Dec. 20, 2012, 7 a.m. by SMARTBRIDE

Real Destination Wedding: Sizzling Puerto Rican Flavor


Cameron Haven and Ryan Sulte

San Juan, Puerto Rico
February 27, 2010

Caribbean Bride Real Wedding, Puerto Rico
All photos by Limelight Photography

The Background…

Both Cameron and Ryan attended universities in Florida. Ryan, a St. Petersburg native, attended the University of Florida, the football rival to Cameron’s alma mater, Florida State University. Cameron, a model and spokesmodel for IZOD grew up all over Florida and has lived in Texas and Paris, France. Ryan is a criminal defense attorney with his own law firm in South Tampa.

The Meeting…

Ryan and Cameron met in Tampa while out walking their dogs, and realized that they were living in the same condominium building. Cameron had recently broken up with her boyfriend when she accepted Ryan’s invitation to watch the sunset down by the water later that evening. The evening took a turn when Ryan’s dog, Layla, attacked Cameron’s tiny Yorkie, Taz, to keep possession of some rocks Layla was playing with. Luckily, Taz only had a few minor scratches once Cameron and Ryan were able to get Layla to release her. Upset over the ordeal, Cameron refused to answer Ryan’s calls for the rest of the night. However, Ryan was determined to make amends and not let the relationship end before it had begun. He received a second chance after leaving a creatively handwritten note marked with fluorescent yellow marker and paw prints from Layla to Taz apologizing for the attack.

The Proposal…

The day before Cameron’s birthday, Ryan suggested a glass of celebratory champagne down by the rocks near their condo. Although it was a hot summer night in Florida, Cameron agreed, and figured that was why Ryan had began sweating profusely as they made their way down to the rocks. As Ryan tried to distract her by talking about mangroves, Cameron watched him get down on one knee. The next thing she knew, he was popping the question at the exact same place where they had their first date!

Cameron & Ryan's Wedding Rings

Wedding Destination...

A destination wedding was a natural choice after being inspired by so many of Cameron’s brother’s friends who had gotten married in exotic locations.  “We really aren’t overly traditional so wanted our wedding to feel like a vacation for our guests,” Cameron says.

Beach Ceremony

San Juan was the perfect choice with beautiful beaches, delicious food and a unique culture and a short trip from Florida!

And the Bride wore…

Ines di Santo Dress

Cameron wore a stunning blush coloured couture gown by Ines di Santo that featured a Swarovski covered t-strap across the back.

The Groom sported…

The groom wore an Armani tuxedo adorned with a contemporary white orchid with moss. 

The Feast…

Seeking a tapas dining experience that would get guests mingling and dancing early on, the couple forewent the traditional seating arrangement for Miami-style white lounge furniture. The catering was local with a fusion of traditional Puerto Rican and American favourites, including Puerto Rican rice and mofongo. A variety of tapas were served, followed by mini cheeseburgers at the end of the evening before guests departed for the after party.

Tapas Style Dining

Adorned with hundreds of tiny dragees and Swarovski flowers purchased online by Cake Jewelry, the cake was red velvet, the bride’s favourite. It was the baker’s first red velvet cake, as Puerto Ricans tend to favour flavours like chocolate and pistachio.

Unique Wedding features…

Since Cameron was unable to find a photo booth for rental in Puerto Rico, she purchased a mini Polaroid camera guests used to take pictures and place in the guestbook along with a message. The pictures were about the size of a credit card and the guests enjoyed shooting photos for both the book and to keep.

guestbook/innovative photobooth

For their friends who love to party, the reception featured an ice luge-shaped martini glass with frozen lime slices that guests could use to pour shots of alcohol through it into their glass. Wedding favours were wine corks that featured silver starfish on top since both the bride and groom love wine.

The Honeymoon…

Because they are an active couple and love the outdoors, they chose Costa Rica for their honeymoon. Splitting the week between the beaches of Manuel Antonio and volcano of Arenal, they did everything from horseback riding through waterfalls to zip lines, ATV’s, night crawler tours, kayaking, hot springs and many more memorable experiences.

Advice from the heart: a parting word from the bride…

“When planning your wedding, think outside the box.  How can you be different?  What will make your wedding stand out for years to come?”

She also advises couples use the hotel’s wedding planner. “We hired a wedding planner because I worried that language would be a barrier, but our hotel caterer was even more reliable and helpful than the wedding planner, gave us lots of recommendations on vendors and the best part was her services came free of charge!”

Cameron & Ryan's First Dance

Congratulations Cameron & Ryan!

Bio: Caribbean Bride magazine is the premier resource for planning weddings and events in the Caribbean. Download Issue 5 on iTunes for more articles and tips to design your perfect Caribbean wedding! For more inspiration, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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