Congratulations to you both - we certainly can see the love whenever the both of you enter into a room together. It is pure happiness and all smiles. We're so happy you both found each other and Latrice responded right away to you, Gwen :) !! We have been looking forward to this day ever since it was announced, and can't wait to celebrate your love on November 17th!! - The Buckmans
CONGRATULATIONS! Your love is displayed amazingly via this wedsite...So glad & excited for your event & life together, May Gods love shine bright on this day and on the road you will travel together...
I love this! I got to know you two a bit better and am so happy that you have found a beautiful love together. Glad I met you and hope we can see each other again soon! ❤️
Wow, this passport you put together is awesome. It is beautiful, just like both of you. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend your wedding but I am so happy for you and I look forward to seeing everything you share about that very special day. Love you.
Congratulations to two beautiful people. We are so happy that you guys made that long distance connection and have decided to spend your life together. Can't wait to see you and witness this union. Love Tydus and Erma
WOW, ZOOM, BLAM, BLASH, CAZAM, HOT STUFF,!!! YA' LL REALLY KNOCKED IT OUT O THE PARK and I AM REALLY HAPPY FOR YOU CONGRATULATIONS ON FINDING LOVE AND HAPPINESS LOVE YOU
Congratulations again sisters!!! This is sooo beautiful and I can’t wait until the day! May God continue to bless and keep you!!! I love you both!!!!
Congratulations to both of you. This is absolutely beautiful. Your website is the best. May God be a major part of your life together. Love you both. Margaret
Hey Triceys'! I love you both so much and I can't wait for the wedding. Totally looking forward to see you guys.
Congratulations to you both! I am so excited for you, my friend Gwen. You have found a wonderful mate in Latrice. I wish you a lifetime of joy, love and endless happiness! Much love Gwen and Latrice!!!! Lisa
Meet Monica Mancilla our wedding planner extraordinaire! Throughout the weekend, should you have any questions, or need any assistance with getting around, or to know where to be, Monica and her assistant will be there to help in whatever way they can. Please feel free to introduce yourselves and get to know her a little bit!
Please meet Yaneck & Sasha, our fabulous photographers for our special day! Yaneck & Sasha are co-owners of Wasio Photography, based out of San Diego and Chicago (gotta love THAT kind of connection here!), and they will be responsible for capturing all of the magical moments for the ceremony and reception. All of you will be our honored guests for the day, and we want you all to enjoy yourselves, but please be mindful that Yaneck & Sasha are there to take the absolute best photos possible so we will be respectfully asking that you allow them to do what they do best and not take any photos during the ceremony.
Meet Willy Llamas, the wedding coordinator at Las Rocas Resort & Spa! Willy has been working at the hotel for over 10 years and can assist with any of your questions and/or needs during your stay in Mexico. Willy is also acting as our Florist for our big day, so please take a moment to admire the beautiful displays that we know he will be putting together for us!
In lieu of gifts, we ask that a donation be made to one of these two wonderful charities listed below:
charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations.
It’s hard not to think about water today. In the western world, we face growing concerns about our stewardship of the world’s most precious resource. There’s talk of shortages, evidence of reservoirs and aquifers drying up, and of course, plenty of people who simply don’t care.
But forget about us.
Most of us have never really been thirsty. We’ve never had to leave our houses and walk five miles to fetch water. We simply turn on the tap, and water comes out. Clean. Yet there are 663 million people on the planet who don’t have clean water.
That’s a huge number. In fact, it’s twice the number of people who live in the United States. 1 in 10 people in our world doesn’t have access to the most basic of human needs. Something we can’t imagine going 12 hours without.
Here, we’d like to introduce you to a few of those 663 million. They are very real, and they need our help. They didn’t choose to be born into a village where the only source of water is a polluted swamp. And we didn’t choose to be born in a country where even the homeless have access to clean water and a toilet.
We invite you to put yourself in their shoes. Follow them on their daily journey. Carry 80 pounds of water in yellow fuel cans. Dig with their children in sand for water. Line up at a well and wait eight hours for a turn.
Now, make a decision to help. We’re not offering grand solutions and billion dollar schemes, but instead, simple things that work. Things like freshwater wells, rainwater catchments and sand filters. For about $30 a person, we know how to help millions.
We envision a world where all people hold the power to create opportunity for themselves and others.
Kiva is an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. We celebrate and support people looking to create a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.
