An intimate wedding on a Caribbean island.
The texture of soft sand between your toes.
Laughter blending with the sound of waves just feet away from your ceremony.
AND THEN A ROGUE WAVE KNOCKS YOU OVER AND YOU’RE COVERED HEAD TO TOE IN SAND AND SEA.
Don’t let this happen to you. I won’t let this happen to you.
You see, there are rules to island weddings. And these are those rules…or bits of wisdom to planning the perfect wedding here in Puerto Rico.
First off, the whole process is wonderfully simple and easy. There’s only stress if you want stress. Or if your mother in law is the spawn of evil.
This is the Enchanted Island. The weather is perfect. The people are happy. Life is good.
So don’t gum things up by worrying! I promise, I’ve got you covered.
1. What is the best time of year for a wedding in Puerto Rico?
The Caribbean is a study in boring. Seriously.
It’s the same thing over and over. Every day.
Sunny. Blue skies. 80s.
All this monotony can drive you to drink.
You can visit anytime of year and you’ll be treated to near perfect weather.
What about hurricanes?
Here’s my answer for that:
Hurricane’s are ridiculously unlikely to get in the way of your wedding. If I was into statistics, I would put it at the same probability as the Cleveland Browns making it to the playoffs this year (update: I wrote this before Baker Mayfield took over as quaterback).
In reality, every 20 years or so a hurricane swings through our neighborhood. Hurricanes are only “in-season” in August, September and October.
The chances are quite good your wedding won’t be interrupted by a hurricane…so let’s move on.
…if you are one of those, “the sky is falling”, I test my tire pressure every morning before getting in the car (this would accurately describe my wife), the solution is simple – set your wedding date the other 8-9 months of the year.
On the other hand, if you are willing to trust me, I would tell you there isn’t a bad time of year to be in Puerto Rico.
Check out the annual temps here: Puerto Rico Average Temperatures.
2. The wedding venue
I’ve officiated weddings throughout the United States and Caribbean – California, Ohio, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John, Jost Van Dyke, Water Island, Antiqua…I think that’s most of them.
And each island and location is different. What sets Puerto Rico apart from almost every other destination is that it has every conceivable wedding venue you can imagine.
- Historic churches like The San Juan Bautista Cathedral.
- A rain forest – El Yunque (check out these amazing wedding photos from Kristin Leigh Conklin)!
- Old forts – Castillo San Felipe del Morro & Castillo de San
Cristóbal offer stunning architecture in Old San Juan.
- World-class beaches – From San Juan to Dorado to Rincon.
- 5-star hotels scattered throughout the island.
So getting married in Puerto Rico means you have tons of choices. When considering a venue, focus on your budget and the look you want.
If you’re coming for the beaches, let me know and I’ll share my favorites for a stunning wedding.
3. The Puerto Rico Marriage License (so easy, yet still so intimidating)
In some ways Puerto Rico has it all wrong. It’s like they try to make the process look difficult.
But I’m here to say that getting the license is easy enough when you know how.
I’ve found lots of old information on the internet, but I assure you, you have found the final word on getting legally married here.
Here is an entire article guiding you step-by-step for getting the marriage license.
4. Where to stay for your stay
AirBnb, Villas, homes, boutique hotels, grand resorts and every other imaginable accommodation awaits you on the Enchanted Island. Today I’ll share a few of my favorite spots in San Juan.
If you are a traditionalist, check out these large resorts:
1. Marriott Stellaris – love their kids pool and water slide! Right in the heart of Condado. If you have kids in the wedding group, this is a great hotel.
2. Caribe Hilton – they have a Denny’s. Nuff said.
3. LaConcha – I’ve never stayed there but hear great things about it. Right in the middle of Condado. 5 minutes from Old San Juan.
4. Condado Vanderbilt – luxury all the way baby. Leave the little ones at home for this one.
Boutique hotels include:
1. Hotel El