Rewind to December 2020:
An awful year was about to end,
Photography gigs were all scarce and last-minute,
And the wedding industry braced for a third lockdown after the delta wave.
At the same time, so many people wanted something nice to end the year on a high note. So many made travel plans for the year-end holidays, like Christopher.
A Pandemic Proposal in Old San Juan
He wrote to me just three days before his trip to Puerto Rico, expressing his desire to propose to his partner Lorell, with whom he had already built a beautiful family. Once they both got their negative covid test results back, he booked a photo session right away. I helped him with proposal location ideas, and two days later, Lorell said yes at El Morro Fortress!
During their engagement session, the three of us bonded pretty well, so when they were looking for destination wedding locations, Lorell contacted me every now and then for Puerto Rico wedding planning advice. The first venue I ever remember her asking about was Perla at La Concha Resort, and almost two years later, there we were, on their beautiful wedding day!
Wedding Getting Ready at La Concha Resort
One thing I love about La Concha Resort is its convenience: you could do a whole wedding at the hotel; it has beautiful venue options and spacious rooms full of light.
Christopher, his kid, and his groomsmen were getting ready in one of those rooms. If there is something I love more than grooms in black tuxes is grooms in dinner jackets, just like Chris and his mini best man.
You are allowed to screenshot the paragraph above and send it to my fiancé—wink, wink.
At Lorell's suite, she and her bridesmaids were getting hair and make-up done. While they got ready, I played around with the gorgeous wedding branding and accessories for a bit. Then, Lorell got into a beautiful off-shoulder mermaid lace bridal gown. So we were finally ready for the first look!
Destination Wedding Locations: First Look and Wedding Portraits at Castillo San Cristobal, Old San Juan
During our wedding planning brainstorming chats, Lorell had mentioned her interest in a ceremony at El Morro Fortress. I recommended Castillo San Cristobal instead, mainly because of its relative location to La Concha Resort. Both national parks are in Old San Juan, but El Morro is located at the far end of Old San Juan. During crazy traffic, which happens often, you might get stuck for an hour before getting there.
Moving in and out of Old San Juan is a tricky thing. However, you can get away with multiple locations for a full-day wedding in Old San Juan if you are willing to walk the distance.
Also, I like Castillo San Cristobal as a ceremony location because the courtyard's architecture is gorgeous in photos.
One thing about the parks, though, is you have to set up after they close. So that means that you're getting a little bit too close to sunset.
This is why we did a first look session with Lorell and Chris and then moved straight again to family and wedding party shots so that we could leave the last bit of light after the ceremony for just newlywed portraits.
I loved the dry and fresh combination of florals on the ceremony site, elements of which also moved in to the reception venue back at La Concha Resort.
Newlywed Portraits in Castillo San Cristobal and Old San Juan
Sun was almost setting, so I decided to focus on portraits at Castillo San Cristobal. When we exhausted the location, there were still a few minutes for us to move around the old town. I rode with them in the antique car and got some gorgeous shots of them before we went back to La Concha.
Wedding Reception at Perla, La Concha Resort
Back at the resort, guests were starting to line up for the cocktail, so I moved quickly to capture the decor and ambient shots before the party started. And what a party! Once people got in, amazing energy filled the ballroom, and it never got empty again that night.
An epic wedding night, for an amazing couple.
Puerto Rico Wedding Vendors
Wedding Photography: Camille Fontz
Wedding Planner: Paris Bazile, Miami Elite Events
Videographer: Zion Films
Florist: Natalia Liriano
Wedding Cake: Vanessa Caro
Music & DJ: Revolution Sound & DJ
Make-up & Style: Mirna Jose
Officiant: Pablo Aymat, Ministros de Bodas PR
Bridal Dress: Brides Of Florida
Bridesmaid Dresses: Moda Glam
Groom & Groomsmen: It Suits Me