By lending as little as $25 on Kiva, anyone can help a borrower start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy or realize their potential. For some, it’s a matter of survival, for others it’s the fuel for a life-long ambition.
100% of every dollar you lend on Kiva goes to funding loans. Kiva covers costs primarily through optional donations, as well as through support from grants and sponsors.
It's a loan, not a donation
We believe lending alongside thousands of others is one of the most powerful and sustainable ways to create economic and social good. Lending on Kiva creates a partnership of mutual dignity and makes it easy to touch more lives with the same dollar. Fund a loan, get repaid, fund another.
You choose where to make an impact
Whether you lend to friends in your community, or people halfway around the world (and for many, it’s both), Kiva creates the opportunity to play a special part in someone else's story. At Kiva, loans aren’t just about money—they’re a way to create connection and relationships.
Pushing the boundaries of a loan
Kiva started as a pioneer in crowdfunding in 2005, and is constantly innovating to meet people’s diverse lending needs. Whether it’s reinventing microfinance with more flexible terms, supporting community-wide projects or lowering costs to borrowers, we are always testing and learning.
Lifting one, to lift many
When a Kiva loan enables someone to grow a business and create opportunity for themselves, it creates opportunities for others as well. That ripple effect can shape the future for a family or an entire community.
1. DON'T FORGET TO BRING YOUR PASSPORT!! Even though a shuttle service will be provided to drive you to the hotel, you will still need your passport to be able to cross the border!
2. Make a copy and/or take a picture of your passport, and your credit/debit cards and keep it in a separate location in case your information gets lost.
3. Make sure you bring all important medicines with you to have on hand in the event of an emergency.
4. Leave your expensive jewelry at home and just bring the basics to avoid risk of loss.
5. Please note that while the laws in the California have been relaxed regarding certain "leisure" products, this is NOT the case in Mexico. A good rule of thumb is if you cannot travel with an item on a plane then please leave it at home.
6. Unless you plan to extend your stay in Mexico, you do not need to exchange your money for pesos. The hotel accepts US Dollars and most major credit cards. We DO recommend carrying smaller denominations of US dollars (i.e. $1,'s, $5's, $10's and $20's), however you shouldn't need to convert them unless you wish to do so.
7. You do not need a power plug adapter/converter to be able to plug in your electronic devices. All outlets will be in the same format as the US outlets.
8. You may want to bring extra towels and toiletries with you, just in case. The hotel where we are having the ceremony is a 3 star hotel so some of the normal level of amenities you expect in an American hotel may not be on hand in large supply.
9. Don't drink the water from the tap. Unless a location states that they have purified water it is best to request bottled water while traveling in Mexico. The water should be purified at the hotel, but please use your best judgement.
10. Please bring any food allergies to Gwen & Latrice's attention as soon as possible so that we can make sure that we address this ahead of time. We love all of you, but please don't assume that we know/remember all food allergy issues for everyone...we want everyone to stay healthy and have fun!
11. Learn a little spanish just to be able to communicate the basics...it's definitely NOT required, but it can be fun and the people in Mexico will appreciate the effort!
Hotel Room Early Bird Special!!!
For our guests convenience, we have blocked off 30 rooms, at a discounted rate, at the Las Rocas Hotel where the ceremony will be taking place. For all those who reserve their rooms BEFORE SEPTEMBER 15th, you will be able to book a standard room at $79 per night, and a suite at $89 per night. After SEPTEMBER 15TH, the rates will increase to $99 per night for a standard room, and $149 per night for a suite, so we highly recommend reserving early!!
To reserve your room, please contact the hotel at the phone number above and mention that you would like to reserve a room under the Johnson Wedding Block.
When calling the hotel for your reservation, it is best to call between the hours of 10:00 AM-3:00 PM (PST). Also, when dialing the number, please use EXT ZERO (0) to speak to someone to book your room.
BOOKING VIA EMAIL:
In email, include your full name, number of guests, your phone number, room type, arrival and departure dates, and the best time/day to reach you. A representative from the hotel will contact you directly to assist with booking your stay.
(Mon.-Fri., 9:00 am to 4:30 pm)
011 52 661 614 9580 EXT ZERO (0)
Planning your flights
Please plan to fly into the San Diego Airport, on Friday, November 16th with your flights arriving NO LATER than 6PM in the evening. This will allow enough time, even if you are not able to join us for the festivities earlier in the afternoon, for everyone to make it, from the airport to the Hospitality Suite, in time for the Shuttle departure to Mexico which will be at 8:00PM SHARP!!
on Sunday, November 18th, the shuttle service will once again be available to transport everyone back to the San Diego Airport. The shuttle will be leaving from the hotel in Mexico at 10AM SHARP. To allow enough time to cross the border, and get back to the airport, please DO NOT plan your return flights to depart from San Diego ANY EARLIER THAN 2PM. Sundays are usually the busiest days for border traffic, so we want to ensure that everyone has enough time to make their flights home without any problems.
