Vieques Wedding

Friday, May 18, 2012

Wow...right?? Well this was our view from the VERY small airplane we flew from San Juan, Puerto Rico to the Island of Vieques! Our good friends, Jon & MJ, chose Vieques as their wedding location last year and tied the knot in this beautiful place close to a month ago. We were some of the very lucky guests that attended the incredible wedding and toured the beautiful island of Vieques.
I had personally never heard of Vieques until they chose it as their wedding location. Well, now I've been and I can tell you first hand to put it on your list of beaches to visit! It has so many beautiful beaches with absolutely no development surrounding them. It's incredible! The beaches are not easy to get to (i.e. need 4-wheel drive), but from what we heard, the locals like it this way to keep people from coming in and developing around the beaches. After going...I'm with the locals...don't mess with the surroundings!
View from the balcony of our house
Once we arrived in Vieques, we met up with some friends to get our car to drive the house we were sharing for the weekend. As we picked up the car, they warned us about the many horses that stroll the island at all times of the day and to watch our gas because they run out on the island. We had never been told these things before when picking up a car, so we already knew there was something special about this place.

B surfing
As we drove through the town to get to our house, we saw old buildings, an old fort, dancers in the square, but otherwise the town seemed quiet and quaint. We pulled up to our house and went straight for the deck. The views of the ocean were incredible and we were ready to have a drink on the deck while the breeze cooled us off. B woke up most mornings and walked down the hill behind our house to surf (see picture above). He was in paradise! The night we arrived there were small bachelor/bachelorette events planned. We drove to the area of town with fun bars and restaurants and met up with everyone that had made it to the island already. I loved it! Everyone was in vacation mode, laid-back and ready to celebrate the wonderful couple. We celebrated for many hours that night...there was lots of dancing and a "painkiller" was the most wanted item on the menu. A "painkiller" is a drink and I'm not sure what is in it, but that weekend those bartenders must have made at least 1,000 of them!

We spent the next day at Blue Beach. Gorgeous! White sand, clear water and the water only came as high as your waist for what seemed like a mile. A washers game was going on, a football was thrown, beach hats were worn and beers were cracked open. Both the bride and grooms families came to join us and it was great to meet everyone and hang out in such a lovely setting. That night they hosted a welcome party where we got to meet even more people! Again, the vibe was perfect. Just think of a bunch of Jimmy Buffets hanging out...laid-back and happy.

Jon & MJ had a beach party for their rehearsal. It was on Sun Bay, where they were to get married the next day and there were tents, beach games, umbrellas, chairs and once again...crystal clear water! They roasted a pig and the bride kissed it for good luck. A few entertaining speeches were given and it was so fun to look around at the people. Everyone had come a ways to celebrate this beautiful couple and there we were...sitting on a breath-taking beach, soaking in the sun and listening to great stories about these two precious people that we all know and love. It was pretty darn special. That night we all had trips out to the bioluminescent bay. We were on the boat and it was quite spectacular to see the water light up when a fish went by or when you stuck your hand or feet in the water. Jon & MJ even got to jump in!
Bride kissing the pig
It's wedding day and once again...the weather was perfect! While the wedding party got ready, we went to Secret Beach. I think this was my favorite. It was a small cove, surrounded by trees and the water was the perfect blue. It was a great way to start the day. It was hard to leave, but we all knew it was time to get ready for the wedding. We arrived at Sun Bay and chairs were set out directly on the beach. You couldn't ask for a more picturesque setting! The groom took his place and he and groomsmen wore khaki suits with Vineyard Vines ties...perfection. Then came the beautiful bridesmaids in their gorgeous J. Crew coral-colored dresses. Even the ring bearer and flower girl were dressed to a tee and made quite an entrance on their long walk to the beach. Then it was time for the beautiful bride to walk down the sandy isle sprinkled with flower petals. She was gorgeous!! So happy and so calm. They said their own vows and did an amazing job. They were heartfelt and funny which is not easy to do. They were pronounced husband and wife and we all headed to the reception!
There is no way I can put the beauty of the reception into words. They had stayed at this house the week before the wedding and once I got there, I thought to myself that I never wanted to leave. The outside was brought inside with doors that open completely to a very large balcony that over-looked the ocean. There was a pool to the left and more spectacular views to the right. There were twinkling lights everywhere, torches that made the perfect, romantic setting for a wedding and beautiful tables set in white. The centerpieces...oh, the centerpieces! My favorite! They were birchwood with touches of green flowers and votives surrounded each centerpiece. It was coastal, elegant, beautiful and yet simple...exactly what I strive to do with my decorating on a daily basis...but, unfortunately, it doesn't turn out this good:). The wedding was personal, fun, had delicious food and...again...the views. Anywhere you went in the house or deck...your view was of the gorgeous ocean! A really special moment was their first dance. Chad, one of Jon's good friends learned to play, "Can't help falling in love with you" on the ukulele and we all sang while they danced. It was a moment they will never forget.
In my opinion, this is the way to do a wedding! We got to meet everyone early, so by the time the wedding came around, we all felt like family. It was fun had by all and everyone was just in the best mood...vacation-mode!!

Jon and MJ...we love you and thank you for inviting us to such a special occasion. You two are perfect for each other and we wish you years and years of love, happiness and lots of laughter!

On Sunday, B and I missed our connecting flight in San Juan and couldn't get a flight home until the next day. I was so tired and grumpy about this at first, but sweet B had the best attitude. It was my birthday, so we headed to the hotel, walked around Old San Juan, ate a delicious dinner and had the best time! Amazing how things can turnaround! Here are some pics of our San Juan adventure. It's a beautiful city...enjoy!

Hope you enjoyed this special journey to Vieques...wish I was headed to some place similar this weekend!!

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