St. Lucia Destination Wedding

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Roxanne and Fernando jetted off to St. Lucia for their Caribbean destination wedding!  They landed on the Windjammer Landing Villa Resort as the location for the big day.  With close family and friends by their side, they dinned, danced (oh they danced!) and celebrated with sweet details at every turn.  Roxanne shared with us how they selected their venue.  “We personally choose the location for the wedding at Windjammer Landing in St. Lucia because of our experience there at our high school friends Hassan and Crystal Brown’s wedding in 2010. Fernando really liked how he was able to have a drink with the groom Hassan and his groomsmen just minutes before the ceremony started. We both liked that it was a vacation at an awesome resort on a beautiful island. We had a really great time and wanted to share that experience with our family and friends for our own wedding.” 

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We love the groom’s  fedora – very vintage island hopping hip, we picture this swanky fella landing via sea plane for his big day.

And this big day had special meaning on the calendar.  “I guess our big theme was our 10 year anniversary of dating which was the reason we picked this date. The theme was included in the tin cans used as flower and candle holders, the Roman numeral X on the buttons for the groom and groomsmen and the card numbers. Ultimately, we wanted to celebrate this milestone with an even bigger milestone which is now the day we got married.”

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The bride wore a beautiful gown by J. Crew while her maids dressed in pretty peach.  White the groom wore a button with X in lieu of flowers.  “It was a fun idea my friend Jeremiah Hernandez thought of. I wanted to do something different than flowers for the boutonnieres and he came up with the idea of buttons. I wanted to incorporate the wedding theme of a ten year anniversary and we thought about the roman numeral for 10 which is X. Jeremiah playfully dubbed the guys the X-Men.”

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But the best part of her big day look might just have been the beach perfect Converse shoes she wore under her wedding dress!  But these weren’t just a regular pair of sneakers, these shoes had her wedding date detailed on them!

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The beach wedding ceremonywas marked by a rustic wooden sign before guests entered to find white benches and lots of wedding details awaiting them.  The couple first planned on a church wedding but later opted for a beach ceremony instead.  “Deciding where to have our ceremony was the first unique challenge because we wanted to have a Catholic ceremony but after months of back and forth with the church in St. Lucia, we decided to go back to the idea of having the ceremony on the beach. It turned out to be a beautiful day and we were really happy with the nontraditional readings and songs we were able to play.”

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The bride and groom gave out sunglasses to guests as they arrived.  A box marked with the sign, “future’s so bright, gotta wear shades” was a fun way to kick off the day!

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As an activity, they created custom mad libs, that they called “guest libs, wedding edition.”  What a great way to create keepsakes for the couple and involve all their loved ones in the festivities.

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The ceremony incorporated personal and cultural traditions.  “The cord that was wrapped around our shoulders is part of the Filipino/ Spanish wedding tradition. The cord symbolizes the couples bond and that they are no longer two but one in their life as a new couple. The cord was made of our colored birthstones in the Philippines and the middle was inscribed with our names and the wedding date by my aunt and sent over before the wedding.”

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After the big kiss, the big celebration began!

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For the reception, the group headed up to an area of the sand tented and lit for the evening’s festivities.  GQ cocktails and cocktail sticks  helped get the party started!

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“The table numbers each had a special date that was significant for us both and following each date was a he said vs a she said. So it gave our guest a look into the events throughout our relationship that lead up to our wedding day.”

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Every little detail had a personal touch.  Even the cake topper!  “I really loved our cake topper which my older sister Dr. Riabianca Garcia custom made for us. I really wanted a personal cake topper and didn’t find one that I thought really fit us. So, I asked my sister to make one that featured us and our dog Zion who sadly could not join us in St. Lucia. (Zion was a gift from Fernando for my college graduation. He’s more like a son to us than our dog and quite a character.) This was her first cake topper that she made and I think it came out amazing and just what we wanted!”

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This is one amazing dance floor!  They certainly had an incredible time!

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To see more from this fun-filled day, check out the highlight video produced by 1501 Studios.

 Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Indigo Foto

Wedding Vendors: Location: Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort, St.Lucia, Invitations + Paper Goods + Wedding Planner + Event Design: Jeremiah Hernandez Events + Designs, Wedding Dress: J. Crew, Shoes: Converse, Hair: Tara Ash of Medusa Salon, Groom’s Suit: Banana Republic, Bridesmaids: Ann Taylor, Groomsmen: H&M, Videography: 1501 Studios

 

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Honeymoon at Jade Mountain, St. Lucia

jade mountain Honeymoon at Jade Mountain, St. Lucia

St Lucia has a special place in my heart.  I’ve been fortunate to stay at some pretty spectacular places around the world in my young lifetime and Jade Mountain stands out as one of the most memorable, helping to make St. Lucia a place I plan to revisit often.

