I'm so excited to share with you about Chris and Rachel, gorgeous newlyweds that introduced me to a wedding venue I've been keeping on my bucket list for a while: Hacienda Ilusión, a new gem in Puerto Rico's wedding industry and one of the archipelago's most unique wedding venues.
A beautiful love story
These lovebirds first met at work, and although Rachel initially found Chris a bit annoying, she quickly fell for his outgoing personality and confidence around the office. Chris was immediately drawn to Rachel's intelligence and beauty, sensing that she had something special.
They kept gravitating back to each other and were willing to put in the work to make their relationship work. They have been together for almost a decade and have two sons, whom they adore. They moved from Pittsburg to Puerto Rico.
Elegant wedding venue in the Caribbean
They chose Puerto Rico for their wedding because it is now local for them, and they are excited for their family and friends to experience the island. Plus, it gave their loved ones the perfect excuse to escape cold Pittsburgh in February!
While they considered themselves a married couple in every way but legally, they were so excited to make it official with their wedding at Hacienda Ilusión.
What Makes Hacienda Ilusión a Top Wedding Destination
Hacienda Ilusión is a stunning wedding venue in Naguabo, Puerto Rico, and it offers a unique blend of natural beauty and rustic charm. This hacienda is surrounded by lush tropical hills, with breathtaking views of the El Yunque rainforest and the Atlantic Ocean. The venue offers an open-air pavilion with seating for hundreds of guests and an intimate indoor dining area for smaller weddings.
Hacienda Ilusión is a great wedding venue for weddings of any size, whether it's an intimate ceremony or a grand celebration. With its breathtaking natural surroundings and charming rustic ambiance, Hacienda Ilusión is the perfect place to celebrate a memorable wedding that will be cherished for a lifetime.
A two-day wedding celebration: Rehearsal Cocktail Welcome Party
My photography wedding timeline started the night before at their rehearsal welcome party. Instead of celebrating a formal rehearsal dinner They wanted to keep things fresh and casual, so they did a poolside welcome cocktail at the Wyndham Palmas del Mar, where I captured candids and some group shots as the guests mingled with the couple.
The next day, we met again, starting with Rachel's getting ready at the small casita within the estate. During these early moments of the day, she was surrounded by her mom, her mom-in-law, and her lively group of bridesmaids.
Then, we moved to the Hacienda, where I met with Chris and also captured the decor as everyone was getting ready for the start of the event.
Rachel and Chris held their beautiful ceremony on the second-level terrace facing south, with views of the lake and the sunset. Then they moved to the indoor dining area for the toasts and dinner.
After the cake cutting, we moved outside to the main terrace, where we danced the night away!
It is always so inspiring to photograph a venue for the first time, and I'm so happy it was with such a beautiful and easygoing couple. Congratulations and thanks for having me on such a momentuous occasion.
Puerto Rico Wedding Vendors
Wedding Planner Merylin Andino
Venue Hacienda Ilusión, Naguabo PR
Photography Camille Fontanez
Videographer Raymond Vega
Florist Lorraine's Flowers
Wedding Cake Vanessa Caro
Music & DJ Desibel Band, Rene A. Javier-Oronoz
Hair & Make-up Mery Abreu
Officiant Rebecca Kelly (Chris's sister) will be leading the ceremony
Bride's dress Justin Alexander
Groom/groomsmen Men's Warehouse
Bridesmaids David's Bridal
Caterer Bon Appetit
Entertainment The Ice Cream and Coffee Bar by Corazon Barista will be at the reception