Lateesha and Tristan first met in Montreal. She was there on a girl’s trip, and he was there to party it up at his friend’s bachelor party. Their first encounter happened at a restaurant. Lateesha, an admittedly shy lady, says Tristan made the first move. “When he walked over to say hello, his elbow knocked my drink all over my white dress,” she remembers. “His smile made me forget about the whole thing.”
After one year of long-distance dating, Lateesha moved cross country to be with Tristan. “One day I came home from work and she was sitting on my couch watching TV,” Tristan tells ESSENCE. “I knew I wanted to see that every day for the rest of my life.” Making good on his word, Tristan proposed to her with a romantic holiday proposal surrounded by all of their friends.
Since they’re both of Caribbean heritage, warm weather and a beach setting was a must for their wedding. They decided on Mexico – an exotic destination with tons of direct flights. “We also wanted to choose a family resort. as most of our friends have young children and we wanted to include them,” the couple says.
Scroll through the gallery to see the most gorgeous moments from Lateesha and Tristan’s tropical Mexican wedding.
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Meet The Blackwoods
Lateesha Ector, 35, Human Resources Professional
Tristan Blackwood, 38, Wealth Management Consultant
Tropical destination wedding
Venue: The Finest Playa Mujeres
Dress: Martina Liana
Tuxedos: Fari Hara
Florist, cake and catering:
Finest Playa Mujeres
Melissa Tiznado from Finest Playa Mujeres
Photographer: Seasons Photo Studio
Tristan popped the question standing in front of the famous Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center. ”Tristan asked my friend’s husband who conveniently had a professional camera to take a picture of him and me, which I thought was strange because he HATES taking pictures," Lateesha remembers. "All of our friends were stepping away from us, literally making a circle in a dense New York crowd. The next thing I knew, I felt Tristan slowly sink to the ground on one knee."
The Dream Dress
Lateesha's dress was designed by Martina Liana and customized to fit her like a glove. "I never heard of the designer before, I just fell in love with the style," she says. "My sales girl knew I needed to change the lacing to my complexion and cups, which the designer was able to accommodate. That’s something I really appreciated because not all designers have that option for women of color."
All Eyes On Her
"I truly enjoyed being the groom," says Tristan. "However, I didn’t stress too much about how I looked because I knew all eyes would be on my beautiful bride."
Our Day, Our Way
"I’ve been a bridesmaid many times, so I had a hard time reminding myself that this wedding was for me," says Lateesha. "I've seen how easy it is to get carried away, and I didn’t want to be that bride."
"Tristan and I had an outdoor five o’clock sunset ceremony, facing the Caribbean sea," says Lateesha. "I’ll admit that I was a little paranoid with weather, i.e. hurricanes. Everything worked out, and better."
"While we exchanged vows, the clouds opened up and the sun beamed on us and our guests. The timing couldn’t be better. "
Show Me Love
"I always tell people, 'don’t tell me, show me,'" says Lateesha. "Tristan has shown me and proved his love through his actions."
The day after the wedding, Lateesha and Tristan organized a catamaran trip to Isla Mujeres. "We played our own music, and the party continued as we sailed most of the day on the ocean," Lateesha says.
Homie, Lover, Friend
"Lateesha has complimented my life in ways she doesn’t know," says Tristan. "She truly is my best friend, and makes loving her so easy."
The Color Of Love
The newlyweds didn't stick to a color theme, and also went without a bridal party. "We used a lot of white and taupe, including draping and our mothers’ dresses," says the bride. "We stuck with our monogram 'T & Tee – 2019.11.25' which was branded on most of the souvenirs and gift bags."
Just The Two Of Us
Prior to the reception, Lateesha and Tristan had an intimate photoshoot on the beach.
Let It Flow
"I remembered what Tristan and I promised each other, and I made sure to enjoy every moment and to understand that some things are just not in my control," says Lateesha.
"Each table had white rose centerpieces, which sat next to candles and on a white tablecloth," the couple told ESSENCE. "We added string lights to give it a modern but formal look."
A Perfect Day
Not only was the wedding perfect, but the couple was surrounded by the people who mattered to them the most.
"I taught my girls, including my awesome mom and mother-in-law, a dance to 'Before I Let Go' by the one and only Beyoncé," says Lateesha. "They had three days to learn and practice, and we all performed it at the reception."
Hit The Dance Floor
The Blackwoods wanted their guests to party, and party they did! "We flew down our friend DJ Bware from Toronto, and he threw an amazing bash." they said. "It was worth the money, and also easy because he knew the crowd and what we wanted to hear."
70 guests traveled to Mexico for the Blackwoods wedding weekend. "We were aiming for 40 – 50 guests max, but we were more than happy to have more," the couple says.
Lateesha's Advice To Brides
"If you can afford a planner do it. They relieve the stress, and think about things for you. Just be sure to do your research."