Hula Hoop Bride – OffBeat Wedding in Rincon, Puerto Rico

Hula Hoop Bride – OffBeat Wedding in Rincon, Puerto Rico

Jill contacted me last summer about photographing her intimate wedding in Rincon. We talked on the phone for a bit about different ideas for places to do wedding photographs. I was so happy when I realized she was a hula hooper! I am an avid hula hooper myself and have several LED hula hoops. After the wedding ceremony my assistant and I went back to the villa with them and made some great LED hula hoop photographs. This intimate wedding was a lot of fun to photograph, great people, good times and lots of smiles. They even read from a Dr. Seuss book as part of their ceremony!

Check out Jill’s Q&A:

Tell us about your first date…

Our first date was to see Toy Story 3. It was great because the theater was empty and so we were able to talk through the whole movie.

The bride and her groom in front of their DIY wedding ceremony backdrop in Rincon, Puerto Rico.
The bride and her groom in front of their DIY wedding ceremony backdrop in Rincon, Puerto Rico.

Why did you choose the Barefoot Bodega as your venue?

I had seen pictures on the website and I thought that it would be a very peaceful and serene setting for us to be married in.

The Barefoot Yoga studio in Rincon, Puerto Rico.
The Barefoot Yoga studio in Rincon, Puerto Rico.
The prayer flags at Barefoot Yoga Bodega add serenity to this already tranquil space.
The prayer flags at Barefoot Yoga Bodega add serenity to this already tranquil space.

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The bride and groom walking down the aisle during their wedding ceremony at the Barefoot Yoga studio in Rincon, PR.
The bride and groom walking down the aisle during their wedding ceremony at the Barefoot Yoga studio in Rincon, PR.
The Barefoot Yoga studio was the perfect location for this quirky wedding. The studio is located right next to the ocean and is shaded by tall sea grape trees. It is a very tranquil and beautiful venue for an intimate wedding.
The Barefoot Yoga studio was the perfect location for this quirky wedding. The studio is located right next to the ocean and is shaded by tall sea grape trees. It is a very tranquil and beautiful venue for an intimate wedding.

How did he ‘pop’ the question?

We were on a sunset cruise off the coast of Rincon sitting on the front of the boat. He asked, I said yes, and we cheers-ed. 🙂

The bride and groom :)
The bride and groom 🙂

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What about your wedding was unique and different?

Well the ceremony was something that I wrote, I looked through a lot of scripts and I didn’t feel like any of them really matched us, so that was crafted from scratch. We didn’t have any sort of traditional processional or a unity ceremony or anything you typically see.
We did a reading from Dr. Suess, a short prayer, said our vows and were on our way. We wanted the ceremony to be short and sweet.
We also did not have a typical reception.
We wanted our wedding day to feel like, our day. I have been to several weddings where I hear the bride and groom talking about how the wedding is for the family and the marriage is for the couple; and I really wanted to avoid that sort of feeling. We tried to focus on who we are, what we like, and what we wanted to do. We played with hoops and listened to music, we eat and drank and danced. It really was just an enjoyable evening and a fun night.

The whole wedding day really did feel stress free and fun because of that focus on keeping things down to earth, and us.

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Jill's bridesmaid Chloe reading Dr. Seuss during the ceremony. This was a really light playful story with a great message.
Jill’s bridesmaid Chloe reading Dr. Seuss during the ceremony. This was a really light playful story with a great message.

I love the photograph I took of your ring, can you tell me what its made of and where it came from?

The center ring is made out of white gold and the bands are made of rose gold; they both also have diamonds are are from Zale’s.

Jills beautiful wedding ring. I love the vintage style of this wedding ring.
Jills beautiful wedding ring. I love the vintage style of this wedding ring.
Jill with her Hula Hoops on the beach in Rincon, Puerto Rico!
Jill with her Hula Hoops on the beach in Rincon, Puerto Rico!

What are you most excited about when you think of spending the rest of your life with your partner?
I am excited for our future adventures. We both love to travel and we want to see the world and I’m really excited to do and see as much as we can.

Goofing around on the beach after the ceremony, the bride makes a funny face.
Goofing around on the beach after the ceremony, the bride makes a funny face.

Why did you choose a destination wedding in Puerto Rico?

