Sometimes a beachside wedding isn’t on a beach at all! Monica and Bernard hosted their friends and family aboard a cruise ship right off the shore of Puerto Rico. These two know how to have fun, and their bold personalities shone through in every detail of this Royal Caribbean wedding.
The blues, golds, and corals throughout the attire and décor played into their beach theme, celebrating the island’s natural beauty. And here’s a tip: take time to read the various signs posted at the different stations because they’re so funny! I love a couple who can make their wedding fun, light and a true party for all to enjoy.
And while everyone looks amazing, I’m unable to get over how gorgeous Monica’s entire look was from head to toe. The level of detail in her gown and veil is breathtaking, and I love how she was able to look traditional with the cathedral length veil, while still looking beachy and fun with the mermaid cut of her dress. The shots taken of her by the folks at Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Sea Photography on the stairs of the boat, and by Jose Aguilo along the stone wall on the rolling green hills show off how exquisite this dress really is.
I also love that she took the time to get away and capture some gorgeous photos in different spots in Puerto Rico – there’s so much more to the island than the beach. These photos capture everything from local art, to historic architecture and the natural landscape in a way that celebrates the entire destination of Puerto Rico, not just the venue.
Bridal Shoot in Puerto Rico
Photos by Jose Aguilo
Why did you choose to have a Royal Caribbean Wedding?
We chose this style wedding because we both serve in the U. S. Army. We currently live away from our friends and family. With him being from Virginia and me from North Carolina, we wanted a neutral place for our friends and families to come together, get to know each other, feel like a real community for a week, and just enjoy a whole week of relaxation. The style wedding really was so that we all could get the most for the money spent.
How many people attended your Royal Caribbean Wedding?
Did you have a wedding theme?
The theme was the beach. Our colors were tiffany blue, gold, coral, and white. The blue stood for the water, gold was for the sun, coral was for the sun, sand, and sky.
What were your sources of inspiration when choosing your colors, flowers, cake, etc..?
The sources were being from Puerto Rico. I wanted to originally have our wedding on the beach, however, since so many people decided to come we couldn’t. The colors really had a lot of meaning and looked so amazing together.
Was there something special that you incorporated into your wedding décor/theme?
We incorporated a few Puerto Rican traditional pieces, cultural music, fraternity and sorority dedication steps and songs.
What was your favorite wedding detail and why?
My favorite detail was my décor of tiffany boxes because me and those boxes went through everything together lol. They were my first big order of décor. I had to have them, and I had no idea how I would use them, but I had to have them because I was so in love with the colors. I ended up not having a damn thing to put in them lol, and I thought about it the entire year leading up to the wedding. We were able to use most of them for décor.
Was there any tradition that you skipped?
We were very untraditional. Both his mother, and my father were unable to attend. We totally skipped the first dance stuff. We wanted everything to be lite and fun.
What was the most memorable part of your wedding day?
The speeches! We had numerous speeches! And they were all so so memorable, especially the best man speech. Our community of friends and family are so amazing. They told stories and thanked us for everything they could think of. It was funny and perfectly emotional.
What was your favorite part of having a Royal Caribbean Wedding?
My favorite part was that we felt we spent our money very wisely. We are both very liked and popular, so in our heart, we felt it would have been too much to feel bad about not inviting everyone we knew to a traditional wedding. Mainly because we know everyone would have come, and that could have easily been a good 500 people. Solid. We did not deal with any last minute hiccups, a bunch of vendors, or last minute cancelations. Everything was pretty dead set and organized. And the day of the wedding I walked around the ship in my sweats, got my coffee, and chilled out until I started my make up.
What was the biggest challenge in planning your destination wedding?
One of the biggest challenges was definitely having the patience for our “friends” to make their minds up. For some reason, so many people felt that telling the truth would disappoint us or hurt our feelings about not being able to come, so they just didn’t say anything lol. I have OCD. And I am very honest and straight forward, so it was frustrating dealing with people who thought we couldn’t handle the truth. We knew everyone couldn’t go, that’s a given with a destination wedding. However, the communication on their side was often very weird, and awkward. Honestly, a lot of relationships were lost and a lot of other relationships were strengthened. It was such a great point in life to learn the lessons we learned. No other way.
What’s your advice to other couples planning a destination wedding?
Think everything you want through before you really make any major moves. Know what you want, do a lot of research on “how to”. Don’t be lazy and don’t let your vulnerabilities be taken advantage of. A lot of businesses start out with the right mind set, and then at some point it turns into chasing money. They will overcharge you so much just because they know you want it all and have money to spend. It’s very easy to fall into traps. Don’t take first offers. give yourself a realistic timeline and plenty of time so you are not stressed out last minute.