A Puerto Rican Wedding: Special Travel Photo Essay

Hey all! I am back to Tampa, FL safe and sound from the Puerto Rican wedding ! The trip to Puerto Rico, HOME, was ah-mazing and I can’t wait to share all the details with you 🙂 step by step though, right?! Today I decided to post a cute photo essay of my little sister’s Puerto Rican wedding – the main reason why I went back home for a week. I was Maid of Honor, even though mom barely let me do anything lol =P and we’ll get to that just now! I will try to highlight all the important moments of this small, familiar Puerto Rican wedding and what “traditions” were “left out” either because “the times are changing” and so are Puerto Rican wedding traditions or simple whim (mainly mom’s lol). Enjoy! 🙂

Wedding location

Private salon in El Tenedor Restaurant – Juncos, Puerto Rico

Cool fact: Juncos is the town where our grandmother was mayor for 12 years back in the day =)

a Puerto Rican wedding

The newlyweds’ table (back wall had not been decorated yet)

a Puerto Rican wedding

a Puerto Rican wedding

The guests’ tables. Kinda mad decorator didn’t use the roses to fill the centerpieces more! Oh well…

Wedding colors

The chosen colors of this Puerto Rican wedding were light yellow and verde nilo (aka Pistachio green); the chosen flowers were yellow and pistachio-green roses + white calla lilies. SO beautiful!

a Puerto Rican wedding

Me, the Maid of Honor, walking down the aisle! (note the little ring-carrying purse)

The Bridal Party and other touches

Now, the bridal party of this Puerto Rican wedding! =D I was the Maid of Honor and the little purse you see in the photo above is where I was carrying the rings. Apparently, the famous ring pillow tradition is disappearing and there are new ways of carrying the rings – this little purse being one of them. Also, in some Puerto Rican weddings, kids are not used to carry the rings. In fact, sometimes the wedding planners prefer to have the Maid of Honor do, well, the honors *wink* And so I did! 🙂

a Puerto Rican wedding

My baby sister Karla Michelle – the BRIDE! She is 20 years old btw

Some key Puerto Rican wedding traditions were observed, such as “something new, something borrowed, something blue.” New were the bride’s dress and jewelry; borrowed were the veil and tiara (from her now sister-in-law); blue was her underwear (lol!)

The Bride, my baby sister Karla Michelle, might be considered way too young to take such an important step in life (plus she also looks like she is a Quinceañera haha). However, in Puerto Rico, marrying in your early twenties is THE norm. Consequently, all people would ask me throughout my entire Puerto Rican vaca was A) Whether I had a boyfriend & B) When I was planning to get married. After answering “single and loving it” and “I have other plans at the moment, such as traveling and working on my career,” worried gasps were followed by “you should start to seriously consider dating & find a suitable partner now…you are 24…you know…”  I must admit, it was quite aggravating. Why? Because I respect the fact that most Puerto Ricans marry quite young and don’t ask such inappropriate questions. So, naturally, I expect the same kind of respect and understanding. I can think of a million questions I could ask: “Isn’t marrying in the twenties too young? Do you realize that people change THE most during their twenties? Most of them will be divorced by age 30 anyway, so why marry now?” You know what I mean!? Thus, I restrain from asking! I understand that people are different, thus I try to be sensitive. Most Puerto Ricans, though, are unaware of how insensitive they are by asking such questions. But oh well, it is part of the culture indeed! By the way, I will always show you both the good and the bad of my travels and even my own culture, just so you know 😉

a Puerto Rican wedding

when tears began to fall =’)

a Puerto Rican wedding

exchanging rings!!! I cried here…even before the bride did lol =’)

a Puerto Rican wedding

The Maid of Honor and Best Man signing as witnesses of the beautiful union

So, moving on with this Puerto Rican wedding! The ceremony was absolutely beautiful and quite intimate (only 48 guests, including the bridal party). I, of course, started to cry even before the bride or our own mom did. Haha! =P Then, the bride finally cried when she was saying her vows. And by the time the ring exchange came, most f the room was in tears (either showing them or trying to hide them!). I could sense the heavy happiness in the room. I used to work at catering as a banquet server and in hundreds of events let me tell you, that “happiness” cloud wasn’t always felt. I know you might say I may be biased now, but in fact, I was skeptical of this union at first (don’t judge! I had not been around them long enough since they started dating 2 years ago). That day, though, I was assured that my baby sister will be ok, well taken care of, and most importantly: That she and her baby will be loved forever. Ok ok I’ll stop, I think I’m crying again!!

a Puerto Rican wedding

And they are husband and wife! The bridal party and newlyweds

a Puerto Rican wedding

My parents and me with the newlyweds. Took me off guard here!

