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Elegant Island Wedding

I’ve said it before, but I think it’s worth repeating: we love destination weddings.  So when a stunning St. John, USVI affair comes our way from the uber-talented Mary Bartolucci of Island Style Weddings, you better believe we’re going to share that beauty faster than you can say “non-stop pampering.”  Think a sophisticated color palette meets breathtaking views meets all kinds of pretty.  See it all captured by Lindsay Vann right here, and soak in the gorgeous film from Nazareth Roads Productions below.  

Colors
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Winter
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Resort
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Elegant

From the Bride… When we got engaged, we knew we wanted to have a destination wedding. We love to travel and one of our favorite places on earth is St. John, USVI. The pristine, white sandy beaches, and the natural beauty of the island was something that we wanted to share with our friends and family.

We hoped our guests would fall in love with this magical island as much as we have, so we planned a welcome party and day sail during our stay. To start the week of wedding festivities, we dined at Dr!nk overlooking the beach in Cruz Bay. The following day, we sailed to Jost Van Dyke on Kekoa, where we snorkeled and enjoyed the famous Painkiller drink at the Soggy Dollar Bar.

St. John is such a beautiful island with so many choices for a wedding venue, but Turtle Bay Point at Caneel Bay Resort was the perfect place to say ‘I do’. The grassy landscape overlooking the water is absolutely breathtaking. I could not have a dreamed of a more beautiful wedding! The memories we shared with our friends and family during that week is something that we will forever cherish.

Photography: Lindsay Vann | Videography: Nazareth Roads Productions | Event Design: Island Style Weddings | Coordination: Mary Bartolucci | Floral Design: Roses Too | Wedding Dress: Hayley Paige | Cake: Queen Of Tarts | Ceremony Venue: Turtle Bay Point | Reception Venue: Kalorama | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Hair And Makeup: Sugar And Spice Salon | DJ: Adonis Morton | Grooms Attire: Egara | Groomsmen's Attire: Egara | Day Sail: Kekoa | Steel Panist: Albion Sewer | Welcome Party: Dr!nk

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Romantic Virgin Islands Destination Wedding

This here is an instance where I need to re-read the info to see if this was an editorial shoot or an actual wedding. The photos of the Bride and Groom in the water look like something out of a magazine and have me considering some epic post-receptions pics myself. Closer to Love Photography worked their magic behind the lens and Zomei Film Stories captured the romance of this breathtaking celebration.

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Summer
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Romantic

From Closer to LoveThere truly are no words to fully describe how beautiful the Virgin Islands are. Full of lush greenery and the most beautiful crystal clear turquoise water we’ve ever seen, it was like paradise on earth. Marci and David, along with their families became our very own family, and we built a lifetime of unforgettable memories. As photographers, we often times found ourselves speechless and in awe at all the amazingness that was before us. We had to come to grips that nothing could ever top this trip, and we just had to accept the reality that everything would be compared to the Virgin Islands – which would be a very tough location to follow! Marci and David’s St. John wedding was filled with detail and personal touches. They chose green as their main wedding color to honor David’s Irish background. To honor Marci’s Louisiana roots, the couple along with their guests had a traditional New Orleans Second Line, marching through the streets of St. John after their beautiful ceremony! We were truly honored to be part of it all and will forever treasure these memories (and more) in our hearts!

From the Bride… It wasn’t a difficult decision for us to choose the Virgin Islands as our wedding destination. It is after all where David and I met and fell in love ten years ago. We couldn’t wait to share our marriage with friends and family in such a magical place, and it was truly everything we dreamt of.

I was in shock when David got down on one knee in the middle of Rome, though I should’ve expected it, he’s such a romantic! I loved being engaged and tried to soak in every moment of the planning process. I’ve never been a “big wedding” bride, much to the dismay of my large southern family. However, my family didn’t mind the smaller wedding idea once they saw photos of our favorite islands.

The most important aspect of planning was ensuring all our wedding events were as personal and intimate as possible. From Australia to Germany, California to Rhode Island, our guests came from many places to celebrate, and we wanted them to feel at home. Our welcome party started off with a huge pot of my dad’s Louisiana crawfish étouffée, a sure hit amongst our southern and northern friends alike. We hosted beach parties, boating trips, and a sunset cruise after our rehearsal.