Starting at 3PM, on Friday, November 16th
We invite all of you to join us, in San Diego, for a pre-wedding gathering so that we all have a chance to meet and mingle with each other prior to the big day! We will have snacks, and a light meal, available for those able to attend, and a shuttle will later be onsite to transport everyone down to the hotel, where the ceremony will be held, in Mexico. Please plan to join us early in the day, if possible, and don't forget to RSVP under the Hospitality Suite so we can get an accurate head count.
For all who will also need to use the Shuttle to drive them down to Mexico, and back, please also RSVP under the Shuttle Service section so we can make sure that we will have adequate capacity.
Starting at 8:00AM, Sunday, November 18th
After the evening of wedding festivities have ended, we would like to invite you all to join us again for one last "farewell" Sunday brunch at the hotel! There will be a variety of foods available to start you off on your journey home, and it will allow us one last opportunity to show our appreciation for your presence on our special day.
We encourage everyone to try and check out no later than 9:30AM as the shuttle will be departing the hotel to return back to the San Diego Airport at 10AM SHARP.
Below are various descriptions for each area that will need to have a separate RSVP noted (there are a total of 3 RSVP areas). We will be adding more sections as we get closer to the date of the wedding, but please add your RSVP for each area that you plan to participate in so that we can keep an accurate count for each event.
Hospitality Suite - Meet the Brides!
We would like to invite our guests to join us for an fun-filled afternoon/evening in San Diego, prior to heading down to the hotel in Mexico. We will be serving snacks, and a light dinner, for those who are able to join us early for the wedding festivities.
Please join us on Friday, November 16th from 3:00pm to 7:30pm in the Greenfield Village Clubhouse.
Please sign up if you plan to take the shuttle from San Diego down to the Las Rocas Hotel in Mexico. The shuttle will be picking up all guests from the Greenfield Village Clubhouse, in San Diego, on Friday, November 16th and will be leaving PROMPTLYat 8:00pm.
On Sunday, November 18th the shuttle will be leaving the hotel in Mexico to return back to the San Diego Airport PROMPTLYat 10:00am.
Wedding Ceremony & Reception
The ceremony will begin PROMPTLY at 3PM. The brides will request that all cell phones remain on airplane mode/off during the entire ceremony.
No photos will be permitted during the ceremony. We want our guest to remain present, so UNPLUG and enjoy the day with us! We will definitely share our photos with all of our guests.
Also we can assist with arranging childcare (there may be a small fee) for children under 10 during the ceremony. Children over the age of 10 are welcome to attend.
I have been given the double blessing of having two sets of parents, all of whom have been extremely influential in my life. My Mom and Robert have been a constant source of love and encouragement for me to always do my best, and to set my dreams high. I am deeply grateful for all that they have done to raise me to be the person that I am today...and for giving me enough wisdom to keep me out of jail (ask them about the rock throwing incident )!!
My Dad and Carolyn were also a strong source of love and support for me, and they were fantastic role models of how to walk in Christian love towards others, and with each other. Sadly, we lost Carolyn in May of 2015, but she is forever in our hearts. My Dad has been fortunate enough to find love in his life again, and now he is happily remarried, which makes me happy for his joy.
My parents are the best. They have been my super heroes since the day I was born! They have been happily married for over 43-years, and I have learned so much from their marital journey. As a kid, they were extremely strict, but encouraging and supportive. They allowed me to have a voice, and, boy, did I make sure I was heard, lol. They were always there, whether it was to put me in my place, or to be a shoulder to cry on.
I know I’m biased, but I truly believe I have the greatest parents in the world!
My brother Cannon is someone who has always been one of my biggest protectors, cheerleaders, and reality-checkers!! He is the best big brother a person could ever hope for and I am extremely proud of all that he has been able to accomplish for himself and his family. Amy is one of the sweetest, and most kindhearted, persons I have ever met AND she has enough spunk to be able to go toe-to-toe with Cannon to keep him in line if/when needed! How could you NOT love that about her! :-) Together they are an amazing duo, who produced 2 of the 6 softest pieces of my heart (Cannon II and Ivory), and I love them dearly!
