Photo by Ivan & Lucrecia

Adrian wore a black wool three-piece suit for the day. “I wore sterling silver cufflinks; my father surprised me with them when we were picking out the suit,” he says. “Nadia’s mom gifted a Ferragamo belt to me a couple of days before the wedding. It was the last belt Nadia’s father bought before his passing, and I wanted to wear something that represented my late father-in-law.”

Nadia Manjarrez's first look with groom

Photo by Ivan & Lucrecia

Nadia Manjarrez with her groom

Photo by Ivan & Lucrecia

“We debated if we should do a first look or not for a very long time,” Nadia says. “As we got closer to the wedding, we realized it would be important to make sure Adrian and I had a moment to ourselves without so many eyes on us—and I’m happy we did it because it did really take the nerves off.”

Nadia Manjarrez walks down the aisle with her mom

Photo by Ivan & Lucrecia

The couple said “I do” at La Lomita church. Nadia added even more drama to her gown for her walk down the aisle. “For the ceremony, the gown had a detachable ‘cloud’ bow train made of one of our developed fabrics—a voile mixed with a wide weave organza that is attached at different points, creating this very light cloud effect.” A live orchestra performed “Sweet Disposition” as she and her mother entered. 

designer Nadia Manjarrez exchanges vows with groom

Photo by Ivan & Lucrecia

“We said our vows a couple of days before the wedding. We talked about how we saw our lives together, what we liked about each other, and what we were committing to,” Nadia shares. “We wanted to keep our vows private, so during the ceremony we said the traditional vows.” The duo had started “officially” dating after a Lauryn Hill concert at Radio City Music Hall, so they had the orchestra play her rendition of “Killing Me Softly” with the Fugees as they exchanged vows.  

Nadia Manjarrez and groom's first kiss

Photo by Ivan & Lucrecia

The priest who officiated was a dear family friend, and had the bride’s best interest in mind. “He kept making sure my dress looked perfect for the pictures,” Nadia recalls with a laugh. “He said it was a good moment to sell my dresses.” 

Nadia Manjarrez and her groom exit the church

Photo by Ivan & Lucrecia

The newlyweds made a grand exit from the church as friends and family waved shimmering confetti around the couple.

Nadia Manjarrez with her mini bridal party members

Photo by Ivan & Lucrecia

“I designed the fabric for my flower girls right after I got engaged,” Nadia remembers. “It was a very light blue recycled taffeta with embroidered floral bouquet motifs made in Italy. We had five flower girls and we made the dresses in the studio for them. For Mariana, my oldest niece, I made a different version of the dress in the same fabric so it would look appropriate to her age.”

welcome sign to wedding reception

Photo by Ivan & Lucrecia

Each season different flowers grow and others die, but it is always perfectly beautiful. It symbolizes adaptability and change.

cocktail hour beneath a sculpture

Photo by Ivan & Lucrecia

Cocktail hour took place under the “Flower Archway” sculpture by Olafur Eliasson inside the Botanical Garden. “It’s a beautiful metal art piece that has different types of flowers planted in each of the four legs of the sculpture,” Nadia describes. “Each season different flowers grow and others die, but it is always perfectly beautiful. It symbolizes adaptability and change.” Guests sipped mezcal and tequila signature cocktails named for the couple’s dogs, Sonic and Jack. 

wedding reception at Botanical Gardens

Photo by Ivan & Lucrecia

rustic chic reception decor

Photo by Ivan & Lucrecia

disco balls in reception decor

Photo by Ivan & Lucrecia

The reception was set around another sculpture with strong meaning: “Sin Fin” by Abraham Cruz Villegas. “It means ‘no end,’ and is a cement aqueduct-like sculpture that carries water up and down in an unbreakable circuit,” Nadia says. “It seemed like a meaningful place to be surrounded by the people we love the most.” They kept the color palette neutral on furniture and linens, and filled centerpieces with exotic wildflowers like artichoke flowers, anthuriums, garlic flowers with tulips, dahlias, and lisianthums.

place settings at rustic chic reception

Photo by Ivan & Lucrecia

“I made cheesecloth napkins with picot edges at the studio to make it feel more rustic,” Nadia says. The couple hosted 230 guests so this was no minor undertaking. The place settings were finished with a unique touch. “We added a QR card on an olive tassel, where guests could download their pictures. We had a photographer take pictures of Adrian and I with every single guest at the entrance of the wedding. The pictures were uploaded right then in a folder the guests could download via the QR code left at their seats. It saved a lot of time during the wedding because we already had pictures with everyone.”

groom dances with his mom

Photo by Ivan & Lucrecia

bride Nadia Manjarrez dances with her mom

Photo by Ivan & Lucrecia

Before guests dined on elevated local dishes—ceviche, beef sopes, grilled shrimp with potato puree, and chicken in a corn and cheese sauce—the bride and groom danced with their mothers. “My mom’s dress was designed after a dress I created for my first collection, the ‘Yaya,’ which is my mom’s nickname,” Nadia says. “I took the same beading and adjusted it to gunmetal tones to go over her olive-colored silk gown.” And, something magical happened. “During the mother-bride dance, there was a hummingbird flying over the dance floor. We didn’t notice it until afterward, when our friends told us.”