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 What made this property so special?  Well, the galaxy suites for one.  An open air sanctuary is what they call them – hotel rooms the size of small homes with everything you could want or need within your suite (including a private infinity pool).  The only thing missing?  Walls!  These sanctuaries have two of their four walls removed for an experience among the stars, sunset, and sunrise you will not forget.  The hotel was designed by owner Nick Troubetzkoy and built into the hillside looking like something built from nature and almost futuristic at the same time.  A boutique property, with only twenty nine rooms, you might fear for your privacy.  But fear not, the resort was built into the hillside in such a manner that you can see out to the resort but others can’t see into your room.  Not to mention that your suite extends out to its own private bridge and no one can enter onto the bridge without permission (or the appropriately colored flags hanging outside your door).  With arguably the best view of the Pitons on the island, a personal butler to cater to your every need, and a beach down below with snorkeling, sunning, and a waterside restaurant, if you are the type of couple to unpack and never want to leave, then you’ve found home.  Jade Mountain is the ultimate luxury for couples who want to do less and enjoy more.

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Breakfast on your patio as the sun rises is a must do!

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The infinity edge in-suite pools have the most magical views!

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Be sure to plan an evening on the rooftop – an incredible dining experience underneath the stars awaits you.  James Beard Award winning Chef Allen Susser’s Jade Cuisine Restaurant is full of flavor, inviting atmosphere, attentive and friendly staff and a view that clearly can’t be beat.  In fact, few places in the world rival the view or staff at this very special spot.

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Photos: Jade Mountain

Travel Tip: Pack an eye mask!  Watching the sun rise and set from your fourposter canopy bed is certainly awe-inspiring but you may want to sleep off the wedding a bit longer than nature allows.

Happy Honeymooning!

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St. Lucia Honeymoons

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Photo: Jade Mountain

This week we’re covering a few of my favorite places in St. Lucia.  If you’re looking for an off the beaten path honeymoon in the Caribbean but prefer the finer things in life too, then consider saying “I do” to this lovely island.  Located in the southern part of the region, the sand is darker than its northern neighbors.  It’s a volcanic island in fact with lush rainforest and landscapes, high hillsides and beautiful beaches too.   A day in the life of could consist of spa, sea, and sand peppered with friendly encounters from everyone on island.

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Photo: StLuciaNow.com

Spa: Start the day at sunrise before the heat sets in and head for a little morning hike.  Drive in and park at the volcano crater (the only drive-in volcano in the world) where an all-natural spa experience awaits you.  Indulge in a mud mask straight from the ground before dipping into the hot, hot, hot sulphur springs and your skin will be glowing like the blushing bride you are.

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Photo: St. Lucia

Swim:  If you ask me, St. Lucia is best traveled by boat.  If you have the opportunity, skip the car and go by sea to discover the island’s many beautiful beaches and beachfront resorts.  If you like to get out and explore, ask your boat charter (a must do at least once) to take you to some amazing and oh-so private places to plunge around the island.  Honeymoon perfection for just the two of you.

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Photo: St. Lucia

Dine: For lunch, hop back in the boat and head towards the Pitons for an al fresco meal at Anse Chastanet’s beachside restaurant (and don’t skip dessert).  Work off your meal with any one of the island’s excellent snorkeling stops (there’s one in the bay of the resort).

If it’s Friday then you’re in luck, end the day at a street party in town known as the Fish Fry.  After a week of fishing, the locals set up a lively farmer’s market with the fresh fare, fun music, and lots of entertaining visitors.  If you’re hosting a destination wedding on island, then the Fish Fry would make for a great bonding experience and rehearsal dinner as you blend your two families and experience the local culture together.

If you find yourself in Marigot Bay (a magical stop along the way), then cross the bay to the water taxi-only accessible restaurant, The Rainforest Hideaway.  A great place for a long feasting table rehearsal dinner on the water or a romantic meal for two by candlelight.  And the quick trip across the bay is a sweet experience in itself.

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Photo: Sunsail

Dance: If you’re a jazz lover, then consider timing your trip to their annual Jazz Festival in late April/early May, which draws big names like Ziggy Marley and The Gypsy Kings.  The island’s peak season is November through May, with some rain throughout the year and more of it the more inland to the rainforest you go.

Tune in tomorrow and I’ll share with you my favorite place to stay on the island!

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Destination Wedding in St. Lucia

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Angie and Jonas met while working together as nurses at The Hospital for Sick Children.  They were friends for many years before they started dating, so once the romance began, they both knew it would be forever.  The two chose to wed on the beautiful Caribbean island of St. Lucia, at the all-inclusive Smugglers Cove Resort.  With 48 of their friends and family with them in the West Indies, the two tied the knot overlooking the rich waters and surrounded by the lush rainforest of the island.

