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St. John USVI Wedding by Rebekah Westover Photography

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 / 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

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St. John Wedding at Caneel Bay by Katelyn James Photography

Simple + sweet is the name of the game for this St. John stunner held at Caneel Bay and shot by Katelyn James Photography. This cute-as-can-be couple was married in front of twelve of their family and friends in a beachside ceremony that celebrated the natural beauty of the island. Lovelies, there is so much more where this came from and you can see it all right here!

From Katelyn James PhotographyClint and Cary are a simple couple. So naturally, they planned a simple wedding. Caneel Bay Resort has been a family vacation destination for over 15 years, so they decided it would be the perfect spot for their tropical wedding. 12 family members gathered on Turtle Bay Point on St. John in the Virgin Islands. As the sun set and sail boats glided past, Clint and Cary promised their love for one another! It was the most beautiful setting — I was in awe! 

Wedding Photography: Katelyn James Photography / Wedding Venue, Floral Design, Wedding Cake + Officiant: Caneel Bay at Turtle Bay Point in St. John, Virgin Islands / Wedding Dress: J.Crew / Bride’s Jewelry: Kate Spade / Hair + Makeup: The Beauty Lounge Salon and Spa / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Banana Republic

St. John Wedding by Buffy Dekmar Photography

Sometimes all you need for the perfect wedding is a gorgeous view, a pretty white dress and some killer heels. Oh, and the talents of Buffy Dekmar Photography to capture all these elements just so. If the thought of a huge wedding stresses you out, just do as this adorable couple did and tie the knot on the beach at sunset with your closest friends and family, and we guarantee you’ll be one happy bride. Click here for even more gorgeousness.

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Take a moment to check out this amazing super 8mm film by Dekmar Films!
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From Buffy of Buffy Dekmar PhotographyWe love destination weddings! Cathy and Corey decided to have a small, intimate beach ceremony for their November wedding… and St. John, USVI, was the perfect spot! The ceremony was held on Cinnamon Bay just before sunset. The blue-green caribbean surf was a natural background that didn’t require much man-made enhancement. Cathy’s wine-colored shoes brought out the subtle purples in her beautiful bouquet of white lilies, and her lovely Casablanca gown added the perfect touch of elegance to the affair! The wedding was sweet and simple, with just enough personal touches for an intimate destination wedding. Dinner and drinks followed, and an amazing cake from Katilady Catering topped off the evening. It was a beautiful day!

Photography: Buffy Dekmar Photography / Cinematography: Dekmar Films / Bride’s Dress: Casablanca / Bride’s Shoes: Mootsies Tootsies / Groom’s Suit: JoS. A. Bank / Location: Cinnamon Bay, St. John, United States Virgin Islands / Minister: Robert Nelson / Flowers: Gayle of Bou-Quet / Cake: Kati Lady Catering / Dinner: Asolare

Sand Dollar Estate Wedding by Jules Bianchi Photography

These amazing St. Thomas nuptials by Jules Bianchi Photography are the perfect example of why I l.o.v.e a destination wedding.  I can’t think of anything more romantic than running away together with close friends and family, tying the knot with the ocean as your backdrop and a tropical paradise surrounding you at every turn.  Yes, I think this bride and groom pretty much have it covered.  And with the pretty yellow and blue color palette, stunning bouquets by East End Flowers and a plethora of unique details all designed by the gorgeous bride and planned by Island Bliss Weddings, this is most definitely a destination wedding done oh so very right.  I’ll be in the gallery soaking up all of the lovely, so join me there for even more beachy goodness!

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From the Bride… My fiancé and I got engaged on the cliffs of the Italian Rivera at sunset, and as we began describing our wedding day together, we knew that we had to follow suit to the engagement, hosting a wedding in another exotic location away from home.  Both of us are entranced by the ocean, love soft sandy beaches and wanted an intimate affair in a tropical relaxed location.  I grew up in LA where the ocean was always a huge part of my life and he has an undying love for the Caribbean and all that it encompasses.  We picked the Sand Dollar Estate in St. Thomas, USVI, known as the White House of St. Thomas for its view of the famous Magen’s Bay, but mostly for its ability to host a private small wedding with its own beach where the ceremony would take place. We also LOVE sunsets, and have very special moments throughout our relationship during sunset and watching the view from the estate over the water at sunset blew convinced us this was our spot.