Since we were unable to visit our location prior to the wedding week, we took pleasure in the unknown and tried not to obsess over every detail. This worked to our advantaged as we were surprised and completely blown away with how perfect it all turned out. My mother’s cathedral length veil, a custom handkerchief made from my mother, grandmothers, and mother-in-law’s wedding dresses, and David’s grandfather’s tie pin set the tone for a ceremony filled with love and tradition. We chose green as our main wedding color to honor David’s Irish background. To honor my Louisiana roots, we had a traditional New Orleans Second Line through the streets of St. John after our ceremony.

Personalizing our wedding details was very special to me. I loved creating our invitations, party favors, and place cards. I took calligraphy and watercolor courses in order to prepare, and David and I stayed up late many nights hand embossing each invitation, water coloring our wedding map and menus, and putting together welcome bags. My most favorite detail was the stamps we used on our wedding envelopes. I found vintage stamps from every state we’ve lived. They were the first thing wedding guests saw when their invitation arrived and it showcased our love of our past and excitement for our future.

Our wedding could not have been more perfect. It was intimate, romantic, and relaxed, as well as hilarious and wild when we completed our night with an impromptu dance party with locals in the town square. The starlit boat ride home after our reception still gives me chills. David and I sat hand in hand as husband and wife, surrounded by our nearest and dearest in our favorite place on earth, on our now most favorite day.

Photography: Closer To Love Photography | Videography: Zomei Film Stories | Wedding Coordinator: Angela Berry | Florist: Passion Flower | Wedding Dress: Watters Jacinda Gown From Lovely Bride NYC | Wedding Cake: VI Desserts | Invitations: Made By Bride Via Doucet Lettering | Church: Our Lady Of Mount Carmel, St. John | Reception Venue: Asolare | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Watters | Groom's Attire: Cubavera | Bridal Veil: Bride’s Mother’s Veil | Cake Topper: Milk Tea Cake Toppers | Hair + Makeup: Artistry By Kristina | Headband: BHLDN | Welcome Bags, Custom Luggage Tags, Menus, Place Cards: Doucet Lettering

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Elegant Puerto Rico Wedding at Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton Reserve

I’m kind of a super fan of Abby Jiu. It never fails. the second she steps foot behind a camera magic ensues. Timelessly beautiful yet fresh all at the same time, her images tell the stunning story of this couples’ gorgeous destination wedding. Complete with an envy-worthy Oscar De La Renta gown, a first look in a pineapple field and too many perfect details to count, this gallery should not be missed.


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Winter
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Beach
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Elegant

From The Bride…How did you decide on Puerto Rico? We visited Puerto Rico together for a close friend’s wedding in 2013 and fell in love with the island. We really enjoyed exploring San Juan and the beaches, and found everyone we met to be incredibly warm and friendly. Our guests were also traveling from all corners of the country (and world!) so we wanted to find a location that would be an easy trip and a fun little getaway for everyone.

How did you decide on the Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton Reserve? As soon as we stepped on to the property we absolutely fell in love with the venue. It felt secluded and private and had such a romantic vibe – we loved the drama of seeing the waves crashing on rocks from virtually every angle. The property is also a nature preserve, so the lush vegetation also made the otherwise modern resort feel rustic. As history nerds, we also loved that the property has such a rich history. It was bought my Laurence Rockefeller who preserved its lushness and enhanced the property. He opened it up to celebrities such as John F Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor and Amelia Earhart.

What was the inspiration for your wedding decor? I was mostly inspired by the venue itself. The architecture is completely harmonious with its natural surroundings – the ocean, the beach and the plant life. I wanted the decor to feel similarly integrated and organic. Arquetipo helped us with our decor and blew us away, using lots of white orchids, willow vine and green dianthus, which almost looks like a sea creature itself! The lanterns and mercury glass helped to give everything a shimmery glow.

What is your favorite memory from the wedding day. My favorite moment from our wedding day (other than marrying Matt) was looking around the room at our reception and seeing the faces of so many people I love (who also happen to be fantastic dancers!). It was so special to have so many of our family and friends in one room having a blast together.

