Four Seasons Destination Wedding in Nevis

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Sarah and Nate said I do at a small church on the island of Nevis in the Caribbean before celebrating with friends and loved ones at the beautiful Four Seasons Resort Nevis.  But let’s back up a minute and first take a look at how these lovebirds met – in a very unusual way, back when it all began!  Sarah shared with us their love story.

 “Nate and I met on twitter. Our initial exchange debated the merits (laziness) of using the valet at the gym. Nate didn’t see the wisdom of using the valet, but I did. From there it was more weighty debates like how Khloe Kardashian affects Lamar Odom’s play, why anyone would want to be a Montreal Canadien’s fan and how many chicken wings Nate should eat that night. The rest was history!”  True love can be found on twitter!  So great!

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So how did this happy couple land on the small Caribbean island of Nevis for their big day?  “We knew we wanted a destination wedding, but not the typical destination wedding places, somewhere unique and different. It was while in Nevis for the baptism of my goddaughter that the idea was put in motion. We loved the Four Seasons and the attention and care they provide their guests and felt that Nevis would offer our guests a unique experience; an idyllic, unsullied and often unheard of Caribbean island.”

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“To set the mood, the invites were brightly colored and margarita-scented. The RSVP cards were created with special attention to the geographically challenged destination and for our Caribbean friends. We included a photo Welcome booklet in a welcome bag for our guests designed from Minted, as well as Sea Turtle adoption certificates from Sea Turtle Conservancy, Nevis Group. We wanted to give back to the island, so on behalf of our wedding, we adopted two Hawksbill Sea Turtles – Caribelle and Banjo.” 

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The inspiration for the day came from the remoteness of Nevis – the theme was The Great Gatsby entertaining pirates. We wanted guests in black tie and gowns celebrating on this tiny secluded island, dancing on a wooden deck, under the stars.” 

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“Pedro from the Four Seasons understood the theme perfectly and suggested their restaurant Mango.” 

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“To lessen the formality and add a Caribbean laid back vibe, the escort cards had everyone’s nicknames instead of their proper names. One can’t think of pirates sailing around the Caribbean without thinking of rum. We included a Tiki Rum Hut with rums from all over the Caribbean. Guests were invited to rum tastings and to create custom rum cocktails.”

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“We wanted an authentic nautical map of Nevis as our guest book, and chose a navigational map issued by the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office; the same map used by the British Navy.” 

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“Kathy and her team from Meeting Dynamics flew in and built custom shadow box tables. The shadow boxes were filled with sand, twinkling lights, coral and seashells and the table had a centerpiece of candles and hydrangeas. Walking into Mango and seeing the set up with the backdrop of the water was breathtaking.” 

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“One of the best surprises of the evening was recorded message from my ninety-eight year old grandfather who couldn’t attend. It was so nice that he was a little part of our day.” 

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“Nate wanted a chocolate cake but acquiesced to a vanilla sponge cake so I surprised him with a groom’s cake. Nate is an avid baseball fan so the pastry chef at the Four Seasons created a cake that was baseball shaped with double chocolate.” 

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“Being in Nevis with our closest friends and family was so special and wonderful – sunbathing by the pool, the welcome party at Sunshine’s (THE beach bar to visit on the island) and the wedding itself. It was really amazing having this time with everyone who traveled so far to celebrate with us.”

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Janice Yi Photography

Wedding Vendors: Ceremony location: St Theresa Catholic Church, Reception venue + catering: Four Seasons Resort Nevis, Reception styling: Meeting Dynamics, Guestbook: Nevis Nautical Map, Wedding favors: Sea Turtle Conservatory, Reception music: Green House Band, Welcome booklet: Minted, Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas, Bride’s fascinator: Blair Nadeau, Bride’s shoes: Christian Louboutin via David’s, Bride’s gown: Justin Alexander via Diva Boutique, Lace capelet: Pronovias via Diva Boutique, Groom’s attire: Tom’s place, Florist: Bloom Bridal

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Formal Destination Wedding in Old San Juan, PR

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Melissa and David said I do in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico after a love affair that had them living far apart to start.  We asked the couple to share their story with us.  “We met in January 2010 when we were introduced by mutual friends. Dave lived in Wilmington DE at the time and I lived in NYC. We met in a bar called the Other Room in NYC’s Greenwich Village. We met the day after to watch football and then started our two and a half year love affair with Amtrak and the NJ Turnpike. The long distance made us closer and we were engaged in May of 2012.”

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“One of the best moments of the wedding day was electing to do a “first look” before the ceremony began. This allowed us to have some special alone time before the big day officially kicked off with all of our family and friends. Taking photos at the forts in Old San Juan was really fun and exciting.”

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For the ceremony the couple incorporated Filipino wedding traditions close to their hearts.

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“Our favorite photo is the infamous “grassy knoll” shot where Dave is chasing me up the hill (mostly because he is helping to keep me from falling down the hill). It really captured the beauty of San Juan and the playfulness of our relationship. It was also very hot and we kind of forgot about all that for a minute.” 

