I imagine that choosing the location must be one of the hardest parts of having a destination wedding. For this vivacious couple, it certainly helped that many of their family members, and their childhood memories, were in Puerto Rico. Getting their dream destination out of the way allowed them to just focus on how much fun they were going to have. And did they ever! It is quite obvious from these incredible images by STAK Photographer Duo that these two know how and love to party. I adore a couple that doesn’t take themselves to seriously and can get down and have a good time. There is even more from this beach bash in the full gallery!
From the Bride… As soon as Juan and I were engaged I knew we had to get married on the beach. Our first date had been a beach picnic with friends, our first kiss had been on the beach, we’re both from Puerto Rico and Juan had grown up going to the beach every weekend with his friends. I sensed a theme…
It’s funny to say we had a “destination wedding” when we are from the destination and 90% of your guests actually live there. I have to say it was a huge help to have friends and family already in Puerto Rico, they helped us scout out venues, sample menus and prepare favors. In the end it was mostly a destination wedding for us, our out-of-town family and friends which included our photographers which we had met at a friend’s wedding in NJ.
We decided on Dorado Beach Resort’s West Beach Bohio for our wedding venue because it incorporated all the things we hoped for; a beautiful secluded beach and an open dining area that was just the right combination of casual, romantic and elegant.The Bohio is a large driftwood color structure with exposed posts and beams, it is covered with a corrugated zinc roof reminiscent of rustic country houses in Puerto Rico and has palm trees that come through the floorboards. Perfect!
The color scheme was taken directly from the wedding site using sand, light gray and shell colors to continue the beach theme and adding white as a crisp accent to set it all off. My bouquet was a large bunch of light blush colored peonies tied with an ivory ribbon, the tables had white hydrangeas, the groom and bridesmaids had white minicalla lilies and the dads and groomsmen had white mini orchid boutonnieres. My dress was a multi layered ivory silk organza gown with raw cut edges, I felt it was unstructured and beachy in a very elegant way and I love the way the delicate layers echo the patterns waves leave on the sand. The bridesmaids wore strapless silk dresses in a soft pearly gray color and blush colored fabric flowers in their hair; the flower girls and ring bearer wore sleeveless silk crepe dresses in a soft ivory/blush color, I made ribbon sashes in light gray to match the bridesmaid’s dresses. The groom wore a sand colored suit, a crisp white shirt and (for a short while) a chocolate, blue and white striped tie.
The groomsmen were super relaxed in khaki pants and white cotton shirts. We wanted everyone to feel comfortable and casual so we had large white wicker baskets filled with flip flops for everyone to change into, silver for the ladies and brown for the men, I think this definitely help set the mood.
We wanted to keep the decoration clean and simple to let the scenery take precedence. We used tall clear glass vases, floating candles, votives and mirrored bases in simple geometric configurations and added an organic touch with some manzanita branches and air plants. We added some modern touches with acrylic elements throughout; a clear cake pedestal filled with flowers and foliage, clear flower girl baskets with white petals, and frosted table numbers in a super modern font. Our ring bearer box was actually a super simple DIY project, it’s a clear acrylic soap dish filled with brown sugar instead of sand since the groom thought this would be “sweeter”. The rings are nestled in a shell, actually one of the escort card holders. Our escort cards were white gloss cardstock in shells set atop a mirrored base. Our cake was lemon and coconut flavored cupcakes with buttercream frosting and fondant disks with our initials stamped into them, it was topped with a stainless steel monogram and heart I had purchased in NYC.
Ingrid Michaelson’s “The Way I Am” was our wedding march song which my very talented sister Lyssandra sang for us as the bridal party danced and clapped down the sandy aisle. For the first dance our dear friend June brought her brother’s band to play “Esto es vida” by Robi Draco Rosa (yes, the ex-Menudo turned rocker!). I danced to “Over the rainbow”, the Israel Kamakawiwo’ole version, with my dad. This song has always made me feel nostalgic but that night it was just magical, while we were planning the wedding we learned that my dad had cancer and his last chemo treatment had been the week before our wedding, fortunately he was well enough to walk me down the aisle.
As a surprise Juan arranged for my sister to sing Bruno Mars’ “Just the way you are” just for me, so sweet! Juan has a thing for Brazilian music and culture and during the last year had learned Portuguese in order to better communicate with his clients at work, so as a surprise for him I had a Brazilian batucada come in during the middle of the reception. The music was so intoxicating I don’t think we sat down again after this, we had so much fun dancing salsa, merengue, bomba, ska; a tiki torch was even turned into a limbo stick!
I don’t think we could have imagined a more magical day than what we had, with the ocean as a backdrop and an evening filled with dancing under the stars. We felt very fortunate to be surrounded by the people we love and we hope to be able to celebrate our anniversary on the beach every year!
Wedding Photography: STAK Photographer Duo / Wedding Venue & Catering: West Beach Bohio (Dorado Beach Resort) / Event Styling & Planning: J&Co Design / Flowers & Rentals: CM Events / Additional Rentals: Napoles / Wedding Dress: Marisa via RK Bridal / Bride’s Shoes: Grazia via Bridal Reflections / Wedding Veil: Basia / Bridesmaid Dresses: J.Crew / Flower Girl Dresses: Crewcuts / Groom’s Suit: Frank Stella / Groom’s Shoes: Cole Haan / DJ: DJ JC / Batucada: Batucada Sambaoe / Bride’s Hair & Makeup: Beyond Salon / Wedding Rings: Miligree Jewelers / Wedding Cake: Cakeland Designs