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Havana Nights and Neon Lights

Cuban-Inspired Boho Wedding in Orange County, California

Matt & Alyssa

Matt and Alyssa are two free spirited individuals who love to have fun! And that was exactly what their wedding day was! Every aspect of their Cuban-Inspired Boho Wedding in Costa Mesa, California came together perfectly to create an exciting, fun-filled celebration! We loved having the privilege of capturing their amazing wedding day with our photo and video teams here at Three16 Photography.

As Orange County Wedding Photographers, there are so many different types of wedding venues that we shoot in Orange County and Los Angeles. But we absolutely love when our couples choose a venue that’s special to them! That’s exactly what happened with Matt and Alyssa’s Havana Nights Wedding. They chose to tie the knot in the place where they first met: their work! It’s one of the coolest, and most unique urban venues we’ve ever seen, and we loved their boho tropical twist. Our favorite things about this Cuban-Inspired Boho Wedding? We loved the laid-back and fun atmosphere, the bright and colorful decor and wedding party attire, and Matt and Alyssa’s epic first dance! They had been taking dance lessons together for a long time in order to nail their first dance on wedding day- which they totally did! They even recorded their spontaneous practices everywhere they went for the months leading up to their gorgeous wedding day. Someone near and dear to them actually compiled a video montage of all the clips of their practice, and surprised them with a showing at their reception. What a cool idea!

We hope you love their love story and their wedding photos as much as we do!

Matt and Alyssa’s Love Story

1) How did you both meet?  Who liked who first?


Matt – We met because Alyssa replied to a Craigslist ad I posted looking for an office assistant.  I met her and promptly burned all the other resumes I had received. She was it. It wasn’t just her beauty, which is timeless, but her “way”.  I liked her energy and her mind. Her middle name is May so I call it the Mayway. I definitely liked her first. I courted her for about a year before she would officially date me.  During that year we became good friends, co-workers and artists together. We spent a whole summer with our friend Jasmine making music in the Barn on warm summer nights.   


Alyssa – Matt and I met at the same place we are getting married, the Barn.  I knew he was into me but did not like the idea of someone hiring me for illegitimate reasons, so he had some convincing to do.  He actually courted me for 2 years before we started dating, but during those 2 years, we did become close friends and have overcome a lot of challenges.  

2) Tell us about your first date! 


Matt- I guess our first “real date” was a trip on the 4th of July where we went to New Orleans.  We slept in separate beds the entire weekend and although I made every attempt to dissuade her from sleeping alone, we stayed in our respective beds.  We had an amazing time together that weekend and I had so much respect for her for reminding me how to behave like a gentleman. 


Alyssa- We eat out regularly, so it’s difficult to remember our first date.  Our first real trip was when he took me to New Orleans. I was skeptical at first because I knew he liked me, but I wanted to avoid any drama that may interfere with work.  I made it clear that I agreed to go if it was only for the weekend and that this was no invitation for anything beyond that. He agreed and was a perfect gentleman the whole time.  

3) What’s the proposal story?  Give us all the details! Who cried first?


Matt- Originally I had planned to propose on Valentine’s Day at a concert in LA.  However, I lost my nerve when Lyssa got cold and took my jacket. The ring was hidden in the pocket.  I thought for sure she would find it. Somehow it escaped her notice. We took a trip to New Orleans again, this time for Jazz Fest.  This was my chance. I had planned to ask her at a famous restaurant in the French Quarter on a balcony overlooking Bourbon Street. But I chickened out- again!!  The next morning we took a walk in Crescent Park and by the shores of the Mighty Mississippi River I asked Alyssa to marry me. She said yes.  

4) As you approach the wedding day, what have you both enjoyed most about the wedding planning process?

Matt- We decided to learn a Viennese Waltz and have been practicing for over 4 months.  It has been my favorite thing. We practice at any random opportunity and have a collection of videos of us dancing in the most bizarre places.  (**which they played a compilation of at their wedding!**) Learning to move and flow together has been an amazing experience. I also enjoy our trips to LA to find flowers and decorations.  We have gone to the city at least 12 times in search of deals and inspiration.  


5) What has been the hardest part about planning your wedding?


Alyssa- Balancing a new business and wedding planning has been an ongoing challenge for me.  We just opened up in October of 2018 and have hired a completely new staff. There were also a lot of stressful situations that required careful planning and a stable approach.  I’ve spent many hours analyzing, strategizing and preparing for the execution.  

When it came to the wedding, I’d say Matt has been great in terms of supporting most of my ideas.  He knows when to draw the line, which is what I need. He’s not too great at finishing the job, but he can sure get it rolling.  


6) Why did you chose your particular wedding and reception venue?


Matt- Our venue is where we met.  Neither of us has left since.  The Barn is a special place for us and it represents all that we cherish and believe in.  


Alyssa- I have a few reasons.  This place changed my life.  I’ve learned so much since I started to work here and have met the most beautiful people.  I was able to get back into the things I love about life such as piano and crafting, and it has been a place where I’ve found meaning and purpose.  It is also the place that I first met Matt. The barn has become the venue for me to do things that I never thought I could. I’ve invested a lot of my time and energy into this place and it has always given back.  I’m so excited to share this place with my entire family so they can experience it like I have or at least know it’s here if it is ever needed.  

7) Where did you draw some of your inspiration from for your wedding day?


Matt- We knew we wanted tropical.  I cannot remember where the Cuban theme came from because neither of us have ever been there.  But we like the sounds of cuba and the style. Then I said something about neon signs and Alyssa is always trying hard to incorporate my cheesy style, or lack thereof of style.  So, Havana Nights meets Neon Lights became our theme. It just works. 


Alyssa- I wanted to do something that reflected our love and the way we are as a couple.  We are not formal or elegant in any way. We’re more fun and free spirited. I’ve always had a love for latin music and ballroom dancing.  Havana nights represents a vibe that makes you move but I felt that Matt’s quirkiness was not highlighted enough. I remember going to the Jazz Festival in New Orleans last summer.  That was the first time I’ve ever seen a new orleans funeral and I loved it. Everyone was celebrating and parading with their crazy hats and umbrellas in the air. There was so much spirit and so many good vibes with people of all different ages and sizes.  I remember thinking that I want my wedding procession to feel just like a new orleans funeral. HA!!! So there will be a lot of that too. Matt has this obsession with neon lights, so I had to throw that into the decorations.  

Havanna Nights + New Orleans Celebration + Neon Lights = # MAYWAY4MATT


8) Where are you going for the honeymoon? 

No honeymoon plans yet.  The Barn keeps us too busy.  


Vendors used for Alyssa and Matt’s Cuban-Inspired Boho Wedding:

VENUE: Barn Life Recovery

PHOTO, VIDEO, & PHOTOBOOTH: Three16 Photography

RENTALS: Baker Party Rentals

CATERING: The Lime Truck

FLORIST: South Coast Wholesale Flowers

DJ: DJ King James

BAND: Miguelito’s Band

OFFICIANT: Ryan Thompson


MAKEUP: Edlyn Delafuente

HAIR: Mish Mucho

CAKE: Sprinkles and Butter

Loved reading about Matt and Alyssa’s Cuban-Inspired Boho Wedding in Costa Mesa, California? Show them some love by liking and commenting below!



Cuban-Inspired Boho Wedding | Matt & Alyssa

Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017


Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017
Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017
Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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