With the deep plunge in temperature, we snuggled in and got cozy with Maria and Julian’s San Juan, Puerto Rico wedding- completely infused with a beautiful mix of tradition (Old San Juan) with modern style and some DIY touches. So beautiful in fact, that it couldn’t be captured by none other than Ben Elsass Photography. A friend of the bride and groom and noted photographer, whose work continues to impress all who view his images. But, what could be more heartwarming in this freezing weather than the bride letting us in on her special day as she shares DIY tips, getting family involved in the wedding planning process, and of course, every wonderful moment leading to “I do.” We hope you’re snuggled tight and enjoy these stunning photos of the gorgeous couple and one unforgettable bride’s headpiece!
From the bride… "How do you put into words one of the most incredible days of your life? This is how I feel every time someone excitedly asks me… ‘How was the wedding?!’… Well, the wedding was: magical, super fun, it was happiness in full bloom, it was smiles and pure joy, it was sacred and sublime. I woke up that morning feeling calm and giddy, ready to set into motion a day that had been planned lovingly for a year. No wedding planner, just a hefty dose of event planning expertise (courtesy of my career as a Marketing professional), and a collection of amazing people who all stepped up to create a marvelous day.
How do you DIY your way to the most perfect and meaningful wedding for you and your hubby to be? Well, the answers could be all around you.
Involve friends and family: The cake and dessert buffet were courtesy of our local family business, the two home-brewed craft beers were prepared weeks in advance by my brothers, the incredibly fun photo booth was a highlight thanks to a talented photographer cousin and another talented artisan cousin made the gifts for our guests. My best friend and sisters-in-law rolled up their sleeves to help in multiple ways and my parents made coffee for everyone at the end of the night.
Hire the right team: This is vital as your vendors make up the structure that supports your day. The pictures, one of the most important aspects for me, were left in the amazing hands of Ben Elsass Photography, a friend and noted photographer whose work continues to impress all who see our album. A local florist brought color and classic charm to the reception. The dress had to be beautiful but not break the bank, so I chose a gorgeous Oleg Cassini design from David’s Bridal. Since my husband and I met in a karaoke bar we definitely wanted to incorporate this into the party, hiring a DJ with karaoke equipment was key, DJ Rockhand stepped up to entertain and host. A December wedding in Puerto Rico would not be complete without a yummy traditional feast, nothing too fancy for this bride and groom, just a delicious home-style buffet prepared by Juan Bonilla Catering.
Choose a venue that is both significant and flexible: Our ceremony took place in the historic San Juan Cathedral which must be booked with plenty of lead time but was totally worth it. For the reception we chose a lovely turn of the century venue called Casa Olimpica, the low rental fee and flexibility to bring in any vendors of our choosing made it the right location.
Remember that your wedding should be a reflection of who you are as a couple, with all your charms and quirks. Keep a level head, surround yourself with supportive friends and family, hire vendors that match your budget and personality, and have fun! It’s true what they say… the day goes by in what feels like a second, a magical second.”
Photographer: Ben Elsass Photography // Cake Designer: Bientesabe // Dress Store: David's Bridal // DJ: DJ Rock Hand // Hair Stylist:Juan Rodriguez Escalera // Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Manny's Formal Wear // Floral Designer: Manteleria // Event Venue: San Juan Cathedral//