Romantic Ways to Propose: at a 5 Centuries Old Fortress in the Caribbean

Sam and Raquel's proposal at El Morro Fortress is my last blog for the PRIDE month series for the year. In 2021, I wanted to highlight and celebrate Queer love stories. So rarely highlighted in wedding vendors' portfolios, many times these couples face inclusivity challenges when planning less-patriarchal ways to celebrate their love stories.

A call to become better allies within the wedding industry by not just accepting but celebrating

There are easy tasks that, as wedding vendors, we can do. Creating a more inclusive wedding industry is not a task for just the members of the Queer community but us as allies. Highlighting more of their stories, seeking out more clients in the Queer and trans spectrum, rethinking our wording in social media and internal documents and communications, becoming defenders of love in all its forms, and finally, listening and amplifying their voices. Education is the cornerstone of inclusivity.

Inclusivity in the wedding industry cannot be about accepting the business of queer couples. It has to be about being so freaking excited about serving them, about making a safe space where they don't need to explain or dilute their identities.

There's a great podcast collab from the great couple behind Queerlyweds. They share a rarely heard-of perspective as a Queer couple navigating their wedding planning and their reflections towards a more inclusive, safer wedding industry. Check it out! 

Sam's Proposal at El Morro Fortress

High school sweethearts, Sam and Raquel, traveled for a weekend getaway to Puerto Rico, but there was a big surprise for one of them, in the form of a shiny ring. On their first day in Puerto Rico, they'd be dropped off by their uber by El Morro for a sunset walk. I was waiting, sitting on a bench nearby, pretending to be just another tourist enjoying the afternoon breeze.

They started walking, and I followed them from a safe distance. But even from a distance, you could feel the nervousness and excitement that was waiting to burst out of Sam's chest. Finally, when the moment felt right, Sam took Raquel by her hands, said the words that were dying to get out, and finally got on one knee. 

Can you remember that light, warm, and fuzzy feeling in your chest, hands, and stomach when you first fell in love? How every time you inhaled, it felt like there wasn't enough air coming in, so you had to breathe again but harder? That was just how it felt to capture their proposal. It was so adorable, and I felt so lucky witnessing this next step in their love story. 

After their proposal at El Morro, we had the most romantic walk (well, as romantic as it can be when you're with a photographer/third-wheeler) and ended on the sweetest note. Congratulations on saying yes, and let the wedding planning begin! Best of happiness to you both.