We really love Puerto Rico, we went last year and fell in love with Rincons’ whole atmosphere, it is where he proposed. Once we decided we wanted to do something destination, Puerto Rico just made sense.

Feeling free! Jill takes the plunge after her wedding for some fun ocean pics.
Feeling free! Jill takes the plunge after her wedding for some fun ocean pics.

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What is your favorite memory from your trip to Puerto Rico?

I have a lot of favorite memories from the trip but I really enjoyed doing yoga at the Barefoot Bodega. The day before the wedding we had a private class there and it was just a really great way to relax and take a deep breath before the big day.

Jill hula hooping on the beach in Rincon, Puerto Rico after her destination wedding. This was  a lot of fun to photograph!
Jill hula hooping on the beach in Rincon, Puerto Rico after her destination wedding. This was a lot of fun to photograph!

Why did you choose Rincon Images photography? How did you find us?

I really liked the work on your website peculiarly the “& More” section.

Why did you choose the Barefoot Bodega as your venue?

I had seen pictures on the website and I thought that it would be a very peaceful and serene setting for us to be married in.

What was your favorite thing about your wedding day?

My favorite thing about the wedding day was just hanging out at the villa at the end of the day. Hooping, music, talking, hanging out, eating, it was just a really fun and relaxed night. We really wanted our wedding day to feel genuine to our every day lives, our number one goal was to keep things simple and as relaxed as possible and I think that we achieved that goal.

The bride and groom on the beach with their friends after the ceremony. A nice simple, fun wedding with great people.
The bride and groom on the beach with their friends after the ceremony. A nice simple, fun wedding with great people.
Jill doing her thing on the beach, rocking that hula hoop! I love it that the sun is right behind her in this photograph, it look so magical.
Jill doing her thing on the beach, rocking that hula hoop! I love it that the sun is right behind her in this photograph, it look so magical.

What was your favorite detail from your wedding day, dress, shoes,

flowers..?

My favorite detail was the backdrop for the ceremony. It was our only actual decoration and I’m really glad that it stood out.

Jill's streamer backdrop was simple and beautiful. I loved the combination of lace, silk, and sequined streamers.
Jill’s streamer backdrop was simple and beautiful. I loved the combination of lace, silk, and sequined streamers.

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Tell us a little bit about what you did after the ceremony.. dinner, dancing?

After the ceremony we walked around on the beach, stopped by the bar for a shot, and then we went back to the villa we were staying. We spent the evening eating skewers and flan, listening to music, hooping, and relaxing.

What advice do you have for brides having professional pictures taken for the first time?

Hire Frances! No one in our whole group has ever taken professional photos before and so no one really knew what to expect for the picture portion of the day, and honestly we were kind of dreading it. We were expecting to be asked to stand in a line doing the same things over and over and that’s not at all what happened. I really liked how you were able to guide us and make us feel really comfortable throughout the whole day while allowing us to keep our identity.

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How many dresses did you try on before you settled on the one you wore for your wedding day. Where did you find it?

I actually purchased two previous dresses, when I bought my first dress we were planning on a big family wedding, and so when we scratched that idea I also canceled the first dress.
I then bought a tea length dress, but between the time I bought the dress and around the time of the wedding I went from a size 14 to a size 6, and the estimates for the alterations were more than what I paid for the dress.

The dress I ended up wearing; I bought about a month before the wedding.

How did you get the idea to cut your wedding dress so you could hoop in it? I loved that idea!

When we were on the beach, I was trying to hoop in the dress and the tool kept catching under my feet and tripping me. I knew that the dress wasn’t going to be worn again and I didn’t want to go just put on any old thing so I figured why not? I had someone find me a pair of scissors so I just started cutting. Matt helped for awhile and then my bridesmaid Chloe evened out the final look.

The bride hula hooping with an LED hula hoop after the wedding.
The bride hula hooping with an LED hula hoop after the wedding.
Jill cut off the bottom of her wedding dress so she could hula hoop in it after the wedding. Such a great idea!
Jill cut off the bottom of her wedding dress so she could hula hoop in it after the wedding. Such a great idea!

What do you think makes for a good, life long marriage?

The ability to take things as they come. We have not been married for very long, so we are no experts but I think that it’s a desire to be together and the ability to push each other to being better people that makes things last long term.

