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Picture this: unbelievable beach side vistas, exotic cuisine, optimal weather conditions and a built-in honey moon. These are among the countless reasons that men and women choose to plan their wedding in Puerto Rico.
Have you always dreamed of saying "I do," as waves gently lapped onto the shore behind you, but thought it would be out of your budget to do so? It's time to change your thinking. A little exploration and heaps of thorough organization will enable you to experience the wedding you have always dreamed of.
Planning a wedding can be stressful, specifically one in which you have no choice but to place all your confidence in an event coordinator in an overseas country. Regardless, many couples feel the beauty of their special day makes the hassle worth it. This does not mean, however, that a Caribbean wedding is for everyone. The following list of pros and cons will allow you to determine if getting married in Puerto Rico is the right choice for you.
The entry requirements alone are enough to tempt Americans to plan their destination wedding in Puerto Rico. Because Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States, passports are not necessary - meaning family and friends won't be left out of a quickly planned wedding because they don't have time to obtain a passport.
Another reason to choose Puerto Rico is that you and your guests will have numerous activities to do and attractions to visit during wedding downtime. If you are going to be on the island, you may as well explore it! Some sites to see include El Yunque Rainsorest, Fort San Cristobal, and Vieques . There are also a large number of casinos, and the nightlife is full of energy.
There is a lot of tradition surrounding a Puerto Rican wedding, many that may seem outdated to a modern bride. However, there are a few that you may feel will enhance your wedding day as you pay homage to the island.
The easiest customs for you to mimic is putting out Puerto Rican fare at your reception. Options include habichuelas, lechón asado, and asopao de pollo. The bride and groom are known to drink cafe con leche from coconut cups, while guests sip on mixed drinks from an open bar. For dessert, dish out a wedding cake decorated with seashells and pineapples, as is customary on the island.
Another simple way to share Puerto Rican tradition with your guests is by offering them boutonnières called copias as they leave the reception. These copias have ribbons tied to them with the names of the bride and groom, as well as the date of the wedding written on them, and are given out as a thank you to wedding guests.
As you start the process of wedding planning, you can cultivate an event that is perfect for your desires by choosing a venue in which you will feel most comfortable in. Those with strong religious values should think about planning a traditional wedding event at an island church, or perhaps a historic landmark may work best for you. If you're a dreamer and a romantic at heart, imagine an outdoor wedding on the beach, in a garden, or at the foot of a waterfall. Those who are feeling adventurous, however, may opt for nuptials underwater or at the top of a mountain.
Some of the most popular sites for destination weddings in Puerto Rico include the Botanical Gardens at the University of Puerto Rico, Camuy Caves, and El Yunque; not to mention resorts such as Westin Rio Mar Beach Resort and Golf Club, and Bravo Beach Hotel.
Although a destination wedding often carries a smaller price tag than an extravagant wedding thrown in your home town, it is still important that you take the time to create a budget. To accomplish this, plan with your future spouse and generate a summary of everything you imagine you will find yourself spending money on. Base the order of the items upon which are the most significant to you. Common items include the food, location, photography, and wedding dress, among numerous others. After doing some quick research, assign an estimated price to each item on your list, then total everything up. This will supply you with a rough idea of how much you can expect to be spending. Remember that this projected budget will probably change as you plan your special day, and the organized list of key items will enable you to know instantly what things you can trim back on and which items you will want to splurge on.
Getting a marriage license in Puerto Rico is not a quick process. Though it does require a bit of forethought, the process can be done in a timely manor if you keep your paperwork in order and create a checklist of the steps you need to take. You may get married in Puerto Rico only after having a physical exam, then submitting certified copies of birth certificates, death certificates, divorce certificates, adoption certificates, and photo identification to the Marriage License Bureau.
It may seem like a lot of work to plan a destination wedding, but the same can be said of any wedding. Channeling your energy into planning a wedding on a beautiful island in the Caribbean will produce a ceremony in a picturesque setting and a built-in honeymoon. Whatever type of wedding you decide to have, choosing Puerto Rico as your location is sure to provide you with memories that will sustain your marriage.
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