This is Ashley & Erik, and one of the absolute most amazing weddings I have EVER been lucky enough to be a part of! Ashley was referred to me by my amazing friend Patty, who is also a wedding & portrait photographer. Patty was attending the wedding and wanted to enjoy the trip as a guest, so she recommended that Ashley check out my work. I gotta say I will be in Patty’s debt for a LONG time after this. 🙂 As soon as I first spoke with Ashley I knew we’d get along great, and meeting her in person just confirmed it. She insisted that I come out to Vieques with them for the entire week (!!!) and I could not say yes fast enough! I brought my husband along to assist me (lucky guy, right?) and holy crap was the entire week awesome from top to bottom.
We stayed at Casa Ladera for the week, a LITERAL OASIS in the middle of the larger oasis that is Vieques, which is an island-municipality of Puerto Rico. It was quite the trip to get there — we flew from Portland to Atlanta, Atlanta to San Juan, 1-hour cab ride from the airport to the ferry terminal, and then roughly another hour+ on the ferry to the island. But so, so worth it. The island is a former bombing range and testing ground for the U.S. Navy and currently a wildlife refuge, with very little done to commercialize the space for tourists — there’s only one single resort on the whole island (which itself is tiny — only 52 square miles of land). As soon as we got to the ferry terminal we were surrounded by friends and family of Ashley and Erik, and everyone was BEYOND welcoming and sweet to us.
We had a few days before the wedding itself which we spent exploring the many beaches, riding around in our awesome Jeep, and spending lots of time grilling out by the pool. We also collected an obscene amount of sea glass, waded in the jewel-like waters, and marveled at the fact that HOLY CRAP THERE ARE IGUANAS EVERYWHERE. Like seriously, the Vieques version of pigeons. So wild. The wedding itself was OUT OF CONTROL awesome, with everyone — from Ashley and Erik to the kids that were present — dressed in FULL PIRATE GARB. Ashley hand crafted many of the outfits herself — these were NO joke — and Erik even broke out into a full-on sword fight with a guest during the beach ceremony. We then headed to their villa, Bungalow 180, for the reception, which was full of lots of rum, some more sword fights, FIRE DANCERS, the most amazing food, and some pool hijinks. So. Much. Fun.