Elopement Beachside in Puerto Rico

If you haven’t already fallen in love with Puerto Rico, then today’s styled shoot in the spirit of an elopement will certainly have you head over heels! Becca from Becca and Chris Photography shared the behind the scenes of this could-be big day with us.

Our morning began at the San Juan Water & Beach Club Hotel, a chic, modern hotel with an incredible rooftop view. Yari Rey created a soft, coppery look for our model Alanis, and pinned back her dark hair into a romantic updo. While Alanis got ready, Keff (our groom model) had portraits done on the rooftop of the Water Club, with gorgeous blue water as a backdrop. The Water Club has so many tucked away corners and details that were perfect for detail shots, especially a few of the shoes! D’Royal Bride provided a gorgeous soft pink gown, with intricate beading and tiny tulle flowers.

The ceremony inspiration was held in Old San Juan at Plazuela La Rogativa, which overlooks the gorgeous turquoise water. There’s something undeniably romantic about Old San Juan. The architecture is reminiscent of Venice, and the quaint, cotton candy colored houses made a beautiful backdrop for some photos of Alanis and Keff. Although Alanis and Keff are models, they’re also a couple, which made the entire inspiration shoot much more fun. There was quite a bit of teasing for poor Keff, and many jokes made about how they’re well prepared for their possible future wedding!

One of my favorite memories of the day was traveling between the ceremony and reception space. Alanis’ dress was so huge, full of tulle and beading that we couldn’t all fit comfortably in the car. I ended up sitting on Chris’ lap and having to duck down under the seats any time we passed a cop on the winding cobbled streets of Old San Juan!

After the ceremony, we traveled back to the Water Club for their intimate rooftop reception. Intic did an incredible job with the decor, with romantic lanterns and candles and lush greenery. The pink and soft red of the flowers brought out the pink hues in Alanis’s dress, and were perfect with the pink flowers atop the cake made by Delighted by Yare.

To end the evening, we took a few photos of Alanis and Keff above the rooftop pool at the Water & Beach Club. The setting sun created soft lilacs and lavenders in the sky, a perfect end to a completely magical day.

Elopement Photo Shoot Team: Photographer: Chris and Becca PhotographyShoot Director and Planner: Ruthie Fonseca, Bodas del EncantoModels: Alanis Colina and Kef Matthew, GModels, Hair and Makeup: Yaritza Rey, Dress: D’Royal Bride, Jewelry: Eva Guadalupe, Tux: Leonardo Fifth Avenue, Ceremony Venue: Old San Juan, Minister: Pablo Aymat, Reception Venue: The San Juan Water and Beach Club Hotel, Decorator/Floral: Intic, Cake: Delighted by Yare, Invitations: Paper Pixel

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Pretty in Purple Beach Wedding in the Dominican Republic

Julie and Jake wed on the beach in the Dominica Republic as friends and families (and even boats passing by) were witness to their nuptials. The couple shared their story with us and why pair opted for a destination wedding to begin with…

We knew we wanted to do a destination wedding because, in all honesty, we both have such humongous families that we just wouldn’t be able to afford a wedding in America. That being said, we also didn’t want people who to “just come for the food and open bar.” Those who really wanted to celebrate our love would literally cross the ocean for us.

We went for a rustic beach theme, with colors Ancient Violet, Hummingbird Blue, and Elegant Charcoal.

 

Favorite moment from the day?

“We both agree it definitely was the First Look, which is funny because we weren’t even completely sold on doing one!? We didn’t want to ruin the “butterflies” of seeing each other for the first time at the aisle, but WE ARE SO HAPPY we did it.

I loved it because it was an intimate moment that Jake and I got to share with just the two of us (and our wedding party overlooking from a distance). We took our time and enjoyed just “being” in the moment. It was overwhelming, but in a good way.

  

DIY just might be my middle name. I love doing arts and crafts, and I knew if I ever got married, I would definitely be making a bunch of my own elements. I made my own Save-The-Dates, helped in every design element of our wedding invitations, designed our welcome & thank you cards. I also made the boutonnieres for the groomsmen/godfathers/fathers, corsages for the godmothers/mothers, bouquets for the bridal party, and my most favorite DIY element of all, my bouquet. I drew inspiration for it on Pinterest and couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. The combination of imagination, love and hard work is a pretty wondrous thing!

