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Colorful & Cultural Wedding at Secrets St. James Montego Bay Resort

It’s a fact that each and every wedding gives me a daily pinch-me-please moment. And today that moment was made possible all thanks to this Secrets St. James Montego Bay Resort celebration captured by Natalie Franke. It’s so alluring it has officially left me in a tasteful trance of paradise. It’s the type of gallery that is tropical with a traditional twist and we’re loving every minute.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Beach Resort

From Natalie FrankeAfter falling in love with these two at their Baltimore Engagement Session, I knew that their American-Indian Fusion Wedding was going to take my breath away! What I didn’t expect, was to be seated at Sarah’s parents table for dinner… which lead to near teary-eyed moment for this veteran photographer. Oh friends, I truly couldn’t believe it! Such an unexpected honor!

There were so many moments of this special day that took my breath away… from the first moment Sarah put on her wedding gown to the beachside ceremony where Mohit saw his bride for the first time, all the way through her surprise wardrobe change during the reception – Everything about this wedding was perfect! There were tears and laughter… And I truly cannot imagine a more perfect setting for their special day!

Photography: Natalie Franke | Wedding Dress: Garnish Boutique | Wedding Dress: Nicole Miller | Jewelry: Givenchy | Venue: Secrets St. James Montego Bay | Photography - Assistance: Kate Ann Photography

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Romantic + Tropical Dominican Republic Wedding

To say that this next lovefest from Shoebox Photography is perfect in every. single. way. would be an understatement. A tropical paradise complete with almond trees and an exquisite villa, it’s a daydream come to life. From the Bride’s beautiful lace gown, to the pretty pink accents, every detail is one to cherish.

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Villa
Styles
Elegant

From the beautiful Bride… When my husband proposed to me, besides being completed shocked and crying hysterically, the first thought I had was the two of us kissing under the trees. Robin is from Denver, Colorado and I am from the Turks and Caicos Islands. Two places known for being beautiful wedding destinations but this did not help us when picking where to have our special day. We wanted somewhere different for all of our friends and family. We wanted somewhere they could all come together, have an adventure, and make great memories. We found it when we traveled to Punta Cana.

When we first walked into Villa Las Arenas I was blown away by the beauty of this home. The courtyard was lined with Dominican almond trees and had Chicago brick leading up to this archway that welcomes you to the exquisite villa. Besides the obvious Caribbean and English influence (which I adored!) we also fell in love with the people there. Everyone at Villa Las Arenas was so welcoming we felt like family. I couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else!

We returned a few months later to say our vows under the almond trees this time surrounded by all of our dearest friends and loved ones. Robin has a very big family from Colorado and mine is a small English family but it was important to us both to have everyone together as one family. Robin had two of his brothers in the wedding: Sean, as his best man and Andy as his groomsmen. I had both of my sisters in the wedding: Courtney (Coo) as my maid of honor and Laura (Loo) as my matron of honor. My beautiful and scrumptious niece Liv Marloe was my flower girl and undoubtedly stole the show! My mother, Gillian and Robin’s father, Rick gave speeches during our ceremony and my dad, Ian walked me down the aisle. The morning of the wedding I gave each member of our wedding party a small gift to remember the day and to say thank you for being the most important people in our lives. For Robin and I family is everything and we wanted to give everyone a little gift to show how much we love them.

For my husband I had a few special surprises. The first was my wedding gift to him a new watch to wear on the day. The second was a pocket watch with an engraving of the poem we had in our ceremony by Tyler Knott Gregson and a picture of his mother in side to wear close to his heart. The third was when he walked down the aisle! When Robin walked down the aisle the DJ played Otis Redding – Love Man!! Its one of my favorite songs and I think it describes him perfectly! I didn’t get to see the expression on his face for any of these surprises but I think Melinda and Rob (Photographers) and Diego and Juan (Videographers) captured it perfectly!

