September 2, 2020

The Latest, from Puerto Rico Destination Weddings, Inc.

Saludos!

I hope that this month’s version of The Latest finds you all well and safe and healthy! 

Puerto Rico is absolutely gorgeous these days … clear Caribbean water, beautiful sunsets, hot summer weather, and the occasional cooling afternoon thunderstorm. We’ve had a blast getting to know all our happy couples over the past two months and are so grateful for their trust in us, especially these days. As for all the rest, such as global pandemics or island political messes, shall we just focus a bit on Puerto Rico being absolutely gorgeous?! As well as our beautiful weddings and happy couples, of course!

This month in The Latest, we’re delighted to share the story of Holly & Tim’s wedding from a few weeks ago. Whether you are one of our couples who learns about The Tainos for the first time in our ceremonies, or if your Boricua blood includes Taino DNA, read on to learn a bit more about this amazing civilization. Learn about a valued member of the PRDW family, Javo Grant, including his insider’s recommendations. And, finally, we also include an explanation about a topic we often hear: yes, you can absolutely have your ceremony in Puerto Rico without all the paperwork and legalities. 

On that note, in some good news, the Puerto Rican government has implemented a fully online system for marriage certificates and marriage licenses. We’ve streamlined our processes so that couples only need to send us everything in advance, and we take care of it from there. No painful trips to the government offices while on vacation! It’s never been easier to be legally married in Puerto Rico.

So, enjoy a bit of beauty direct to you from Puerto Rico. And let us know how we can help with your own Puerto Rico destination wedding, elopement, or vow renewal!

Have a wonderful day!

Best,

Zoom In: 
The Wedding of Holly & Tim

Destination Wedding PackageHolly & Tim surprised their six wonderful children with a wedding and family honeymoon in Puerto Rico. What a beautiful thing to witness, two families come together as one! Read more about Holly & Tim’s surprise elopement in our recent blog post.

Cultural Insight:
The Tainos

Our wedding couples know that we often mention Taino Indians in our ceremonies, which generally focus on love and nature rather than any particular god. But who were the Tainos? Simply put, they were the indigenous people of this part of the Caribbean: an advanced matriarchal civilization that respected and worshipped nature, and added words to the English lexicon like hammock, canoe, tobacco, and barbecue. Within 20 years of the time Columbus landed in the Caribbean, the Taino population was nearly wiped out; some estimates were less than five hundred Tainos survived the disease and genocide. But an island-wide genetic study in 2003 showed that more than 60% of Puerto Ricans still have Taino DNA. This discovery has marked a resurgence in Taino culture; Taino symbols can be seen in merchandise across the island and organizations are forming to reestablish the Taino language and farming practices. Elements of Taino culture have made their way into some of our wedding ceremonies as seen in the photo below.
You might enjoy these Smithsonian articles for more reading about the Tainos: What Became of the Taino? and Bringing Taino Peoples Back into History

A traditional Taino blessing given at the wedding of Coral & Ollie.

Team Spotlight:
Javo Grant, Live Music
 

Javo Grant brings a rich musical experience to our team. He has a degree in classical guitar and a passion for unifying the musical heritage from Puerto Rico’s diverse regions. He loves blending traditional folkloric music and modern popular music, a lovely way to paint a picture of the real Puerto Rico. Javo has decades of experience as a studio session musician, musical director, booking agent, and teacher. He and his guitar have toured all over Latin America and the United States. Not only is it great background listening for us, we love the passion for his craft that he brings to our team.
Javo has a beautiful family that is his pride and joy. One of his favorite hobbies, shared by many PRDW team members, is organic gardening. He has a lovely garden in his home and we often compare notes and swap plants and seeds with our garden in The Vagón. His garden helps to inspire his music.
“I enjoy the humbling experience of performing music at a PRDW ceremony. Every wedding is absolutely unique and full of warmth and good taste. The working team feels more like a family.” 
-Javo Grant

Javo’s Local Tips

  • Drive through the center of the island. Visit Jayuya and get some coffee at Casa Pueblo in Adjuntas. Maybe check out Toro Negro State Forest.
  • If you like street art, check out Santurce, especially on a Thursday night.
  • Ponce, on the south coast, offers a lot of beautiful colonial architecture and modern art sightseeing. The Ponce Museum of Art has a vast collection of classic art. El Rastro in Ponce has wonderful international cuisine and excellent cocktails.

Q&A Spotlight:

Q: We don’t really want to go through the paperwork process, can we still get married and celebrate in Puerto Rico?
A: We are happy to perform ‘symbolic’ ceremonies, where the couple is legally married elsewhere but chooses to have a meaningful ceremony for themselves and/or loved ones in Puerto Rico. One of the secrets of the wedding world is that many ceremonies you’ve attended were likely symbolic in nature. Especially in today’s times, there are many reasons why couples might not wait to be legally married, but still want to celebrate their union symbolically with each other and with loved ones. Your symbolic ceremony will have the same look and feel of a legal ceremony, just without the paperwork and the fees to the Puerto Rican government.

Other questions? We have answers!

Check out our FAQ’s or fill out our contact form.

Finally, are you looking for 
some wedding inspiration?

Our couples love binge-watching the happy couples and stunning locations on our YouTube channel

Photography: AJR Photo Studio

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