As we said yesterday, when our brides share a bit about who they are, how they came about choosing their wedding venue and other planning details of the day ... well, it just makes it SO much more personal! Today's featured LBB photographers, Hurwitz Photography asked Nicole and Ryan to fill us in on their amazing day ...
Eeeek! Where do I begin?
How we met? Ryan and I met the during my first few weeks of law school, down in Tucson. He was the upper-classman, and he used to flirt with me by offering study aids and tips. Everyone was on to him when they saw us whispering in the library during Finals. I have to admit, it was pretty cute.
Why Vieques? I am Puerto Rican, and it has always been a huge part of who I am. I am so proud of my cultural heritage, and the fact that Ryan appreciates that part of me is so amazing. About 4 months before he proposed to me, we took our first trip to the Puerto Rico together. I go back every year, but we had never taken a trip out there together. He wanted to meet my whole family, and see the beautiful island that had a hold of my heart even all the way out in Arizona. We went during the holiday season, and there was nothing cuter (or funnier) than watching a room full of my crazy, loud Puerto Rican family dancing and singing and trying to talk to Ryan. He speaks very, very little Spanish.
While we were there, I decided to take him to a special little island- the island of Vieques, a few miles off the coast of Puerto Rico. I had visited a few times as a child, but due to the Navy occupation of Vieques- it wasn't that fun of a place to vacation. But, in 2003 the island was freed of Navy occupation, and now there was the whole undiscovered, and unspoiled tropical island for us to enjoy!
Well, Ryan and I fell in love with it. It is truly Paradise Lost. One afternoon, while sitting on the beach (which we had all to ourselves), we decided that we wanted to share the happiness and beauty that we felt with our family and friends. We knew we would get married on Vieques. It was the perfect combination- a place that we discovered together, and yet still a place connected to Puerto Rico.
Shortly after we visited, the island was written up in Travel and Leisure, NY Times, and several other publications for it's stunning beauty- and hailed as one of the last untouched islands that was within reach.
Planning a wedding on a 20 mile by 7 mile small island was not without its challenges. There was one hair dresser on the island. There are no real grocery stores, and there are only 2 gas stations. When rental cars sell out- your guests are out of luck. And speaking of transportation, all of our guests would have to first fly to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and then either take a 2 hour long ferry boat ride, or a small 8-person prop jet to the island. But, we were so lucky...50 guests made the journey out to celebrate our marriage with us. We celebrated by hosting a whole week of wedding festivities with everyone.
We were lucky ~ yes, I had all of these beautiful images and visions in my head about what kind of wedding I wanted, but really, how could we go wrong with the stunning backdrops the island had to offer? We had help planning with a woman living on the island, and so despite the major limitations and few resources on the island, we were able to bring all of my SMP inspirations to Vieques! You should have seen my luggage- I swear half of what was in there were prints and pictures of inspiration! I hadn't met any of these "vendors" before, and had to wait until I got there to show them what I had in mind. But, I have to say that I was so impressed- my cake especially turned out so beautifully!
One of my husband's major requirements for our wedding was that he be allowed to wear sandals! So, a beach wedding was in order. The day before our wedding, my husband and I took some time by ourselves, and drove out to the beach. We kept walking along the sand, until we found a spot that felt right. It was so special to select that little spot of sand that we were going to stand at and become husband and wife. It was one of my favorite memories.
We rented out an absolutely amazing private villa overlooking the ocean for our wedding reception. We have never even been close to anything of this magnitude before. The backyard lent itself well to a tented, outdoor reception, complete with our DIY lanterns and lots and lots of twinkling white lights. We had tiki torches light the pathway for our guests, as there was no real other lighting as the sun set. It was so amazing to dance with my new husband and my father surrounded by all of the people I love one one side, and the Atlantic ocean on another.
I was so determined to have a tent filled with white paper lanterns at my wedding. Little did we know what a project that was going to be! I spent the morning and day of our wedding getting pampered, and getting ready. My poor husband, and his poor groomsmen spent the WHOLE day under the sweltering June Caribbean sun hanging a million paper lanterns with fishing wire to our tent! My new husband was up against the clock and he told me later that he only had about 20 minutes to get ready for the wedding! Had I known it would be that miserable, I wouldn't have let them do it! But, it was so beautiful, and made me really happy to see.
Our wedding was so amazing, and of course we will remember and treasure it forever. But, I think we most enjoyed being able to share "our" island with everyone, and creating those lasting memories with each person there. I think our wedding in Puerto Rico really made Ryan feel so a part of my culture. And that makes my heart truly happy.
Oh wow!! Congratulations Nicole and Ryan on a spectacular celebration! And thank you, thank you, thank you to Michelle & Harrison Hurwitz for capturing ~ and sharing ~ the beauty!
June 20th, 2009 wedding in Vieques Island, Puerto Rico from Hurwitz Photography. Reception & Rehearsal Dinner - Punta Marineau Villa on the new W Resort residential grounds. Wedding Ceremony - Sun Bay. Event Planner - Sandy Malone of Weddings in Vieques