With Mother Nature making it clear to us New Englanders that it’s time to bundle up, I’m desperately dreaming of sunshine and warmth. This colorful spring wedding at Puerto Rico’s Hacienda Siesta Alegre provides the perfect mental escape and with Amanda K‘s gorgeous photos, I’ll be soaking up this sunny celebration for the foreseeable future.
As I only had six months to plan the wedding, the dress was one of the first things I tried to find. After trying on different dresses, I decided to order a custom dress online. Unfortunately, the dress did not come in as it was described. So with only three months to spare, it was truly crunch time. I knew I could no longer order a dress from a shop, so I went to oncewed.com and found the exact dress I had fallen in love with for a fraction of the price. And bonus, the owner was local and my exact same size! She was so sweet, and we have even kept in touch. As she said perfectly, “the dress has had a very special existence.”
Our vision was romantic and soft with a touch of simplicity & elegance, but we still wanted it to feel relaxed. With it taking place in Puerto Rico, we also wanted to make sure we didn’t lose the feel of the culture. We go to lots of weddings, so we decided to do away with all traditions that are just that, traditions. We kept it simple and did not have a bridal party other than the flower girls. We had a first look, didn’t smash cake in each others faces, kept our first dance at 30 seconds, and did away with Daniel going up my dress to take off my garter, along with other traditions. We’ve always wanted a destination wedding, and since my family is from Puerto Rico, that was our first pick. As soon as I laid my eyes on the Hacienda, it was love at first sight. It was everything I wanted to evoke on our day. The scenery was perfect; the cozy bed and breakfast had an old Spanish feel, and it was located in the mountains in the rainforest. Also, having a venue that could host both the ceremony and reception was important to us as many of our family members were traveling from abroad.
My head piece, party favors, wedding invitations, and linens were all handmade by my grandma, with a little help from us. She is crafty by nature, so she was thrilled to help in every avenue possible. The invitations were a daunting task, and the wedding would have never been the same without her. My favorite detail was by far my jewelry. Daniel bought me the jewelry while in Iraq in 2009, and I have been saving it for this day since. I’ve been telling him it’s too pretty to wear with just anything, so it was a surprise when he finally saw me wear it on our wedding day. It was special and unique to us.
My most memorable moment was our first look. There are very few moments throughout the day that you get to spend alone with your groom, and those are the moments I treasure most. We exchanged heartfelt notes, and he bought me a bouquet of flowers. We soaked in the last few hours before saying “I do,” and I’m glad our photographer, Amanda, was there to capture that. In keeping the Hispanic culture alive, we had a live band (a Batucada) during the reception unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. They played traditional music with drums and trumpets and got the guests involved by teaching them typical dances. It was the highlight to our evening. We also incorporated traditional food, and piraguas (traditional shaved ice desert) were served by a piragüero, in a small colorful pushcart.
Photography: Amanda K Photography | Wedding Planner: Bride's Grandma Dagmar Merritt | Florist: M&M Flower Market & Deco | Wedding Gown: Claire Pettibone | Invitations: Bride's Grandma Dagmar Merritt | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Venue: Hacienda Siesta Alegre | Groom's Apparel (tie And Shoes): ASOS | Leather Suspenders: Groom's Friend Jeremy Thompson