A Pretty Puerto Rican WeddingWords by Emily Garcia
Photos courtesy of Anée Atelier
Kate and Michael spent three years looking for the perfect venue that incorporated their unique style. When Kate felt she was settling for venues in New York, she turned to Pinterest for inspiration.
“A Pinterest picture led me on a crazy hunt to find this picturesque sunset location that I soon discovered was Isabela, Puerto Rico,” she says.
A week later she and her husband planned a trip to Isabela, Puerto Rico. During the couple’s visit, the bride found herself “head over heels in love” with the island.
Kate and Michael’s families were both excited to hear that the three-year wedding wait was finally over. The pair saw this wedding as a perfect opportunity for everyone to take a vacation together.
“We fell in love with Villa Montana instantly!” says the couple. The resort was located on the beach and had the vintage, boho vibe they had been searching for. The resort was lined with giant palm trees and cute beach bungalows.
An issue Kate and Michael did face during their destination wedding was Hurricane Maria. The couple was concerned that the worst natural disaster to hit the island in years was going to destroy their dream wedding destination. Luckily, the resort had minimal damage.
To make sure their venue was in good condition, the pair traveled back to Puerto Rico.
“We took a trip in January to see for ourselves that the resort was okay, and it looked better than ever!” the couple says.
The pair said their wedding planning was hassle free except for the loss of communication for a few weeks because of the hurricane.
Villa Montana offered wedding planning services, recommended local vendors and allowed the couple to plan and book everything through email.
Kate relied on Pinterest for her DIY projects and Wedding Wire to make her wedding website where she posted all the details her guests would need. It was also helpful to find vendors like a videographer, a DJ and a cigar roller. On the Wedding Wire app, she was able to look through reviews and message potential vendors through the app. Some vendors did FaceTime calls to make it feel more personal, says the bride.
With the help of her bridesmaids, Kate created her own welcome bags and double-sided fans used during the ceremony. She also put together the wooden welcome sign, a seating chart made on an old chicken wire frame, a guestbook that was a wooden pineapple, bride and groom signs with wood and vinyl, and signs that the ring bearers held while walking down the aisle.
The couple spent as much money as they would have with a wedding in New York City, but the pair loved that having a destination wedding allowed them to spend days with their guests before and after the wedding.
“It was nice to have 90 of our closest friends and family on a tropical island for a few days of relaxing and partying!” says the newlyweds.
Kate suggests researching the local marriage requirements for future brides. Two days before heading to Puerto Rico, she discovered that she and her husband needed their original Birth Certificates. Thankfully, the pair discovered this right in the nick of time.Vendors: Wedding Location: Villa Montana Beach Resort Isabela, Puerto Rico, Photographer: Anée Atelier, Wedding Planner: Villa Montana, Ceremony/Reception Site: Villa Montana Beach Resort, Florist: Villa Montana, Stationery: Jessica Lee Paperie, Cake: Villa Montana, Hair & Makeup: Tracey: Ahern Beauty & Jackie: Adelyn’s Canvas, Gown Designer: Hayley Paige, Videographer: KEJ Productions, Cigar Roller: Don Rosario Cigars
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