I met Monica in my last high school year, she was a friend of a friend. Although we only had a few interactions during that time before College Life™ happened, I clearly remember her charming presence and friendliness towards everyone. Fast forward a decade -and then some-, and I get an inquiry: Monica was getting married! Since they live away from Puerto Rico, our initial consultation happened over facetime. I could see all that cuteness I remember, this time multiplied by two: Monica had found her perfect match! We met in the early stages of their wedding planning; they had just booked the gorgeous Condado Vanderbilt as their venue. So I was able to see their wedding plans come together from the very beginning.
Rehearsal Dinner and Welcome Cocktails at Condado Vanderbilt
Two days before their wedding, I attended their rehearsal dinner at Tacos y Tequila Restaurant. This helped me get acquainted with their family and guests before their wedding day. Photographing the rehearsal dinner or welcome cocktail is always makes my job easier on the wedding day. Especially at the arrival: since we've already met, we avoid the awkwardness of walking around confusing moms with bridesmaids. #truestory
Full-Day Wedding Photography at Condado Vanderbilt Hotel
Monica and Frank booked me for the full coverage option, so that means that I arrived a bit earlier, and stayed for a little longer than I usually would. This enhanced their whole wedding photography experience, eliminating the pressure or rush one could expect of such an intense day. I arrived at Monica's suite first, where I photographed all the items, accessories and symbols of their day. At her suite, she was accompanied by her bridesmaids and her closest family. Since everyone was ready early, we had the chance to do a big reveal of Monica all dressed up with her bridesmaids, and the same thing with her dad.
Then, I visited Frank's suite next door. They were all dressed and ready, sharing some drinks outdoors on their terrace. After detail shots, groomsmen and solo portraits, and family photos, it was Frank's time to depart for the Ceremony. At my request, he allowed me one last picture, a very emotional one: He would be standing at his suite's door, and Monica would be on hers. You could practically touch the excitement and emotions in that hallway.
Romantic and Emotional Wedding Ceremony at Parroquia San Jorge
After that photo, everyone left towards the Church, where a beautiful ceremony was celebrated. Monica and Frank were very present during this part, giggling, cuddling, and hugging each other. After the rituals, we did all the family and group formals, before leaving back to Condado Vanderbilt for the newlywed photos and eventually the Reception.
Newlywed Photos and Reception at Condado Vanderbilt Hotel
I got there early to the grand ballroom of Condado Vanderbilt to photograph the beautiful yellow, white and gold decor. The room looked beautiful with the sunset light coming in through the big glass windows. The newlyweds arrived, so we moved around the hotel for their newlywed portraits.
The newlywed portraits are the moments I plan the least on the pre-wedding part of my job. I like to arrive at the wedding day without expectations, and then use the day and the couple as an inspiration, instead of just recreating a set of photos on Pinterest. Monica and Frank needed minimal direction: they were so sweet with each other that I just needed to lead them into the correct angle.
The cocktail hour ended, and we celebrated the night away with a great reception that wasn't missing anything. Great food, great music, a coffee bar, a cigar station, La Hora Loca, and amazing people.
Thanks, Monica & Frank, for trusting me with your wedding memories; I'm so happy to close off a decade with your beautiful and extraordinary day.
Puerto Rico Wedding Vendors for This Event
Puerto Rico Photographer: Weddings by Camille Fontanez
Church for Ceremony: Parroquia San Jorge, Santurce
Puerto Rico Wedding Venue: Condado Vanderbilt Hotel in San Juan
Wedding Planner: Yaska Crespo
Wedding Cinema: Zura Film
Florist: SIOD by Gadiel Valentín
Wedding Cake: Azuarte
Make-up & Style: Caridad Vidro
Bridal Dress: D'Royal Bride
Bridal Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Groom Tux: Canali
Bridesmaid Dresses: Dessy
Groomsmen Tuxes: The Black Tux
Wedding Band: Cuenta Regresiva
Wedding DJ: DJ Ment
Coffee Bar: Koffee Kups