Elegant & Stylish Winter Wedding at a Luxury Resort in Puerto Rico

Glendaliz Acevedo and Fahad Ghaffar

Photographed by: Wilo Rosado PhotographyLocation: Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, United States

After dating for almost three years, Fahad Ghaffar knew it was time to propose to his beloved Glendaliz Acevedo. “I have always been drawn to Glenda’s beauty and magnetic personality,” confides Fahad. Shortly after moving into their new home on the beach, Fahad arranged for white stones to spell out “Marry Me?” on the sand. Once Glenda noticed the wording, he got down on bended knee, while family and friends jumped out of hiding to surprise the bride-to-be just as she said yes. 

After 10 months of rigorous planning for an incredible celebration just after the New Year, the couple selected one of their favorite resort properties owned by Fahad’s company for their wedding venue. “It lies along the northeast coast with over two miles of dedicated beach and 550 acres of maritime forest, 72 acres of natural lakes, has beautiful rooms, breathtaking event spaces, and is the ultimate luxury experience,” illustrates the bride of the gorgeous site in Puerto Rico, which would also provide posh accommodations for their 135 guests. 

The bride had a very clear idea of the décor concept for the winter nuptials: elegant and stylish using a monochromatic color palette to complement the natural environment. A glossy white aisle was laid out and perfectly framed in floral box hedges. To avoid hindering views of the seascape, the altar was decorated with tall clear Lucite stands holding only lush arrangements of ivory roses and white phalaenopsis orchids at the very top of the structure. Glenda looked majestic, wearing a strapless ball gown paired with a sparkling headpiece and snowy veil; she held a feminine bouquet of miniature phalaenopsis orchids and petite peonies. Her groom was sleek in a custom black tuxedo with a handsome bow tie. 

Music was a huge component for the couple, so they paid close attention to how musical experiences would gradually build up as the celebration progressed. For the ceremony, Glenda and Fahad arranged for a violin-DJ duo to play a hand-selected list of songs. Once the crowd moved to a festive two-hour-long cocktail hour, an electric violinist joined the pair to create a different sound and more upbeat vibe. Excellent libations and traditional fare from Pakistan and Puerto Rico were enjoyed, as was the live band. 

“Our wedding was a long orchestrated marathon of visual, sensory, and savory pleasures.”

A decadent four-course dinner was prepared for loved ones, along with a private bar for each table. Mirrored trays with hand-cut crystal decanters contained vodka, tequila, and whiskey from the couple’s private collection. Tables were lavishly adorned with assortments of artistic flower creations using apple blossoms, phalaenopsis orchids, hydrangeas, and garden roses in neutral shades. The room felt magical, even more so when acrobats performed while suspended from the floral-embellished ballroom ceiling. 

Soon after dinner ended and everyone had a slice from the five-tier wedding confection made complete with Madagascar vanilla ice cream, the real party started! A 10-piece band introduced themselves, along with lively splash drummers, while servers in LED gear offered revelers shots of liquor, and even an indoor firework display was presented. At 1AM, dancers with lighted bottles of Dom Pérignon entered the room to escort attendees to the after-party where Fahad surprised Glenda with a live set from Jowell & Randy, one of the most popular reggaeton acts. Additional food was served, including local asopao de pollo, sliders with truffle fries, as well as sweets and a coffee bar. “Once the party ended there, the remaining guests moved to the giant firepit on property for s’mores and nightcaps,” describes the bride. “It was such a warm and beautiful way to end the best day.” 

“Our wedding was a long orchestrated marathon of visual, sensory, and savory pleasures,” illustrates Fahad. “Otherwise, we would have lost our guests along the way.” Glenda’s advice to other brides and grooms is to be very organized during the planning process and to hone in on what will make the event most special to you. “Start imagining your dream wedding – and try to be specific,” she smiles.