The day went perfectly. Our florist Celia made the whole space feel like a dream. The archway was covered in white peonies, roses and garlands of eucalyptus. Our florist also made a small baby’s breath crown for my niece to wear. Liv decided she didn’t want to wear it so later in the night my sisters put the crown on me which was a really fun and random addition to the night. Our planner really captured everything we asked for and put up with a thousand emails from me daily! I wanted blush and neutral tones for our wedding party with romantic florals and a lot of greenery. Robin wanted something more formal and traditional which I think we were able to do too. Music played all day long a mix of reggae, romantic, and oldies. Even our food was out of this world! Chef Pitiri really went all out from the hors d’oeuvres to the dinner, to the midnight empanadas (a secret family recipe).

Our venue was amazing and all of the staff there were so helpful especially Paola, the concierge. I would recommend our villa to anyone for a wedding or a family vacation. In fact, my family wants to go back every year! I am a crafter by heart but my family insisted that I do not attempt to DIY my own wedding. Oh ye of little faith! Instead I took it upon myself to do all the stationary and the playlists for the whole day. We bought a beautiful design for our invitations and I duplicated those throughout the wedding. The welcome sign at the entrance of the villa and the smaller frames with our favorite song lyrics really helped to make it feel more like us. One of my favorite things was to put “You look wonderful tonight” in the ladies bathroom. Eric Clapton’s song was played when I danced with my dad and I was hoping it would make all the ladies feel great because honestly they all looked amazing!

Its true what they say about your ceremony going in the blink of an eye! I do not remember what I said or what happened the only thing I recall with clarity is my husband vowing to always protect me. I have never been more in love with him in that moment. It felt as though it was just the two of us under the trees. I have been told there was a lot of laughter and a lot of happy tears. My husband likes to describe our love as a special love and I think that’s what everyone felt that day. All we wanted for our day was great tunes and amazing food, to be surrounded by nature, to have our friends and family around us and more than anything, each other. I think we got it and then some. We have been friends for a decade and have been in love for 7 of those years. Our wedding was just another wonderful day in my life with Robin.

Photography: Shoebox Photography | Videographer: Cores Films | Wedding Planner: Punta Cana Party | Florist: The Green Book Design | Wedding Dress: Stella York | Invitations: Minted | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Aidan Mattox | Groom's Suit: Calvin Klein | Groomsmen's Attire: Calvin Klein | Officiant: Rick York | Bridesmaids Earrings: Marolsha by Maddy | Bridesmaids Necklaces: The Altered Chain | Ceremony And Reception: Villa Las Arenas | Custom Handkerchiefs: The Polka Dotted Bee | DJ/Lighting: Rafael Alvarez | Flower Girl Dress: Aylinka Shop | Food and Wedding Cake: Chef Pitiri | Groom's Pocket Watch: Tipo's Creations | Groom's Tie Pins: J Crew | Hair Stylist/Make-up: Anna Nuet | Mother Of The Bride: Tadashi Shoji

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Romantic Destination Wedding at Viceroy Anguilla

When a wedding planning pro herself says “I do” we get extra excited with all the goodies coming our way! The owner of DM Events Planning and Design created her own wedding wonderland with the help of a talented team including Face Time Beauty Concierge, Laura Hooper Calligraphy and Paperfinger, and not one, but two fabulous photogs snapping away. Allan Zepeda and Mel Barlow & Co. captured every picture perfect moment, leaving us in absolute awe of this Bride and her beautiful bash.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Resort

From the Bride… As a wedding planner and designer, I’ve witnessed countless brides walk down the aisle so I figured when it was my turn, I would be cool, calm and collected. Needless to say, I wasn’t any of those. I think because I have watched “the walk” so many times, I fully understand how important it is. When it was my turn, I was a complete mess! A well put together mess, of course, but a mess nonetheless! All the photos of me walking down the aisle are proof that even a seasoned wedding planner can fall apart on her wedding day.

While planning my big day, the question I was asked the most was, “What does it feel like to plan your own wedding?” Simply put, it feels overwhelming in the best way possible! Cliff and I knew right away that we wanted to have a destination wedding. The venue selection process can be a taunting task but with one sole contender on the list it was pretty easy: Viceroy Anguilla, our first vacation together and our go-to island getaway. There was a major problem, the only date that worked also happened to be Cliff’s birthday. He didn’t think twice and generously agreed to forgo his birthday to let me steal the spotlight ;) I, in turn, surprised him with a Clemson University-inspired birthday cake (his alma mater and obsession) in lieu of a wedding cake.

