Aaron and Maria / Puerto Rico

There is so much to say about this weekend that I feel like I could write a Novel… I’ll start with how I met Aaron and Maria. I met them in Portland while I was shooting with a dear friend of mine who was actually hired to shoot their elopement on the coast of Oregon. Anni, my photo friend, invited me to tag a lot with her while these two hiked a mountain to say their vows to each other. It was a two hour drive to and from the coast and I was really worried this couple was going to wonder who the heck this total stranger was who was tagging along on their intimate elopement session with Anni. Instead, on the drive up we bonded INSTANTLY, like its insane. We jammed out to trap music, Daddy Yankee, and Drake and laughed as we danced to the beats to all of these outrageous songs. Maria actually ended up making me a playlist of all the songs we played on that trip last year, and I still listen to it at the gym.

Late summer 2018 Maria reached out to me and asked if I would like to join them as they married for real in front of their family and friends in Puerto Rico. I was pumped because of our instant connection and made the time around New Years to document this party.

I got to Puerto Rico about two days before their wedding to document the celebration and the prep and it was for real the best time of my life. I stayed with Aaron’s father and law with both Aaron and Maria where I would wake up to everyone wanting to make me food before we would go out and explore the city or get drinks down in Old San Juan. It was an adventure to say the least.

On the second day I went to Maria’s cousins house with Maria and Aaron to photograph them picking flowers in their cousins garden for their wedding decor and bouquets. It was so fun seeing them come together and plan out the florals for their wedding, it was also just stunning being in a place so lush! The flowers they picked looked like the ones you’d see at a Hawaiian resort.. except they were free. Maria and Aaron were truly banging on a budget this wedding weekend.

The day of their wedding was so relaxed. More so than any wedding I have ever shot. Aaron and Maria just woke up, ironed their clothes, and casually got ready for the day. What I love most about this is that they got ready together, and it was so special watching Aaron zip Maria into her dress.

The rest of the day was so chill with family slowly coming over and gracing everyone with hugs and kisses. They would even hug me, a total stranger, and it felt amazing to feel like I was sort of family as well. The ceremony was held in Maria’s fathers backyard and was in Spanish, so it was hard for me to understand all of it, but I knew it was beautiful. Everyone was crying and laughing and it gave me all the feels so I hid my teary eyes behind my camera.

The rest of the night was filled with bands, music, dancing, and lots of drinking. I don’t know if I have EVER had so much fun. It was amazing seeing how another culture celebrates, which is why I wanted to get into destination photography in the first place. Its so incredibly fascinating to see the way people come together like this.

Currently as I write this in Kansas City, while it is negative temperatures, I am craving to go back to this time. It was exciting and I felt so at home with these two. They appreciated me so much for being there that it made me happy cry once the wedding was over. I honestly didn’t want to leave. This wedding means so much to me, so please give it a good look through since I feel like you’ll get more of the story as it goes on.