After the photo shoot post-ceremony, it was time for the reception! Lucky for us, the other room was just a few steps away

a Puerto Rican wedding

Their first dance – a classic waltz by Puerto Rican singer Chayanne

a Puerto Rican wedding

Father (my daddy) and the bride (my baby sister) – same Chayanne waltz

Aaand here is where everyone BAWLED their eyes out. My dad has muscular distrophy, so he has difficulty walking and cannot really dance anymore. However, he kept insisting he wanted to have the Father and Bride dance…and he kept insisting that we bring the bride, his baby, to his table so he could dance by it in case he fell. And so they danced – no injuries, but many many tears of joy

a Puerto Rican wedding

We all cried when this was taken. Dad (crying too) and my little sister! =’)

Now it is time for the FOOD! Steak rolls stuffed with mashed, salty plantains in a savory Puerto Rican stew sauce; chicken breasts stuffed with bacon; seafood salad with spices; onion rice AND greens. YUM!

Puerto Rican wedding food

Plate with the yummy Puerto Rican food. Sorry, too hungry to decorate it!

And theeeeeeeen even moooore pictures were taken…

a Puerto Rican wedding

My little sister and me! =’)

a Puerto Rican wedding

my mom and her side of the family, my handsome cousins included

Some iconic moments were not captured by this guest’s camera (i.e. the garter toss), so they shall be added once the professional photos come in. For now, please enjoy the humorous bouquet toss photos below. Please note: I really, really did not want that bouquet. It is all an act for the photos. I wanted to make the shots interesting. I’m a goofball! =P

Puerto Rican wedding bouquet toss

Time for the bouquet toss!

Puerto Rican wedding bouquet toss

It got a little crazy…and no one even ended up grabbing it (well, the floor!)! XD

The reception was very laid back, not very common when it comes to a Puerto Rican wedding. Usually, a live Latin band is present, loud as heck, people dancing everywhere, cheering and up until dawn the next day. For my baby sister’s wedding, it was all a reflection of her new personality: Quiet, but beautiful. The DJ played the typical salsa, merengue, bachata and reggaeton songs, but only a handful of guests hit the dance floor. His hyper sister (ahem moi) decided she wanted to spice it up anyway, so she took one of the groom’s friends, hit up the DJ, requested karaoke session please and we hit it off. This was the loudest part of the reception: Benji and I singing badly (on purpose) and the guests laughing their butts off =D According to a Pew survey, yours truly still got a “B” grade, while Benji got an embarrassing “F” (lol)

Puerto Rican wedding karaoke

Benji and me killin’ it

This shall be it for the special travel photo essay “A Puerto Rican Wedding”! I hope you lived through these images and accounts, just as much as I re-lived those moments while making this post for you! =)

Puerto Rican wedding family photo

Me with my beautiful family! =’)

Have you been to a Puerto Rican wedding?

What are some wedding traditions in your country?

16 thoughts on “A Puerto Rican Wedding: Special Travel Photo Essay

  1. My partner and I are marrying next year now that gay marriage is legal in the US!!! She is Puerto Rican and I am Jewish. I want to surprise her and her amazing family with some Puerto Rican traditions at our wedding and this has given me some great ideas! Thank you for this!!

  2. jumping the broom is a tradition some african americans in the us incorporate. it was against the law for slaves to get married, so they jumped a broom to signify their union. I am making a broom now for my godson and your blog gave me some ideas to use, thanks so much!!

  3. Great pics! I am P.Rican too and am planning my daughter’s wedding. Great info. I was 7 when I started helping my mami make capias for my papi’ s printing shop. It brings back lovely memories. I will be making them now for my daughter. Dios los Bendiga!

  4. Thanks for sharing. i enjoyed every picture and every story you told. =) I am Mexican but so in love with Puerto Rico.

  5. Beautiful wedding. Don’t knock getting married young. The great part of it is by the time you’re 50, the kids can be kicked out, you can spend your wealth travelling and have plenty of time to do all those things you couldn’t do when younger- with more money and wisdom. LOL>

  6. You look gorgeous.
    And what a nice series of photos at an intimate family affair. Love the tenacity of your father and his will to dance. My son says I need a year of dancing lessons before I’m allowed anywhere near him on the dance floor – should he ever get married.

    • Thanks for your comment Joshi! The “famous ring pillow tradition” is the typical way in which rings are carried on a wedding. Usually, it involves a kid walking down the aisle with a satin pillow, wedding rings of the bride and groom on top. As you could see, we gave it a little twist, with the Maid of Honor (me) carrying them and in a cute see-through rhinestone mini purse instead of the “infamous pillow” 😉

  7. I really enjoyed your post…and most of it was new for me, including the early marriage thing. Its a common norm in India as well…though thankfully not always 🙂

    Both the bride and you look ravishing…beautiful pictures all through the blog!

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