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After the grand Cathedral wedding, a swanky reception was under way!  “Our theme was Classic. We wanted the beauty and charm of Old San Juan and the history of the Cathedral and El Convento to set the stage for a simple and elegant celebration.”

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“The color palette was kept neutral to help emphasize the architecture and the old world feel of this part of the city.”

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We always ask couples for advice for our readers as they look back.  This bride’s tip is priceless!  “It is important to let all of your planning and hard work go into “autopilot” in the days leading up to your wedding. A lot of the little details that you sweat and agonize over are just that — little. Keep sight of the big importance of the day and the uniqueness of the moment. It is rare and once-in-a-lifetime to have all of your friends and family in one place for one day. Take time to savor the special day and absorb as much of the moment as you can… it zooms by too fast.”

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And for the honeymoon?  The couple was then off to the W Resort Vieques, Puerto Rico – an island nearby but apart from their wedding party.  Great idea!

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer:  Caroline + Ben Photography

Wedding Vendors: Cake Designer:C&M Cakes, Makeup Artist: Caridad Vidro, Event Designer: Festivo, Reception Venue: Hotel El Convento, Event Planner: Momentus Special Events & More, Band:Sin Prisa

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A Tropical Beach Wedding on St. John, USVI

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Today’s wedding from St. John was sent to us at our friends over at Island Style Weddings (thanks Mary + Leah!).  Jon and Mary traveled from Maryland to the USVI with 33 of their nearest and dearest to celebrate on the beach for their big day!  We asked the couple how they landed on this location.  “The location was selected because we have been to St. John twice together and it is our favorite place!! We also think Trunk Bay is the most beautiful beach we have ever seen.”

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The decor of the event, the bride was inspired by their natural surroundings.  “Since we were getting married in the islands on the beach I wanted bright colors.  We started with the color of the bridesmaid dresses and then everything fell into place. Jon and I as a couple prefer earth tones and that’s where the natural colors for the table settings came from.” 

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Along with the natural colors of this event were pops of bright coral from the bridesmaid dresses and of course, vibrant flowers in the bridal bouquet.

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We often ask couples what they remember most from their day and for these two – it was the ceremony.  “Jon says the most memorable moment was when I walked down the aisle.  I think the most memorable moment was during our ceremony when our officiate had us walk to the edge of the water and briefly take in the view just the two of us.  The wedding day goes by so quickly and you feel like all this stuff is happening around you, so it was refreshing to take a “time-out” from the day and ceremony to have a minute to ourselves and realize that our moment has finally arrived.”  Love this idea!

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As for wedding day hurtles?  What did they experience and how did they deal?  Well, in the tropics anything goes when it comes to the weather!  “It rained the morning of our wedding and then poured from 4PM to 5:45PM and our ceremony was supposed to begin at 5:45PM on the beach. Jon and I discussed our options earlier that day, specifically if we wanted to go with the backup plan and get married inside, and we decided that rain or shine we were going to get married on the beach!!  Right as I was getting out of the limo the rain miraculously cleared in time for our ceremony and we had an amazing sunset.” 

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Wedding planner, Mary Bartolucci shared a bit about this darling couple’s big day as well.  “Lace, peonies and lots of love were all part of Mary and Jon’s Island Style Wedding. They began their week with a beach BBQ for their guests at Hawksnest Beach.  Day 2 was a full sailing, snorkel and island hopping day about the 50 ft sailing vessel Kekoa to Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands. Their rehearsal dinner was held at Ocean Grill, a garden restaurant whose house made dessert are Mary’s favorite. 

On the wedding day, Mary, escorted by her Mom and Dad walked down the aisle to the gentle sounds of Canon in D played on steel pan by Lemeul Callwood. Later the guests dined on a gourmet meal of local mahi mahi or filet.

Toasts, well wishes hugs and kisses were plentiful though out the evening. It was a magical evening for all!”

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We can’t get enough of these beautiful colors on the reception tables!  Love how celebratory the design feels!

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And what wedding day would be complete without the bride having a little fun with her wedding cake photos?!

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Clearly a great time was had by all!

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Alain Brin of Blue Glass Photography

Wedding Vendors: Ceremony and Reception Design + Decor, Planning + Coordination + Officiant: Mary Bartolucci and Leah Burris of Island Style Weddings, Welcome Party BBQ:  Hawksnest Beach – USVI National Park, Day Sail to British Virgin Islands: aboard Kekoa, Rehearsal Dinner: Ocean Grill, Hair and Makeup: Michelle Collins and Colleen Kramper, Ceremony: Trunk Bay, Reception: The Waterfront Bistro, Flowers: Jessica Aubain of Roses too FlowersGuest transportation: James Penn Taxi, Bridal Party Transportation: Love City Limo, Ceremony Music: Steel Pan by Lemeul Callwood, Reception Band: Caribbean Groove Band, Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas, Wedding Dress: Stella York at Amanda Ritchey Bridal, Bridesmaid Dresses: Allure Bridals, Groom/Groomsmen: Jos. A. Bank, Invitations and Save the Dates: Wedding Paper Divas, Wedding Cake: Queen of Tarts, Guest accommodations: Westin St John

