As a wedding photographer, I have witnessed how micro weddings and elopements in Puerto Rico have become popular these past five years. We're now living in both turbulent and exciting times when couples question traditions and what their financial priorities should be. Both destination and Diasporican couples visit Puerto Rico as the perfect excuse to get married in an intimate ceremony.
With the ease of travel, American currency, bilingual natives, the top-notch industry of wedding professionals, and unparalleled Caribbean beauty in the United States, Puerto Rico presents itself as the ideal elopement destination.
A particularity of elopements is that there's usually no wedding planner. Some of the tasks that would naturally fall on them end up being absorbed by other vendors, usually me. One of those tasks is to guide the couple during their venue scouting. Below I'll share several categories of sites where I love to photograph elopements. I hope my blog inspires and helps you find the perfect elopement locations for you.
Outdoor Elopements in Puerto Rico
Outdoor events in Puerto Rico are my specialty as a wedding photographer, so they will be the first I'll talk about today. Puerto Rico is so beautiful that even with its heat and weather challenges, I prefer this wedding type to be enclosed within four walls. Micro weddings and elopements have higher flexibility in which we could basically get married anywhere, but here are examples of where my clients and I have most enjoyed working.
Elope at a Tropical Rainforest
Is an adventure elopement for you? Couples that practice hiking and have a sense of adventure love El Yunque Rainforest is one of the best choices amongst elopement locations in Puerto Rico.
I recommend that it be as close as possible to dawn to avoid the crowds and intolerable heat and humidity that's natural to the rainforest microclimate. My clients usually put on their wedding clothes upon arrival at the waterfall they wish to get married at, to not get their clothes too dirty before starting. What an adventure!
COVID-19 travel advisory: during the pandemic emergency, you have to make a reservation at the National Parks for your visit to El Yunque. The reservation will show a specific check-in time range, in which you can access the park and then exit anytime before 5pm.
Elope in the Old San Juan Harbor
Old San Juan is the other place I'm always at. It is inevitable: it has the colonial architecture beauty, romance, nostalgia, and the convenience of being at the epicenter of Puerto Rico's tourist activity. It all makes Old San Juan a perfect destination for elopements. Filled with historical monuments, restaurants, and beautiful scenery, who wouldn't feel like getting married?
Elope inside the Walls of an Old-World Fortress
In so many centuries of history, El Morro Fortress and Castillo San Cristobal keep so many memories within its walls, including countless love stories, surprise engagements, and romantic weddings. Under the jurisdiction of the National Parks Administration, both San Cristobal and El Morro require a permit to hold events inside, but the beauty is worth the effort.
Sandy Beach Elopement Locations in Puerto Rico
As islanders, when we think about giving ourselves a romantic getaway, the beach is always one of the first options. It is also often one of the favorite choices when it comes to elopements. The beaches are so beautiful you don't need to invest much in wedding decor. We are also surrounded by beaches, so there are limitless options for you to choose from at your convenience.
Elopement Locations in Culebra and Vieques
Culebra and Vieques are two off-shore municipalities of Puerto Rico, popular for their pristine beaches. I love Culebra and Vieques, probably you will too. But to do a big wedding if your guests are not residents, it would be a nuisance. However, when eloping, these will feel like the perfect elopement location for getting married and enjoying a honeymoon retreat.
COVID-19 travel advisory: tourists are still restricted from visiting Vieques, as the island doesn't have hospital services in case of an outbreak. Please refrain from visiting until authorities say it is safe to do so.
Elope in a Beachfront Rental
Trending alert! Renting luxury properties through platforms such as Airbnb and Homeaway, to celebrate intimate weddings in them, is what's up right now. AirBNBs are excellent options because each one is unique, and you can choose one exactly how you like it.
Elope in a Centuries-Old Lighthouse
Usually lighthouses are located in iconic cliffs and beaches that are beautiful for an elopement or microwedding. They usually have good accesibility and parking options. Here are some shoots in varied Puerto Rico lighthouses.
Sunset Elopement on a Sailboat
Nothing screams romance and luxury like renting out a sailboat, going out into the sea and get married with the sound of the waves crashing during a glorious sunset. Depending on where you're staying, there are several port options, but the most popular is the Old San Juan harbor, where you can find many companies that can offer the sailboat service, as well as lots of amazing wedding vendors.
This is my list for now! I'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback in the comments below. I hope this blog was useful, and that all your small wedding dreams come true.