For fifteen years we dreamed of getting married with our toes in the sand! I'm Carrie, a designer who runs my own design-build construction firm in New York. My partner Jennifer has worked by my side with my business, and also has a gig as a union butcher. After knowing each other for a couple of years, we started dating in 2003 and knew it was a perfect match.
After waiting for the "right" time for many years to get married, we finally decided to "elope" with just a few of our closest friends to our intimate destination wedding in Puerto Rico.
We had heard the sunsets in Rincon were jaw dropping, and we got lucky with a stunning sunset on our wedding day.
The Airbnb where we hosted our party was exactly what we were looking for: a simple, organic, casual style that let our elegant décor and group of loved ones take center stage. It also suited our values, being sustainably designed to run on solar power, and the use of environmentally friendly construction with an indoor/outdoor open air concept.
What special elements did you include in your wedding day? Were they symbolic in any way?
We were married by one of our oldest best friends. She was delayed arriving to the wedding so we got married on the beach under a full super moon. It was more beautiful than we could have ever imagined or planned. On top of that, nature gave us three beautiful rainbows that day, which we saw earlier. It was so special.
What did you splurge on?
The BEST photographers we could find and amazing food. The two most important things to us!
What did you save on?
The venue was incredibly accommodating. They allowed us to have the party there at no extra charge and even helped us figure out how to plug in our fairy lights outdoors. We stayed at the Airbnb for a few days with our family and friends before and after the wedding, and hosted the party there, so it was very cost efficient to do it that way.
What, in retrospect, could you have skipped?
We had a driver pick up guests from other hotels, and kept them driver on standby to go out to local bars after dinner. However, we had so much fun at the house that we really didn't want to leave, so that wound up being unnecessary. We could have just taxied our guests back at the end of the night.
What is your best planning advice to other couples?
Fast and furious worked for us. We didn't have much time to plan, but we also didn't really stress out about it. We had a vision, but we were flexible. The truth is, sometimes life is unpredictable, and no matter how much you plan in advance, unexpected things come up. Better to be true to yourself and your vision, but also roll with the punches and enjoy your day! Don't let silly things get in the way of your joy.
Why are you excited to be featured on Catalyst?
I love that Catalyst is so inclusive. Even though we had very little time to plan, we would have loved to have found a resource such as Catalyst for ideas and inspiration. I'm sorry that I'm only finding it now! But then again, we do have an afterparty to plan for all of our friends in New York.
From the photographers:
“Half way through the day, Jenn told us that their friend and officiant, Ceil, was arriving late, way past their sunset beach ceremony. We went to the beach to do a few portraits instead. After Ceil arrived, we went down to the beach where Carrie and Jenn took their vows under the light of the full moon eclipse.
As wedding photographers, we can say that photographing a wedding on the beach at night with only the light of a full moon and a couple tiki torches is a technical challenge, but a challenge that we were happy to take on. We are so excited with how their photos turned out, and can’t wait until our next full moon wedding!”
Words by Carrie, one of the brides, as told by Amber Marlow. Photos by Hastain Davis Studios.