Adam + Camilo
Love their way
Camilo Andres Murcia Betancur + Adam James Wood
Words: Damien Woolnough
Photography: Julian Madrid
28th April 2019
Wedding ceremonies, rather like love, come in many forms. The Colombian wedding of leading Brisbane cake maker Camilo (By.Aletoso) and Adam was an opportunity to borrow and create traditions that expressed their values and commitment to each other.
"One of the benefits of being a queer couple is that it’s easier to play with the customs of a conventional wedding," they said. 'You can follow as much or as little of the traditions as you want. We decided to have a non-traditionally traditional wedding."
With a ceremony involving the donning of jackets, trading of engraved bracelets and choral accompaniments they put their own loving stamp on marriage.
Camilo Andres Murcia Betancur + Adam James Wood
January 18, 2019
Casa Las Marias, Cartagena, Colombia.
"Casa Las Marias is a more than 300 year old Spanish colonial home in the middle of the old city of Cartagena. It’s been converted into a boutique hotel with only nine rooms, with each room uniquely decked out in its own old world style. We booked the venue out for three days around the wedding so that we could truly enjoy it."
Camilo: M.J. Bale
Adam: Rodd & Gunn
Camilo + Adam: Rodd & Gunn
The dress code
"Dressy shorts and tropical flowy."
Groomsmen and women
"We decided to not have a wedding party, but we asked our parents to take some of the roles of the wedding party during the service. Firstly, we walked down the aisle without our jackets, and our family helped us put on the jackets when arrived at the end of the aisle.
"Camilo’s mother and aunts, helped Adam put on his jacket and Adam’s parents helped Camilo put on his.
"During the ceremony, our parents also gave us our wedding bracelets and both of our mums made speech during the ceremony."
"We walked down the aisle together to the song, Color Esperanza by Diego Torres accompanied by drummers and dancers.
"This song title means ‘The Colour of Hope’ and it’s a really popular song in Colombia, so all of the locals sang to us as we walked down the aisle. One of our favourite memories was watching all of our friends singing and dancing as we entered."
"You can follow as much or as little of the traditions as you want. We decided to have a non-traditionally traditional wedding."
"Instead of rings, we gave each other matching, inscribed silver bracelets, with our nicknames in Spanish – Calvo y Negro (The Bald One and The Black One).
"Neither of us like to wear jewellery and we have never worn rings in our lives. We have always worn a bracelet to symbolise our connection though, so we decided that this was more us than rings."
Camilo: Eau de Cartier
Adam: Ralph Lauren Polo
"We followed the general structure of a wedding, but tweaked a lot of the key moments.
"We got ready together at the venue, so that we could share some personal time before the craziness of the day and to watch everyone arrive.
"We walked down the aisle together as well, without our jackets. We wanted to symbolise our partnership, that we see of each other as equals and that we are taking this leap together.
"The big highlights were of course walking down the aisle together. Most of the guests knew our wedding song, Color Esperanza, so everyone sang to us as we entered the venue. The room was full of colour, as our dress code was ‘dressy shorts’ and ‘tropical flowy’, and to feel so embraced by our friends in their finest was an amazing moment."
"We had the reception at the same venue as the wedding. After the ceremony, the guests were taken up to the mezzanine level of the building for drinks and nibbles while the venue was reset for the party. Being a 30- year old building full of antiques, there was little need for extra decorations. But the venue was decked with lights and greenery to match with our theme of tropical flow."
"Guests were friends and family from both sides. We were particularly moved by around 20 people from Australia coming to Colombia to join us for the celebration."
"Over there, the party is only just getting started at midnight."
"Keeping with the trend of bucking traditions, instead of a wedding dance we had a wedding song that we sand to the group, karaoke style. We wanted to thank our guests for everything they have brought us and so we sang them a Spanish song called Gratitud by Fonseca that talks about being thankful for all you have in life.
“Another big highlight was the Colombian tradition called La Hora Loca or the crazy hour. In Colombia the couple surprises their guests around midnights with some high energy activities to warm up the party."
"Over there, the party is only just getting started at midnight. We organised costumes and whistles for the guests, along with drummers and dancers. After that no one left the dance floor until the music stopped at 4am."
"We wanted to make the dinner as informal as possible and to make sure that people had as much food as they wanted to ensure they could dance through the night. We had a buffet of Colombian cuisine including ceviche, coconut rice, chicken and fish."
"We decided on a cake made out of wheels of cheese. As Camilo is a professional cake designer, Adam knew that Camilo wouldn’t be happy with anyone else designing their cake and he would have locked himself away for days to make the perfect one for them."
"Welcoming mojitos, wine and Champagne. Gin, whiskey, vodka mixes and the local spirit Aguadiente."
Locally-based 8-piece band Javier Barrera Banda played three massive sets throughout the night, turning out popular Latin and international hits and famous salsa tunes. This was intermixed with a DJ sets playing a similar mix all night. Dancing started at 9pm and the dance wasn’t empty until the night ended at 4am."
Las Vegas and Santa Monica, LA.