Tropical Destination Wedding on St. John, USVI

st john wedding

Meryl and Danny said “I do” at a destination wedding on St. John, USVI with an intimate group of family and friends by their sides. Full of tropical wedding details, beautiful moments (and settings), and lots of personal touches, the bride shared their story with us. To start, they chose to wed atop a hill on St. John at Villa Kalorama, a setting with stunning views! Villa Kalorama has some of the best views on St. John and they loved it’s modern design. It has the perfect floor plan for events including sliding glass doors that open to the beautiful island breeze.” 

destination wedding invitations watercolor

Meryl is an artist and wanted to incorporate painting into their theme so she painted watercolor backgrounds for their invitations. Her sister-in-law, Michelle Manfre, designed the rest of the invitation suite. The invites had the look of Caribbean water with a modern gold design which was the first indication of their wedding style. The theme began to evolve when Meryl and her mother decided to hand dip dye the welcome bags along with the napkins and table runners for the reception. They used the same blues of the water and incorporated gold into the rest of the décor. The flowers were kept simple yet stunning with the use of single King Proteas in clear vases.” 

bridesmaid giftssomething blue ideas bridesmaid gift ideasbeach wedding dressbridesmaid robes floral tropical bouquets tropical bridesmaids tropical wedding dresses

All guests received a hand dipped canvas welcome bag with a wedding week itinerary, large plastic cups with Meryl and Danny’s names and wedding date, island snacks, flip-flops and other goodies!” 

wedding welcome bagswedding welcome bag

“Aside from the blue and gold elements in the invites and décor, Meryl wanted the bridal party to remain neutral so the colors around them would truly pop. The girls were asked to pick their own nude toned dresses and the guys were in a simple grey suit with understated blue ties. Danny wore a blue suit with a grey bowtie that stood out from the rest and the ring bearer was in blue and grey. Everything tied together in an elegant and unique way making Meryl’s vision come to life!”

beach bridal bouquet groom's flowers rustic groom's attire destination wedding blue grooms suit wedding first look photos wedding first look ideawedding first look ideas usvi wedding beach weddingdestination wedding island weddingsst john weddingsisland weddingdestination weddings st johndestination weddings

“The reception was beautifully kicked off by their first dance, the cutting of the cake, a toast from the father of the bride and with Meryl thanking everyone for coming. Dinner was truly magical under the glowing lights, the island breeze and the view of other islands in the distance. Once dinner wrapped up, the party got started and the dancing began. The highlight of the reception was when the mother of the bride busted out HUNDREDS of glow products and musical instruments! The entire party got into it and the groom was even wearing a light-up fedora. Guests went crazy over the glow products making it extra fun for everyone. There was also an ice cream bar open for guests to serve themselves towards the end of the evening.  When it came time for their exit, Meryl and her mother surprised Danny with an accordion player which was in memory of his mother who had passed nearly 10 years prior. She loved to embarrass Danny by playing her accordion in front of his friends and it is something his family laughs about often.” 

first dance ideas first dance songsblue and gold weddingssweetheart tableblue and gold weddingtropical wedding

Meryl used single King Proteas for all of the ladies. The bride’s bouquet had some additional greenery. For décor, King Proteas were placed in simple vases lining the center of the dining tables.”

tropical weddings usvi weddingswedding dessert ideastropical wedding locationstropical wedding locationst john wedding locations

“They wanted cake was simple and showed off the island’s flavors. It was vanilla and mango for one tier and rum cake with key lime for the second tier with butter cream frosting.” 

destination wedding cake tropical wedding cakewhite wedding cakes wedding sendoff wedding sparklers

Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Lindsay Vann

Wedding Vendors: Wedding Location: Villa Kalorama, St. John, USVI, Wedding Coordination: Paradise Planning, Catering: Passion Fruit Chefs, Flowers: Roses Too, Bridal Hair and Makeup: Sugar & Spice Artistry, Music: DJ Snow, Steel Drum player: Albion Sewer, Ice cream vendor: St. John Scoops, Dress: Temperley London, Shoes: Ilenia P., Hair piece: White Orchid Bridal, Earrings: Crafts and Love, Suit: Suit Supply, Shoes: Cole Haan, Bowtie: The ZB Savoy Bowtie Company, Pocket square: J Crew, Socks: Happy Socks