My sister Kara is incredibly funny, outgoing, and an AMAZING cook! Even in the most difficult of times, she can bring out a smile, and make you laugh when you thought you could cry, or she can just feed you until you're ready to pop as an expression of her love. I am so excited to watch her continue to climb to higher and higher heights in her life, and in her career, and I feel blessed to have her as my sister. Stefanie is someone who exudes a quiet strength, and a gentle spirit, about her that is a wonderful balance to the fast pace that Kara usually tends to keep. They compliment each other's personalities, in the best of ways, and they are wonderful parents to 4 of the 6 softest pieces of my heart (Adia, Imani, Stefan and Wantan Jr.). My life has been so much more blessed to have all of you in it!
My big brother Adrian is a great guy who is laid back, friendly, and extremely funny! We both have a love of traveling, and exploring the world, and all its wonders. He, along with my late brother, Oscar, have both made me one lucky Auntie. I have over 8 nieces and nephews...and counting! Adrian, now a retired veteran, has served our country proudly for the past 20 years in the Navy. He currently resides in Spain with his wife Carmen and his two youngest children.
I am so proud of how far he has come, and look forward to spending some family time together on future trips to Spain!
One of the main things that brought us together was our love, and desire, to travel. It would often come up during our nightly marathon discussions about where we would most like to go, how long we wanted to stay, the best way to get there (i.e. by cruise, train, cross country drive), etc…
So it was no surprise that we planned to take our first international trip together after we had been living together for a little over a year. Destination?? Rome, Italy!
Latrice had already been to Italy before, but she had not been able to spend much time in Rome, so it would be the first time she would be able to really explore the city. I had not been to Italy at all yet, so it would be my first time for anything there.
We were both excited about sharing our first trip together, as a couple, outside of the country. At that point in our relationship, we had talked many times about getting married (and Latrice had already given me, SEVERAL times , a full “low-down” on what she wanted for the ceremony AND honeymoon), but she was leaving it up to me to be the one to formally ask, since I was the one who moved to live in Rosarito/San Diego, and she wanted to give me the time to fully get my feet under me in my new home.
In my mind, Rome was the perfect place to make everything official. We had already planned to spend a full day, just in Rome, to visit Trevi Fountain and the Vatican, so I was actually able to pre-arrange having a photographer take photos of us on the day that I asked the big question.
After breakfast, we made our way over to the fountain and, after people watching, and admiring at the beautiful display for a while, I turned to Latrice and asked her to sit down on the fountain edge….of course, she REFUSED to sit, because she didn’t want to get her pants all wet , and to top it off, because of my bad knees, I couldn’t bend down properly without risk of falling over on the ground (lol!), so, instead, I just pulled out the ring I purchased for her (YES, with both of us still fully standing!) and asked her to marry me. Needless to say, she then fully understood why I was trying to get her to sit (even though she still wouldn’t do it), and now, here we are, on our way to the alter!!
After several attempts (and FAILS) to find “the ONE,” on various dating sites, I had decided that I was just going to be content, and satisfied, in my permanent singleness. However, before my stubbornness would allow me to completely throw in the towel on finding love, I created one more profile, on a site I that I had never been on before (OK Cupid), and searched through the ads to see if I could find anyone of interest. That’s when I saw Latrice’s profile. I saw her pictures, and liked what I saw…Check! I read through her interests, which said she loved to travel, liked to cook, and was looking for someone who was serious about being in a committed relationship…Check, Check, Check!! So, I sent her a message, to see if she would like to get to know each other. She responded, hesitantly, to let me know that, while she liked my profile, “was I aware that she was located in San Diego, since I was living in Chicago?!” After a couple of email exchanges, she DARED me to call her (to make sure that I wasn’t trying to “catfish” her), and we ended up having an 8 hour conversation until 4AM the next morning! We’ve been having marathon-length conversations ever since, and I love every bit of it!
Right after the new year began, a good friend of mind (who will remain nameless…for now), encouraged my “way too busy behind” to give online dating another chance. I had recently moved back to San Diego, wasn’t dating seriously or getting out there much, and even though I can be extremely social and outgoing, I allowed myself to be consumed with work and consulting. So, I decided to create an online profile right at the start of the new year, and reminded myself to have fun with it all (cuz it definitely SUCKS big time!!!), and maybe I’ll luck out.