Our inspirations morphed into what I was calling “Beach Chic” using more of a romantic, soft casual feel of Shabby Chic playing off the bright turquoise waters of the Caribbean and the “pop” of yellow sunshine. Special details from the day included Michigan “M” Sugar Cookies, as my Husband and friends are avid University of Michigan fans, a Russian Babushka doll next to the guest book in remembrance of my Grandmother and Russian heritage, Chinese parasol’s brought from our current city in San Francisco, Frank Family wine – a favorite of ours from Napa, custom burlap and lace runners made with love from my mother-in-law and other fun items I sourced on Etsy.  All these special items were flown down with us to the island in 6 checked bags!

The day before our wedding day was the first rainfall of the year on St. Thomas, and rare for May.  It poured, all night!  The morning of the wedding, with the storm still looming above us, brought in the tide hiding our private beach where the ceremony was scheduled.  However, we adjusted our plans, the rain held off and we were married outside on the patio overlooking the water.  Even with the beach unavailable for the ceremony, we were luckily able to snap a few shots down on the rocks (without getting an ounce of water on the dress).  Even with the threat of the rain, and the change in plans, it was an amazing day!  My husband too cute, our guests lovely as ever and everything just as we imagined, including a spectacular sunset.

Wedding Photography: Jules Bianchi Photography / Flowers: East End Flowers / Event Design: The Bride / Event Planning: Island Bliss Weddings / Wedding Ceremony + Reception Location: Sand Dollar Estate / Wedding Invitations: Etsy / Wedding Dress: Jenny Lee / Bridesmaid Dresses: Carol Hannah / Makeup + Hair: Sugar & Spice Artistry / Catering: Modern Saute / Wedding Cake: VI Dessert

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St. John Engagement Session by Lovely Leaf Studio

Sometimes all you need is a girl, a boy and a beach.  It doesn’t get much more romantic than a dreamy getaway to a beautiful island like  St. John especially when that rendezvous involves a sweet proposal followed by a resounding YES!  Lovely Leaf Studio captured the love and excitement as these two cuties plan their next big adventure!  Read their sweet proposal story below and see the entire enchanting island shoot in the full gallery!

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From Lovely Leaf Studio… Ming & Travis vacationed in St. John after she completed her 3rd yr of medical school. On the first day after arrival, Travis was really protective and watchful of his backpack while swimming at Hawksnest. On the second day, just before heading to dinner after a wonderful day at Honeymoon Beach, Travis suggested a leisurely walk along an overlook. Because Travis was acting funny, Ming got suspicious and nervous too. At the top of the hill by a bench, they looked out over ocean and saw a beautiful rainbow. They finally got into the car and while turning the car around, Travis abruptly stopped. He had stalled 3 times already – at two gorgeous beaches and with a rainbow backdrop overlooking a sunset. He knew that no matter how many times he stalled, he would be just as nervous.  He got out, opened Ming’s door, knelt down on one knee, and presented the ring he had been closely guarding the whole trip. SHE SAID YES! She was shocked, he was in shock, and it was really quiet for a few moments. Eventually they made it to dinner and started celebrating!

Photography: Lovely Leaf Studio

St. Thomas Wedding by Jessica Claire

Next up is a pretty fete sent to us by the always spectacular Jessica Claire. She shot this beauty down in St. Thomas at the Frenchman’s Reef Marriott and it is as breezy and beautiful as they come. Sun, sand, relaxation and a wedding. How amazing does that sound? See it all in the gallery.

find more dreamy destination details here!

from Jessica Claire…

Jenn & Peter were married in a beautiful, intimate ceremony at the Frenchman’s Reef Marriott in St. Thomas. As a doctor and a lawyer respectively, Jenn and Peter wanted their wedding to scream RELAXATION! As avid snorkelers and beach lovers, St. Thomas had the perfect combination of surf, sand, and sun to be the perfect backdrop for their wedding.

One fun thing that Jenn & Pete decided to do was shoot a Day After session following their wedding. Although the phrase “trash the dress” has become popular in recent years, I prefer to think of it as “dress irreverence” rather than an actual trashing. It’s more of a time not to worry about a little dirt or water, rather than the intent to destroy a beautiful gown! It’s also a wonderful time for the bride and groom to relax and enjoy one another in a way there often isn’t time for on the wedding day.

Photographer: Jessica Claire / Location, florals, and cake: Frenchman’s Reef Marriott, St. Thomas