St. John USVI Destination Wedding at Ancient Ruins

usvi destination weddings

Katie and Ryan selected St. John in the USVI for their intimate destination wedding with close friends and family. The pair wed at the beautiful hilltop sugar plantation called Annaberg Ruins, followed by a reception at St. John Ultimate Villas.

st john honeymoons

Laura Hayes from Anticipation Events shared with us their story. “Katie + Ryan wanted a beach wedding, but Katie is a modern girl and didn’t want your typical sand and seashell look, so she chose St. John’s Ultimate Villas. Their villa was gorgeous and seaside, but also modern and perfect for them.”

destination wedding programssomething blue ideas destination wedding makeup lookswhite bridal bouquet destination wedding favors bridesmaid bouquets white st john wedding photographer first look photosdestination weddingsst john wedding photographers destination weddings st john  first look photo caribbean destination weddingsbeach caribbean destination wedding

When Katie + Ryan asked us to hop on a plane in the middle of the Polar Vortex (i.e. Chicago winter) and head to St. John for their nuptials, there was no way we were saying no! Katie and Ryan got married at the Annaberg Ruins, a sugar plantation named by the Dutchman who acquired it in 1758.” 

wedding ceremony chairs pale blue bridesmaid dresses destination wedding suits pale blue bridesmaid dress st john destination weddingsdestination wedding st johndestination weddingcaribbean destination wedding beach destination wedding st john wedding locations ruins st john caribbean weddingsunique guestbooks

“For the reception, they rented a house called Villa Kalorama which means “Beautiful View” and it was the perfect setting for their modern beach shindig. As if that wasn’t enough, the truth is, we adore this gal.  Way back in the day when our founder, Elizabeth, planned events at Shedd Aquarium Katie was the first person she ever managed. Katie and Ryan were dating then, so it was only a matter of time before this day arrived. When Elizabeth left Shedd to travel and then started Anticipation Events, Katie was the first person she called when she realized she had enough clients to bring on a coordinator.  And, Katie is responsible for introducing at least three more of us to Anticipation Events. We love her for this and so many other reasons. As any good planner would, Katie realized her want to take over and direct all weekend long so she brought me on to do that for her.”

wedding place card ideas white and blue weddings white wedding flowers tropical wedding flowersdestination wedding attirefirst dance songs wedding dances  destination wedding cakes

Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Ryan Moore Photography

Wedding Vendors: Ceremony + Reception: St. John Ultimate Villas, Catering: St. John Catering, Day-of Coordination: Anticipation Events, Cake: VI Desserts, Hotel: The Westin St. John Resort, Makeup/Hair: Sugar and Spice Spa, Rehearsal Dinner: Joe’s Rum Hut


A Coral Colored Destination Wedding on St. Croix

st croix wedding

Semone and Duane traveled from Greensboro, NC with 50 of their closest loved ones to celebrate their nuptials on a beautiful island in the USVI – St. Croix. Semone shared with us how the location came to be the spot on which they would wed. Finding a personal connection to a destination makes it that much more special! “We wanted a smaller wedding and thought a destination wedding would be ideal. My family is from the island and it’s where I was born and where my parents were married.”

bridesmaid robes

Personal touches were sprinkled throughout the day – even on the bride’s dress and veil!

something blue ideascustom wedding veils

The couple opted for a neutral palette with sand tones and peachy corals. They said they “wanted soft beachy colors” – and they got just that!

coral bridesmaid dresseswedding programsweddings in st croixdestination wedding dressdestination wedding st croixdestination weddingchurch weddings st croixdestination weddings st croix church wedding st croixst croix weddings

After the ceremony, the 50 guests and bride and groom headed off to dance the night away at dinner.  The celebration was a huge success, in part due to the help of their wedding planners, Island Style Weddings.

caribbean weddingcaribbean destination weddingcaribbean weddings

Semone’s favorite memory?  “The whole day was amazing, but dancing at the reception with all of our guests was so fun. It was hard to get anyone off the dance floor to go eat dinner!”

destination wedding suits  destination wedding cocktailsdestination wedding cake

Then it was a sparkler send off to end the night on a high note!  And when the big day was done? The couple headed back to the mainland for a domestic honeymoon in Dallas, TX. Why? To attend a Cowboy’s football game for Duane before heading off to Italy for a week of R&R.

