Real Wedding | Michelle + Ignacio

Family took center stage at this charming destination wedding. Michelle and Ignacio married at a beautiful resort hotel in Puerto Rico and made the wedding their own by forgoing some traditional activities and focusing on creating a festive, relaxed atmosphere. If you are thinking about a destination wedding, you’ll find lots of inspiration here! Make sure to give extra attention to Michelle’s gorgeous dress – it was simply stunning and so perfect for the romantic beach location. Their happiness is contagious….enjoy!

Michelle + Ignacio | June 26, 2010 | San Juan, Puerto Rico


How they met
We met in Culebra, Puerto Rico, when I was on vacation with my family and stayed at his parents’ beach house.  We later found out that our families have been close since our grandfathers knew each other.   It just happened that when we met he was already planning to move to Florida to attend graduate school–we’ve been together ever since.

The ceremony
We always knew we wanted to keep the wedding small but we both have huge families so that was a challenge!  We invited close family and friends, about 70 guests total, and only had our two best friends in the wedding party. We had a civil ceremony performed by a judge we know in San Juan.

The moment Michelle will never forget
The whole night was unforgettable and perfect, thanks to my sister-in-law who planned the whole event.  I didn’t even know what my bouquet looked like until she handed it to me moments before I walked down the aisle.  The best moment though was when Ignacio and I were able to slip away for a few moments right after the ceremony.  We took pictures on the beach and it was nice to have some time by ourselves before the rest of the evening started.

The reception
The reception was very informal with none of the “traditions” such as throwing the bouquet or garter.  The groom’s uncle wrote the most beautiful speech.  He actually interviewed the whole family prior to the wedding to prepare for the toast.  After the toast we had a local Spanish rock band play then my brother, who is a DJ, played a mix he’d prepared of our favorite 80’s music.  It was the best gift he could have given us.  Everyone now has his “Wedding Mix” on their iPods! We danced all night and had a great time with our guests. Our wish was to have a relaxed, fun and festive atmosphere and we could not have asked for anything more.

How she knew her dress was “The One”
I tried on about 25 dresses total.  I had actually marked this dress in a few bridal magazines months before but never tried it on because I thought it was out of my price-range.  I went with my mom to a small boutique and we were about to settle for another dress (that I was “OK” with) when she happened to pull out this dress.  She did not know that I had thought  about this one for months.  Of course it was the one.  I still can’t believe she picked that dress out of everything in the entire store. This dress was perfect for the venue and atmsphere of our wedding–simple and elegant.

Why she decide to sell her wedding dress
I absolutely LOVE my dress but know I will never wear it again, despite everyone telling me “You can shorten it and wear it again.” Where am I ever going to wear it again?? I would love to know that someone else is enjoying it as much as I did.  I felt so beautiful that day-they way every bride should feel.

Michelle’s wedding dress: Maggie Sottero / Photography:  Photography by Sofia, Puerto Rico