The wedding weekend kicked off with a Thursday evening cocktail party (hosted by our dear friend and officiant!) followed by a Friday night welcome dinner at our favorite island restaurant, Veya. A destination wedding on an island is not complete without a boat outing, so Saturday we took everyone to Prickly Pear Island during the day making it back to Anguilla in time for everyone to get their beauty rest for the big day on Sunday.

I always tell my clients that photography is the one item you don’t want to skimp on. Knowing this made it even more difficult to choose between my two favorite photographers: Mel Barlow and Allan Zepeda, who also happen to be two of our dearest friends. We, of course, wanted them to attend as guests but selfishly also wanted them to capture our big day, too. What is a bride to do? Beg and plead? Well, that’s exactly what I did and it worked! They nobly agreed to be there as part-time photographers and part-time guests. I will be forever grateful to them for capturing all the moments of the weekend, and sharing the priceless moments with us “behind the scenes” on the wedding day.

When it came to the design, I have to admit, I was in heaven! After all the years I’ve spent creating designs for clients, it was finally my turn to let loose and design for myself. I quickly turned to Paperfinger to help me coordinate all of the paper elements as well as the wedding day goodies. I wanted the invitation to feel warm and timeless, so the letterpress was done in soft shades of grey and blush. I’m also a lover of all things watercolor so we incorporated soft tones of pink watercoloring on the RSVP. I topped off the invite with Silk and Willow hand dyed silk ribbon. Reception goodies also included simple white linen napkins with watercolor-inspired hand-written guest names, driftwood grey and white acrylic signage, and nautical Laura Hooper Calligraphy “our adventure begins” coasters. Then came the flowers! I spend an unhealthy amount of time obsessing over flowers so I knew they had to be perfect, which is not always an easy task when importing to an island. All of the flowers came from St. Martin and they were gorgeous! I designed a lush runner of greenery down the tables featuring oversized garden roses and candlelight. Large driftwood pieces adorned the room with matching runners woven through. The room was aglow and I was ecstatic to see my vision come to life!

After all the hours spent on planning and designing, my absolute favorite moment was when my new husband gave his speech. I’ve heard my fair share of speeches and I may be partial to his, but I must say it was perfection and I felt like the luckiest girl in the world! The night ended with a candlelit serenade from our friends and family to our favorite song. The entire weekend was filled with so much love and happiness that at many times I thought my heart may explode!

Photography: Allan Zepeda | Photography: Mel Barlow & Co. | Wedding Dress: Marchesa | Invitations: Paperfinger | Groom's Shoes: Hugo Boss | Groomsmen's Attire: Hugo Boss | Wedding Venue: The Viceroy Anguilla | Anchor Tie Clip: J.Crew | Bridal Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Calligraphy Napkins: Paperfinger | Cufflinks: Saks Fifth Avenue | Drink Stirrers: Laura Hooper Calligraphy | Groom's Custom Pocket Square: W.B. Thamm | Groom's Customs Sneakers: Nike | Make-Up Consultation: Face Time Beauty Concierge | Matches: For Your Party | Planning & Design: DM Events Planning And Design | Reception Signage: Host & Toast | Ribbon: Silk And Willow | Velvet Ring Box: The Mrs Box | Wedding Coasters: Laura Hooper Calligraphy | Wedding/Birthday Cake: The Viceroy Anguilla | Welcome Bags: The Wedding Chicks

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Rustic Destination Wedding at Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana

In true Thanksgiving fashion, this destination holiday wedding was all about friends and family. From the invitations designed by a friend and hand-sewn accents from the Bride’s mother, to the photography from friend, Erin Davenport, the Bride and Groom celebrated starting off their marriage surrounded by the love of those closest to them. See how it all came together in this gorgeous gallery!

