The whole reason I went to Puerto Rico was to celebrate my cousin’s wedding.
On Monday we joined the wedding party for the rehearsal lunch. In true latino style, everyone was late, and the food took forever. The restaurant was at the top of a hill, and the map had a wrong turn, which led me and my parents down the wrong road. I proudly used mi pequeno Spanish skills to ask for directions. After we turned around and went “derecho, derecho, derecho…” we corrected our (cough – the map’s) error.
The view was SPECTACULAR! We were the only people at the venue, and we got to hang out and get drinks (I introduced everyone to the classic malibu + pineapple combo), and then, because we got appetizers, we were the last table to finish our food. My dad convinced Hettie, my 13-year-old cousin, to try octopus. I wouldn’t try it. She made a terrible face, but we were all proud of her!
I got more – amazing – plantains, that were served with some kind of delicious dipping sauce. My entree was an appetizer (everything was so expensive, and I hate spending a lot of money on food, even if I’m not the one paying for it), made with some combination of mango, cilantro, and steak. I can’t remember what it was, but it tasted amazing!
We were all dying to get out and get some sun by that point, since it had rained in the morning so none of us had gotten to go outside yet. Around 4pm or something crazy late like that, we left, and I immediately dashed to put my suit on and snagged a chair that someone had already moved to the water’s edge.
Tuesday was wedding day. Me and my dad were dying to have a day at the beach, so we spent the morning at the place recommended to us by the locals. Afterwards we got all spruced up and headed over to Hacienda Siesta Alegre, at the edge of the rainforest, just in time for the ceremony.
My sweet cousin! He lived at our house when I was in elementary/middle school and he was first starting out in Richmond. He’s so tall, I used to climb all over him like he was a swing set! Hah! He’s been working hard the past few years as the own of Chiocca’s in downtown Richmond, and I was wondering if any woman would ever convince him to relax a little bit. I’m so glad he found Rebecca!!
This Puerto Rican minister was awesome – he was God-centered but kept the ceremony light-hearted. When it was time for the kiss, you can’t see it in the pictures, but he pulled a conch shell out of nowhere and trumpeted in their marriage! It was such a fun local touch!
I’ve been to a lot of weddings, and many of them were absolutely gorgeous, but this was hands-down the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever been to! No competition. If it’s in a rain forest, at sunset, in perfect 80-degree weather with slight humidity, with tons of greenery and vibrant flowers…. I mean, you can’t beat that!!
The Brumfield crew! This looks like a decent number of people, and it is, but it’s actually only about a fifth of my mom’s side of the family! I wish everyone could have been there of course, especially my husband and brother and other girl cousins my age, but I think we ended up with the perfect group. 🙂
Scott was so, so thankful that two of his aunts were there (my mom and Brenda, pink shirt on the left), since his mom couldn’t be. My aunt Doris passed away several years ago, and Scott’s dad didn’t attend the wedding either. Rebecca’s father also passed away, though her mom and step-father were there. It was sad to be missing so many important people, but I know it really meant a lot for those of us who could be there to attend.I had the most fun with my parents!! They are the greatest travel companions… they really like to have fun, but also relax! It’s not wonder where I got the travel gene from 😉
Aren’t you obsessed with the florals?? The colors were so rich!
The food was amazing! There were tasty passed hors d’oeuvres like fresh bruschetta and barbecue on toasted pitas, and for dinner they served a buffet of salad, rolls, grilled chicken, steak, and salmon, plus plantains, green rice, and macaroni and cheese. I loved the cultural twist of Southern plus Caribbean after being on the island and eating locally for a few days. It was just right – felt like home, but with some island flair.
I didn’t get a picture of it, but the favors table was filled with Puerto Rican souvenirs – it was a surprise that Rebecca’s mom had set up! All the ladies could take a scarf for when it got chilly, which we did (See Hettie, Abigail, and Frances sporting theirs below), there were musical instruments to liven up the dance party later in the night, and there were all sorts of little trinkets, like tiny mugs, to pass out to family who weren’t able to make it.
After dinner and the Hacienda’s lengths had been explored and everyone was feeling a little more comfortable, the band started up. They played a lively mixture of salsa, merengue, and American funk hits. I loved it! Shannon had taught us some simple steps from a salsa lesson she took earlier in the week, so we were all set to go – hah! I taught the younger girls, and Beth just improvised. Eventually a Puerto Rican lady came by and corrected my salsa to a merengue when the beat was a bit slower – no hopping, just shaking the hips.
This was my parents, and mine, done separately. Can’t you see the resemblance between my mom’s and mine?! It’s funny how the artist saw that even though he didn’t know we were mother and daughter. (Also – hilarious how my dad looks so Puerto Rican… or Cuban!)