I'm sharing Aldo & Myron's Puerto Rico gay elopement for this year's last entry into my pride series. They met at a bar, and they clicked right away. They flew together across the world as their love for one another grew, and exactly six years later, from the date they first met, they got engaged in New Orleans.
Puerto Rico as a same-sex elopement destination
Initially thinking about a Mexico destination wedding, they noticed that a big wedding was not the perfect match for them. What about eloping instead? When brainstorming about elopement destinations, they remembered their great memories from a previous visit to Puerto Rico. So they started their research, and that's how they stumbled upon my Puerto Rico gay elopement portfolio.
In the message, Aldo talked about their love story and their ideas for an Old San Juan elopement on the same date they met; this date was special for them. The only thing is, that day is sacred for me as well: my grandma's 94th birthday. I sent them a quick note thanking them for their inquiry, but I could only honor my availability for a sunrise session that day. Acknowledging that having a couple wake up at the crack of dawn on their wedding because of me was a hard sell, I sighed as I hit that send button.
I got a quick reply saying that they'd be happy to do sunrise photos, and after a video call, we gave it a go! I helped them find vendors, and we were all set for an excellent elopement day!
An LGBT elopement day in Puerto Rico
We were forecast heavy rains for that weekend, which always creates uncertainty. That dawn, I drove to a cloudy Old San Juan, where I met the lovebirds at Hotel Palacio Provincial during their preparations. After photographing them in that intimate setting, we walked to El Morro Fortress, where Licenciada Ana María was waiting for us. There they took vows with each other, with only the fortress walls, us, and the ocean breeze as their witnesses.
Afterward, we explored the old town in its sunrise serenity; their smiles and happiness made the sun come out, even if just for us. Finally, we walked back to Hotel Palacio Provincial, where the cloudy skies allowed us to go up to the rooftop for a grand finale, a champagne toast just for them.
The fight for egalitarian marriage and LGBT rights is not over
I hesitated on whether to share this next bit on this blog as I didn't want to spoil such a beautiful story. But, during these newlywed portraits in Old San Juan, we had a rude encounter with reality. A neighbor loudly demanded that we shouldn't be doing these kinds of photos on "her" street. Mind you, I perform Old San Juan photoshoots daily.
Casual portrait sessions in the streets of Old San Juan are entirely legal and require no permits.
That wasn't the issue. She was obviously implying that a gay couple wasn't welcome there. We continued taking pictures, and I'm so happy Aldo and Myron were so graceful and decided nothing would spoil their day.
San Juan is well-known for being gay-friendly and welcoming to diversity.
But, sadly, the western world, especially those countries with a close relationship with the United States, is turning toward bigotry and exclusion. We must resist and use our voice to stand against that and fight daily for freedom and inclusion, the kind that comes with no fear or hate.
The purpose of my pride series is to overflow your feeds with weddings, engagements, and proposals of my clients from the LGBTQ+ community. I do this in hopes that, as a society, we know and relate better to their stories and realize that it's only natural to celebrate and defend love in all its diversity.
I'm continuously grateful to be privy to such intimate, valuable moments. I hope my photos always do them justice and inspire everyone to keep on fighting the good fight.
For this event
Puerto Rico Gay Elopement Vendors
Getting ready hotel: Hotel Palacio Provincial
Photography: Camille Fontz
Bouttonieres: The Flowers Culture in Old San Juan
Wedding donuts: Kudough's
Officiant: Wonderland PR by Lic. Ana Maria Hernández