A Haute Love Story: Mark Sanchez & Perry Mattfeld Share The Details Of Their Dream Wedding Day

Mark Sanchez and Perry MattfeldPhoto Credit: Diego Padilla Weddings

When former professional football player/Campante mezcal investor Mark Sanchez and In the Dark/Shameless actress Perry Mattfeld officially celebrated their love by tying the knot over Memorial Day weekend in Oaxaca, Mexico, it was the stuff their dreams were made of. With a welcome dinner at Criollo by Chef Luis Arellano, a rehearsal dinner Saturday evening at Hotel Azul de Oaxaca, the wedding ceremony and cocktail hour at Quinta Real — a historic 16th century colonial monastery, with high ceilings and ornate stone architecture — and a reception at Casa dos Lagos,  a private estate, gardens, and butterfly sanctuary — these two lovebirds went over-the-top in the best way possible with a slew of wedding guests inclusive of Nick Mangold, G.J. Kinne, Emmanuel Acho, Brandon Staley, Kevin O’Connell, John Francis Daley, Corinne Kingsbury, and Shane Paul McGhie. Post-ceremony, Mr. and Mrs. Sanchez sat down with Haute Living to talk about how their love came to be — and where they’re going next.

Mark Sanchez and Perry MattfeldPhoto Credit: Diego Padilla Weddings

Congrats on the wedding! Can you tell us about your engagement? Were you surprised?

Perry: Thank you! We got engaged in 2022 at Belmond Cap Juluca on the beautiful island of Anguilla. We were united after 4 months apart (I had been filming In the Dark in Toronto), and he popped the question on our first night at sunset overlooking the water. I was shocked! He thought of every detail – an intimate dinner menu, private concert, my favorite wine, and even had my parents appear out of nowhere. Both of my parent’s glasses were completely fogged from crying. The night ended with a firework show. He really outdid himself!

How did you and Mark meet?

Perry: Our mutual friend Scotty McKnight introduced us in 2017. Our first date was at Au Cheval in Chicago. At the time, Mark was playing for the Chicago Bears, and I was in Chicago filming Shameless. We hit it off right away, learning we had so much more in common than we could have imagined. We both went to University of Southern California, are both Hispanic, both grew up in Long Beach, born at the same hospital – the list goes on! I was so giddy around him, and we laughed throughout the entire night. Scotty ended up officiating our wedding!

How was wedding planning? Can you share any advice for future brides?

Planning a three day destination wedding with 220 people is no joke! I definitely had a vision for the weekend and was so inspired by Oaxaca, but executing was tougher than I thought! While I feel so proud of all of the thought & planning I put into every detail, I definitely recommend asking for help. My girlfriends and family were very willing to help, and sometimes I wish I leaned on them even more. As we got closer to the date, I started outsourcing things to certain bridesmaids. For example, one of my besties was in charge of styling everyone, one was in charge of the guestbook & accessories for that, one was in charge of the guest goodie bags, etc. That was a huge help!

Mark Sanchez and Perry MattfeldPhoto Credit: Diego Padilla Weddings

Take us through your special day.

Perry: We got married on May 28, 2023 in Oaxaca, Mexico. Celebrated with an entire wedding weekend of activities including a welcome party and rehearsal dinner at some amazingly beautiful (and delicious!) local venues in Oaxaca. For our big day, we had our ceremony at Quinta Real, which is one of the most stunning places I’ve ever seen. It’s a historic monastery that has been reimagined into a gorgeous hotel and event space. It was decorated with an arch of cascading flowers in peachy hues, large sparkling chandeliers, and candles everywhere. Scotty McKnight, our mutual friend who set us up, was our officiant, and we shared our own vows in front of our closest friends and family. My favorite part of the ceremony is when Mark’s 6-year-old son, Daniel, received a standing ovation as he walked down the aisle! He served as our ring bearer before taking his place next to Mark as one of his groomsmen. It was precious.

