This couple decided to have their imitate wedding ceremony along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. It is such a beautiful location right in the city but with natural elements too. The views are epic with Boathouse Row on one side and the city skyline on the other. They found a lovely location for their summer ceremony.
“Initially, we were going to get married in Puerto Rico in the Summer of July 2024. Ultimately, my job asked me to relocate back to the United States (I was working
remotely through the pandemic), and we ended up moving to Philadelphia in March 2023. As we discussed our future and goals together, we concluded that we just wanted to be married to each other and agreed to use our savings for bigger goals like buying a house and adopting. With that in mind, we envisioned a small park wedding with a small group of family, friends and loved ones. We chose the WaterWorks Gazebo because when we visited it for the first time, we were mesmerized by its beauty. Our original wedding was happening outdoors as well, and we felt the gazebo, overlooking the Schuylkill River, matched our preferences: classy, yet surrounded by nature. Philadelphia is our home now, and we wanted to choose a place that gave us the same feeling of being in Puerto Rico, but it was important that it happened in this city as it marks our new beginning here in Philadelphia.”
“When we told our family and friends, we were doing this “impromptu” wedding (we only gave them two months’ notice), we were shocked at how overwhelmingly possible their responses were. Most of the people on our list are able and willing to travel, which means the world to us, since most of them are in Puerto Rico. Affordability was definitely a key driver in the planning, but we also want our wedding to feel as intimate as possible. For that reason, we asked our common friend, Lorein, to get ordained, and she will marry us! We wanted someone who could speak from the heart and perform a ceremony that felt personal, from someone who knows us both and has been part of some of our most wonderful memories as a couple. My best friend, Crystal, agreed to do some light wedding-day coordination, and there’s no one I trust more than her. She’s very hands-on and organized, just like me. I often stress about plans and ensuring everything goes well, so if there’s anyone in the world that could ease my mind and allow me to enjoy my wedding without stress, it would be her taking the reigns of the ceremony. Finally, my mom, Ingrid, who years ago was not on board with me being gay, has come around and without hesitation, joined our planning committee. She will decorate, make charcuterie boxes for guests, and help us with overall creative ideas.”
At the end of the ceremony all of the guests were given a shot of special rum and a toast was given as everyone enjoyed the celebratory drinks! What a fun way to kick off the celebration. Cheers to the newlyweds.
One of the things that unites Alvin, and I is our passion for dogs. Over the course of our relationship, we have rescued three beautiful pups from the streets of Puerto Rico: Paquita, Nala, and Matias. Our original venue in Puerto Rico was not pet-friendly, and if we were to proceed with that wedding, it would also be difficult to travel with them from Philly. We opted for this park wedding so they could all be present on our special day. Our dogs are our family, and our day couldn’t be complete without them.
If you go through the Waterworks Gazebo and walk to the patio behind it that overlooks the water you are treated to amazing views of the Philadelphia skyline and the art museum. This is one of my favorite views in the city!
“Alvin and I met during the height of the pandemic, back in March 2021. Though I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, I left the island as a young professional to pursue career opportunities. When COVID hit, I moved back to Puerto Rico in December 2020 to work remotely from home. Puerto Rico was really strict about the pandemic, enforcing curfews and shutting down restaurants. On a Friday night, I was out with my dad and aunt, and we went to this bar that was about to shut down due to the curfew. Alvin was there with his family members, and he was singing a Ricky Martin song on karaoke. I instantly fell in love with his voice, and when my aunt realized she knew his family, I found the perfect opportunity to introduce myself and get to know him. As the bar closed, we all went to my aunt’s house, and him and I talked for hours. We both grew up on that same neighborhood but didn’t really know each other because he’s ten years older. It truly felt like fate, because our families were connected, and we grew up in similar places, without our paths really crossing until that moment. Because it was the pandemic, we spent a lot of time inside, getting to know each other, talking nonstop, and so our love grew at a fast rate. That November 2021 we took a trip to Europe, where Alvin popped the question during a gondola ride. I couldn’t think of anything more romantic! He is a man of very few words, so, as we were riding in the canal, he just kneeled, with a shaky smile, pulled out the ring, and didn’t utter a single word. He didn’t need to say anything, I said yes immediately. After Venice, we visited Provence in France, and then Barcelona in Spain, it was truly the most romantic adventure. At that time, we had been together for around eight months, but knew without hesitation that we were meant for each other.”
What was the most important thing to you in the planning? The vibe was “rustic” and “minimalistic”. We chose a Philadelphia park for our wedding ceremony because we wanted a venue that wouldn’t require much decoration, as we’re both passionate about plants and overall green spaces. We have custom-made wooden signs and display ladders to match the “rustic” vibe we were going for. For our reception, we opted for a rooftop bar celebration, with bottomless tacos and margaritas, as it’s what’s true to ourselves.
Wedding Venue: Fairmount WaterWorks Gazebo
Wedding Attire: JOE Joseph Abboud Suits(Custom Made)
Rings: Pillar Styles
Vow Books: Modern Album Designs
Wedding Ring Box: Arrowsarah
I cannot recommend Heidi enough as your wedding photographer. Not only she is a seasoned professional, but she is also one of the kindest, most patient people I’ve ever met. As our wedding plans kept evolving with the addition of more guests or changes in logistics, Heidi rolled with all the punches! She was very thorough with her follow-ups prior to the ceremony, and extremely attentive throughout the event. I must highlight the fact that our ceremony was 95% in Spanish, which did not make it easier for her. Regardless, she did not miss a single cue and managed to capture every special moment perfectly. My husband and I aren’t always comfortable on camera, yet Heidi managed to get us to loosen up and took great candids that perfectly represent us as a couple. The pictures not only came out beautifully, but Heidi also handed them, fully edited, within less than a week post-ceremony! As a newlywed couple, you always want to see your pictures as quickly as possible, and I certainly loved not having to wait too long for our pictures!
If you are looking for an experienced, down-to-earth, flexible photographer, Heidi’s truly the one to go to! We planned the wedding ourselves and working with Heidi took away any stress we would have experienced around our pictures. You will not regret hiring her for your special day!
We are forever grateful and glad we made the right decision in hiring Heidi!
Fairmount Water Works Gazebo
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