After so much back and forth on e-mails, and their lovely, laid-back engagement session at Old San Juan, I was very excited about Angelica and Matthew's wedding. They had planned quite a day for their guests, and it promised to be an entertaining wedding for me to capture.
Getting Ready portraits at El San Juan Hotel
Their wedding was planned originally at a different hotel. Still, luckily, El San Juan Hotel re-opened after a massive renovation project just in time for Angelica and Matthew's wedding day. Everything would be happening at the same hotel, which is a relief for the vendor team, and also for the couple and their guests.
I arrived early to Matthew's ocean view villa, which was full of groomsmen wearing the always classic tuxes. Also, with Matthew, there were his mom and dad, which were very helpful throughout the wedding day. Everyone in his room was relaxed and happy, so we quickly went over all the pictures we wanted to get done before moving to Angélica's suite.
At her suite, the vibe was very different, all the bridesmaids were almost ready, and they were delighted, excited, and having a lot of fun. Eventually, we got Angélica on her gorgeous Oleg Cassini ball gown, and we did a reveal to her bridesmaids, which were all so supportive and lovely with her. Afterward, we also did a first look/reveal with her dad, which was so overwhelmed when they saw each other, quite an emotional moment.
Ceremony and Reception at El San Juan Hotel Ballroom
Contrary to most weddings, Angelica and Matthew's event would be all taking place inside the same El San Juan Hotel ballroom. There were some logistical challenges, as the whole hall had to be ready earlier for pictures before the guests started coming in. Also, this set looks pretty different from most of my portfolio since it all happened indoors and instead of my usual outdoor hacienda weddings. Let's say it was very refreshing for me to work in the A/C for a change, haha!
Their decor was a classic theme on white, gold, greenery, and crystals. The classical idea was on point all over: the ballroom is golden and surrounded by mirrors (including the ceiling).
Guests sat in their reception tables for the ceremony, after which the processional started with a theatrical drama that involved stage lighting, also very consistent throughout the first part of the event. The ceremony was both in English and Spanish to accommodate all guests: some were Puerto Ricans, and the rest were visiting from mainland US. The service was very emotional and lovely. After it ended, we went right into the first dance of the newlyweds, complemented with stage lighting and smoke machines.
After that part, we went outside for just the newlywed portraits, while guests enjoyed their cocktail hour. We walked around the gardens and made it to the beach, but we didn't enter, as the couple didn't want to get all sandy. We walked back to the ballroom lobby, where we completed all family and group portraits before the newlyweds made their grand entrance, this time for the reception dinner and party.
There was another set of dances, toasts, and then a big surprise for the audience, La Tuna Bardos de la UPR. La Tuna is an inherited Spanish tradition of big bands that put on visual performances with dances and tricks, and it's so entertaining to watch. On that note, the DJ started the party, and we danced the night away.
Thanks, Angélica and Matthew, for making me a part of your special day and for your creativity while planning the wedding, which made it so entertaining and fun to capture. May your relationship always carry that spark, and I hope to have you in front of the camera again sometime!
Puerto Rico Wedding Vendors for This Event
Wedding Venue: El San Juan Hotel
Wedding Photographer: Camille Fontanez
Wedding Planner: Dagmar Lugo
Videography: Juan Roman
Wedding Cake: Vanessa Caro
Music & DJ: House Party Lights
Make-up & Style: Paris Rodriguez
Officiant: Jaime Camareno
Entertainment: Tuna Bardos de la UPR