…After catching an episode of Catfish, I received a brief but sweet response to my profile from Gwen. I thoroughly checked out her profile, and everything appeared to be legit and aligned with what I wanted in a mate. In fact, I LOVED everything that she listed about herself in her profile. But there was 1 red flag…She lived in Chicago. I was like “Oh, nooooo. I’m going to be catfished!!!” So I sent her a nice, but catty response in hopes of turning her off if she wasn’t legit. I mentioned how I was NOT interested in a “penpal”…and did she notice that “I reside in San Diego…??” Her response back was extremely sweet, direct and on target! So I dared her to call me that night. And she did. And we talked to about 4am the next morning.
We talked everyday, 2-3 times a day on average, since that very first phone call. I never was bored, and we always found something to talk about.
Until we were able to visit each other, we arranged our weekly “date night” on Skype. We planned each date with careful thought. It was fun, exhausting and an amazing way to approach dating long distance.
This is how our story began….
Latrice was born in Houston, Texas and lived there until the age of 10 when she moved with her family to sunny San Diego, California. She is the middle of three children, and the only girl, but she feels like she should have been the oldest because she likes being in charge so much. :-) :-)
Growing up, Latrice was extremely out-going. She was active in school, participating in theater, dance and, later on, with her high school Varsity Speech & Debate team, became the very first student to compete nationally in her Senior year. In addition to these activities, she was highly involved in her church community as a Youth Leader. She was always deeply spiritual, and had an interest in religious history, and how that history impacts modern day society.
After high school, Latrice headed to Los Angeles to attend Mount Saint Mary’s University to study Theology, with a minor in Women’s Studies. After graduation, Latrice decided to postpone graduate school and, instead, pursued a career in Social Work. In this field, Latrice has held several positions with organizations serving a variety of communities, including the areas of interfaith coalition-building, African-American LGBT advocacy, and developing and securing permanent housing for Veterans and victims of domestic violence.
After living in L.A. for 17 years, Latrice was looking for a change (and, YES, she was also sick of dealing with all of the traffic!), so she made the move to return back to San Diego where she now works as an Employment Specialist to help her clients get back on track with their careers.
In her spare time, Latrice, enjoys looking at (and dragging other people to) model homes, kayaking, biking at the beach, shopping for bargains, and taking afternoon naps :-) Her absolute ALL-TIME favorite activity is traveling internationally, and, so far, she has been to 15 countries, and counting. She TOLERATES (barely!) going with me to various local tourist attractions (i.e. the zoo), watching superhero movies, and attending baseball games….now THAT’S love if ever I saw it, felt it or knew it!! I’m one lucky lady to have found someone so special!
Gwen was born in Springfield, IL to Patricia Mathis and Alvin Lambert, but grew up in the suburbs of Chicago along with her big brother, Cannon. Later on in life, in her early adult years, the close-knit sibling duo, warmly welcomed another sister, Kara. Gwen was blessed with 4 parents, which included her step-father, Robert Mathis, and the late Carolyn Lambert.
Gwen was terribly shy as child, (and still is as an adult, lol) but, like most kids, she loved riding her bike, roller skating, swimming and reading LOTS of books. It was her love for books that helped her to do so well in school.
During her high school years, Gwen would probably be considered a “nerdy athlete.” She was an honor student that played softball, basketball and ran track for a year. She was also a member of the Spanish and Pep Clubs. She knew early on that she wanted to be an accountant, based on a class she took in her Junior year in High School.
After graduation, she attended Hampton University, in Virginia, where her commitment to academic excellence led her to be at the top of her class as Valedictorian. Gwen went on to receive her MBA with a concentration in Finance and Marketing, from Roosevelt University in Illinois, also graduating with honors.
Yep, my honeybun is a smart cookie!!
Gwen has been a CPA for over 20 years, and currently works as a Senior Financial Analyst at FTD, Inc.
Gwen enjoys bowling, museums, visiting the zoo, trying out new restaurants and traveling (…with me of course, lol). She also enjoys watching sports, and she LOVES superhero movies.
Gwen’s strong faith in God, her love in community and family is why I’m sold on being her wife for a lifetime!
Hello Family & Friends!
Welcome to our Wedding wedsite! We created this space as a special way for friends and family to participate and celebrate with us - anytime, from anywhere.
We hope you enjoy browsing these pages for photos and stories about us and our future plans.
And while you are here, please make sure that you fill out your RSVP's and leave us a LUV NOTE in our guestbook!