When a wedding is set in a location as gorgeous as the St. Regis Bahia Beach, it rises in ranks pretty quickly. But add in Maria Lugo’s magic touch and a dress this stunning and well, we’re happy wedding campers. Our Labor Of Love captured the whole celebration, from fun first looks to dancing the night away thanks to The Flash Dance – see it all in our VAULT right this way!
|Share this gorgeous gallery on |
From the Bride… Even though this was technically a destination wedding planned from NY, marrying each other in Puerto Rico really felt like home. Both John-Michael’s mother and father call Puerto Rico home, so it’s always had a special place in his heart and had real significance to his family. Ironically, my family had vacationed in Puerto Rico for several years, even before we had met. We spent New Years 2012 in San Juan, and joked that when we get married one day, we would bring all of our family and closest friends back to our favorite place. Once we got engaged in August 2014, it was a no brainer choosing where our wedding would take place, so we flew out to San Juan and toured a few venue options. When we drove into the gates of the St. Regis Bahia Beach in Rio Grande, we knew we would be so lucky to be married there. We hired Maria Lugo, an incredible wedding planner based in San Juan, and she helped bring our entire weekend vision to life.
We brought in the incredibly talented Yeah! Weddings from LA for our photographer, videographer and DJ. We knew they would capture our day perfectly and we wouldn’t settle for anyone else. We worked closely with Arquetipo for flowers and decor – they completely blew our mind and brought our garden-inspired, rustic-elegant vision to life. When we first saw the table presentation about a month before the wedding, it actually made me cry! Throughout planning the wedding, we really focused on the details – from the steel band and cigar roller at our Friday Night Welcome Dinner, to the incredibly fun Rumelier, authentic Puerto Rican cuisine, personalized sunglasses, and cocktail napkins featuring our English Bulldog Norman, we really wanted to make the wedding feel intimate and put our “stamp” on it. We had hand painted menus, laser-cut gold calligraphed names for every guest which we set on their place setting, and even found a late-night grilled cheese truck which served hot grilled cheeses inside brown paper lunch bags with a sticker caricature of our faces on the front. The 16-piece band (locally-based Cuenta Regresiva) was absolutely incredible and kept everyone dancing all night (they were the band that actually played on New Years 2012 when we first promised each other we would return to PR to get married!). It felt like Spring Break all over again with our best friends; it was wild! Everyone was in vacation-mode; our childhood friends from near and far were swimming and eating and dancing and drinking with our aunts and uncles and grandparents and college friends – we just felt so much love all day, every day of the entire weekend. Our favorite part of the weekend was just that – the fact that we had an entire weekend to celebrate with our family and best friends, each day was better than the one prior. I think we both kept waiting for it to pour or for there to be some minor disaster, but the weekend was flawless from start to finish. We felt calm, excited, not one bit of anxiety and kept thinking to ourselves… “We’re just SO lucky.” It really was a dream and we wouldn’t have changed a thing.
Photography: Our Labor Of Love | Cinematography: Shark Pig | Event Planning: Maria Lugo | Floral Design: Arquetipo | DJ: The FlashDance | Venue: St. Regis Bahia Beach
I’m kind of a super fan of Abby Jiu. It never fails. the second she steps foot behind a camera magic ensues. Timelessly beautiful yet fresh all at the same time, her images tell the stunning story of this couples’ gorgeous destination wedding. Complete with an envy-worthy Oscar De La Renta gown, a first look in a pineapple field and too many perfect details to count, this gallery should not be missed.
|Share this gorgeous gallery on |
From The Bride…How did you decide on Puerto Rico? We visited Puerto Rico together for a close friend’s wedding in 2013 and fell in love with the island. We really enjoyed exploring San Juan and the beaches, and found everyone we met to be incredibly warm and friendly. Our guests were also traveling from all corners of the country (and world!) so we wanted to find a location that would be an easy trip and a fun little getaway for everyone.
How did you decide on the Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton Reserve? As soon as we stepped on to the property we absolutely fell in love with the venue. It felt secluded and private and had such a romantic vibe – we loved the drama of seeing the waves crashing on rocks from virtually every angle. The property is also a nature preserve, so the lush vegetation also made the otherwise modern resort feel rustic. As history nerds, we also loved that the property has such a rich history. It was bought my Laurence Rockefeller who preserved its lushness and enhanced the property. He opened it up to celebrities such as John F Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor and Amelia Earhart.
What was the inspiration for your wedding decor? I was mostly inspired by the venue itself. The architecture is completely harmonious with its natural surroundings – the ocean, the beach and the plant life. I wanted the decor to feel similarly integrated and organic. Arquetipo helped us with our decor and blew us away, using lots of white orchids, willow vine and green dianthus, which almost looks like a sea creature itself! The lanterns and mercury glass helped to give everything a shimmery glow.
What is your favorite memory from the wedding day. My favorite moment from our wedding day (other than marrying Matt) was looking around the room at our reception and seeing the faces of so many people I love (who also happen to be fantastic dancers!). It was so special to have so many of our family and friends in one room having a blast together.
Photography: Abby Jiu | Event Planning: Chezelle Dezines | Floral Design: Arquetipo Inc | Invitations: Dauphine Press | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Dessy | Make Up: Ingrid Rivera | Groom's Attire: J. Crew | Ceremony Music: Violons Frenesi | Hotel: Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton Reserve | Bridal Gown: Oscar De La Renta | Reception Music: DJ Rock Hand | Veil: Oscar De La Renta
When a weddings as gorgeous as this one from Lindsay Madden lands in our lap, I kind of want to cry with happiness. Because it’s not everyday we get to bask in this kind of beauty. Planned to perfection by Rosalina Torres with gorgeous florals from Blanco By Mara and stunning stationery from Julie Song Ink (I’m pinning every piece the moment this goes live), this gallery is pure bliss.
|Share this gorgeous gallery on |
From Lindsay Madden Photography
…Oh how I love shooting weddings in the Caribbean! I’m a beach girl at heart and love nothing more than soft sand and clear blue water. So when Adlin reached out to me about photographing her destination wedding in Puerto Rico, I was beyond excited. Adlin and Matt were married on a lovely October day on top of a cliff which provided the most breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea and Palomino Island. Adlin and Matt envisioned their wedding day to be intimate, unique and centered around their family and friends. Adlin knew exactly what she wanted design wise and she teamed up with Rosalina Torres to bring her vision to life. Adlin and Matt chose the colors blush and gold for almost everything. This pastel pallet complimented the light blue and green hues of the Caribbean Sea. Adlin asked her three sisters to be her bridesmaids and they all looked gorgeous in their blush pink Twobirds bridesmaids dresses. Their look was pulled together with a simple bouquet of white roses created by Blanco by Mara. Adlin’s lace Monique Lhullier wedding dress was perfection and I loved her Twigs & Honey headpiece. Adlin and Matt’s cocktail hour and reception were held outside and guests enjoyed a lovely seated dinner first and then danced the night away. I had a wonderful time capturing Adlin and Matt’s destination wedding in Puerto Rico and I hope to return soon!
Photography: Lindsay Madden Photography | Planner: Rosalina Torres | Flowers: Blanco By Mara | Cake: C+M Cakes | Stationery: Julie Song Ink | Wedding Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Twobirds Bridesmaid | Ceremony And Reception: El Conquistador, Puerto Rico | Clutch: Kate Spade | Headpiece: Twigs And Honey | Signage: Shannon Kristen | Video: Hoo Films | Wedding Dress And Belt: Monique Lhuillier