Hey there, it's me, Quarantine Cami! Today I have a rather lengthier blog than I usually would share for elopement day photography. Still, please humor me, as this was my last gig before the coronavirus lockdown took place in Puerto Rico. Literally, Tracy and Ravi's wedding happened the day lockdown started. I was already nervous after my last Old San Juan elopement, only two days before Tracy and Ravi's. It seemed like work would be impossible to carry on within the upcoming days, as postponement e-mails were flooding my e-mail inbox. So it was both a relief and an exhilarating feeling when Tracy e-mailed me the night before: "Just want to confirm we are all set for tomorrow at 3:30. Thanks and see you then!"
The lockdown (which everyone was still confused about) would start that night. Tracy and Ravi being tourists in Puerto Rico, I was worried about how their general mood and their family would be like. I prayed this could happen without any hiccups and drove to Old San Juan.
Getting Ready at La Terraza de San Juan
Our meeting point was at La Terraza de San Juan, a beautiful boutique hotel conveniently located within walking distance to all significant Old San Juan attractions. It was 5 minutes from the ceremony location: Tracy and Ravi had selected it digitally scouting via google maps.
Tracy still had a few minutes before being finished, so her mom escorted me back into the room so we could all get acquainted. For such a hectic day, Tracy (and honestly, everyone else) had such a pleasant and calm attitude, you could see she was totally ready for the day. We had a first look session scheduled to happen right before the ceremony, so I went back downstairs and met Ravi.
First Look in the Streets of Old San Juan as part of the Elopement Photography Session
Together, Ravi and I scouted several locations close to the hotel for Tracy to meet us there. It was still a bit early in the day, which meant the sun was high and hot. So we selected a location where they would both be comfortable in the shade, and also because this narrow street didn't allow for cars to park and obstruct our views.
Family members were in charge of giving us the cue for the first look to start, Tracy was ready! So she walked down the street and met the love of her life. They were so excited and happy to see each other, their faces lit up! There was a restaurant nearby, and we could hear the music, suddenly without any prompting from my part, Tracy and Ravi were dancing in the middle of the street. People cheered for them from the windows. It felt like a movie scene!
Spontaneous Elopement Ceremony by Castillo San Cristobal
After they had this intimate, exciting moment, we joined family again, and we started making our way to the location. Tracy and Ravi wanted a site that overlooked the ocean but also featured the walls of the old city. We narrowed it down to Bastion de San Sebastian, which is an accessible public area. Unlike the National Parks (El Morro and San Cristobal), where you'd have to pay for a permit to get married inside.
Mind you, this was the last day Old San Juan was entirely open for business and tourism before the COVID-19 lockdown, so everyone was out and about soaking in the final hours of freedom. Bastion de San Sebastian is right next to one of the principal Old San Juan streets. So, even when Tracy and Ravi had only 15 guests for their wedding, they also had a massive audience of people cheering and sending them good vibes and blessings.
The ceremony was surreal, not only the scenery, the intimacy, and the happiness but also the words shared during the officiant's speech and their vows. Now, as I'm eager to start working on weddings again, I cherish this day deeply, because it encompassed everything I love about working as a wedding photographer.
Newlywed Photos around Old San Juan
After Ravi and Tracy got married, we performed family and group photos right there. Then the family left us alone for about an hour as we walked around Old San Juan for newlywed photos. Tracy and Ravi let me go crazy with my best recommendations for photos. They only had a few requests, one of which was what I call "Cat Alley," because Tracy is a cat lover. I was so lucky to do so many beautiful, fun, and romantic portraits for them. I hope you enjoy this set as much as I enjoyed putting it together for them. Stay safe!
Puerto Rico Wedding Vendors for This Event
Wedding Photography: Weddings by Camille Fontanez
Getting Ready Venue: Hotel La Terraza de San Juan
Make-up & Style: Neidaliz Garcia
Bridal Dress: BHLDN
Legal paperwork: Lic. Ana Maria Hernandez