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Beach Resort
Styles
Rustic

From the Bride… Drew and I were introduced by friends at a University of Alabama football game and became engaged in December 2011 after both moving to Colorado. Being from Alabama but living in Colorado for the past few years, the idea of planning a wedding back home in Alabama was overwhelming. We did not want our guests to travel to Colorado for just a short weekend. This led us to the idea of a destination wedding. A week of relaxing and vacationing with our close friends and family sounded like a fantastic idea. In addition, Drew’s and my family had never met. So we chose Thanksgiving week to spend together as new, larger family.

Our only regret with the destination wedding was that we knew not all of those important to us would be able to travel. It was indeed a smaller, more intimate wedding. The wedding was planned almost entirely by email with the resort wedding coordinator. She was incredibly patient with my million questions. In many ways, our wedding was truly a friends and family affair. A friend designed our wedding invitations. Another friend was our wedding photographer and resident Colorado advisor for dress shopping and all things wedding related. My mom embroidered and sewed the table runners, chair signs, banners and table numbers. Drew’s mom and sister brought other fun, personal touches for the table settings. Even our friends who arranged our introduction were able to attend, and his wife applied my makeup.

I had always wanted to get married on a beach but wanted to bring a rustic, Southern flare to our beach wedding. We were able to do this with lots of monogramming, lace, candles and embroidered burlap décor made by my mom. We chose lots of greens as accent colors to make it fun and festive.

The beach wedding ceremony was a little windy, but everything was perfect nonetheless. Because of the weather report, the reception was moved from poolside to a covered pool and beach-side open air restaurant, Castaways. It was meant to be and turned out beautifully! Good times, good food and a lot of dancing. With a great deal of help from friends and family, we successfully pulled off the rustic beach elegance I was going for!

Photography: Erin Davenport Photography | Floral Design: Now Larimar And Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana | Wedding Dress: Essence of Australia | Cake: Now Larimar And Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana | Ceremony Venue: Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana | Reception Venue : Now Larimar Castaways Restaurant | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bill Levkoff | Catering: Now Larimar And Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana | Men's Attire: Jos. A. Bank | Bride's Hair: Now Larimar Spa | Bride's Sash and Jewelry: Something New Boutique | Cake Topper: Pink Pelican Designs | Thumbprint Tree: The Ink Lab

Tropical + Colorful Caribbean Wedding

Have you ever attended a wedding where every detail was full of beauty (we’re looking at you Jennie Fresa), sunshine, relaxation and happiness? Well, you’re about to. Because we’re transporting you to paradise planned in the hands of True Event with captures from Leila Brewster and Elysium Productions. Complete with lush Hana Floral Design blooms atop La Tavola linens and pretty Paper Moss goods, every seaside moment is waiting for you here!

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Resort
Styles
Elegant

From True EventLooking back on Lauren + Dan’s wedding we can actually feel the warmth and beauty of that day! Grand Isle Resort is one of those places that just takes you away to another place, where everything is so full of beauty, sunshine, relaxation and happiness. Definitely the perfect setting for a wedding, and destination for guests to stay traveling from afar. It is complete paradise! Leila Brewster Photography and Elysium Productions captured every island detail to perfection, and the sweet love between Lauren and Dan that beamed throughout the weekend. We had so much fun taking the natural details of island life and incorporating them into their wedding design. Bright lush florals from Hana Floral were the perfect touch, as well as metallic gold accents through out the wedding. The invitation suite and day of paper by Papermoss defined the coastal elegance that surrounded the day.

From Emily at Paper MossThere’s not much else that inspires us more than a seaside affair. Lauren & Dan’s Grand Exuma wedding invite suite was sure to include both classical navy and a warm tropical hue. An added surprise were the monochromatic sea life & Bahamas map sketches found on the back of the cards. As a lover of both coral the color and sea life itself, we made sure their monogram included both. Congrats to the happy couple, it was a joy to work with you both!

Photography: Leila Brewster | Videographer: Elysium Productions | Floral Design: Hana Floral Design | Ceremony Venue: Grand Isle Resort | Reception Venue: Grand Isle Resort | Makeup: Jennie Fresa | Hair: Emily Reale | Calligraphy: Kristen Henderson | Bride Attire: Everthine Bridal Boutique | Event Coordination & Design: True Event | Linens: La Tavola | Paper: Paper Moss

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