The couple decorated their table with DIY painted bottles and small led tea light candles. The look was very tropical and bohemian.
The couple decorated their table with DIY painted bottles and small led tea light candles. The look was very tropical and bohemian.
The bride and groom pouring champagne to celebrate their wedding! My assistant and I brought the champagne, its important to have fun with clients, especially at the end of the night :)
The bride and groom pouring champagne to celebrate their wedding! My assistant and I brought the champagne, its important to have fun with clients, especially at the end of the night 🙂

When planning your wedding what were your favorite places to look for inspiration?

My number one source of inspiration was Offbeatbride. I checked it pretty much daily to see cute centerpieces, adorable shoes, funky dresses, and everything in between. I actually bought several dresses off of modcloth after seeing their vendor posts. Offbeat bride was just a great place to see a different side of the typical wedding world.

Looking back is there anything you would have done differently?
I would have remembered to take the hair tie off my wrist! But really, I think that the day was perfect.

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Flamenco Beach wedding on Culebra Island – Lyndsay & Marshall

Flamenco Beach wedding on Culebra Island – Lyndsay & Marshall

Lyndsay and Marshall have known each other since they were children. They have been lifelong sweet hearts and finally tied the knot on Culebra Island in Puerto Rico. I was so excited to have the chance to photograph their wedding on Flamenco Beach. Flamenco beach is ranked the third most beautiful beach in the world, it is always a pleasure to photograph weddings there. I asked Lyndsay a few questions about love, marriage and how she and Marshall met. Check out the photographs from their wedding day and her answers below.

What do you think makes for a good, life long marriage?

“Love isn’t finding someone you can live with, it’s finding someone you cannot live without.” Marshall and I have this quote hanging on the wall at the foot of our bed so that we see it every morning. Let’s be honest, we’re all human and are bound to get on each other’s nerves, but it’s never giving up on your spouse.. even on their worst days, if you are understanding and there for each other 100% of the time, you will live a good, lifelong marriage.

Bride wearing a white dress on her wedding day on Culebra Island in Puerto Rico. This wedding photograph was taken on Culebra Island in Puerto Rico by Rincon Images Photography.
Lyndsay was nice and relaxed the day of her wedding. It was great to finally meet her after several months of communication via telephone and email.
Lyndsays short lace wedding dress blowing in the island breeze. This wedding dress was the perfect choice for their Culebra Island wedding.
Lyndsays short lace wedding dress blowing in the island breeze. This wedding dress was the perfect choice for their Culebra Island wedding.

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Bride wearing a white dress on her wedding day on Culebra Island in Puerto Rico. This wedding photograph was taken on Culebra Island in Puerto Rico by Rincon Images Photography.
I loved all of the bridal details Lyndsay chose to wear on her wedding day. The starfish necklaces looked wonderful on her and her family members. The sparkling hairpiece was my favorite, it really dressed up her short lace beach wedding dress.

When did you and Marshall fist meet?

We went to the same middle school.. Marshall was two years older than me. We became best friends when I was in 6thgrade (2006) and started dating in 2007.

Marshall, the groom, enjoying a quiet moment before heading to the beach for the wedding.
Marshall, the groom, enjoying a quiet moment before heading to the beach for the wedding.

What was your favorite thing about your wedding day?

My favorite thing about our wedding was when I first stepped foot into the sand and laid eyes on the amazing set up that Peri had created for us. Seeing Marshall standing under the coral and white pergola just gave me goose bumps.. This is really happening..

Apparently, there was a bad storm the night before that ruined the pergola and she had to completely redo everything minutes before the ceremony. I thought oh well… no matter what it looks like I will be Mrs. Marshall Olson today. Once I saw how beautiful it was I couldn’t even believe Peri was fussing around. It was an absolutely magical sight that we will never forget.

The beautiful setup at Flamenco beach on Culebra Island, Puerto Rico. Flamenco beach is ranked the third most beautiful beach in the world. Flamenco beach is a gorgeous place for a wedding photographer to take pictures of a  happy couple!
The beautiful setup at Flamenco beach on Culebra Island, Puerto Rico. Flamenco beach is ranked the third most beautiful beach in the world. Flamenco beach is a gorgeous place for a wedding photographer to take pictures of a happy couple!

