Ralizabeth & Junior ♥ Ponce, Puerto Rico
Photographer: Carlos Torres Luna Photography
Ralizabeth and Junior were first featured on the blog a few months ago, with their pretty park life engagement pictures.
Their long distance love story is a truly lovely one, with the first four years of them getting to know each other being over the phone between New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Be sure to head on over and read the full adorable story and how Junior proposed (he did well – it’s a real tear jerker!) if you missed it.
Fast-forward from the engagement to the wedding and Ralizabeth and Junior’s story is a similar one to most of the destination wedding couples who are featured on the blog; Ralizabeth hadn’t been dreaming of a big white wedding and she knew in her heart of hearts that only something unique and personal to her and Junior as a couple would do. Local venues were an attractive offer, yet there seemed to be a certain something missing.
They decided upon an intimate wedding in Puerto Rico with just their nearest and dearest as witnesses, and they knew just the place! Junior had taken Ralizabeth to a beautiful, homely castle venue high up in the hills overlooking Ponce on one of their initial dates. What could be more dreamy?
This fabulous Fall wedding is bursting with romance and rich autumnal colours, with breathtaking views as a backdrop, and not only that, but Ralizabeth and Junior had their destination day their way and the happiness that this brought to them and their immediate family is clear to see.
“After Junior proposed to me in June, I began thinking about my options. I always wanted a fall wedding and I wanted something outdoors. I always knew I would be a ‘nontraditional’ bride but I had never really thought about how my big day would be until this very moment. I started to look into different venues around the northern New Jersey area and everything was way over my budget. I quickly got discouraged.”
“That same week, I found a sweet elopement online and just completely fell in love! It was the perfect depiction of love. The bride, the groom and their officiant. I knew I had to do something similar. Junior and I have created our own little love story, just the two of us and I knew having a huge traditional wedding was not the perfect beginning to our ‘happily ever after’. We wanted something more personal, more ‘us’.”
“I talked about it with my parents and my sister and told them I couldn’t imagine getting married without them present. My sister suggested us getting married in Puerto Rico and it was like a light bulb went off! I remembered this castle, Castillo Serralles of Ponce, Puerto Rico, that Junior took me to while we were dating on one of my visits to Puerto Rico. And that’s where the idea of eloping in a castle (with our parents as our witnesses) was born. The venue gave us a list of vendors and that’s how we found our photographer, Carlos Torres Luna Photography. He made me feel so beautiful and gave us a special package that fit our nontraditional wedding.”
“My dress was the first dress I tried on. I went into the BCBG store during my lunch hour from work one day, saw it hanging on the rack, tried it on and then called my mom because I knew this was ‘the one’. I knew I wanted some sort of head chain and I was out with my friend one day, shopping. We walked into this small accessory boutique, and there it was. I tried it on, and she literally cried because it was just perfect! Junior picked out his entire outfit and actually didn’t let me see it on him until the day of the wedding. He wanted me to be surprised just like he was going to be, seeing me in my white dress for the first time.”
“On the day of our wedding, we arrived at the castle, which was the first time our families were seeing the venue. They were in awe! The view of the city was just out of this world. We did our ‘first look’ inside the castle with all of its rustic charm and then pranced around outside just taking in that beautiful view. It did start to drizzle a little while we were prancing around, but I didn’t mind one bit. The entire event was stress-free and just perfect!”
“I like to tell everyone ‘I met my prince charming at the foot of a castle on an enchanted island and vowed to spend the rest of my life with him’. A dream come true!”
Do you have any advice for couples who are looking to get married abroad?
- “Don’t sweat the small stuff. Everything ends up always coming together perfectly. I didn’t choose what our parents were going to wear or what my sister was wearing and we all ended up matching so perfectly! My mom was nervous about not having direction on what to wear and I told her ‘just don’t look better than me’!!”
Venue and suppliers:
Photographer – Carlos Torres Luna Photography / Venue – Castillo Serralles / Bride’s dress – BCBG Maxazria / Bride’s shoes – Zara / Bride’s headpiece – Small boutique in North Bergen, New Jersey / Flowers – DIY by the bride and her mother / Groom’s outfit and shoes – Zara / Groom’s suspenders – H&M