What do you get when you combine one seriously stunning bride, her dashing childhood sweetheart (talented NFL-er, Brandon Boykin) and a dream team of vendors in one of the world’s most beautiful locales? A little slice of wedding heaven. Think rustic meets modern details crafted by Tropical DMC, romance-filled blooms from Flowers By EA and a Katie May gown that is ah-mazing. Head to THE VAULT for every stunning moment captured by Kellie Kano. It will take your breath away.
There are wedding films, and then there is this sweet work of art from East West, a little sneak peek into the day that will make you sooo happy. From the beautiful vows (bonus points to the groom for rhyming) to the loving speeches from friends + family to the heart-filling looks of love these two share in every.single.moment of their celebration. This is love, friends…. prepare those happy tears and hit play.
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From Kellie Kano… This groom Brandon Boykin (who plays for the Steelers, formerly a beloved Eagles corner back in the NFL), married his 5th grade crush in mid-July. His bride Tess found me through my last Turks & Caicos feature on SMP Destination in 2013! This couple is SO wonderful and happen to be absolutely stunning, too.
From The Bride… It’s not everyday you hear, “I met my husband in the third grade.” Brandon and I met when we were nine and eventually shared the same fifth grade class together. It’s safe to say that it was not love at first sight, but in fact, we were enemies. The years went on and we branched off to different middle schools and high schools. To be honest, we completely forgot about one another until we ran into each other at our school’s basketball tournament and from that point on we started a friendship. Fast forward to our senior years of high school, we made the decision to start dating and nearly eight years later, we are finally married!
When Brandon proposed, I immediately jumped on the wedding planning. Initially, we figured that having a big wedding in Atlanta seemed right because that is our home and most of our close friends and family lived there as well. I found the perfect venue and an amazing planner. However, I started to slowly second guess our decision. The more we began to think about it, a big affair didn’t feel like us. We are private people and enjoy intimate settings with those closest to us.
One day while scrolling through the pages of Style Me Pretty, I stumbled upon a beautiful wedding at the Gansevoort Turks and Caicos. The venue was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Without even visiting, we scratched our initial wedding plans, and decided to do a destination wedding. As soon as our schedules opened up, we were on the first flight out to Turks and Caicos. The Gansevoort did not disappoint. The boutique style resort provided a unique sleek and sexy vibe, exactly the feeling we wanted for our wedding. In addition to the beauty of it, the staff at the Gansevoort are among the nicest people you will ever meet. They made our first trip unforgettable and we left feeling like we had gained lifelong friends.
During our stay we met with our planner, Teresa Brunner of Tropical Destination Management Company, who immediately put us at ease. I could tell right away she understood the vision of what we wanted for our wedding. Brandon wanted me to have the wedding that I always dreamed about and because of that, he let me take over every single detail. I appreciated that he trusted me with such big decisions and it was also fun for me because the final product was going to be a surprise to him as well. For the next year and a half, I worked closely with Teresa via email and phone to establish the exact style I was going for. I’ve always been a fan of light pastel colors; I wanted something that I could look back and still love over the years. We went with all tones of blush, ivory, white, colors with plenty of greenery and hints of gold and silver. Though I wanted to play up the sleekness of the Gansevoort, I still wanted rustic elements throughout the day but was perplexed on how to fuse the two together. On one solo visit to the island to plan, Teresa and I met with the florist from Flowers by EA. It was at that meeting that everything took shape. We decided that we would play up the rustic theme for the ceremony with a big driftwood arch with flowers all around along with driftwood and large lanterns going down the aisle. Once the guests arrived poolside to the cocktail hour, we would then glam it up having the hightop tables draped in gold, sequined tablecloths. As for the reception, I told our florist I wanted to feel like I was in a garden overloaded with flowers but for it to feel sexy and from there I wanted everything else to be a surprise. I trusted my planner and florist to take over and deliver on my vision.
Just before guests were ready to move into the reception area, Brandon and I had our big reveal for the setup. It was far better than anything I had envisioned. Every table paired with ghost chairs and glass plate chargers. Large centerpieces sat in the middle of the round tables overflowing with beautiful garden roses, hydrangeas, ranunculus, peonies, and amaranths with crystals hanging down. The longer tables were paired with glass table tops and flowers running along the center and chandeliers over them. The way Teresa tied everything in together was impeccable. Everyone was in awe the whole night.
As much as I loved our reception, our ceremony was by far my favorite part of the day. Brandon and I weren’t nervous because we knew we were ready for marriage. Thankfully we were able to have our pastor officiate our wedding who played a large role in preparing us for the next step in life. It was a sentimental moment to walk down the aisle and have my dad give me off to my best friend. I especially love that Brandon and I took the time out to write our own vows. They were fun and quirky and showed who were were as people and just how fun our relationship is. Overall, from the beginning of the trip to the end, it couldn’t have been a better time. I still can’t believe that it is over. All of our closest friends and family were able to visit a beautiful island, have a vacation, and celebrate our union. If you have the opportunity to have a destination wedding, you won’t regret it.
Lastly, we cannot say enough about our vendors. Each and every single one of them were consummate professionals! They all made our wedding day extraordinary and we will forever be grateful to have such a fun day to look back on. We are truly blessed!
Photography: Kellie Kano | Event Planning: Merren Events | Event Planning: Tropical Destination Management | Floral Design: Flowers by EA | Wedding Dress: Katie May Collection | Invitations: Suite Paper | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Catering: Gansevoort Turks And Caicos | Hair And Makeup: Shenique Higgs | Groom's Attire: Bridals by Guffey's | Venue: Gansevoort Turks And Caicos