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A Beach Wedding at the Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

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Lauren and Jonathan opted for a destination wedding in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic at the popular Hard Rock Hotel & CasinoAshley Therese Photography captured the big day (and day after) and shared with us a little backstory on this darling duo.  “It was one of those warm summer evenings at the end of July. Lauren and Jon decided to have dinner at Mooring in Guilford, CT. But before they went to dinner, Jon really wanted to check out this really cool old house he had seen that was on stilts right on the water. The two walked hand in hand along the beach until they reached the house. They sat on the old porch staring out at the water and talked about everything and nothing. Before they knew it, the sun began to set and those sunset orange-yellow hues filled the sky. It was the perfect moment. Jon turned to Lauren and said, “You know what would make me the happiest man in the world?” And with that he asked Lauren to spend the rest of her days with him. After Lauren’s no-hesitation “YES!” Jon led her to a little picnic nearby he had set up earlier right there on the beach. They toasted champagne and soaked in the moments of just being engaged before heading to BALLO Italian Restaurant at Mohegan Sun for dinner.”

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“Lauren and Jon decided to have a destination wedding, and were wed right on the beach at the breathtaking Hard Rock Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. There on the beach in the warm soft sand, they were surrounded by about 70 family and friends who wouldn’t miss this destination celebration. And their wedding was just that, an amazing celebration. Lauren and Jon’s families are some of the nicest and welcoming folks you will ever meet. Not to mention some of the most fun!”

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“The couple wanted to incorporate wedding colors that would compliment the breathtaking shades of blue in the ocean. The pairing of aqua and bright coral worked perfectly and popped against the white sandy beach and water.” 

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“The floor length flowing bridesmaid dresses and floral design were simple and gorgeous.”   Coral bridesmaid dresses are oh-so popular for tropical weddings and these really pop!

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 “For the beautiful and relaxed beach ceremony, where shoes were optional, they wed in front of a sheer white backdrop adorned in pearl orchids and a small table with gold details. Simple and beautiful.”

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 “The reception took place on the rooftop of the steakhouse restaurant Toro, with warm breezes and views of the beach in the distance.”

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“The day after their wedding at sunset, Lauren & Jon decided to do a Trash the Dress shoot on the beach! They sat along the shoreline, letting the waves spill around them and waded into the water in their wedding attire. The happiness of the newlyweds was tangible and you could tell they felt like the luckiest couple in the world…”

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer:  Ashley Therese Photography

Wedding Vendors: Dress Store: Emelina’s Bridal Boutique, Location + Event Planner: Hard Rock Casino & Hotel Punta Cana, Dress Designer: Jasmine Bridal

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British Virgin Islands Beach Wedding Shoot

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Today’s inspiration shoot takes place in the British Virgin Islands on the white sands of Sandy Spit.  The collaboration between Lindsay Vann Photography and By Emily B owner Kristin Burgess was meant to capture the Caribbean in a whole new way.  Kristin of By Emily B explained the style and tropical wedding details created for the day.

We wanted the shoot to have a relaxed, castaway, bohemian vibe so as to inspire brides to take a unique approach to their destination wedding. We wanted to encourage brides to seek out unique and alternative locations, as well as transportation to those venues. We also approached the shoot as if it were a sunrise/morning wedding, serving donuts and pastries alongside a mimosa bar.” 

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“Utilizing the Kekoa, a spectacular 50-foot catamaran available for weddings, the duo sailed from St. John with all of their supplies, staff, and models. Every item seen in this shoot was transferred via dinghy to Sandy Spit, an uninhabited, tiny slice of sand located between Jost Van Dyke and Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.”

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“Sandy and salty for most of the day, the team had the time of their lives shooting in this spectacular location.” 

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 “A pop up floral studio aboard the Kekoa allowed By Emily B. staff the space to create bouquets and flower crowns, while an adorable bride, bridesmaid, and groom were simply styled for a bohemian, castaway shoot on the island.” 

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“Breakfast foods and mimosas with papaya and orange juice were served, while lanterns, fringe, and sparkling trim hung from the trees above, swaying in the perfect ocean breeze.” 

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“A table made of spray painted palettes was simply set in a small, shady nook on the islet.”

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“Utilizing this location was a challenge, but a perfect test to see if it was possible. And it was, The By Emily B / Lindsay Vann Photography partnership now plans to work in conjunction with the Kekoa to plan unforgettable and unique Caribbean weddings with a similar flair.” 

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Destination Wedding Photographer: Lindsay Vann Photography

Wedding Inspiration Shoot Vendors: Event Design + Styling: by emily b event design, Locations:  Kekoa + Sandy Spit, BVI, Transportation: Kekoa, Stationery: Lulu & Roo, Wedding Gown: Jenny Yoo, Bridal Accessories: Free People and Junghwa Jewelry, Bridesmaid Attire: Free People

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