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The couple selected a color palette of lime green, turquoise and ivory – all with a “vintage classic” vibe as they described it.

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You gotta love a couple who loves their shoes!  He donned a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes and she, a pair of sparkling Gucci’s.

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Angie wore a beautiful one-shoulder Vera Wang wedding dress.

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And her maids wore teal dresses by Dessy to fit within their color palette perfectly.

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The two said “I do” in a gazebo overlooking the ocean.

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When we asked Angie what her favorite moment was, she said: Walking down the aisle and seeing Jonas and his smile.”  But every moment was special.  “I loved everything about the wedding day and spending the whole week with friends and family was amazing.”

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For the reception, guests moved to the waterside grille on property where Etsy-made luggage tags awaited them to direct friends and family to their seats while a steel drum band serenaded them.  The couple’s wedding song was “Marry Me” by Train, as the bride told us, “it really captures the way we feel for each other.”

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The pale palette matched the space perfectly without taking away from the beautiful ocean view.

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One of the highlights for the bride and groom was the lantern release at the end of the evening – what a special moment!  Then it was off to Spain for a honeymoon without friends and family.

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 To see more from Jonas and Angie’s destination wedding in St. Lucia, check out the highlight video by Tied Photo & Film.

Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Tied Photography

Wedding Vendors: Ceremony Location:  The Wedding Chapel Gazebo, Smuggler’s Cove Resort & Spa, St. Lucia, Reception Venue:  Waterside Creole Grill, Smuggler’s Cove Resort & Spa, Wedding Dress: Vera Wang, Bridesmaid Dresses: Dessy, Groom’s Suit: Custom made by Garrison Bespoke, Wedding Planners: Luxe Destination Weddings, Favor Tags: VeryVerdant, Hair: Manny Bartolome, emannyb Healing and Hair Arts, Stationery: Vera Wang

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Jade Mountain Honeymoons, St. Lucia

Jade Mountain resort Jade Mountain Honeymoons, St. LuciaIf you read travel magazines like I do, then chances are you’ve heard of the famed Jade Mountain Resort in St. Lucia.  But let me tell you, going there is an entirely different experience than one could imagine.  Perched on a hillside overlooking the Pitons, this boutique property was designed by architect owner, Nick Troubetzkoy, in such a way that you truly feel like you’re the only guests there.  With “galaxy suites” as they call them, shaped in a curve around the mountainside, you’ll find only one wall to keep you covered, but you’re not short of privacy as the angles are such that no vantage point allows others to see into the spaces. And no one is permitted onto your bridge to your front door without the appropriate colored flag hanging when your ready to re-join civilization.  Can you say honeymoon paradise?!?!   jade mountain st lucia Jade Mountain Honeymoons, St. LuciaThose fantastic suites each come complete with an infinity pool, indoor and outdoor furnishings, a fabulous tub for two, and a dedicated butler to cater to your every whim.  By day, you’ll lounge in your room’s pool or head down to the beach for a bit of snorkeling and sunning.  By night, dinner at the sister property, Anse Chstanet’s beach restaurant, or on the rooftop restaurant of Jade Mountain (with a James Beard award-winning chef) or perhaps a casual in-room yet al fresco dinner for two before you retire to your canopy covered four-poster bed.jade mountain inifinity pool1 Jade Mountain Honeymoons, St. LuciaIt may sound silly on an island as lush and beautiful as St. Lucia, but this really is a hotel room you won’t want to leave.  And what better trip to stay in than on your honeymoon?  When you need something, anything at all, your smiling, friendly and oh-so warm butler is just a click on your two-way walkie away.  I admit, when I visited this one-of-a-kind sanctuary, I was traveling solo (not ideal for a place this special) and even I was content swimming on my deck, reading a book while sipping a fresh island fruit smoothie, and watching the sun come up and go down from behind the curtains on the bed, blissful in a constant state of relaxation. jade mountain suites Jade Mountain Honeymoons, St. LuciaBut life in St. Lucia isn’t all naps and moments alone together (unless you want it to be).  Should you dare to venture out beyond your palace wall, the island is brimming with fantastic adventures and warm new friends to meet.  I highly suggest some snorkel time and a trip to the sulphur springs at sunrise where you’ll get a 5-star mud bath and mask au naturel, just as Mother Nature intended, and located in the base of the world’s only drive-in volcano.st lucia jade mountain Jade Mountain Honeymoons, St. LuciaTravel Tip:  If you’ve got the budget to splurge, opt for Jade Mountain’s helicopter airport pickup and arrive at the resort from high above the Pitons rather than by car.  And when you arrive, be sure you’re booked in an infinity pool galaxy suite, it’s well worth it!

…now back to daydreaming about a return trip (plus one).

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