Amaris and Cortnie shared an intimate sand ceremony surrouned by just 10 guests at their Puerto Rico elopement.
A: On August 26th, 2019, we woke up in Puerto Rico, having been together for three years. Cort planned a surprise in-suite couples massage and anxiously waited all day for my anniversary gift. It was our last night in Puerto Rico, and I tried to convince Cort that a walk on the beach just had to happen before the sunset. As the sunset and we got ourselves ready for dinner, Cort was sure her surprise was pictures on the beach.
We walked hand in hand, in awe of the beauty before us. But Cort was a little confused by why I was wearing a jean jacket in such warm weather! The truth is I had nowhere to hide the ring in my pocketless dress. So sweating in the jean jacket seemed like a bright idea.
We found a little spot, halfway down the beach, with no one insight, and I asked Cort to look out at the water while I took her picture. Nothing crossed Cort’s mind as we are always trying to capture the simple moments and the beauty we see in each other. I asked Cort to turn around and look the other way, and there it was: the proposal. I was on her knee, in the sand, with a pause and a “Girl, you know I love you” nervously blurted out. In those few seconds, the world stopped turning, a new chapter began, and a yes was said to doing life, every moment together.
DECIDING TO ELOPE
Nothing about our journey has been easy. We were constantly dodging the obstacles life presented us, and every single time got through those moments better together.
Honestly, when the pandemic hit the year of our wedding, we both said, “of course it did.” We knew we would take every step possible to make our wedding happen. Even if it meant changing all our dreams and anticipated plans. Like everything we have done thus far, it was about just doing it together.
So, we rallied up our closest friends, talked them into (safely) running off to Puerto Rico during a pandemic, and hoped they would stand by us for the most fantastic decision together.
In the end, it ended up being so perfectly set for us. We laughed, we danced and made the most amazing memories. Most importantly, we were all able to be in a moment where even the scariest of times brought us a moment of happiness. It was definitely not how we might have planned it initially. But we’re incredibly thankful for how it all played out.
Our wedding and reception were at Hacienda Siesta Alegre in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. The moment we toured the space, we fell in love. It was perfectly us. We ended up being the first wedding that Hacienda hosted since the pandemic hit. Which meant having the entire place to ourselves.
We did our first look at the outdoor ceremony lawn, overlooking the rainforest. Our ceremony took place a few steps away, across a stone bridge at the covered patio. With live music, our favorite songs, a sand ceremony, and our family and friends watching via Zoom, we said “I do” as the rain came and went.
Our reception was outdoors, very intimate, filled with the most amazing island food, laughter, and of course dancing. We ended the night with a celebratory jump in the pool and a massive sigh of relief, knowing we had finally tied the knot.
We hope that our future includes a continuous-time of reconnection and growing our family. Although this time has been super challenging, we are most grateful for the time we have connected with each other and really see each other through this different lens.
Photography by Courtney Hellen Photography
Accessories JinaBridal, Geo And Arc
Cake Kudough’s Donuts & Coffee Bar
Cake Topper LancasterLaserCo
Catering Roots & Flavors
Celebrant Peace Love Weddings
Entertainment SBN Entertainment
Florist Natalia Liriano
Gown Designer Lunss
Guestbook Johnnyswim Vinyl
H&MU Stela Salon
Rings Staghead Designs
Suit Designer DVF Diane von Furstenberg
Transport Pepeko Tours
Venue Hacienda Siesta Alegre
Vow Books Love Struck Lettering
Wedding Favors Mesnet, The Kraft Moon