wedding sparklers

Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Greer Rivera

Wedding Vendors: Ceremony Location: Lord God of Sabboth Lutheran Church, Reception Location: The Buccaneer, Wedding Dress: Marisa, Bride Shoes: Badgley Mischka, Veil: Kristina Eaton Bridal Veil, Bridesmaid Dresses: Alfred Angelo, Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Jos E Banks, Video: MJS Vision, Cocktail reception music: Bill Bass Steel Pan, Florist: Antilles Lilies – Glora Powell, Wedding Planners: Island Style Weddings


Beach Destination Wedding in Punta Cana, DR

punta cana destination wedding

Bianca and Matthew were married in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, a place near to their hearts and just what they had in mind! Bianca shared their wedding story with us and how it came to be on the beach that day.

“Matt and I always knew we wanted a destination wedding, but narrowing down the destination was the hard part! Originally, we were set on Switzerland (I’m originally from Basel, Switzerland and have always envisioned a Swiss wedding), however it didn’t end up fitting the image we had for our big day. We actually ended up with Punta Cana completely by accident! One day while searching for destination weddings and wedding blogs, I found this beautiful, beach front, off-resort wedding held at the Jellyfish Restaurant. At the time, I had no idea where it was, if they did weddings often, etc. I just knew I absolutely loved the feel of this venue; and I emailed it to Matt immediately saying, “I think this is it… I don’t know where it is, but this is it!” 

The DR does hold a special place in my heart. My family and I have been traveling to the island for years and we have a vacation house in another city on the island. I love the Dominican culture and they are some of the friendliest, most welcoming people I have ever encountered. 

…Luckily, we had a trip to Punta Cana planned for a few months later, and while there were able to visit the restaurant and meet with their staff and the rest was history.”

wedding robes

“My colors for the day were all neutrals (whites, creams, beige, and browns) with the accent color being green to bring just a pop of brightness and color to the mix. My coordinator/decorator brought together all the natural and rustic ​elements and combined it with tons of fresh white flowers with green accents to pull the vision together.”

cream bridesmaid dressesgreen bridesmaid dressesrustic wedding detailsdominican republic destination weddingsbeach weddingbeach weddingsdestination weddingsbeach wedding chairsbeach wedding ideasdestination wedding

“We incorporated aspects of both Christianity and Judaism in our ceremony (readings and the breaking of the glass). We also included some foreign languages into our vows (German, Hebrew, and Spanish) to tie together our cultures as well as that of the DR.

We also had a friend officiate the ceremony for us, which brought a very personal and unique feel to it (more in another section below).”

dominican republic beach destination weddingsbeach wedding suitsbeach wedding dressdominican republic beach destination wedding

“The 2 biggest challenges we experienced while planning were 1) the language barrier, both Matt and I speak and understand some Spanish but when it comes to planning a wedding and having specific ideas and desires, it definitely wasn’t easy and we had to rely on pictures… A LOT. 2) Island time is a real thing… and for a fast pace east coast couple, island time is very tough to adjust to.”

beach wedding dresses

“Since all planning was done by e-mail, and a few skype dates, we often had to wait a while to hear back. Also, we booked our date 1.5 years in advance but then we did the majority of the planning and decision making in the final 3 months… which seems crazy in comparison to our friends getting married here and planning for a year in advance. It definitely required calming yoga classes and wine nights with bridesmaids during the stressful or freak out times when I felt that there was no way I would be able to get it all done in 3 months!”

destination beach weddingburlap weddingsguest book treedestination wedding ideas

“Our vision or theme was “Earthy, Beach Chic” – yes, it is a real thing, haha! I envisioned a ton of natural elements, like driftwood, palm leaves, sand, shells, starfish, and tropical plant​s, and mixed it with rustic things, like burlap, lace, and ribbon.”

shell wedding details

“Rather than having 1 large floral arrangement per table, she used several smaller vases and bottles filled with small arrangements or even single blooms and mixed that together with elements like starfish, shells, wood, etc. to create large and elaborate table decorations. I thought that was the most incredible part of all the decor; it made it special and unique and felt so much like “us”.

burlap destination weddingburlap weddingrustic destination weddingbeach wedding ideaburlap beach weddingspunta cana destination weddingspunta cana weddingwedding strawsdominican republic weddingsburlap wedding favorsdominican republic destination wedding

