Core Team

Karina Garden Jimenez


An avid music lover, self-proclaimed cupcake aficionado and beagle enthusiast, you can find Karina comfortably doing everything, which on any given day could include keeping the Modern Latin Brides team in line, scouting out wedding tips and newest trends online, developing web content or maintaining and developing writer relations. Mix in a creative entrepreneurial spirit with just the right balance of Type-A personality, and a strong desire to always keep learning, and you’ve got a gal who knows how to juggle a myriad of projects with absolute ease.

bluGarden Events Website

NY BQE Website

Tonette Williams

Operations Manager

Tonette’s background in account management keeps her and everyone around her on task and happy to be a part of something as special as Modern Latina Brides. Tonette is systematic, practical and results driven, and brings a collaborative spirit, attention to detail, and strong communication skills to the team.

Corina Garden

Online Media Specialist

A recent charming and quirky addition to the team, Corina spends her time keeping a grip on our website, updating web content and dealing with all of the graphics mumble jumble.

Bosley The Beagle & Brandy Jimenez

Unofficial Mascots

Bosley and Brandy are the Modern Latin Brides’ unofficial mascots.

When not playing fetch, enjoying a long walk or chewing on their fave toys, you can find these little bandits by the team’s side offering inspiration on all things wedding pets related.

Contributing Writers

Alan Abrams

Alan Abrams is a New York City based wedding photojournalist specializing in documentary style wedding, portrait, and lifestyle photography. Before making his foray into the world of wedding photography, Alan honed his skill as a photojournalist while serving abroad in the United States Navy. That experience serves as the foundation of his documentary wedding style, a style which is based on capturing the true emotions of the wedding day.

Alan’s work has been been featured in the New York Newsday’s Wedding Planner, the New York Daily News’ “Down the Aisle” column, WellWed Magazine, and Equine Journal Magazine, as well as several wedding blogs, including Fabulously Wed, WellWed New York, WellWed Hamptons, Merci New York, Lela New York, Moment Junkie, Munaluchi Bridal, and Equally Wed Magazine.




Asha Smith

Asha mastered her understanding of lights, shadows, textures, and shapes as an art student in Michigan. After moving to New York, she became a professional makeup artist, incorporating her love for art, film, and fashion. Asha's ability to enhance the natural beauty of the face has led to a variety of editorial, beauty, fashion, and production assignments.



Ben Bonaventura

I have always considered myself fortunate that I found my true passions early in life. I am 18 years into my own journey in gyms, 15 as a wrestling coach and personal trainer. I am still learning and working towards maximizing how I can use my experience and efforts to help others in the areas of fitness, wellness, health and nutrition.

Hard work, repetition and competition empowered me.

Brandon Michael Lee

Brandon Michael Lee is a Toronto-based, award-winning event designer, writer, and filmmaker.When it comes to the wedding industry, his style falls outside the box in the creation of glamorous, unique, and one-of-a-kind events, doing away with the generic and mundane.

While working on his own projects, Brandon is also a contributor to a few lifestyle and fashion magazines and the Editor-in-Chief to Canada’s first gay magazine.



About Me Profile

Catherine Lajara

Catherine Lajara is the Founder and CEO of Novel Research of New York, a clinical research center in the Bronx. She has worked as a clinician and patient advocate for over 10 years, and a clinical research coordinator for over 8 years. Her mission is to help eliminate health disparities by implementing community-based initiates to provide education on prevention, early detection, and treatment.

Cat is also a contributing author for New Latina.net and health editor at SofritoForYourSoul.com.


Chelo Keys

Born and raised in NYC, Chelo Keys is a Wedding and Editorial Photographer, Artist, and Writer. Her work often explores cultural identity, issues on race, and her life as a Dominican-American. Sadly, this has done nothing to curb her Pinterest addiction.



Elizabeth Santiago

Elizabeth Santiago is the founder & CEO of CeleBritAy New York, and award-winning skincare company specializing in organic, sustainable products. Elizabeth is a cosmetic chemist with extensive knowledge in medicinal natural skincare. With degrees in Chemistry, Biology and Herbology—she is passionate about educating her clients on how proper nutrition can help them improve their health and skin.


Elsa Arauz

Elsa Arauz is the Founder & CEO of KARIF, a beauty discovery service created especially for the modern-day woman of color. Each month subscribers unveil a new set of beauty products, personalized to their liking including an array of cosmetics, hair care and skin care brands designed to enhance each woman’s natural beauty.

She prides herself on facilitating the discovery of a different dimension of natural beauty and promoting a sisterhood of women coming together to discuss the beauty and health topics that are most important to them.




Evelyn Marks

Evelyn Marks is the owner of freelance beauty company Glam Box, which strives to make women feel beautiful and empowered. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in journalism, she attended the New York International Beauty School, where she earned her cosmetology license.
In addition to specializing in makeup for brides and special occasions, Evelyn is also a licensed event and wedding planner.


Fausto “Tino” Sicha

Tino is Queens-based fun and energetic bilingual wedding photographer who will go out of his way to get the "the shot," even if it means getting down and dirty. His passion is to capture the sheer essence of the moment, the perfect little details and love surrounding you on your special day.



