I started promoting elopements as one of my photography services because I picked up they'd be trending soon after in 2017. It just made financial sense to do so. Around 2018, they started becoming more and more common until they became almost half of my yearly wedding gigs. With time, I fell in love with elopements because of the personalized experience I can provide and the control I have over the elements to make my photography better. Also, elopements are excellent therapy from all the hundred-guest weddings.
Some pandemic-triggered reflections on love and my industry
Now amid a pandemic, big weddings are gone, and all we have are elopements and micro-weddings. This was when I started stumbling upon many realizations.
- Love is powerful and will wait for nothing. Even as the world seems so dark lately, couples continue to place all bets on love, pushing through this together. That's courage, and it's incredibly inspiring.
- I love witnessing marriage ceremonies. As a wedding vendor, I always say you have to believe in love and marriage to excel in the industry. I also like to think I have a monthly quota of hope that's just fulfilled by witnessing new families come together.
- I love meeting people from all backgrounds. It broadens my perspective to meet so many cool couples (and their loved ones). It also helps me see and fall in love with Puerto Rico's beauties through the eyes of its visitors.
- Sometimes we overcomplicate our notion of weddings. I don't think any of my clients regret eloping; these ceremonies are so deep and meaningful. I'm all for a party, but an intimate affair isn't any less memorable.
Almost a month since my last couple's photoshoot, I had so many expectations of Ashlinn and Adam's wedding day. They were all achieved and exceeded, thanks to these lovelies.
Beautiful Elopement Vows by the Cat Sanctuary in Old San Juan
I knew Save a Gato had operations in Old San Juan. Still, I wasn't really aware of its sanctuary location until Ashlinn told me she wanted to get married there. The lovebirds arrived weeks before their wedding, giving them enough time to explore Old San Juan until they found their perfect elopement location. I had never photographed there, and I'm so grateful that their discovery of Old San Juan helped me see my beloved town in a different light.
They held their ceremony below an elder tree and surrounded by curious cats. They wrote beautiful, personalized vows full of quotes from poems and reflections on love, which gave me some food for thought about what commitment really means.
In their vows, they didn't promise to love each other forever; instead, the lovebirds chose to say they'd nurture their love every day. It made me think a lot about the even more significant commitment this imposes upon us when we think of a relationship as this external creature that we have to care for.
Elopement Photos Around Old San Juan
After their ceremony was over, we walked around some of my favorite Old San Juan locations for portraits. Our feline witnesses followed us for the most part, as you can see. Ashlinn and Adam were so tender and spontaneous; it really had that therapeutic effect my soul needed! I really hope you enjoy this set as much as I did when capturing it!
Puerto Rico Wedding Vendors for This Event
Wedding Photography: Weddings by Camille Fontanez
Ceremony Location: Bastion de San Agustín, Viejo San Juan
Wedding Officiant: Ana María Hernández from Wonderland PR