Cory and Stevens Gay Beach wedding celebration in Rincon, Puerto Rico

Cory and Stevens Gay Beach wedding celebration in Rincon, Puerto Rico

Cory and Steven tied the knot in the beautiful state of Colorado before heading down to Rincon, Puerto Rico for an amazing party with their family and friends. They chose the beautiful seaside venue 8th and Ocean as the location for their party. We had a chance to do some photographs on the beach and in a nearby bougainvillea garden before heading back to the party. These are their wedding photographs and a Q&A with the Groom and Groom.

Cory and Steven on the beach in Rincon, Puerto Rico after their gay destination beach wedding in Rincon, Puerto Rico.
Cory and Steven were a little nervous about having their picture taken at first. After a few different poses they relaxed and really opened up on camera.

When did the two of you first meet?

Cory – Thanks to the marvels of technology, Steven came across an old Yahoo personals page that I had honestly forgotten all about. I was working one day when I received an email and then we proceeded to IM daily until we were ready to meet for the first time.

Steven – 10 years ago, I was 22 and new to the dating scene. I was living and working in a small town more than an hour south of Houston. Knowing that it would be nearly impossible to find and connect with a like minded individual in my little conservative Texas town, I took to the Internet to explore the newly created World of online dating. I stumbled across Cory’s profile picture and although our profiles didn’t “match up”, I saw this lively individual that I knew could open my eyes and introduce me to a life in which I could be true to myself.

LGBT wedding photographer Puerto Rico
This LGBT couple looked so handsome in front of the sea grape tree leaves. This beautiful backdrop was just steps away from their seaside venue.
The happy couple kissing in front of the sea grape leaves, on the beach in Rincon Puerto Rico. LGBT wedding photographer Puerto Rico
Cory and Steven steal a little kiss in the shade of this sea grape tree during our gay wedding photography session in Rincon, Puerto Rico.
Best friends and partners for life! Cory and Steven are now a happily married couple. I took this playful wedding photograph with my fish eye lens. Photograph by Rincon Images LGBT wedding photographer Puerto Rico.
Best friends and partners for life! Cory and Steven are now a happily married couple. I took this playful wedding photograph with my fish eye lens.

Tell us about your first date…

Cory – Steven joined me and about 8 other friends of mine at a Buffalo Wild Wings for cheap chicken drumsticks and tall glasses of beer. He was in real estate then and showed up in his khaki pants and short sleeve button down shirt. I thought he was adorable. We hit it off great and everyone thought he was just the cutest. At 22 then, he was definitely the youngest at the table. We had a great first date and then just a few days later, he joined me at a wild house party. We’ve been attached at the hip every day since…for the last 10 years!

Steven – I was having a tough day at the office when an elderly coworker of mine offered to set me up with her granddaughter. I politely declined and immediately contacted Cory to see if he would be available to meet me that evening for a much needed drink. He extended an invite to meet him and a “few friends” for wings and beer at a sports bar in the city. Being an introverted and shy country boy who had never been on a date with another man, I was shocked to hear myself respond with “I’ll be there in just over an hour.” The shock continued when I walked through the restaurant doors and was greeted by an overwhelming group 8 of Cory’s closest friends. Though not a typical date, it was the perfect first date for me. I was hooked once I saw the love and compassion that all at the table had for each other.

A black and white photograph of the two grooms strolling towards the ocean during their gay wedding photography session in Rincon, Puerto Rico. LGBT wedding photographer Puerto Rico
A black and white photograph of the two grooms strolling towards the ocean during their gay wedding photography session in Rincon, Puerto Rico.
The two grooms photographed in black and white before their gay wedding celebration.
The two grooms photographed in black and white before their gay wedding celebration.

When did you know you were in love?

Cory – My love for Steven grew and developed into something greater than I ever knew possible. Every single day our love for each other has become bigger and bigger. I literally fall in love with him every single day.

Steven – it’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment I fell in love. There was a type of love that I had felt even before we had met in person.  Then there was a new love and connection on our first date. It must have been love at first sight for me, because the next week I was driving an hour and fifteen minutes to be with him everyday after work and then waking up and driving another hour and fifteen minutes back every morning.

