Beach weddings are always popular among couples looking for a romantic and idyllic setting for their special day. Like many couples nowadays, Lauren and Josiah chose to plan a micro wedding in the Caribbean with just their closest friends and family members.
Lauren and Josiah's wedding was a perfect example of how to plan a beautiful and intimate beach wedding. By keeping things simple and focusing on what was most important to them, they were able to create a day that was memorable, affordable, and meaningful.
For couples planning their own wedding, here are some tips:
Choosing a location for a wedding: The guest list goes first!
When selecting a destination for your micro wedding, it is crucial to consider the size of your guest list and the type of atmosphere you are looking for.
If you plan a small wedding with your closest friends and family, consider a more intimate setting, such as a private home, a smaller hotel ballroom, or a beach. If you have a more extensive guest list, choose a venue that can accommodate your needs, such as a bigger hotel ballroom or restaurant.
Once you have selected the venue, it will be hard to downsize or upgrade the space if your guest list changes, so make the guest list first! Lauren and Josiah made their wedding feel like a big family vacation, where everyone unique to them would travel to the Caribbean and have the best of times together.
A Beach Wedding in the Caribbean
The couple selected the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar in Puerto Rico as the perfect location for their intimate ceremony and reception. The resort is on one of Puerto Rico's most stunning stretches of beach, with lush green rainforest mountains in the background.
The resort also offers a variety of amenities and accommodations, making it an ideal choice for destination weddings of any size.
My day with Lauren and Josiah began with their getting-ready shots. The weather was sunny and beautiful, so we took most of the photos outdoors on the shaded patios of the resort.
Planning a beach wedding ceremony
You will also need to decide on the location of your ceremony. If you are having a beach wedding, check with the local authorities to see if you need a permit.
In Puerto Rico, all beaches are in the public domain, meaning the coast must preserve public access even on private rental property. Planning a ceremony through a beachfront hotel might assist you with that process or take care of it altogether.
Choosing a time for your ceremony that suits you and your guests would be best. The Caribbean sun is harsh and heavy 90% of the day, so I recommend beach wedding ceremonies happening 1.5 hours before sunset.
Like that, the beautiful couple exchanged vows on the sandy beachfront at a simple and elegant ceremony, with a white pergola and a breathtaking ocean view.
During the ceremony, one of the groomsmen passed mini prosecco bottles to all the guests, and just as Lauren and Josiah were declared married, everyone popped their bottles and cheered the couple as they walked off into the sunset.
After the ceremony, guests enjoyed a cocktail hour on an open beachfront terrace. At the same time, we did their newlywed portraits closer to the water. After cocktail hour, we were all transported to the reception at one of the Golf villa's smaller ballrooms.
Planning the reception
When planning your micro wedding reception, there are a few things you will need to keep in mind. First, you will need to decide on the size and style of your reception. If you are having a small wedding, choose a simple reception with dinner or tapas. Consider a more formal reception with cocktails, dinner, and dancing if you have a larger guest list.
Lauren and Josiah had a seated, family-style dinner instead of a full-blown party, so they only needed a small venue with a dancefloor, just a restaurant-style space where they could jump from table to table to mingle with guests.
The reception was decorated minimally in a laid-back classic style, with white linens, roses, and foliage. The couple served a delicious dinner of Puerto Rican cuisine, and guests enjoyed the night away to good music and laughter.
Don't sweat the small stuff
Smaller ceremonies are becoming more popular among couples when it comes to weddings. This is not only due to the difference in cost but also because it helps to avoid the stress that often comes with larger weddings. If you want to keep your wedding day simple and relaxed, resisting the urge to control every aspect of it is essential.
Instead, consider hiring a team of professional vendors and a partial —or even better, a total— wedding planner. They can help you enjoy your big day to the fullest and allow you to be the guest of honor while also hosting the event. Remember, don't sweat the small stuff; focus on making the most of your special day.
Puerto Rico Wedding Vendors
Venue Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Resort, Puerto Rico
Photographer Camille Fontz
Videographer Travis Milligan
Florist Patricia Torres, Lorraine's Flowers