Weddings // April 8, 2015

I love weddings -- in fact, I’ve actually become something of a wedding crasher. In the past three years I’ve attended maybe ten weddings. I was in the bridal party for three of them, two were destination weddings and one was on a boat. But in all of my wedding crashing, the reception of my dear friends Roderick Scott and Madia Hill was unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

Roderick, a publicist for Warner Bros. Records, and Madia, a powerhouse actress, producer and writer, are two creative forces who have always marched to their own beat. And when they planned their nuptials, it was no different. The adventure-seeking couple, who have been together for eight years, decided to elope to the southeast coast of Mexico. After a local send off with friends and family here in LA, they traveled to the tiny little city of Campeche, Mexico, with only a photographer and a videographer as their wedding guests.

Photo: Georgina Carlos - With Love ~ Photos by Georgie

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A World Heritage site, the city of Campeche is rich in color and history. Originally settled by the Mayans, the couple was drawn to Campeche because they wanted to see the lush jungles and the Mayan ruins. Roderick and Madia’s ceremony was officiated by a shaman, who blew a huge sea shell to the four corners of the earth to announce their union (so romantic!). The bride wore a breathtakingly beautiful, handmade gown that sparkled white and bright against the backdrop of the jungle. They wrote their own vows ahead of the ceremony and recited them to each other as the sun set. After a short stay in Campeche the couple honeymooned in Maroma Beach - 30 minutes south of Cancun.

Photo: Georgina Carlos - With Love From Georgie

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A few months after their elopement, Rod and Madia hosted a reception at the art gallery Studio 11 for 300 of their closest friends and family -- myself included. Upon arrival, guests were treated to a glimpse of their wedding adventure with a gallery of photographs from their trip. Loved ones oohed and awed over the captivating images. Moving through the huge, open space, it immediately felt like a reunion of all the couple’s friends. We criss crossed the room giving hugs and taking a peek at the two outdoor gardens, lit only by twinkling lights.

Photo: Georgina Carlos - With Love From Georgie

After a bit of mingling, the reception program began. The bride and groom arrived and a loud cheer went up. MC’ed by an aunt from each side of the family, the program included passionate and heartfelt performances by Smoke Season, Andra Day and Melody Thornton. Smoke Season sang an original song, “Opaque,” Adura Day sang a medley which concluded with “Rise” and Melody Thornton sang the Donny Hathaway classic, “A Song For You.” After the performances we were all primed for the next thing on the program, a special video which captured their romantic trip for all to see. Hauntingly beautiful, the video took us along for this crazy, sexy, cool love affair between two of our favorite people. I'm sure there wasn’t a dry eye in the room when it was over.

Once Upon A Time in Mexico... from Madia Hill  by Dennis Roy Coronel on Vimeo.

The evening continued with all the jams -- and the obligatory wedding classics -- being played by one of LA’s hottest DJ’s, DJ Ron. Guests were able to take photos in the photo booth, eat their choice of h'orderves or tacos from a quaint little taco cart, and drink from the open bar. Sure it was a party, but there were also some touching moments like when members of the bride and grooms family danced together to “Uptown Funk” (So cute!), or when the bride changed clothes and performed a sexy Samba dance for her new hubby accompanied by her team of backup dancers. I loved the open and inviting space of the venue. I liked how there was so much to see and do as guests we weren’t contained to assigned seats like most weddings.I also loved how Rod and Madia made their love and talent shine through all evening long -- Roderick works with both Audra and Melody and Madia produced their wedding video and choreographed both dances. All and all it was a night those in attendance will ever forget.

Published in Weddings