“Our actual wedding day was from about 4:00pm until 3:00am! And our guests danced and enjoyed themselves through the whole night. For us, the food, bar, and entertainment was most important because we wanted everyone to have a great time after travelling all that way for our wedding. We offered a menu with several meal choices, appetizers, hors devours, and a full bar and signature cocktails. We also had 3 wedding cakes of different flavors and a midnight fruit buffet for those still going strong on the dance floor.”

destination wedding cakes

“The entertainment included an electric violinist during cocktail hour, a DJ during the party and also the fire show in the middle of the reception. The amazing thing was watching all of our guests, young and old, having an absolute blast on the dance floor and on the beach just dancing up a storm all night long. Even now, a year later, our friends and family still tell Matt and me what an amazing time they had and how much they enjoyed our wedding… most of friends want a redo every year!”

destination wedding entertainment

Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Karina Jensen

Wedding Vendors: Location: The Jellyfish Restaurant, Coordinator/Decorator: Mayte Mari ** Please note that she does not work at The Jellyfish anymore; she is now available at The Huracan Cafe (another gorgeous beach restaurant used for weddings in Punta Cana) **​, Videographer: Florian Koetter of Video Punta Cana (VPC), Hair & Make-Up: Krystie Ann


St. John Destination Wedding with Teal!

st john weddings

Margarita and Mark traveled to St. John for their destination wedding in the sand! The duo had been to the island before and knew it was the perfect spot to wed. So Margarita and Mark enlisted the help of Mary Bartolucci at Island Style Weddings to make the magic happen and she shared with us a bit about their big day.

island weddings

“Saying ‘I Do’ in the sand at sunset was a must for this peppy couple! Elisha Orin captured the joyful romance perfectly at breathtaking Trunk Bay.

The Caribbean allows busy couples to get away from it all and really focus on their guests and each other.  It also allows them to really “get it” their big milestone in their lives.”

destination wedding invitationsshell weddingdestination wedding invitationst john destination weddingpeach weddings

What was the inspiration for the décor and that fabulous fashion? The colors of the Caribbean – islands – sea life – natural beauty.”

pink weddingsteal bridesmaid dressisland destination weddingstropical bridesmaid dresses

Barefoot in the sand gets even cuter with these two flower girls!

flower girlsflower girl dresses

“We even acquired a surprise guest just before the ceremony; his furry entrance made quite an adorable statement with his custom bow tie and lovable face.”

flower girl crownsdogs in weddings

The beach wedding ceremony was lined with shells and elements befitting of the ocean.

destination weddings st johnshell weddings  island wedding locationswedding favors destinationcaribbean destination weddingdestination wedding st johnteal bridesmaid dressestropical weddingstropical weddingcaribbean destination weddingsisland destination weddingdestination wedding photographersdestination wedding photographerwedding locations st john

“As the newlyweds entered into their private reception in Peter Bay, they were greeted with festive streamers, cocktails, and live music from a band they fell in love with in the states and flew them down for their big day! One large dinner table expanded the length of the patio and created an intimate dinner setting that was bustling with laughter.”

tropical wedding locationsbeach wedding decorbeach wedding tableswhite weddingsdestination weddingdestination weddingsburlap wedding detailsburlap weddingsst john weddingburlap wedding

“The evening was filled with smiles, dancing, and love! And towards the end of the night, the pool was filled with the happy newlyweds, their guests, and lasting memories.”

chevron weddingchevron weddings

Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Elisha Orin

Wedding Vendors: Wedding Planner + Design and Decor + Officiant: Mary Bartolucci and Leah Burris of Island Style Weddings, Wedding dress: Allure Bride, Brides shoes: Tory Burch, Groom’s Attire: J. Crew + Perry Ellis, Bridesmaids Dresses + Groomsmen Attire + Flower Girls: J. Crew, Ceremony location: Trunk Bay, Reception location: Villa Carlotta, Upper Peter Bay, St John USVI, Videography: Nazareth Roads Productions, Ceremony Music: Violin- Chris Robberts, Florist: Jessica Aubain- Roses Too Flowers, Reception Entertainment: Orange Yellow Red Music, Catering: St John Catering, Save the dates + Programs: Decadent & Design LLC – Etsy