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Oceanfront Wedding in Ilhabela Brazil

Feeling a bit in a rut this Thursday?? Well, I’m prescribing you a pop of color and this romantic waterfront wedding is just the medicine you need. Photographed by Flavia Valsani and planned by Small Weddings, it’s a brightly and sunny outdoor celebration that will have you feeling better in no time… you can see the rest of this beautiful Brazilian wedding right here.

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From The Bride…Chris and I got engaged on October 2012 and in November moved back to Brazil to wait for a fiancée visa. The following December Chris came to Brazil for my best friend’s wedding and we took a little beach vacation to my favorite spots in my state. We were recently engaged and had not yet decided on when we would get married or where it would be. Although we knew that the bigger ceremony would take place in Brazil, my home country.

In January we decided to think about dates and I started looking for a wedding planner and venues near where my parents lived. I knew a wedding planner would be essential for us because we did not know how long I would stay in Brazil and be able to plan the wedding up close, I would need someone to represent us with vendors when I was not able to go to meetings.

The wedding planner was the first person we hired for the wedding and she was essential for everything to work. Around that same time we realized that we wanted to do the wedding somewhere that people would enjoy as a little vacation, so we picked an island Chris and I visited together called Ilhabela.

In Ilhabela I realized that it was important to consider the expertise of the people that worked in the wedding business in the area, because the island is small pretty much everyone has worked with each other. I put together an inspirational booklet for the wedding that showed the colors, decorations, flowers, bridal party attire and cakes I wanted and took it to every meeting with every vendor. That was vital to get a feeling of who would be suited for the wedding or not according to their reactions to it. I have to say go with your guts and the energy you get from people.

I couldn’t be happier with my vendors, the food was great, pictures amazing, cake delicious, decoration out of this world, hair and make up artist great and the wedding planner made us all feel comfortable throughout the entire experience, she was on top of her game and treated everyone with respect. The day of the wedding was very emotional even though Chris and I had already eloped in the US in the presence of a few of his friends and family members. During our one-year engagement we lived ten months apart and the wedding in Brazil was the fulfillment of our relationship after such enduring times.

Photography: Flavia Valsani | Wedding Planner: Small Weddings | Wedding Gown: Alvina Valenta | Bridesmaid's Dresses: Cavalera | Catering: Marakuthai | Cake And Sweets: Ana Luiza | Decoration: Isaias Ribeiro

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Romantic Argentinian Elopement

When it comes right down to it, a wedding shouldn’t follow any rules. Because when you throw the ‘traditional’ mind set out the window, you’re bound to be surprised how meaningful and true-to-you your wedding day can really be. I’m talking about this sweet duo, who threw caution to the wind when they decided to elope in Buenos Aires with a little bit of help from Carmela Hartman and Clari Firmat. One look at Sarah Kate‘s images of the day and you’ll see why this was the best. idea. ever.

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From the beautiful Bride…I’ve always known that I wanted to get married abroad. My love of travel and adventure has taken me around the world, even leading me to Florence, Italy, where I lived for six months of my life. I met Jordan soon after moving to Austin, TX, and I realized very quickly that I had found the thrill-seeking and passionate person that I had always been looking for; on our first date, we talked so long that we ended up closing down the restaurant! After dating a little over two years, Jordan proposed and I said YES! Now the biggest question was figuring out where to go.

Throwing caution to the wind, we decided to elope in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Jordan lived there after college and was yearning to go back, and it was a destination that I had always wanted to visit. Being a wedding photographer myself, it was very important that I immediately found an amazing photographer to capture our day, and it was such an easy decision once I spotted photos taken by the uber-talented and incredibly lovely Sarah Kate. By happenstance, we were also introduced to Clari Firmat of Tepeino Puntocom who is a native of Buenos Aires. While she started out simply as my hair and makeup artist, our friendship quickly grew over e-mail, and soon she was helping us pick our hotel and shooting locations, offering to drive us around the widespread city and we even decided to have her officiate our wedding. We could not have done this without her.

Our “weddingmoon,” as we came to lovingly call it, was more than we could have ever imagined. Among the bustling cobblestone streets, the Paraje de Almas hotel provided a gorgeous backdrop for both getting ready and our ceremony. Although I was an emotional wreck getting through the vows I had written, I knew at least that the blooming jasmine and whitewashed walls would look great for the photos! Alongside Sarah Kate, we had the honor of wedding videography by Ohana Producciones, capturing our story to perfection. After the ceremony, as we were posing for some of the last photos of the day, we heard music across the street. On a whim, Jordan and Sarah Kate pulled me over to the open auditorium where street musicians were performing and we had our first dance right then and there in front of a hundred San Isidro locals. It was a moment I will never forget. The next day, we all piled into Clari’s car and went zipping around Buenos Aires, using the city as our backdrop. Traveling in our wedding attire from La Boca all the way to Palermo and Puerto Madero, we felt so fortunate being able to immerse ourselves in the city and its culture.

We knew that planning a wedding halfway across the world would bring unexpected and spontaneous moments, but we didn’t realize just how sweet this time would truly be. From the incredible people we met to the rich events we experienced, Jordan and I are so happy we took the leap. While it wasn’t traditional, our celebration completely reflected who we are as a couple… a perfect way to invest in our memories and lifelong love.

Photography: Sarah Kate | Event Planning: Carmela Hartman Of In Style Weddings & Destinations | Wedding Dress: Moonlight Bridal | Invitations: Méldeen | Shoes: Louis Vuitton | Rings: Rodger Kadet, Ltd. | Bride's Belt: My Little Bride, Israel | Earrings: Emma Stine | Groom's Attire : Hugo Boss | Hotel/Ceremony: Paraje De Almas, San Isidro, Buenos Aires | Makeup & Hair: Clari Firmat | Video: Matias Firmat

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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