This past spring as I was chatting with Makini + Jason about their upcoming engagement session I had the craziest thought. “So, don’t you want to shoot your engagement photos in Havana, Cuba? I casually asked. (Of course thinking they would laugh at my suggestion) But to my surprise with no questions asked they said ‘YES’!!

::GULP::

And just like that we were headed to Cuba! I’ve been asked by many what was the process to get there and honestly it was pretty easy. We flew JetBlue from JFK to Nassau and then on Bahamasair from Nassau to Havana. You get your Cuban tourist Visa ($25USD) from the ticket counter in Nassau and yes your passport will get stamped once you make it to Havana. Of course since I flew with a lot of gear I did get questioned by the Cuban officials in which I flashed my big smile and told them I was there for journalistic reasons and they nodded and let me through. ? We converted our cash to CUC at the airport. Be advised they don’t accept US credit/debit cards anywhere so bring honestly about $100-150 spending cash per person per day that you are there. We stayed at the most amazing AirBnB with the most gracious hosts Eli, Adriana, and Greydi and seriously if you are planning to go I highly recommend this place! If I could have given 10 stars I would have. <3

Experiencing Havana was the highlight of all my travels. The cities energy was so inviting, friendly, colorful, authentic, and humbling all at the same time. I have never felt more safe walking the streets of a foreign land than I did there. The locals were enthusiastic to have US in their city as we were welcomed with smiles + hugs from total strangers. They were so eager to learn all things America as we were to know about all things Cuban.

As a photographer it was paradise. Even abandoned rocks on the ground were stunning! We wandered the streets for hours and not once did we get bored. Not having constant access to internet was a surprisingly a pleasant experience. We found ourselves talking constantly, laughing hysterically, sharing meals, and simply just connecting with each other.

There was so much ground to cover that a one day shoot simply wouldn’t do us justice. Over the course of 3 days we made some serious #melaninmagic. Nothing was really planned we simply let the city naturally guide us along. I can’t thank Makni + Jason enough for not batting an eye in 90* heat when I suggested just one more location or to stop right here because the lighting is amazing. We shot all around Havana Veija, took a tour in an old Chevy around the coast, channeled our inner Jay+Bey at La Guarida, and most importantly danced like no-one was watching. 🙂

 THANK YOU to Jean, Lauren + Sabrina we seriously could not have made this happen with out your help with glam, wardrobe, and carrying our bags.

I hope through the photos you are inspired to take a trip yourself to Havana.

If you do i’ll be happy to tag along with you!! 🙂

xoxo

Makini + Jasons love story is featured on the blog and upcoming F/W16 print issue of Munaluchi Bride

Havana Cuba Engagement Session of Makini Regal Design by Amy Anaiz Photography

Havana Cuba Engagement Session of Makini Regal Design by Amy Anaiz Photography

Havana Cuba Engagement Session of Makini Regal Design by Amy Anaiz Photography

Havana Cuba Engagement Session of Makini Regal Design by Amy Anaiz Photography

Havana Cuba Engagement Session of Makini Regal Design by Amy Anaiz Photography

Havana Cuba Engagement Session of Makini Regal Design by Amy Anaiz Photography

Havana Cuba Engagement Session of Makini Regal Design by Amy Anaiz Photography

Havana Cuba Engagement Session of Makini Regal Design by Amy Anaiz Photography

Havana Cuba Engagement Session of Makini Regal Design by Amy Anaiz Photography

Havana Cuba Engagement Session of Makini Regal Design by Amy Anaiz Photography

Havana Cuba Engagement Session of Makini Regal Design by Amy Anaiz Photography

Havana Cuba Engagement Session of Makini Regal Design by Amy Anaiz Photography

Havana Cuba Engagement Session of Makini Regal Design by Amy Anaiz Photography

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So excited to announce that my recent styled shoot is featured on Style Me Pretty today!

I can officially use the badge! Woo-hoo

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For the past few years I have been smitten with the concept of an elopement. Everytime I come across a couple who chooses this kind of wedding day I smile a little bigger. Don’t get me wrong I still love a traditional wedding day but I find something a little special in the choice of proclaiming your love and vowing a lifetime together amongst yourself or a chosen few.

A girl always dreams about her wedding and all the little details that bring everything together.  From the flowers to the linens and the custom made name place carvings we wanted this elopement to spare no details. Lauren of Elle’s Couture Events and I teamed up together to bring an intimate elopement in Brooklyn to life. We knew that ICI Restaurant would provide the perfect backdrop to compliment our peach and earth tone theme.

I couldn’t have asked for a better team to pull this off!

PHOTOGRAPHER:  Amy Anaiz

EVENT PLANNER & DESIGNER: Elle’s Couture Events

VIDEOGRAPHER: Mae B Films                                          

FLORIST: Makini Regal Designs

BRIDAL STYLING: Vainglorious Brides

GROOM STYLING: Mr. Baldwin Style

MAKEUP: My Juicy Looks

HAIRSTYLIST:  Nspired by Nakema                                    

STATIONARY & LASER CUT WOOD CAKE TOPPER  & NAME PLACE SETTING: Royal Amethyst Invitations

BRIDAL JEWLERY: Happily Ever Borrowed

LUXURY LINENS: The Finishing Touch NY 

VENUE: ICI Restaurant       

FEMALE MODEL (BRIDE): Briana Williams

FEMALE MODEL (MAID OF HONOR): Tricia Lee

MALE MODEL (GROOM): Rotimi Paul

MALE MODEL (BESTMAN): Richard Rosario

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