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How did he ‘pop’ the question?

December 30, 2013 we were curled up on the couch watching TV and I told him we needed to go get balloons because the 31st is my little sister’s birthday.. I had to freshen up before we could go and he went out to start the truck. When I came out to put my shoes on.. BAM there he was on one knee.. I was so surprised I didn’t know how to react but start crying and shake my head yes. When we first starting talking about marriage, I said I didn’t want a fancy proposal.. this couldn’t have been more fitting for us. So casual and I wasn’t suspicious at all!

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Lyndsay and Marshall holding their wedding rings in a handful of sand from Flamenco Beach on Culebra Island.

What are you most excited about when you think of spending the rest of your life with your partner?

When I think about spending the rest of my life with Marshall, it excites me to no end to think about the precious little family we will eventually make. Step by step we are slowly molding our lives around the children that we hope to have and cherish in the future.

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Why did you choose a destination wedding on Culebra Island in Puerto Rico?

We chose a destination wedding because we are in no way “traditional”. I could not see myself in a big white gown at a church. Plus, we both have very large families are we did not want a huge wedding. By choosing a destination we were able to keep it down to 9 guests, which made it so much more intimate.

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We chose Culebra as our destination because my family and I had been visiting Culebra since I was three years old!! One vacation, I was maybe 8 or 9 years old, my dad and I were walking to the tank at flamenco and I looked up and said “daddy, one day I will get married on this beach.” We consider it our home away from home. When Marshall and I had been dating for 1 year, my parents allowed him to come along on our family vacation.. that was six years ago and he loves it as much as us!! Flamenco beach is very special to our family, and now that we tied the knot there, it gives us all the more reason to visit every January… for our anniversary!

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What advice do you have for brides having professional pictures taken for the first time?

With all the chaos of the wedding planning.. don’t forget to take some time to talk with your photographer and look at different wedding poses that you may want..  I did not take much time to look at different poses, but I had talked to Frances multiple times and explained that I had no clue what kind of pictures I was looking for.. I left my picture faith in her hands.. She did an absolutely wonderful job in capturing the most beautiful moments..  I basically left all of the thinking to her and was not disappointed!

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Long exposures and Creative Self Portraits – Viejo San Juan Roof Tops

Long exposures and Creative Self Portraits – Viejo San Juan Roof Tops

Check out my portfolio 🙂
I spend most of my time by the sea on the west coast of Puerto Rico, soothing ocean waves and calm breezes. Every so often though, I get the chance to play in the big city. Trips to Viejo San Juan always help recharge my creative batteries. Its important especially as a photographer to give yourself a change of scenery from time to time, it helps keep the eye fresh. On this particular trip I stayed at Da House. A cute boutique hotel above the lively Newyorican Cafe.
The rooftop patio of the hotel is cozy and there is a hot tub. I opted against dragging my lighting equipment up the four flights of stairs to the roof and just used my tripod and a little bit of fill from my on camera flash.  I created a few images around the sky light above the stair case. Those tiles at the bottom of the stairs are quintessential Viejo San Juan tiles and the iron work is iconic of Viejo San Juan as well. The last picture is a long exposure of me playing with an LED hula hoop. I love hooping… after photography it really is the other great love of my life.  I like to use a similar technique when I’m doing wedding photography. I do long exposures during the reception to create trails of light around dancing guests.
Photograph lying above a skylight over a stair case. I love the staircases in viejo san juan… they can be troublesome if you have a lot of luggage but I love the character and old world feel they give to the buildings there.
Photograph lying above a skylight over a stair case. I love the staircases in viejo san juan… they can be troublesome if you have a lot of luggage but I love the character and old world feel they give to the buildings there.
Behind me you can see the lights of Viejo San Juan (Old San Juan). My skirt was blowing in the wind and because of the long exposure its blured.
Behind me you can see the lights of Viejo San Juan (Old San Juan). My skirt was blowing in the wind and because of the long exposure its blured.
Led Hula hoops are too much fun for photography! I like to use a similar effect when I'm shooting wedding receptions. The long trails of light add a sense of excitement and mystery to the photographs.
Led Hula hoops are too much fun for photography! I like to use a similar effect when I’m shooting wedding receptions. The long trails of light add a sense of excitement and mystery to the photographs.

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