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Coral + Gray Jamaica Wedding

Winter is upon us New Englanders so I’m officially in hibernation mode. For the next several months I’ll be daydreaming of warm weather and beaches, starting off with this beautiful wedding in Jamaica. Under the guidance of Travel & Events With Style and captured by Dwayne Larson Photography, this celebration has me soaking up every single seaside photo and craving more.


From The Bride… Sean and I wanted to chose a destination that would reflect us as a couple – Sean has been brought up with a Jamaican influence and it has shaped his life since he was a child. When we decided we wanted a beach wedding it seemed like a natural choice for us. Plus it gave everyone an excuse to escape one of the coldest cities in Canada!

As a graphic designer, I started with the stationery design, and the everything else seemed to roll out from there. We wanted our wedding to evoke simple, casual elegance and compliment the gorgeous natural backdrop of Negril. Our color palette was coral, greys, white and a light seafoam green. I based our invitations off a casual handdrawn script I made of our names, and since it was a beach wedding I chose to incorporate stripes to give it a nautical feeling. I chose coral as our main color because it felt tropical and I knew it would look great with the clear blue water as a backdrop. I had custom rubber stamps made with a graphic of the island with a heart overlaying Negril to customize various items. I had the main invitation letter pressed, and tied the pieces together with grey and white bakers twine.

Once the invitations were tackled I got to work planning craft nights with my friends to ensure we had decor that reflected us as a couple. One of our favourite things to do as a couple is to go to see live music, and travel to music festivals. My maid of honour found vintage sheet music at a thrift store that we used to make table runners, and pinwheels to label the bride and groom chairs. We made a backdrop for the guest table out of garland made with music sheets and paper in the color palette I chose. I chose to incorporate shells to tie in the beach theme, and made boutonnieres for the wedding party and family with starfish, grass and music sheets.

We had our ceremony on the beach with the waves crashing just feet away from us. We wanted an intimate feel for the ceremony. The aisle was lined with white lanterns with ribbons flowing from the chairs, and flowing white curtains on bamboo framed the altar. For our guestbook, we really wanted something that would encourage guests to write something more personal, so we made a book with various questions for guests to answer on each page.

Making sure our friends and family had fun at the reception was really important to us, and our choices for music reflected that. We had prepared our own playlist with a wide range of motown, soul, reggae, funk and hip hop, and had spin the bottle dance offs. A highlight of the night was when guests wanted us to kiss, we made them hula hoop. To end the night we set off Chinese Lanterns over the ocean.

My friend Dwayne Larson did our photography, and my maid of honour who is lead photographer with Victoria Anne Photography couldn’t help but snap a few shots for us when she wasn’t fulfilling her attendant duties. It was so great having two people that we feel comfortable with there to capture our day.

I cannot express enough about how much our wedding planner Jaime Valdes- Riench did for us. Planning an event from so far away adds a lot of stress and she made the process unbelievably simple and stress free – she kept us on track with decisions, gave us honest feedback, coordinated meetings with hard-to-nail down vendors and seamlessly planned the flow and sequence of our event.

Photography: Dwayne Larson Photography | Floral Design: Taiflora | Wedding Dress: Justin Alexander | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Beach Set Up: Riu Tropical Bay | Invitations And Stationery: Jaime Alissa Design | Photography - Assistance: Victorian Anne Photography | Wedding Planning And Travel Agent: Travel & Events With Style

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Chic Harbour Island Destination Wedding at Three Bees Villa

Navy stripes are my neutral, so when they are stylish scattered throughout a soiree as chic as this one – my heart does cartwheels. And rightfully so, because this ridiculously gorgeous Three Bees Villa wedding captured by Sabrina Lightbourn and planned by Little Island Designs is honestly my definition of perfection, and you can see why here.


From The Bride…Harbour Island has been a second home to me for as long as I can remember. The friendly people, unique aesthetic, world-class pink sand beach and beautiful water conjure so many happy memories. Three months after Rob and I started dating I took him to Harbour Island. When I saw that he immediately loved it as much as I do I knew that if we got married one day, it had to be there.

