Destination I Do
Friday, May 6, 2011

This Bride Offers Great Advice After Pulling off a Dream Puerto Rican Destination Wedding

Words by Courtney Kellar
Words by Courtney Cox
Photos courtesy of Shang Chen Photography

Nicole and Lino never doubted where they would have their destination wedding. The bride grew up in Puerto Rico and it’s where the majority of her family still lives. Plus, it’s ridiculously gorgeous! After months of thoughtful planning, the couple left Boston for sunny San Juan. Nicole and Lino said “I do” in the San Juan Evangelista Church and held their reception at San Juan Marriott Resort.

It was important to the couple that they make their destination wedding as convenient for their guests as possible. “We sent the ‘Save the Dates’ nine months before the wedding to give them a lot of time to plan ahead,” Nicole says. “We picked the summer partly because it’s low season in Puerto Rico and plane/hotel tickets were less expensive. We provided our guests with suggestions on where to stay and how to cut costs.”

Come W-day, Nicole looked gorgeous in a Monique Lhuillier gown. For the reception, she changed into her party dress which was made my Pronovias. Nicole was a truly DIY bride who took great pride in planning her wedding and, with the help of a wedding planner, pulled off the wedding of her dreams.

“I made my seating cards, favors, candy bar, menus, table numbers, ceremony programs and monogram,” says Nicole. “I bought stationary, stamps, embossing tools, ribbons and crystals at Paper Source and designed and made all of these because I really wanted every detail of the wedding to be custom. And quite honestly, I have always been a very creative person so putting these together was not only fun but meaningful – making them myself made them all the more special; they were exactly what I had envisioned and I’ll never forget that.”

Nicole obviously invested lots of time into creating her own unique touches for her destination wedding, but she doesn’t regret it for a second. “Sure, it was a little tougher than it would have been to plan it in Boston and yes I did spend more time planning the wedding, but it was quality, well-spent time. I was planning the wedding of my dreams and I would only get to do that once, so why sacrifice my vision for a slight increase in inconvenience?”

The couple made a few last minute decisions and, ironically, these were their guests favorite touches! The candy bar, custom flip-flops for midnight dancing and 2 a.m. munchies were the biggest successes of the night! While have a destination wedding definitely lessened the couple’s guest list, it gave them more wiggle room on their budget and ensured their guests were all taken care of. Nicole offers some words of advice for other brides planning their own dream destination wedding:

“If you want to be very involved, start saving vacation days and setting expectations and money aside for travel so that you won’t feel as far away from the process. Above all, infuse your wedding with a combination of local charm and a little bit of the two of you – after all, it’s a destination wedding, an experience that you and your guests will always remember.”

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