I recently photographed a wedding at the Pestana in Cayo Coco, Cuba with a super fun couple I met at another wedding. Gina and Morgan hit the dance floor at their friends wedding and I knew right from that moment on that their wedding was going to be a blast with a lot of moments to photograph. Pestana, Cayo Coco is a stunning location and resort for a wedding.
It’s not often you get to go to a private beach in Cuba for your bride and groom photos.
The resort is a very comfortable size, not huge where you can’t find anyone or have to take a cart to your room or dinner. Anyone who has been to Cuba before knows what I mean when I mention the food, but I was pleasantly surprised withThe Pestana. I finally ran into my busy bride the night after I arrived, in the lobby after she arrived from a wine tasting tour. She promptly grabbed my boobs and said we would get to chat and rub up against each other tomorrow. I laughed and again was reminded at the fun I was going to have with this group.
Gina and Morgan call the Pestana, Cayo Coco their second home and visit here a couple times a year. So, needless to say the staff were extremely kind, helpful and like family to this couple. The day started off with bridal preparations in their suite with hair and makeup. The day was perfect with bright sun, clouds and a nice breeze. Once the bride was ready in her stunning lace overlay gown we headed off to the “first look” session in front of the resort on the road where it was completely private from guests trying to sneak a look.
Placed perfectly in front of window light as this brides gets her makeup done.
The bride gets ready with her brides maids by her side.
Corset gowns take a long time to do up which is a great opportunity for photos
I don’t always get the opportunity to photograph the groomsmen, but when I do take full advantage.
Groom preparations can take as little a 20 min. to capture if they are in the final stages of getting dressed
Hotel rooms are always messy, so you need to get creative here to hide all the chaos and clutter.
I photograph through people in order to hide the food on the bed and the shopping bags everywhere full of bridal stuff.
i used a macro lens and photographed her ring on a very special journal of all her travels.
The bridal portrait is a very important part of the day. I always try and get above my brides and shoot with an 85mm at f1.4
Take advantage of all the angles….shoot from inside, from the side and from the other side.
If you’re lucky you’ll get moments like these if you’re patient and know when to expect them.
One quick one before I leave to go back to the bride of the 2 of you.
The ring shot is an important part of the day.
Photographing the grooms gift in the grooms hands.
I try to get creative with the bridal gown, but it all depends on how much time I’m given during bridal preparations.
Shoot through doorways to hide clutter in busy hotel rooms…… there are about 6 other people in this room
photos of the second wedding dress are just as important
The bride reading a note given to her by her maid of honour
The first look session was perfectly planned as the groom made his way to the front of the resort by the guard house near the road. This was a completely private area far away from any guests trying to sneak a peek, except for a few and you know who you are auntie!
Next we were off to a private beach for photos of the bride and groom and the wedding party. This location was breathtaking in itself and then you add a bride and groom and that gave it the wow factor. The beach at the resort was definitely not ideal for photography as it was extremely crowded and a very narrow beach filled with sun bathers.
Ok…..so a little explanation here. This is called chinese something something and it happened a lot at this wedding. It was too funny and every time was funnier than the last. Also, at this wedding was a lot of “Bonne Chance” and toasting to “someone named Earl” LOL every time.
The ceremony was magical. Picture a location that was custom built by the resort in the woods in order to accommodate 85 guests plus onlooker resort staff that knew them. The pergola was constructed from wood beams laced with twine, moss, leaves and branches and when the sun hit it at 5pm is was literally “MAGICAL”
Here is when they realized by a chorus of guests saying “but you haven’t said your vows yet” A language barrier and translated wedding ceremony confused these 2 and they just couldn’t wait for the kiss!. Definitely have to be on your toes during receptions to capture moments like these.
The ceremony included 85 guests that travelled from Toronto to be here and the wedding party consisted of 15 bridesmaids all dressed in long chiffon dresses in colours ranging from moss green to sands…….absolutely stunning at this wooded location. The ceremony was short and sweet with tender and emotional moments from the bride and groom reading their vows as they were serenaded by a beautiful violin soloist. Immediately after the ceremony a champagne toast with the entire wedding party followed by family photos in the woods.
We then headed to the reception location for cocktails and the first dance which took place on the wrap around deck during twilight, while the resort prepared the restaurant for the reception.
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