We are only a couple weeks away from the start of Spring and you know what that means right? Of course, making your plans for the summer! What’s a better plan to make than having your wedding in San Juan?! With the scenic views of the Atlantic Ocean as their backdrop, Lori and Dedric expressed their love for each other and said their vows in front of 70 of their closest friends and loved ones. So grab your swimsuit (as I’m sure you’ll want to take a dip in that gorgeous ocean) and take a trip to San Juan courtesy of Atlanta wedding photographer, Kelly Lane Photography.
Tell us how you met…
Dedric and Lori met at a mutual friend’s house on Memorial Day 2008. An unsuspecting Lori arrived after a road trip with college friends. Upon arriving, Lori was greeted by the mutual friend and a neighbor, who asked how Lori would feel about being set up. She entered the house to be greeted by two children (one she knew, one she did not) but gave them both hugs anyway because… hey, how harmful could it be to hug a child? She proceeded to say that everyone in the house will be going to see” Sex in the City” not knowing who was in the house. Lori went out to the patio, where the rest of the guests were seated and was introduced to “Fletcher”. After Fletcher leaves, everyone questions Lori about him. One of the remaining guests decides to call Fletcher to see if he is planning on attending the movie. He says “As long as she is going, I’m going.” Everyone then makes plans to attend the movie on Friday night. While at the movie, Lori was so focused on the movie she barely notices that Fletcher and the mutual friend were chatting throughout the entire movie. She later learned that Fletcher was asking about her. After the movie, the group went back to the mutual friend’s house for a quick chat about the movie and night. Fletcher offered to walk Lori home because she lives around the corner. However, Lori states “I’m ok. I can walk by myself. I just live around the corner.” But being the gentleman that he is, Fletcher follows to make sure she gets home safely. They exchanged phone numbers and said goodbye. A week went by and they talked on the phone every day, but Fletcher does not ask Lori out on a second date. She thinks “Oh well, no love lost. He’s cool to hang out with.” Little did Lori know, Fletcher was planning on asking Lori out on a second date but had not gotten up the courage. Finally Fletcher asked Lori out on a lunch date. During this date, Lori finds out that Fletcher is his last name and that the little girl she hugged on Memorial Day was his daughter. Lori quickly learned that Fletcher had a great sense of humor and was a gentleman. When the date was over, neither one of them knew what was in store…..
Now for the proposal… details!
Lori and Dedric had discussed marriage, set a wedding date and even picked out the engagement ring together. Correction, Lori and Dedric picked out 2 rings that Lori loved. However, she was not sure which one she would get or when he would propose. Dedric mentioned that he wanted to take Lori out for a long overdue romantic dinner and set a date on June 24th. Lori thought this could be it but did not want to get her hopes up. So she did what she would do on any normal Friday and worked. This Friday was particularly busy for Lori. Her team was in Canada preparing for a launch the new system. While completing some last minute testing, one particular item was not working as expected and Lori was required to work with the team to figure out why. Lori ends up working more than the normal 8 hours a day on this Friday and is extremely stressed, but manages to get ready for dinner. Lori jokingly asked Fletcher, “Hey do you wanna go to our usual Mexican restaurant instead? I’m kinda tired. It’s been a long day.” But Dedric insists that they keep their reservations. They arrive at Ray’s on the River, where the waitress asks are you celebrating anything special. They both say no and enjoy a wonderful meal. Once the meal is complete, the waitress asked if they would like to see the dessert menu. Lori quickly says no without waiting for Dedric to respond. However, the waitress says, “Ok I’ll bring out dessert”. Lori is confused thinks she must not have heard her and continues talking to Dedric. Lori spots the waitress out the corner of her eye lightening a candle but doesn’t think twice because there are other tables. The waitress appeared at Lori and Dedric’s table with a nicely decorated plate reading “Happy Birthday to You” and places it in front of Lori. Confused Lori stares at the plate saying “Excuse me, it’s not my birthday. It’s not my birthday. It’s not my birthday.” All the while Dedric is asking her to marry him. She final stops talking for a second and Dedric asks, “Do you see the box on the plate?” “Yes”, she responds. He says, “Well open it then.” Again she starts saying but it’s not my birthday, it’s not my birthday. Nervously, she opens the box to see the most beautiful emerald cut engagement ring! She then looks up and asks, “Did you ask me to marry you?”He says yes and asks the question again! Obviously, she said yes!
We want to know about all the wedding details, was it small and intimate or big and traditional?
Our wedding was a intimate affair with only 67 family members and friends. We didn’t want a traditional wedding we wanted one that reflected our care free fun loving style.
Can you give us an overview of the event?
We had a destination wedding in San Juan, Puerto Rico! We wanted a small intimate affair with family and close friends.
Was there a specific theme or style?
What inspired the theme or style?
After visiting different US territories, we knew we would have a destination wedding so that our families can have a vacation as well as attend our wedding. Once we saw the beautiful beaches and colorful architecture of Puerto Rico we knew we had found the perfect location.
What were your playful twists that made the event unique?
Our wedding favors, we gave our bottles of Barcardi Rum to give everyone something from Puerto Rico to take home. We also gave out welcome bags that contained dulce de leche ﬁlling, plantain chips, and a list of things to do while in Puerto Rico!
Did you DIY any of the details?
I DIYed some t-shirts to wear during the weekend. That’s the only thing I actually DIYed however I did purchase several cute items from Etsy such as I Do stickers for my shows and jewelry to wear while I was barefoot.
What was the most memorable moment?
I think the most memorable moment was our first dance! We had a choreographed dance and only a few guest knew it was coming. Once the music started, everyone was up cheering. Lori(the bride) couldn’t stop laughing!
What kind of energy did your entertainment give the guests?
We had a DJ for the day. Prior to the wedding he played soft music until the ceremony started. During the cocktail hour, he kept the music going and was able to entertain our guest while we took pictures. And as soon as the dance floor was open everyone was up. In order to end the party, he said last dance 3 times…yes 3 times before anyone believed the wedding was over.
What was the best wedding advice you received?
The best advice was that it’s your day and make sure you do what you want! I followed that and loved everything about our wedding!
Venue: La Concha Beach Resort | Photographer: Kelly Lane Photography | Wedding Planner: Eventus by Zahira | Florals/ Decor: Blu by Socorro Alicea | Hair: Tiffany Perez, Meldora Hair Salon | Makeup: Julia “Qza” | Officiant: Cory Casterton | Wedding cake: C&M Cakes | Music: Big Joel DJ | Invitations: Invitation Creations