We don’t regret anything because we are firm believers that everything happens just as it’s meant to. So whatever happened, was perfect. If you’re one to sweat the little things, DON’T! If anything goes wrong, i.e. a party boat passing by on the water BLASTING obnoxious music as your saying your vows (yes, this happened to us), everyone will still remember it as being the “best wedding” they’ve ever been to, which we hear all the time!

Our favorite part of wedding week was the boat party the day after the wedding! In lieu of wedding favors and welcome gifts, we opted to pay for a private excursion on the Sanael for all of our guests. It was a large party boat with drinks, food, and music. They took us out to snorkel and swim in this natural pool, and partied/danced with us all along the way. There wasn’t one person who wasn’t smiling or having a great time, and absolutely everyone raved about it (even until this day!). The wedding stress was all gone, and we were all able to just let loose.

Love deeply and fully, and remember it isn’t about the small things; it’s about who you’re standing at the altar with and all the people there to witness the unfolding of the beginning of a fantastic journey of a love.

Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Katya Nova Photography

Wedding Vendors: Musicians: Agua Azul Fire Show, Invitation Designer: Aster Bagtas Design, Cake Designer: Cake Studio Bavaro, Groomsman Attire: Club Monaco, Cinema and Video: Cores Films, Event Venue: Jellyfish RestaurantHair Stylist: Krystie Ann Hair & Makeup Artist, Dress Designer: Maggie Sottero, Officiant: Pastor Rick York

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A Vintage Chic Destination Wedding in Sardinia, Italy

Marco and Carla had a beautiful destination wedding in the medieval village of Castelsardo, on the edge of the sea with views near and far. This Sardinia destination I do was one filled with love, laughter, and a gorgeous lace wedding dress. Carla shared with us how they selected their location and all the sweet Italian details.

We chose the resort by my love for the sea and the fact that I find the Castelsardo landscapes highly suggestive and romantic.

For the outfits, I wanted something original but at the same time traditional and recalling the colors of my land. I found Elisabetta Delogu’s unique pieces.

On a single, extraordinary day, it ‘s hard to find a “favourite time” but having to choose I would prefer the evening part when dancing party – a particular intimate moment with the people I love.

Advice for other destination wedding couples from this well-versed bride?

To other couples, I would recommend choosing a destination and decorating themselves without having to be influenced by relatives and friends because the wedding day should reflect the tastes and the peculiarities of the bridal and make happy first the bride and groom and foremost the people concerned and then also all the guests!

Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Valeria Mameli

Wedding Vendors: Wedding Location: Incantu, Wedding Dress: Elisabetta Delogu, Hair: Hair Studio Laura, Flowers: Ikebana

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A Playful Private Villa Destination Wedding in Costa Rica

Julie and Dom said I do to a destination wedding in tropical and beautiful Costa Rica. The pair searched until they found just the right spot and then enlisted the help of destination wedding planner and designer, Tropical Occasions, to help make their day magic. Julie shared with us why they selected the oh-so special location they did.

Dom and I wanted a place that felt like home, which for us meant a place that fit both of our families under one roof. Despite being thousands of miles from home, we wanted to imitate that feeling of closeness and intimacy — the feeling of being “home” — just better. :) For both of us and how we were raised, home is where our families are — no matter where we are in the world. Neither of us felt strong ties to a particular geography, as time and moving around mean that our loved ones would be coming from far and wide, either way.

So, we got to work searching for a beautiful villa in either Central America or the Caribbean, that could fit up to 20 people (Dom is one of 5 kids) AND host a wedding on site. Punto de Visa immediately popped up in our search. Costa Rica has always been one of my favorite places in the world, so I was beyond thrilled to have found Punto de Vista (Dom had never been, until we went in November 2015). It was love at first sight. We made the decision then and there.

  

For the wedding day, we were fortunate to have Karen and Aimee from Tropical Occasions. They truly made decision-making easy, and wedding day execution was like magic. It all just happened, and we were there to attend our own wedding as guests. It made us feel like royalty. 

 If it’s financially possible for couples, I cannot recommend Karen and Aimee enough. It’s much, much more than just a luxury. It allows you to really experience your wedding and live in the moment. It’s also a better experience for your guests, because you can be present and not worried about logistics (bc at the end of the day, logistics will come last and your guests will feel that). 

We asked Tropical Occasions owner, Aimee Monihan about the details that came to life on this big day.

As a designer I appreciate a couples vision, but it is rare when one comes in, so vibrant, and so ready to put design fully into our hands. Julia and Dom represent what fun collaboration is all about, high fashion, excitement, travel, while still being grounded by their everyday lives and happiness together. A colorful NY couple that is by no means cookie cutter, Julia and Dom based their wedding vision not off of individual must haves, but on an overall feeling they wanted to be present.