Once we decided on Harbour Island for our wedding I knew that I HAD to work with Ben Simmons from Little Island Designs. I knew as much what I DID NOT want as what I DID for the wedding weekend. For example, we both felt strongly about having a church ceremony, rich with tradition, and I had my heart set on the reception at Three Bees Vila, Arki Busson’s home. Furthermore, while I wasn’t looking for the traditional “beach wedding”, I also wasn’t looking to recreate a Manhattan wedding in Harbour Island. I envisioned the style to be sophisticated and chic, yet understated. I wanted to make a statement, while still complimenting the natural beauty of the location.

We hosted a Welcome Party the night before the wedding for all 150 guests, whom had travelled far and wide to be with us. My parents, Rob, Ben and I agreed that we wanted our guests experiences on Friday and Saturday nights to be as different as possible. As Saturday night would be a more formal sit down dinner on the bay side of the island, we planned the Welcome Party to be a casual Bahamian Beach Dinner on the ocean. Ben built out an area with sail clothes, long white farm tables decorated with local grasses and sea urchins and LOT’S of candles and lanterns. We served a buffet of popular local dishes – fresh conch salad prepared right before guests, grilled fish and chicken, coleslaw and peas and rice, etc. Guests drank specialty drinks put of coconut shells, the local Harbour Island band “The Brilandrs” created a very Bahamian Calypso feel, a fire dancer entertained and guests lounged by a big beach bonfire after it got dark.

For the actual wedding reception, I wanted to use a color palette different than the soft pastels people normally use down there. The classic look of navy and white has always been a personal favorite. Put it against the chic West Indies, safari-like aesthetic of Three Bees, and pepper in variations of aqua/green/turquoise – the colors of the water down there – and I quickly had a color scheme. Years ago, I came across a picture of a black and white dance floor in Beverly Hills that I fell in love with. I showed Ben the picture and asked if he could recreate it in navy and white… before I knew it we had a custom dance floor right on the waters edge! It was certainly one of my favorite style elements of the night. Another favorite style detail is the way Ben so elegantly lights an outdoor area… several shabby chic white chandeliers hanging from trees is an image that will forever be in my mind. Having worked in PR for the past 15 years, I have learned that the difference is in the details. So…. we personalized the space with other details like monogrammed pillows for all the white couches; personalized cups, napkins and matches. We tied beige and blue pashminas to the back of all the women’s bamboo dinner chairs and also provided either blue or turquoise leather “dancing shoes” for all the women, which were separated by size in four different blue and white striped canvas containers. The flowers were green or white only and the centerpieces were tall vases of palm fronds with tea lights h and small white bouquets in mirrored vases around the base. We accented the table with navy and white striped runners on top of white table clothes. The combination of the blue and white with bamboo chairs and chargers and the natural looking palm centerpieces with punches of white flowers was beautiful yet understated.

It was really important to both me and Rob to utilize as many local vendors, and to include as many Bahamian traditions as possible. Examples of some of the traditions that we included were the “Sister Act-like” church choir, wedding procession through town after the ceremony and Junkanoo, which paraded guests from dinner to dancing and desert. A few other entertainment and style elements that made our wedding so special include:

• Transportation for all guests to and from Three Bees by boat, including our arrival
• Spectacular fireworks
• The gift bags – personalized straw bags that contained a custom belt with our coral motif, personalized sunscreen and Frisbee (again with coral motif and the wedding date), a stamped pre-addressed Harbour Island postcard to me and Rob (we are still receiving them, which is really fun!), bottled water with custom labels, a bag of Sea Salt potato chips as well as goldfish and Swedish fish gummy candies, welcome book and a GREAT map of the island by my sister
• DIY turquoise burgees with everyone’s name and our coral motif, laminated and stuck to each person’s golf cart
• Our wedding cake melted before anyone could see it, but we didn’t even care!
• The smile on both my and Rob’s face all weekend long… it was the BEST weekend of our lives!

