Garden-Inspired Puerto Rico Destination Wedding
December 29, 2015
Al FrescoBeach WeddingsOutdoor Weddings
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!
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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.

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