Classic Destination Weddding at Condado Vanderbilt Hotel
Grace and I met over a Facetime appointment while I was having a blackout at home. She said that we could try again at a later time, and I remember responding: "there's nothing I rather -or could- do right now". I used a flashlight to illuminate my face while we met each other, talking about wedding plans, personalities, and everything she hoped for her wedding day. Grace was so friendly and easygoing (her name fits her so well on and off-camera), that it quickly diminished all my feelings of awkwardness of that uncomfortable first impression. After hanging up I told a friend, "well, if she books me after that, we're definitely meant to be." I'm so happy we were! <3
Their Love Story and Intimate Proposal
I love to inquire about love stories, they inspire me so much. Grace and lovely Brian met at a part-time job where they worked together having a great friendship and chemistry. They separated during college years, and they met again once for drinks with friends. That day, Grace says, she saw him in a different light. They were smitten this time, and quickly starting having adventures together.
I particularly LOVED their proposal story, because it was particularly personal, I'll let Grace tell it:
Brian somehow knew that I have a secret love for jigsaw puzzles. He created a 1000-piece photo puzzle made up of some of our favorite photos together/clues. Brian (who I should note is not a puzzle lover) put together this puzzle secretly at his parents' bit by bit every day after work for a few weeks so that he could add in a message in blacklight. When Brian presented me with the puzzle task, I was thrilled. I pieced the final portion (which was hidden in a box on our mantle and required a blacklight to decipher) to discover that he had spelled out "Will you marry me" in Korean (note Brian is not Korean). I turned towards Brian to find him on bended knee with the ring.
They dreamt about having a small wedding with their dearest and nearest. Cue Puerto Rico, a place where they had shared many beautiful memories, they associate with warmth, great food and people... and they had their wedding dream!
Getting Ready at Old San Juan
The wedding day was finally here! We started the day out at Old San Juan, as Grace and Brian were staying at the iconic Hotel El Convento. There I visited Grace, who was incredibly calm and smiley, and was so lovely to photograph. Then, in the lobby I met with Brian, for which I did a set of groom portraits while we waited for Grace to show up for their first look session. After they saw each other and had an intimate emotional time together, I took them around the block for a small wedding photo session in Old San Juan before heading out to the ceremony.
Wedding Ceremony and Reception at Condado Vanderbilt Hotel
We drove to Condado Vanderbilt Hotel, where the ceremony and reception were taking place, but not before we did all the family and group portraits in the Condado Vanderbilt second-floor lobby. It was such a small wedding, that holding a full cocktail hour for photos would feel like too much. The ceremony was very emotional, romantic, and sweet, just like Grace and Brian.
After the ceremony, we sneaked for a while for photos around the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel, and man, they killed that newlywed session!
After that, we went back into Salon Azul for their small protocol, followed by dinner. Such a special, meaningful day, just like they wanted it.
Enjoy this set!
Puerto Rico Wedding Vendors for This Event
Wedding Photography: Weddings by Camille Fontanez
Getting Ready Venue: El Convento Hotel, Old San Juan
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Condado Vanderbilt Hotel
Florist: Kute Gifts & Flowers by Alina Armesto
Bridal Dress: Cherie Amour
Groom Attire: Jos A Bank