Photography: Sabrina Lightbourn | Event Coordinator: Little Island Designs | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang From Mark Ingram Atelier | Wedding Cake: Swiss Pastry Shop | Invitations: The Printery | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Donna Morgan From The Wedding Library | Band: The Sultans Of Swing | Custom Belts For All Guests: Elizabeth McKay | Groom And Groomsmen Flip Flops: The Leatherman | Groom And Groomsmen's Custom Ties: Vineyard Vines | Printed Materials: DFM Stationery | Wedding Reception: Three Bees Villa | Welcome Party: On The Beach At The Ocean View Club

Rustic Spring Wedding in Puerto Rico

With Mother Nature making it clear to us New Englanders that it’s time to bundle up, I’m desperately dreaming of sunshine and warmth. This colorful spring wedding at Puerto Rico’s Hacienda Siesta Alegre provides the perfect mental escape and with Amanda K‘s gorgeous photos, I’ll be soaking up this sunny celebration for the foreseeable future.

From The Bride… We met when I was 12 and he was 14 at church camp. Not sure why he ever thought a skinny girl in oversized culottes was cute, but he swears he did. We officially began dating when I was 15, a few months shy of my 16th birthday. We dated for 7 years all through high school, college, the Marine Corps, and an Iraq deployment.

As I only had six months to plan the wedding, the dress was one of the first things I tried to find. After trying on different dresses, I decided to order a custom dress online. Unfortunately, the dress did not come in as it was described. So with only three months to spare, it was truly crunch time. I knew I could no longer order a dress from a shop, so I went to and found the exact dress I had fallen in love with for a fraction of the price. And bonus, the owner was local and my exact same size! She was so sweet, and we have even kept in touch. As she said perfectly, “the dress has had a very special existence.”

Our vision was romantic and soft with a touch of simplicity & elegance, but we still wanted it to feel relaxed. With it taking place in Puerto Rico, we also wanted to make sure we didn’t lose the feel of the culture. We go to lots of weddings, so we decided to do away with all traditions that are just that, traditions. We kept it simple and did not have a bridal party other than the flower girls. We had a first look, didn’t smash cake in each others faces, kept our first dance at 30 seconds, and did away with Daniel going up my dress to take off my garter, along with other traditions.  We’ve always wanted a destination wedding, and since my family is from Puerto Rico, that was our first pick. As soon as I laid my eyes on the Hacienda, it was love at first sight. It was everything I wanted to evoke on our day. The scenery was perfect; the cozy bed and breakfast had an old Spanish feel, and it was located in the mountains in the rainforest. Also, having a venue that could host both the ceremony and reception was important to us as many of our family members were traveling from abroad.

My head piece, party favors, wedding invitations, and linens were all handmade by my grandma, with a little help from us. She is crafty by nature, so she was thrilled to help in every avenue possible. The invitations were a daunting task, and the wedding would have never been the same without her. My favorite detail was by far my jewelry. Daniel bought me the jewelry while in Iraq in 2009, and I have been saving it for this day since. I’ve been telling him it’s too pretty to wear with just anything, so it was a surprise when he finally saw me wear it on our wedding day. It was special and unique to us.

My most memorable moment was our first look. There are very few moments throughout the day that you get to spend alone with your groom, and those are the moments I treasure most. We exchanged heartfelt notes, and he bought me a bouquet of flowers. We soaked in the last few hours before saying “I do,” and I’m glad our photographer, Amanda, was there to capture that. In keeping the Hispanic culture alive, we had a live band (a Batucada) during the reception unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. They played traditional music with drums and trumpets and got the guests involved by teaching them typical dances. It was the highlight to our evening. We also incorporated traditional food, and piraguas (traditional shaved ice desert) were served by a piragüero, in a small colorful pushcart.

Photography: Amanda K Photography | Wedding Planner: Bride's Grandma Dagmar Merritt | Florist: M&M Flower Market & Deco | Wedding Gown: Claire Pettibone | Invitations: Bride's Grandma Dagmar Merritt | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Groom's Apparel (tie And Shoes): ASOS | Leather Suspenders: Groom's Friend Jeremy Thompson | Venue: Hacienda Siesta Alegre

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