Starr & Calvin’s wedding was supposed to be an intimate beach wedding on the west coast of Puerto Rico. It was scheduled to happen little less than a month after hurricane Maria. And as you may suspect by now, their plans changed completely. I had been looking forward to this event because like all my intimate beach weddings, they’re an excellent recess in between highly-structured weddings. So, here’s another one of my post-Maria madness weddings.
Starr & Cal knew they were meant to be on their first vacation together in Puerto Rico. So you can tell why their wedding in Puerto Rico had a particular significance. Two days after Maria, when I finally got (some) cellphone coverage, I was able to communicate briefly through text message with Starr. She was heartbroken because even if it were possible, it wouldn’t feel right visiting Puerto Rico to rejoice in the midst of such an unbearable situation for many locals. So, she & her fiancé decided to relocate their wedding to Arlington, Texas. By this time, I was already “infected” with the idea of traveling for Mariana & Chris’s epic wedding in Tampa, so if I was able to make it out of Puerto Rico, I could just stay on the US mainland for a week until Starr & Calvin’s wedding.
There was only one little detail: Starr & Calvin’s wedding was October 20th. And, on October 21st, I had Michelle & Alberto’s wedding in Puerto Rico. My wedding back in Puerto Rico was pushed earlier because of the curfews back then. If I were going to be able to make it two both weddings, it would only happen if I arrived in Puerto Rico before 1 pm.
I wrote to Starr,
“I haven’t been able to check flights since the internet service is so bad. I’d need to be in PR by 1 pm on the 21st. Is this something you could check out for me? “
Luckily, there was just one flight departing from DFW arriving at SJU by 12:53 pm. “So you’ll be able to come!”, said Starr, and a chill went up to my spine.
Intimate DIY Wedding in Arlington, Texas
Fast-forward two weeks, and I arrived at the friendly city of Dallas, where I spent most of my pre-wedding times either editing using the hotel WIFI or buying supplies to help people back in Puerto Rico. And eating lots of comfort food unavailable back then in Puerto Rico. On the wedding day, we took an Uber to a cute and cozy Airbnb Starr & Calvin had booked for their wedding day. It initially would host a family dinner in celebration of their destination wedding in Puerto Rico, but now it had also transformed to host their Ceremony.
The house had a beautiful, dreamy backyard, where guests were already assembling for a pre-ceremony cocktail, while the fiancés were getting ready inside. Everything was beautifully DIY’d by friends and family, including the bouquet, makeup, and hair. Bridesmaids had mixed outfits within the same wedding color palette, and it worked beautifully with the dreamy backdrop they chose for their ceremony. There were only a handful of guests: essential people only. And you could see how happy and loving they were.
The ceremony was full of happy laughter and emotive, serene moments. Afterward, we quickly moved to portraits just in time for the sunset, which I need to remember, looks so different than sunsets in the Caribbean. I could tell Starr & Calvin felt sort of shy at first in front of the camera, but even though they felt that way, they looked so sweet and in love! My shift ended just in time for dinner, so we were invited to stay and enjoy the most original wedding meal ever: taco buffet!!!
This wedding had such a relaxing, laid-back vibe! Starr & Cal are a relaxed couple that just wanted to have a great time along with friends & family. We were not able to have this event in the place they fell in love, but we created new memories to be cherished forever.
Before I move on to the pictures, I want to say thanks to the newlyweds: for bearing with me during the stressful week after the hurricane and for trusting me with your memories. Also, to the guests and family for being so welcoming! You were our silver lining!!