Vacation Guide

Isla de Vieques, Puerto Rico... Once Again Voted as One of "Top Ten Islands in the Caribbean 2014"


Wedding Island TLC – Sandy Malone, Gringo / Puerto Rican Time & Civilization

Location: Beautiful & Magical Vieques, Puerto Rico

Wedding Island TLC - Vieques, Puerto Rico

Last night was the premier of Wedding Island on TLC, a reality show filmed in our beautiful island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. Sandy Malone, wedding planner on the island opened her doors into our living rooms to show us what happens behind the scenes when planning a wedding on this offshore little island of Puerto Rico covered in beauty. All this beauty comes with it’s share of challenges for those that run businesses here.

Before the show, there was a mix of emotions and differences of opinions in the community on the possible outcome of the show and some were worried about how it would portray the island and our residents.  Here at Vieques.com we try to focus on the island and providing useful information for the planning of a great vacation in Vieques, we will cover the show on this site because we at Vieques.com believe that the show is a good thing for the island. Our island is gorgeous and those that come here fall in love, we are happy that Wedding Island and Sandy Malone has made it possible for our island to get more exposure and we hope our viewers see the show for what it is, a reality show that is really meant to be entertaining, real, romantic, and hopefully inspiring to travelers. I can tell you that it took great efforts to create the show and it was done with great intentions for viewers, the island and of course Sandy’s business.

Sandy Malone

wedding-island-wedding-planner-sandySandy Malone is real, confident, she owns who she is, she is driven, determined and as you saw on the show, at times intense.  Producers will pick high dramatic moments. Those that know her will tell you that she has very soft and sweet side as well, you can’t be a wedding planner unless you’re a romantic at heart.  We found it interesting to have such high stressful moments, followed by scenes of our beautiful island and ending with Sandy’s goal, a happy bride and groom.

sandy-malone-wedding-island-tlcBrides and grooms are paying Sandy to deal with the stress of wedding planning, everyone handles stress differently so yes she may scream and yell, but her heart is in the right place.  Sandy’s goal is to create unforgettable experiences and she delivers.

“Civilization” & Vieques

wedding-island-tlc-location-viequesIn regards to our island, the map presented shows the USA as “civilization”. Let’s not take this too seriously, it was not meant to offend our island or the Caribbean.  Puerto Rico is the most developed island in the Caribbean and a free Commonwealth of the United States. When you visit the main island, our roads, hospitals, shopping malls, etc, its very much like the USA, but with the added bonus of wonderful tropical weather year round and the laid back island lifestyle. We are blessed to live on an island that is very diverse, we have metro regions and you can also explore beaches and the mountain side without crowds. Vieques is one of those places of Puerto Rico that you can really getaway and feel like you are in a different era, there are no shopping malls, no fast food restaurants, no traffic lights, horses roam free around the island and everything has to be brought into the island by ferry or a small plane, to most people that come here, we like it that way, it’s part of the charm.  According to today’s overdeveloped world standards, Vieques feels remote, and that’s the beauty of it, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars traveling to Fiji and Tahiti, you can come to Vieques and feel like you’re in a far, far away place.  We assure the readers that the island offers just about everything you will need to have an amazing time.

Puerto Rican Time vs. Gringo Time

I’ve had the fortune to live both in Puerto Rico and in the states, for those that have been immersed in both cultures, there is such thing as gringo (American) and Puerto Rican time and it is not meant to be offensive in any way. Just in case you wondered, gringo is not a negative term.   Even at our church, when we had a picnic, our pastor would say, “Be there on American time”, and we all laughed, no offense was taken.

Now when it comes to weddings, let me give you a little background of our culture. Growing up one of the traditional photos to take on the weddings was the groom standing at the altar looking at the watch with a look on his face that said “Is she coming?” I kid you not… Guests had no idea when the bride would show up and we seriously waited sometimes hours for the bride to show up at the ceremony. YES, hours….

So when the invitation says 1:00pm depending on the tradition of that particular family or circle, guests may assume the bride will be late so there is no need to get there on time.  My own sister in law who was newly married to my brother showed up late to my niece’s wedding and missed most of the ceremony. Our family who has been living on the USA for so many years decided to adopt “Gringo Time”, my sister in law was still living on “Puerto Rican time”, we failed to let her in on the “culture” change and she missed most of the ceremony, and she was so sad about it. At the end, she told me, I’ve never been to a wedding where the bride was on time!”, I laughed..

So viewers, is not that Puerto Ricans are always late, is just that we have a different sense of time, when we are late in the English language we tend to say “we are late”, in the Spanish language when the time of the event has passed or we are rushing we say “Es tarde” meaning “It’s late” as if it is the “time’s fault” not “ours”.  No culture is wrong or right, just different, so Puerto Ricans please don’t get offended and Americans don’t assume we are disrespectful with commitments or don’t care about being late. Puerto Ricans and islanders in general are more relaxed about time, and we literally live on “Island Time”, but we also live longer.  When planning a wedding you can now see what is like having customers expecting things in “Gringo time” on an island that functions on “island time”.  Spend some time on an island,  you might find yourself wanting to embrace “island time”. 

Last night’s premiere episode “No Crying in Wedding Planning” certainly captured a mix of emotions which we think will keep viewers emotionally entertained and hopefully inspired to get married in Vieques. Visit Weddings in Vieques to learn more about Sandy and her amazing crew.

If you missed it or want to watch the episode again, go to TLC to watch.

Keep watching Wedding Island on TLC and share with your friends.

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Questions about your future visit to Vieques? Feel free to call the Tourism Office at 787-741-0800