Since the beginning of their romance amid a pandemic, Abbey and Jeremy's relationship took non-traditional courses. So it only fitted that their wedding day was unconventional, too. Just a month before their trip to Puerto Rico, I received their wedding photography pricing inquiry:
"Hi, Camille! My fiancé and I are eloping! We don't have all the details sorted out yet, but we plan to have a small ceremony on a beach in Vieques. We already have our flights/lodging booked, and the ceremony will be on Tuesday, July 27. We won't be having a reception or anything like that, so we would only need a photographer for 2-3 hours."
After a few e-mails of sharing details, asking questions, and sharing cute photos of them and their adorable kiddos, we booked the date. After that, I happily started planning my workation to my favorite place in the world: Vieques.
A Note About Life in Vieques, Puerto Rico
Although I traveled a few times for engagement & portrait sessions in Vieques beaches, It's been a while since I photographed actual weddings in Vieques. Several natural and political disasters have impoverished and stirred the lifestyle of Vieques and Culebra residents. As a result, scarcity is palpable during travel and wedding planning in such destinations. Locals are forced to travel to Isla Grande (Puerto Rico's main island) for almost every service imaginable. In addition, most goods available in the islands get imported via ferry from Isla Grande, which skyrockets the cost of everything there.
Vieques and Culebra are beautiful, unique destinations to visit. Pristine beaches, unusual accommodations, a world-class Bioluminescent Bay, and breathtaking nature. Still, I urge you to travel respectfully and mindfully about the population's struggles with the lack of resources, transportation, and especially health access amid a pandemic.
Vieques Wedding Photography at Beachfront Airbnb
The wedding day was here! Their Airbnb is called: Casa de Playa (which is 'beach house' in Spanish, but I loved that Abbey's friend thought it meant Playa's House as in slang for "players"). Upon my arrival, the perfect jazzy instrumental playlist filled the space, and everyone was having fun while getting ready. Abbey was doing her hair and makeup with the help of her sisters. At the same time, Jeremy enjoyed a last-minute splash in the pool.
It was a scorching hot July day, the A/C was barely making it, and we were patiently waiting for the sun to go down a little bit.
There was a gift exchange, and then we walked to a nearby terrain for Abbey & Jeremy's first look. Jeremy cracked me up when he said this reveal made him feel like part of The Bachelor cast. They shared an intimate moment, and then I intervened for some laid-back couple portraits before walking back to the Airbnb for a drink and some more air conditioning.
When everyone was ready, we walked back to the shoreline for their ceremony. Every word of Abbey and Jeremy's beach ceremony was perfectly personalized, with every one of their six guests participating.
Afterward, we jumped on our golf carts (Vieques wedding transportation of choice). Then, we drove to a local restaurant, El Quenepo, where they celebrated their adventurous day, friendship, and love. We shared stories, talked about Puerto Rico and Vieques, and shared some drinks before I left them to enjoy the rest of the night with their chosen family.
Their wedding was the perfect extension of all the relationships Abbey and Jeremy have built together, and I'm so happy I was there to document it.