Melissa and Guillermo's wedding at the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino was my year-end surprise! Most of my couples book me around two years before their weddings; but they hired me just a month and a few days before their event.
We had little communication prior to the event, and this is always one of two things: a busy couple that doesn't prioritize photography, or clients who trust their vendor team and know they will create a perfect wedding day for them. Luckily for me, it was the latter!
My first wedding at Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino
Although I've been to the Sheraton Convention Distric many times for weddings and conventions, but this was the first time an entire event of mine was happening at the hotel.
TIPS FOR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS WHEN WORKING AT A NEW LOCATION
First times are always a bit nervewracking. Fifteen years later, I have developed a few hacks that help me quickly figure out a new location for a wedding day:
- I arrive early to the location and to a walkaround. Scouting days in advance can be a waste of time because hotels and venues may have events or maintenance projects that render some spaces unusable on the day-of.
- Lighting is king. Take sunlight into consideration and do a quick google to visualize the sun's path as the day goes on. Don't fixate on structures or scenes: focus on how you want the light to hit your subject and then plan your location around that.
- Don't get overwhelmed by planning locations for the whole wedding day. Just think about where you need your photos for the next stage in your timeline.
- Identify a weather backup location. Don't wait until rain happens to look for a covered site that's well-lit and spacious enough for portraits.
A Destination Wedding Day at Sheraton Convention Center, Puerto Rico
After scouting the venue, Guillermo greeted us at the hotel's lobby. We walked upstairs as we chatted about his expectations for the day. A fellow photography enthusiast, we connected over cameras and photography as we captured the last getting ready details of him with his best man and father.
When he finished, we moved outside for all the portraits. I said goodbye for now, and went up to Melissa's room.
Melissa, her mom, and VIPs were all 100% ready when I came in. Although it sacrifices a few getting ready shots, it's the best use of time for actual portraits. Since the weather was perfect, we could even walk out the bridal suite for bridal portraits around the hotel.
She looked gorgeous, I loved how her red florals, accesories and hair created a beautiful statement.
First Look and Vows Before their Ceremony
After finishing all the bridal portraits, we brought Guillermo for their first look.
You could feel this electric energy as soon as they saw each other, energy that would continue infecting everyone throughout the entire evening, even the staff.
After breaking into tears, both exchanged private vows before their ceremony.
Sunset Alfresco Ceremony at the Sheraton Convention District, Puerto Rico
This ceremony was gorgeous. Instead of facing away, Melissa & Guillermo wanted to stand facing their guests during the ceremony, which meant that I had the views that the officiant usually would. This change led to a gorgeous ceremony coverage, glorious sunset included.
After the ceremony and a much-needed shot, we completed all family & group portraits and then let the couple enjoy their cocktail hour with guests while I took decor photos inside.
A few minutes before the reception started, we brought Melissa and Guillermo inside for a second set indoors. I don't usually do this, but the decor was so gorgeous!!
After finishing portraits, guests started arriving. Melissa has Colombian roots; Guillermo, Dominican. So the brief protocol and dinner was followed by the most epic Caribbean dance party. There's nothing like it.
Thanks for the most amazing, effortless time! I can't watch these images without feeling energized and excited!
Sheraton Puerto Rico Wedding Vendors
Wedding Venue Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino
Wedding Photography Camille Fontz
Wedding Planner Krizia Diaz
Decor Hamsell Santos
Music & DJ Joel Big J
Officiant Wedding Ministers Puerto Rico