True love is a big smile and a long hug! This couple was so great to work with. I love photographing couples when I can see they are truly in love. Photograph by Rincon Images LGBT wedding photographer Rincon, Puerto Rico.
True love is a big smile and a long hug! This couple was so great to work with. I love photographing couples when I can see they are truly in love.
I love the expression on Cory's face in this photograph! The two of them were so genuinely happy on their special day.Photograph by Rincon Images LGBT wedding photographer Puerto Rico.
I love the expression on Cory’s face in this photograph! The two of them were so genuinely happy on their special day.
Together forever. The two grooms make the infinity symbol with their hands. I love this photograph, its a cute variation on the traditional heart.
Together forever. The two grooms make the infinity symbol with their hands. I love this photograph, its a cute variation on the traditional heart.

Who popped the question and how did it happen?

Cory – Steven and I, along with our close friend Sara, all rented a little house on a river out in the Texas hill country for a weekend. Sara was expecting her first daughter soon and wanted to shop at some local outlet stores for baby furniture. Before we left for an afternoon of shopping, Steven and I walked down to the river. There was a long, and very skinny bridge of sorts that we were standing on at the edge of the water. I wanted to get on one knee, but knowing how clumsy I am, I surely would’ve fallen in the water and definitely would’ve dropped the ring! I asked Steven if he had any plans for the rest of his life and asked if he would marry me. Naturally, he said yes! He was so surprised!

Steven – We had rented a rustic cabin on a river in the Texas hill country for a weekend to celebrate my birthday. My grandmother had just passed away a couple weeks earlier and we weren’t sure whether we were up for a vacation. Cory convinced me that the trip was just the type of relaxation the we needed to cope with the loss. The morning of his proposal I could definitely feel his excitement and anxiety, but I had no idea what for. He walked me to the end of a rickety pier that extended over the San Marcus river, took my hands, and asked me if I had plans for the rest of my life and would I marry him. Of course I said yes.

LGBT wedding photographer Puerto Rico
LGBT wedding photographer Puerto Rico
LGBT wedding photographer Puerto Rico
LGBT wedding photographer Puerto Rico

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


There are so many things to be excited about that it’s hard to choose just one! In the last 10 years, we’ve put together such a great and happy family. We have our fur babies (2 dogs, 2 cats…and our turtle) and we have each other. I love coming home to that. I’m so excited about what our future holds. We’ve had plenty of challenges like any couple would and we just keep getting stronger, together.

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

Everyday is a new adventure. I couldn’t ask for a better companion to experience all the thrills that life has to offer. I look forward to strengthening our bond more and more and continuing to learn and grow from each other.

Cory and steven walking towards the ocean together. LGBT wedding photographer Puerto Rico
Cory and steven walking towards the ocean together.

Cory, what does true love mean to you?

True love, for me, means having that one special person that sees you. Really sees you, with your strengths and your faults and continues to love you unconditionally. They push you to be the best of version of yourself that you can be. Steven has made me a better person. I never knew that love could be this way. I absolutely love every minute of it.

Steven, what does true love mean to you? 

True love is knowing that there will always be someone standing in my corner of the ring, cheering me on through life. We will always and forever be there for each other, no matter what life may throw at us. We are  better people thanks to each other.

Cory and Steven in the seaside bougainvillea garden by their LGBT wedding celebration in Rincon, Puerto Rico.
Cory and Steven in the seaside bougainvillea garden by their LGBT wedding celebration in Rincon, Puerto Rico.

Why did you choose to have your wedding celebration in Puerto Rico?

Cory- We had vacationed in Puerto Rico a few years back on the east end of the island in Luquillo. It was breathtaking! We knew we had to come back again!

Steven- I have a personal connection and love of Puerto Rico. My grandfather worked for Pan American Airlines and he and my grandmother raised my father and 2 aunts in Puerto Rico and Panama. I grew up hearing stories of my dad diving for lobster and fishing with my grandfather for dinner… Iguanas chasing them out from under the car they were working on together. I wanted to pay tribute to my grandmothers lavish weekly dinners and dancing on the rooftop terrace my grandfather built overlooking San Juan.