After we said “I do,” the reception kicked off at Casa dos Lagos, a private estate, vast gardens, and butterfly sanctuary in the heart of Oaxaca City. We had a tented reception filled with thousands of twinkle lights that reflected off of the massive lily pond. Each table setting featured a monogramed jicara, which is a traditional cup for drinking Mezcal, made from the gourd of the native Crescentia tree. We are big foodies, so we made a point to eat the delicious food that was served before making the rounds to greet our guests. After the speeches Mark turned to me, and in mutual agreement we said, “We eat, then we go.” We both cracked up. We served traditional Oaxacan cuisine with a few American twists. After our meal, we danced the night away and had the best time! Our DJ (Eddie Sumlin) It’s true what they say – the night goes so fast! But because of our multiple celebrations over the weekend, we felt like we got to soak it all up.

Can you tell us about what you and your bridal party wore?

Perry: I wore a custom gown by Karen Sabag Couture. Karen’s custom dress she made for me is the only wedding dress I ever tried on! I trusted her completely. I was drawn to a vintage vibe, but wanted to add unique details to make it feel more modern. The bodice of my dress featured intricate lace and beaded detailing that felt very romantic and timeless. The skirt of the dress was more playful – with alternating tiers of fabric that came together beautifully. It was beyond what I ever imagined, and felt so “me.”
The vision for the bridesmaids dresses was a joint effort between designer Karen Sabag and I. I wanted the dresses to tell a story with some unity, but with their own individuality. Karen and I picked 4 different fabrics, and different styles that I thought represented my bridesmaid’s personalities. I wanted each of them to have their own moment! Peach, orange, & pomegranate florals, ruffles, pleats, and lots of other feminine yet sexy details. I wanted my bridesmaids to wear a dress they loved, rather than a traditional “bridesmaid dress” that would sit in their closet. They were lovingly crafted by Hilde Byrne of Made by Miss Hilde, who I’ve known since I was a child and used to make my tutus when I was a ballerina.

What inspired your wedding day look (including hair and makeup)?

Perry: Above all else, I wanted to look like myself. For hair and makeup, I kept things simple and elegant. I went for a soft half up half down hairstyle to secure my cathedral length veil, and keep my hair out of my face. My makeup was soft, romantic and glowy. Hannah Biddle is the queen of natural makeup! I know I’ll be able to look back at my photos in 20 years and not regret a thing!

What did you and your groomsmen wear, Mark?

Mark: I wore a custom 3 piece linen blend suit by Chookehare & Sons. My groomsmen wore custom Chookehare & Sons linen blend suits in a slightly darker shade. My son, dad, & father-in-law also matched. We looked awesome! I loved that we all had the freedom to select different patterns for the lining of our jackets. I chose a colorful skull pattern for the big day, inspired by the Dia de los Muertos idea. For the Welcome Dinner on Friday night, my son and I chose some different exotic animals as the lining pattern for our forest green jacket. They were inspired by our honeymoon destination (East African safari) as well as Daniel’s love for animals!

Mark Sanchez and Perry MattfeldPhoto Credit: Diego Padilla Weddings, @diegopadillaweddings

What was your favorite part of the evening?

Mark: It’s hard to choose just one. I think something that was the most special was writing & reading aloud our own handwritten vows. I thought I’d prepared enough to not get as emotional as I did, but it was such a personal and beautiful moment I’ll never forget. Also, I must add, we selected specific guests to speak at our wedding. They included both of our Fathers and my older brothers (Nick and Brandon) who served as best men, my mother Olga (who prayed before dinner) and one of Perry’s best friends Shane. I wasn’t surprised… but I was so proud to see how well they did. I’m pretty critical of public speakers and I take a lot of pride in speaking publicly myself and I was thoroughly impressed with their messaging and heartfelt words. I feel so lucky to have such an amazing life partner in perry, and to have such great role models in our lives who articulated their thoughts and love during our weekend wedding festivities.

What was your first dance song, and can you share why you chose that song?

Mark: Our first dance was to “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley, performed live by Leslie Powell & Seth Cook. We chose this song because we wanted a classic song that we would hear randomly on the radio, a playlist, at dinner, or on a soundtrack in the theater to remember this special moment when we danced for the first time as a married couple in front of our friends and family. Towards the end of our dance, we were showered by confetti, in the shape of white butterflies.

