We gave you a little sneak peak of today's wedding in our column on The Bride's Guide (Martha Stewart Weddings Blog), but we have so much more goodness here for you I can hardly contain myself. And although the wedding itself is GORGEOUS (think recycled, reused, re-purposed elegance), it's the wedding story and the amazing couple that I am really smitten with. Here are their stats...met in Turks and Caicos at Club Med. Fell in love. Bought a house. Gutted the house, turning a beach shack into total bliss. Held their even more blissful wedding at their brand new home. Fairytale anyone?
I'm a real bride AND a vendor, proprietor of Fleur de Lys Villa in the Turks and Caicos Islands, our home and a newly minted space for weddings. I fell in love with SMP while planning my own wedding, on a 7 mile by 22 mile stretch of island in a vast turquoise sea, where there was no other option than but to be DIY and resourceful! So here goes!
My wedding dress was handmade, purchased on ebay for $250. Shoes were $20 heels from Le Chateau, which I dyed yellow (hesitantly in the washing machine but I was pleased as pie they came out pale yellow versus neon, and the clean-up was as simple as running an empty load). For our "groomswomen" I dreamed of white and yellow chiffon (the color palette of my parents 1975 wedding) but for 6' tall Nancy and 5'6"Marie Pierre, we just could not find anything that complemented both figures with the 2 week time span we had for shopping. Then we hit St-Hubert Street, (the wedding district in Montreal, 8 city blocks of everything wedding) and after countless nauseating hours of perusing satin, after bejeweled satin, we stumbled across a $20 bargain rack full of sunny yellow dresses!!! We found a winner that looked spectacular on both bodies, and at that price a third was purchased and altered for the flower girl Valerie.
Our Bouquet and Boutonniere were done by Environmental Arts as gifts from my friend/our planner Teresa Brunner who designed them. Teresa is a dear friend of mine, usually the one hiring me for large wedding decors. For my day, the tables turned and I just can't thank her adequately. She is a wedding rockstar, able to transform ceremony garden into reception fine dining complete with 120 lanterns to light, 52 places to set, and 2 waves of guests to welcome.
As for details...I stole loads of ideas from websites and blogs. I handcrafted a floral/shell adorned umbrella for the ceremony, shadowbox place settings, a "Wish You Were Here" antique door, a Beer Garden frame, and a Wishing Tree. TC Millwork, our carpentry and design studio, built a platform that was lowered into the hot tub and used for the ceremony stage, then bride and grooms table for the reception.
It was very important to us to use recycled elements, and make them beautiful. I spray painted peanut tins metallic silver and adorned them with seashells from the island. I used mason jars for table decor with various island gathered seashells, fan coral, and sponges placed in the bases and filled with water for vases. I used Jelly jars to make the tea-light lit lanterns hung with yellow ribbon from the trees. Terracotta pots that I discovered at an abandoned house were painted and distressed then set up to line our front driveway.
We also infused the day with very eco-savvy ideas. For one, we refused to use plastic water bottles. Instead, we set up a self service water cooler for the reception, and large glass vases for the beach cocktail. We used monster fern, asparagus fern, chinese fan palm, Hong Kong orchids and other clippings from our garden for the table decor. We picked wildflowers (some may say weeds) for the vases and harvested succulents for the shelled peanut tins. For our wishing tree, we used a tree lost in last years hurricanes that I dragged back to my studio from the beach it washed ashore on. Instead of printing menus, I made a chalkboard menu for display.
As for additional money savers we used a discount fabric I found for our photo backdrop and our aisle runner. For our photo booth frame, we refinished an inexpensive and classically tacky gold frame purchased at Kischo (kind of like a walmart). For our wines, we purchased bulk discounted stock from a water damaged container. The labels on them looked vintage to me (and were unsellable). Saved a ton and also served as table decor. We also saved a ton by involving our friends and their respective businesses. When it came to the wedding events we saved a great deal of money by involving the help of our friends and their respective businesses.
Hair by Shenique Higgs of Sheque Perfection / Make-up done as a favor by friend/planner Teresa Brunner of TropicalDMC / Catering by Kissing Fish / Photography by Kellie, David, and Ileana of Tropical Imaging / Music by NaDa Duo with a guest appearance by Stephane's cousin Patrick Normand (the Kenny Rogers of Quebec) / Flowers by Environmental Arts / Event Design: Fleur de Lys Villa / Ceremony + Reception Location: Fleur de Lys Villa, Turks and Caicos Islands / Brides engagment and wedding rings by House of Ehinger-Schwarz