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

Cory-The best part of the entire trip was seeing how amazed all of our friends and family were from vacationing there. We continue to hear how thankful everyone is for inviting them and giving them one of the best and most memorable vacations they’ve ever had!

Steven- watching most of our guests experience Puerto Rico for the first time was priceless. The comments on how friendly the locals are, how stunning the beaches are, how amazing the food is… I will never forget this trip!

How did you find Rincon Images?

Thanks to Wilson Rios, he and the owner of the villa at 8th and Ocean, had Rincon Images listed as a direct referral for outstanding photography. We browsed through your fun photos and knew that you were a good fit. We’re so happy that we were able to capture our perfect day this way!

Why did you choose 8th and Ocean as your venue?

Cory- Little known fact about Steven…the man can research! He spent quite some time looking all over the island for the perfect location for our trip and it needed to house a lot of people! After some searching, he found Rincon. There were only a few locations in the area that could hold our guest list and 8th and Ocean was perfect for our needs.

Steven- I fell in love with the location of the 8th & Ocean and instantly knew that our reception was meant to be held on their back veranda. I wanted a beachfront venue that would allow everyone to relax and feel as if they were at their own private Caribbean villa. I wanted our guests to see a side of Puerto Rico that they would not normally be exposed to. Many in our group thought I was crazy for asking them to drive several hours away from San Juan, but I wanted to see and share with them what Puerto Rico means to me.

What was your favorite thing about your party in Puerto Rico?

Cory- The ENTIRE reception! It was absolutely perfect. We couldn’t have asked for a better guest list. The staff was superb. The DJ was awesome! Food and drinks, outstanding. We set the bar pretty high that night!

Steven- watching so many people that we love and appreciate fall in love with the island life that Puerto Rico offers. Dancing to Latin music, eating amazing island food, rum drinks in hand. I believe our guests will always remember how easy it was to slip in to the island way of life the night of our reception.

Tell us a little bit about what you did after the party, did you take any special day trips or explore any beautiful places?

Cory-To be honest, we were pretty busy from start to finish. Our favorite was our trip to La Parguera. We took a snorkeling trip and had such an amazing time! Afterwards, we finished with a trip to the bioluminescent bay. Incredible! Everyone was blown away! Steven- we had brunch at a little inn on Sandy Beach while watching several professional surfers, then laughed as 2 of our group attempted to tackle the waves. Several of our guests went on a half day fishing excursion and brought back tuna that we grilled up that night for everyone. A few zip lined, repelled, and hiked the caves while others of us toured the light house in Rincon and ventured out to the waterfall. We ended our trip with all of our guests snorkeling in la parguera and enjoying a memorable sparkling swim in the bio bay that evening.

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

Communication and patience. Knowing that everyday won’t be a honeymoon and to take advantage of the little things in life. Let each other know daily how much they mean to you and let the love continue to grow and evolve.

What about your wedding party was unique and different?

We didn’t really have a traditional wedding party. We kept it, for the most part, a bit more untraditional. We really just wanted a big, catered party! Every person at our reception brought their own distinct personality and together it turned out better than we could’ve ever imagined.

Steven- we skipped many of the typical wedding traditions… The first dance, cake cutting, best man speech, etc. Our reception was more of a celebration of the joining of our family and friends rather than a celebration of just us. There were no stresses of worrying what music needs to be played when, or what time should dinner be served. We allowed the night to flow on it’s own and everything happened exactly the way we had wanted.

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

Relax! I was a little shy at first about the whole experience. It was our first professional photography session. But after a little time, and with the coaching from Frances, it worked out just fine!

As an LGBT couple did you experience any discrimination while planning your event? Do you have any advice for LGBT friendly wedding vendors?

We actually didn’t experience any discrimination. Everyone was extremely helpful through the entire process. We did make sure that all of our vendors knew that we were a same sex couple up front, just to make sure we wouldn’t come across any issues at our event. That didn’t seem to phase any one we worked with.

