Happy Friday, lovelies! Let’s take a break from the smoldering summer heat and escape to the breezy beaches of St. John!  Simple, small and understated, what we’ve got here is an example of destination done right. I’m absolutely loving the bride’s (preowned!Monique Lhuiller gown as well as her maid’s peachy-numbers by Nicole Miller from Rent the RunwayRebekah Westover Photography outdid herself capturing this beachside beauty, and there is so much more to soak in right here!

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From the Bride… Our wedding day was even better than we could ever have dreamed. Everything came together beautifully. We wanted our wedding to be simple, relaxed, intimate and about our love for one another. Gray and I always knew we would have a destination wedding. Our first vacation as a couple was spent in St. John. Our love of travel flourished from there, and we are so grateful to have experienced so many places and countries together. We knew St. John would be perfect for our wedding because it held such a special place in our hearts.

I love DIY projects and have a huge passion for photography, so planning a wedding on my own came very naturally to me. Weddings can be expensive, but there are a million ways to save money and still get your must-haves. My wedding dress was my dream dress but not my ideal price. I pre-sold my dress to a fabulous girl who felt the same way, and in the end, we were both married in the dress we loved for a fraction of the cost. I choose my bridesmaids’ dresses from Rent the Runway because you can rent amazing gowns from them for reasonable prices. Why add another bridesmaid dress to your collection that you will never wear again? I was lucky to find a guy who also had an amazing sense of style. Gray choose the full attire for the guys, all the way down to the cute anchor J.Crew socks and the wingtip shoes. When searching many of the beautiful beaches in St. John, my one request was I must have palm trees! When I saw Maho Bay, I knew without a question that this was the place we would say ” I do.” With such a beautiful backdrop, there was no need for any other decor. We had a total of 16 guests, immediate family and our best friends included in our bridal party. Standing hand in hand on the beach, Sharing our love with the people who meant the most to us, we knew we had made the right choice about our destination wedding.

Rebekah Westover, a remarkable photographer from Utah, came to St. John to shoot our wedding. Being the photography blog stalker that I am, I have admired her work for many years. I knew I wouldn’t want anyone but her to capture our special day. Finding someone who is so passionate about their work is a breath of fresh air. I can honestly say she might have been more excited about our wedding than we were, and I think her photographs are proof. Not only do we have photographs we will cherish for a lifetime, we gained a life-long friend as well. Looking back on our wedding day, we light up with smiles, and our hearts are filled with love and memories were made that will last forever — it was truly the best day. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Love really is worth it.

Wedding Photography: Rebekah Westover Photography / Ceremony: Maho Bay on St. John, United States Virgin Islands / Reception: Ocean Grill on St. John, United States Virgin Islands / Flowers + Table Decor: DIY / Officiant: Stu Scott / Calligraphy: The Butler’s Pantry / Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier via PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bride’s Jewelry: J.Crew / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Nicole Miller via Rent the Runway / Bridesmaids’ Jewelry: Forever 21 / Groom’s Suit: J.Crew / Groomsmen’s Attire: J.Crew