Romantic Beach Destination Wedding on St. John, USVI


Crystal and Lou traveled from Boston to St. John, USVI with 55 friends and family to celebrate their nuptials in a beautiful beach destination wedding. The pair enlisted the expertise and assistance of destination wedding planners, Island Style Weddings, who had actually planned the bride’s uncle’s wedding on St. John eight years prior. The bride shared with us a bit about the experience and coming back to this special island.

St. John is Crystal’s favorite island vacation spot and she always said she would get married there after attending her Uncle Danny’s wedding, 8 years earlier. We both wanted to do a smaller, more intimate wedding that felt personal to us both. This was the best way to keep the group small, with our closest friends and family, and make it a week of celebrating. 

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The inspiration was sand and gold colors, which I thought would play off really nicely with the turquoise St. John water. We didn’t want to use too much in terms of embellishment because the surrounding beach and scenery was beautiful in itself, and we liked the simple island feel with a touch of color. After looking online at Mary’s past weddings, we loved everything we saw and put our trust in her…and it turned out more beautiful than we pictured.

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Most memorable moment from the day… was being on the beach, taking pictures with all our friends and family after the formal ceremony. It was so humbling to see all these people travel so far to be with us, on a beach that meant so much to us already. Another favorite moment of Crystal’s was walking in to the Waterfront Bistro for the first time, seeing all the people seated at the gorgeous tables that we had pictured for all those months. We had never been to the Bistro so it was exciting to watch it all come together. Also our last song was an incredible memory, when they played “Shut up and Dance” and we did a group hug with all the wedding guests. We didn’t want it to end!

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Advice for other couples… is to get a wedding planner! And research pictures of flowers, tablescapes and scenery. I was hesitant to go with gold in the beginning but was so glad that I stuck to my gut. The gold candelabras, table scape accents and the crystal chandeliers are what “made it.” The gold sand with starfish table assignments were another great accent. 

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Mary from Island Style Weddings added her sentiments about the big day:

What a fun group they were! I was deeply honored to be able to perform a second family wedding. How sweet it was that Crystal had attended Jennifer and Dan’s wedding eight years prior on St John.


Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Elisha Orin

Wedding Vendors: Groom, Groomsmen, Ring bearer & Father of Bride Ties: Ralph Lauren, Groom’s Shirt: custom by Elegancia, Groom’s Pants: custom linen by Studio Suits, Rings:  Descenza, Invitations: Minted, Save the Dates: Appy Couple, Wedding Planning and Design: Island Style Weddings, Ceremony Venue: Trunk Bay, Ceremony Music: Albion Sewer – Steel Pan, Officiant: Mary Bartolucci: Island Style Weddings, Reception Venue: The Waterfront Bistro, Reception Music: DJ Adonis Morton, Florist: Jessica Aubain – Roses too, Cake: Queen of Tarts, Hair/Makeup: Sugar and Spice, Rehearsal Party Venue: Drink, Caterer for rehearsal dinner: Local and Tasty, Sailing Charter: Daydreamer, Bridal Gown: Cristina’s Bridal


Tropical Destination Wedding on St. John, USVI

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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.” 

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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.” 

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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!” 

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“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!”

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“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.” 

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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.”

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“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.” 

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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

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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.

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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.”

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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.” 

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“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.”

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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


St. John Destination Wedding with Teal!

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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.

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“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.”

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

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

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“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.”

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

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“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.”

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“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.”

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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


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