When planning your wedding party what were your favorite places to look for inspiration? (you had so many fun details, I loved the insta-camera! Who came up with that idea?)

Cory-Steven handled the majority of details when it came to the planning. He wanted to make sure that we kept with the beach motif, but also to keep things simple. And lighting was key for the dinner table!

Steven- Pinterest, of course, was a go to for great ideas! I wanted something more memorable than just a guest book for everyone to sign and I thought a scrapbook of sorts would be a great idea. With a little help from Pinterest, I fell in love with the idea of taking instant photos and having our guests write personal messages to commemorate the evening. I also wanted a few momentos that people could take home, so we decorated frames with shells for each guests instant photo along with personalized do not disturb door hangers.

Looking back is there anything you would have done differently?

Absolutely not a single detail would’ve been changed. It was simply perfect.

Is there any party of your day that you wouldn’t change for the world?

We feel truly blessed that everything went so perfectly. We couldn’t have asked for a better event, location, weather, group of people, or better vendors who we now consider to be friends. Many thanks and much love to all who were involved!

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Puerto Rican Government No Longer Defending Same Sex Marriage Ban – Lambda Legals LGBT clients photographed by Rincon Images Photography

Puerto Rican Government No Longer Defending Same Sex Marriage Ban – Lambda Legals LGBT clients photographed by Rincon Images Photography

Last summer I was contacted by Lambda Legal, a large not for profit legal organization that defends the civil rights of gay, lesbian and transgendered people all around the united states. I covered their press conference in San Juan and took portraits of their clients who were filing law suits on the steps of the government building where the press conference was held. It was such a wonderful experience to work with such  a great organization and to meet the couples that were being brave enough to stand up for change. On March 20th, 2015 the government of Puerto Rico declared that it would no longer defend the ban on Same Sex marriage in Puerto Rico. Read the full story from Lambda Legal here.

Photograph of Maritza López Aviles  & Iris Delia Rivera Rivera a lesbian couple represented by Lambda Legal. I shot this photograph after the press conference and then Lambda Legal used it as part of their PR campaign.
Photograph of Maritza López Aviles & Iris Delia Rivera Rivera a lesbian couple represented by Lambda Legal. I shot this photograph after the press conference and then Lambda Legal used it as part of their PR campaign.
Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro & Zulma Oliveras Vega another couple represented by Lambda Legal that I photographed that same day. I just love the light in this one.
Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro & Zulma Oliveras Vega another couple represented by Lambda Legal that I photographed that same day. I just love the light in this one.

Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal, said:

In declining to further defend the Commonwealth’s discriminatory marriage ban, Puerto Rico’s government finally recognizes that denying marriage to LGBT people is harmful and cannot be justified. The marriage ban’s sole purpose is to perpetuate discrimination, and it is just plain wrong. Same-sex couples, LGBT people and their families are part of Puerto Rico’s rich social and cultural fabric. Today’s actions fulfill the constitutional promises of justice and fairness for LGBT people in Puerto Rico. Simply put, discrimination is never in Puerto Rico’s best interests.

I feel so honored and excited to have been a part of this historic happening. Even though my photographs were only a very small part of the process of moving the island towards marriage equality if feels wonderful to have contributed to something so important to me. As a wedding photographer I get to make people happy by creating amazing photographs of them in love on their wedding day. I do this for both my gay and straight clients. Although getting to use my talents as a photographer to create portraits of brave couples that were used as part of a national campaign for marriage equality has been a truly rewarding experience. I can’t wait to photograph the wedding days of all loving couples when everyone is legally allowed to marry on the enchanted island of Puerto Rico. For more information about my photographic approach to LGBT weddings in Puerto Rico check out the LGBT wedding photography section of my website.

Wedding photographer stands in front of the blue lambda legal back drop at a press conference in san juan.
Thats me! Frances Davis the principal photographer for Rincon Images, standing in front of the Lambda Legal back drop. Same sex wedding photographer Puerto Rico.