This Time, She Said, “I Do.”

Local business owner Leana Lopez-Yates of LaDeDa Events shares her own special day.

Special to Inspire Coastal Bend
Photos by: Fonzie Munoz


After their second date, Leana Lopez-Yates went on a girls’ trip and all she could think about was Ron Eric Yates and how much he made her laugh. All the while, Yates was thinking she was the funniest girl he had ever met. Those days she was gone felt like the longest four days of his life. They couldn’t wait to see each other again. When they did, they did not tell one another that they each knew they would be married someday. That day came on Jan. 3, 2014.

Lopez-Yates had always dreamed of a destination wedding in the Mediterranean, but Yates’ work schedule made this impossible. So she decided to rely on her creativity and started to search for a venue closer to home in Corpus Christi. While she was working an event at the Holiday Inn Downtown Marina, she got the idea of having her wedding on their rooftop pool deck. She was told no wedding had taken place there before. She immediately called her team and walked the space with them, deciding to make her hometown of Corpus Christi her dream destination.

With only weeks to plan, Lopez-Yates pulled her LaDeDa team together with her colleagues in the wedding industry to bring her vision to life. She wanted to portray the beauty and essence of Corpus Christi. With their help, that is exactly what she did.

She had a vision of using white wooden benches accented with succulent plants displaying the names of her immediate family. She wanted white chavarri chairs displaying the names of her closest friends and extended family and candles lit all around the ledge of the deck for the ceremony overlooking the beautiful downtown bay front.

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“In September, my wonderful, sweet husband made my dreams come true, taking me to Santorini, Greece, for our honeymoon. I am so happy I said ‘yes’”!
Lopez-Yates was escorted down the aisle by her sons, Jacob and Caleb, and her nephew, Joshua. Her future husband and father-in-law custom-made a runner of artificial turf aligned with silver lanterns and floral boxes and filled with fresh white hydrangeas from her friend and colleague, Diana, with Segovia’s Floral Design.

Her team brought in custom-made illuminated acrylic tables, along with family-style tables adorned with slate blue and gray linens. These surrounded the amazing pool, which was glowing with the couple’s initials. They transformed the area with flowers to include hydrangeas, dahlia fuchsia, succulents and dusty miller, as well as with lighting made for romance, using lanterns and glass vases filled with LED candles.

The couple wanted their guests to experience cuisine of the Coastal Bend, which they expressed in their meeting with Chef Joe Anguiano. The chef presented them with a clever menu of food stations that included “South Texas Flare,” “Coastal Baja Tacos,” “Mashed Potini Bar” and the bride and groom’s breakfast favorite, “Rooftop Pancakes.” Another station he put together that was a huge hit with the guests was a dessert feature, the “Brownie Ala Yates Bar.” There were also a variety of wines offered at the “Sip Succulently Wine Bar.”


“Having my cohorts from the local wedding industry come together to bring my dream to reality for us in such a short time means the world to me! It’s my wedding family. It truly shows that as an industry, we can depend on each other and offer our best efforts for one of ‘our own,’ and that Corpus Christi is a beautiful city to have a destination wedding. We have some of the best in the industry right here!”


The couple shared their ideas of having a simple winter wedding cake with Raymond of Simply Elegant, and he undoubtedly exceeded their expectations. Fonzie of Fonzie Munoz Photography captured the important moments leading up to the event, and Krissy of K. Elizondo Photography used her expertise in capturing the couple expressing their fun-loving relationship during their engagement photo shoot.

The groom handpicked all of the music, and John Gacia with Blue Moon delivered, with class, the nostalgic mood the couple was hoping for. Josh Salinas took Lopez-Yates’ detailed ideas for her hair and makeup and brought them to life perfectly. Rose and Richard Herbert of Tuxedo Junction decked out the groom and the bride’s sons in stylish tuxedos with impeccable service. And T.J. Salazar, co-coordinator for LaDeDa, executed the event timelines with grace and enthusiasm.


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