Jashim Jalal

Jashim Jalal is a gifted wedding photographer whose goal is to capture the essence of who his clients are with an artistic interpretation that when viewed as a whole, shares a very unique wedding story and are a true reflection of their personalities.

To Jashim, photography is a way to connect people to their emotions and let them relive those moments.




Karlista Peralta

Karlista Peralta is an energetic Dominican-American woman who enjoys living with her husband and daughter in New York City.  She graduated with her Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Columbia University and worked in New York City Hospitals with survivors of trauma and the homeless.

Karlista believes in setting goals and reaching them while maintaining a balanced life and hopes to transmit these ideas to her readers.

Laurie Towers

Laurie Towers, CEO of Physical Advantage and Bridal Body Shop, is noted in professional sports and performing arts as the tour de force in rehabilitative massage.

She created the Bridal Body Shop to bring the philosophy of health and exercise to women preparing for their wedding day; the concept of empowerment as well as fitness as a lifestyle event are core goals. This service is also fitted for those who are post-divorce, embarking on a new phase of their lives and seeking grounding through exercise.

Laurie is also a contributing writer for various health publications and serves as the co-host of weekly Blog Talk Radio show “The Bridal Body Shop Show.”

Physical Knead Website

The Bridal Body Shop Website

Blog Talk Radio Website


Michelle Peralta

Michelle Peralta is the co-owner of Josie Michelle Events, an event planning and design company servicing New York and New Jersey founded in 2011. She has 15 years of experience planning corporate events for New York City law firms, and 6 years experience planning and designing social events.
Michelle holds a BA in English Literature from St. Johns University, and is a member of the Association of Bridal Consultants. She’s been featured on Urban Latino Radio, Opcion New York, the Long Island Business News, and various event blogs.


Patricia Ortiz

Patricia Ortiz believes one needs to dream, create, achieve, inspire, give, be grateful and repeat. Your life is your message to the world. Make sure you add sazon and make your journey a memorable ride!

She is a sales/management professional with a degree in direct marketing and 13 years of progressive experience in the luxury/beauty industry. Because she believes in giving back to the community and those in need, she co-founded a non-profit organization with her best friend called 100 Gifts 100 Smiles. Patti also volunteers as a program facilitator for Look Good Feel Better, which is a program dedicated to helping improve the self-esteem and quality of life of women undergoing cancer treatment.

Patti likes to challenge herself mentally and physically. She has become a passionate runner and will be running TCS-New York City Marathon 2015. She maintains a positive outlook on life and believes despite the circumstances, you can live passionately and intentionally, making each day count.

Rachel Breton

Rachel Breton currently serves as the President and CEO of The Noteworthy Group, her own public relations and marketing firm based in Long Island. Her clients include local government agencies, non-profit organizations, and small business owners in industries ranging from financial services, real-estate, community development, fashion, beauty, and entertainment.

In 2011, Rachel was named one of Long Island’s Top 40 Under 40 Business Leaders by Long Island Business News.

Mane Majesty Website

The Noteworthy Group Website

Shaina Eve Cintron

Shaina discovered her passion for makeup artistry at the age of 17. As a professional makeup artist, she has worked shows for designers like Malandrino, Christian Seriano, Doo.Ri, and Rebecca Taylor.

Shaina works as a freelance makeup artist in New York City. She has hosted private classes for Make Up Forever NYC, as well as worked on television shows for MTV/MTV2 including Girl Code, Guy Code, Guy Court, and Off the Bat.


Taima Ramsey

Taima is an attorney by day and fashion blogger by night. Born and raised in New York City, she always had a passion for fashion. Through experience, creativity, and a little bit of penny pinching, she figured out a way to travel the world in style without breaking the bank.

You can see Taima’s travel updates on her website.


Tricia Singh

Losing 100 pounds in 6 and 1/2 months was when Tricia Singh’s health, fitness, and wellness journey began. Tricia went from 230 pounds to 120, while getting rid of her size 20 dresses in favor of size 4s. Her story and efforts have been featured on Dr. Oz, NBC’s Today Show, Fitness Magazine, Oxygen Magazine, and in Essence Magazine.

Tricia is the executive director of We Run, a charitable 5K run/walk in New York City. She has worked for WABC Eyewitness News Sports, TruTV, ESPN Radio, ABC Radio, Hot 97, and WBLS.

Visit her blog at triciasingh.com, which focuses on fitness, health, wellness and running.


Yumilka Ortiz

Yumilka Pamela Ortiz is a wine specialist and has collaborated with Wine and Spirits Magazine and Snooth.com, as well as international online publications in the Dominican Republic. She proudly holds two accredited certificates from Wine and Spirit Education Trust, one of the most reputable institutions to prepare wine professionals.

After studying abroad for a semester at the University of Seville in Spain - her experience propelled her to travel and backpack in Portugal, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, France and Spain for over nine years.

Her dream is to become a winemaker, producing wines in different regions across the globe.