SUBMIT WEDDING
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San Andres Island Wedding from Valeria Duque Photography

An amazing way to start the work week?  This darling affair captured by Valeria Duque Photography, or as I like to call it, a destination love fest with pretty pink hues, a darling bride and groom and a little “day before” session magic mixed in for good measure.  It’s basically the perfect combo for a whole lot of pretty and you can see it all right here in the full gallery.

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From Valeria Duque Photography… When Salua called me last year to tell me she was going to get married in the beautiful island of San Andrés and wanted me to take her pictures I was jumping up and down with joy! not only is the island a gorgeous locations for pictures (pool like ocean, palm trees, white sand, etc…), but I knew Salua and her now husband, Pocho, from another wedding I shot in San Andrés a couple of years ago and they are both such lovely and fun people!

Things got even better when Salu told me that she wanted to do a pre-wedding session around the island the day before, this might seem like a normal thing to do in the US but in Colombia, it’s a miracle when the bride is okay with being seen by the groom before the wedding.  This was a first for me (and I have been shooting weddings in this country for five years now), so I was really looking forward to this afternoon and my expectations were absolutely fulfilled!! We visited some amazing places, like the old baptist church, and La Loma neighbourhood which is the oldest and more typical part of the island!  Afterwards we went to El Cove, a beautiful rocky beach where the sunset is played at it’s best! We rode around in Salua’as brother’s Vespa and had fun with the rest of the pictures, a sweet detail was the sign that they held reading “quiero todo contigo” which means “I want everything with you.”

It was so good to feel calm and have plenty of time to do all kinds of things, and having all of the couple’s attention on the pictures and what we were doing. Normally at a Colombian wedding, I get 20 minutes tops to shoot the couple’s pictures and they are, more often than not, concerned with whether the guests arrived okay, or the band has set up, etc, etc….

The wedding decoration was inspired by the colours of the caribbean and the island, every table was named after a part of the island, and the invitation was an illustration of the couple with the line “hasta que la vida nos alcance” which means “till there’s no more life to live.”  On every plate there was a fortune cookie as a present for each guest with customized quotes selected by the bride and groom.

San Andrés is known for it’s beautiful ocean, that’s known as the sea of seven colours, because of the different shades of blue and green that you can see in it, it’s also a natural reservation and it’s coral reef is one of the most beautiful in the world!

Photography: Valeria Duque Photography | Gown: Saja | Shoes: David's Bridal | Groom's Shoes: Lacoste | Club: Nautical Club, San Andrés | Decoration: Sai Weddings

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Praia do Rosa, Brazil Wedding from Weber Photography

Destination weddings are always fabulous, but when you throw an “I do” celebration in the pretty little land known as Brazil, it’s what we call a destination wedding of epic proportions.  I’m talking breathtaking scenery every which way you look, lovelies.  And it’s amazing.  Throw in a bride and groom who seriously couldn’t be more stunning and an entire day captured by the ever-wonderful Weber Photography and, well.  Happy, happy Friday.  Click here for more.

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From Weber PhotographySarah and Sol’s Brazil wedding had a Classic style, with minimal decorating needed in lieu of the gorgeous scenery surrounding their venue. Their chosen location, Praia do Rosa, is a small surfing town in the state of Santa Catarina and is slowly attracting more and more attention by both Brazilian and international travelers. It was such a pleasure spending time with this beautiful couple! They were incredibly inviting and super excited to share the Brazilian culture with guests coming from all over the world!

From the Bride… We’d always thought the perfect wedding for us would be by the beach, on a perfect hot summer day, overlooking sunset by the sea. That’s why our chosen place, Praia do Rosa was perfect. Not only had I grown up going there every school holiday, but it was the first place I took Sol when he visited Brazil for the first time. The church was right by our favourite beach, so that’s where we headed as soon as the I do’s were said, and standing on the rocks watching the crashing waves under the hot sun just before the reception was an unforgettable feeling.

For our wedding reception we wanted to have a real mix of traditions as the groom is both English and Greek, and has family in Japan, and I’m Brazilian but I also grew up in England. We had an amazing eclectic mix of guests to cater for, so we had lots of fun choosing all the details of the wedding. We had the traditional set of bridesmaids, maid of honour and best man, the Greek version of groomsmen (koumbaros), the Brazilian traditional wedding godparents padrinhos and madrinhas, as well as my three goddaughters as flower girls! They all had special duties to perform, and loved taking part in the ceremony.

