Josh and Nick officially linked their worlds together at one of the most beautiful and welcoming destinations for gay weddings: Hacienda Siesta Alegre in Puerto Rico. Although I've visited this wedding venue more often than any other in the past 15 years, I felt my heart flutter when I stepped in for their wedding day.
Sometimes I a lot of information about a couple and their relationship before their wedding day. Josh and Nick were very laid-back and trusting during the process, so we didn't get to talk much besides the regular logistical e-mails leading up to the wedding. But, that's not an issue: I love learning and discovering about each couple on the wedding day because there are clues everywhere.
A Personal Note
My grandma, Abuela, is one of the most influential persons in my life. When I was little, I would blush and get annoyed at how much she would pry and ask strangers. She's not good at small talk: she would meet people waiting in line and straight away would get entangled in a conversation that would get deep real quick. And then she'd remember about them and bring them up in discussions with other people on different dates and places. Her 94 years of life have been full of meaningful connections, to say the least.
Now that I'm a wedding photographer, day after day, I jump into celebrations from strangers and, unintendedly, become a younger version of Abuela. I love meeting and conversing with parents and friends, learning about the couple from their eyes. Everyone has a different relationship with the couple, which enriches my perspective in a way that just watching from the sidelines wouldn't.
Many casual conversations throughout the day taught me how deep love and pride run for them in their families. I got several accounts of how brilliant and kind Nick is and how talented and caring Josh is with everyone in his circles. I felt so happy their worlds had collided into a beautiful family.
A Party & a Sweater, a Love Story.
Josh, an architect, is Puertorican. Nick, with Brazilian roots, is a scientist. I'm a fan of artist-scientist combos, as I feel they give such rich relationships. But, of course, maybe I'm biased because I'm the artist 50% of my own artist-scientist combo.
Studying on different campuses, they met thanks to a party and a sweater. These are essential factors in their story: Nick walked over to Josh during a party to introduce himself: "Hi, I'm Nick, and I like your sweater." Then he walked away, and if it weren't for a friend's social media investigative skills and a dating app, we maybe wouldn't have this blog.
This sweater was the one Josh's dad wore to his first date night with his mom. That's a lucky item right there!
One morning, six years after the day they met, Josh set up linens, plants, and candles in the kitchen/dining area. He also set up their favorite pastries and sweets on the table. Then, he called Nick out for coffee, as he routinely does. Except for this time, Josh was on one knee with a new coffee mug and a marriage proposal.
A Bespoke Celebration: Gay Wedding in Hacienda Siesta Alegre
Nick spent part of his preparation carefully pressing and taping his sleek outfit. Josh spent that time walking around and showing off each bespoke item he'd be wearing. I wandered between their worlds and photographed the bohemian garden decor done by then. Their wedding was incredibly personalized; every place card was a hand-drawn portrait of the guest, made by Josh over many months leading up to the wedding.
Like many modern couples, they have loved ones all over. They chose Puerto Rico so Josh's family could make it, bringing Brazilian flavors and music into the mix to represent both cultures.
Nick was ready earlier, so we placed him under Hacienda Siesta Alegre's iconic bridge, setting aside some time for their first look session. I don't direct much of this part, as I want to help the couple forget about performing and focus on being there for each other. After sharing their initial moments, I took them around the hacienda for a portrait session.
An Epic Wedding Day, Beginning to End
They had the most extensive, craziest wedding party ever! Their tribe was all wearing shades and textures of green, each matching their personality. First, mothers walked them down the aisle, and they also were honored at a moment of the ceremony. Then, after their vows and kisses, we walked out for group portraits and a shorter newlywed session.
Then I released them off into a memorable, epic party so good that the dancefloor never got empty. I returned home past midnight and was so energized that I had to dance some more in the shower before I could wind down.
Their union was full of love, tenderness, and celebration; their guests were overjoyed and matched their electric but wholesome energy. I honestly didn't want the night to end. I'll need a spreadsheet with all their addresses because I want to send them invites to my own wedding!
Thanks for allowing me in to capture such a special story.
Puerto Rico Wedding Vendors
Wedding Planner: Krizia Diaz Event Planner & Design
Venue: Hacienda Siesta Alegre
Photography: Camille Fontanez
Florist: HS Events & Planners
Desserts: Flor de Harina
DJ: Newave Events
Hora Loca: Batucada Brazilón, Sak Entertainment
Officiant: Alvaro Cuba
Josh's outfit: Diseñador Sanel Rivera
Nick's outfit: Suit Supply
Catering: Food Paradise Catering Services