September-October 2021 | Weddings

The party must go on

A North Bethesda couple tied the knot in a 40-guest wedding that featured a one-woman light show

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Photo by Joseph Mendoza

The couple: Trisha Granados (maiden name Valencia), 36, grew up in Rockville and graduated from Our Lady of Good Counsel High School. She works as a human resources business partner at Lockheed Martin. Angel Granados, 36, grew up in Rockville and graduated from Albert Einstein High School. He is an independent accountant and a full-time Realtor with Coldwell Banker. Trisha became pregnant shortly after she and Angel got married and they had a baby boy, Lorenzo, in May. They live in North Bethesda.

How they met: The pair met at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds when they were in the same soccer league soon after graduating from high school—but it was far from love at first sight. “He thought I was a tomboy, I thought he was Rico Suave,” Trisha says. In 2015, they both happened to be lounging by the Bellagio hotel pool in Las Vegas, and Trisha texted him to ask if it was him. When they combined their groups of friends and Angel’s buddies suggested poker and a buffet, Angel asked Trisha to go to Yellowtail, a sushi restaurant at the hotel, instead. This time, Trisha says they hit it off immediately. “I felt like my heart was open to the opportunity,” she says. “There’s got to be a reason why he was here at this time.” He asked if she’d like to try dating once they were back in Maryland, and for their first East Coast date they went to see the movie Minions at the iPic theater in North Bethesda. “We broke the rule of whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” Angel says. “We brought it back.”

The proposal: Angel had a ring for months before he finally popped the question at Clyde’s in Chevy Chase, a favorite spot of theirs, in June 2019, less than a week before Trisha’s birthday. When she walked in and her friends and family—who knew Angel was going to propose—wished her a happy birthday, she was touched, but a bit disappointed. “When I hugged my best friend, I’m like, ‘I’m so happy, but I just realized I’m not getting proposed to,’ ” Trisha says, fooled by the ruse. When her parents said they were leaving and Trisha asked to take a family photo, she saw everybody take out their cameras. “I was like, ‘What’s going on?’… That’s when he had gotten on one knee,” Trisha says.

Photo by Joseph Mendoza

The wedding: The couple wed on Sept. 12, 2020, in front of 40 guests. They held a traditional Catholic Mass ceremony at their parish, Holy Cross Church in Garrett Park. The couple’s reception at the Woman’s Club of Bethesda was a welcome distraction from the pandemic, the bride says. “Our wedding, I think, was one of the first events that a lot of our guests had gone to ever since shutdown,” Trisha says. Though they had originally planned for a 250-guest wedding at St. Francis Hall in Washington, D.C., and had to cancel many of their elaborate plans once the pandemic hit, Trisha says the cozier nuptials had some upsides. “It just made it so much more intimate,” she says. “Angel and I were able to meet in the moment, and people were able to join us in the moment.” 

Food and drink: To honor Trisha’s Filipino and Angel’s Hispanic roots, the menu incorporated cuisines from their cultures, including lumpia (spring rolls with pork and vegetables), mini pupusas (thick griddle cakes with pork and cheese) and shooters of horchata (rice milk with cinnamon cream).

Music Time: “We knew we wanted Latin influence in our playlists, playing salsa, bachata, merengue, and all of that, just to accommodate the audience,” Trisha says of the music from the DJ, “but also really incorporate ’90s, ’80s, special requests.” As the cake was cut, Trisha’s cousin sang “Rest of My Life” by Bruno Mars. “Angel and I just burst into tears,” Trisha says. “You just felt the emotions and the love—everyone was there for us.” When the party began to wind down, the hora loca (crazy hour) began. Hora loca is a spontaneous moment during a wedding when everybody is invited to the dance floor and the celebration is livened up with props, music or entertainment. The couple enlisted performer Kira Tai—whose one-woman act included dancing, a light show and a full-body mirror costume—to give the festivities a boost.

Photo by Joseph Mendoza

Personal touches: For their black and gold color scheme, the couple had a black cake, bouquets with ranunculus flowers (which have a black center), and black and gold lettering on signage and stationery. To incorporate family heirlooms, the pair used las arras—coins used in Catholic wedding ceremonies in the Philippines—from Trisha’s aunt’s wedding and the cake-cutting knife from Angel’s parents’ wedding. Trisha asked each guest for a photo of them from a milestone event in their life and displayed the photos as the place cards, with assigned table numbers on the back. “We wanted to make sure it wasn’t only about us,” Trisha says.

Photo by Joseph Mendoza

Vendors: Bar and staffing, Monica DeGuzman/IDG Event Staffing; bride’s dress, Maggie Sottero from Elegance by Roya; cake, Andi Kenney of Tart & Craft; catering, Los Cobanos Restaurant and Matthew’s Grill; DJ, Romy Nunez of DJ Romy Entertainment; entertainment,
Kira Tai; event design/florals, Pinky DeGuzman of PBDDesigns; groom’s tuxedo, The Black Tux at Nordstrom; hair/makeup, Brianna Perea of BeautifyMe and Vanessa Lazo; officiant, Rev. Robert Buchmeier; photo booth, Khien Nguyen of Nlightened Visuals; photographer, Joseph Mendoza; pipe and drape, Dan Goldman Events; videographer, George Vargas of Georgeous Shots; violinist, Stephanie Mathias of Singers and Strings Event Music; wedding rings, Mervis Diamond Importers.