My bridesmaids’ dresses were designed by Joelho Roxo, a collective artist’s group– belonging to my bridesmaids’ and me! They were then beautifully tailored by Suzana Vargas.

Our cake had a special twist. As the wedding cake dolls, we had Japanese daruma given to us by the grooms brother, who lives in Japan. They are special lacquered paper dolls on which you draw one eye as you make a wish, and fill in the other eye when the wish comes true. The ritual, followed by the cake cutting, was even more romantic than wed wished, and we got to keep the bride and groom dolls to always remind us of our wishes!

Another personal touch were the lembrancinhas, small wedding gifts we shared with our guests. We collected sand from our two favourite beaches where the wedding took place, and filled small glass bottles with half of each type. The two types of sand were different colours, and we knew that just like us, as time passed, they would mix together and become one. We also picked small shells from the beach and attached them to the ribbon around the bottles, adding our own design of tags with the wedding date and location. We had so much fun making the hundred or so bottles and were happy everyone could take a piece of paradise home with them.

The beach scenery from the wedding venue was even more spectacular as sunset came and the candles were lit. We had a great lounge arrangement which allowed all our wedding guests to circulate and get to know each other better and by the time we hit the dance floor everyone spoke the same language! Our first dance was to Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, which means a lot to us, and my bridesmaids performed an amazing choreography to our favourite night out song, That’s Not My Name by the Ting Tings, as well as two very romantic songs sang by one of them, who had rehearsed all the way from Ecuador.

The speeches were a very emotional time for us, as we wanted to express how grateful we were for all our friends and family who had travelled from all over the world to share our special moment, and especially to my mother, who had, like us, always dreamed of the perfect wedding… it was the perfect moment for us to let everyone know we had had the best day of our lives, and we couldnt have been happier!

Photography: Weber Photography- Cory Weber | Cinematography: Eleven35 Productions- JohnPaul Morris | Floral Designer: Nisinha Venturella | Cake: Patricia Goedert | Ceremony Venue: Igreja Sagrada Famlia | Reception Venue: Pousada Vida, Sol e Mar | Wedding Coordinator: Bartira Venturella Soares | Entertainment: Concorde Eventos, Edgar Ghedin | Bridesmaids' Dress Designer: Joelho Roxo | Ceremony Dress: Ronald Joyce | Reception Dress: Phase Eight

Peru with Merari Teruel

This is now the fourth time this month that Peru has made its way onto my radar. That’s got to be a sign, right? I knew it was chock full of gorgeous sights to be seen, but after taking a look through Merari Teruel’s photos, I’m fairly confident that I need to experience it for myself. Because, and let’s be honest here, this is not something I want to miss! There’s more from this wonderful trip right here in the gallery.

From Merari TeruelPeru is a country full of rich history and friendly smiles. I’d been wanting to go to Machu Picchu or the Lost City of the Incas since high school. I’m a bit of a history nerd and visiting an ancient Incan city got my nerdy antennas going. As a photographer, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to explore such a place with my camera. I volunteered my sister to come along and we headed to Peru for a week for a little sibling trip.

We purposely didn’t plan all that much since my favourite part of adventuring is getting lost and finding things off the beaten path. We walked miles upon miles, rode horses, a train and many, many buses. Along with Machu Picchu, we had the chance to visit Cusco, Aguascalientes, Pisac, Saqsaywaman, Urubamba, Oyantaytambo and the capital: Lima. All with unique history and all filled with the kindest people. Markets, little shops, children playing with baby llamas and men playing their flutes was the usual scene throughout.

We drank Coca tea every day which helped a ton with altitude sickness, and the typical dish of Lomo Saltado, steak and potatoes with rice, was enjoyed consistently. So good!

Our headquaters in Cusco was the Ninos Hotel. I researched quite a bit for an affordable, clean and beautiful place to stay for the trip and this place did not disappoint. It’s an old villa filled with bright colors, beautiful flowers and the friendliest staff I’ve ever met. On top of that, all proceeds from the hotel go to the Ninos Unidos Peruanos Foundation which help local Peruvian children with schooling, meals and medical assistance.

Peru was a wonderful learning and exploring experience. It’s humbling to stomp on the grounds were folks used to live hundreds of years ago. People who lived quite differently than we do now. I highly recommend everyone make it out there at least once in their life! It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience I will cherish forever.

Photography by: Merari Teruel | Hotel: Ninos Hotel Ninos Unidos Peruanos Foundation