They left the details up to us, but gave a few words to describe the feeling of their day. “Tropical, yet modern, colorful, and elegant. Forward thinking, and most importantly FUN.” 

 So the end result was using a mix of vibrant green tropical leaves (Monster, Elephant Ear, Citrus Leaf, some Eucalyptus accents mixed with lots of vibrant tropical and classic floral like Mokara, Phalenopsis and Dendrobiums Orchids, Gingers, Bird of Paradise, Roses, Asiatic lilies, Gloriosa Lilies, Cala Lilies, Hypericum and Coffee Bean Berries.  

We made the ceremony just green and white, with the only pop of color being the bride’s bouquet. We wanted the emphasis to be on our incredible clients and also to leave a fun surprise element to follow.

  

Then the couple were off to the beach, a planned moment they won’t regret, Julie shared with us…

Dom and I were against going down to the beach for photos after the ceremony. We basically just both had FOMO. However, being swept away from everyone and having just a few minutes alone together was incredibly important. We realized it in the moment, too, not just in hindsight. We both kept saying “wow, I’m so glad we did this.” I think it helped that the downpour stopped at the perfect time and we were left with a stunning sunset. It’s hard to think of a better place to be than Manuel Antonio beach in that exact moment. 

The photos were picture-perfect, in part due to the bride’s amazing style.  Aimee from Topical Occasions filled us in on the vision:

Julie had a direct artistic vision in the designing of her two wedding dresses, and she chose an amazing NY talent to create them. Her ceremony gown was unbelievable, so modern while still never upstaging her individual beauty (not that her smile could ever be missed). She chose a top braid hairstyle, almost like a braided mohawk, which is the only style that could possibly reflect how cool she actually is. Her transition into night was done flawlessly with a fun two-piece concept, soft, playful, and the best possible option for dancing. With both bride and groom having Latin roots, their families made sure that their wedding had a Latin flair, one of the best moments being a surprise flamenco serenade from a close friend. 

For the reception we added color and different style designs for the tables to give depth. The main table was long down the center of the terrace and had a full tropical green garland with bright loose florals intertwined. Tons of small gold mercury votives, and tall tapered candles in glass vase vessels & gold bases for the main table to give it drama. On both sides of the table were round tables for the other guests. Half of the tables had super tall explosions of tropical leaf centerpieces with pops of fun colorful flowers and candles at their base. The rest of the round table had compote dishes with full lush green tropical leaves & bright florals. Lighting was enhanced with candles everywhere and bistro lights hung above the table to give it a more modernized and natural feel.

The bride’s favorite moments from the day? There were a lot, as you can imagine!

Walking upstairs to our reception and seeing the phenomenal work that Karen and Aimee did on making it LITERALLY MAGIC on that rooftop. I cried. It was the most beautiful wedding ever and no, I am not biased at all. It was insane. It gives me chills just thinking about it now.

There are too many favorite parts to count. It was a magical experience. Even just writing this is making me remember all of the emotions I felt. To be surrounded by so much love and so much beauty is an experience you’ll never, ever forget. 

Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Jennifer Ballard Photography

Wedding Vendors: Wedding Planning + Design: Tropical Occasions, Wedding Location: Villa Punto De Vista, Wedding Invites: Minted, Officiant: Brother in Law, Florals: Stylos Flores, Hair + Makeup: Costa Rica Hair and Makeup by Monica, Videography: Beau Video, Catering + Cake: Platano Verde, Rentals: Costa Mesa, Music: DJ Teddy Brown

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Get a Wedding Website Deal at Appy Couple

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It’s time we shared a little gift with you from our pals over at Appy Couple!  The wedding website and app design company has hundreds of options, styles, and templates to choose from for your destination wedding.  So if you’re on the hunt for a fabulously chic wedding website (like this Martini design in all white), then use code BB25 at checkout and get a deal on your tools for I do – no matter which design you select!

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Do you really need a wedding website and app?!?!  Yes!  It’s the online (and in-phone) hub for guests to get all the information they need, forget, and lose after the invitation arrives.  Save yourself oodles of guest questions and direct everyone online.  Get the gifts you want by sharing your registry here and even save photos from the big day by using their photo sharing function during the wedding.

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Wedding websites will save you a ton of time and make traveling that much easier for your wedding guests too.

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For your discount, visit Appy Couple and enter BB25 at checkout to save!  Happy Shopping!

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