As we wrap up 2023, we’re taking time to reflect on this wonderful year! Things at Puerto Rico Destination Weddings Inc. and Hacienda222 have been growing at light speed for several years, so it’s great to look back and think about the ways we’ve evolved and the ways we’ve stayed the same.
Community is everything in Puerto Rican island life. We’ve always aimed to hire locally within our community, providing work, jobs and training to neighbors, local farmers, fishermen, and other small businesses. This year, we were delighted to give back by sponsoring the Isabela Film Festival, many local festivals and Earth Days, the Piratas of Quebradillas, the Pollitas of Isabela, and much more.
Our 2023 was packed with wonderful couples as well as beautiful events and a fantastic team that makes them happen! In this month’s edition of The Latest, we look at a few memorable moments from this year.
Let’s start at the beginning! We rang in the New Year with the sunrise wedding of Sadie & Louie. Sadie & Louie were introduced by Louie’s twin brother and they knew it was meant to be from the beginning. They love to travel and adventure together so they chose Peñon de Coco, one of our ‘adventure elopement’ locations, for their ceremony. Peñon the Coco is our favorite spot for drone photography, as it captures the majestic cliff and the crashing waves. (It’s also great for whale watching…we can’t wait for the humpbacks to return next month!)
Just a couple of days after Sadie & Louie’s elopement, we welcomed Kaitlynn & Giovanni for our first wedding of 2023 at Hacienda222, our boutique event venue! It was a beautiful, sunny day in Puerto Rico for dancing the day away!
Click the photo above to see Roza & Erik’s beautiful wedding video!
We encourage our couples to stay in the idyllic west side of Puerto Rico if at all possible (read more in our guide to west Puerto Rico). But sometimes we do venture to the big city of San Juan for a wedding at the historical forts, like Roza & Erik’s at San Cristobal Castle. From the moment Roza saw a photo of Old San Juan, she knew this was the place for her wedding. We worked with her to plan and customize her San Juan wedding to fit her vision. Here is what Roza & Eric had to say about their big day:
“Amazing company to work with to make your destination wedding vision and dreams come true! Both Ashley and Joanna were super responsive and had great insight throughout the planning process. I had a vision of an Old San Juan wedding and they ensured everything went smoothly as planned! Ashley conducted our ceremony which was beautiful. The photographer they work with – Angel is very talented- we love all our pictures! Don’t think twice if you want to get married in Puerto Rico, book with them”
-Roza & Erik
Tajye’s ceremony is one that we will never forget. Shortly before their wedding day, Tajye & her finance decided to end their relationship. Instead of mourning and canceling her day, Tajye took a cue from the universe that it was time to commit to taking care of herself. We worked with her to create a custom experience and solo ceremony for her; from limousine service, to bouquet to photography, everything was taken care of for her. The day was spectacular, culminating in an emotional reading of Maya Angelou’s Still I Rise. There were no dry eyes around, truly a day to remember.
Click the photo above to see Jean Marie & Cesar’s beautiful wedding video!
Like many of our couples, Jean Marie & Cesar already have a beautiful family and life together. The only thing missing was the legal documentation and the wedding! We were thrilled to be able to help on both counts. We are experts on the process to be legally married in Puerto Rico. We take all the guesswork out of the process so that all you have to do is show up! Here is what Jean Marie & Cesar shared with us:
“Thank you all so much for not only giving us an amazing ceremony but the best of everything. It’s truly been a pleasure working with Hacienda222!”
-Jean Marie & Cesar
Click the photo above to see Jean Melissa & Kelly’s beautiful wedding video!
Melissa & Kelly eloped at El Pastillo, one of our favorite deserted beaches and a bit of a secret spot, even to locals. We often get questions from couples asking if we and Puerto Rico are LGBTQ-friendly. The answer is a resounding yes! Read more here.
One of the great joys of 2023 has been having our sweet minis in residence at Hacienda222. Our three miniature donkeys and two miniature cows have been a delight to guests of all ages. Bomba and Plena are pictured here, entertaining the youngest guests at the wedding of Keeri & Richie. This photo was taken by a guest at the wedding, aspiring 9-year-old photographer, Seamus McClay, who kindly agreed to share his unique perspective with us. Thank you, Seamus!
We have several more weddings to celebrate before we officially say goodbye to 2023 but we’ll leave you with the stunning elopement of Kat & Jay at Gozalandia Falls. The sun peaked over the falls just as their wedding ceremony began, blessing the event with its rays.
As always, we are grateful as we look over all of the beautiful weddings and events we’ve been a part of over the past 12 months. We are fortunate to be a part of a magical community, working with a talented, professional team as well as many wonderful couples.
It is truly an honor.
We have exciting plans for 2024 and can’t wait to continue sharing our journey with you. We wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season! We’d love to be a part of your 2024!