For actress Jackie Cruz, the most important wedding detail was her guests. “I wanted to be surrounded by the people I love most,” she says. On August 28, 2020, the actress, who is best known for her role as Marisol “Flaca” Gonzales on the hit Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black,” wed artist and fiancé Fernando Garcia surrounded by just 12 guests at El Coste, a seafood restaurant in Oaxaca, Mexico.
“I fell in love with the welcoming spirit of the venue,” she says. “It reminded me of Blue Hawaii—I’m a big fan of Elvis Presley—and it had the old school vintage vibe I was looking for.”
With a vision of simplicity, Jackie and Fernando followed a monochromatic white color scheme and even asked their guests to dress in the hue. They tied the knot in the rain, sipped on housemade Mezcal, dined on Mexican ceviche, and danced well into the night. “Small and tender…no stress,” adds the bride.
An effortless mix of modern trends, vintage details, and spiritual romance, the wedding was everything we would have expected from the actress. To see for yourself, scroll for more of the intimate, free-spirited nuptials, as photographed by Erica Hernandez.
While their engagement only lasted six months (Fernando proposed in February!), the duo has been together for over seven years. They met at Rockwood Music in Manhattan on what happened to be Fernando’s first day bartending at the venue. “He liked my bolero hat,” Jackie recalls, which prompted Fernando to ask for her number. She gladly obliged—and they’ve been together ever since.
The actress wore a custom slip gown by Viktor Luna that was made to match her “classic, timeless, yet modern” taste. But the otherwise minimalist number was given a vintage twist through a unique headpiece from the same designer. The lace cap—which was inspired by a traditional mantilla veil—featured a removable lace veil that Jackie used during the intimate ceremony.
Since the couple asked their guests to wear white to the wedding, it was only fitting that Fernando did the same, specifically wearing a white suit by Carlos Campo.
My vision was the beauty of simplicity. I wanted to get married in a spiritual ceremony that would involve all of my guests.
“My vision was the beauty of simplicity. I wanted to get married in a spiritual ceremony that would involve all of my guests,” Jackie says.
Jackie and Fernando were hit with rainy weather on their wedding day—a side effect of Hurricane Laura—so they quickly reimagined their plans to combat the elements, covering the ceremony space with a white tarp that luckily “matched the décor perfectly.”
The couple exchanged personal vows during a spiritual ceremony officiated by a shaman. To meet the bride’s wish of involving her 12 guests in the nuptials, the shaman also led the crowd in a newlywed blessing.
After the ceremony, the newlyweds made their way to the beach to toss flowers in the ocean. The bride explains, “We gave an offering of roses to set our intentions for our marriage.”
Throughout the wedding, the couple encouraged everyone to wear face masks, and even had custom masks made featuring their initials and wedding date.
For Jackie, the theme of the day was DIY and she enlisted her tias to help with wedding-related projects. Her tia Madeline was in charge of decorations, deciding on table runners of greenery, baby’s breath, and daisies, and place settings of rattan chargers and unique illustrations, while tia Lucy chose the menu of traditional vegan ceviche.
“La Vie En Rose” by Edith Piaf was the soundtrack for Jackie and Fernando’s first dance and afterward, the bride’s stepfather toasted to the couple. “I’ve never seen him cry before and it was really beautiful,” recalls Jackie of the moment. “It meant the world to me because my father wasn’t there.”
Dessert was a simple, three-tier naked cake adorned with subtle rings of greenery, white roses, and baby’s breath. The couple stuck with one cake flavor, too: vanilla con dulce de leche.
Keeping it intimate gave us the opportunity to connect, dance, and savor the moment with each of our guests.
As for the tight guest list, Jackie and Fernando say they wouldn’t have their wedding any other way. “Keeping it intimate gave us the opportunity to connect, dance, and savor the moment with each of our guests.” She continues, “The only stressful part was the rain, and in the end, we all danced in the rain!”