Photography: Abby Jiu | Event Planning: Chezelle Dezines | Floral Design: Arquetipo Inc | Invitations: Dauphine Press | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Dessy | Make Up: Ingrid Rivera | Groom's Attire: J. Crew | Ceremony Music: Violons Frenesi | Hotel: Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton Reserve | Bridal Gown: Oscar De La Renta | Reception Music: DJ Rock Hand | Veil: Oscar De La Renta

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Elegant Jamaican Destination Wedding

The sparkling Caribbean ocean, this fabulous bouquet, and this absolutely lovely blushing Bride; I’m pretty sure this wedding right here is the definition of paradise. Natalie Franke and Krista Jones captured it all and the picture perfect weather added a silver lining to every moment between this sweet Bride and Groom. As I dream of a Jamaican vacation, this gallery is where my travel fantasies will begin.

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Winter
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Elegant

From Natalie Franke… There aren’t words in the English language that could adequately describe how incredible Hannah and Mark’s wedding truly was! When we arrived at the Half Moon Resort in Montego Bay, I was absolutely blown away by the beauty of this tropical coastline and the rich history that the resort has developed in Jamaica! Add in an exceptional couple like Hannah and Mark and I knew that I was in for the wedding of a lifetime!

From the beach ceremony to the portraits around the resort, I felt like I was constantly having to pick my jaw up off the floor sand! Everything was styled perfectly and Hannah was one of the most beautiful brides that I’ve ever seen! And not only is she gorgeous, but she has such a compassionate heart! When she found her dress at The Brides Project in Ann Arbor (a bridal boutique where all the proceeds go to the Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor) she decided to become a volunteer bridal consultant and after working with the organization for a few months was hired to run it! She dedicates her time to helping brides find the perfect gown and raising proceeds for a good cause in the process.

Can’t you see why I fell in love with these two? Ah! Hannah and Mark are an incredible couple and this entire weekend was one for the record books!

Photography: Natalie Franke | Floral Design: Blooming Designs | Wedding Dress: The Brides Project | Invitations: Rock Paper Scissors | Engagement Ring: Mark Broumand | Wedding Bands: Urban Jewelers | Lighting: Jackie Jackson Entertainment | DJ: Devon Reid | Wedding Venue: Half Moon Resort | Photography - Assistance: Krista Jones

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Dominican Republic Post-Wedding Beach Bonfire

How do you top off a destination wedding extravaganza from rehearsal dinner to ceremony to oceanside reception? A festive beach bonfire – that’s how. As a farewell for guests who traveled far and wide to celebrate, Michelle and Geoff along with Stefanie Miles planned a casual gathering on the sand complete with local cuisine, pretty Bows and Arrows blooms and fire dancers. See it all from the lens of Ryan Ray.

From Stefanie Miles… Many guests stayed at Flor De Cabrera during their time in Cabrera, and so we continued the celebration under the low palms on the secluded Flor De Cabrera beach the day after the wedding. In keeping with our goal of providing quality, memorable experiences for each of our 35 guests, this traditional Dominican fare dinner was made extra special with beautiful tables and florals set up under an intimate canopy of trees and strung lights, lounge areas that were laid out in the sand, fire dancers, and a sweet musical trio.

From The Bride…The day after our wedding we hosted a beach bonfire dinner that really was the perfect gesture of hospitality to end our destination wedding. It was wonderful to gather together to share a meal, exchange stories, and say our goodbyes. The entire weekend had been a series of unexpected, beautifully executed surprises from our team of vendors and this dinner was no exception. It left me feeling so content knowing that Geoff and I had successfully been able to use our wedding as an opportunity to serve, honor, and thank our guests for their love and support throughout our journeys to finding each other.

Photography: Ryan Ray Photography | Videography: Candlelight Films | Stationery : Ladyfingers Letterpress | Hair & Makeup: Amy Clarke | Venue: Flor De Cabrera | Design, Planning & Production: Stefanie Miles | Florals: Bows And Arrows | Linens: La Tavola

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here