Denisse and Carlos had the privilege of hosting their beautiful September wedding at the picturesque St. Benedict Catholic Church in Duluth, Georgia. The day was filled with love, joy, and countless emotional moments that touched the hearts of everyone present. The reception took place at the on-site charming venue, Taylor Lodge, making it a truly memorable celebration of their love and commitment to each other. I loved the various ways they incorporated their Puerto Rican and Venezuelan cultures into their wedding day too!
The bride wrote out this sweet story of how they met and I just thought I'd include their story in her words here -
Carlos and I connected on the Hinge app right before the pandemic shut down in the state of GA (end of March 2020). I liked one of his pictures where he was standing on the Jackson Street bridge with the Atlanta skyline in the background. I later learned he took this picture on his first day in Atlanta after shortly moving from Venezuela. While getting to know each other, we discovered we have the same likes in music and movies, that we love the beach, and that we could talk about anything and everything. During the pandemic shutdown, my GA family and I got really sick and Carlos accidentally broke his phone, so he lost my number. Once he got a new phone, he reached out to me again via the Hinge app and he gave me his new number. We didn’t get to meet in person till two months later and we went for a walk at the Beltline. We walked for two hours without taking any breaks, which meant we talked non stop the whole time. We later met each other’s Georgia families and they immediately approved our relationship because of our character and personalities. We have been inseparable ever since. Carlos met my dad first when my dad came to visit from Puerto Rico, and then my mom when she came to visit at another time. I met both his parents and his three siblings through video calls since they live in Venezuela and Chile. When he met my dad, after being exclusively dating for a month, I believe Carlos was all-in. Carlos was the first one to kiss and say "Te quiero" (means "I love you" in Spanish).
After two years together, we decided to travel to Puerto Rico, my homeland. There, I finally met his dad and two younger siblings in person. Turned out that Carlos had planned this whole trip so he could propose to me in my homeland with my parents present. He took me to El Morro, which is the biggest fort in the town of Old San Juan. This town is one of my two favorite places in my homeland; the other is the beach of course. He had this elaborate plan where our parents and siblings were present and he hired a photographer to capture the moment as he knelt on one knee in front of me with El Morro behind us. It was breathtaking! I joyfully cry every single time I think about that special day; it's the happiest day of my life thus far!
Some of our milestones are me purchasing my first home and adopting a puppy I named Oreo, we both moved up in our careers at new jobs, going to several baptisms and friends' weddings, and getting engaged!"
Denisse and Carlos got ready for their wedding day in separate venues, Denisse at a hotel and Carlos at Taylor Lodge. Denisse's bridesmaids, comprising her closest family members and her dearest friend, were a pillar of support throughout the day. Their deep purple dresses perfectly complemented the elegant theme of the wedding. Denisse's parents and families resided in distant countries, so she took it upon herself, with Carlos's assistance, to plan the entire wedding.
Denisse's search for the perfect wedding dress was a journey of its own. After trying on eight dresses that didn't quite align with her vision, she stumbled upon a gown worn by another bride at the store. Waiting patiently for her turn, Denisse tried on the dress and was overwhelmed by how perfectly it suited her. She shared tears of happiness with her mother over FaceTime before making the purchase, a moment that would forever hold a special place in her heart.
Before the ceremony, the happy couple shared a private moment without seeing each other to pray and read personal vows to each other. Their ceremony at St. Benedict Catholic Church was nothing short of magical. With Denisse's family and family friends participating in the choir and reading the Mass readings, the atmosphere was steeped in sacredness and anticipation. As Denisse's 89-year-old maternal grandmother served as the ring bearer, the emotion in the room was palpable. As Denisse and Carlos exchanged their vows, there wasn't a dry eye in the house – including mine. It was one of those moments that reminds you why you love photographing weddings. The ceremony concluded with a delightful bubble exit, a wonderful touch that allowed the couple to capture that iconic "exit" photo without keeping me, the wedding photographer, too late into the night.
Every wedding day comes with its set of challenges, and Denisse and Carlos's day was no exception. From a tight timeline to moments of running late and the unexpected absence of key individuals during crucial photo opportunities like the wedding party portraits and the first look with the father of the bride, there were many a challenge to handle. I even played the role of a seamstress, sewing Denisse's broken dress strap back together at the reception, ensuring that the day continued without a hitch. No worries there, we made up time and wiggled things around to make sure that they were able to get the photos they wanted while
The reception at Taylor Lodge was a classy and fun affair, adorned with florals from Tucker Flower Shop, which included eucalyptus, hydrangeas, and roses in a color theme of purple and white with elegant silver accents. Kari with Everlasting Elegance did a beautiful job with the coordination. Personalized guava crackers with the couple's initials were placed at each setting, adding a delightful touch to the decor. What set their guest book apart was the innovative use of virtual video messages, a modern twist on preserving heartfelt well-wishes from loved ones. The talented DJ Alberto kept the dance floor alive and electric, ensuring that the celebration was one for the books.
Capturing Denisse and Carlos's wedding day was a privilege for this wedding photographer, a day filled with love, tradition, and unforgettable moments. This Boricua-Maracucho Catholic wedding in Johns Creek, Georgia, highlighted the power of storytelling through photography, preserving not only the visual memories but also the emotions, traditions, and love that made their day so special. Congratulations to the happy couple!
Reception venue: Taylor Lodge || DJ: DJ Alberto || Church: St. Benedict Catholic Church || Flowers: Tucker Floral Shop || Photography: Nicole Sandercock Photography || Videography: Marcos Suarez Productions || Dress: David's Bridal || Cake: Chia Cakes || Coordination & Decoration: Kari with Everlasting Elegance || HMUA: Amanda Morais || Bartender: Bar ATL || Catering: Chef David || Favors: Enhorabuena Dulzuras