The Bride's Perspective
Destination weddings have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. A destination wedding allows you to combine your wedding and honeymoon into one memorable and exciting experience. Weather you're looking for beautiful mountains or seaside views, historical architecture, or simply hoping to enjoy the perfect Caribbean weather, a wedding in Puerto Rico may be the ideal choice. But, what's it like to plan a destination wedding in Puerto Rico?
In January 2023, Caitie and Patrick flew from Kansas City for their wedding at El Convento Hotel in San Juan. We asked Caitie a few questions about her wedding plans and why she picked Puerto Rico for her destination wedding.
Tell us a little about yourselves!
"I'm Caitlin, and I married my husband Patrick in January 2023. We're from Kansas City, Missouri and have been together for 6 years. We enjoy traveling and finding creative projects to engage in regularly."
How did you decide on having a destination wedding in Puerto Rico? And what was your inspiration?
"We decided to have our wedding in Puerto Rico almost immediately. We went to the island for the first time on our first trip together in 2018, just after Maria, and fell in love with the people, culture, and feel of the island. Our inspiration was a really fancy tropical vibe- I found a wedding at Hotel El Convento in a magazine that I thought was stunning and used elements of that wedding as inspiration. We really wanted the wedding to be about us and all the people that we love and who support us. So finding ways to make our ceremony and reception personal was really important to us, as well as creating a family vacation that we'll remember for years to come."
How did you choose the venue for your wedding?
"We chose Hotel El Convento almost immediately as our venue. We did a virtual tour with Nelia and then when we visited the island to tour other venues, we stopped in to check out the hotel in person. It was love at first sight and we didn't tour the remaining venues after that. It was the perfect mix of fancy and unique."
Had you visited the PR before, and if so, what did you love about it?
"Yes, we now have been to Puerto Rico three times! Once in 2018, then in 2022 to visit venues and then 2023 to get married! We love the chill vibes of the island life as well as the friendly people there. It's truly hard to be unhappy when surrounded by perfect weather, the sound of the ocean waves and people who treat you like family from the moment you arrive. It doesn't hurt that the food culture is also incredible, as is the history of the island!"
What was your favorite part of having a destination wedding in Puerto Rico?
"My favorite part of having a destination wedding in Puerto Rico was being able to share a place so special to myself and Patrick with our closest family and friends. It was such a special moment to have everyone remark on how much they loved the island and how they could see how special it was to us. I also loved being able to have a January wedding with weather in the 80s when back home it was snowing!"
How long did you plan your wedding? "We planned our wedding for about a year. Probably closer to 11 months from when we had started getting vendors lined up and deposits in and my dress ordered."
Tell us your favorite things from the wedding ceremony and wedding reception. "One of my favorite things from the wedding ceremony was actually a secret! We had our flower girls walk down with bouquets that they then gave to the moms. In each of the bouquets was a locket that contained a picture of someone that each mom had lost and that would have loved to have be at the wedding with us. At the reception, it's truly a hard pick. The FLOWERS. Oh my gosh the room looked beyond my wildest imagination and I still to this day remember the shock and awe at just how stunning everything looked. The other favorite would be dancing with friends and family. I tried really hard to take a moment to stop and capture what it looked and felt like to be there on our wedding day with everyone we loved. And immediately almost cried."
For you, photography was super important on your wedding day, how did you manage to have enough time to take pictures in iconic places around Old San Juan before the ceremony?
"We worked out our schedule well ahead of time! I think that Patrick and I worked on that schedule for probably 3 months. And then we made sure that our timeline had us there and ready to go by the time that Jafet and Zulem arrived for photos!"
How many guests did you have?
"We had 48 guests at our wedding- and apparently a few wedding crashes too!" What kind of activities did you planned for your guests while they were in PR?
"We took our guests with us to El Morro the day of the rehearsal as a welcome activity. It gave us a chance to see people before the wedding itself. After the wedding, we let our guests know that they were welcome to come and join us on any other excursions. So we had an afterparty the following day back at our family Airbnb and then took a couple of our guests with us to El Yunque a few days later."
What made you go with us as your photographers? What mattered the most in the decision making process?
"Patrick and I chose you as our photographers for a variety of reasons- we felt that pricing was fair for one, but we also really liked a lot of the editing of yours that we had seen on Instagram. It seemed like you had the ability to capture the day in a variety of ways, and you were open to the fact that we have so many family members who have spent time as wedding photographers and videographers themselves- including Patrick!!"
What do you think you would have missed the most if working with us had not been possible?
"I think we would have missed the ease of the day. One of the things that you really brought to the table was an easy and encouraging attitude- we never felt rushed or like we were pressured into taking any certain type of picture. I've been to other weddings where the photographer is in your face all day. As negative as it sounds, you did a really good job of fading into the crowd which really allowed for Patrick and I to focus on the day and each other. Instead of remembering being hounded for photo poses I remember being able to smile and talk with my husband while you captured those natural and authentic moments!" Do you have any tips for planning a destination wedding in Puerto Rico for future brides? "If you are not a super type A individual like myself, get a wedding planner. Destination wedding planning yourself is not for the faint of heart. However, if you are very organized, type A and like to plan to your heart's content- just set aside a good amount of time to do tons of research, make lots of list, and be sure to organize your wedding day as much as you possibly can. THEN on the day of, have someone else who can take over talking to the vendors. You want to be enjoying the day!"
Ready to have an amazing Destination Wedding in Puerto Rico? C0ntact us here.