#ZolaCouple: Meet Maria & Charlie, Love in Panama

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Meet our latest #ZolaCouple, Maria and Charlie. We’ve all seen the movies where two strangers meet and fall in love on vacation, but for this lovely couple, it was their reality! The two decided to have a destination wedding back where it all began in the lively and vibrant country of Panama. Check out their Q&A below, along with photos from the event.

How did you meet?
I (Charlie) took a trip to Panama and quite simply fell in love! Maria was home visiting for Christmas when we first met, and we dated across the country (NYC to California) for the first year while Maria finished her masters at Stanford. Fortunately, she was able to find a job here in New York afterwards, and the rest, as they say, is history.

How did he propose?
He proposed at the Central Park Conservatory Gardens in early June. There were supposed to be 10,000 tulips surrounding the main fountain, but they ripped them out literally the day before! It was still beautiful, and he had strangers help tie balloons around the hedgerows. Oh, and he live-streamed it on Twitter, so our families could watch.


What was the first thing you did after you got engaged?
Well, the first thing we did was wander through Central Park after the proposal. We took all afternoon to wind our way down, and by the time we got to the lower half we were starving, so we celebrated with a trip to the upper west side Shake Shack. It was more romantic than usual.

What is your favorite gift from your registry?
We’re grateful for everything we received, but our two favorite items are both chicken related: Staub’s La Cocotte with a cast iron hen on the lid (it’s beautiful), and a chicken roasting rack. We love roasting and trying new whole chicken recipes regularly.


Any tips for balancing wedding planning with your everyday busy life?
The best advice is to just keep in mind that in the end, most of the planning is just details. You’re there for each other, your friends, and your families, and the rest is icing on the cake.

Favorite meal to cook for two?
Roast chicken!


Go-to dinner on a week night?
Oasis in Williamsburg for something quick and casual.

Favorite Sunday breakfast?
A new favorite post-registry: buttermilk waffles with our new Cuisinart Waffle Maker.

Cooking or baking?
Maria: Baking. Charlie: Cooking. Perfect match.


Go-to recipe for dinner parties or potlucks?
Fresh Panamanian ceviche (Maria) or New Mexican snacks (Charlie)

Would you rather be the host or the guest?
Hosts, definitely.

Favorite cocktail?
Old fashioned (both of us), or just straight Ron Abuelo.


Best party you’ve hosted or attended together?
I don’t know if it’s the ‘best party’, but we have an annual pumpkin carving party before Halloween that’s become a lot of fun and an annual favorite.

What do you love most about being a newlywed?
Knowing that we’re partners who will support one another through anything. We felt that way before obviously, but now that has been promised in front of all our friends and family!


Check out Maria & Charlie’s registry here.

Photos by Alfonso Jaén | @fonch0

Are YOU a #ZolaCouple that wants to be featured? Send an email to social@zola.com!


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