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[The Wedding] – Destination Wedding Essentials

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So you’re planning a destination wedding? Perhaps you’ve got sandy beaches and warm oceans on your mind? Puerto Rico maybe?

The next few wedding posts will attempt to help you out by sharing what worked for my wedding in June 2013 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Also this is an exercise for me to remember everything when I’m looking back in 10, 20 + years! I hope you can find some useful recommendations here, or just enjoy some fun wedding pics!

Wedding Planner
In many ways, I am not a detail person. I obsess over some things when I do them myself, but would rather delegate most others. Having a destination wedding means you have to let go of may of the details. Having a local wedding planner was essential to that approach because she:
  • Recommended and rounded up vendors & locations
  • Ran the show on the day of so I did not have to quarterback and could just relax and be in the moment
  • Coordinated communication with local vendors
Anne Marie Kleis of AMK Events was my wedding planner. I found her online and met her in our initial trip to go scope wedding locations. She hustled to meet us where we were and made me feel very comfortable, so we booked her. This was one of the best decisions I made in planning the wedding!
In our 2nd wedding planning trip, we hung out in the hotel lobby sipping sangria while each vendor came by to see us. This saved so much time and worry! I was very happy everything & everyone she recommended, from decor to rehearsal dinner venue to officiant to musicians. She even went so far as to find me some Puerto Rican drummers to accompany our dragon dance last minute! It was such a great touch that I hadn’t even thought of. I would highly recommend working with Anne Marie and her assistant Barbara. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication!!!
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Location, Location, Location
La Concha. What a perfect location for a wedding. This hotel is beautiful and modern and energetic. It’s located right in the middle of the city, so you are steps away from nightlife & restaurants or beach. This was important to us to make it easy for our guests to get around and enjoy the city while visiting Puerto Rico. It’s also a very quick 15 min/$15 cab ride from the airport.
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The rooms were clean & modern with beautiful views of the ocean. We got a suite room which made a perfect setting for getting 1 bride & 4 bridesmaids ready the day of.
The wedding spaces were also excellent. I wanted to get married on the beach and one of the spaces, Sereno Sand, is in sand, surrounded by palm trees, facing the ocean. It was everything I had imagined for a wedding.
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The reception venue, Salon Mirador, was on the top floor with a patio deck and glass walls all around. The ocean breeze was everywhere! The smaller venue was perfect seating for my party of <80 and I liked that guests could go outside at any time for a break from the dance floor.
Lastly, La Concha took care of the food. Everything was really delicious and beautifully presented. We worked with Jessica, the catering manager of La Concha, throughout the process and she ensured everything went as planned. Colin and I pored over the cocktail hour apps menu and the few we got to try were amazing and creative. All the reception food was lovely as well. We had crab cake, steak, mahi mahi, and this ridiculously good and gorgeous salad w mango dressing. They even had a delicious vegetarian option for my veggie guests.
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Overall, I felt service at this hotel was really excellent, and I could not have asked for more out of a destination wedding hotel venue. Thank you!
(All Photos by 4 Walls Weddings & my brother, Hao)

So those are the essentials. Feel free to check out my other wedding posts and stay tuned for more!

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