Seeing as we will be attending our Pre-Cana retreat this weekend, it might be time to talk about our ceremony—particularly where it’s going to take place. Mr. Boa and I are both Roman Catholics, as are all our family members and 85% of the Puerto Rican population. Thankfully, living in a Latin American country means we have a gazillion Catholic churches to choose from.
In my wedding planning frenzy back in July, we drove around in circles in search of a church that was close to our already booked reception venue. We found a cute little chapel only 8 minutes away from the venue; its proximity to the reception space was incredibly convenient. We met with the priest, looked over some literature, and reserved a time slot for our wedding that same day. Flash forward to January, and I began to doubt my decision. I got wrapped up in all the wedding planning hype, treating the house of worship where we will exchange our vows as just another vendor. We put convenience and practicality over having our ceremony somewhere that was meaningful to us.
With these thoughts swirling in my brain, I revisited my dream ceremony location: my hometown chapel, Parroquia San Antonio de la Padua in Isabela. The place where my parents (married 24 yrs), grandparents (married 52 yrs) (and great grandparents and great great grand parent and aunts and uncles) got married in.
|My maternal grandparents wedding pictures circa 1960|
|The floor tiles are one of the surviving pieces of the 1824 construction|
|My parents’ wedding pictures circa 1987|
It’s a historical church built in 1824, which my family has been attending ever since they arrived from Spain hundreds of years ago. (I’m kind of a family history nut.) It’s the church where I (and all 20ish of my cousins) was baptized and where I have attended Mass for most of my life. Even though it’s almost 30 minutes away from the reception venue, it holds special significance for me, threading my marriage to Mr. Boa into the intricate weave of my family’s history in a beautiful way.
Following my heart, I took the plunge and switched churches just three months out (Yet another perk of having a morning wedding… more chances of finding open slots last minute). Exchanging vows right on the spot where so many of the happy couples in my family have said theirs for decades gives the emotional significance our day of little extra oomph. It also made my family very happy, to hear we would be continuing the family tradition of marrying in the hometown church (I think Abuela Boa might have even shed a tear or two when she heard).
I couldn’t find any pictures of the interior of the chapel, but here’s a video showing the inside as it now stands.
Did you choose a ceremony venue that holds special meaning to you?
* All pictures personal
- Isabela, Puerto Rico
- Undergraduate Student
- Wedding Date:
- May 2012
- El Faro Convention Center