Felicia and Drew held their destination wedding on the beautiful island of St. John. So how did the couple come to select an island wedding for their big day? The pair shared their story with us…
Drew was born on an island (albeit Long Island!) and grew up in a Florida beach town. Since my childhood, I have spent nearly all of my vacation time on a beach or near the water. Through the years, most of our vacations together have revolved around water, in one form or another. Drew proposed at the top of a snow covered mountain in Lake Tahoe. So, when it came time to choose a wedding location there was no question that we would somehow incorporate our love of water. We ultimately decided that since we got engaged on a mountain, we should get married on a beach.
We knew that we wanted a U.S. destination. Neither of us had been to the Virgin Islands so we decided to cross two items off our bucket list at once! We researched St. John and after seeing photos of Trunk Bay, it was settled.
Working with Island Style Weddings was amazing! I have a Type A personality so planning a destination wedding at a location we had never seen could have easily pushed the boundaries of my comfort zone! However, Mary put me at ease from day one. On our first call she explained that they focus on one wedding at a time. At that point I knew that hiring them would be the best planning decision I would make. And it was! Mary and her team coordinated every detail from guest accommodations, transportation and pre-wedding activities to hair and makeup, décor and flowers, photography, food and music. They provided a vendor list which was all encompassing, yet not overwhelming. They have personal relationships with their vendors and that makes all the difference in the experience that you have with each of them. Mary even officiated the ceremony for us. The level of personal attention we received throughout the entire process was wonderful! They took every phone call, read every email, listened to our ideas and provided guidance and comfort when needed. When the big day finally arrived, we were able to relax and enjoy it. Thanks to Island Style Weddings, our wedding was everything we ever wanted … and more!
There had been the threat of rain all day but on the drive from our villa to Trunk Bay, in between short showers, we saw a fantastic rainbow. We accepted that as a good sign! Yet, we did have to postpone the ceremony for a few minutes to let a brief rain shower pass. During that time, while Mary coordinated the guests and the groom on the beach, Brenda waited patiently with me under an umbrella at the top of the ramp leading to the sand. Just before I started my walk down the aisle, she helped me arrange my dress and assured me that rain on your wedding day is a sign of blessings to come.
I had chosen to walk down the aisle to the acoustic guitar version of “A Pirate Looks at 40”, one of Drew’s favorite Jimmy Buffett songs, but I had kept it a secret from Drew. It was delightful to see his expression when he recognized the song … and when he first saw me.
While I was barefoot for our beach ceremony, Drew (initially) wore flip flops. About half-way through the ceremony, I noticed that he was shaking off his shoes. Literally. When I asked him about it later, he said the thought had suddenly occurred to him: He was standing on a sandy beach … why was he wearing shoes?
St. John is so beautiful naturally, we did not want the ceremony décor to distract from the existing landscape. Instead, we took a “less is more” approach and chose simple decorations in white and pale tones to accent the sand and the ocean as our backdrop.
What stands out vividly is the laughter. There was so much joy and love and laughter surrounding us throughout the entire day.
We can honestly say that the entire day was perfect! We got married on a beautiful island, surrounded by our closest family and friends. What’s not to love??
Congratulations to the newlyweds!
Destination Wedding Photographer + Videographer: Andrew and Elisha Wedding Photography
Wedding Vendors: Wedding Planner: Island Style Weddings, Wedding Dress: Bel Fiore Bridal, Wedding Invitations: Minted, Hair + Makeup: Cruz Salon, Flowers: Roses Too, Officiant: Mary Bartolucci, Ceremony Venue: Trunk Bay, Ceremony Music: Chris Robbert, Reception Venue: The Terrace, Reception Entertainment: DJ Adonis, Wedding Cake: Queen of Tarts, Accommodations: Villa Mistral, Welcome Party Venue: Joe’s Rum Hut, Beach Day Venue: Maho Bay, Transportation: Chris Taxi and Limo Services, Dress Steaming: Kilroy’s Dry Cleaners