Nadia Manjarrez with cape veil during first dance

Photo by Ivan & Lucrecia

The bride wore three different veils throughout the day, adding her namesake collection’s dramatic 3D floral “Kikey” cape for the first dance—which was, fittingly, to Lauryn Hill’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.” “We did our first dance after the parent-child songs so we could have our friends join us on the dance floor right after,” Nadia says. 

Nadia Manjarrez and groom enter in second look

Photo by Ivan & Lucrecia

Nadia Manjarrez and her groom dance at reception

Photo by Ivan & Lucrecia

The bride switched into a draped Italian crepe gown with a side slit and beaded fringe for dancing. “I designed this dress a week before the wedding,” she says. “I originally designed the short Kikey dress [from the spring 2023 collection] to be my second dress, but in the end I chose to have something plainer with no lace, and started draping my second look.” They hit the floor and danced until 1 a.m.

horse ranch setting for civil wedding

Photo by Ivan & Lucrecia

The following day, the couple hosted their civil wedding at Nadia’s parents’ horse ranch. “We had all the Mexican food we love—ceviche, aguachile, fish tacos, barbacoa, cochinita, fried beans. When we got there, my mom surprised us with a live band that played all day,” Nadia says. “It turned out to be a second wedding, a much more relaxed one with only our closest friends. It was such a perfect moment where we were able to sit down and chat, relaxed.”

Nadia Manjarrez in civil wedding dress

Photo by Ivan & Lucrecia

Naturally, Nadia designed her civil wedding attire as well, but this time it started with the shoes. “I actually bought the white Paris Texas boots first,” she says. “I knew the civil wedding would be at my family’s horse ranch, so it all started with the boots. I designed a couple of pieces but wasn’t sure the boots worked with them. Then one day, the idea came as I was driving home at night. I had to stop and draw it before I lost it in my mind. I got back to the studio and started draping it over a mannequin.” The result? A matte crepe three-piece set with a corseted top, asymmetrical draped skirt and pant option with side slits; it’s now dubbed the Karime set and is shoppable for future brides.

civil wedding ceremony setting

Photo by Ivan & Lucrecia

florals at civil wedding ceremony

Photo by Ivan & Lucrecia

Nadia Manjarrez and groom kiss at civil wedding

Photo by Ivan & Lucrecia

There was no time for a formal honeymoon, but their wedding came full circle after all: The couple jetted out the next day for New York Bridal Fashion Week to show Nadia’s latest collection, the same occasion at which Adrian had proposed a year earlier. “We went back home after the wedding to pack for our trip to New York the following morning and sleep for a couple of hours. But instead, we sat by the garden and talked about how amazing the weekend had been and how high on love we were,” Nadia remembers. “We ended up not sleeping at all, showered, and went straight to the airport."

Wedding Team

Venues Ceremony: Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (La Lomita); Reception: Jardin Botanico de Culiacán

Wedding Planner SES Event Planner 

Bridal Designer Nadia Manjarrez Bridal 

Bride’s Shoes JW Anderson via Shopbop

Bride’s Headpiece Lelet NY 

Bride’s Hair Rosy Leal by Rose & Co. 

Bride’s Makeup Cynthia Hinojosa for Phoenix & Crown 

Bridesmaids’ and Flower Girls’ Attire Nadia Manjarrez Bridal 

Mother of the Bride’s Dress Nadia Manjarrez Bridal 

Wedding Bands Alicia Gaxiola
Floral Designer and Rentals
Floral Bouquet

Invitation Art Ricardo Luevanos
Paper Products
Manjarrez Impresores
Music Ceremony: Angeluz; Reception: Beckett 

Catering Cayenna; After Hours Pizza: Autentica
Barrica Bar Móvil 

Favors: Blanco Detalle

Transportation: Rosefy Turismo
Accommodations Lucerna Culiacán
Videography Marcelino Rodriguez
Welcome Photography
Sergio Loya

Portrait Photography Raul Tovar

Event Photography Iván & Lucrecia

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