Any special elements that made the night?

Perry: Our butterfly motif was such a special element to us. It was subtly incorporated throughout the night and really made us feel like our loved ones were with us from the other side. From a butterfly release at our ceremony to the butterfly confetti raining down on us at the end of our first dance, I felt so connected and emotional!

What food did you serve at your wedding?

Mark: Food was one of the most important aspects of our wedding. Oaxacan cuisine was a big reason why we chose to get married there. Oaxaca is/ home to seven different types of mole, and we made sure to incorporate as many as possible. We served a family style dinner of traditional Oaxacan cuisine that also incorporated popular American favorites. One of our favorite dishes of the night was sweet potato wrapped shrimp in a brown mole and handmade tortillas. People say it’s common that the bride and groom don’t eat on their wedding day, but we made a point to eat everything that night. Food is what brings everyone together!

Did you have a cake or another special dessert? Can you tell us about it?

Mark: We served a coconut tres leches cake. My favorite dessert is tres leches cake and Perry’s is anything coconut – so we combined the two!

Did you do a first look? If so, how did that go?

Perry: Yes, we did a first look! I was initially against it, but it ended up being one of the most special moments all weekend. It also gave us plenty of time with our incredible photographer, Diego Padilla. The photos might have been the most important wedding aspect for me. I felt like, “the wedding will fly by, but the pictures will last forever,” and I am so glad we have all of our beautiful photos!

Can you tell us about the decor and florals at your wedding? What was your inspiration?

Perry: I loved our venue since it was a lush garden – there’s so much inspiration to be had! I went with a very earthy and organic feel for flowers, using varied stem lengths, different textures, and incorporated muted peaches, blushes and greens with pops of contrasting color. Everything came together beautifully and felt authentic to the venue. Since our flowers were pretty lively and the star of the show, I kept the table setting simple and modern for a delightful contrast.

Mark Sanchez and Perry MattfeldPhoto Credit: Diego Padilla Weddings, @diegopadillaweddings

Can you tell us a little bit about your after party?

Mark: We had three special cocktails for the reception, “Markarita” (blood orange + Mezcal CAMPANTE margarita) “the perfect pear” (pear vodka + elderflower) “coconuts for Chavo” (Chavo is our dog and this was a twist on a classic tequila margarita with coconut crème) our bartender christian in Oaxaca knocked these drinks out of the park with help from our bartender for our engagement party in the States.

Where are you headed for your honeymoon?

Perry: We are headed to East Africa for safari. We’ll be visiting Nairobi, Kenya, the Serengeti/ grumeti and Zanzibar located in Tanzania, & finally the Seychelles. We’ve been lucky to travel a lot together because of our careers, but never to a destination like this. We are so excited for all of the wildlife on land and in the ocean and taking our first trip as husband and wife!

What’s next?

Perry: My newest film, Mending the Line with Brian Cox and Sinqua Walls is in theaters now! In the Dark consumed the last 4.5 years of my life. They were the best years of my life, but now that the In the Dark chapter has closed, I am excited to find my next passion project. I feel I am only growing more & more into my most capable artistic self.

Are kids in your immediate future?
: I have always loved kids, & have always wanted to be a mom. Mark’s son Daniel is my bonus child! I love our little family, & we look forward to expanding it in the near future. I’ve always admired the boss-woman actresses who manage successful careers & motherhood. That’s my goal.

What to you is the greatest luxury in life?

Mark: I think the greatest luxury in life is when your talent and work ethic collide with your passion. That intersection is a special point and career. Perry and I are fortunate enough to pursue our passion with acting and football respectively. I’m now on to my second career as a broadcaster and I can’t wait to see Perry in her future role as a Mother.

What team shakeups would you like to see for next season?

I don’t know about shake ups but all eyes will be on Aaron Rodgers and the NY Jets. Solid defense and some young studs on offense will be the perfect compliment to one of the best QBs to play the position in AR8! Maybe I can get some value for PSL seats at MetLife stadium with all this buzz!

Mark Sanchez and Perry MattfeldPhoto Credit: Diego Padilla Weddings, @diegopadillaweddings