The phrase "Where do I even begin?" is said pretty often on this blog. And if you read those words, then you can be certain that I sat in front of my computer for a very long time before writing this. Trying to sort out how I was going to articulate the beauitful love and incredible memories shared on this day. And if you read these blog posts of mine you will find that they sound more like journal entries. Certainly not as articulate as they could be.. but I think, in cases like this one, Im best to just spill my thoughts out and hope for the best because otherwise I would end up writing a chapter novel and well, Id much rather you spend your time lost in the photographs than my words. : )
I have known Mike since I was 14 years old. I worked my very first summer job as a hostess at The Pirates Galley breakfast joint in Ocean City. This was his families restaurant and if you were local and wanted the best breakfast in town, no question about it, this is where you would be found. Living in Ocean City and still without a drivers license, I took the bus every morning to work, and was happy to do so. I remember Mike working in the kitchen, Courtney (Mikes sister) working at the bar next door, and Mary Anne (Mikes mom) teaching me how to clock in for the first time and make a pot of coffee. And when Big Mike (Mikes dad) showed up, with that big grin, he was always so warm and welcoming to me. A lot of people have bad experiences with their very first job but mine was nothing but wonderful. With the Lawson family teaching me the ropes and just showing me their kindness, I had nothing but a wonderful summer with them. I'll admit I was always pretty shy and they probably only heard a few peeps from me the whole summer but I can assure them it was always a good day working at The Pirates Galley! (Although everyone was sad to see The Pirates Galley close a few years back, Mike and his family opened a new restaurant shortly after, called Barn 34. Now another local favorite and sure to be another legendary spot in town!)
Flash forward almost 10 years! Mike and I ended up crossing paths in Bali, Indonesia. It was there that he told me that he had met someone and he thought she was the one... of course he was talking about Christina : ) I had actually first met Christina while shooting one of my very first weddings! She was the wedding planner/coordinator for the event and we instantly connected! It was only shortly after my trip to Bali that I was able to reconnect with Christina when she and her best friend Jenny opened the new Ish Boutique store. I was lucky enough that they called me to photograph the grand opening. From that moment on, I kept my fingers crossed that she would call me when she and Mike decided to get hitched : )
Lets fast forward a couple more years... Cliff side, overlooking the ocean, Mike asked Christina to marry him while they were on a trip in Bali. And no, it doesn't get anymore romantic than that, incase you were wondering. I couldn't have been more excited when I heard the news and I think I held my breath until Christina reached out about having me shoot their destination nuptials!
Lots of fast forwarding, I know. But like I said, Im trying not to write a novel here!
So finally I am in Puerto Rico and so excited to be documenting all this love. Side note: The Lawson's have been spending their winters in Rincon, Puerto Rico for many years so being that this is like a second home to them, it was the perfect place for Mike and Christina to tie the knot! Even after just the rehearsal night, I knew how special these two were to each other aa well as their friends and family. It was filled with so much joy, laughter, and great speeches by loved ones. It left my heart feeling full and it wasn't even the wedding day yet.
January 27th couldn't have been a more perfect day in Rincon. Blue sky's and palm trees were the only two things in sight. That and some amazing wedding day swell. Villa De Zecheo, the wedding venue and vacation home for the bride and groom, was also conveniently located right at one of Rincon's best surf spots. Wedding day waves... a blessing and a curse for the groom and his groomsmen. Luckily they were able to have a morning surf session but once the boutonnieres went on, they had to enjoy the view from the beach!
Talk about one heck of a place to get ready on your wedding day... a soft breeze blowing through the balcony and the sound of the ocean, all while sipping your mimosa and getting dressed up with your closest girlfriends. It was such a relaxed morning and I loved spending it with Christina and her beauitful bridesmaids! I mean seriously, talk about one good looking group of gals! Also, let me just get it out of the way and say how much I loved Christina's wedding dress. I don't think it could have been more perfect for this destination wedding. Although a two piece wedding dress can be a bit of a challenge to photograph, I had so much fun doing so. It was just stunning! Beyond Christina's dress, all the style for this wedding was the absolute perfect way to do a destination beach wedding. It had the perfect amount of chic and surf style, while still being so romantic, sophisticated, and timeless. But did we expect anything less from Christina and Mike?!
The ceremony took place on the beach and I love that everyone was greeted with a Watermelon Mojito before they headed to their seat. Mike and Christina had a time at the end of their ceremony where everyone raised their glass and had a cheers to the newlyweds. I loved this moment and it was the perfect way to kick off the celebration for these two! Confession, I NEVER drink on the job... well I guess I can't say that anymore because I had one of those watermelon mojitos during the cocktail hour and wow, best mojito I've ever had! I don't regret it one bit : )
From the moment these two said "I do" to the very end of the night, it was a non stop party. With one of Mike's groomsmen as their MC, a good friend as their DJ, and some of the best dancing I've had the pleasure of witnessing.. It was safe to say this wedding did not disappoint. After the arrival of some late night pizza, everyone took to the pool at midnight. Who needs a sparkler exit right?
Mike and Christina, what can I say!? I think I just said a whole lot but the truth is, I feel like I only scratched the surface of what this day was and what beauitful humans you are! I can't thank you enough for bringing me to paradise to document your wedding day. I will remember and cherish those moments forever. All the love to you guys.
Wedding Coordination/Floral Design: Rincon Events
Venue: Villa De Zecheo
Jewelry: Ish Boutique
Hair & Make up: MyBlushing Brides
Band: Gino & The Drum Bum
DJ: DJ Japancakes
Videographer: Alfredo Riverllano
Signs: Plak That Printing Co.