Today’s real nuptials are a destination wedding steeped in charm and romance and brimming with gorgeous ideas.

Laura and Dan were married in the rustic town of Old San Juan in Puerto Rico.

Their beautiful evening wedding was captured by the fabulous Vanessa Velez Photography, and this laid-back bride even snuck in a nap before the ceremony!

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From their heartfelt al fresco reception, and a fun walk through the cobbled streets of the old town, to a luxe reception in a converted convent, Laura and Dan’s gorgeous wedding is laced with unique style, thoughtful details, and beautiful moments.

If you’re planning a destination wedding that doesn’t scrimp on the personal touch of a hometown affair, let Laura and Dan’s Puerto Rico party be your inspiration…

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From The Photographer

Laura & Dan had a beautiful love-filled wedding in the historic town of Old San Juan in Puerto Rico, a place that was just magical.

Not only because it is unique, but because as you walk the streets of it you truly feel as if you are being transported to an old world where romance is abound.

Dan having Puerto Rican heritage and Laura an expert on the Spanish language couldn’t have found a better place then a historic hotel named El Convento. A converted nunnery that now serves as part of the Historic Hotels of America and is home to the only true boutique hotel on the island.

They said their vows on the interior garden that is part of a colonial building next door with a very intimate and faith filled ceremony, where the love, laughs and tears where abound. You could feel the love, after finding each other this was simply meant to happen.

Their reception was held in the original prayer room for the nuns which has stunning high ceilings and stained glass. A remarkable place to dance the night away with their closest friends and family.

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From the Bride

For us, our wedding was really a blending of two cultures and we tried to exemplify this in the way we planned the whole event- ceremony, music selection, and even food.

I also decided early on that there were three words I wanted to shape the wedding overall- warm, welcoming, and fun- so that it would be elegant and beautiful but that everyone would be comfortable and have a good time.

We had the wedding at night because we wanted to get married as the sun was setting and then celebrate though the night!

Oh, and I needed to be able to get a siesta in, love my naps!

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The DIYs

We only made two DIYs really. A welcome greeting sign at entrance of Centro de Estudios that my dad wrote for us.

Also, instead of a guest sign in book, we did a best wishes book- it was our engagement photos taken in my hometown by a good friend and we had our guests sign and comment on our photos. That’s as DIY as we went!

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The Music & Readings

Our processional songs were Divine Romance by Phil Wickham,  White Dress by Ben Rector, and Here Comes The Bride. Our recessional song was Three Little Birds by Bob Marley.And for our first dance, Everything by Michael Buble.

As a special reading we had, Blessing of the Hands.

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Favourite Moments

A moment after I finished reading my vows, Dan leaned over and said “You almost made me lose my cool!”

The vows were a very significant and emotional moment for us.

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The Photography

I chose Vanessa because I loved the intimacy that she captures in her photos, you can feel like she’s in that moment. And they are beautiful photos too!

I chose NDF films because Nelson is the real deal and so professional. All of the videos I’ve seen (including ours) told the story of the wedding, even down to the music!

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Such a beautiful wedding, the ceremony looks so lovely.

And I think Laura might inspire more brides to catch 40 winks while their let their curls set – if they can sleep with all the pre-wedding excitement that is!

Thanks so much to Laura and Dan for sharing their sweet Puerto Rico wedding with us.

For more inspiration for your own destination wedding, see Real Weddings Abroad + Destination Wedding board on Pinterest. 

Photographer: Vanessa Velez Photography / Venue: Centro de Estudios Avanzado & El Convento / Flowers & Decor: Festivo / Bride’s Dress: Marisa / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Groom’s Attire: Hickey Freeman / Bridesmaid Dresses: J Crew / Makeup Artist: Javier Moreno / Makeup Artist: Manzana Studio / Invitations & Stationery: Paper in the Park / Cake Baker: C+M Cakes / Videographer: NDF Films